Home Forums Tech Talk Grease or oil the hub bearings?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  kurt rodgers 5 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
  • #26460

    Sean S

    I cracked open the tin shields on the front hubs to clean them and repack them with grease. I noticed there was a tiny bit of brown grease on the tin shields along with the tiny grains of crap that find it’s way inside. The hubs spun alright but haven’t been touched since it came out of the factory, so I cleaned out all of the bearings with mineral spirits and repacked on of them with standard wheel bearing grease.

    I know the grease is packed in and still need to be pushed out of the way a bit, but it won’t even make 1/2 a rotation without coming to a stop (on spindle with no wheel mounted). Would you suggest clearing out the grease and using a light lube like Tri-Flow or stick to a heavier bearing grease? I guess I’m trying to maximize the roll with the lease resistance as possible, but I don’t want to have to keep putting Tri-Flow in every few runs. What do you guys think?

    Tony Kart / Leopard

  • #26473

    tony zambos

    Could you have the spindle nut too tight? I’d put wheels on it and take it to the track then see how free the hubs true with the wheels still on. I know some put are going to disagree, but I wouldn’t replace the grease with Tri-Flow. Maybe lithium grease. There must be grease experts on the forum. Hope they can provide a better answer.

    LAD Specialties customer / tony kart / rotax / kt100

  • #26519

    Sean S

    Thanks Tony

    I actually never put the nut back on. I put it on the spindle and even the end of my finger and tried to spin it freely, still getting the same 1/2 rotation out of it. Like my dad was telling me since its new grease that is packed all the way through the bearing, it might need to push the grease out of the way/off to the side first (maybe after driving for a few 1000 rotations) before it spins free. I didn’t want to drive 1.5 hours to the track to test this out, so I stopped on the first hub/bearing to ask before I went any further.

    Tony Kart / Leopard

  • #26749

    Sean S

    Thanks Gregg,

    I called my local kart shop and told him what I was doing. He said “DO NOT USE GREASE”,  use Tri-Flow. He said that grease was too thick for kart bearings. I thought it was a bit odd that there was grease on the shield that came from the factory… I’m going to take that advise and try it out. Thanks for the help guys.

    Tony Kart / Leopard

  • #26770

    Gary Lawson

    Bearing companies will tell you to use grease for a reason…races are not won on the kart stand. That said, they should not be “packed.” Light coat is all you need.

  • #26776

    kurt rodgers

    He said that grease was too thick for kart bearings.

    kind of a blanket statement that isn’t universally true. lot of misconceptions about grease in bearings. Google around and find an article about how the grease lubricates the bearing. It is more dependent the balance of heat and “melting point” of the grease (which increases with the “thickness”)

    you are on the right track – find a  lighter grease that is better suited for the temerature profile of your bearing.


  • #26528

    Gregg Palmer

    From Boca Bearings web site. Looks like a good oil is fine for a onroad kart
    If your bearings start to feel gritty or noisy it is most likely a result of dirt or debris getting under the seal or shield. Your bearing’s life can be extended with a simple cleaning and relubing process. If you are not comfortable doing the maintenance yourself you can send your bearings to Boca Bearings and we will do it for you free of charge.
    Removable metal shields have a c-clip that hold the shield in place. The c-clip can be removed by running a pin around the inside of the outer race, once the clip is removed the shield with pop right out. To remove seals from the bearings, you can just gently put a pin or awl under the inside lip of the inner race and pry the seal off of the bearing. Soak your bearings overnight in our Clean Touch bearing cleaner or any standard degreaser, then blow the bearings dry with compressed air or allow them to air dry over night. Depending on your desired goal you may want to relube with either our High Speed Oil or Grease Power. Typically you will want to use grease for off-road or dirty riding environments and a light oil for on-road or clean riding environments.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.