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bearing savers


BogMonster
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Advice needed....

I have a home-made trailer for my RIB, made by the first owner of the boat, and it has LR hubs and wheels on it (doubt there are many boat trailers around that are fitted with 4x 7.50R16 Firestone SAT's :) ) the old Series type with a bigger inner bearing and smaller outer bearing.

Just had one of the hubs to bits due to terminal bearing failure, usual boat trailer disease of salt water ingress over 30 odd complete submersions launching the boat. Fitted new bearing kit with gallons of waterproof SX2 grease to try and keep the water at bay and I have to do the other rear one as well but it got me thinking...

On a proper good quality boat trailer you get things called "bearing savers" which are designed to keep the hub under slight pressure of grease to prevent water ingress ... does anybody know of a similar thing for Rover hubs, perhaps something to replace the drive members? I suspect not, and I might come up with some sort of idea involving a modded drive member with a grease nipple in so I could give it a couple of pumps of grease every so often to force any water back out past the seal, but just thought I'd see if anybody has heard of a ready made solution? The seal tracks are not in great condition due to pitting and it isn't worth changing the stub axles as they will only rust again as soon as it hits the salt water so some amount of water intake is inevitable - but if by a regular injection of grease I can keep the water away from the bearings, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The trailer only does about 2 miles to and from the house to the launching site so grease loss as the bearings/hub get hot on a long run won't be a problem.

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id fit two new stub axles and fit new seals, there far better than the boat trailer seals as they seem to fail within 5 miles of going up the road :blink:

id drill and tap the drive flange, then fit a bleed hole in a apropiate place

ive got bearing savers on my boat trailer and they work a treat, got pig sick of changing bearing twice a season, expecialy as it a twin axle :o

dan

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its abit tricky really, afink the seal would need to be left as a std seal :blink:

a bearing saver has a spring that applys pressure to a metal plate with a rubber seal attatched to seal it, as the pressure of grease builds up it compresses the spring until it reaches the bleed off, which is just at the point it wants to pop the seal out

it would need the same system afink to work thinking about it :blink::blink:

will speak to the boss at work tomorrow, see if he's got any ideas, he's been in the boat trade longer than me <_<

dan

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its abit tricky really, afink the seal would need to be left as a std seal :blink:

a bearing saver has a spring that applys pressure to a metal plate with a rubber seal attatched to seal it, as the pressure of grease builds up it compresses the spring until it reaches the bleed off, which is just at the point it wants to pop the seal out

it would need the same system afink to work thinking about it :blink::blink:

will speak to the boss at work tomorrow, see if he's got any ideas, he's been in the boat trade longer than me <_<

dan

I see, (I think) so the pressure moves the plate and allows the grease to expand, when it cools the plate moves back under spring pressure rather than allowing water to be sucked in ??

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What about using one of the auto-greasing systems - essentially a grease gun connected via tubes to the stub axles. If you use some sticky grease that will not emulsify (boat prop shaft grease), a bit of water ingress won't matter too much.

Si

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Bearing Buddy

I've got these on my trailer. Fantastic. Check the site and see if they have a size that would work. Alternatively, what about packing the bearing with red lithium, overfilling the dust cap with it and then selaing round the dust cap with silcone sealant etc.

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Did you replace the rings that the seals are running on? These are a seperate part on series stubaxles. when the seal hasn't got a clean face to work on, it will fail soon again.

Also, I have bought drive members from Craddocks which had a tapped hole for a grease nipple. it was under 45 degrees between the hubcap bos and the flangeface.

Might be worth a try, although when I bought them was years ago.

Daan

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Just to put my thinking outside the box hat on... if you only make occasional short journeys, could you do a bit of machining work and replace your bearings with bushes made of that super duper hard self lubing plastic stuff? I guess it depends how heavy a rib is? maybe a triple axle?

feel free to mock my lack of boaty knowledge :P:P:lol:

Mike

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interesting ideas, ta :)

didn't realise the seal track was separate or I would have changed it on the one I just did :(

I have had 18 months out of the bearings that were on there and I wouldn't say they were new when I got it (had apparently been regreased recently but I reckon re-used too...)

I might want to take it further afield in time so I don't think the idea of bushes would work because of that but it is a good one all the same :)

ta ;)

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Would it help to fit the oil seals back to front? That way the lip will stop water getting in, but will allow grease to bleed out.

Will RRC seals fit? Probably not but you could change to RRC parts.

Later RRC oil seals have a double lip one faces in and the other faces out.

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It has the old type S3 seals which are completely different to the later type seals, so probably not?

To be honest the main issue with seals is going to be salt water and consequent corrosion on the seal track which is going to happen no matter what. The main thing is to keep grease in the hub to keep the water out :)

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you could really do with getting hold of a tub of the sterndrive grease that comes with the drives when new, i cant think what its called atm, id have to tell you next time theres a new boat in for a pdi :(

how often do you have to change bearings ? once a season is quite acceptable IMO :ph34r:

dan

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My own boat trailer is also twin axle (Indespension units) & the choice is either to use bearing saver devices as already said, or to strip, clean and regrease the bearings after each immersion. The latter is tedious, takes me about 3/4 of an hour to do all four, but ensures the bearings have a long life (last replaced 3 years ago) as salt water left inside will damage them in very short order. On mine the seal on the inner bearing is part of the bearing.

I do wonder whether sealed shielded bearings would be the best option, but these are only AFAIK available for ball bearings on the mini wheel type suspension units & not the usual taper rollers on the heavier braked trailers.

I think the stern tube grease you are thinking of is Duckhams Keenol which I believe is no longer available, but RAMONOL is advertised on the web including http://tnorrismarine.co.uk/offers.php. Don't know whether that is suitable for wheel bearings.

Any water that does get into the hub will damage the bearings regardless of what type of grease is in there.

There are some comments on http://homepages.rya-online.net/trail-sail/safety.html

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My own boat trailer is also twin axle (Indespension units) & the choice is either to use bearing saver devices as already said, or to strip, clean and regrease the bearings after each immersion. The latter is tedious, takes me about 3/4 of an hour to do all four, but ensures the bearings have a long life (last replaced 3 years ago) as salt water left inside will damage them in very short order. On mine the seal on the inner bearing is part of the bearing.

I do wonder whether sealed shielded bearings would be the best option, but these are only AFAIK available for ball bearings on the mini wheel type suspension units & not the usual taper rollers on the heavier braked trailers.

I think the stern tube grease you are thinking of is Duckhams Keenol which I believe is no longer available, but RAMONOL is advertised on the web including http://tnorrismarine.co.uk/offers.php. Don't know whether that is suitable for wheel bearings.

Any water that does get into the hub will damage the bearings regardless of what type of grease is in there.

There are some comments on http://homepages.rya-online.net/trail-sail/safety.html

Fully agree with all the above. Bearing savers were a waste of money on my boat trailer & I now do the strip & repack after every 2 or 3 immersions. Thinking outside the box, however, I fitted a 'Hubflush' (I've lost the URL, but a google on that name should throw it up) system last year; worth every penny. Very easy to fit & use; guarantees that all salt water, mud, c**p, etc is well flushed out. Its what lets me stretch to 3 immersions before repacking.

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My own boat trailer is also twin axle (Indespension units) & the choice is either to use bearing saver devices as already said, or to strip, clean and regrease the bearings after each immersion. The latter is tedious, takes me about 3/4 of an hour to do all four, but ensures the bearings have a long life (last replaced 3 years ago) as salt water left inside will damage them in very short order. On mine the seal on the inner bearing is part of the bearing.

I do wonder whether sealed shielded bearings would be the best option, but these are only AFAIK available for ball bearings on the mini wheel type suspension units & not the usual taper rollers on the heavier braked trailers.

I think the stern tube grease you are thinking of is Duckhams Keenol which I believe is no longer available, but RAMONOL is advertised on the web including http://tnorrismarine.co.uk/offers.php. Don't know whether that is suitable for wheel bearings.

Any water that does get into the hub will damage the bearings regardless of what type of grease is in there.

There are some comments on http://homepages.rya-online.net/trail-sail/safety.html

Doing 4 x series 3 hubs in 3/4 hour is not really possible and doing them every time or even every few times I use the trailer simply isn't something I am prepared to do - too much time and effort for what are relatively short runs in the boat, usually a couple of hours or so at most.

I've got tonnes of Castrol SX2 available which is a grease designed for use on deck machinery both bearings and open gears, hence it has very good salt water resistance etc.

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If you have access to a lathe you can make press in adaptors for the series hubs to allow fitment of RRC double lipped/ double sprung oil seals. A stainless steel speedy sleeve on the sealing ring should prevent further corrosion damaging the seals outer lip.

LandRover wheel hubs are way overkill for a trailer, and if you really want to spend a bit of time to do a proper job you could remachine the hubs to move the inner bearings deeper,allowing you to fit 2 standard oilseals back to back and fill the gap between them with waterproof grease.You would have to machine up wider sealing rings for the stub axles, and might as well make them from stainless steel while you're at it.

Bill.

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If you have access to a lathe you can make press in adaptors for the series hubs to allow fitment of RRC double lipped/ double sprung oil seals. A stainless steel speedy sleeve on the sealing ring should prevent further corrosion damaging the seals outer lip.

LandRover wheel hubs are way overkill for a trailer, and if you really want to spend a bit of time to do a proper job you could remachine the hubs to move the inner bearings deeper,allowing you to fit 2 standard oilseals back to back and fill the gap between them with waterproof grease.You would have to machine up wider sealing rings for the stub axles, and might as well make them from stainless steel while you're at it.

Bill.

Excellent idea but too much work for me :ph34r:

The trailer was built by the original owner of the boat to tow it cross country to wherever he wanted to go. Weighs a ton but will outlast most boat trailers I reckon :)

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Excellent idea but too much work for me :ph34r:

I think I have talked myself into double sealing my axles,diffs,transfercase and timing cover next time I have access to a lathe. I did the transfercase on my old 80 '' years ago and it worked brilliantly, not letting water in or oil out when the truck became completely submerged for over an hour in the Jardine River on Cape York Peninsula. The standard single sealed front and rear diffs were full of water despite plugging the extended breathers

Bill.

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I know its not Land Rover hubs but on our old zooks (SJ's) we used to go through rear wheel bearings at extreamly low milages.

Often we would blow a set of rear wheel bearings on a 500 mile round trip from Surrey to Wales for a weekends play. Semi floating hub set up and an over loaded axle that is run at speed then driven through muddy wwater etc tents to kill a set in just one trip.

We started carreying a full set of half shafts with new bearings for each trip untill we had what you might call an epiphany.

We started to make sure the bearings were greased properly.

Basicly these arnt set up for you to be able to repack with grease so we removed the dust covers from the bearings and then fitted a grease nipple between the oil seal and the bearing in the axle casing.

After a days hard play we greased the axle's at each hub with the grease guns untill the water was forced out and grease started to apear.

The result was no more bearing faliures, peroid.

I know the LR hub is fully floating but i cant see why you cant fit a grease nipple in the hub its self between the two sets of bearing. Ok getting at it would not be a walk in the park but if you could grease the hub after its been dunked it has to last longer ?

I find that the only thing that saves bearings on my Land Rovers jeeps and Zooks is proper greasing and not fancey grease's or flashy oil seal set ups.

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I was thinking more along the lines of brazing a solid cover over where the halfshaft would poke through the drive member (no half shaft in there of course, being a trailer! just the dust cap) and putting a grease nipple in that. The idea being that after every dunking I could give each hub a couple of pumps of grease and this should force the water that might have got to just inside the seal, back out through the seal and replace it with grease. Not perfect in engineering terms but it might do the job...

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I was thinking more along the lines of brazing a solid cover over where the halfshaft would poke through the drive member (no half shaft in there of course, being a trailer! just the dust cap) and putting a grease nipple in that. The idea being that after every dunking I could give each hub a couple of pumps of grease and this should force the water that might have got to just inside the seal, back out through the seal and replace it with grease. Not perfect in engineering terms but it might do the job...

The water might not get forced out though, it could just get mixed in. Also rotating the wheels with water in would cause it mix up with the grease. It would be more sucessful if the oil seal was on back to front !!

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