grease zerks

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Viseras lawn service, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Viseras lawn service

    Viseras lawn service LawnSite Member
    from 6
    Messages: 217

    Hey guys had a question about clogged or non working grease zerks.

    some times on our backhoes or skidders, you get those few zerks that dont want to take grease. Sometimes its just the zerk that is clogged other times its the actual hole where the grease zerk screws into.... what is the best way to clean this crud out of them besides pulling the pin out completely?

    or is that the only way? ive tried compressed air, which works some times, but most of the time it ends up in having to pull the pin, degrease it, and put it back in with a new zerk.. which is a PITA.:cry:
  2. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,968

    I don't know why it would be a PITA. The zerks on my Exmark are threaded into place. It takes a minute to remove, clean, and rethread. Are they not threaded on your equipment?
  3. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    If a zerk on my old loader wouldn't take grease, I tried replacing the grease fitting first. Pretty easy so far.

    If that didn't work, there's a good chance that the bushing has spun, so that the grease can't get to the pin because the hole in the bushing ain't lined up with the grease fitting. Had this happen once when I was running used machines and still learning about the importance of grease.

    With the bucket pivot on the front of the loader, it wasn't too bad to fix: pull the pin, pull the zerk, drill a new hole in the bushing, clean (carefully) and reassemble. Not too bad if you can get to it easily. If the same thing had happened on the back end of the machine, now that would definitely be considered a PITA.
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I have found the easiest way to go about that whole deal is buy an abundant supply of zerks and carry them with you. When one clogs, unscrew it and replace it. End of story. Super easy, super fast.......On another note, one of the reasons I have found zerks to plug or become non-functional is that they are not being used/greased on a regular basis. It is easy to see that on a piece of equipment that is just run by an employee.....they sometimes hit the easy ones, but seldom hit the ones that are not so easy to get to.
  5. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    before pulling the pin and tearing everything apart put some heat on it, and while hot add some more grease,
  6. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I also carry a box of different sized zerks with me. I grease daily, and if one clogs, unscrew it, clean the area in the bushing with a pick or small screwdriver, and screw in the new zerk. It only takes a few minutes.

    Sometimes the bushing will get in a bind, and if you have someone move whatever part of the machine that you're trying to get grease to back and forth, that usually works unless the zerk is damaged or clogged.

    By the way, I use Lincoln battery powered grease guns. They aren't cheap, but they're priceless to me, and one of my favorite tools. It beats pumping or messing with a compressor.
  7. Brad Ent

    Brad Ent LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    I agree with yardmanlee, put some heat on it.
    Also, you can try moving the joint into a different position (move bucket or boom in/out, up/down) while applying grease.
  8. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    Yeah, definitely try to spin the bushing back around before you tear it down and drill it out. Good call.
  9. TonyG

    TonyG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    GREASE! Especially those closest to the ground, for example the lower bucket pins, there always in the muck. The above methods work very well, I've found a high pressure method that's works extremely well...a Porta-Power. You'll have to undo the end and screw a 1/8" nipple in the end or adapt to the thread size where the zerk resides. Your basically pushing the hydraulic fluid from the Porta_Power itself through the hole where the zerk was. Sometimes you'll need heat, but that is very rare.
  10. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    i dont like using heat, i usually catch something on fire...but i usually am on the site and dont have access to heat...a lot of times if you just hop in the machine and reposition the peice you are greasing it will except if you are greasing the front bucket and it is curled and something wont take grease, grease the fittings that will and then dump the bucket and try again on the ones that wouldnt take it. Also if you have the bucket on the ground sometimes pressure on the pins wont allow grease in...i usually grease my machines with the pressure off of the implement then put pressure on and put a few more shots into the pins that have the pressure on them.

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