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Chassis lube and ball joints

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Mastiff, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Finally got around to lubing my grease fittings. It's been a few years since I did it. These are all the fittings I'm aware of, are there more?

    1) Both tie rod ends
    2) Both ends of adjustable steering linkage
    3) Front driveshaft

    Then in my case I have the ORD rear spring bushings and rear shaft U-joints.

    Is there any maintenance to do for the ball joints, or do you just drive and wait for them to go out? Is there an easy way to put a grease fitting on?
     
  2. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    greasable ones you can screw a zerk fitting in the bottom of them if not yea ur basicly stuck.
     
  3. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    You can use a greese needle. Its acutally recommended by a lot of old time mechanics that I know. Most lube shops wont bother lubing it, they will tell you its "lubed for life". Sorry, I've seen the crappy nasty black grease come out after I gease them, I know that while they may be greased for life, you'll get more life out of them!

    Grease needles are around 3 bucks, and they have a nipple end to fit into your grease gun tip.
     
  4. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You can use a greese needle. Its acutally recommended by a lot of old time mechanics that I know. Most lube shops wont bother lubing it, they will tell you its "lubed for life". Sorry, I've seen the crappy nasty black grease come out after I gease them, I know that while they may be greased for life, you'll get more life out of them!

    Grease needles are around 3 bucks, and they have a nipple end to fit into your grease gun tip.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have one of those grease needles. I got it to try and do my rear U-joint, since the regular tip won't fit. Doesn't work. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    Can you explain where to grease with the needle? Do I stick it under the seal, or is there a spot to pull a cap out or something?
     
  5. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Grease needle does not work for u-joints. THey work for ball joints, where they have a big rubber sealing cap. THe u-joint caps are way too small.

    For U-joints that are installed, they sell bent grease nipples or mini grease gun heads that help you fit into those small spaces. If you dont have a grease nipple, then they are the "lubricated for life "ones. In our offroading application, lubricated for life means a very short life cause crap gets in there. When I did use the ones without grease nipples, I would remove the caps, wipe out as much as the old black grease, and then fill it with new grease. But thats a lot of time and effort.
     
  6. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Grease needle does not work for u-joints. THey work for ball joints, where they have a big rubber sealing cap. THe u-joint caps are way too small.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    So do I just stick the needle under the edge of the seals? I don't want to make anything worse. This is an 83 truck with original ball joints, and they are still tight as far as I can tell (steering is okay, can't budge 'em by hand). Only 90K miles on the chassis.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Grease needle does not work for u-joints.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Funny, I've been greasing the u-joints(front and back) in my 84 for over 10 years with a grease needle. I'm not quite sure why you think it won't work.
     
  8. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Grease needle does not work for u-joints.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Funny, I've been greasing the u-joints(front and back) in my 84 for over 10 years with a grease needle. I'm not quite sure why you think it won't work.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are you going into the seal, or into a hard-to-reach fitting? I tried to use a needle to get into a fitting, and it would always just ooze back around the needle instead of going in.
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Because of the angles on your driveshaft, the rear u-joint zerks can't be accessed with a normal grease gun fitting. Using the needle can be a little tricky, especially if the grease inside the u-joint is old. Sometimes you have to wiggle the needle around to find the sweet spot on the zerk. It helps if you have a pistol-style grease gun instead of a pump-style one, too. Sometimes you need to put quite a bit of pressure on the zerk to kick the check ball back, so having a free hand is nice.

    What kind of transfer case are you running? 208s have a hard to find and hard to reach grease fitting on the carden joint.
     
  10. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    So can anyone give me some advice on what to do about my ball joints? How do I tell if I have a spot for a zerk (I'm not sure where to look)? And if not, should I somehow grease them with a needle, or just let it go?
     
  11. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe it works for you, but I thought the whole point when you grease your joints is to remove the bad, and in with the new. Thats the only reason I like greasable u-joints. I had heard their not as strong, but.. oh wells. Either way, more power to you if you can get to the u-joint needle bearings.

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Grease needle does not work for u-joints.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Funny, I've been greasing the u-joints(front and back) in my 84 for over 10 years with a grease needle. I'm not quite sure why you think it won't work.



    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  12. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If you pump grease into your u-joints(through the zerk) until you see *fresh* grease coming out from between the body and the cap, you're essentially removing the old grease. That's why I use a blue colored EP2 grease. I can see the new grease when it comes out of the caps.

    I've never once removed a u-joint cap to grease a u-joint, and there are joints that are over 5 years old on both my trucks.
     
  13. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I totally agree with you there. Just that, I still dont fathom how your putting grease into a u-joint without zerk fittings, and using a grease needle. The only application for a grease needle that I have found is to add grease to those so called "life time lubed" ball joints, or other front end suspension stuff that they decided to keep the zerk fittings on the inside where people cant reach.

    "If you pump grease into your u-joints(through the zerk) until you see *fresh* grease coming out from between the body and the cap, "

    yes, I totally agree with ya, its just that how do you use a grease needle in this application? The regular grease fitting would work fine.

    How do you fill a "greased for life" u-joint? I thought the only way was to take off the cap, scoup up some grease, and plop it back in.
     
  14. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Maybe I didn't explain myself properly. All the u-joints on both my trucks are greaseable. They all have zerks. Because of the angle of the rear driveshafts it's impossilble to fit a standard grease gun between the u-joint and the yokes and access the zerk.

    Unless you pull your rear shaft and eliminate the angle, the only way you can access the zerk is to use a needle. You stick the tip of the needle into the zerk with a bit of pressure to push back the check ball and start pumping in the grease.

    Like I said, I've been greasing u-joints this way for a long time with no problems. I hope this clarifies things, brother. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    ahh! Ok. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Sorry, you know.. I've never acutally tried using the needle in the zerk checkball hole. will have to try... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  16. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Try it- you'll like it!!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     

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