Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

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RustyFords
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Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RustyFords » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:47 pm

I've spent the last two years, in my spare time, going through the mechanical systems on my beat up 24 Touring. After a long slog, I'm going to reinstall the rear end, torque tube combo that I've meticulously rebuilt with much time and effort.

It's the oilers on things like the spring shackles that have me wondering, in a quite ignorant newbie sort of way, about proper greasing. On all my newer antique cars, there's a grease fitting for things like this. Keeping those shackles and bearings greased up is important and can mean the difference between parts lasting a very long time or a very short time. My practice on cars with grease fittings has always been to pump that grease gun until some excess grease comes out of the bearing, shackle, whatever then stop and wipe up the excess.

So...as I'm looking at those cute little Model T grease cups with their cute little spring loaded lids, I'm wondering how in the hell am I going to force enough bearing grease down in that little cup with my finger to effectively grease that shackle or bearing. It just doesn't seem like it's going to do anything.

I know, I know...someone is going to immediatel say, "Don...you goof...get rid of those antiquated grease cups and install grease fittings." I agree that this would make all my questions go away, but I like the cute little grease cups and consider them part of the Model T's essence. I WANT to use them and lubricate the car the way it was done back in the day, the same way I WANT a good running magneto in spite of the fact that many swear by removing the magnets and running a 12V distributor. I WANT to do all these old things on this car or I would've just bought a Model A instead.

So...someone educate me please. I just put a heap of time and expense into rebuilding the rearend, brakes, pinion, u-joint, etc, etc etc and the thought of wrecking this stuff through improper lubrication is keeping me up at night.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by fbergski » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:58 pm

You put oil in them not grease. You put grease in the cups with screw caps that force the grease into the mechanism. Cups with spring lids are for oil.

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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by George Mills » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:07 pm

There was a time when 'waste oil' lubrication did not mean reusing old oil... :lol:

The idea was that just like a locomotive, a fresh squirt of oil was a good idea as it not only lubricated, it flushed away any dust as part of the task.

I can't find it now, but one of the early Ford instruction books said that those oil fittings should be done AT LEAST every 100 miles....with...any obvious mating joints oiled more frequently as needed.

Grease on the other hand tended to cling...and gather dust on the wet edge and maybe there was a fear of the dust 'working' into the joint?

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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by perry kete » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:15 pm

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A-10141-588-sm.jpg (7.78 KiB) Viewed 1992 times
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Grease Cup.jpg (6.19 KiB) Viewed 1992 times
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by Oldav8tor » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:29 pm

Another novice here. I've also just finished putting my rear end and driveshaft back together. I've replaced all the funnel shaped screw in greasers with ones that have a grease zerk hidden inside. The barrel type ones on my spring shackles and elsewhere (photo 1) I plan to replace with Zerks - keeping the originals handy if I wish sometime to display my car as correctly as possible. The flip-top types such as found on the king pins (photo 2) I will lube using chain saw bar oil as suggested by many others.

Bear in mind that my car will be driven, a lot - I did not buy my Model T to simply park and display it and for that reason have made some minor modifications for the sake of safety and more effective maintenance. The uninitiated wouldn't be able to tell the difference - the purists would probably be heating the tar and getting the feathers. :-) You have to decide what works for you.... after all, it's your car :-)
oiler.jpg
oiler.jpg (15.74 KiB) Viewed 1978 times
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by lloyde » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:33 pm

Unscrew cap from grease cup, glob of grease on your finger, push it into bottom of cup until gone and grab more grease. Repeat until you feel you have enough. I usually do it 3 0r 4 times, which would be like filling and screwing down the cap 10 times or so. Fast and easy, works for me. The last time you fill and start the cap on, but leave it so you can tighten it once to add a little later. When done hands are nice, clean and slick.


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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by fliverfan » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:16 pm

"Answer 98" thru "103", in the 1924 T Owner's Manual pretty much covers it.
If you don't have one, you can get a .pdf version,
Here: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/default.htm

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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:34 pm

IMG_0018.JPG
This is an oiler. It takes oil, not grease, just like the later flip-top oilers. I use chain saw oil on the theory that it will last longer than lighter oils. As you can see, it oozes out onto the surrounding territory. That's fine with me.

IMG_0331.JPG
I use bronze bushings. I'd rather wear out bushings than shackles.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RustyFords » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:51 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I figured it was simple.

I have to admit that I'm still sort of cringing at the thought of putting anything except standard bearing grease on something like a spring shackle. But I guess 15 million Model T's couldn't be wrong.

It's my assumption then, that I want to use the heaviest oil possible in the oilers that will flow down through the oiler, via gravity, and make its way onto the shackle/bushing assembly. And...I'm assuming the same logic would hold true for the other oilers. Steve and others have recommended chainsaw bar oil. The chainsaw bar oil that I use on my chainsaws is like thin honey in consistency.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:11 pm

Yes, it seeps slowly. But it seeps. In my first picture you can see that it has seeped out onto the perch and the nut and the shackle. I like that.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RustyFords » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:22 pm

Steve Jelf wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:11 pm
Yes, it seeps slowly. But it seeps. In my first picture you can see that it has seeped out onto the perch and the nut and the shackle. I like that.
Looks like a well-lubed T Steve.

My grandfather had a T when he was a young man and he used to say that if it wasn't dripping oil from some location, it needed oil.

I guess that still holds true. My plan is to spend some time under the car periodically wiping up excess oil.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by John.Zibell » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:43 pm

rustyfords wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:22 pm

My grandfather had a T when he was a young man and he used to say that if it wasn't dripping oil from some location, it needed oil.

I guess that still holds true. My plan is to spend some time under the car periodically wiping up excess oil.
Just put drip pans under the car where you park it. Otherwise you won't have time to drive it.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by GrandpaFord » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:02 pm

Here is what I did on my car. I cleaned the grease cups and then tapped a pipe tap that fit Zerk fittings. You can buy the grease cups with the Zerk fitting already in them but I am cheap so I made my own. The caps for the grease cups hide the Zerk fittings.

For the oilers, I unscrew them and put a Zerk fitting in place of the oiler. I then grease the shackles. After that I unscrew the Zerk fitting and put the oilers back.

In all cases I pump enough grease in to push out the old stuff and then clean up the mess with rags. Most grease is really oil which is suspended in a wax. If you let it sit long enough the oil will separate. That is why old grease is hard and crusty. The oil has long ago parted company with the wax.

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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RajoRacer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:06 pm

One must realize that on Ford Model T shackles, there is NO grease passage machined into the shank (as in the Model A) so just greasing it until grease appears out of one or both ends does not necessarily indicate you have sufficiently "lubed" the shackle !

Think about it.


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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by Kts » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:12 pm

Both Rolls Royce and Bentley used oil for lubrication on most Chassis fittings, so probably works fine on Ts! I use 600 or better yet 1000 weight ( “Steam Oil”). Check with your friends who run Stanleys, they usually have a drum of 1000, most are willing to sell five gallons to us with the lesser cars.That will last a long time!

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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RustyFords » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:42 pm

RajoRacer wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:06 pm
One must realize that on Ford Model T shackles, there is NO grease passage machined into the shank (as in the Model A) so just greasing it until grease appears out of one or both ends does not necessarily indicate you have sufficiently "lubed" the shackle !

Think about it.
Excellent point. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by RustyFords » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:43 pm

Kts wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:12 pm
Both Rolls Royce and Bentley used oil for lubrication on most Chassis fittings, so probably works fine on Ts! I use 600 or better yet 1000 weight ( “Steam Oil”). Check with your friends who run Stanleys, they usually have a drum of 1000, most are willing to sell five gallons to us with the lesser cars.That will last a long time!
Now I need to make some steam friends.
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Re: Help a T Novice Understand Greasing

Post by Original Smith » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:15 am

I'm with Steve on the brass or bronze bushings. If you have a brass T, be sure to install the shackles correctly. The upper oiler goes in the back so you can get oil in it easier.

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