bearing grease leaking

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bearing grease leaking

Postby Bob Hammond » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:45 am

Hello, I would appreciate some advice about the amount of leakage on the streetside wheel. The bearings were repacked about a year ago at a local trailer shop that does a great deal of maintenance for local building and landscape contractors. The trailer was in storage until this summer, and after ~750 miles this is what I see. The wheel spins freely with no sounds, but there is a slight amount of play. The curbside wheel has far less grease splatter.

What caused this degree of leakage and what should be done next? The streetside cap didn't seem exceptionally loose, but the curbside seemed tighter. Should I just tighten the axle nut until there is a bit of resistance to spinning and then back off 1/8 to the next cotter pin hole? Or is a complete repack necessary (I'm so inclined? There seems to be a debate about the use of Bearing-Buddy caps - are they useful for trailers that aren't submerged on a regular basis and so just result in neglect of maintenance?
Attachments
cswheel bearing .jpg
Curbside wheel
cswheel bearing .jpg (157.22 KiB) Viewed 1120 times
wheel bearing .jpg
streetside wheel
wheel bearing .jpg (224.38 KiB) Viewed 1120 times
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Ottsville » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:50 am

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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Bob Hammond » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:55 am

If you click on the pics, you'll see that they are on the ground in front of the wheel. The curbside one has grease in it, the streetside one does not and has scoring from the axle in the center. I went back to the trailer shop and discussed matters, and bought grease (same brand) , but the salesperson sold me the wrong size cap. On Monday, I'll take back the curbside one (and pair of calipers) to be sure that I get the correct size.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Bob Hammond » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:55 am

After wiping the grease out of the cap and off the axle nut, I see that the tail of the cotter pin was scraping against the cap and scoring it. Hmm, where did the metal swarf go? The cotter pin must have also prevented the cap from seating and sealing tightly to the hub, and so it allowed the grease (and metal swarf?) to escape.

On Monday, I'll take the trailer back to the shop and give them a chance to make things right by inspecting and repacking the bearings. By the way, when the trailer was in the driveway after a non-stop 250 mile drive, I felt both hubs and they were only slightly warmer than the rims, and so I'm inclined to think that no permanent damage was done.
Attachments
wheel cap.jpg
note scoring in center.
wheel cap.jpg (150.19 KiB) Viewed 1098 times
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby jondbar628 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:42 pm

Even if the bearing cap wasn't seated tightly, there shouldn't be that kind of grease throw-out. You definetely CAN over-pack bearings, and judging from the picture I would guess that's the case. I've never seen a standard OEM bearing cap filled with grease in a properly packed bearing. They are meant primarily to keep dirt out, not grease in. The caps with built-in zirks are a whole different story. jd
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Ottsville » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:55 pm

Bob Hammond wrote:If you click on the pics, you'll see that they are on the ground in front of the wheel.

Doh, always forget that with pictures here.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Tomterrific » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:32 pm

JD has it right. The cap should not be packed full of grease.

Tt
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby swoody126 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:31 am

Bob, your situation is not earth shatering or cause for real concern

the fact that your "dust caps" remained in place indicates they are of the correct size, otherwise they would have abandoned their post

i have towed trailers from coast to coast and from the Rio Grande valley up into our northern neighbor's back yard and have always filled the hubs AND the dust caps on my trailer axles

YES i have had some grease escape and sling out onto the wheels due to expansion caused by the heat generated by rolling down the highway

simply cleaning with Greased Lightning and wiping the wheels was all that was needed to keep the rig looking spiffy

your question about Bearing Buddies resulting in lack of maintenance is not what i have experienced in my stable

each year/season/long trip warrants a simple inspection which includes jacking the tire off the ground and giving it a good spin

while the tire is spinning i kneel down and give the hub a good listen

if there isn't any unusual noise i go on to the next wheel

if there is an unusual noise the hub and it's contents gets removed and serviced as needed

the cotter pin issue is likely the result in the mechanic using a pin that was longer than needed and not snip'd to length prior to installing the cap(i've made this mistake myself and it has never caused a failure of the bearing's ability to do their job)

the grease used on your bearings is the same color(and the colors do tell a story) as the stuff i use(intended for boat trailers, off road vehicles and agricultural equipment which are all IMHO extreme duty applications) and indicates to me that your service center/mechanic cares enough to use the best products available

i use that grease on my farm equipment, boat trailers, utility traiers, travel trailer, dirt bikes and off road vehicles... and is in all of my grease guns along side the bulk canister on my shelf

my suggestion would be to ADJUST(don't ever just tighten) the bearings on both sides put a matching set of new dust caps on the hubs and give your wheels a good cleaning

your attention to your rig is to be admired as it has caused you to learn more about cause n effect

HAPPY TRAVELS

sw
"we are the people our parents warned us about" jb
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:47 pm

Below is a link to what I think is a good article explaining how the grease seals work and, if worn out, can leak.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f18/ ... 37595.html
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Ottsville » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:48 pm

featherliteCT1 wrote:Below is a link to what I think is a good article explaining how the grease seals work and, if worn out, can leak.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f18/ ... 37595.html


Interesting article, but since the grease is on the outside of the wheel seals are not the issue in Bob's situation. I am curious how the grease leaked out of the front though. Generally the dust caps are snug enough that grease shouldn't leak out.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:43 am

The shop listened to my concerns and addressed them. We're good to go again.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Ottsville » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:56 am

Bob Hammond wrote:The shop listened to my concerns and addressed them. We're good to go again.


What was the issue outside of dust cap damage?
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:58 am

Ottsville wrote:
Bob Hammond wrote:The shop listened to my concerns and addressed them. We're good to go again.


What was the issue outside of dust cap damage?


The issue was - was the job done right the first time? Although the damage to the cap was insignificant, the cotter pin kept the cap from sealing tight against the hub, and so the grease was leaking. Now suppose the rims had been a dark color and the grease leaked until the bearing was running hot. That would have been a much more serious issue, especially if I'd been on the road in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby Ottsville » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:40 pm

Thanks for the follow up and glad it got straightened out.
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Re: bearing grease leaking

Postby featherliteCT1 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:20 pm

Bob Hammond wrote:
Ottsville wrote:
Bob Hammond wrote:The shop listened to my concerns and addressed them. We're good to go again.


What was the issue outside of dust cap damage?


The issue was - was the job done right the first time? Although the damage to the cap was insignificant, the cotter pin kept the cap from sealing tight against the hub, and so the grease was leaking. Now suppose the rims had been a dark color and the grease leaked until the bearing was running hot. That would have been a much more serious issue, especially if I'd been on the road in the middle of nowhere.


yes, good point
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