Greasing my Cub Cadet Zero turn mower first time - Is Moly appropriate?

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Jun 6, 2015
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117
Location
Winnipeg,MB, Canada
Hi there,
I bought Cuc Cadet entry level PRO mower for my Acreage last year and it now has approx 60 hours on it. It is steering wheel based zero turn not those bar type. I did not know about Greasing and have not greased it even once. Manual says to grease front wheels ( 2 zerk fittings on each front wheel) and spindle ( 3 zerk fittings one on each blade) every 25 hours so I am more than double the recommended 25 hour grease interval. Do you see any issues?
Now I bought a grease gun and grease. As I am fan of synthetic engine oil, I thought that the synthetic grease will be good so I bought Valvoline full synthetic gray grease. However it says that it is Moly fortified. Then I read on some of BITOG threads that Moly based grease are not appropriate for wheel beerings or any other High speed High load application. As the mower normally runs very slow speed I would not worry about wheels but what baiut the spindles. Are those considered high speed high load category? Mower has a 24 hp kawasaki engine and I only run mower deck when full throttle.
Nowthat I have put the grease cartridge in the grease gun,it is not possible to return so I was wondering if I use or discard this Valvoline Moly fortified Gray full synthetic grease.
 
You are double the recommended grease interval and you are worried about your selection of grease? The grease is fine to use. Rather that BITOG opinion on grease read the owners manual and it will recommend a type of grease and rating.
 
on spindle page manual says nothing specific about which grease. on wheel page, it says no2 multi purpose grease.
I do not see any problem taking BITOG opinion. That is what forum exist for.
I know I am double the interval but I rather do it right now.
 
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Hi there,
I bought Cuc Cadet entry level PRO mower for my Acreage last year and it now has approx 60 hours on it. It is steering wheel based zero turn not those bar type. I did not know about Greasing and have not greased it even once. Manual says to grease front wheels ( 2 zerk fittings on each front wheel) and spindle ( 3 zerk fittings one on each blade) every 25 hours so I am more than double the recommended 25 hour grease interval. Do you see any issues?
Now I bought a grease gun and grease. As I am fan of synthetic engine oil, I thought that the synthetic grease will be good so I bought Valvoline full synthetic gray grease. However it says that it is Moly fortified. Then I read on some of BITOG threads that Moly based grease are not appropriate for wheel beerings or any other High speed High load application. As the mower normally runs very slow speed I would not worry about wheels but what baiut the spindles. Are those considered high speed high load category? Mower has a 24 hp kawasaki engine and I only run mower deck when full throttle.
Nowthat I have put the grease cartridge in the grease gun,it is not possible to return so I was wondering if I use or discard this Valvoline Moly fortified Gray full synthetic grease.
I would say mower fittings are nowhere close to the pressures and load of vehicle wheel bearings. Its funny because I bought and used t he same vavoline moly grease you bought and noticed it seems a teeny bit grimy. I used it on a JD Mower, Gator, and Ujoints on my GX 460, so far so good and I'm already out of grease!

I am refilling with Vavoline Extreme Red #2 after watching such grease being a bit of a high performer on a Project Farm video, and will have no hesitation mixing it with other grease. I'm fully ready for input/criticism on that decision :)
 
Anything that's better is always more appropriate. I don't use the cheap $4 lithium tubes. I use the $7 lucas red n tacky a lot since it's actually very good for the price and availability. Has great wear and temp performance.
 
I maintain Ag. (tractors. implements)and outdoor power equipment at my workplace (45 years in). I have hints of OCD like many at BITOG. When I perused grease offerings and achieved the analysis paralysis stage, I decided to stick with tried and true Lithium Complex, grade 2 for everything except sophisticated lab/field equipment that has specific recommendations. Sure, moly grease would be slightly better in the front end loader joints, a marine grease would be better IF I had moisture concerns, maybe a specialty grease IF my equipment ran in severe operating conditions (daily rock quarry).

Lithium Complex is a good general purpose grease, doing most things well, but not exceptional in any one area. It has better temperature characteristics (disc brake bearing use) than regular lithium multi-purpose grease. Mixing compatibility is reduced. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Moly grease would be slightly better in your axle spindles and any other sliding metal joints, but lithium complex is certainly up to the task. In my opinion, I would NOT use moly grease in blade spindles that spin VERY fast. It might work, but moly sometimes doesn't play well in high speed bearings (Google it).

I doubt there is much quality difference in most lithium complex greases. Even though red and blue look cool, color does not indicate quality. A highly regarded lithium complex grease is the Mystic JT-6 available at lots of farm stores (TSC, Blains, etc.). It or any other lithium complex grade 2 would be good for both blade spindles and steering joints. My opinion.
 
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The valvoline gray full sythetic grease does say that itis lithium complex
it says following
  • NLGI #2 GC-LB lithium complex EP grease
Just that it is Moly fortified. I read there are 3% and 5% Moly. not sure which one is this.
 
And, what do I know?? I just Googled "Moly grease in mower blade spindles" and found this manufacturer recommendation:
EDIT: 10 sources = 10 different opinions.


Our Recommendation for Grease Compatibility:
The grease you use for the blade spindle assemblies must have these properties:
 NLGI grade 2
 Lithium thickener (NOT LITHIUM COMPLEX OR LITHIUM 12-HYDROXY)
 Kinematic Viscosity at 40°C is no greater than 190 cSt
 Dropping Point Less than 400° F
 General Purpose Grease, Not Heavy Duty
 No MOLY (molybdenum disulphide) additives in the grease
 No synthetic grease
 No High Temperature Grease
 Check the properties of the grease you wish to use with your supplier prior to use.


Makes sense that you don't need EP (heavy duty) and high temp. for spindle bearings. I will continue to use Lithium Complex # 2. The overwhelming opinion is no moly in spindle bearings.
 
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I have been using Tractor Supply 3 ounce Marine cartridges…

Traveller 3 oz. Cartridge Marine & Off-Road Calcium Sulfonate NLGI #2 Grease, 3-Pack

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That's an excellent video. It describes it's middle greases as being excellent, but when it delves into it's synthetic greases, it implies to the general layperson that the synthetic grease are even "more best". For an extra couple dollars, why not get the "most bestest"? I noticed their best synthetic at the end was recommended for the mostly heavy duty applications. It may not be best for homeowner blade spindle bearings??? Sometimes when you increase a certain characteristic, i.e., - very high EP heavy load, you might decrease capability for something like spinning bearings.

I'm no expert, but be wary of the marketing schemes of good, better, best. I found this out with Titebond wood glue marketing, where the "best" adhesive strength glue has some lower characteristics regarding glue creep.
 
And, what do I know?? I just Googled "Moly grease in mower blade spindles" and found this manufacturer recommendation:
EDIT: 10 sources = 10 different opinions.


Our Recommendation for Grease Compatibility:
The grease you use for the blade spindle assemblies must have these properties:
 NLGI grade 2
 Lithium thickener (NOT LITHIUM COMPLEX OR LITHIUM 12-HYDROXY)
 Kinematic Viscosity at 40°C is no greater than 190 cSt
 Dropping Point Less than 400° F
 General Purpose Grease, Not Heavy Duty
 No MOLY (molybdenum disulphide) additives in the grease
 No synthetic grease
 No High Temperature Grease
 Check the properties of the grease you wish to use with your supplier prior to use.


Makes sense that you don't need EP (heavy duty) and high temp. for spindle bearings. I will continue to use Lithium Complex # 2. The overwhelming opinion is no moly in spindle bearings.
How fast do the spindle bearing rotate under full throttle of a 24 hp motor? What is their normal operating temperature?
 
A quick Google search shows mower spindle speeds as 2800 to 3600 rpms. I know that commercial mowers tend to run at higher blade tip speed (up to 19,000 fpm) than homeowner models.

Is this considered high speed and does it create high temperature??? I don't know. I would think it is not extreme pressure (EP). Who knows?? I just know that in spite of the information in my link suggesting a multi-purpose lithium grease, I'm still going to use the high temp., moderate EP lithium complex #2 to keep my grease choice simple. Others can seek the silver bullet best-of-the-best if they choose.

Approaching old age, I don't care about trivial things so much any more. Lunatic politics, crazy drivers, unnecessary wars, health issues, family.........................so much more important. But, this lubrication stuff IS fun in a hobby type of way.
 
found the fact sheet it says valvoline full synthetic gray moly fortified grease has 2.5% moly.
Is it so that the existing grease in the spindles will not be compatabile with this moly additives with full synthetic graese?
my user manual is not as explicit saying No Moly , No Heavy Duty, No High temp, No lithium complex as the one posted few posts before. That mower seems to be very state of art.
 
I'm up to three grease guns. One has a tacky EP barium base moly grease which I use in chassis or slow moving bearings, like on my Cub. It resists washout well. Another gun has lithium base wheel bearing grease which I use on the blade spindles and higher speed bearings. The other is a silicone base, which I mostly use on rubber and urethane bushings.
It seems I grease much less than I used to, but the lube applications are considerably more specialized.
 
Anyone mechanically knowledgeable here. This video says that in the mower spindle , you basically are greasing the shaft not the bearing. He even confirms that in comments.
If this is true, whether you use moly or non moly. You are not greasing bearing anyways

 
This is curious, I will have to revisit my manual. I’ve got an Ariens Apex 60” which seems to fall into the pro-sumer range (24HP Kawasaki but “only” 18k fpm blades) and I’ve had it going on 4 years and haven’t found a single zerk anywhere. Haven’t even had to replace any belts, but I’m getting by with about 40 hrs per year.

If the manual shows any zerks, I will likely use Schaeffer’s 238 which is the only grease I have, at 5% moly. Guess I’ll FAFO… 😱
 
This is curious, I will have to revisit my manual. I’ve got an Ariens Apex 60” which seems to fall into the pro-sumer range (24HP Kawasaki but “only” 18k fpm blades) and I’ve had it going on 4 years and haven’t found a single zerk anywhere. Haven’t even had to replace any belts, but I’m getting by with about 40 hrs per year.

If the manual shows any zerks, I will likely use Schaeffer’s 238 which is the only grease I have, at 5% moly. Guess I’ll FAFO… 😱
does it have replaceable hydrostatic filters?
 
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