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Author Topic: Greasing springs  (Read 2752 times)
opus
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« on: May 02, 2011, 06:41:40 PM »

So most of you have air bag suspension but I thought I would give it a go. I have a big handful of spring bushings I cant get grease in.  No rust or caked grease in them.  I have tried everything.  Any tricks that I might not have heard of? 

Now before you start with new zerks or lifting the weight off, etc, I have a lot of mechanical experience, heavy equipment, ranch stuff and so on, so skip the simple ideas.  Smiley
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 07:10:54 PM »

they make a grease driver /gun you strike with a hammer to drive grease thru a zerk once you break the jam you can use a regular grease gun. I've had mine for years. Think it came from napa.
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 07:15:47 PM »

One of my go-to's is to load a really good grease gun or a hydraulic pump with something like Marvel Mystery Oil and pump that in with a direct connect hose (no zerk fitting, high pressure hose to the NPT hole direct) and apply 20 or 30 tons of pressure with the thin oil.

Somethings gonna give, you just hope it's the caked up grease!

Brian
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opus
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 07:24:03 PM »

Did the hammer tool....nothing.  Took out the zerk and hooked a 10 ton porta power to it, nothing.  It wouldnt pump anymore than what the bushing would take.  I cleaned all the grease out, used carb cleaner and got it all clean.  Whacked it, put the zerk back in and greased it til it stopped.  Put a propane torch to it.  Whacked it, spit on it, whacked it again, hit my elbow, heated it, whacked it.....sigh.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 07:29:39 PM »

drill thru the bushing. nothing to loose at this point
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 07:32:06 PM »

Explain please.....  You mean through the zerk hole?  How big a drill?  I did run a drill in there that was roughly the same size, to try and clean it.
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 07:34:33 PM »

was thinking maybe bushing spun in bore and is covering hole. drill new hole for grease to enter in to
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 07:37:24 PM »

Where would I drill a new hole? The zerk, of course is on the end of the bushing. The bushings didnt spin.  They look awfully new and tight to me.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 07:48:29 PM »

I understand now the grease enters thru the center of the pin.It is probably rust welded and I understand your flustration. Other than cleaning that passage way out I think you have have done it all. Maybe coating with used motor oil and letting soak with repeated applications for days might work. It sometimes works on our antique equipment.  Good luck Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 07:53:34 PM »

I did PB blaster too.  I figured when I greased it and put a torch to it, with the zerk in.  The grease would melt and also pressurize.  You cant get at the back of the bushing to punch it out either.  Its more than likely from the dust on gravel roads that thickened it.  They must have missed it once or had difficulties and let it slip.  I cant stand sloppy service mechanics!

There is no noise from the springs.  Shy of letting them wear and get sloppy, I am stuck.  I surely dont want to bring it to a spring shop and have them do it.  I cant begin to think what that would cost, just to get grease in them.  Even with all the antique stuff, heavy equipment, I have done, I have never got into this much a bind.

I had trouble with the slack adjusters but took the zerks out and all went well.  I can get grease in the hangers, just not the eyes.
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 07:57:32 PM »

are they set in rubber bushings? if so might not be critical
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 08:01:38 PM »

No rubber, bronze maybe?  Actually, I am not sure what is in the eyes of these things.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 08:23:26 PM »

Did the hammer tool....nothing.  Took out the zerk and hooked a 10 ton porta power to it, nothing.  It wouldnt pump anymore than what the bushing would take.  I cleaned all the grease out, used carb cleaner and got it all clean.  Whacked it, put the zerk back in and greased it til it stopped.  Put a propane torch to it.  Whacked it, spit on it, whacked it again, hit my elbow, heated it, whacked it.....sigh.

That should have done it.
Next, I would probably try to flood the pin with your favorite solvent and then connect a directly plumbed air line. Maybe air pressure could start a path through the caked grease and lead to a breakthrough. Nitrogen at 2200psi would be nice. Got any?

Ted
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2011, 08:44:54 PM »

The only nitrogen I have is in the form of a manure pile. I simply can't understand why nothing has worked.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 04:54:55 AM »

Did the hammer tool....nothing.  Took out the zerk and hooked a 10 ton porta power to it, nothing.  It wouldnt pump anymore than what the bushing would take.  I cleaned all the grease out, used carb cleaner and got it all clean.  Whacked it, put the zerk back in and greased it til it stopped.  Put a propane torch to it.  Whacked it, spit on it, whacked it again, hit my elbow, heated it, whacked it.....sigh.

That should have done it.
Next, I would probably try to flood the pin with your favorite solvent and then connect a directly plumbed air line. Maybe air pressure could start a path through the caked grease and lead to a breakthrough. Nitrogen at 2200psi would be nice. Got any?

Ted

I was going to suggest the same thing.  I had an old truck like that, didn't matter what I did.

I finally hooked up an air hose filled with solvent and left it hooked to my air compressor for about two weeks.  It finally started seeping, then ran free.
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2011, 07:25:09 AM »

All I have is a generic air compressor, good enough?  I can only do it about 5 days at a time, but it might be worth a shot.
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2011, 08:19:58 AM »

Just talked to the shop that maintained this thing.  He said it is typical of Blue Bird.  They dont have a grease groove in the bushings.  They have seen it a lot.  Pull the bushings and grind grooves in them.  His spring guy is going to call me with more info.
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2011, 08:56:46 AM »

This is the sort of thing that a spring shop deals with all the time.  Maybe there is a local truck suspension shop that could change the bushings for you.  They tend to have the really big ornery tools needed to do this sort of thing easily...

Brian
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2011, 02:17:27 PM »

Yeah there is one 120 miles away.  $102 an hour....yippee!
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2011, 04:21:08 PM »

If you are not putting very many miles on it I would just run it and inspect it once a year. With the few miles a conversion gets you would be a long time wearing it out, possibly never. To squeeze the most money out of the equipment where I work they have adopted a "run to failure" on noncritical parts. I must admit it works rather well. Even if you run it lets say 10k miles, that is time and capital you can use elsewhere where there is more of an immediate need.
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2011, 04:27:40 PM »

Thats where I am at.  I just dont want to break a spring.  I have half a notion to run it till something wears, then grease it.  Smiley  The mechanic in me knows this is wrong, and I have trouble over riding that opinion.  LOL!.  It will cost me a few bucks to get this done because it is not going to be an easy job at all.  Let alone if everything was out in the open.  Rears springs with a rear engine and a fuel tank and air tanks, etc.  I am not even sure where they would start.  I bet we do less than 10,000 a year.
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2011, 04:36:12 PM »

That is some tuff steel there but if ya feel tuff drill thru the spring from the center of the end of the loop of the spring leaf and thread a grease zert in- drill deep enough to reach the center pin. have done it no easy job but doable.
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2011, 04:38:20 PM »

Was thinking that but that sure would be a tough job.  I am probably fretting for nothing.  How many things have you seen that hadnt got grease in many years and they were just fine.  LOL!
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2011, 05:05:33 PM »

Attacked the 2 front ones I couldnt get, today.  Ended up making a puller for the pins, heated up the brackets a little and pulled them out.  The pin has one hole in it, and no groove or anything.  There was a little plug in it, with nowhere to go.  We ground a groove in both pins.  1000 mile trip this weekend, then we will make an attempt at the rears.  I pressure pumped some MMO in one of the rears.  See if it does anything along the trip.
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« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2011, 06:47:23 PM »

Almost 100 today and finally got grease in all 6 rear zerks.  We tried to pull the pins, no luck.  Again, we hooked up the porta-power into the zerk hole in the bushing.  10 tons worth of pressure using MMO.  Must have been the ambient heat.  We had one side up on a bottle jack and got them to break lose.  We still had to work at it and heat a couple with a propane torch.

We greased them well, to say the least.  Drop the bus back on the ground and tried to grease them, no deal.  Guess we will have to jack it up everytime I grease it, oh boy.  Poor design on the pin, but they are tight and a lot of work to replace so, jacking it will have to do.

I am thrilled we got this done!
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« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2011, 07:04:10 PM »

Hope you used a good grease Grin  nice when a plan comes together
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« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2011, 07:05:01 PM »

Uh-huh, I used good grease.  Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2011, 08:40:47 PM »

I don't know if this applies but I basically do stuff like this for a living. I have found that heating stuff red hot and quickly cooling it in water loosens up the rust that has seezed up the part. It may not work in your instance but just offering an idea.
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« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2011, 08:41:39 PM »

There was no rust.  Just dust and grease and a poorly designed grease pin.
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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2011, 08:57:08 PM »

I should have worded that better.... old grease!  Cheesy Just glad you got some grease in it. I've been around some new type machinery that wouldn't take grease unless it was folded out or folded in. Just be glad you only have to deal with it once a year at best!!
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