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Universal Joint Lubrication

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Simon Hyslop
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 3:30 pm

Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Simon Hyslop » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:01 pm

Reading a post recently which mentioned the greasing of universal joints reminded me of something which I thought may be of some general interest. In an early 1950s catalogue I have of Hardy Spicer joints, the makers say on no account is grease to be used in the lubrication of all universal joints fitted with lubricators, SAE 140 oil to be used instead. The reason is that the joint is fitted with an oil reservoir and the oil is intended to flow through the joint to the rollers.

I do appreciate that, off the top of my head, all the lubrication charts provided by the oil companies and the car makers do show greasing these joints as the thing to do but all I can do is tell you what Hardy Spicer themselves said. Of course, the sliding spline should be greased but since reading this, I've been going through a process of purging the UJs of the grease I have faithfully filled them all with and refilled them with 140. I doubt I shall notice a difference but I thought it may be worth passing on.

Stan Thomas
Posts: 502
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:14 pm
Location: Penkridge. Staffs.

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Stan Thomas » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:04 am

Simon is quite right about lubricating u/j's, and we were taught that when I served my time.

Whilst 140 oil is better than grease, it could be that in the early days EP oils contained sulphur, which would attack bronze bushes etc (but theres no bronze in a u/j), so grease was recommended. Also, if chassis lubrication was by 140 oil, the frequency of application would have to be increased.

Note the Conquest range and cars with automatic chassis lubrication recommended the use of oil.

Does anyone remember Marfak? It was as thick as pudding and the advert for it showed how it did not splatter when a dollop was hit with a hammer? - and Cord rings for worn engines - and those demister thinggies you attached to the screen with two suckers - and that bit of plastic you put on the front of the bonnet to supposedly deflect the snow - and that ................. Happy days.

simonp
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:59 am
Location: Birmingham

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by simonp » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:51 am

These days I believe UJs are supplied with sealed greased for life lubrication although the ones just replaced on the SP 250 still have grease nipples.

SimonP
Daimler SP 250 - "To feel its eager response as you open up is to know a new motoring adventure"(Sales brochure) The adventure continues!

Stan Thomas
Posts: 502
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:14 pm
Location: Penkridge. Staffs.

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Stan Thomas » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:35 pm

"Sealed for life bearings" don't exactlly say how long (or rather short) that life expectancy is supposed to be.

1949startinghandle
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:56 pm

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by 1949startinghandle » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:15 pm

yes as recommended, I got a garage to oil my UJs on the Lanchester 14, I even supplied the oil gun with 140 oil.

JT7196
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:22 am

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by JT7196 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:43 pm

Hi, I think I'm right in saying, that the U/J's as fitted to Triumph 2000 Drive Shafts were fitted with Grease Nipples.

Cheers A'l

Dobbinridesagain
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Location: Gloucester

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Dobbinridesagain » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:49 pm

Show someone a grease nipple and nowadays they'll unquestioningly put grease into it.

The trunnions on the TR6 are supposed to be oiled, but are frequently greased.

I must admit I never thought of oiling a uj, but looking at the Conquest owner's handbook it does indeed say EP140. Well well.
And something called Mobil Spring oil for the leaf springs. That's another new one.

Ivor

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Dave Glyde
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Location: Dartford.Kent

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Dave Glyde » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:23 pm

Why oil instead of grease ? Grease is only oil with thickeners added. Both oil and grease will prevent or minimise friction between surfaces assuming your using correct grade. I always thought used oil to dissipate heat as well as lubricate and advantage of grease is that would remain within a void with minimum sealing.
Dave in Dartford
1948 DB18/2.

Simon Hyslop
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 3:30 pm

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by Simon Hyslop » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:36 am

Why oil. Because the oil is supposed to be flung round inside the joint and not just be static the way grease is. Grease never moves wherever it is put. That's why filling hubs with grease is a waste of time. The new grease never changes place with the grease that is actually in the moving parts. The rollers in a universal joint are very small and the idea is that they are constantly charged with new(ish) oil being flung around inside the joint.

The railways weren't far off the mark with total loss lubrication, fill an oiler at the start of the day and let it all run out during the course of a journey. That's why chassis lubrication system work so well if they are in good condition and also why regular oiling (or greasing, if you must) of chassis joints with a small amount of lubricant applied often is the best way of preventing wear.

1949startinghandle
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:56 pm

Re: Universal Joint Lubrication

Post by 1949startinghandle » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:28 pm

Dave Glyde wrote:Why oil instead of grease ? Grease is only oil with thickeners added. Both oil and grease will prevent or minimise friction between surfaces assuming your using correct grade. I always thought used oil to dissipate heat as well as lubricate and advantage of grease is that would remain within a void with minimum sealing.
yes, like oil is really just treacle with the sugar removed.

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