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View Full Version : Leaky Oil bath hub solution!



Razzman
07-24-2011, 01:35 PM
Oil Bath hubs suck! The set screws "weld" themselves in, they are the UFP Gold series and the screws are locktited in from UFP, great thinking guys! You can't get them out without stripping them that's for sure, so I didn't even try.

Then it hit me, I'll bet these are standard spec hubs and I'll bet they'll accept standard hub parts so I called the local trailer supply and sure enough the guy says yup they are. He also told me UFP had so many complaints that they discontinued oil bath hubs!

Well that solved that problem, went down and bought 4 Bearing Buddies, four standard grease seals and marine grease and converted them over to grease filled. As I never even removed the set screws that was no issue either. Replaced all four wheel setups yesterday and found another just starting to leak. Good ridence!

viking
07-25-2011, 05:41 PM
ha - great idea. I've had issues over the last 2 years. First, I changed out the oil last year and just like you said - stripped out the drain plug screw and had to use an extrator. Luckily only on one side. Ended up buying brass replacements and using a less permanent sealant for the threads.

A couple weeks ago I had the o-rings replaced on the hubs as they started to leak. About $4 in parts and $90 in labor later and I'm back on the road.

Might just have to scrap the oil bath in favor of the grease jobbers.

Now I have a Goodyear Marathon tire out of round and wearing funny. Guess it is 4years old...........

squeeg333
07-25-2011, 07:41 PM
Razz, is this a pretty easy swap over?

I haven't had any major issues of leaking, but did notice a little oil on one of the wheels late last year. It hasn't shown back up yet this year, but, if it does, I figure I'll just do away with the oil bath. That's one less headache that I need to deal with.

Razzman
07-25-2011, 09:23 PM
It's so easy it's not funny, seriously! Here's the steps;


Parts you'll need

4 - Either Bearing Buddys (http://www.bearingbuddy.com/), UPF Trailer Buddies (http://www.pacifictrailers.com/UFP-Trailer-Buddy-Grease-Protector-1980-UFP-Axles-Only-07500/)or similar
4 - Standard hub seals
4 - Cotter pins
Marine grease cartridge(s)
Large can of BrakeClean
Tools you'll need

Cutter
Deadblow hammer or block of wood / hammer
Crescent wrench or similar
13/16 lugwrench
9/16 socket w/ ratchet
Small punch
Large screwdriver or similar
Box cutter or similar
Steps to do

Chock up the wheels and jack up the trailer
Remove tire & wheel
If brake axle: Make sure your actuator is pulled out completely so the brakes have no pressure against them. Remove the caliper and caliper bracket as a unit by removing the two bolts on the axle flange. Lift assembly off.
Place a large HD garbage bag under the hub assembly
Using the deadblow hammer or block of wood, hit the oil bath cap downwards while spinning the hub. This will drive it out and it will fall into the bag along with any oil in the assembly.
Let it drain a few minutes and remove the cotter pin, pin retainer, nut (may need the crescent wrench if burs exist) and washer. Let the hub hang on the spindles a few more minutes until drained and remove.
Turn the hub over and using the punch and hammer, make a good sized hole in one side of the seal. Lay your hammer across the hub and using the screwdriver pry it out using the hammer handle as leverage. It's neccessary to do it this way because the original seals have a permabond coating on the them and their stuck in place.
Remove inner bearing and using brakeclean, clean all parts of oil. Don't forget the spindle assembly.
After the parts are dry, place a large blob of grease in the palm of your hand, with the other push the bearing rollers themselves into the grease drawing it across your palm forcing grease into it. Go all the way around and then coat the bearing with a good layer of grease. Do the outer the same way.
Now take your box cutter and look at the inner bearing surface where the seal was. Run your finger around the top and you'll feel remnants of the seal coating. Using the cutter slice it away. If you don't it makes it harder to get the seal started.
Replace your inner bearing. Coat the outer surface of the seal with a very light coat of grease and place the seal into the opening. Using the block of wood place it over the seal and hit it with the deadblow or hammer until it's flush with the hub. Now lightly tap it in the rest of the way until seated. If you have a seal driver it's easier.
Place the hub on the spindle, add inner bearing, washer and nut.
Tighten the nut by hand until there's no play when pulling vigorously back and forth, then turn it a fraction farther.
Place the pin retainer on the nut and insert cotter pin.
Get your bearing buddy or whatever and hold it against the hub and start tapping it into the opening while spinning the hub with the deadblow, it's a beotch but it will go in. Make sure it's all the way seated against the hub face.
Fill with grease per the mfgrs instructions.
If brake axle: Replace the caliper assembly and install and tighten the two bracket bolts.
Install tire and wheel assembly.
And that's all there is to it, it sounds worse than it is really. Just remember a couple of things.

First keep the grease gun with you the first trip or two because the centrifugal force of driving forces the grease further into the hub/bearings and it's not unusual to have to add more initially.
And double check your lugnuts after 50-100 miles.

moombadaze
07-26-2011, 08:30 AM
. He also told me UFP had so many complaints that they discontinued oil bath hubs!




Razz, do you know if Boatmate has done away with the oil bath hubs on the new 2011-2012 trailers? Kinda sounds that way but just wondering. Second do you know if there is any issue with grease hubs and the torsion suspension?

Great write up too.

mnpracing
07-26-2011, 09:33 AM
Razz, do you know if Boatmate has done away with the oil bath hubs on the new 2011-2012 trailers? Kinda sounds that way but just wondering. Second do you know if there is any issue with grease hubs and the torsion suspension?

Great write up too.

For reference, on my '08 tandem, I have the Vault hubs (UFP axles). I had oil-bath on my '06 single axle (Reliable axle). Sounds like there were '08 tandems with oil-bath as well.

moombadaze
07-26-2011, 11:38 AM
^^^ my 08 tandem is oil bath too. So far no issue's, my 03 had oil bath and i think it was at 5 yrs one inner seal started leaking but it was takin care of under warranty.

Am I the only one who is really bugged that I can NOT see how much oil is in the hubs. Talk about faith when towing long distance.

mcdye
07-26-2011, 12:28 PM
Razz, do you know if Boatmate has done away with the oil bath hubs on the new 2011-2012 trailers? Kinda sounds that way but just wondering. Second do you know if there is any issue with grease hubs and the torsion suspension?


I know a Boatmate for Moomba's have the new hybird system (Vault) on '10 and '11 models. No oil bath.

squeeg333
07-26-2011, 01:06 PM
Sorry guys, I guess I wasn't thinking clearly yesterday, and was thinking that my Vault hubs were oil bath - it was a Monday... but yeh, I am a little nervous about not knowing where the lubrication level is in these things.

Razzman
07-26-2011, 01:10 PM
^^^ my 08 tandem is oil bath too. So far no issue's, my 03 had oil bath and i think it was at 5 yrs one inner seal started leaking but it was takin care of under warranty.

Am I the only one who is really bugged that I can NOT see how much oil is in the hubs. Talk about faith when towing long distance.

Always bugged me to death, hence the reason for the swap. My wife said Saturday morning; "Is there enough oil to go to the lake?", my answer; "How the $#@! would I know, I can't see a freaking thing in there!".

I don't know what Boatmate has done as far as hubs on new trailers. I can't see how the type of hub lubricant (oil-vs-grease) would affect the torsion axle in any way though as the hub hasn't changed, just the lubrication method.

rdlangston13
07-26-2011, 10:14 PM
my 08 has the vault hybrid grease system. when i replace my brake i just used standard grease to repack the bearings

phospher
07-27-2011, 04:26 PM
I'm confused. So are the vaults the ones that tend to leak?

I have the vault bearings on my 08 single axle trailer. I haven't seen any signs of a leak yet.

squeeg333
07-27-2011, 04:41 PM
The Vault are a replacement to the ones that did leak, from my understanding. I did see a small amount of oil on one of my wheels late in the season last year - which I assumed came from the Vault hub. However, it hasn't repeated the issue since. So, I think the Vault bearings are good to go still.

Sorry, I think I confused people by saying mine were leaking... they aren't!

jmb
07-27-2011, 07:53 PM
I have not seen any leaking on my '05 trailer so far. Had the oil changed last winter in the hubs.

mmandley
07-28-2011, 10:06 AM
One thing you have to be carefull on the Oil Bath hubs, and Vault hubs is dont dunk the trailer while the axles are hot. This is the biggest reason they tend to fail and leak.

When you drive down the long road to the ramp area the braks on the trailer are on the entire time heating up, that heat is then transfered to the axles, bearings, hubs, and such. Give the boat a good 10 or 15 minutes to cool down before you back it into the water.

When we goto LBC the road is 2 miles and half that is all steep downhill and when we get to the ramp you can smell the brakes, and feel the heat comming off them. I generaly wait about 15 minutes and splash a little water on the brakes, if it sizzles then wait longer lol. This not only saves the hubs but keeps the brake rotors from warping.

moombadaze
07-28-2011, 08:37 PM
are the Vault's---oil or grease??

rdlangston13
07-28-2011, 08:47 PM
are the Vault's---oil or grease??

the vault is supposed to have a special "hybrid" lubricant. its a grease when cold but when it heats up the viscosity decreases drastically to an semi oily state, and then it thickens up when it cools down. my right front hub is a true hybrid, half vault hybrid grease and half normal grease lol. bad thing about the vaults are you cant really find any of that hybrid grease anywhere. you pretty much have to order it so if you need it fixed in a hurry you are kind of screwed