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Subject: Stuck grease joints

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Brad    Posted 04-01-2020 at 22:03:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Stuck grease joints
  • Reading lubrication section for 8N tractor, found a lot of grease zerks not accepting lubrication due to the joints themselves being plugged up with old grease/residue.

    Perusing tractor repair forums & watching DIY videos, found a pretty simple, effective solution:

    Mix up homebrew penetrating fluid using oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, acetone (various recipes, see video link), use tool made to inject penetrating fluid under pressure into grease zerk, dissolving and removing old congealed, hardened grease, then Lube with regular grease of your choice (opinions vary, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMmSQSjraSE).

    These tools are really quite nifty, and if you look around enough online, you'll find some for around $8 with shipping, but if your tool is like the one I wound up with, you're going to have to do some modifications to make it work. Tool came without an end which would fit on grease zerk, so had to make an adapter from hardware store ingredients (still cheaper than purchasing major name brand tool).

    For adapter, used bolt that would screw into tool, that would also screw into grease gun zerk coupler, & drilled hole through bolt for grease passage then red Loctited homebrew adapter into grease gun coupler (necessary to obtain tight enough fitment).

    Here is video of one type of these tools, clearing out plugged grease joint:


    duey    Posted 04-02-2020 at 10:38:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • I think a good Hand grease gun will develop upwards of 6,000 PSI if you really get on it.. That is amazing!!

    Brad    Posted 04-02-2020 at 16:05:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • Scott Adams Quote: “There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives.”

    When you've grunted and groaned, cursed & moaned, pushed as hard as you can, & the 6000 PSI "handjob"s brought "no joy"? lol It's BFH "Hammer Time" with impact-hydraulic-impulse-tool, clearing out "stuck zerk grease joints"

    lol Best don't let yours get impacted, clear 'em out regular to keep 'em functional, so yer joints don't stiffen up! :-)

    duey    Posted 04-02-2020 at 19:49:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • I've also seen the quote: If Brute Force Isn't Working, You're Not Using Enough!

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 04-02-2020 at 05:32:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • I've had good success with old implements and such on grease Zerks by first applying some heat - a propane/butane torch will work fine, so it melts the hardened, waxed up grease. The heat will also help with the next step which is to remove the Zerk. A dab of penetrating oil like PB BLASTER after the heat will help. Use caution when you go to loosen the Zerks - they will snap off easily and then you will have a bigger issue at hand. Works for me.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    steveVa    Posted 04-02-2020 at 12:44:08 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • "they will snap off easily". Yes they do. That is the problem I have with tractors, boats and boat lifts. Getting them out then becomes drilling & tapping w/ new threads or sometimes a small EZ out. Any tricks you have would be appreciated. Our boat lift has 10 zerks that are hard to reach and clog up regularly. I even resorted to just drilling a new hole tapping it and adding a new Zirk. But sitting out in the sun and salt air I know that it will be clogged next year. I have considered removing the zirks, plugging the holes with a screw, and putting the zirks back when it is time to grease again. Still a PIA..

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 04-14-2020 at 05:16:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • I forgot to include my technique also uses a 6-POINT DEEP WELL socket and breaker bar after applying some heat to melt the hardened/waxy grease and soaking in PB BLASTER. I tried an impact wrench once and broke the Zerk so now just use this method where I can 'feel' the force and strain. Too much heat will work harden the steel so use wisely.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Brad    Posted 04-02-2020 at 16:40:39 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • imho, using an impact-hydraulic-impulse-zerk-clearing tool avoids removing zerk & is the way to go; the hydraulic impulse/light viscosity-penetrating fluid's delivered into joint driving out crud, so no digging nor disassembly. What's not to like? :-)

    Hard-to-reach grease zerks on heavy equipment and Industrial machines handled with grease manifolds having a network of tubes running to areas needing lubrication. Some're serviced via automatic grease pumps.

    System has fittings that screws in/replaces zerk, and accepts line from grease manifold. Kits, parts & pieces purchased via industrial supplies like Grainger, etc. There are also available numerous thread forming grease fittings to avoid tapping costs.

    Brad    Posted 04-02-2020 at 10:01:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • Thanks Tim! Good tip to know, using propane torch & heating up/liquefying hardened grease, should help out when using "grease-zerk-fitting-cleaning-tool" with "homemade penetrating fluid" flushing out residue clogging grease joint & preventing lubrication.

    Just not so much BOTH techniques, flame and flammable penetrating fluid(!) at the same time! >8'-@ After THAT for sure you'll want to "quit smoking" lol ;-) Good mounting fire extinguisher on tractor :-)

    Mike Wilson    Posted 04-02-2020 at 10:00:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Stuck grease joints
  • Careful not to use a tool that requires striking on a 90 or 45 angled fitting.
    I guess I'm just in a hurry, but I unscrew stuck zerks and put in a clean one after digging out as much hardened grease from the joint as I can. The old one goes in the can of solvent to use again later somewhere else. It's all about getting machinery working right now.

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