Best way to use whole grease cartridge?
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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to use whole grease cartridge?

    I understand that this is probably an embarrassingly beginner question, and I really don't have any background experience. I have a lever action grease gun, and I have a gear box which will require approximately two 14 oz. cartridges of grease to lubricate properly. The gear box is currently empty.

    I already have the grease cartridges that I need, but I would love to be able to just empty them completely in one stroke as opposed to going through the process of loading them into the lever grease gun and emptying them 1 gram at a time. Is there an easy way to do this?

    As a follow up question, it appears that the previous owner had dumped some kind of oil in the gear box. It either leaked, spilled, or was drained out prior to me getting it. There is almost none left in there. Should I do some kind of rinsing step before applying the proper grease in there or would I be safe in assuming that a tiny amount of contamination at this stage would not cause any problems. The reason I had to get this special grease is because I am lubricating the gearbox of an old Parks planer and there are some bronze and possibly other old yellow metal bushings in there and I needed to fine the proper, non-corrosive lubricant.

    Thanks,

    Andy

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    If you have an opening in the gear box as large as the grease tube you could load a tube and leave the pump off the tube. Could be hard to hold the tube when you release the spring. You could also remove the plunger so you don't have to deal with the spring pressure.

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    Are you sure that gearbox actually calls for grease?

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    I am with Ray. What sort of gearbox takes grease that comes from tubes?

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    Andy,

    Any grease other than a triple 000 will channel and won't lubricate anything...are you absolutely sure you want a grease and not a gear lube. Often the term grease is used indiscriminately. Small right angle gear reducers use a bronze worm gear and steel worm and they too require a lube that's sensitive to yellow metals. That lube is typically a AGMA 460 gear lube that's available in small squeeze bottles from someone such as Motion Industries or an outlet that sells those gearboxes.

    A 'grease' just doesn't sound right in that amount!

    Stuart

    EDIT. I just did a search on Parks planers and they appear quite crude. The picture actually shows the top of the gear box removed and the cavity full of grease and wood chips. If you are going to full the box with grease, can you remove this top to gain access? If so, it's a simple matter of squeezing the 14 1/2 oz tubes into the gear box just like you would squeeze a toothpaste tube empty. Enclosed is a link to a oil seal retrofit for a planer..don't know if it your same machine.

    http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=618

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    Could be something like Cornhead grease, popular in leaky old gearboxes.






    If I had to put it in through a small hole, I'd pump the gun, won't take as long as rigging up something else.

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    Although the gearbox itself hasn't changed much over the years, the lubrication specification has varied a bit over the years, possibly as market availability of certain grease types have changed.

    In the early 1950's the manual stated- "The gear box should be lubricated with 1/2 to 1 lb. of soft pressure-gun grease obtainable at automobile service stations."

    A few years late the manual advised- "The gear box should be lubricated with 1/2 to 1 pound of transmission
    grease. Anyone of the following is suitable : Standard Oil Indiana Superla No. 39, Texaco Star grease No. 00, or Shell Unedo cup grease No.1. "

    The 1980 manual states- "The gear box should be lubricated with 1 lb. of soft grease. We suggest Exxon Lidok EP 1 or equivalent."

    My understanding from the OWWM forum was that the closest we could come to this grease specification easily today was the Mobligrease CM-L spec NLG1 grease, which is what I purchased for this task from Grainger.

    I can easily take the cover off of the gearbox and squeeze the grease right in. I hadn't realized that the toothpaste method was an option, but that definitely seems the simplest. Thank you so much.

    This is a picture of the gearbox with the access cover off.

    parksgearbox2.jpg

    Does anybody think I should try to rinse or clean this out somehow before adding the new grease?

    Thanks so much,

    Andy

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    Andy,

    If you are going to replace the existing stuff with any of the greases you mention above I would merely take a stick or screwdriver and dig out as much of the old stuff as possible. A NLGI1 grease isn't very thin...it won't slump run or sag, and this is the problem. Those gears will plow a 'channel' right through it and that's about the end of the lubrication. Mud is on the right track with the Cornhead grease...this is used in steering boxes on old rigs as they aren't sealed well and this stuff won't run out...it's a cross between a gear oil and a grease.

    You can thin your grade 1 grease with oil or gear lube to any consistency you desire. This will enable it to wash onto the gears and chain but still be stiff enough not to puke out any external openings. My thought would be a grade 00 or 000 but it's hard to argue with the factory recommendations.

    Stuart

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    I wonder what the factory says about that top hole for lube. It better be really runny grease for it to get up there and go in that hole.

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    That top hole is for the cutterhead bearings and the manual says put bearing grease in there.

    Andy

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    IIRC, the cornhead grease is called a semi-fluid grease, it liquifies when it is churned up and resolidifies when it sits. Not sure about the NGLI number.

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    The case appears to have a chunk broken or cut out at the rear top right. Looks like it will be hard to keep anything in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    The case appears to have a chunk broken or cut out at the rear top right. Looks like it will be hard to keep anything in there.
    Methinks it's a slot for the adjustable (powered) top infeed roll...but I might be OTL. Sealing the gear box wasn't a priority for Parks evidently.

    Stuart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    IIRC, the cornhead grease is called a semi-fluid grease, it liquifies when it is churned up and resolidifies when it sits. Not sure about the NGLI number.
    NLGI Grade 0, John Deere Part number AN102562 for tubes. Its available in cans and buckets too.

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    I'd fill the gearbox with kerosene and flush it out after letting it sit for a couple days. Then fill with EP1 and run it to see how the grease acts. If it channels, mix some gear oil 90-140 in with the grease to help it flow. Overly simplified, grease is just oil with a binder.

    Oh yeah, for the tube leave the metal cap on, roll it flat and squeeze the grease out the open end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    Sealing the gear box wasn't a priority for Parks evidently.
    Maybe that's the whole reason for the grease recommendation. "Where you can't have metal, at least have grease" :-)

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    Is soaking with Kerosene safe for yellow metals? Also, what do you flush it with? If you thin the grease with gear lube will it still be safe for yellow metals?

    You can probably tell I am a little concerned about the yellow metal corrosion of certain lubricants, although the whole thing seems a little mysterious.

    It is true that Parks did not make much effort to seal the gearbox. That groove on the top stays open and the grease does not get up that high.

    Thanks,

    Andy

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    Andy,

    I sure don't see any brass or bronze in the pictured gear box. Aren't the bearings Babbitt?

    Some extreme pressure (EP) additives in gear lubes such a Sulfur or Chlorine will attack yellow metals, but it takes a very long time for them do any harm, and this typically is only minor etching. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    Soaking with Kerosene or solvent will not hurt anything. If you clean the chain be sure to slop plain old oil onto it before you button up the box..grease will have a difficult time getting into the guts of the chain pins and rollers, oil will soak right in.

    Stuart

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    I've had the same Parks planer for at least 20 years. It was loose when I got it, so I put in some new bearings in the gearbox. Even with the new bearings, it leaked with straight gear oil, so I use a mix of gear oil and grease. Cut way down on the leaking. It has always been very noisy, as the large gear that runs against the small gear on the cutterhead is badly worn. Will probably have to replace it some day, but I can't see that it will do much damage even if it fails completely so will wait until then.

    The gear oil / grease mix is not quite liquid at room temp, but is fluid enough to be flung around inside the gearbox and coats everything completely. When the machine is not running, it doesn't leak too much.

    I am very familiar with the GL3/GL4/GL5 gear oil problems as I have a couple of old Gravely tractors, and some of the implements have brass or bronze parts in their gearboxes. The gearboxes were made in the days of GL3 oils, which contained some sulfur-bearing additives that attack the yellow metals - but not enough to do any damage. The GL5 oils are made to resist much higher pressures and contain a higher percentage of those same sulfur-bearing additives - enough so that they will damage yellow metals. Which is why I use the GL3 gear oils in the Gravely implements, and in the Parks. Some of the GL5 gear oils claim to include buffering agents or use additives that are safe for yellow metals, but who cares? The GL3 oils give more than enough protection for these older applications, and as long as they are available that's what I'll use.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    Andy,

    I sure don't see any brass or bronze in the pictured gear box. Aren't the bearings Babbitt?

    Stuart
    Babbitt? Sort of.....

    The cutterhead bearings are ball bearings, but the races are set in poured Babbitt. Seems like an odd way to do things, but I guess it was easier to pour Babbitt (with a dummy shaft with bearing-size collars) than to precision bore the castings.

    The bearings on the feed shafts inside the gearbox are bronze or brass.

    John

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