greasing ball joints and tie rod ends

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  #1  
Old 09-20-13, 04:51 PM
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greasing ball joints and tie rod ends

I've recently replaced the stock upper ball joints on my 98 Ranger and the tie rod ends on my 92 Accord. The replacements are aftermarket (Moog) joints for these components, and unlike stock these have the zerk grease fittings so can be greased. Apparently even though there seems to be some grease in the new joints already from the factory, the instructions are to grease upon installation, which I plan on doing. I'm a little inexperienced and uncertain about greasing these fittings. The instruction says as follows:

"Pump grease slowly into the component until the old grease and contaminants are flushed out of the assembly through the grease relief valve (found where the boot contacts the stud). Note: If the old grease does not exit the unit, fill the assembly until the boot starts to swell."

I'm wondering whether I should keep pumping just until I see the boot swells or until I see grease being extruded out from the joint. I don't wanna over-do it and risk popping/splitting the boot(s) if I keep pumping because I'm not seeing any grease exiting, but yet I want to be sure I've adequately filled the joint(s).

Any comment/advice appreciated.
 
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Old 09-20-13, 07:44 PM
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As these are new joints there wont be any old grease of contamints to flush out. I would just fill the boots till the wrinkles are out.
 
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Old 09-20-13, 08:07 PM
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Ok thanks retired wrench for the advice, which does seem to make sense. I'll just fill until I see the wrinkles seem to be out, and figure that's sufficient for this first time anyway. Although I'm still a little unclear about the actual proper procedure/method for the future. Obviously shouldn't be rocket science. I suppose just common sense would be the general guideline but my experience greasing such joints is little to none.
 
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Old 09-20-13, 08:19 PM
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I grease my front end every other oil change. Three pumps of grease to each fitting.
 
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Old 09-20-13, 10:31 PM
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PJ I was reading another "rule of thumb" is to grease those fittings at the interval of each oil change. My two vehicles came stock with the un-greasable type fittings and thus I hadn't greased a front end since probably the 80's and even then my experience doing so was next to nothing. If three pumps of grease into the fittings every other oil change seems to be adequate and working out fine for you, then maybe that's what I'll go ahead and do too. thanks.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 04:32 AM
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I mostly work on old junk but I've always pumped the grease until a little bit starts to ooze out of the boot. How often to grease the fittings depends a lot on the service it sees. I normally grease my truck every oil change but occasionally forget but my tractor gets greased multiple times between oil changes.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 02:46 PM
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Think of it this way the other joints lasted quite a while with no grease. Pump till you see grease is OK for machinery,but I have seen several ball joints and u joints ruined by over greasing and breaking the seals.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 03:20 PM
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OK, here's the deal with grease fittings..... at least German ones. Some ends have sealed boots and some fit tightly around the tapered pin and are loose at the large end being held by a spring wire. The sealed ones can be ruptured from excess grease where he ones loose at one end will start to seep as there is enough. Don't pop the rubber boot so if you give a couple of pumps and the boot swells it's sealed do don't overdo it. The loose on one end ones will start to leak grease when the boot is full so you could pump a quart in one without damaging it but you will have a heck of a mess to clean up. You can't damage a joint by overfilling it, can't happen but you could rupture the boot if it's completely sealed. I started working as a mechanic in 1970 and everything needed grease, usually every 3 months. or 3000 miles. Different joints were different sizes so they required varying amounts of grease. The old king pins, before ball joints were the ones that you lubed until all the old grease came out as they were not sealed at all and just allowed all types of road grime to enter the assembly usually during the rainy season when they were always wet. The joints that didn't have fittings were made with hard plastic like bearing surfaces that were cheaper to make and gave good service.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 04:43 PM
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The instructions for the Moog brand ball joints I got say to fill the boot with grease until excess grease starts to ooze from the relief vent I think they referred to it as. So that's what I did on those. I'm not sure about the low quality no-name brand tie rod greaseable joint ends I got for the car (with a 'kit' that included ball joints and sway bar links etc) whether those should be greased until grease is extruded out or just until the boot swells. So I figure I'll just fill em and watch em close and stop when they seem plumper.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 04:57 PM
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Well we got a lesson on german stuff which we dont have. We got a history lesson on 50s cars which we dont have. We are told you cant harm a joint by over greasing but you can ruprure the seal, well that is damaging the joint. I do remember seeing the water and mud come out of joints back when I started messing with this stuff in 1954 but things are different now. Just fill the boot and quit. On a u-joint use a hand gun and when you feel resistance quit. I wont even go in to how little grease a ft. wheel brg needs.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 08:53 PM
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In regard to "German" ones I think perhaps the Moog brand ball joints I mentioned I have could be referred to as "german stuff" as Moog is a German name and I suppose the roots of the company were German somehow. The instructions from Moog for greasing their joints are as I included in my first post this thread. I did pump grease until I watched the ball joint boot swell a little, but the extent of swelling and whether it seemed adequate really wasn't particularly perceptible to my "untrained" eye. Anyway, another pump or two and then some grease began to exit from the "grease release valve" as they call it. So I believe I properly greased these particular ball joints according to the manufacturer's instruction.
As far as the tie rod end joints on the car, those aren't Moog. Those are lower quality no-name generic brand, and with those I decided to just carefully pump grease in until I saw some definite indication of the "wrinkle" smoothing out and then stopped and figure the boot is filled, and didn't pump any further to avoid the possibility of breaking a seal if there is indeed such a seal to break or to avoid otherwise rupturing the boot.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 09:46 PM
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Sounds like you are on the money there. I would think the Moog parts will give you good service with that type of treatment. I don't typically buy low line steering or brake parts as they need to work well. As for the German references I tend to do that because I was involved with the Mercedes Benz product line for an entire career and being as I have always lived in the Los Angeles Ca. area we have always had a ton of them to work with.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 09:54 PM
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Geez guys...Im lucky I grease the ol' chevy p/u every 10-15k And when I do its just a couple pumps and thats it.

My dad taught me better to under grease then to over grease and thats how I been doing it all my life.

Whats good is the admirals car has no grease fillings at all... Yay!!!!! But my truck has 12 I think...

Its an oxymoron? Like who changes the differential fluid every 30K? Or the transfer case at the same interval?...Transmission? Its all different schools of thought...
 
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Old 09-22-13, 04:55 AM
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But my truck has 12 I think...
I have a 51 ford F-1 in the barn, it doesn't currently run so I haven't greased it in yrs but if I remember correctly - it has 30+ zerk fittings
 
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