Wheel Bearings & Spindles

OllieC

Well-Known Member
SILVER Sponsor
Mar 11, 2013
6,505
N.W. ‘Sconnie
Boat Info
Sara Belle
2005 Weekender 215
Engines
Mercruiser 5.0 mpi, Bravo III
This weekend I went to install new tandem leaf spring sliders and aluminum fenders to replace some cracked sliders that developed over the years from the heavier galvanized steel fenders that were vibrating. All seemed to go well but it took all day of course.

Afterward I went to grease the hubs. I have the Ez Lube spindles which makes it easy. Unfortunately I believe I have a seal blown because there was grass all over my disc brake. When I pumped fresh grease in, out came brown water which I assume is rust. All of the other hubs seem fine, but I am going to check them all again anyway.

I know I’ll need to remove the hub to inspect, but do you think I may have damaged the spindle with it sitting all Winter like that? Every year I grease the hubs so it shouldn’t have been from neglect. If so, is there a process to clean the spindle or refurbish it?
 
I hate ez lube spindles. Bearing buddies are better for boat trailers in my opinion.
The seals for ez lube hubs have a double lip, be sure to replace them with a double lip seal for ez lube spindles.
If you really don’t want to remove the hubs and hand pack the bearings, the correct procedure (in case you or others are not already familiar) is to raise the wheel off the ground and rotate it while SLOWLY pumping grease in by hand ( no pneumatic guns) in an attempt to avoid blowing out the seal. Doing it on a nice warm day helps too. Good luck.
 
I hate ez lube spindles. Bearing buddies are better for boat trailers in my opinion.
The seals for ez lube hubs have a double lip, be sure to replace them with a double lip seal for ez lube spindles.
If you really don’t want to remove the hubs and hand pack the bearings, the correct procedure (in case you or others are not already familiar) is to raise the wheel off the ground and rotate it while SLOWLY pumping grease in by hand ( no pneumatic guns) in an attempt to avoid blowing out the seal. Doing it on a nice warm day helps too. Good luck.
I believe that’s where I went wrong. I just pumped them in place without spinning which I assumed put too much pressure on one side of the seal.
Thanks for the info. Can’t wait to dig into it…not.
 
Rebuilding them is easy. I do that every year on the tandem. Just be sure to have new seals at the ready, as the old ones are ruined when you take out the inner bearing. Not a big thing to clean bearings and races, just be sure to inspect the rollers and races super closely for any sign of pitting or wear. If none present, grease em up and reassemble. Be sure not mix up positions, as bearings and races seat in together.

On the easy lubes, after the spindle is off, pump in grease till clean grease comes out and should be good to go.

As others have stated, the bearing buddies are my preferred.
 
I purchased replacement bearings, races and seals for all four wheels anyway. Good to have spares in my towing kit I bring along on my travels . I’ll replace them all.
 
My towing kit includes a spare hub, all greased up and new bearings and seals on it.

Tons easier to swap out with a good hub, rather than a crap bearing (and probably a boogered up race) on the side of the road.

Old theory, If you have a spare, the ones in use never go bad.
 
Have the same lube system on our axels. We had a couple seals actually fail from them rusting out themselves. No problem with the hubs or spindles. Just noticed a bit of water contamination in the grease. They were 6 years old.
 
My towing kit includes a spare hub, all greased up and new bearings and seals on it.

Tons easier to swap out with a good hub, rather than a crap bearing (and probably a boogered up race) on the side of the road.

Old theory, If you have a spare, the ones in use never go bad.
Would this work if you have 4 discs? The discs I have have the hub built in.
 
Would this work if you have 4 discs? The discs I have have the hub built in.

Just need to get correct hub / rotor and populate and grease races / bearings and seals.

My 4 wheel disk setup has the hub / rotor that separate. Same idea, but the smaller hub is easier to store (and cheaper to buy). Etrailer (I think it's them) even has a storage case for the hubs.
 
Just need to get correct hub / rotor and populate and grease races / bearings and seals.

My 4 wheel disk setup has the hub / rotor that separate. Same idea, but the smaller hub is easier to store (and cheaper to buy). Etrailer (I think it's them) even has a storage case for the hubs.
I think next year or so, I'll start switching over to that style of disc (bolt onto hubs). Do one axle at a time. I have Tie Down Engineering discs/hubs and don't like the setup. Seems impossible to find the parts. I agree, it would be nice to swap out just the hubs.
 

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