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Getting greased up


Kiajon
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Hi there people. I hope you enjoyed the bank holiday...... locked in!

I’ve been working on getting the Spitfire 1500 back on the road (after 15 years off).

The brakes will be refurbed, oil has been changed, gearbox oil changed, coolant changed, currently working on the gearbox tunnel cover (insulating/repairing) along with various other little bits. Still need to top up rear dif (Is it possible to drain and change oil? Can’t see a drain plug).

My question for today is all about greasing. I have a shiny new grease gun and suitable grease! The question is where/how to grease. I presume there is a grease nipple somewhere at the bottom of the steering column. The drive shaft joint near gearbox must need greasing but how?  I’m confused about the trunnions. Grease or oil? What if previously it was done with the wrong one? (Eg grease not oil or vice versa). Where else should I be sticking my grease gun (keep it polite please gentlemen!😉) and are there any tricks to doing it?

Thanks again.

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OMG! Endless discussion, grease or oil! Fighting talk!

Manual says trunnions, EP90 gear oil, every 3000 miles, or 3 months (iirc). But your gun may not like oil, most of us have a separate gun.

If your trunnions have been greased you may have trouble getting it out and replaced with oil. Your pump might be strong enough to force it out, otherwise it’s a strip down and clean, sadly.
 

Doug

 

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As Doug says, EP90 oil in the trunnions.

As you noticed, the factory didn't fit drain plugs in the diff. The service schedule assumes top-up only but that was written for when the cars were under ten years old. You can use a syphon pump to extract the old oil or you can drill a drain hole (there's a flat surface and possibly even a guide dimple to show you where) then tap it and fit a plug. This has all been discussed in another thread not long ago.

You need to grease the rear wheel bearings - grease nipple should be present - and the steering rack - you may have a grease nipple holding the earth strap in but it's more likely a bolt that you have to swap. Drive shaft (and prop shaft) UJs may have a grub screw that you can swap for an extra-long grease nipple but you'll need to swap back once done. If it's a sliding spline prop shaft there's probably a grease point for that, again likely just a grub screw fitted. However, most UJs are sealed-for-life, no grease point. The same is true of track rod end ball joints. The water pump might have a grease nipple but, again, may be sealed-for-life.

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If you want to avoid the endless wars, and spend a mountain of money (actually I think they are reasonable) go trunionless.

When I had trunions I found a 3rd option. Originally Land Rover specified EP90 in their swivel housings, but they leaked. So a special grease was developed to replace the ep90 - I used to use that in Triumph trunions before I got rid of them. No leaks like EP90, but better suited than standard grease.

 

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Trunnionless? Does this require some sort of operation? Can any grease gun also push oil? I’ve just bought one for greasing my bits from my local hardware store, I’m happy to go and get a second one.

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Please forgive a newbie for jumping in on this, very interesting, thread. I've yet to learn forum protocol 😁

I have the original handbook for my new-to-me Mk3 Spitfire.  It gives quite a detailed service schedule and there are many places where bolts etc need to be removed and (temporarily) replaced by oil/grease nipples.

Do all of these have the same thread? Is there just one service nipples or is there a range required? Are they commonly available /  good source?

Many thanks

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No problem jumping in.

The handbook's service schedule is good but may expect there to be grease nipples (or bolts blanking off the holes for them) on parts that have since been replaced with "sealed-for-life" ones.

Most grease nipples are a 1/4" thread (I'm not sure exactly what thread it is) but some are much bigger - probably 3/8". I think the steering rack is the big type. There are a range of shapes available - short, straight, angled, very angled - in both threads, which is why the box of assorted grease nipples has so many compartments.

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46 minutes ago, Kiajon said:

Trunnionless? Does this require some sort of operation? 

Yes; large amounts of money are surgically removed from your wallet. :) They work out at about £400 for a car set.

Trunnionless involves replacing the uprights with specially-made versions that use a different joint at the bottom, so they don't require greased - sorry oiled - but just a little lubrication squirted over them from time to time. Some owners go for the conversion, others stick with the originals, it's down to personal choice.

catkit1.jpg.f97f15bc047265f2b61b987b7bfdb66c.jpg

 

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53 minutes ago, Kiajon said:

 

Trunnionless? Does this require some sort of operation? Can any grease gun also push oil? I’ve just bought one for greasing my bits from my local hardware store

 

Yes big operation, on the suspension! Expensive, you should check it out before you jump at it.

Yes two oil guns and you put your finger on the problem. “Will the grease gun be any good pushing oil” Some leak badly, but a lot on here use Wanner grease guns, Swiss, Very good and cheap 2nd hand on EBay 

Doug

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50 minutes ago, Kiajon said:

Trunnionless? Does this require some sort of operation? Can any grease gun also push oil? I’ve just bought one for greasing my bits from my local hardware store, I’m happy to go and get a second one.

An operation? Yes a wallet-ectomy! (Nah as I said, compare a complete new set of uprights trunions bushes etc. against this and it seems a lot more reasonable)

https://www.canleyclassics.com/?product=trunnionless-front-suspension-kit

I converted to it before a long European run a few years ago just for piece of mind

When I did have trunions I used:

This grease https://bearmach.com/swivel-housing-grease-one-shot-sachet-suitable-for-defender-discovery-1-and-range-rover-classic-vehicles-stc3435?glCountry=GB&glCurrency=GBP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw4aQuvLR6QIVmK3tCh2lfQKhEAQYASABEgLBJPD_BwE

In one of these:

Hardware] San Marco lightweight plastic push type oil gun push ...

 

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Ok then chaps. Back to my trunnions. I’ve unscrewed one of my nipples (no sniggering, this isn’t a carry on film!) and.... nothing came out. The part of the screw inside the trunnions seemed kind of black and slimy so my first thought is that they’ve been greased in the past. Is there any way I can check to make sure? Oh, and to make things more interesting my nipples are different sizes and shapes! What fun! 

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4 minutes ago, Kiajon said:

The part of the screw inside the trunnions seemed kind of black and slimy so my first thought is that they’ve been greased in the past. Is there any way I can check to make sure? 

Dig it out with a match or similar; you'll soon know by the texture if it's grease or oil. You can clean it off with petrol, back to the bare threads of both vertical link and trunnion, and reoil if the threads are still good (It means removing the brake disc shield tho, can't unscrew them with that in place.)

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Grease! Looks like I’m going down the Land Rover swivel joint grease route. 
Next question. Should the grease nipple for the steering be at the very bottom of the rack (on the end) or am I looking in the wrong place? After this it’ll be rear wheel bearings! 

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Steering grease nipple is in the centre of the large nut, right at the bottom where the steering column joins the rack. 

This one has the earth strap attached to the nipple so you can see it more easily:

810D4181-110C-4655-A74B-F9B3BA05E262_1_105_c.jpg.cc105845610418acd7a6eb90b723981b.jpg

Note that the track rod end to the extreme left is sealed and has a flat top, others have a grease nipple on the top.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

the trunnion is an oil bath design  so its always under oil

grease gets squished out and does not replenish in the threads 

is the general idea why oil was specified , 

Pete

I'd be inclined to add oil; even if you don't clear out the old grease it will soften and dilute it down, thereby giving a bit of improved protection. I'd be concerned that even adding the Landrover swivel grease on top of the old grease, if it's not cleaned out, won't do much good.

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Hi Kiajon. Myself and others have serviced the trunnions with an old school, pump action oil can (still buy them new for about £3.00 I think). May need a more flexible tube, which some of them have any way, to get a straight/seal fit into the hole . Just pump into the blanking screw/nipple hole. May need to lever the top rubber seal out a bit (going up from the bottom), so the oil passes through, out of the top.

We need more tips and tricks, I think.

Dave

 

Edited by daverclasper
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My compromise in  the grease/ oil battle is to use EP 90   - but with added molybdenum disulphide.

OK, the rationale is a wee bit simple, like me.

EP oil is best.. but only if it is there -  if it gets a bit low then the MS2 will  at least. provide a degree of dry surface lubricant and at other times perhaps increase the performance of the EP 90.

I mix one of these to a  a litre of EP 90 for trunnion oiling.

64937557-63E5-451E-9D1D-A1F34ECA4EE8.jpeg

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