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Best Bearing Grease

I'd just like to know what you guys use for grease on your main bearings. The grease that I'm currently using is to thin and the bearings heat up. I believe the grease is just being flung out of the bearings. And no they not to tight, they have three to four thousandths clearence. Thanks in advance for the advice. -- Andy

Andy, I Use the same grease that I use for my big truck. It's the Retinax by Shell, a good heavy red grease. I've never had the problem you're having. If you're running them for long periods of time and they are getting slightly warm, that’s normal. -- Mark

The lithium grease that they use on front wheel bearings for cars with disc brakes will take the heat, and keep the bearings lubed. You can get it at any parts store, maybe even Walmart. – CHUCK

You might want to try Lucas grease. It is sticky and does not fling all over your engine. It also stands up to heat. It is used in alot of big trucks and in race cars. – Mike

I may be wrong but kendall blue grease is about the only one left that is all petrolium base not soap base. -- Bob

What I have found, is that if I have a question about lubricants, I call our local commercial lubricant dealer. Most all of them will sell a case of grease to anyone. They will also be happy to give technical support as to temperature range, rotational or longitudinal speed, clearances etc. and what would be the best grease for that application. They normally get a big thrill out of helping us try to figure out what will work best in these old engines and tractors. I sent down the data sheets that Rumely suggested to use in their engines and transmissions. After a few days, our local Mobil Lubricants dealer reported back to me that they had found comparable lubricants for all of Rumely's recommended oils. They cross referenced a 60 weight engine oil that is made for use in kerosene burning engines. This is the same as Rumely's original oil of 80 years ago. Today, there is one jet engine that still requires the same oil. They were even able to find a Thermal transfer oil for use in the radiator of the same viscosity and additives as originally required by Rumely. If they ask what company you are with, tell them it is "your name restorations" or somthing like that and pay in cash. One thing to remember, as the last poster said, most of todays greases are soap based. Rule #1 is never mix soap types. Meaning, don't mix red grease with white grease or black, blue green or whatever. Clean your application thoroughly before using a different type of grease. – Mark

Seems like I have read in one of the owners manuals for Hercules engines that "DO NOT USE AXLE GREASE" was printed there. It also seems like that's what we're all using now as that's all that's readily available. I would like to find some of the old yellow paraffin based low melting point grease that was used way back when. – Bob

Just a few thoughts on Grease. Todays wheel bearing greases are primarily optimum for ball bearings. They work best in very thin films and in that application are very effective. If you are lubricating a wagon axle any grease will work fine. Moly greases are very good in slow speed applications where the clearances are 0.002 to 0.005.
As you know the moly works into the metal surfaces and provides enhanced lubrication when there is the potential for metal to metal contact. The reason moly is NOT reccomended for ball bearings is because the moly can build up on the race surfaces and reduce the bearing clearances enough to cause bearing failure. Some years back the Model A Ford club reccomended a moly grease for the rear axle ball bearings. There was a rash of axle bearing failures traced to this moly build up on the races. It is in fact an irregular build up of the moly and forms patches on the races and it had the same effect as dirt in the bearing.
So don't use moly or any moly additive on any ball or roller bearing application. This includes transmissions also.
On the other hand there are real benifits to using moly grease on our engines since most bearing are operating with 0.003 to 0.005 clearances and the moly will protect the bearing and shaft with a molecular coating of moly.
Lubriplate makes a moly grease used for construction machines and other types of exposed gears and bearings. It is a tacky grease that will not spray out of bearings or off of open gears. It is called No 3000 Heavy Duty Tacky Moly Grease,(part # l0108-098). A large tube costs about $ 3.50 and can be found at any bearing supply house or construction machine supplier. This grease is a black soft grease that is very sticky to itself and whatever it is on. – Sherm

Andy, I use this grease, I bought a 5 lbs can at a surplus shop. It works very good for me it's a "short" grease and it stays in place. When you use that long threaded grease it works itself out the bearings. The following text goes with the grease. AeroShell Grease 14 is the leading multipurpose helicopter grease used for most helicopter main and tail rotor bearings (where specified). It is made with mineral base oil and a calcium soap thickener, which provides outstanding protection against moisture, corrosion and fretting. It has a useful temperature range of -65º F (-54' C) to +200º F (+93º C). AeroShell Grease 14 is qualified under MIL-G-25537C specification. --"Sixm" John

Thanks guys for all the advice. Would have thanked you guys sooner, but the computer caught a bug. Thanks again – Andy

All the engines I’ve restored had various hunks of bad stuff in the bottom of the grease cups. This stuff is old hardened grease mixed with dirt or saw dust or whatever was in the environment that the old engine worked in. Keep in mind that these engines worked in the time of the depression when food on the table might have been more important than oil or grease for the engine. Many of them ran without the daily or hourly lube job that you see happening at our engine shows. Clean out the grease cups, right down to the bottom and run a cleaning stick through the bottom hole. Your engine restoration will last a longer time without the dirt in the bearings no matter what your choice of grease. – Harry


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