Is there a bearing buddy for older "crown nut and cotterpin" trailer bearing set?


Thread starter #1
I found an older trailex aluminum trailer over the summer for $60.00 at an estate sale. I am looking at an older axle bearing set with the "crown nut and cotter pin". There is no dust cap on them right now. I plan to "dip" this trailer to launch my SF. I know there will be some water entering the bearing grease. Will I have to grease or re-grease my bearings more often or is there a "bearing buddy' cover to seal this type of bearing set? Am I looking at a new axle set-up or spindle and bearing replacement? Does anyone have an older bearing type on their trailer, do you "dip" your trailer, finally and what have you done for maintenance? Any horror stories? I appreciate your feedback. Thanks
All I've owned have been the "crown nut" trailer bearing style you describe, and I've installed Bearing Buddy on each trailer. Because they maintain grease pressure against the inside seal and leak a bit outside, they're a bit messy. (Slinging grease around—even off of 12" rims—which spin slower than 8" rims).

Since periodic inspections are necessary anyway, and bearings are cheap and relatively easy to install, I wonder why I bought Bearing Buddys in the first place. :confused:
You should have some type of cover over the end of the hub. You have to worry about dirt and debris getting into the grease, along with water. Sand and dirt wil act like an abrasive and work on the bearings. You should be able to find dust caps or bearing buddies for the hub at auto or farm stores. Just take a measurement of the ID of the hub. I found dust caps hard to install as they have to fit very tight. I found I had to push them on straight, not trying to put one edge in first. Anyone have a trick to mounting dust caps.
I seem to recall that bearing buddies used to be sold based on the bearing number. Just match the number on the bearing with the package info.
And yes, a wood block and a big hammer are the way to install them.


Thread starter #7
Thanks for all the replys. I know need to find an accurate way to measure the inside of the hub. The hub does not have a collar like most of the hubs I see today. I have starred at the Bearing Buddy site images and see how the bearing protector just stays in by friction. I now understand the wood blocking and hammer techniques you are talking about. I may take the trailer to a tire store or my marine store to have a chance to try on these there to minimize my trips to get another size. Are there any preffered grease or lube types. I saw a "marine lubricant' on a trailer site. I know not to mix types so I will clean the old out to completly replace it with new. Thanks again.
Actually we've found the BEST system for mounting even the cheapo metal dust caps is to buy a pipe nipple that just fits over the body of the cover, whether it's a Bearing Buddy or dust cap. The nipple keeps you from the sideways hits that dent/bend the edges that hold the cap to the hub.
If you clean the existing bearings make sure you put them back EXACTLY from where you removed them! If not you risk a failure. Happened to me.



Thread starter #10
I have been using my digital camera as for some of my projects get quite involved and look like a crime scene from CSI. Yes, each bearing set is formed to be the inboard or outboard set. Thanks for the reminder.
If you can launch the boat without getting the wheels wet, you will be so far ahead of the game. My laser trailer, I do not dip it, just get to the were the tires are at the waters edge and pull the boat off.

My Islander daysailer needs to have the bearing grease replaced each fall (you can go several years, but the water does a job on the grease even with bearing buddies and the race and bearings get pitted with rust ).

Good tackey waterproof bearing grease. Use something from your local supplier, it doesnt have to say marine on it.

Bring your old ones in and match them up, if the old ones are not totally rusted you might find numbers on them. If they are real old, the numbers may not match todays numbers. One trailer I have has a real odd inner seal that was special order, but many of these are stock autopart items.

Don't bang your new race in with steel punch, you will damage it.
You can bang the old one out with a steel punch and place the hub on a block of wood. If you don't have the special bearing race tool to bang them in, get a brass punch (hard too find, I cut up an old bent prop shaft). You can pound it in without damaging the race. Use glasses as the brass punch will lose bits and pieces from the pounding.
Speaking of this. Does anyone know where I can get the old style rims for a trailor. I have a really old trailor that came with my sunfish that I bought and I want to put new rims on it but can't seem to find the old style. All the new ones have the lugs on it. Does anyone know of a site or place that sells them. Any suggestions would be great.



Thread starter #13
I replaced my lawn tractor with these lugless rims and tires. These are eight inch. My local tractor supply center does carry 12" rims and tires that are lugless too. Are these what you looking for?

I am not sure if this link will work so you may have to search "" and drill down to tires, etc.[/URL]
Yea I'm look to get the rims replaced due to the fact that they are rusted out and most likely won't make a 3 hour trip to my girlfriends shore house. Well the lawn mower rims hold up at 55mph? Thanks for the link I'll check it out.

You can use the old race to seat the new race. Once the new race is level with the hub. Place the old race over it just as if you were going to install the old race. Seat the pair of them with your hammer, punch, etc. The old race will seat the new one perfectly in the hub because the old one is the correct diameter and already fits perfectly. Any hammer or punch damage that occurs while driving the new race into place happens to the old race. The sound of your hammering will change when the race is firmly seated. When everything is seated, flip the hub over and drive the old race back out just as you did to remove it. You won't damage the new race because the lip of the old race provides plenty of room for your punch. You won't need any special tools other than a hammer and a punch.


Thread starter #16
Great technique, I have printed your response and clipped it to hang in my shop when I tear down the hubs for reassembly. Thanks.


Thread starter #17
Scubabuffet, the tires on easternmarine's site are listed as trailer tires. What type of trailer, I am not sure. I have seen these on some launch dollies. I would call them to ensure that they will take 55 mph.
Look for the marking "ST" in the size. That means special trailer. If it doesn't have it the tires are NOT rated for road speeds. I had a tire dealer try and sell me tires that were for a powered wheel barrow. His reasoning...well they are the size you asked for.
As for the older trailers we actually found it's easier to replace the hubs with the "newer design" than to find wheels to fit the older ones.
I agree that if you do not dip the trailer you will be in much better shape, not only with the bearings but the tail lights, springs and trailer in general. Especially with these small boats. Get someone to help you lift it off or back it down and pull it off. Make sure you have a roller on the rear of the trailer so the hull doen't slam the trailer. or you can slide it off using a Sietech Dolly which works great if you are solo.


Thread starter #20
I am back with this topic again.
We had quite a mild weekend and week up here in Michigan and I brought my trailer inside and removed the axle to get a better look at the hubs. I now have pictures of the hub. This is off an original "older" Trailex trailer. As you can see, there is not a "bell" or raised flange where a dust cap would engage. I sent these images to the current or really the same manufacturer of the aluminum Trailex trailer, but no reply yet. I always get great replys from the Sunfish Forum. Does anyone know or recommend a solution here versus replacing the whole hub assembly?