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Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2008, 01:52:22 PM
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PaulGray PaulGray is offline
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Question Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

I have a 2-axle trailer with the zerk fittings on the axles. What is the recommendations on mixing grease types as I swap out grease cartridges in the gun. Is it OK to mix the white lithium with the black wheel bearing grease?? The trailer never sees water ala a boat trailer so I maybe should not use the lithium? What do you guys do?
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:55:51 PM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

When i do a "tune up" on my trailers I.E, change the grease in the bearings, check tire preasure and lights. I take the bearings out and clean all the old grease with brake cleaner and let them dry, then i re-pack with new grease. Alot of people dont think about a trailer needing a "tune up" but its a nice feeling knowing that all is well. Last time i done it on my trailer, i found a cracked race on one side. So I'm glad i found it then, compared to along side the road...
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:38:18 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

I think JK is right.
Those grease zercs on wheel bearing caps are for boats.
Clean and pack your bearings and you don't need to fill the entire cavity or even "give it a shot" now and then. It will be good to go till you repack them years from now. If you run in more water you will need to check them more frequently, otherwise it's amazing how far they go with such little maintenance. As JK said, it's more fun to do it at home BEFORE it's too late.
I think you could mix and match any type of good bearing grease, but others may have more to say on that issue. Kevin
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:05:03 PM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

In the past, I've come to grief with wheel bearings that I've packed with mixed types of grease. Especially if you don't clean out all the regular grease when changing over to molybdenum grease and vice-versa.

What happened was the greases reacted with each other and turned to a sort of runny crud that ruined the bearings.

If you really don't like doing bearing changes on the road, it would be best to completely clean out all the old grease and repack with the new type grease. It's more work but worth it.

Take care - Elden
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Last edited by Elden DuRand; 04-13-2008 at 06:07:09 PM. Reason: I didn't bother to proof read and left out.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:25:50 PM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

Sounds like once the maintenance of repacking is done, they should be good to go for a couple years. I need to take mine apart and repack with good old wheel bearing lube to avoid the runny crud mess. Thanks guys- BTW these are Dexter axles on a cargo trailer. I need new tires so nows a good time to do the bearings.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:02:37 PM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

I've had a few trailers with the Dexter EZ Lube Axles... Not Boat Trailers either... Just take out the Rubber Plug and Grease away... I would grease them every year usually. The first trailer I got this way was built in 1994.. I never pulled a Hub on one with the fittings... Where with the Old trailer house axles it was a yearly routine.... They were Junk as far as trailers are concerned....

The extra grease just comes out on the outside of the hole if you get too much in there.... The Old Long Fiber wheel bearing grease is a thing of the past.

The axles are drilled with a fitting in the center. Any trailer worth it's salt will have either fittings or Oil Type Hubs like semi's ect...

What happens with your U Joints, Ball Joints, Pillow Block bearings ect. if you change grease... ???? I can tell you one thing... Mixed grease is a Lot better than No Grease at all...
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Last edited by Ken Majeski; 04-13-2008 at 07:06:50 PM. Reason: More
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:53:57 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

My wife's minivan just started "humming" loudly. Swerving right would immediately quiet it down. Sure enough, the inside rear bearing was rusty.
Apparently it took on some water, and who knows when?
I changed the bearing and race and repacked everything on both sides.
As far as I know that is the only maintenance the bearings have had since, 1995 and about 160,000 miles. Those things are very forgiving, but as JK said, either do it at your CONVENIENCE... or risk doing it at your INconvenience. Your choice.
Kevin
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:15:38 PM
JMathews JMathews is offline
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

I have a trailer with dexter ez lube axles. After the first year I pulled it all apart, cleaned repacked(mostly for inspection) after that greese twice a year, check the bearings once a year or when I have a flat. after five years and about 20k a year no problems.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:44:41 AM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

We strip and clean our trailer bearings about every two years. We use both Moly (black) grease and regular grease (not Lithium) in the workshop, and whatever comes to hand is used.

The bearings have never given any trouble, the strip-down is more for brake maintenance than anything else.

The trailer lives outside all year round. We carry a spare bearing wheel set with us in the van at all times, plus a grease pack.

Peter
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Old 04-15-2008, 05:09:57 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

Lithium and Moly grease should not be mixed. It can form an acid and become corosive. This came from a Ford school when they went to moly grease years ago. Wheel bearings on an automobile are packed when a brake job is done, usually good for 50,000 miles or more, trailers don't usually see this kind of mileage. Boat trailers get water, the bearing buddies keep the hub full and contract when the hot axle is backed into cold water, otherwise the water would be sucked in past the seal. If you see a cracked race suspect a loose fit in the hub, if the race is not a press fit it won't be fully supported and will crack. If there is a space in the crack on an outer race the hub is loose,the bearing should be a snug fit on the axle.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:39:26 AM
JMathews JMathews is offline
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

With the grease that is used today mixing should not be a problem IF good qualty greese is used. You can mix synthetic and petolum based. I personly wouldn't use the cheep wheel bearing grease, use a good qualty multi-purpose gun grease.
Jeff the AMS oil dealer.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:24:11 AM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

I will be with Mr. Ford. I also learned mixing is a bad plan of attack from a ford schooling and have seen first hand the sludge that it will produce. They break eachothers lube properties down. A good test may be to put it into a blender.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:22:01 PM
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Default Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

A couple of notes:

Don't mix grease, and I would never use moly based lube for wheel bearings, use lithium base.

On the Dexter axles, or any type that has a zerk, make sure you use the proper double-lip grease seal, otherwise the grease will pump right past the seal and into your brake drum.

I ONLY use Castrol GTX wheel bearing grease. I tried the expenseive blue synthetic grease and it went to soupy slime in less then a year, any bearing I've pulled down that I know Castrol was used in, the grease has been in great shape-regardless of the age. Don't think I've ever seen a bearing failure where I KNOW Castrol was uesd. (I worked in a auto shop for 10 years, so I've packed a couple of wheel bearings)

Robert
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:10:41 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Trailer wheel bearing greases- mixing types?

DO NOT MIX SOAP AND PARAFIN BASED GREASES The soap complex base greases stand up to high temp applications without melting out of the bearings. BUT they are incompatable with the lithium, moly, and oil (parafin) based greases. Think of getting your hands greasy. Now pour some liquid dish detergent on your hands. Rub them together. Same effect. Soap degrades oil based grease! Also, Water and soap based greases do not mix. If you have been towing all day, Don't put your boat in the water right away. If you do, the sudden cooling of the axles will cause a negative presure within the hub, and water will be sucked in past the seals! BAD NEWS Water causes the soap based grease to become caustic - it will destroy the bearings in short order. Read the labels on the grease you use. Write the name of the grease you use on the trailer service record, or put it with the trailer registration, so you won't be looking for the info later.
Andrew
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