Embrace a New Era in Trailer Lubrication
Are you tired of dealing with trailer bearing failures? Well, there might be a solution that is gaining popularity in the boating community – oil bath trailer hubs. This innovative lubrication system is causing quite a buzz, but is it really as good as some claim it to be? Let’s dive into the details and find out.
Instead of traditional greased wheel bearings, oil bath hubs utilize oil to provide lubrication. The concept behind it is simple – the liquid oil flows easily over and around each needle in the bearing, ensuring optimal lubrication. To achieve this, the traditional bearing protector device is replaced with a clear plastic sealed cup, while a stronger seal replaces the grease seal at the rear of the hub. Lastly, a small fill hole at the front of the hub allows you to fill it with oil and seal it with a plug.
A Question of Longevity
While the oil bath system sounds appealing, its long-term durability is still a topic of debate. It’s worth noting that the majority of bearing failures observed in shops are not due to lack of lubrication, but rather a lack of maintenance. Regular maintenance is crucial, regardless of the lubrication system used. Bearing hubs should be removed and the bearings cleaned and inspected at least once every two years. Damaged bearings, if any, can be repacked with grease and reused.
The Weakest Link
In both greased and oil bath hubs, the weak link lies in the hub seals. Grit and road dirt can accumulate around the rear of the hub, causing damage to the seal. If the seal fails, water can enter the hub, leading to bearing failure. Oil bath hubs have the advantage of a clear plastic cover, enabling you to inspect the oil level and check for water contamination. However, these plastic hub caps may discolor over time, hindering visual inspection. In such cases, prompt replacement of the caps is necessary to ensure proper monitoring of the oil condition and level.
Diligence is Key
The effectiveness of the oil bath system relies heavily on regular checks and maintenance. How willing are you to diligently inspect the hub caps for potential problems? Properly maintained oil bath hubs can provide superior lubrication. However, neglecting them could result in just as many failures as the traditional greased hubs. Regardless of the lubrication system you choose, it is advisable to have the hubs removed every two years for seal replacement and cleaning of the axle surface to maximize the seal’s performance.
Peace of Mind
To avoid any unexpected road mishaps, consider taking the extra effort to clean the rear of your trailer hubs when you return home. A quick spray with a garden hose while washing your boat can help prevent the accumulation of road dirt that may cause trouble later on. It might require a little more effort, but it’s a small price to pay compared to being stranded on the side of the road with a wheel bearing failure.
If you have any questions or concerns about your boat, motor, or trailer, feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can visit my website at East Coast Paddle Sports for complete contact information.