Boat Trailer Bearings & Outboard Trim Grease

Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
I recently started PMing my boat and trailer. I wasn't having any issues at all but decided I'd rather take the time to freshen everything up before I have a issue. With that being said I started looking up different greases. Found some links and basically from what I read is that a good marine grease will work on the bearings, steering(teleflex), and outboard trim pivot points. I came across this grease and can't find much about it at all. Anybody use it or can help me with if it would be good for my application? According to the site it will work for everything I need it for, just want to make sure. Not finding much reviews on it isn't helping me just go buy it and install. Dupont Teflon Waterproof Marine Grease It's a 14' Lobell Custom Built Fully Welded Flatboat with a 40HP, trailer has buddy bearings and it does see salt and fresh water, sometimes in the same day! Some days it gets towed a 1/4 mile to a launch near my house, others is 4.5hrs to my hunting camp doing 70-80MPH. Thanks Wayne
 
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Messages
88
Location
Denmark
Hey Wayne! I think that grease is a good choice since it is made with calcium sulfonate (very water-resistant). I got some BP Energrease MP-MG 2 and some TOTAL Ceran WR2 - they are also made with calcium sulfonate smile
 
Messages
25,823
Location
Upstate NY
Looks good to me. One thing to try is to aim an IR thermometer at each trailer hub just after driving and see if the temp is the same.
 

Z7What

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
I can check the temps for sure to see what's there at, what temps should they be around? Is the Lubrimatic grease any better, worse or same as the Dupont. I don't care what it cost, long story short. Because of a bearing failure on a friends boat trailer while I was towing it, it cost me $1600. If y'all want I can tell the entire story if you would like. So with that being said I don't care if the grease cost me $50 a tube. At double the price is the Dupont worth it over the Lubrimatic? Wayne
 
Messages
827
Location
Iowa
Forgive me for a lengthy post....bearing failures on boats are almost totally caused by water intrusion. SO: Start with a clean and dry hub, install new bearings and real "Bearing Buddies", which are made with stainless steel, not the many cheapies made of plastic or metals that corrode easily. They cheapies are only a couple of dollars cheaper, and they fail in a few years. Once assembled, pump them up with your grease gun until the diaphrams are fully pushed out, per manufacturers instructions. Then take your trailer for a short drive....maybe even to the boat ramp to launch, but PUMP UP THE DIAPHRAGMS BEFORE launching. They will likely be clear in because there was still a lot of air in the hub that escaped during your short tow. When you return home, pump them up again. Now, they are likely full, but watch carefully that they remain full. If your hub seal is good likely you will be good for months, but make it a habit to look, much like you notice a low tire, etc. As long as there is positive pressure in the hub, no water can enter and your dry bearings will last for many many years. I recently took a badly rusted boat trailer to the dump that I purchased new in November,1984. The bearings had never been repacked and were still as quiet as new after 30 years......this on a trailer that was in nearly daily use in a semi-commercial operation. Of course I had installed bearing buddies before its first launch. Greases: Use any marine bearing grease. Massive advertising claims on the tube will not prevent bearing failure, if water is in there they will fail. I maintain a fleet of boats and trailers that are in constant use, launching daily for about 4 months a year, and less often for 8 months a year. The proper use of Bearing Buddies has reduced our bearing failures to zero. We never repack bearings ever....unless a seal has failed and caused the buddies to go flat and lose positive pressure. For most of our boats that means 15 to 20 years with no bearing maintenance except for keeping them full. Bearing Temps: Hub temperatures should be around 15 degrees above ambient when towing, if you have brakes on that axle they may be 40 degrees above ambient if your drivers are hard and late brakers. When I detect temperatures higher than that I usually note that the towing drivers are those that power toward red lights, stopped vehicles, etc and generally do not look far ahead......and wind up using the brakes much more then safe and alert drivers. Then, finally, flip a jack under the axle at least annually or before very long trips and spin the tire and listen. Hope for near silence, not a rough and growling noise. I just returned from a large tournament event, many boats and trailers were there from 300 to 500 miles away. I was stunned to notice that a couple of trailers went by with obviously failing bearings, a soft but clear growling sound than was indicative of failing bearings. Fancy trucks, expensive boats but total ignorance will still result in an expensive and possibly dangerous failure. History: in the 1970's and early 80's I used to repack bearings twice a year, still no bearings lasted more than a couple of years, I was changing them constantly. I tried every brand of grease to no avail. I have never had a bearing fail since switching to Bearing Buddies except a trailer that we purchased with "red eye" brand plastic buddies. They soon jammed up with dirt causing the diaphram to stick tight.....which of course makes them only a grease cap and not a bearing buddy. Regular checks caught the bearing failure before hub damage could occur, but the failure mechanism was clear. End of long post!
 

Z7What

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
Thank you for you post, the length of the post doesn't matter to me as long as it's helpful which it is. Today I received in the mail my order Bearing Buddy's Model# 1980 with New Covers, and Dupont Tuflon Marine Waterproof Grease I have listed above. Plan to use this grease on the wheel bearings and steering. I haven't started working on the trailer yet, I'm currently research new tires for it. Once I get the new tires I'll be tearing into the trailer and steering components. I'm pretty sure I'll be replacing the bearings and seals just to make sure everything is perfect. Nothing is wrong with the trailer now but other than me adding grease the last 4 years and knowing the previous owner he didn't do anything the 5-6years he owned it. Just want to make it perfect! Wayne
 

Z7What

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
Any other info on this grease? I got it in and about ready to start pulling everything apart, cleaning, greasing and putting it back together. Just worried it not the best, I can't find a single review about it other than on bicycle forums which is having me double guess my purchase. Wayne
 
Messages
25,823
Location
Upstate NY
I hope you are removing the bearings for a visual inspection rather than just pumping grease in via bearing buddies. You will need new outer grease seals and cotter pins. You want to remove each bearing, wipe off the grease and visually inspect each of the rollers on the roller bearings. They should be shiny new looking. No rust or scratches. If so replace. You then need to grease each bearing with a wad of grease in your palm (your Dad normally shows you how at age 12). Or a bearing packer for the wimpy who do not want to get their handy dirty. Keep everything super clean. Wipe off the axle area where the seal will contact. Then coat it with some grease to lubricate pushing the seal on with the hub. The castle nut needs to be tightened properly.
 
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Z7What

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
Originally Posted By: Donald
I hope you are removing the bearings for a visual inspection rather than just pumping grease in via bearing buddies. You will need new outer grease seals and cotter pins. You want to remove each bearing, wipe off the grease and visually inspect each of the rollers on the roller bearings. They should be shiny new looking. No rust or scratches. If so replace. You then need to grease each bearing with a wad of grease in your palm (your Dad normally shows you how at age 12). Or a bearing packer for the wimpy who do not want to get their handy dirty. Keep everything super clean. Wipe off the axle area where the seal will contact. Then coat it with some grease to lubricate pushing the seal on with the hub. The castle nut needs to be tightened properly.
Of course I will be removing them and cleaning them, if not replacing them before adding the new grease. It's funny that's you said that, around that age my dad showed me that exact way to pack bearings! I'm a mechanic on the side, so this isn't my first redeo. In all honesty, chances are seals and bearings will be changed. Already bought the grease and Bearing Buddy's. Wayne
 
Messages
751
Location
MN
Trailer bearings are generally very cheap, last few I did were less than $100 to do both sides with Timken bearings and new seals. If your going to go through all the trouble of inspecting it's good insurance to just replace the bearings and repack with a high quality grease. Bearing buddies are the belt and suspenders of the bearing maintenance, they keep slight pressure against the seals and keep any water from getting in unless there is a complete seal failure.
 
Messages
25,823
Location
Upstate NY
So its a small trailer, with few lights and no brakes. Maint. should be easy and cheap. Its when you get into dual axle trailers with brakes and many lights that things get expensive.
 
Messages
4
Location
SW Michigan
I've been using Lucas Oil Red & Tacky grease the last few years, It's a synthetic which I use in everything I own, one thing I like about this grease, it's available at many different stores.
 

Z7What

Thread starter
Messages
17
Location
New Orleans
Anybody else have any info or reviews on the Dupont grease? I bought it already but I'm having second thoughts on if I should use it or not because I can't find any reviews. Should I just go with the Lucas Marine grease I can get at Advance Auto? Wayne
 
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