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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:41 pm 
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I got a new Malone MicroSport trailer. I had bought one before, and I was satisfied with it up to this point, but I wasn't very lucky with this one (missing parts, broken boxes, etc.). Hopefully, nothing that can't be fixed.

However, the trailer axle as delivered was missing the end caps (see picture below):
Image

Malone Support are not answering calls or emails so far: when I finally got to them the representative said something like "Oh, yeah, I saw your email, I will get to it sometime soon, hopefully in the next 24 hours" – Quite blasé for a purchase of over $1,150, no?

But let's assume I can get some caps from them, is it safe to just epoxy them to the axle, to seal the compartment where the grease goes, or should I just go for a new axle? Following advice, I plan to ramp-launch as often as possible, which means the axle WILL definitely get submerged in salt water.

What would you do?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I have a Trailex aluminum trailer (read about its assembly here, scroll down: https://www.hobie.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=435&_ga=2.117133774.999972702.1530809606-1871989019.1515722084) One thing I avoid dipping the axle into like poison is salt water. The axle is steel, not aluminum. It will rust if dipped into salt water. I live in south FL most of the time. I've rusted out so many things, even things never in salt water, that it makes me cringe to think about it.

You can dip your steel axle/trailer into salt water as much as you want...it's just not for me.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:58 pm 
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I would not even bother to wait for the seller to send you bearing caps! Instead, buy some "Bearing Buddies" (might be given a different name in your area) as below.
Image
These are DESIGNED to enable hot axle bearings being submerged during launches. As they get filled with appropriate bearing grease, when the bearing contracts when immersed in cold water, instead of sucking water into the bearing, >grease< gets sucked in, causing zero damage.

These caps have grease nipples to enable keeping the caps full, with a slip-on plastic cover to keep the nipple clean (language safe for children :lol: :lol: ).

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2x-Trailer- ... 3ae6182700

I have similar units fitted to my own trailer, and have ALWAYS submerged the axles >in salt water< since June 2012, without any damage. Thoroughly recommended.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Wow, Tony, I don't know how that salt water is in the southern hemisphere, but up here in south Florida, any salt water rusts any trailer steel. How do you keep your steel axle from rusting?

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
The time it would take to rust a steel axle enough to significantly weaken it would be extensive, even if leaving the axle permanently immersed. Axle bearings, on the other hand, containing high speed rotating parts, can quickly deteriorate due to water ingress (salt or fresh) assisting with washing out the lubricating grease, leading to disastrous collapse of the bearing due to friction.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:32 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
I would not even bother to wait for the seller to send you bearing caps! Instead, buy some "Bearing Buddies" (might be given a different name in your area) as below.
Image
These are DESIGNED to enable hot axle bearings being submerged during launches. As they get filled with appropriate bearing grease, when the bearing contracts when immersed in cold water, instead of sucking water into the bearing, >grease< gets sucked in, causing zero damage.

These caps have grease nipples to enable keeping the caps full, with a slip-on plastic cover to keep the nipple clean (language safe for children :lol: :lol: ).

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2x-Trailer- ... 3ae6182700

I have similar units fitted to my own trailer, and have ALWAYS submerged the axles >in salt water< since June 2012, without any damage. Thoroughly recommended.


Thanks, Tony, I didn’t even know such things existed (I mean the caps :P ). Will see if I can find an equivalent in the USA. As for the axle rusting, I am assuming it will, but that is a slow process (at 66 young, if it takes a few years I am ok with that), as opposed to the axle locking when water gets in, which is more immediate than I like :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:39 pm 
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Wow, there are a zillion variations of “bearing Buddies” in the US. Even Walmart et.al. Life-saving advice, Tony!!! +1 And UTubies about installation :P


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:49 am 
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Bearing buddies are a good thing. They are press fit in place so that they can be removed for bearing maintenance so you need to watch them when trailering. If one works loose and you lose it on the road, you can also lose the grease around the bearings. But.. overall good.

One thing I noticed in your pictures is that the grease has a red color. If you do dunk your trailer to launch, you will want to be using waterproof grease which is usually a blue or green color. One time I took my went to do bearing maintenance and found the grease to be a runny mess (I always launch from the trailer and the axle gets dunked). Much less of a problem since I have been using a waterproof marine grease (almost always blue or green colored).


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:55 am 
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Walt, thanks, I didn’t know about the difference.

Do you know if the different types of grease can be mixed, or would you clean the old grease before applying the new one?

I would ask Malone Support, but they are MIA, not even replying to my emails. That’s sad: Malone used to have good Support and quality, everything seems to have gone downhill since. I should have tried the Trailex...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:27 am 
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Location: South Florida
tonystott wrote:
The time it would take to rust a steel axle enough to significantly weaken it would be extensive, even if leaving the axle permanently immersed. Axle bearings, on the other hand, containing high speed rotating parts, can quickly deteriorate due to water ingress (salt or fresh) assisting with washing out the lubricating grease, leading to disastrous collapse of the bearing due to friction.


I have rusted (almost) an axle through. Maybe I just keep my trailers longer than you do. And, yes, I rinse my trailer thoroughly after any dipping in salt water. As I say, nowadays, I avoid such dipping in salt water at almost all costs. It does seem to make a difference how far you live from the ocean. I'm a few miles. I think that adds to the problem.

Of course there are axles and axles. The round ones seem weaker; square stronger.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


Last edited by Chekika on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:03 am 
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I would recommend a rust converting primer like Corroseal if you are in a salt environment. You may need to wait until you shiny new axels develop some surface rust prior to doing so for an effective job though.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:13 am 
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IMO I wouldn't use bearing buddies on that style axle it is drilled so you can shoot grease all the way back to the rear bearing and flush out old grease the caps should have a small rubber cap in the center to let you do this IMO lot better than bearing buddies ... now on older trailer with seals that don't hold as good and worn wear surfaces the positive pressure the bearing buddies put on the grease in the hubs helps keep water out ...just my 02$

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:49 am 
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Thanks, in812. This particular axle has a nipple for greasing it from the spindle side, looks like between inner and outer bearing (I have not disassembled it at all). However, looking at a friend's Malone trailer, I find that there is no rubber seal of any type on the cap itself. The caps seem to be just glued. I guess Quality Assurance at Malone's Chinese manufacturer did not check that the caps were fixed in any way on my axle (?), because I could not find even traces of glue on the area where the outer caps would have been sitting.

I am still waiting to hear from Malone Support, but if in any way possible I will try to return the whole Malone trailer and buy me a Trailex: this trailer has other problems that have yet to be addressed, not the least serious of them being that the galvanizing on many parts is flaked and mottled, making me believe that the rust-through process that we were talking about in a previous message may not be a long-term issue as I was saying...

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:00 pm 
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So, Malone is sending a new axle, plus other pieces missing form the delivery. AND it turns out that the question I asked in this thread (and a few more related to axle maintenance) are answered in the back of the printed pages that come with the trailer (including the Bearing Buddy! :) )

Image
Image
Image


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