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Thread: steering box grease

  1. #1

    steering box grease

    The manual for the 1930 Cadillac calls for gear grease to top up the steering box, what would be today’s equivalent of gear grease. The chassis lube charts calls for wheel bearing grease and chassis grease in other locations so I assume it is not one those. Any suggestions??
    1958 MG ZB
    1968 Cadillac Eldorado

  2. #2
    Sr Mbr -- BCA 20811
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    Re: steering box grease

    I would presume it would be the same "grease" which would lube the manual transmission and the rear axle gears. That usually used to be SAE 90 in viscosity, before we got all of the multi-weight manual transmission fluids (i.e., 85W-90 or similar).

    Does it also list a "GL-__" number? In the case of manual tranmsission fluids, that number is a particular specification, in addition to the viscosity number, which relates to the compatibility of the particular lube with brass metals (used in synchronizers and for other bushings) in the transmission. This can be very important!

    Good luck,
    NTX5467

  3. #3

    Re: steering box grease

    Daytona,
    Unless you have added a seal at the sector shaft, standard gear lube will leak out rather quickly. Even 600w will eventually leak out.
    Chassis grease will not travel as you turn the shaft.
    I use a semi fluid grease by Penrite from Restoration Supply. This most closely replicates the original lube.
    If you have added a seal at the sector, most any heavy mineral based gear oil will work.
    Dennis

  4. #4
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    Re: steering box grease

    Steering box grease go to a new holland tractor dealer get part no.9821006 its EP GEAR GREASE I use it on my stutz . a dealer in torrington ct has it

  5. #5
    Senior Member DavidAU's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    I vote for the Penrite steering lube as well.

    STEERING BOX LUBRICANT - Penrite Oil
    David

    1922 Metallurgique Torpedo
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  6. #6
    The History Guy bofusmosby's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidAU View Post
    I vote for the Penrite steering lube as well.

    STEERING BOX LUBRICANT - Penrite Oil
    Aquick question for you. Would this semi fluid grease by Penrite be compatable with the existing old oil/grease that is already in the bop? I am wondering what is going to happen when this is mixed with the old.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member MochetVelo's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Not sure what this grease is compatible with, but Penrite I'm sure could tell you (or Restoration Supply, who carry their lubricants). One interesting thing I discovered regarding my 1905 Maxwell differential was that the company put grease inside the housing, and instructed the owner to add oil to keep it the correct viscosity. There was no way to empty or remove the lubrication other than disassembling it.

    Phil

  8. #8
    Senior Member odyssey's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    I realize most steering boxes are worn at the sector shaft and also the bottom where the horn/lighting rod on many cars protrudes and it is very difficult to keep gear oil of any viscosity in the box under these conditions, but I caution against Penrite because of the viscosity. I have tried it in a couple of leaky boxes - both worm & nut boxes (1913 Hudson and PI Rolls Royce) and found that it made the steering so heavy that I drained it (no easy task!)
    The best is gear lube that will not channel under pressure like grease. New seals and a rebuilt pitman/sector shaft & bushings is the way to go and not so difficult to accomplish. FOr a leaky box, Penrite is worth a try, but it is very hard to remove of you don't like it!

  9. #9
    '25 Dodge touring Pete K.'s Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    I stopped using 600 W, and other, sometimes hard to find heavy lubes. Now, for some time, I've been using straight STP in the steering box. It doesn't channel, leak out, foam, break down, and clings to the gear teeth. I've driven in hot and cold weather, with no noticeable steering problems either. It's cheap and sold everywhere.

  10. #10

    Re: steering box grease

    I can not imagine STP working well as a steering gear lubricant in the winter? It can get more than very thick in cold weather.
    Dave Yaros -
    '55 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe DeVille
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  11. #11
    '25 Dodge touring Pete K.'s Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Dave, A lot of guys think the same thing you are. Try putting a bottle of STP in your refrigerator overnight, open 'er up and pour it out cold. not much of any difference! STP can be mixed with any regular or synthetic engine oil also, to make your "custom" viscosity. Believe me, the amount of pounds per square inch between the steering worm and sector gears are so great, you would never feel a stiffness at the wheel while driving. Same with the thrust bearings. Why do you suppose some folks pumped grease into the steering boxes? That's a real no-no, since grease will channel out and starve the working surfaces. I use it in my transmissions and rear ends too with much success over many years.

  12. #12
    The History Guy bofusmosby's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Pete

    Do you use straight STP in your transmission and rear, or just add this to the oil that is already there?
    Jim

  13. #13
    '25 Dodge touring Pete K.'s Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    I drained out all the old lube oil and filled to proper level with straight STP, the tranny, differential and steering box on all three of my pre-1931 auto's. No problems here.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Aaron65's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Not to change the subject too much, but I've never gotten a good answer on what the box of my '53 Buick (no power steering) takes...any ideas?
    1953 Buick Special Riviera 45R
    1965 Buick Skylark 44437 300-4V
    1965 Ford Mustang
    1965 Chevy Corvair Monza Convertible
    1965 Dodge Dart 170 Wagon

  15. #15
    Grease Monkey shadetree77's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Aaron, the manual says to use "Multi-Purpose Gear Lubricant specified for Synchromesh transmissions". Which, if you go to the correct section, says it is SAE 90 gear lube. That is what I used in mine.
    ____________________
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    1952 Buick Special Deluxe 41D (Lucy)
    (My Dad And I Finally Have A Project Car)
    1953 Kaiser Manhattan (Linus)
    (Another One?! But I'm Not Even Done With The Buick Yet!!:p)
    1979 Thunderbird Town Landau
    (Highly Neglected Since I Got My Buick)
    1977 Thunderbird Town Landau
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Aaron65's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Thanks, Robert...

    Did it leak out at all?
    1953 Buick Special Riviera 45R
    1965 Buick Skylark 44437 300-4V
    1965 Ford Mustang
    1965 Chevy Corvair Monza Convertible
    1965 Dodge Dart 170 Wagon

  17. #17
    Grease Monkey shadetree77's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    I added the oil back when I first got the car and so far none of it has leaked out. I didn't have to add much to top it off. However, I have heard stories about really bad leaks developing. Miraculously, the seals on my steering box are still holding up after 60 years. Your results may vary depending on the condition of those seals.
    ____________________
    Robert
    BCA #46402
    KFOCI #10647



    1952 Buick Special Deluxe 41D (Lucy)
    (My Dad And I Finally Have A Project Car)
    1953 Kaiser Manhattan (Linus)
    (Another One?! But I'm Not Even Done With The Buick Yet!!:p)
    1979 Thunderbird Town Landau
    (Highly Neglected Since I Got My Buick)
    1977 Thunderbird Town Landau
    (My First Car Given To Me By My Uncle w/ 20,000 Original Miles & Wrecked In 2004(not my fault) w/ 70,000 Miles, R.I.P.)


  18. #18
    Sr Member 2366 Straight eight's Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    Penrite makes "Steering Box Lube" which is a "semi fluid extreme pressure grease for non-rack and pinion steering boxes fitted to verteran and vintage automobiles"
    www.[penriteoil.com
    I use it in my 47, and am very happy with the results.

  19. #19

    Re: steering box grease

    I rebuilt my steering box on my 32 buick 66s and installed a new lip seal on the sector shaft and the only place it leaks from is the adjustment bolt which is oval in shape so there will always be a gap between the bolt and the housing but a good tight fitting copper washer should get rid of that, just to many other cars to get back to the buick right now. I am using 90wt and the steering is a little eaiser to turn so my wife likes to drive this car.

  20. #20

    Re: steering box grease

    Before you dump that "steering gear lube" into your steering box, you might want to do the following "test": Place a small dollup of lube on a piece of metal, use a screwdriver to cut a swath throuth the "mound" and wait for a moment or two to see if the lube flows back into the screwdriver groove. I encourage this because I recently purchased a branded steering gear lube that required significant effort to get it out of the bottle.

    As such, I tested as described above and found that it not only didn't fill-in immediately, it continued to channel and was still unmoved by the following day! Don't think I want something like that in my steering box! If you're unsure about what's in your steering box, it might be prudent to remove the filler plug and extract a sample of lube for a test. Remember too, that unlike transmissions and differentials, steering boxes don't generate heat, so you won't get any thinning of the lubricant as the vehicle is driven.

    As an aside, I recently filled one of my vintage car's steering box with #250 wt. Amsoil Synthetic Super Gear Lube. Just wanted to try something different. Seen too many old cars with steering innards that have pitting and spalling of the mating parts. After some use, I'll remove the gearbox top, and check the condition!

  21. #21
    '25 Dodge touring Pete K.'s Avatar
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    Re: steering box grease

    This is one reason I use straight STP in my steering boxes.

  22. #22

    Re: steering box grease

    I use STP straight out of the can .I dont drive old cars in the winter .I fix them then.......

  23. #23

    Re: steering box grease

    Does anybody have problems delivering semi-liquid grease? I have loaded it into 2 grease guns and it seeps past the plungers; then I cannot use the grease guns.

  24. #24
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    Re: steering box grease

    Buy a suction gun sold for gear lube, they are cheap and do the job.

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