valk

'41 steering fluid

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Boys,

What type of fluid should I put in my steering box to top it off? The manual is rather mysterious on this point, citing "a special all-season steering gear lubricant".  My box leaks a little so I need to keep it filled.  Apart from some minor leaks here and there, I'm pleased to report the 'ole girl is running great at the moment, largely thanks to the good folks on this forum....probably shouldn't have said anything as now something will break..

Thanks,

Peter

'41 Roadmaster

IMG_1007.JPG

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"Steering gear lubricant" is usually a semi-fluid grease, NLGI 0 or 00.

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Valk,

I have used  CRC's engine assembly lube (grade0-1/2) in both my '40 Buick and my '31 Imperial with great success.

Not really oil and not really grease, but somewhere in between.

Available at Autozone or NAPA.

A lithium base, with moly graphite added.

 

Please do not use standard chassis grease as it will not "flow".

 

Mike in Colorado

 

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Don't call it "steering fluid" that's the stuff they use in cars with power steering.

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Ok, how about steering box lubricant? In any event, no clear answer yet as the manual calls for the box to be "filled', not packed, with something they don't make clear.  I popped the fill cap and seems to be something more "liquid" then a grease-like substance. This should not be a mystery.  I'll see if I can't find more specific info on the subject and report back. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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00 grease at Tractor Supply seems like the grease du jour:

 

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/steering-gear-lube-pourable-00-grease-600w-oil.1025876/

 

 

Of course,  if you want to spend more.... Corvette supplier's have it too!

 

https://www.ecklerscorvette.com/champion-00-manual-steering-box-grease.html

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35 minutes ago, valk said:

This should not be a mystery.  I'll see if I can't find more specific info on the subject and report back. 

 

In the Pontiac world, it isn't a mystery. The old shop manuals describe it's properties. It wasn't and isn't one of the standard greases or oils of the day. Have a look at this:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20160914010532/http://www.earlytimeschapter.org/steeringgearserv.html

 

As others have mentioned, NGLI 00 or 0 is about where you want to be. Thick gear oil will run out, and grease will scrape off and not flow back properly. The answer is in-between.

 

I like Penrite Steering Box lube. I understand John Deere Corn Head Grease is also popular.

 

https://www.restorationstuff.com/ecommerce/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=111_112&products_id=710&zenid=urvd1di4r5u79st714d4l79do3

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Thanks very much Gentlemen. It appears all of you a right. I really didn't appreciate the issue until reading your posts and links. I'll try one of your recommendations of NLGI 0 or 00.  

Thanks for your responses.

Peter

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Before you try to put some in the steering box, leave the bottle in the sun for a while or even heat it up in a pot of hot water. It will pour more easily if warm, although that is a relative term because it doesn't really pour easily at all.

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Here is photo of what I use. Comes from Restoration Supply in Escondido, CA. 

1A55B55D-EABA-4715-A412-BBE4E99CE38A.thumb.jpeg.7acb584af4e3e6089c8fcee19aed4500.jpeg94BA521F-1A90-493A-B72E-206D0825A2DC.thumb.jpeg.c42fea9b913fff3e9d43063882d24509.jpeg

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Great, perfect, thanks. Only concern is "Just pourable at normal ambient Australian temperatures" whatever that is! May have to heat it up like Spinneyhill suggested. 

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It is thick, I used a thin wooden strip to “spoon” it in. Took some time, but I have no more leaks from using thinner material. 

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Ha! What a riot. At 65 I don't have a lot of time to waste on filling a gear box. Then again, I'm retired and have time to watch grass grow....and regrettably for you guys, think of things to ask on this forum.

  • Haha 3

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...just came across a '41 service bulletin that instructs turning the steering wheel all the way to the left otherwise the "ball nut" lines up directly beneath the fill hole "which may cause lubricant to back up before housing is full". 

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I should probably do this, too. How do you drain the old stuff out? Is there a drain plug? Does it even matter? 

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I don't think you do. I don't recall ever seeing a drain plug on one.

 

Yeah, I guess it would be better not to mix, not knowing what was in there. On the other hand, if there is any lubricant in there AT ALL you have already won the war.

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I studied the schematic and unfortunately there ain't no drain plug.  Can't take off the bottom cover because the frame is in the way. I see no way other than to disconnect the column and take the box out- a huge job in my book.  I'm just going to add lubricant and let her rip. 

 

My box is leaking from the "worm support bearing adjusting screw" at the very bottom with very little clearance, if any. The fluid smelled like gear oil and looked a bit thin so maybe going with a thicker lubricant will help. 

 

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Put it outside and do it when the temperature is high! I believe they are getting 40+ oC in France: maybe you are seeing high temperatures too.

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Yeah, I don't think anybody tries to drain these. Usually you just find them empty.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Guest

I have a turkey baster(sp?) which Ive used for fluid removal and a larger metal device for heavy duty use that looks like a gease gun, that really "sucks" ha ha, but might be usefull using the method in the service bulletin with a clear tube attached to the inlet 2 let you see if its effective at removal. Might B worth trying.

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I use the plastic syringes that are made for giving medication by mouth to cows and horses. I get them at Tractor Supply. I have switched to using cornhead grease in all my steering gears.  They have about 3 inches of flexible tapered tube that can get down into the worm gear.  Is there a screw on the endplate that can be removed for draining?? 

 

Bob Engle

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Champion 00 is what I use after reading an extensive discussion on this site. It has a nice spout so you can pour it easily. Such mixtures have been called knuckle grease.. Amazon has it:

https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0018U0A4C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If I find the link to that 2018 discussion I will post it here.

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Thanks  Roadmaster71, I would be interested in reading it. I would think any reputable brand NLGI 00 will work well given the car's moderate use. 

Peter

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