Lithium or Moly grease for front wheel bearings and hubs (1 Viewer)

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As I'm fully replacing my 80's front end and rebuilding it basically from the shell up using a replacement housing, I got thinking about an age-old issue - front wheel bearings and what grease to use in the wheel hubs. Traditionally I have always used lithium grease for wheel bearings in my 80 and sometimes with inner CV joints on front wheel drive cars, but on 80's the front hubs are not sealed units - they are totally open at the front (where the big nut or nuts screw onto the each spindle) and fully exposed to any/all swivel hub grease and/or diff oil that gets out into the space behind the drive flanges (full time) or freewheel hubs (part time).

This means that regardless of how well a hub and it's bearings are packed with grease if it's not the same as what's used in the swivel hubs then the two are going to mix over time. I've found that with my old front axle/diff assembly when I pulled the hubs off to decide which set of spindles (my old set which were both new from a full rebuild some years ago, or the ones of the spare assembly) I would re-use as part of the rebuild.

My current lithium grease is a well-used tin of caltex Liplex and for moly grease I use Castrol LMM.

What are the pro's and con's of using moly grease (same as what is going in the swivel hubs to lube the kingpin bearings and CV joint)? Remember that the swivel hubs are also not sealed (the swivel ball wipers are not seals).
 
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Castrol LMM is a 5% moly fortified lithium grease.
Its suitable for wheel bearings as well as CVs/birfs.

Personal preference really.

I usually have a separate tub of lithium grease to pack wheel bearings and the hub, and LMM in birfs, but have also used LMM for bearings and birfs.

I keep a tub of LMM, and have LMM in a grease gun

I've stripped hubs and bearing grease hasn't mixed with birf grease. Very small opening for grease to pass from the knuckle through the spindles
 
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Bambusiero

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My personal opinion is to use the same moly grease for both birf CV joint (which is specified), and the wheel bearings, because, as you say, they are in such close proximity, plus the moly grease can be had that also meets wheel bearing grease specs. Some people worry about some ancient fear about moly particles causing the rollers not to roll - well, maybe in the 1940s, not anymore.
 
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Done right and assuming that there are no failed seals, there is minimal to no mixing of the three different lubes spec-ed for the axle.

Since the spindle bushing was superseded by the needle bearing/half bushing arranagement, there is one place where these could mix. I use wheel bearing grease on the needle bearing, but for the half-bushing I swab on the moly. Wheel bearing grease is higher viscosity than moly, so tends to stay in the spindle where the needle bearing is. YMMV
 
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Back when the 80 was designed and built, greases tended to come in rather distinct types. The do-it-all stuff was mostly not there, There's good reasons why Toyota wanted wheel bearing grease in the outer hub - heat resistance and water resistance. Molys tended to be less viscuous. Now lots of grease is moly fortified, whatever in whatever form you want. Be sure it's rated for wheel bearing/disc brake service (I'm forgetting the rating, but look it up if it matters) when servicing the bearings. Something rather tacky, so to speak.

In around the birfs, I want not so tacky and more moly-rich than "fortified."
 
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I've always gone by the mindset that if the surfaces are sliding against one another like in a birf or the slip section of the driveshaft I use a Moly grease. If its a rolling surface like a wheel bearing or a u-joint then I use a lithium grease.
I think in an extreme case using a moly grease in a wheel bearing could cause the parts of the bearing to not rotate and create flat spots, but like someone else said, greases have come a long way. Just having grease in there at all is far better than not having any grease.
 
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I think in an extreme case using a moly grease in a wheel bearing could cause the parts of the bearing to not rotate and create flat spots, but like someone else said, greases have come a long way.
This seems like an impossibility to me. As I understand it, the premise is that the moly will be too slippery so the ball or roller will not roll, causing it to slip and wear in one spot. However, wear would have to come from friction, and if there was friction then the ball/roller would roll. No friction would mean the ball or roller could slide permanently with no wear.

I don't think being 'too slippery' is an issue.
 
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Honestly, if the original poster weren't from Australia (where we assume different products and perhaps an additional amount of 4wd knowledge) the heckling would have started sooner.

Pick your favorite grease for each recommended application or just use whatever eventual mixture will occur and call it good.
 
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This might be relevant since OP is from Australia, so there's a bit of crossover with product availibility here in NZ.

I use Nulon N80 Xtreme Performance Grease with PTFE (L80) in wheel bearings and Castrol LMM in the cv/ knuckle.

The Nulon says on the tin that its fine for CVs, but since its not moly fortified I don't use it in them, though I have seen people using it in the cvs and knuckles online.

It works very well in wheel bearings - even in boat trailers. Plus it smells nice.
 
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He he just because I'm a die-hard Donald Trump hater doesn't mean you have challenge my questions on slippery wickets. :cool: My reason for asking is because the wheel hubs are not sealed and the swivel hubs are also not sealed but different grease types are specified. I've had my 80 for almost 10 years so I'm not a 'newbie' lol. And I've been working on cars much longer.

So the next question should be - what problems can be created where moly grease and lithium grease mix to any noticable degree? Will that cause in-service issues?
 
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He he just because I'm a die-hard Donald Trump hater doesn't mean you have challenge my questions on slippery wickets. :cool: My reason for asking is because the wheel hubs are not sealed and the swivel hubs are also not sealed but different grease types are specified. I've had my 80 for almost 10 years so I'm not a 'newbie' lol. And I've been working on cars much longer.

So the next question should be - what problems can be created where moly grease and lithium grease mix to any noticable degree? Will that cause in-service issues?
Toyota didn't see it as an issue.
 

AussieHJCruza

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Personally, Penrite Hi-Temp Wheel Bearing Grease in the wheel bearings/centre of the hub, and Penrite Moly Grease in the birfield and knuckle housing. No problems on a few cruisers and the 47 will be getting the same treatment in a few weeks.
 
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He he just because I'm a die-hard Donald Trump hater doesn't mean you have challenge my questions on slippery wickets. :cool: My reason for asking is because the wheel hubs are not sealed and the swivel hubs are also not sealed but different grease types are specified. I've had my 80 for almost 10 years so I'm not a 'newbie' lol. And I've been working on cars much longer.

So the next question should be - what problems can be created where moly grease and lithium grease mix to any noticable degree? Will that cause in-service issues?
This is a good point on mixing of lubricants.

I did the research prior to doing mine because I know (from years of experience) that grease will migrate (not unlike coconuts). I made sure that the lubricants I use would be compatible with each other.

Personally, I used Lucas Red-N-Tacky#2 for the wheel bearings and trunnion bearings.
I used Valvoline Palladium for the Birfields and spindle bushing.
I used the O'Reilly Auto store brand 75W-90 gear oil.
All three are compatible with each other.

There are so many synthetics, Organic, Vegetable based, lithium based, urea based, non-homogenized lubes available that you MUST make sure they play nice together.

If you have a lithium based gear oil and use a urea based wheel bearing grease in the rear, you will end up with lumpy cottage cheese that does not lubricate the bearings. We know the rear gear lube will mix with the wheel bearings grease, as every FF 80 series has done that, some to the point they don't even install the spindle seal anymore.
 

Atomic City

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This is a good point on mixing of lubricants.

I did the research prior to doing mine because I know (from years of experience) that grease will migrate (not unlike coconuts). I made sure that the lubricants I use would be compatible with each other.

Personally, I used Lucas Red-N-Tacky#2 for the wheel bearings and trunnion bearings.
I used Valvoline Palladium for the Birfields and spindle bushing.
I used the O'Reilly Auto store brand 75W-90 gear oil.
All three are compatible with each other.

There are so many synthetics, Organic, Vegetable based, lithium based, urea based, non-homogenized lubes available that you MUST make sure they play nice together.

If you have a lithium based gear oil and use a urea based wheel bearing grease in the rear, you will end up with lumpy cottage cheese that does not lubricate the bearings. We know the rear gear lube will mix with the wheel bearings grease, as every FF 80 series has done that, some to the point they don't even install the spindle seal anymore.

How did you find out if they were compatible with each other?
 
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With my 80, it has the full-floating (I think that's the right term) rear with 'removable' axle shafts so uses the same diff oil in both front and rear, but with the rear it's just gear oil and lube for bearings. With the front you potentially have three different lubricants doing different jobs and if I can reduce that to two (diff oil and one grease type) that's better. Still running lithium grease in rear hubs (but my 80 is part-time 4wd so normally all drive is from the rear so it does the most work).
 

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