What wheel bearing grease do you use?

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What wheel bearing grease do you use?

I have repacked a number of wheel bearings recently and the general preference seems to be for a cheapo general purpose wheel bearing grease, however I am noticing that this grease tends to dry out in a lump between the inner and outer bearings, which doesn't seem right.

I always understood that the grease was supposed to melt at normal operating temperature and 'bathe' the wheel bearings, but this doesn't seem to be happening.

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Julian
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Bear80/ScottM, how does the grease you use stand up to the test of time - what does it look like after 10-20k miles?

I have seen a lot of recommendations for Mobil 1, but I guess I am more interested to know if the behaviour of the grease drying out and building up between the bearings is common.
 

ginericLC

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I use Amsoil. I've used Redline and Mobil 1 in the past. I would not use Redline again. I had some problems with it.
 
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ginericfj80 said:
I use Amsoil. I've used Redline and Mobil 1 in the past. I would not use Redline again. I had some problems with it.
Eric, can you elaborate on the problems you have had with Redline? Just curious as I have used it for the first time in my last birf repack...
 

turbocruiser

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Another data point: I used to use Valvoline (in my runner) but noticed some separation between the oil and the other ingredients over time. In fact, after awhile, the valvoline would even separate in my grease gun causing a small puddle of oil on the floor right under where the grease gun hangs. I could not believe that even with no mechanical motion like you would get in bearings, the damn grease separated like that. Needless to say i wont use valvoline grease anymore. Amsoil was recommended to me for my rig by people i implicitly trust. HTH. :cheers:
 

Cruiserdrew

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Here's another vote for Mobil 1 in the wheelbearings. I use the Amsoil Moly grease in the knuckles and all zerk fittings on the driveshaft.
 
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Valvoline Durablend for Birfs.

NLGI #2 Grade Lithium 12-Hydroxysterate EP Grease for Bearings
 
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scottm

 
 
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turbocruiser said:
after awhile, the valvoline would even separate in my grease gun causing a small puddle of oil on the floor right under where the grease gun hangs. I could not believe that even with no mechanical motion like you would get in bearings, the damn grease separated like that.
You need to get in there and stir it once in awhile :D .

Grease is just oil mixed with thickeners. Most greases, including Mobil 1, use lithium soap as the thickener. "Drop point" is the temp at which the thickener melts, and you have oil above that temp. One of my automotively anal brothers swears by http://www.mrmoly.com/ grease, it uses sort of a clay as it's thickener, it doesn't have a drop point, stays thickened at high temps. I bought a spray can and a tube for my grease gun, hoping not to have the oily puddle oozing around my grease gun. It seems to ooze less than previous greases I've used, but still separates a little.

I've got less than a year on the grease in my truck, can't tell you how it's holding up.
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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As for Mobil 1 (not the bro mentioned above - heh), I opened my bearings up after a few months and the Mobil 1 in between the bearings showed slight cracks from normal loss of the oil into the bearings. I called Mobil and spoke to a tech at length about it. This, as well as the separation in the grease gun I get he termed normal for the reasons Scott mentioned above. According to him, Mobil jams more oil into their grease than called for, and the separation is a side effect for non-shop situations where the cartridge may not be used for a long while (in a shop, it may last a day after being opened).

I've got 60.000 miles on my M1 front and rear bearing repack and will be taking a look at the rears this week, and the fronts later this summer.

DougM
 
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I've only done the front end service once on the 80, but I used the valvoline moly fortified grease (grey stuff) in the birfs and vavoline high temp wheel bearing grease (red stuff) in the wheel bearings. No idea how it is holding up as it has only been about 1K miles.

Charlie
 
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Hi Doug M,

IdahoDoug said:
As for Mobil 1 (not the bro mentioned above - heh), I opened my bearings up after a few months and the Mobil 1 in between the bearings showed slight cracks from normal loss of the oil into the bearings.
This is the sort of thing that I am seeing in the grease I am taking out, so I guess the grease isn't melting and flowing into the bearings, which I thought it would.

If the grease only melts around the bearings, I guess it is more important than ever to make sure there is enough grease in there to keep the bearings bathed in it.
 

scottm

 
 
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IdahoDoug said:
the Mobil 1 in between the bearings showed slight cracks from normal loss of the oil into the bearings.
I'd think it'd be normal to see some cracks in a glob of grease that's cooled from a molten state. It probably doesn't take much heat to soften that glob. I've heard they oversaturate the thickeners and binders with oil, that makes sense too.

Why not moly? A proper roller bearing should have minimal slipping, just rolling surfaces. The grease is there to cool and cushion, and help fill in around minor voids and debris. Adding moly to the grease helps the parts to slip instead of roll. A minor imperfection or bit of debris can cause a roller to skid, eventually causing a flat spot on the roller. As the roller wears down it generates debris, the rollers around it carry more weight, play develops in the bearing assembly causing the opposite bearing to get loose, more bad stuff happens, you pay$. That's worse case of course, but you're on the internet talking to strangers about grease.
 
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