greasing the driveshaft

Messages
486
Location
Morrice, MI
About how much grease should be squirted into the grease fittings of the driveshaft? I have read anywhere from 2 pumps to half a can of grease per oil change. Kind of a big difference in opinion.
 
Messages
3,202
Location
Far North East Texas
Are you referring to the universal joints at the ends of the driveshaft, or a splined slip-joint somewhere in between? If the U-joints, pump *carefully* just until you see a trace of a bulge in the little rubber seals, & then STOP. You may see a little grease come out without seeing a bulge. If so, when you see it, STOP. If a slip-joint somewhere in the middle, pump until you see the two pieces move apart(it'll only be a tiny fraction of an inch, watch carefully), or until grease begins to come out of the grease-bleeder hole, if so equipped- those bleeder holes were fairly rare as I remember. Anyhoo, that's how I was taught to do it long ago. The important thing is to get under there & grease it! [Wink] [Cheers!]
 
Messages
43,667
Location
'Stralia
I don't like to see the two sections of driveshaft pump apart. Given the viscosity of the grease, if you have a decent amount of rapid shaft axial movement (i.e. hitting a decent bump on a freshly greased drive-sahft), there's a lot of axial load being generated somewhere.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
If this is a two piece driveshaft with (what is often referred to as) a center carrier bearing ..it's a pillow block bearing. Pump it til it pukes. These are the same thing that we used on our cooling tower fans minus the rubber cage for vibration dampening.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
It always seems more grease comes out two or three of the ends and one will barley leak out. Makes me think that one is plugging with old hardened grease or something. Anyways, the more you grease those things the better. But is it better to have the non-greasable type? My wife's Aerostar has 115,000 miles on it and is still running the factory u-joints! I had them checked last summer and the shop said they are fine.
 
Messages
489
Location
Colorado
The old style zerk-fitted greaseable joints are OK as long as you keep greasing them regularly to flush out dirt and moisture. The sealed joints last because they are more-or-less impervious to dirt and moisture.
 
Messages
971
Location
Boston
Count yourself lucky with having any grease fittings at all. Lube the one on the outer most part at the rear as this is the splined shaft that is reffered to. I usually do 4 or 5 squirts each oil change here as this is an important one to keep free after the initial loading of this area with 10 or more. I have a rare vehicle with u-joints all having fittings from factory ( Toyota ). In these I only do 1 squirt at each change because you really don't want to stretch out the little rubber seals in there that could lead to pre-mature failure. As far as the ones without fittngs go, I've never had them last over 60,000 miles. If you hear a noise with the windows down... that sounds like you are dragging a bunch of coathangers... go get yourself some new u-joints as you will need them soon.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,959
Location
The Motor City
I don't see the big deal with bulging of the seals and flushing all the old grease out. The seals are elastic. They'll bulge to let the excess grease out, then return to their normal position once all excess grease has purged. Movement of the grease is in one direction until the pressure is gone, so I don't see any danger of letting contaminants in.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
My '84 Peugeot 505 had a torque-tube enclosing the drive shaft. There was a center carrier bearing and exposed grease nipple, but no way to observe grease squishing out of the hidden bearing. I just gave the exposed nipple two pumps o' the ol' grease gun lever and called it quits at each oil change. Always kinda wondered how much waste grease ended up lining the inner wall of that torque-tube. <i>Sacre bleue</i> ! - <i>Le</i> Frog <i>technologie</i>...
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by Kestas: I don't see the big deal with bulging of the seals ... They'll bulge to let the excess grease out, then return to their normal position once all excess grease has purged.
The way I read it in my '71 Plymouth's shop manual was that the outer edge of the seal had a raised lip that fit securely into a groove at manufacture to seal the ball joint from external nasties. If too much grease was pumped under pressure, the lip of the seal would blow out of its sealing groove thereby allowing moisture and dirt in over time. No worse than previous unsealed ball joints, but thereafter needing as frequent attention as previous style unsealed ball joints until the joint would eventually be replaced due to normal wear.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,959
Location
The Motor City
I understand the need to limit grease in sealed ball joints, but not on universal joints. I figured this discussion was limited to u-joints and driveshaft-related lubrication.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H: My '84 Peugeot 505 had a torque-tube enclosing the drive shaft. There was a center carrier bearing and exposed grease nipple, but no way to observe grease squishing out of the hidden bearing. I just gave the exposed nipple two pumps o' the ol' grease gun lever and called it quits at each oil change. Always kinda wondered how much waste grease ended up lining the inner wall of that torque-tube. Sacre bleue ! - Le Frog technologie...
I had a 79 504 wagon. Same deal. I did a bit more then you. I even put it up on a lift and had the thing spinning while I cranked the grease in. I also got reminded to do the knuckle at the trans end. I don't think that you had this since I think you had IRS and the tube was probably fixed. I had some trip through some state park (dirt roads) and that thing really didn't want to allow the axle to articulate. You wouldn't feel it on normal roads.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
Greasing every oil change probably is not enough, especially with us longer OCI BITOG folks. I suppose one should grease the u-joints about every month. But as much as I love oil changes (actually the only really good part is pouring the fresh oil in), I absolutely hate doing grease jobs.
 
Messages
3,332
Location
Bolivia
If you are using the vehicle in slow speed dry, paved streets, any of the above will do. However, I not only service hundreds of off road vehicles, but have 12 that see very little pavement. I have daken apart dozens of failed U-Joints and center shaft bearings. I have refilled and cut splines in shafts. In 10 years I have learned: 1. Sealed U-joints (no fittings) are garbage. Live is less than 10,000 miles. Water and dust gets under the seals and rusts the little needle bearings. 2. Pump grease into U-Joints until it comes out of ALL 4 ends. There is often one that is hardened or dirty, not receiving the grease, and failing. It only takes one side to fail. 3. Use a high temp grease. There is a lot of heat generated internally and I have seen some famous brand greases used by the local Toyota dealer spin out and cover the underside of the chassis. 4. Use a water resistent grease. Crossing rivers and flooded streets turns lithium greases to a milky fluid. I use a Bentonite/graphite/moly grease. 5. The central bearings are not designed for water or dragging through sand and dust that is deeper than the chasis. It is positioned in the drive shaft for an "average" load, in the opinion of someone who never drives it. Driving with a heavier or lighter load changes the angle significantly on most vehicles and causes more stress on the bearing. Also, the vibration set up by a bad U-joint or an out-of-balance drive shaft causes severe wear. A lot of mechanics, when changing a U-Joint put the drive shaft on 180 from original, changing the counterweight position. Grease until the dirt and water comes out 6. The splines have little stress when used on level paved roads, and could probably get by on little. But the seals are either nonexistent or poor. A lot of water gets in when crossing floods or rivers. Everytime the wheels go up and down the drive shafte extends or contracts, dragging grease and dirt with it. When I went into the pit under my pickup at the end of a 1200 mile trip I saw the famous brand grease dripping from the spline. Grease heavily with a tacky water resistent grease.
 
Messages
267
Location
Idaho
quote:
Originally posted by widman: If you are using the vehicle in slow speed dry, paved streets, any of the above will do. However, I not only service hundreds of off road vehicles, but have 12 that see very little pavement. I have daken apart dozens of failed U-Joints and center shaft bearings. I have refilled and cut splines in shafts. In 10 years I have learned: 1. Sealed U-joints (no fittings) are garbage. Live is less than 10,000 miles. Water and dust gets under the seals and rusts the little needle bearings. 2. Pump grease into U-Joints until it comes out of ALL 4 ends. There is often one that is hardened or dirty, not receiving the grease, and failing. It only takes one side to fail. 3. Use a high temp grease. There is a lot of heat generated internally and I have seen some famous brand greases used by the local Toyota dealer spin out and cover the underside of the chassis. 4. Use a water resistent grease. Crossing rivers and flooded streets turns lithium greases to a milky fluid. I use a Bentonite/graphite/moly grease. 5. The central bearings are not designed for water or dragging through sand and dust that is deeper than the chasis. It is positioned in the drive shaft for an "average" load, in the opinion of someone who never drives it. Driving with a heavier or lighter load changes the angle significantly on most vehicles and causes more stress on the bearing. Also, the vibration set up by a bad U-joint or an out-of-balance drive shaft causes severe wear. A lot of mechanics, when changing a U-Joint put the drive shaft on 180 from original, changing the counterweight position. Grease until the dirt and water comes out 6. The splines have little stress when used on level paved roads, and could probably get by on little. But the seals are either nonexistent or poor. A lot of water gets in when crossing floods or rivers. Everytime the wheels go up and down the drive shafte extends or contracts, dragging grease and dirt with it. When I went into the pit under my pickup at the end of a 1200 mile trip I saw the famous brand grease dripping from the spline. Grease heavily with a tacky water resistent grease.
Experience like yours is vastly more meaningful than all of the grease salesmen in the world. Would you mind telling us exactly what brand/grade grease you prefer? Thanks, Joe
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,959
Location
The Motor City
We have a very good lube expert at work. He turned me on to Kluberplex BEM 34-132 for u-joint application. Here is some Product Data Information: "Kluberplex BEM 34-132 has the following characteristics: – excellent wear protection – good resistance to temperatures up to 140 °C – excellent resistance to water and ambient media – good corrosion protection – particularly good effect against micro motion – excellent resistance to ageing. Kluberplex BEM 34-132 is a special grease for many applications where extreme demands have to be met. It is particularly suitable for long-term and lifetime lubrication." So, in a nutshell, - This grease is best used in micro-motion application (such as u-joints). - It is calcium-based and has high washout resistance. - It can withstand elevated temperatures (140°C for 2400 hrs - roughly equivalent to 120,000 highway miles). I found a place that sells it on-line: Kluberplex BEM 34-132
 
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