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bushing greasing problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by crew, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. crew

    crew LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I have not seen this particular problem mentioned, so here goes -

    I have two lazer Z's and rely on my workers to do at least some of the routine maintenance. I am constantly struggling with plugged grease fittings! I can usually clean most of them up and get them to take grease. Th exceptions seem to be the deck lifting arms. These connect to the chains on one end and the other end rotates on a shaft that runs parralell to the ground across the front and rear of the top of the deck . ( I hope this is a good explanation)

    I can remove the fittings and replace them with new ones and still no grease. What seems to have happened is the old grease has hardened. I can scrape a little out with a dental tool, but not nearly enough to clear a path for new grese to squeeze out or soften the hard stuff.

    Any body encountered and solved this problem?
  2. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    clean them out as best you can, spray them with some carb cleaner let sit do it again you may have to do it several times. then grease as usual. thats what has worked for me.

  3. gaunlet13

    gaunlet13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    You didn't say whether you are using a hand operated grease gun or a pneumatic. Pneumatic grease guns will put out about 7,500 to 10,000 psi. Hand operated guns put out about 1500 psi.
    If you have access to an air compressor you might try a pneumatic gun. I bought mine from Tractor Supply for ~$30. It eleminated the problem your having.

  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You can do two things. First, check your zerks, back them out just a tad bit, and see if they'll take it better that way. Sometimes, if they're in too far, they won't take. Also, you MAY even want to increase the frequency of ghreasing on these particular fittings. Do them every morning, with just a little bit of new grease, (enough to see it seap out) and that should keep the flow holes clear. I hope this helps!;)
  5. I once had a tool to clear plugged grease zerks. It was about the size of a ball point pen. You'd fill it with grease, put it on the fitting and hit the plunger with a hammer! I never had a grease fitting that it wouldn't clear. It sounds like a PITA, but it was lots easier than replacing zerks. It was really cheap too. Maybe $2 from one of those bins of tools you see in a parts store.

  6. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    zerks what a cool name maybe try another grease some stay greasier longer (hehe)
  7. the naked mower

    the naked mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    This is good advice on clearing and adjusting zerks, but I would suggest you need to take care of the originating problem.

    Grease shouldn't become brittle unless it is exposed to the air -- specifically, the hydrogen and the oxygen in the air -- for some time. It definitely shouldn't harden if you're adding it on a regular basis. And certain synthetic greases will never harden, unless you've got a vaccuum chamber at close to zero degrees Kelvin. Your inability to add grease is a symptom of what's wrong, and not the actual problem.

    If the grease in the bearing is so brittle as to crumble under the probing of a dental pick, then that's the real issue here. Adding more grease is the least of your concerns at this point; your major consideration should be that your deck-lift bearings aren't getting any more lubrication than if you had rubbed them with a bar of soap.

    Your other bearings are likely much more constantly active and therefore more likely to heat up. This will fluidize and encapsulate the caked lubricant enough so that it can flow out. The deck lifter, however, sees only occasional use, never gets warm, and so the problem will show up there at its worst.

    I'm betting you've got more than one kind of grease in the bearings. If you do, you're asking for trouble. Lithium grease especially does not like to be mixed, even with other lithium greases of slightly different formulation.

    Take a look here:

    Naturalawn Jim was right. Clean out your bearings and start fresh. Yes, it's messy, and yes, it will take a couple of hours. But just because nothing's happened yet doesn't mean you're getting away with it. Even though you may not have any trouble greasing a specific bearing, that doesn't mean it's healthy inside. The hardened grease you saw and picked at in one place may well be coagulated around a critical surface contact you can't see. Eventually, something expensive like a spindle or a wheel bearing may fail.

    Obviously, grease incompatibility isn't absolute -- after all, how many of us use the same stuff they put in at the factory, much less even know what it was -- but it's the cause of a lot of unexplained failures.

    If, on the other hand, you've never used anything but one particular brand of premium-grade grease, then I refer you to my signature....
  8. grasmo

    grasmo LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Messages: 34

    make sure there is no weight on the pivot you are lubing. lube more frequently and wipe the fitting off before you lube.
  9. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    whats the best grease to use? ive been using slick50 from wal mart
  10. kroll

    kroll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    I use Lucas brand grease with anti seize
    in it on mowers tractors, dozers backhoe,
    discs & planters stuff that set for a whole season and never a problem.maybe it will help.

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