Luvit

Maintenance Don't Forget It

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A good reminder.  I clean and repack mine every 6 months and fully change them at 12 months.  I also dont run bearing buddies anymore.  My next trip after changing/repacking I always pull over 20mins or so up the road and put my hand on each hub feeling for too much heat.  I usually also carry a packed hub assembly in the toolbox of my ute. 

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Good reminder @Luvit.  Those dust caps are an absolute pain in the butt. I have had a few that just work their way free no matter what I do.  I also remember repacking a bearing on a mate's trailer in 38 degree heat on the side of the Peninsula Development Road outside of Weipa when a dust cap came off and the bearing was full of red bulldust. That was something I never want to repeat.  So now I have added security feature - I put one of those silicon tow ball covers over the top of the dust cap in case the cap works its way free.  They fit really tight and should catch the cap and stop any dust getting in should the cap come off.  Ironically, since I did that I haven't had a cap work loose, but for a few bucks it is good insurance.

I am pretty paranoid about safety on the road and in the water so I replace the bearings every year and like @Doyley I always check them for heat or wobble for the first few outings.

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I use to run them and a few cons verses the dust caps. 

1/ Intial cost

2/ theift from trailer (scumbags) 

3/ the rear seal can easily be blown out if they are overfilled with grease.

4/ the mate I recently did the Kimberly trip with has done extensive towing with a tinny 10 of thousands of kms up to Cape York and all over Australia and he said from his experience the dust caps were more reliable. He would even paint them for further sealing. 

Since going to the dust caps I have not had a problem with bearings. These are the reasons behind my choice. 

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I used to have bearing buddies and never had a failure. One annoying thing is that the grease nipples tend to come out with the grease gun. When I got new tyres and hubs fitted a couple of years ago, one buddy didn't even last the trip to Hervey Bay.  I just hope it didn't bounce off the highway and through someone's windscreen. Those are the same hubs I have had trouble with the caps so it is no doubt more about the hubs than the buddies or the caps.

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When I would pull bearing buddies off I would find a bit of water trapped in there.  I have heard that  when putting them in the water when hot they can suck salt water in.  I would also get lazy and not repack the bearings as often.  Not having them now makes me get out there and inspect the bearings more often

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