Rear differential grease suggestion.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Rear differential grease suggestion.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Nanstad on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 07:03 pm:

After searching this forum I have found that grease for the rear end of my T is not a certain lubricant. Someone mentioned "John Deere Corn Head Zero Oil". I went to JD dealer and I was concerned it was a little to thick. The parts man at JD really took an interest and started searching his computer and he found me a product that I think is about perfect. I would like to share if any one is interested. Its just runny enough to slowly level out, about like thick apple sauce.
FARM OYL, Fluid Gear Grease, Part #901925, Distributed By CHS, Inc. St. Paul, MN 55164

Local to me dealer mailed me a quart for $14.
Tim Sollman
715-948-2820


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Menzies on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 10:31 pm:

I have to agree with your direction I have used #1.5 NLGI National Lubricating Grease Institute weight. Yes it is creamy like apple sauce the particular brand I used was from an outboard motor company and it is used in the lower gear box of large outboard motors. The early books call for #2 grease but I feel it is a bit too heavy. The quantity is 1.5 pounds and due to film and coverage it is recommended to "top up" after installation. This subject may become very controversial as there are many believers in various grades of oils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 10:42 pm:

Bring it on with out posting nasty snarky posts. Most of us use 90/140 oil in the rear end and have no problems. (count me in this group) What say you?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 10:57 pm:

To each his own, in a standard Model T rear axle I suspect any oil will do if it is at the right level and doesn't leak out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 11:13 pm:

Is oil also grease? We want to know. Again let's be civil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, December 12, 2014 - 11:22 pm:

Model T and A (I've done about 10 rebuilds) stock rear ends, 600W sold by the suppliers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 12:00 am:

Not that's it's perfect but I packed the pumkin, full, with grease like I use in my grease gun. It get's where it needs to be, hasn't leaked out so far, and I don't hear any noises other that I've been hearing for years so......Jerry.....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 12:25 am:

The reason I ask is that a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I bought a rear end from a T guy. When I got it home I pulled the drive shaft housing off and turned it over to drain the "oil" out into a drain pan. I drained about a quart of nasty brackish water into the pan. I thought I had swindled until I disassembled the rear end. The grease that was in the rear end had protected the internal parts from water for who knows how many decades. I don't know if the rear end had oil or grease in it but I doubt that 600W oil would have protected it. Of course 600W oil may have been different back in the day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 02:13 am:

Paul,
Originally 600w was saturated steam cylinder oil (as opposed to superheated steam cylinder oil--won't go into the steam difference now. Steam cylinder oil is tenancious, it will stick like glue to metal, and would probably protect whatever it's on from water. Have no idea about the modern version, as I have a 5 gallon drum of the stuff somewhere, and haven't had to buy any for a Loooong time.
Isn't there also a concern about modern oils/grease not protecting the bronze thrust washers?? Just asking, thought I read about that sometime in the past


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 02:22 am:

David,

Thanks for the explanation! "Tenacious" would be a very good description of the heavy goo that was coating the parts in the rear end!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 03:17 am:

David,

Also a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was charged with maintaining 2 turn of the century narrow gauge oil fired steam engines. (1898 American and 1903 Baldwin) I had forgotten the difference between saturated and super heated steam but thanks for the brain bump! The engines were used almost every day in the summer. When they were shut down at 11:00pm they would still have about 5 to 10 psi in the boilers at 9:00am. If I was vary careful I could fire them with out house air. There was no house steam! For you T guys I had to have the babbitt re-poured for the eccentric bearings of the valve gear on the 1903 Baldwin. It took 98 pounds of babbitt.

(Message edited by paulmikeska on December 13, 2014)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Griffin on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 11:05 am:

I use a gear grease that I ordered from McMaster.com that is nlgi #1. My '14 was leaking oil badly; barely any grease makes it's way out of the differential now. Restoration Supply (restorationstuff.com) carries a gear grease that is nlgi #00.

My understanding is that oils with a gl5 rating will, over time, attack brass & bronze; oils with a gl4 rating are safe for those materials.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James L. Bodkin - Jim on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 11:24 am:

Is anyone aware of which lubricant maintains its viscosity the best as it heats up. My diff. tends to leak once it is warm. I know 600W thins as it gets warm - that's how we get it in. I currently am using 90/140.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 11:26 am:

90 or 120 weight for Ruckstells and 600W for standard Fords. The important thing is to check it regularly and add if it is low. If it runs out when you remove the plug, you have engine oil running down the driveshaft and need to fix the 4th main and the plug in the tailshaft of the transmission.

The oil is sometimes called grease.

If you have driven the T through high water such as a flooded street or stream bed, there is a possibility that water might have gotten in through the axle seals. This would be especially so if it had been parked for a period of time in deep water. Only way I know of to get the water out is to separate the halves. There is no drain plug in the axle.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 06:18 pm:

The word "grease" vs the word "oil"? Semantics vs Colloquialisms.
I don't feel like going down to where I keep my big old dictionary and counting (or quoting), however the word "oil" has a wide variety of definitions ranging from the crude that is pumped or dug out of the ground to the stuff you cook your french-fries in, and along the way, a type of artwork. Most "greases" are "oils". Most "oils" are not "greases".
I would not recommend using stiff pump (or grease cup) type grease in a rear end or gear type transmission. It may not flow into the little areas of the bearings well enough. (odds are it would work okay, though, I just don't like the chance that it won't).
20 wt engine oil may also work fine in those gear cases. However, it does not provide quite enough "cushion" for gear lash and ball or roller bearings and may wipe off of gear teeth too quickly.
Gear type transmissions (especially old ones) and rear ends really should have something in between those extremes. Something between modern 85wt gear oil (grease I say, grease) and David D's steam cylinder oil should be good. The (old measure) 600wt grease (NO! Oil, oil!) sold by some of the antique automobile parts suppliers is preferred by many people (including me).
The Ruckstell axle is an exception. A couple of the smaller gears and pin bearings are a bit notorious for not getting quite enough lubrication from heavier oil (I said grease!). Many people in the know seem to prefer modern 90wt gear oil (grease, grease) for inside a Ruckstell.
Heavier gear grease (NO! Oil!) will tend to leak less than the lighter stuff. However, if you can get some of that steam cylinder grease (now that one SHOULD be called oil),, it tends to stick well enough to not worry about leakage.
Whether you say "oil" or "grease"? It tends to be a regional dialect thing. I will understand what you are saying. And I won't put you down for that.

One slightly more serious problem, however. Oil/grease compatibility. There are several different "bases" for all greases and oils. Natural petroleum itself has two distinctive bases. That which is called asphalt (or ash) base, and that which is called paraffin base, along with several other chemically different characteristics. This varies from one part of the world to another. In addition to those natural differences, there are also plant, chemically, and synthetic based oils and greases. The problem is that some of these do NOT mix well with others. The real problem with these, is that there are no regulations requiring labeling of information concerning compatibility. I only know a very little about it. You won't hear me tell what can or cannot be mixed with what. But a model T I bought some years ago had some sort of good looking and slick grease in all the grease cups. But when I went to add some of my grease to it? I checked the next day and had to hammer and screwdriver chisel out the solid chunks of whatever it became. In every one of those little cups. I have known automotive engineers that told me to never mix asphalt base with paraffin base. I don't what was in that T. But how can you know what to mix or not mix if it is not labeled? And how are you supposed to know what is inside your grease cups? Or your old grease gun?

As for the bronze bearing question. That is a very good concern here. However, in past discussions, the general consensus of opinion was that although there definitely is a corrosive element in most common modern rear end oils due to the "high pressure hypoid" characteristic, it was probably safe to use in most antique transmissions and rear ends including the model T. The considered opinion was that the minute amount of corrosive would take centuries to do significant damage to the bronze thrust washers or the upper drive shaft bearing regardless of whether it was original Babbitt or replacement bronze. Again, this I am not an expert. But the corrosive probably removes some of either zinc or tin out of the bronze or brass, apparently not the copper. The large size of the model T washers vs the small amount of corrosive would take a very long time to do significant damage. I have seen washers taken out of a rear end that had modern grease/oil in it. You can see the change in surface color. It undoubtedly creates microscopic surface roughness which probably just holds the oil or grease better.
The corrosives in these oils CAN be a problem in some vehicles from the '50s into the '70s that have paper-thin layer bronze thrust bearings.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 07:36 pm:

90/140W GL4 is in my 16's differential. Don't expect to see any issues.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 10:55 pm:

Oils are Newtonian fluids and their properties can be measured and determined by mathematics. Grease are not Newtonian fluids and all properties must be determined experimentally.


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