Wheel bearing service

 Guys thought it mite be a good idea to change my boat trailers wheel bearings. Single axle, mechanical braked 1500kgs. Has been 5 years and about 20000kms done since l last changed them. In that time there's been no repacks or added grease. Usually l do them every year and replace good grease and bearings but lve been slack and just left them.


This post is mainly a info post for people who question whether bearing buddies and fresh grease pumped in regularly are needed over just caps.

I will admit l worked in the trailer service industry for a few years so lve changed more bearings than most. I have seen many failed bearing due to water ingestation from bad servicing and or use of B/Buddies. 

What do l use , caps or B/Buddies. All l use is caps with a bead of sealant around to water proof. Also l make sure where the rear seal sits is smooth and clean. Using fine emery paper fixes any issues in this area. If there's rust here water will seep in.

One thing l also have which l take on any trip longer than a local run is a dedicated tool kit with everything to change wheel bearing on the side of the road. l used this kit last Exmouth trip when l can across a guy an hr out of Carnarvon on a Sunday with a collapsed bearing.

So here's a few pics. 1 of my tool kit,  also my hubs and bearings. You will see the grease still has a good blue colour with no sign of water or heat. Really they could of been used again. 

So for me it's caps over B/Buddies, JMO.

My hub discs are 7 years old and pitting with rust which  to clean up l used a flap disc on a grinder,  thus is the down side to long maintenance.

What's in the tool kit.

Pliers, side cutters , 5/8 or 16mm spanner, shifter, multi grips, hammer, screw driver, cable ties, spare bearings, caps ,castle nuts ,split pins, grease gun, bearing grease packer, spring hanger ubolts, wheel nuts, 16mm mild steel rod, race fitting tool, emery paper, wheel nut socket, brake pads

Image Upload: 

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 13063

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Good info here mate, I take

Tue, 2021-01-26 21:14

 Good info here mate, I take a very similar kit when heading north too. 


Love the West!

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16407

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 I just use the caps as well

Tue, 2021-01-26 21:31

 I just use the caps as well after having problems with the bearing buddies.  

You have a good tool selection for the job. We carry about the same when we go away. 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Rick's picture

Posts: 958

Date Joined: 22/12/06


Wed, 2021-01-27 08:27

Well prepared mate, that tool kit will save a lot of heart ache. 

Cheers for sharing 


PGFC Member


Posts: 28

Date Joined: 06/10/13

I Concur

Wed, 2021-01-27 15:16

I agree caps are all you need on the outer side

I bought a dust cap knocker from Martins - $12 ,made getting them on or off much easier

You're right about water ingress occuring at the inner seal so I polish the axle with emery paper and then glue the marine rubber seal to the axle with loctite 515 flange sealant, so that it is sealed and it can't rotate on the axle and make sure that the lips of the rubber seal and the stainless cup part of the marine seal are full of grease before reassembling.

I've got a similar kit in a special toolbox because every time I've done the Exmouth trip I've seen someone on the side of the road with bearing trouble.

One thing I haven't solved is no matter how I store the grease gun it leaks blue oil, do they all do this or is mine rat s.?


Darren253's picture

Posts: 508

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Grease Gun

Wed, 2021-01-27 16:34

Mine leaks badly also....

Posts: 70

Date Joined: 20/01/14

Grease gun

Fri, 2021-01-29 13:29

It's not your grease gun, it's just a fact of life.

Deckie's picture

Posts: 1292

Date Joined: 03/04/09


Sun, 2021-01-31 16:29

 I have a set all greased up in a zip lock bag ready to go if needed.  Take it everytime we head away. I dont tow it many k's in the city because i am only 2 k's from the ramp but i still do a strip down and re-grease before my trips north. 


Cheers & Stay safe

Posts: 269

Date Joined: 01/09/09

Leaking grease guns

Sun, 2021-01-31 19:09

 It's not a fact of life , it's just shit grease , I hate that "wheel bearing type high temp grease". It should not melt or separate under ambient conditions. Only grease I use is Belray waterproof grease in any marine application. Have used this grease on bolts used on outdrives / stern drives that live in the water all year round , years later upon dissasembly for maintenance the grease is still coated on the threads and no sign of breaking down . 

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 13063

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 +1 for the Belray.

Mon, 2021-02-01 06:31

 +1 for the Belray.


Love the West!

Simo_'s picture

Posts: 1768

Date Joined: 13/11/06

Where can I buy Belray grease

Sat, 2021-02-06 20:23

Where can I buy Belray grease from? 


Bring on April

Westy74's picture

Posts: 199

Date Joined: 23/11/13

 After ruining several caps

Thu, 2021-02-04 10:22

 After ruining several caps trying to get them on I bought some dwv pipe and heated it so it fitted snug over the caps. Cut it to size and then banged the caps on using a bit of wood behind the pipe. Went on beautifully and no dents.   A cheap solution. 

Posts: 799

Date Joined: 09/10/06

 Yep one down side to caps, 

Sat, 2021-02-06 17:27

 Yep one down side to caps,  a bit of thin walled 50mm Rhs works well

Posts: 269

Date Joined: 01/09/09

Belray grease

Sun, 2021-02-07 07:29

 Hey Simo martins trailer parts sell it or statewide bearings on kewdale rd has the full Belray range .

Simo_'s picture

Posts: 1768

Date Joined: 13/11/06

Thanks, I’ll get some from

Sun, 2021-02-07 07:46

Thanks, I’ll get some from Martins. 


Bring on April

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 13063

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Statewide are awesome

Sun, 2021-02-07 08:30

 Statewide are awesome fishfish, lots of other handy products in there.


Love the West!

Cruise Control's picture

Posts: 944

Date Joined: 03/11/10

 Only thing I have added to

Mon, 2021-02-08 11:55

 Only thing I have added to my toolkit was a bearing puller. This after having a bearing failure and the bearing partially welded to the axle stub

straith's picture

Posts: 292

Date Joined: 25/11/13

Thanks to all

Mon, 2021-02-08 16:06

 Cheers for this general mech info guys!

Being the proverbial brick when it comes to mechanical aptitude specific easy to understand instructions really helps for usual boat type maintenance.

Thanks again!!

Keep em coming, i certainly dont mind if you double up on a subject either!