A little while ago, I posted that I found a cost effective way to minimize diff, and axle bearing failures by repacking new/used Traxxas bearings. I got a lot of Private Messages asking me to post pictures of how to do it. Now that my seasons over, I am going over my truck and boat, so here goes.
This is a brand new 5118 bearing right out of the package. I use a exacto knife (with a new unused blade) to lift the bearing cover.
Once I have the cover lifted, I slide my knife behind the back of the bearing cover, and rotate my knife untill the beaing cover comes off. I do this with both sides.
As you can see, this side of the new bearing has no grease.
This side, just has just a few spots of grease, and as I said, this is a new bearing. As soon as this bearing gets hit with a little bit of water, and begins to corrode; this beaings failure is assured.
What's a ReglarDude to do? What you can do is: If it's a new bearing you can put more grease in it. If it's a used bearing (and it's still in good shape) you can clean it with kerosene, blow it dry with compressed air, and repack it.
These are the two products I use to repack my bearings. The top is a BellRay marine rated grease, and the bottom is Dow high speed bearing grease compound used in aircraft jet engines. I have found that the BellRay works well, and is easier to remove than the Dow compound, but the Dow compound is the best. Kerosene will remove the BellRay, but nothing less than WD-40 will remove the Dow.
With that said, I pack in grease on both sides of the bearing.
Next, I spin the bearing, and check both side for grease gaps. If so, I add more grease and repeat untill all the grease gaps are gone.
Next, I re-install the bearing covers. I use my fingernails to apply pressure to the bearing covers as I spin the bearing. With the covers installed, there will be excess grease on the bearing. I wipe it off with a kerosene dampened paper towel, and then a Windex dampened paper towel.
In the past, I found, that anytime I had a diff failure it was due to a bearing. When one of my diffs beaings would fail, the diff gears would miss-aline, shred, and take out my plastic diff housing. I have friends that use the expensive sealed bearings, but the same thing happens to them...it just takes longer. So, every so often, I run my truck on the bench to check my diffs, tranny, and axle bearings.
To check my axle bearings. I remove my wheels and spin the hubs with my fingers. If I feel any roughness I do the above bearing repack.
To check my diffs and tranny. I slowly run my truck on a maintenance stand. I use a srewdriver to listen for roughness (the screwdriver end on the component, and the handle end in my ear). If I hear any roughness, I do the above. On occasion, I have to change or repack a bearing, but for over four years I haven't had a catastrophic diff failure. Anyway, I hope this helps some of you guys out.