Curti

Alternative to Penrite for steering box

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Much less expensive, but basically the same lithium-based pourable grease product: Super S Cotton picker Spindle Grease "00"
Available at Tractor Supply. SKU number 105682899.   It's in a squeeze bottle, so much easier to shoot into that small fill-hole in your Ross steering box

 

I found this on the ACD website.   What say you ??

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Imagine what the sales would be if they called it A*****E grease! Hey A*****E did you grease the car yet! 😂

 

In our shop that’s the only way we could get the helper to actually grease the car.......

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Some have talked about corn head grease on these fora. It seems to be a NLGI 00 grease too, which is what you need.

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3 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Some have talked about corn head grease on these fora. It seems to be a NLGI 00 grease too, which is what you need.

I believe that's a NLGI 0.

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Edited by Real Steel (see edit history)

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Corn head  grease is great but too thick for a steering box. It's not the best option for a automotive steering box. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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5 hours ago, edinmass said:

Coen grease is great but too thick for a steering box. It's not the best option for a automotive steering box. 

 

‘I assume you mean corn head grease.  What alternative do you recommend?

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The question is :  Is corn head grease a suitable alternative to Penrite?

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Yes if  "OO" weight . Corn head available in both . Also used in some lawn tractor differentials . If you look a lot a made by same supplier , just package different . The NLGI-OO  sets the spec .

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First, let me say we have manufactured steering box worms, roller wheels, and other assorted bearing surfaces for the Gemmer 205 and 215 boxes. There is a lot more going on in a steering box than most people realize. The high pressure and shock load on the surfaces are incredible. Unless the lubrication flows easily the surface will gall and the box will tear it's self apart. I don’t have the technical background to properly explain it, but the new corn head type grease doesn’t start to flow until there is significant movement in the box. Watch a video of it on you tube and you will see the stuf starting to flow at rpm, but it firms up when the unit is stationary. When we made the new parts for the Gemmer boxes, we modified the boxes for modern seals per the recommendation of the gear cutting people who made the worm. When the boxes are upgraded the lubricant we use is ATF. Remember the worm isn’t the only surface taking high pressure, the pitman arm bearings/bushing and the worm bearings are under sever load and stress. You need to get lubrication all the way to the top bearing on the steering shaft. Anyways, the people who made the worm for us who had sixty years of experience in their field recommended the thinnest or lowest  viscosity that will stay in the box. Thicker is NOT better. Many boxes never get checked and are run empty, more than you can imagine. I think the biggest issue is the boxes with the throttle and light shafts going through them, thus they have leather, felt, or cork seals that dry up over the years. Since most boxes that were built don’t have leaking issues most of this conversation is pointed toward the cars from about 1935 or earlier. Brass cars leak and drip oil and grease, it’s just what they do, it’s the 100 point show cars that the guys don’t want making a mess in the garage, trailer, or on the chassis that is typically why everyone wants something that won’t make a mess and become a  maintenance  Issue. Tractor gear boxes and  differentials have much more movement and diffrent requirements for lubrications than a steering box the has almost no movement. Hope this poor explanation makes sense.

 

By the way, I went to the Penrite sight and the say it is ok for SOME of the boxes......NOT all. My best guess is we have done(rebuilt) forty or fifty Ross and Gemmer boxes in the last twenty years. Now the question you will ask is......what do we use in them? Well, we always try to upgrade to modern seals, which requires a lot of machine work......aka.......labor=money.......ATF is our first choice, after that it depends on the application. We have made a mixture of motorcycle gear oil and grease for one of MY boxes, and it has worked fine. Most often we ship them dry and let the owner make their own decision, as it seems everyone has something they prefer.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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15 hours ago, edinmass said:

We have made a mixture of motorcycle gear oil and grease for one of MY boxes, and it has worked fine.

Have you ever tried adding graphite to gear lubes?  IMG_20181107_184203380.thumb.jpg.b5d277259100825358651302278ee819.jpgIMG_20181107_184152633.thumb.jpg.8d1b704357c9801601161be3eeb2b781.jpg

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Yes, we added graphite to oil for our top fuel dragster in the cam boxes. Messy stuff(think like non cured rubber cement),  worked well, and held up to running the strip with pure nitro. There are a lot of issues not covered here as far as steering boxes go. After a car sits baking in a hot garage in the summer and a freezing garage in the winter for forty, fifty, or sixty years, the lube in the box can turn to tar, or something worse. Then people com along and add new / modern lubricants on top of the old sludge type contents. The Lowe portion and bushings get no lubrication but the operator thinks they have taken car of the problem, and in reality all they have done is added to it. 95 percent of the total Restorations out there have not had their steering box apart, the same goes for the rear end.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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