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View Full Version : how do you grease spindles?


Barrett Landscaping
01-26-2011, 06:15 PM
how do you guys grease your spindles. It is time for me to do it and looking for advise.:usflag:

SouthSide Cutter
01-26-2011, 06:27 PM
12V grease gun 5 shots on low twice a week, with Lucas syn grease. Never had to replace a spindle on any mower in 12yrs. 2000hrs on one mower!!!

rreyn1812
01-26-2011, 06:30 PM
Depends on the mower! Some mowers aren't designed for it. For those that are, make sure the fitting is clean, the end of the grease gun is clean, you are using the correct grease iaw manufacturers' specifications, and you apply an appropriate # of pumps of the gun (I generally do about 5 or 6 and I've never seen anyone say exactly what is the correct amount!).

Barrett Landscaping
01-26-2011, 06:35 PM
i run all scag mowers. is there a nipple that i shoot it into? sorry, i am new to scags.

djagusch
01-26-2011, 06:36 PM
While its not always convenent greasing them after use (warm bearings) gets the grease in there good.
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djagusch
01-26-2011, 06:38 PM
i run all scag mowers. is there a nipple that i shoot it into? sorry, i am new to scags.

See your service manual for grease points or ask the dealer. Depending on the model there can be 10 plus points to hit.
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oldclawn
01-26-2011, 06:42 PM
YES--see you dealer and down;oad the manual right from scag website. This is all basic stuff and if you're asking here you need to develope a dealer relationship asap.

BINKY1902
01-26-2011, 08:27 PM
I use Lucas synthetic as well. You can get a grease gun for around $20. Be sure to grease according to the manual. Overgreasing can be just as bad as not greasing at all. If a part needs grease it will have an alemite installed on it, which is what your calling a nipple. I would let the dealer go over the routine maintenance with you before you attempt anything yourself.

mowerbrad
01-26-2011, 08:37 PM
Service manuals and the dealer are great resources for this information.

I know for my JD, greasing is to be done every 50 hours (per the manual), so everytime the oil gets changed, everything gets greased as well. I usually do 2-3 pumps with a high quality grease (lucas in my case). Some components are sealed and don't require greasing and others require the greasing at the recommended intervals.

If you use your machine in very harsh/demanding conditions, you may consider greasing more frequently.

por911
01-26-2011, 08:40 PM
I use Lucas synthetic as well. You can get a grease gun for around $20. Be sure to grease according to the manual. Overgreasing can be just as bad as not greasing at all. If a part needs grease it will have an alemite installed on it, which is what your calling a nipple. I would let the dealer go over the routine maintenance with you before you attempt anything yourself.

Good advice but not the whole story. Just because there may not be a fitting does not mean it does not need to be greased. I have seen many plugs where there should be grease fittings. I believe the plugs are there to prevent breakage. I would replace the plugs with proper fittings.

StihlBR600
01-26-2011, 08:45 PM
My Toro had zerk fittings in each spindle. I usually grease them once a month, 5 pumps each spindle. Havent had any problems yet. Im not so fond of the greasless spindles Exmark has though. I had an Exmark Quest and it had nongreasable spindles. After 94 hours one of the spindles went. I know its not a commercial mower but ever since that i dont want spindles you cant grease.

Pennington Lawncare
01-26-2011, 09:26 PM
A good thread that covers the greasing of bearing can be found here

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=293732&highlight=grease+spindles

I know the title of the thread is about greasable and non-greasable bearings but, the discussion about how to know how much grease is discussed thoroughly.

Patriot Services
01-26-2011, 09:32 PM
Pump until it just oozes past the seal. This pushes out the old grease and any grit that got past the seal. Always wipe the zerk first for the same reason. Remember grease is a coolant as well as a lubricant.
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Agape
01-26-2011, 10:08 PM
I use Lucas synthetic as well. You can get a grease gun for around $20. Be sure to grease according to the manual. Overgreasing can be just as bad as not greasing at all. If a part needs grease it will have an alemite installed on it, which is what your calling a nipple. I would let the dealer go over the routine maintenance with you before you attempt anything yourself.

mine has a nipple.

Jason Rose
01-26-2011, 10:27 PM
Alemite? That's one I've NEVER heard before. The standard term is a grease "zerk" or just grease fitting.

I grease my spindles every 50 hours or so, like most others 5 to 6 pumps. I also use Lucas grease. It's not that much more expensive and I like the idea of better grease. i've never had a spindle fail on a good commercial mower.

I don't know how some don't even know if their mower has them or not? Seems like your eyes should be looking the mower over frequently and you should see things like that. If you are buying a machine you are unfimilar with you SHOULD use that owners and service manual that came with it!! Good thing you don't have a Walker, they have about 35 or so zerks to grease and some are pretty hard to find!

lifetree
01-26-2011, 10:56 PM
Alemite? That's one I've NEVER heard before. The standard term is a grease "zerk" or just grease fitting. I grease my spindles every 50 hours or so, like most others 5 to 6 pumps. ... Good thing you don't have a Walker, they have about 35 or so zerks to grease and some are pretty hard to find!

Same here, I've only ever heard them referred to as gease "zerks" or "fittings" !! I grease every 50 hours also, however, I only use 4 pumps on my grease gun.

35 grease points on a Walker, that's very poor design.

Jason Rose
01-26-2011, 11:03 PM
Same here, I've only ever heard them referred to as gease "zerks" or "fittings" !! I grease every 50 hours also, however, I only use 4 pumps on my grease gun.

35 grease points on a Walker, that's very poor design.

You need to look at a Walker closer. It's actually very smart. Every pivot point for belt idlers/tensioners, levers, drive shaft, deck hangers, front and rear casters and wheels, etc. has a zerk. Instead of nothing there at all like most machines. However, if the owner fails to keep things properly lubed it can lead to problems down the road. When you buy a Walker you WANT a walker because you know what they do and you accept the level of maintenance they require. I was working on mine yesterdaym replacing the blower, and it just amazes me how well engineered they are! There is nearly zero clearence between components under the body yet everything fits and works. Even all the belts can be removed and replaced with no tools.

I looked up "Alemite" on google. It's a brand name for a company that makes grease guns, industrial type stuff, and they also claim to be the inventor of the ZERK fitting. they call it a zerk though, lol.

grassman177
01-26-2011, 11:06 PM
See your service manual for grease points or ask the dealer. Depending on the model there can be 10 plus points to hit.
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no offense, but for the question and info provided, this is the best answer. the only answer is in the maint manual, and to what we use would be a grease gun.

there are several types of grease guns. you may have to get several different tips, or the best all round is a 3ft flex on a hand pump type gun. this allows you do get into the very odd parts on any mower i have ever used it on. great for pto shafts like on kubota and i am sure the scag riders.

BINKY1902
01-27-2011, 12:23 AM
Good advice but not the whole story. Just because there may not be a fitting does not mean it does not need to be greased. I have seen many plugs where there should be grease fittings. I believe the plugs are there to prevent breakage. I would replace the plugs with proper fittings.

Yes some vehicles and equipment come with plugs, and the alemite is added at the time of the first service.

bc3xx0
01-27-2011, 12:47 AM
Alemite? That's one I've NEVER heard before. The standard term is a grease "zerk" or just grease fitting.


Alemite is a brand. It's like calling a tissue a kleenex.

Pretty common to be called that by someone that worked in an industry that delt with them on the regular.

BINKY1902
01-27-2011, 12:53 AM
You need to look at a Walker closer. It's actually very smart. Every pivot point for belt idlers/tensioners, levers, drive shaft, deck hangers, front and rear casters and wheels, etc. has a zerk. Instead of nothing there at all like most machines. However, if the owner fails to keep things properly lubed it can lead to problems down the road. When you buy a Walker you WANT a walker because you know what they do and you accept the level of maintenance they require. I was working on mine yesterdaym replacing the blower, and it just amazes me how well engineered they are! There is nearly zero clearence between components under the body yet everything fits and works. Even all the belts can be removed and replaced with no tools.

I looked up "Alemite" on google. It's a brand name for a company that makes grease guns, industrial type stuff, and they also claim to be the inventor of the ZERK fitting. they call it a zerk though, lol.

Yeah I got the term alemite about 12 years ago when I was starting out as a millwright. The old timers called them alemites. Kinda like the term "pulley", we say "sheave".

Swampy
01-27-2011, 01:37 AM
I was always told to leave the "glob" of grease on till the next greasing, whipe it off and fill. That way airborne dirt particals don't coat the fitting and gets pumped into it.

Toro is nice to include the data on the plate behind the seat with the intervals. Kind of dumby proofs it. But decks are done every other day minimum of 3 pumps or that slight popping sounds of the air escaping.

bc3xx0
01-27-2011, 02:18 AM
I was always told to leave the "glob" of grease on till the next greasing, whipe it off and fill. That way airborne dirt particals don't coat the fitting and gets pumped into it.


But then you look like you have a dog turd hanging on the zerk by the time you go to grease it again!! Not to mention you get it all over you if you brush by it, or a bigger mess if it somehow gets smeared.

I can't stand excess grease hanging around!!

dhardin53
01-27-2011, 03:35 AM
only was to go. Makes job so much easier.

grassman177
01-27-2011, 08:40 AM
yup, that is a nice one, wehave one like that but is air powered, and then a one handed pump similar to that, and then two with standard handles , one with 2ft flex, and the other a fixed nozzle

Sammy
01-27-2011, 10:53 AM
In 1924, the Allyne-Zerk Company of Cleveland, Ohio was purchased by Alemite, and the Zerk line of lubrication fittings and hand grease guns was added to the Alemite line. The Zerk design, named after Oscar Zerk, used a fitting much smaller than the Alemite pin-type and did not lock the hose coupler or hand gun and fitting together.

One problem with grease guns is that the strokes-per-ounce vary from one manufacturer to the next. Because this is not consistent, it is important to know how much grease the gun delivers to avoid under- or over lubrication.

Another important factor to consider is that high-pressure grease guns can deliver grease at pressures greater than 10,000 psi, however most bearing lip seals are unable to withstand more than 500 psi.

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/584/grease-gun

Pressedun
01-27-2011, 11:03 AM
mine has a nipple.

The best nipple is a properly lubed nipple...

nolanjim
01-27-2011, 11:10 AM
About 5 pumps here. I had a friend that didn't know anything about greasing so showed him. It took 30 pumps to lube the castor arm.
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Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 11:26 AM
I don't get the number of pumps thing. That can vary by gun, seal condition, operating temps, interval and many other variables. I was always taught you pump until the seal just swells and clean grease is seen. This is the same whether it's a bearing, u-joint, tie-rod or pivot point.
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grassman177
01-27-2011, 01:02 PM
I don't get the number of pumps thing. That can vary by gun, seal condition, operating temps, interval and many other variables. I was always taught you pump until the seal just swells and clean grease is seen. This is the same whether it's a bearing, u-joint, tie-rod or pivot point.
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ditto man, until it is full. this is a few pumps to 10. never know, just make it full

SouthSide Cutter
01-27-2011, 01:07 PM
What some post on here got me to look at my manual. And a lot of people believe their manual to be the gospel.
Well mine says
Front caster bearings every 100hrs
Spindles every 50hrs
Drive shaft u joints every 50hrs
Drive shaft slip joint every 100hrs.
I dont agree with this and will bet if you go by this guide line you will have to replace something right after the war goes out or before.
If you grease something and it takes grease and does not come out the seals it needed grease. This is the way things need to be greased. And the man does not give the number of pps either. But just go by the manual and everything will be okay!!

nolanjim
01-27-2011, 01:26 PM
5 is just the average it takes be full. Just a reference point.
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Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 01:27 PM
The problem with manuals is they are written under one set of factory conditions. We all operate our equipment under a huge variety of conditions. Knowing how and when is what seperates a service tech or an operator from a seasoned mechanic.
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