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Thread: Greasing Trailer Bearings - Ramlin Trailer

  1. #1
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    Default Greasing Trailer Bearings - Ramlin Trailer

    Just going to re-grease my trailer bearings but I have a couple of questions.

    I have a Ramlin dual axle trailer with greasable bearings through a grease nipple. From what I see there are only dust caps and then the grease nipple. Doesn't look like the bearing buddies I am used too. Just curious as to how many pumps of grease I should give them. With the bearing buddies I could give a bunch of shots of grease and no worries. So I guess the questions are:

    1. How many shots of grease and how often?
    2. Is it possible to over grease these types of bearings?
    3. Will the old grease just squish out if I give it many shots or will it just create pressure inside and cause problems with the bearings?

    Thanks
    2006 Air 216 Team Ed.

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    The bearing buddy has a spring to keep the grease at a "positive" pressure so water doesn't leak in.

    In either case, grease can come out the rear seal if it is not in great shape.

    In either case, extra grease "should" come out the front. (read line above again)

    For the non-buddy case, I jack up the wheel off the ground so i can spin it. Get a trash bag and a roll of paper towels. Have a helper rotate the tire as you pump the grease. If the bearings were packed by hand only, you can pump an entire tube into the hub. That is a good thing. What I do is alternate (yearly) grease colors. I use the red tacky and the green tacky. If red is in there, I change to green. Rotate the wheel and pump. As the old stuff comes out...keep cleaning it off with the paper towels. Have your trash can within arms length. You're going to trash an entire tube. Keep on until the new color grease comes out.

    It will be hard for you to tell if your seal is leakin. If you are pumping and pumping and little or none come out the front, the grease is going into your drum. (Not sure what this looks like on disc brakes.)

    After a trip, you can pull off the wheel and see if there is any evidence of grease slinging out the drum. You can usually see/feel it. If so, you could use a new rear seal.

    I've been doing this for a few years now. I'm going to "try" this winter to pull my hubs apart and inspect them and replace the seals.

    Note: if possible, buy your seals in a box from a "branded" seam mfg. Avoid the two dollar seals in the bulk bin at the trailer supply shop.

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    Some greases are not compatible with other types of greases. I would not recommend mixing types of greases.

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    Your Ramlin likely has "EZ-lube" spindles on it. They function a little differently than bearing buddies in that they don't maintain positive pressure to keep water out. Instead, they're designed to make it easier to pump grease back into the hubs on a regular basis to displace any water. I've adopted a similar approach as Airtool in that I usually "flush" each of mine out once a year with a different colored grease. Pump grease into each one until the color has mostly changed to the 'new' color and go to the next. If you trailer a ton, may want to do it more than once a year. I've heard some people say you should pump some into each hub after every water immersion, but I think that's a bit drastic and don't follow that kind of schedule, myself.

    EZ-lube says this about their system:

    "The E-Z Lube system allows grease to flow with ease to both the outer and inner bearings for a complete repack. Axles equipped with this system can be periodically lubricated without removing the hubs from the axle. This features consists of axle spindles that have been specially drilled and assembled with grease fittings in their ends. When grease is pumped into the fitting, it is channeled to the inner bearing, then flows to the outer bearing, and eventually back out the grease cap hole. The E-Z Lube end cap allows for easy access, extra protection, and virtually no mess. The protection and maintenance features of Dexter's E-Z Lube system make it ideal for towable axles that get immersed in water. Regular inspection is still recommended."
    '01 Super Air Nautique

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    Is it normal for the zerk / grease fitting to not want to release after pumping? I have to pry mine off..is it one size fits all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter View Post
    Is it normal for the zerk / grease fitting to not want to release after pumping? I have to pry mine off..is it one size fits all?
    Harbor Freight grease gun? I have found them to not want to release.... Cheap China Tool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter View Post
    Is it normal for the zerk / grease fitting to not want to release after pumping? I have to pry mine off..is it one size fits all?
    Yes and that is a good thing. Put some leverage on it then turn the whole thing like a floor shifter (not like a screwdriver) and when it hits the right spot, it will pop right off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AirTool View Post
    For the non-buddy case, I jack up the wheel off the ground so i can spin it. Get a trash bag and a roll of paper towels. Have a helper rotate the tire as you pump the grease. If the bearings were packed by hand only, you can pump an entire tube into the hub. That is a good thing. What I do is alternate (yearly) grease colors. I use the red tacky and the green tacky. If red is in there, I change to green. Rotate the wheel and pump. As the old stuff comes out...keep cleaning it off with the paper towels. Have your trash can within arms length. You're going to trash an entire tube. Keep on until the new color grease comes out.
    At this point I don't have a jack to jack up and do the method described. So in the mean time can I just pump in a couple of shots of grease to each bearing for a bit of insurance? I was thinking 3 shots per wheel or should I do more.....maybe 10 for example? I plan on getting a jack for this but in the mean time I want some insurance for my bearings.
    2006 Air 216 Team Ed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laker220 View Post
    At this point I don't have a jack to jack up and do the method described. So in the mean time can I just pump in a couple of shots of grease to each bearing for a bit of insurance? I was thinking 3 shots per wheel or should I do more.....maybe 10 for example? I plan on getting a jack for this but in the mean time I want some insurance for my bearings.
    The "unknown" here is "how much grease is in there already? If the entire hub hasn't been filled with grease, only the rear bearing will see your new grease if you only put a few shots (maybe even 100). If the outer bearing looks happily greased and the grease color hasn't changed indicating water, then a few shots to the rear bearing would be better than nothing.

    Jack or no jack, I'd pump an entire tube through each hub (or at least until a saw the new grease). If you want to roll the wheel some, just pull the trailer a few feet. IMO, Rotating the wheel prevents the new grease from taking the path of least resistance and bypassing (not flushing) out your old grease. But that would be better than the situation you are in now.

    PS - I hope you don't have a flat. Changing flats are tough without a jack.

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    Thanks for the input guys. Got a jack and used it tonight!!! Greased all of the bearings and did the job right. Probably did take about 100 shots each to flush out all of the old grease too. Really appreciate the help from all, especially AirTool.....thanks!!!!
    2006 Air 216 Team Ed.

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