Grease Zerks for Stihl String Trimmers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cpel2004, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    I will admit in the beginning I did very little maintenance, but I learned the hard way maintenance is a heck of alot cheaper and more convenient than repair cost.

    How and how often should I grease my gear head on my string trimmers. Is there some way to add grease zerk's to my trimmers?
     
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    I have an Stihl FS85 trimmer. I too asked the question about putting a zerk in the grease plug. A former Shindawia trimmer had the same issue, and I found a zerk that would fit.

    I took out the plug and used a test platform in the local NAPA store, a board with many stub bolts and many nuts, used for trying a bolt or nut for proper fit. I learned the size is 11mm. I also have learned there are no 11mm grease zerks to be found. My intent was to use it only for greasing the gear box (also on the stick edger). I would take out the plug, insert the zerk, grease, then remove the zerk, replace the plug.

    The only suggestion made to me was to buy an 11mm plug, then drill a hole in the center, tap it out for a standard sized grease zerk. I have not done this.

    Stihl does make grease in a tube to be used in these gear boxes. The tube has exactly the right sized threaded fitting to screw into the hole. The intent is to take out the plug, screw in the tube, squeeze out the grease, remove the tube, replace the plug. The tubes of grease are not so easy to find, and are VERY expensive. I felt a good grade of grease, lube intended for heavy duty, hight-temperature applications, would work fine.

    Perhaps Stihl makes too much money on the small tubes of grease to make the greasing operation simple.
     
  3. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    Thanks Roger, I will call them tomorrow to find a supporting dealer.
     
  4. regl

    regl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    The tubes that screw in work well and your not using very much so cost should not be a problem. The biggest problem I have with it , is trying to find it when I need it.
     
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,797

    you don't want a zerk in their, unscrew the female zerk from the grease gun and it will screw directly into the bolt hole on the trimmer. a zerk can snap off when banged against something on the trailer or truck or when using it. then it has to be drilled out and tapped and in the mean time you have a open trimmer head picking up every piece of sand and grit by the end of the day you will have put 5 years of wear on the head. Stihl does not want zerks in their commercial trimer heads, it makes for a weak point. grease every 40 hrs of hard use. If you really want a trimmer head with a zerk buy a homeowner trimmer like a weedeater they have them at walmart
     
  6. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Roger,

    What do you consider very expensive. I just bought one of those tubes, I have seen them at every Stihl dealer I have been to, and I believe the tube was $4 or $5 out the door. I know that is quite a bit more than one would pay for a full size tube, or even a tub, of grease once you adjust for volume. But with one tube, you can grease about 5 gearboxes. I think you are supposed to grease them once a year or so. So it doesn't really work out to that much, especially with the convenience of the screw on future of the tube like you mentioned.
     
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,797


    Roger if you take off the female zerk on your grease gun the threaded hose screws into the head.
     
  8. ed2150

    ed2150 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    I was told by a factory rep that people might tend to overgrease gearheads if a fitting was installed; too much grease can be a problem too.

    I've found if I remove the plug and just hold the grease gun fitting up against the hole it will inject grease just fine.
     
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    I assumed the lube that was made available(Echo in my case) was special type for gear heads. It is pretty simple to unscrew the male cap on Echo and simply check grease amount and put a little in from the tube. Since this is a closed gearbox that if you stuff it full it may damage seals when it get hot and these really really get hot on Echo.
     
  10. outlaw1960

    outlaw1960 LawnSite Senior Member
    from denver
    Posts: 307

    All of my Shondaiwa's came with grease zerks, 91-94 models. Never had a problem with them breaking off, they are still in service, also.
     

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