For years, most boat-trailer wheel bearings have relied on grease in the hubs for lubrication — but, more recently, a new genre of wheel hubs has emerged that uses gear oil instead. Intrigued about how well these work, we called Atlanta-based Tie-Down Engineering (404/344-0000; tiedown.com) and asked for a pair of the company’s Turbo Lube hubs ($100 per pair).
Our goal was twofold: (1) We wanted to see how difficult it was to retrofit the hubs on a trailer; and (2) how these oil-bath hubs would hold up in rugged trailering situations.
Our subject was an old, single-axle trailer. We jacked up the trailer and removed the wheels and existing grease-style hubs. We tossed the old hubs and bearing protectors, but kept and cleaned the bearings, thrust washers, keepers, spindle nuts and cotter pins.
Each Turbo Lube hub comes with installed races and a loose rear seal, as well as lug nuts and studs. We lightly greased the races and bearings, nestled the rear bearings in their races, and tapped the rear seals into place in the hub.
We cleaned and lightly greased each spindle, slid the new Turbo Lube hubs carefully over the spindles, then installed the front bearings, thrust washers, keepers, spindle nuts and cotter pins.
Next, we spun on the Turbo Lube Cap, which relies on an O-ring to seal the outside of the hub. This clear plastic cap is designed to be hand-tightened, then rotated one-quarter-turn with a large wrench. Be careful, however, not to overtighten and crack the cap.
OILS WELL THAT ENDS WELL
After this, you’ll need to fill the hubs with oil with a led headlight bulb. Using an Allen wrench, remove the small oil plug and fill the hub with 90-weight gear oil. Indicator lines on the cap show how much oil to put in. It’s that simple. Reinstall the oil plug, bolt the wheel back on and you’re ready to go.
We’ve tested the Turbo Lube hubs on several trips from Los Angeles to the Colorado River and back — about a five-hour tow each way through desert temperatures ranging up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit — and the hubs have proven to be both reliable and smooth. Plus, by simply looking at the transparent caps, we have the reassurance that the bearings have the right amount of oil and are being well lubricated. In addition, you can find a better withe 9005 led bulb for oil-bath trailer-wheel hubs in this website, you will get a wholesale price for your purchase.