HOW MUCH GREASE FOR U-JOINT?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: HOW MUCH GREASE FOR U-JOINT?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danny S. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:31 pm:

How much is too much for the large cup and small cup?

My u-joint was making noise unloaded while going down the road. load it up pulling or holding the car back, and it would quiet right down. i added some grease (3-5 cups) in each of the cups. it took about 75% of the noise away. i am worried my u-joint is worn, or should i push more grease into it?? thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:39 pm:

The small cup doesn't need much, it's for the front drive shaft bushing, but the large cup takes a lot - you can't really grease that one too much, it'll leak out between the ball and the flange holding it, but thet'll take more than 3-5 cups :-)

The large grease cup can be altered for a zerk gun fitting - that would make it easier filling the cavity. If the fourth main babbitt is a bit worn you'll lose engine oil there when it's low on grease, so filling with lots of grease often reduces that leak temporarily until the fourth main really has to be fixed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danny S. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:53 pm:

i am going to get the zerk caps from lang's. i live 11 miles from them. i am lucky to have them so close.

i just was not sure how much was toooooo much. thank you!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:56 pm:

As Roger states, excess grease will just be forced out. You can buy a grease fitting the same thread as the large cup and pump the housing full. Unfortunately, if you have some slop the u-joint is worn. If you have a bump-bump-bump-noise that sound is drive shaft front bushing. Does it mainly when coasting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:59 pm:

Yes, Danny living near Langs would be handy. You might as well get the whole set of cups.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danny S. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:59 pm:

yes, only makes noise when drivetrain is unloaded. no noise under load.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:59 pm:

I really don't see how grease can get to anything in the U-joint that need lube...how does it get there? Seems like it just cavitates and is thrown away from the joint that needs it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 01:06 pm:

John, it gets in there. Danny, describe noise. Is it a clunk or a bump noise? Series of noises or just when you cut power or accelerate?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danny S. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 01:18 pm:

noise is a dull clunking that i can just barely feel in my feet.

noise comes on in the unloaded condition. it goes away when adding throttle to pull, or putting throttle to idle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 01:38 pm:

Danny,

Even it was very low on lube, it should not make noise. I think you need to have a look at it. You can try this however.

Remove the small plug, located just behind the smaller grease cup. This will allow you to see the rear end of the u-joint, where it fits on the drive shaft. Then either put the car in high gear, or push hard on the brake. As you look into the plug hole, have someone rock the car fore & aft. The rotational movement you see through that hole will show you how much play you have in your u-joint. (If you do this with the trans in high gear then don't rock the car so much that you're making the engine turn. That's why it's better to just hold the brake solid.)

OR

Remove the 4 bolts from the torque tube retainer ring, (the thing that the large grease cup screws into). Pulling the ring back should allow you to look into the ball through a hole maybe 3/4" in diameter. Slowly push the car forward in neutral and look into the hole. You'll see the u-joint rotate and should be able to spot any heavy wear, (excessive clearance), between the u-joint yoke pins and the collar.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 01:39 pm:

To answer your initial question, "How much grease"?

A lot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 02:30 pm:

I read some where, maybe here on the Forum, to use a Zerk fitting on the large grease cup, and using a grease gun, pump grease into it 50 times. When doing this, use high temp. grease, the best you can get so that it just doesn't melt and run out when it gets warm. This should fill the u-joint cavity and at least help stop engine oil from leaking out of the 4th main.

Any comments?

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 03:11 pm:

I don't know whether the u-joint cavity on a T is exactly the same size as an A, but here is my Model A experience:

I bought a fresh cartridge for my grease gun and started pumping. Just as the cartridge emptied, I began to see grease coming out of the speedometer drive hole.

I just looked at a cartridge and the size printed on the label was, "Net Weight 14 1/2 oz". So we're talking about nearly a full pound of grease. That's for an A, but the u-joint housings look similar in size.

As Jerry said: "A Lot".

Dick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 03:16 pm:

I think the way it works is through the formation of a slurry of grease and oil leaking in from the 4th main. That might make it into the U-joint bearing area.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 03:32 pm:

Something is wrong and will need your attention sometime. Grease might help quite the metal parts but even a dry u joint shouldn't make enough noise for you to hear or feel. Good project for the winter,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:13 pm:

Danny, if it was my T, with the floorboards up I would have someone rock it back and forth in high. You listen up close to the u-joint housing. Use a stick for a stethoscope. Chances are the noise you hear is u-joint.But,and I emphasize but, all sound from the differential travels right up the driveshaft housing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:15 pm:

And somehow this lops off a paragraph sometimes. ---Then have someone rock the car while you listen at the differential.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:16 pm:

The U joint can be worn similarly to rod bearing or wristpin being worn. It will be noisier when slack because pressure will keep it tight against one side where slack will let it move back and forth causing noise. The only true fix would be to replace the joint. Packing with grease will, however keep it from wearing out so fast.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:38 pm:

I think wear gets rapidly faster as it has reached a critical point since the slack in the U-joint parts lets it slam harder internally when the direction of forces change, like when the brake is used - and when finally the hardening is worn through, then the wear goes even faster and the U-joint shouldn't be used any more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:40 pm:

Danny check your email. Sent you pm. Live real close to you, in north adams


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 04:43 pm:

Don't worry about it too much...loose U-joints are common and typical. Here is one that was still running when removed.
u-joint


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 05:19 pm:

If the U-joint is so worn out that it makes noise it needs to be replaced. While you're at it you should make sure the rear axle is in good shape. If the U-joint is worn everything else in the rear axle probably is too.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 05:40 pm:

Danny, how much do you use your T and what do you use it for? High speeds in tours, or just an evening or weekend cruise around a suburban or rural neighborhood? Is this car new to you? Or is it an old friend?
My point is this. If back in the day, if every time a Model T got a little clunk or thump it had to be 'torn down',they would all have wound up in the blast furnace.
The fact that they are extremely forgiving and will still operate well and safely with a wide range of wear tolerance is why they survived in big numbers.The original T owners would laugh like hell about how fussy we have become.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 07:48 pm:

I have to disagree with the comment above. Back in the teens and twenties people drove worn out cars but, the speeds involved were much slower and therefore much less likely to end in disaster. The brakes on a model T rely entirely on every part of the rear axle being fully intact and if ANYTHING breaks the brakes no longer function. Thirty miles per hour may not seem very fast but, when you suddenly have no brakes it's amazing how fast it can seem. How many times have we seen on this forum how somebody's rear axle blew up leaving the driver with no way to stop the car? The noise that Danny's car is making is a very good indicator that there is a problem and it would be foolish to ignore it if it turns out to be a worn out U-joint and keep driving the car. If the U-Joint is worn out you can pretty much bet so are many other parts in the rear axle.

Danny, one thing I didn't see mentioned above is that you could have excessive play in the torque tube ball which would allow the ball to knock around in the socket. Take the floor boards out and pull the brake lever back and forward hard while watching the ball. If it moves excessively you can install a shim between the cap and ball to get rid of the play.Before installing a shim make sure that someone did not install a gasket between the cap and fourth main. It may also be necessary to install a gasket between the fourth main and the cap if the shim binds the ball up in the socket. There would have to be a lot of play in the socket in order for it to make enough noise that you can hear it. Follow the other's instructions for checking for a worn out u-joint, which is more likely your problem.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 06:08 am:

Having built up and own T's since before 1980,i have yet to have a rear end 'blow up'.Yeah, I've knocked a tooth off a ring gear by making a hard stop. But I still could stop. The remaining teeth were still in mesh. And, I bought a cobbled up mess once that the thrust washers were completely out of. The ring and pinion had a helluva bunch of slop,but they did not come totally out of mesh . Yes, many people drive a stock T at speeds far in excess of what a car of 1908 technology should be driven. Including me on occasion.
My point is, it's you car. If everytime it farts cross ways you want to have coils precision adjusted,install a distributor etc, etc, , go for it. Tear the rear end apart on a good running car with no sign of rear axle problems, no one will stop you.Just to see if the no good Babbitt thrust washers are there. Any car that has been driven any had those replaced decades ago.This is beginning to sound like sex. Every new generation thinks they invented it. A lot of good old guys that are under the sod were guardians of these cars previously. But when what used to be the cheapest, easiest to get involved in branch of the antique car hobby gets changed into something that is akin to the precision (and expense) of building a 200 mph race car it loses its appeal to veterans like me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 06:27 am:

Here's a recent thread where the rivets broke in the u-joint so the car came to a screeching halt: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/683502.html

Not a very common problem though, and it's unlikely a broken u-joint will stop the brake from functioning - more likely that the pinion or driveshaft will break, so it's a good idea to always be ready to use the emergency brake if ever needed..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 10:02 am:



Just ignore the noise and keep driving.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 10:29 am:

Or you can do like lots of the farmers I knew: just turn up the radio to drown out the noise. OH! That's right...no radio. Then just sing to yourself real loud.

I took my large grease cup out and replaced it with a 90 degree grease zerk. I got sick of contorting myself just to grease the ujoint and using the grease gun expedites the process. My aging joints appreciate less time flopping around on the garage floor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 11:15 am:

I never thought of greasing those cups from below. I always just take up the floorboards.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 11:32 am:

If you have heard noise from that area, it probably isn't good, but by getting as much grease in there as you can will help. When I put the drive line together, I always oil up the u-joint. Then, I pack as much light chassis grease in there as I can. It makes putting the u-joint into the back of the engine a little messy, but so what?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Adkisson on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 12:00 pm:

Steve, great picture of the end results!
If it ain't broke don't fix it...but if you know it's broke-fix it. or maybe put saw dust in with the grease like the old school method of hiding rear end problems before selling the car. A lock up at any speed is bad.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 12:10 pm:

Keith..you are right. I might have even posted that but not sure. I do use the zerk fitting to put grease in and yes a good 50 pumps..with a ho melt point grease


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 03:23 pm:

So, if I'm putting my rebuilt engine and driveshaft back in and the U joint is bone dry now, should I prepack the joint as much as possible prior to reassembly? Of assumble it dry, get everything aligned and tight and then start greasing?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 03:36 pm:

Robert, I would pre-pack the joint as much as possible, then assemble the engine to the driveshaft.

Next, read what Stephen said above at his post yesterday at 7:48 pm in his second paragraph about excessive play in the torque tube ball. If you have that excessive play, install a shim to take up the play.

Then bolt it all up tight, then pump in 50 pumps of hi temp. grease and you should be good to go.

Just my opinion....

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Rodell, Sr.- Wisconsin on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 01:35 am:

Keith,
Don't get too carried away pumping grease into that universal joint ball cap. I had heard that someone that we know had an engine seize up due to lack of oil flow. It seems that so much high temp grease got forced past the transmission tail shaft/ball cap bearing that it ended up clogging the oil line funnel and stopped the flow of oil.
Maybe it was worn and had too much clearance, allowing this to happen,- but all that grease being forced by a grease gun has to go somewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 07:37 am:

When installing a rear end or an engine you need to clean and re - pack the U joint with grease. I buy Mobil 28 grease in 5 pound cans. I have a one pound can that I fill for convenience sake. It takes most of a 1 pound can of grease to fill the U joint.

Once the U joint has been properly packed you just need to use the grease cup to add a couple cups every 500 miles or so.



If you own a T that has unknown stuff in the rear axle and drive shaft, I urge you to take the time to look in there before you do any driving beyond puttering around the block. You or someone else can get killed by a bad bearing in either the drive shaft or the rear axles. My friend Bud was in a serious accident with his T caused by bad rear end components. It didn't kill him immediately, but the after effects did shortly thereafter. See here:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/47804.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 09:23 am:

Jim, sound advice but if "that someone" would've only pulled the inspection plate off the top of his hogshead say at least once a year, he'd have noticed the anomaly. I bet I have mine off two or more times a year, just because I'm nosey! Not to mention for refilling during oil changes. Just sayin' :-)


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