Grease technique for suspension parts?

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
49,456
Location
New Jersey
Got a new Alemite 1056 grease gun and lock n’ lube coupler (and tube of Schaeffers 238). I’ve greased my chevy suspension lots of times, but not my Ram. So I went to do it.

What a mess on an old diesel, and with high moly grease! Complete and utter mess. And I’m used to working on old diesels. Grease just makes it 100x worse!

I realized I’m not sure I know the actual right way to grease suspension parts. I mean, it’s not rocket science, but how much/how far is more the question.

I don’t want to blow out a boot, but is it expected that grease flows out of the boot when doing this? On my Chevy I always just pumped as I saw the boot expand and bulge a bit. On one of the lower ball joints I would sometimes see some grease come out, but I don’t know if that was because of a compromised boot or by design.

On the Dodge, pumping 238 in looked to me like it was lifting the bolted item slightly. But most of the (old, high mileage) boots didn’t move or swell. Most of them did release some grease, sometimes just the exact new grease I was pumping in.

62E1ECEB-EB98-44AD-8479-788BD8F28C73.jpeg
065BA9B7-9A60-4978-AA9A-0444F3E86036.jpeg
3D56C7A6-7FCA-4E78-8142-E2EFB73D17FD.jpeg


As you can see, new grease coming out, not much sign of old. In some cases it did seem to push old hard grease from someplace, seemingly the outside of the joint.

9C97BD4E-93D1-4F62-91C0-1456C4763E57.jpeg


So what’s the best practice? Just a pump or two? Look for plumping up? Wait for observed flow out?

How do you know when too much is too much? Are there some greaseable units that by design don’t have a spot to flow out? It wouldn’t make sense to me, as grease has to go somewhere. I just don’t want to blowout a boot.

Thoughts are greatly appreciated. I know this is simple stuff, but it helps to know it’s done right, and to help diagnose the condition of greasable suspension parts on my truck.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
969
Location
KY, USA
None of my present cars have zerk fittings but back when they did I'd always pump grease in until I saw it oozing out then stop. My thoughts were that maybe I was forcing out some of the older contaminated grease and replacing it with new. I never had any problems with ruptured boots. Those boots are usually in excess of 1/8" thick so I don't think you're going to get enough pressure in it to rupture it if it's not already dry rotted or otherwise damaged such a cut that's not all the way through.
 

wwillson

Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
5,338
Location
Naperville, IL
The surface area that is lubricated by grease can only hold a small amount, because the parts are so close together. Use less grease, like a couple pumps, and do it more often to refill the lubricated space. My mechanic buddy says that if you give the front end grease zerks a pump or two every oil change that your your front end will last almost indefinitely. Most people either don't know most HD truck front ends can be greased or just don't do it and they wear out. He says he can tell most worn out front ends have never been greased. One day I had my truck up on a rack at his shop and one of his mechanics asked me, "why are you greasing the front end, nobody else does? Just replace it when it wears out". I asked him, "ever heard of BITOG?" He didn't get it.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
49,456
Location
New Jersey
How do you like that lock n’ lube coupler ?

I like it a lot. It’s just pretty big for what it is.

I bought the gun from lock n lube. It came with a nice Italian-made hose, that’s smoother and nicer than any I’ve had before, and a swivel adapter that goes between the gun and the hose (which is very nice). The gun is big and heavy. The hose is reasonably long. The coupler is long... so even in fairly open locations, getting the coupler on can be a pain. If the zerk is pointing down, no brainer. If it’s pointing up, you need to make an awkward arc of the hose, with a heavy gun hanging on the end, so that the coupler can attach.

But much of that challlenge is because I went with the gun I did, not a pistol grip. In reality, you generally only use one hand for connecting a grease coupler, and the lock n lube can be connected with one hand. But a full size grease gun really needs two hands if it’s not a pistol grip.

So imagine laying on your back, needing to contort your arms and wrists to access the zerks, dealing with black diesel oil residue and a worse high moly grease residue, and a heavy grease gun hanging off a rubber hose, hanging from the lock n lube. It’s a hard situation.

The lock n lube allows me to do that one handed connection, have a positive latch better than the press on type, and then free up both hands for the task. Too often a less than great connection resukts in grease spiking around the sides, making a mess.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
193
I pump until the grease coming out matches the color I'm pumping in, then clean it off when it stops oozing out.

Technically 2-3 pumps is all that's necessary, but I like pumping things hard.

The locking connector is great, I have one myself.
 
Top