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I'll take lots of quality lube over factory fill any day. Even more so when that bearing is often sold with little to no lube. Quality control is not what it should be. Nothing like having confidence that you get from seeing that grease going in the bearings yourself.

Have to be careful sometimes when using information from those with a title and or training with limited field experience. Book answer doesn't make it the right answer for everyone. The guy with years of long term experience in the field using said parts/lube will not be giving out book advice. There is nothing better than real world experience to prove out info in field conditions that work.

Many of the over greasing myths are from long term factory use in electric motors and such operating in a controlled environment. There are so many factors involved we can't cover them all. Temps, water, sand, frequency of use, how often they are serviced, how long they are stored and what temps they are operated and stored in. It's safe to say over greasing is possible. You don't want to blow out seals, shorts out motors or in our application let the excess grease contaminate brake pads.

Common sense and experience goes a long way toward the right decision for your application. The important thing is, bearings need to have grease to work properly and last. Just like engine oil, it works best when clean and fresh. Type of grease is an entirely new thread and worthy of exploring to understand the different types of grease available today. I'll just say use quality product of your choice and let others hammer on that topic.
 

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From what I was told from my engineer friends is that in general sealed wheel bearings should NOT be greased. That the bearing comes pre-greased and is in fact only 20-40% full of lubricant by design. Yet with modern lubricants that will last the life of the bearing. That over greasing and filling up the cavity can actually shortens the life as it will cause excess heat and not allow the lubricant to function properly. Also there is the issue of hurting the seals. Pumping in grease until it squirts out the seals many times destroys the seals - once the seals are opened like that it generally will allow contaminants into the bearing. Exposed surface grease will mix with dirt/water and work it's way back into the bearing area - especially if the cavity is overfilled and heats up causing expansion/contractions.

Thus the mechanical engineer in my garage is a no-extra grease side of the fence. That it's best to just ride until they fail as greasing may actually shorten lifespan.

Now the other guy in my garage an industrial engineer, said yes everything above is true but for the most part we are dealing with China made or non industrial bearings. For high end sealed bearing for industrial use for sure don't grease, but these are different. The seals are not industrial grade, you don't know what lubricant they filled in. Often cheep bearings only have the min lubricant and it's not all that waterproof. He feels it's best to squirt a little extra in but don't overfill until you push grease out of the seal and destroy it. That it is best to add high quality lubriciant only a little do not overfill. Thus this is the yes grease side of the fence
I agree w/ the logic from your mechanical engineer. Also, as a very respected RZR mechanic pointed out to me, once you've removed everything to the point of re-greasing the bearings, you may as well just replace them.

Is the grease you're adding compatible w/ the factory grease, and how do you know?

Do they have the world's best seals? Probably not, but any seal is usually better than a compromised seal.

Personally, I check mine regularly and always have spares to press in when needed. I learned the hard way, get a shop press...you're not going to beat the old bearings out with a drift:oops:
 

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it is possible to replace a wheel bearing on the fly. It has been done. If your in the middle of nowhere you will need help. I replaced a damaged wheel bearing with hammer and brass drift with lots of care and without issue year ago. However, not everyone has a lifetime of experience to do that successfully. I agree shop press is the best way to avoid damage to the bearing.

Greasing the bearings is many many steps away from replacing them. I can lube them a dozen times faster than one time replacement. Must remove wheel, caliper, cotter key and castle nut. Grease tool and assembly.
 

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From what I was told from my engineer friends is that in general sealed wheel bearings should NOT be greased. That the bearing comes pre-greased and is in fact only 20-40% full of lubricant by design. Yet with modern lubricants that will last the life of the bearing. That over greasing and filling up the cavity can actually shortens the life as it will cause excess heat and not allow the lubricant to function properly. Also there is the issue of hurting the seals. Pumping in grease until it squirts out the seals many times destroys the seals - once the seals are opened like that it generally will allow contaminants into the bearing. Exposed surface grease will mix with dirt/water and work it's way back into the bearing area - especially if the cavity is overfilled and heats up causing expansion/contractions.

Thus the mechanical engineer in my garage is a no-extra grease side of the fence. That it's best to just ride until they fail as greasing may actually shorten lifespan.

Now the other guy in my garage an industrial engineer, said yes everything above is true but for the most part we are dealing with China made or non industrial bearings. For high end sealed bearing for industrial use for sure don't grease, but these are different. The seals are not industrial grade, you don't know what lubricant they filled in. Often cheep bearings only have the min lubricant and it's not all that waterproof. He feels it's best to squirt a little extra in but don't overfill until you push grease out of the seal and destroy it. That it is best to add high quality lubriciant only a little do not overfill. Thus this is the yes grease side of the fence
As a Mechanical Engineer whom grew up working in family auto and powersports i agree 100% with your Engineer friend . More so when it comes to greasing to point it pushes beyond the seal .. This issue played a major role in the automotive industry removing zerks from universal joints ... there are many here that disagree to each his own
 

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when I get a new machine, the first thing I do is pull the axles and apply neverseize to the splines. Then I remove the hub and insert 3 to 4 pumps of grease to the bearings. Then after that every thousand miles I will add 3 to 4 pumps of grease to bearings. My last set of wheel bearings lasted me 3000 miles and that was thru mud and water.
I’ll be doing the same thing next week when my new Razor 1000S is ready.
Zonk
 

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As a Mechanical Engineer whom grew up working in family auto and powersports i agree 100% with your Engineer friend . More so when it comes to greasing to point it pushes beyond the seal .. This issue played a major role in the automotive industry removing zerks from universal joints ... there are many here that disagree to each his own
In industry I was involved with a major warranty problem where the root cause was lack of lubrication in the bearings. Seems that supply management had talked somebody into substituting some cheap China bearings instead of the original SKF (iirc) bearings. They were using beef tallow for lube, and were underfilling the bearings with that.

I would agree that you can cause bearing problems by over greasing and blowing out the seals, but in the RZR case I think we are dealing with cheap crappy bearings first. It would be nice if there were high quality (& name brand) bearings available, but it seems like Po is using a very unique bearing size.
 

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i always add grease. I made these tools as well.
PVC pipe, end caps, and a zerc fitting.
The aluminum one is the one i purchased and thought "i can make these".
So I turn the PVC pipe down in my small lathe to fit the appropriate wheel bearing so I have one for all mine and my friends vehicles.
 

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Of all of the bearings that I have replaced in the last 35 years, this is the first time I have run across a "sealed" bearing with a split race and a gap between the races. Bearings I have used in my past that were sealed had a one piece race, seals on each side and no holes or grooves on the outer part of the bearing for grease.........or maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. In a past life we used a ton of 1 1/2" greaseable pillow block bearings. They came from the factory lubricated. We normally greased these once a week with three shots of grease. For fun, we didn't grease some new bearings on one machine. Those bearings lasted 1/3 as long as the greased. Once a year, the bearings on my RZRs get 3 shots each. Nothing in this thread has convinced me otherwise. Cheers!
 

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Of all of the bearings that I have replaced in the last 35 years, this is the first time I have run across a "sealed" bearing with a split race and a gap between the races. Bearings I have used in my past that were sealed had a one piece race, seals on each side and no holes or grooves on the outer part of the bearing for grease.........or maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. In a past life we used a ton of 1 1/2" greaseable pillow block bearings. They came from the factory lubricated. We normally greased these once a week with three shots of grease. For fun, we didn't grease some new bearings on one machine. Those bearings lasted 1/3 as long as the greased. Once a year, the bearings on my RZRs get 3 shots each. Nothing in this thread has convinced me otherwise. Cheers!
UTV wheel bearings are not sealed. They are either open cage or shielded.
 

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Just turned over 10k miles on my 11' 800 ranger, most of whick carries a full load of rocks, or a 120 gallon sprayer in the back.. never have greased the bearings before... First one went out this week
 

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We grease ours about twice a year with green marine grease. We ride a lot of water. For us (5 rzrs) the bearings last 3 or 4 times longer if you grease them. For us I think the grease takes up the space so water can't get in and wash out the bearing. Marine grease is hydrophobic and it shows. Once in a while we will get a single droplet of water out of a bearing when we grease. That water is still clear so its not mixing with the grease.
 

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All wheel bearings are not created equal. The new tusk bearing had plenty of grease as seen here. However, it was sloppy after install and you could feel this. I'm told this issue has been fixed.

The Polaris bearing was used, damaged in an accident. It had 70%+ grease inside. It was dark color after 1200 miles, but somewhat clean. Don't have pic of that.

Strangely enough the NEW Tusk bearing was sloppy after install and I eventually sent it back for refund and bought the latest Polaris part number.

The newest Polaris bearings have been updated and seem to have no equal in quality at this time. Be sure you purchase the newest part number when you order new bearings. No more Tusk bearings for me.

IMG_20191115_173401922.jpg
 
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