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Lubrication Starter /Generator clutch


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Rod,

I have that same Delco Service Manual along with Buick Reference Manuals from 1915 up through 1929 or 1930 and I see and read what you are pointing out.  However, I cannot find or read anywhere in any of the manuals that I have instructing the owner to use this 'STUFF' in the chassis grease cups.

 

Terry Wiegand

Out in Chilly Doo Dah

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19 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Rod,

I have that same Delco Service Manual along with Buick Reference Manuals from 1915 up through 1929 or 1930 and I see and read what you are pointing out.  However, I cannot find or read anywhere in any of the manuals that I have instructing the owner to use this 'STUFF' in the chassis grease cups.

 

Terry Wiegand

Out in Chilly Doo Dah

 

Grease cups

vaseline.jpg

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4 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

As far as re-lubing those clutches go, I'd be that it was never actually done. Getting at them and disassembling them is a real bear.

Recentl;y I did clean and repack a starter gear clutch. It looked like it had jyst regular grease - but it was 100+ years old.

CIMG4561.JPG


Agree

 

A rag over the assembly when disassembling keep the springs and balls from flying to the hidden corners of the shop too 

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21 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

As far as re-lubing those clutches go, I'd be that it was never actually done. Getting at them and disassembling them is a real bear.

Recentl;y I did clean and repack a starter gear clutch. It looked like it had jyst regular grease - but it was 100+ years old.

CIMG4561.JPG

 

This is incredible. That Vaseline is 100+ years old and still looks good. I don't get more than 2 or 3 years out of my "all purpose wheel and chassis grease", maybe 5 years in a sealed bearing once I take the plastic wrap off, before it gets hard and sticky (right before the bearing goes out).

 

Now I'm worried. I squirted about 10 squirts from my grease gun into the starter generator (in the opening in front of the distributor). If they filled the starter clutch with Vaseline at the factory and repacked it back when Vaseline was called for, is this grease going to mix with the Vaseline? I hear not to mix different types of grease. The manual says to fill the distributor with soft cup grease (Vaseline).

 

And the wheel hubs too. I unscrewed the plugs and squeezed about 10 pumps of grease in them too, and the manual calls for cup grease so does that mean they have cup grease in them which is not compatible? I'd hate to have to tear apart the 4 wheel hubs just to clean out all the "cup grease"

 

Here is what my manual says about the starter and wheel hubs...

 

cup grease.jpg

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Not to start a pi--ing contest, the grease in my S/G starter gear clutch didnt look like Vaseline at all - just regular grease and it was rather clean.

Also, with the cover off, there was no tendency for parts to fall or fly out.Getting the parts out was easy - putting them back a little tougher, but no big deal.

I have worked on many other things that were much more challenging.

Also - it was in perfect condition once cleaned up.

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Be cautious with the grease holes on the wheel hubs and on the base of the distributor.

Hubs.  

      Front Wheels - Treat your front wheels like a modern car.  Use a quality wheel bearing grease.  Remove the wheels and hubs.  Clean inspect and repack the bearings.  You should be good for at least 50,000 miles.  The car will never see that mileage.  Pumping grease in that hole in the hub will not get into both inner and outer bearings.  Those plugs in the hub are a sales and marketing gimic.

       Rear Wheels - Same thing here.  The outer rear wheel bearings are long roller bearings.  These are lubricated by the rear axle fluid.  I would still suggest a clean and rebuild and install using wheel bearing grease on the rollers and races.  The screw hole in the hub is not going to get grease into that bearing.  It is also likely to get grease onto the taper shaft that the wheel hub is mounted on.  These taper hubs are supposed to be kept dry from grease and assembled dry. 

 

Distributor 

    There is a grease fitting on the front of the starter generator on the distributor mount.  Why do I see all these distributor gears with sharp pointed teeth?  Because the grease point is in the wrong place.  To do the distributor right, remove the plug under the distributor, put a dab of grease on a Q tip, and make that dab go into the gear teeth itself.  At least on the 1925 model you can do this.  I know when I was rebuilding my distributor that this was another place where the grease point was in the wrong place.  This is one area that should be greased with frequency.  Just pumping grease into the distributor cavity - not for me. 

 

Starter/Generator Clutches 

        These do not really see a ton of movement or high speed, so the lubricant lasts a long time.  Clean and Reassemble them with a quality synthetic grease.  Notice that there is very little if any wear in these clutches so the 500 mile recommendation is the basic rule and not based on the good design Buick used for minimal wear when they were made.     

 

My recommendation is #1 Synthetic grease.  Being synthetic, they will not separate and they can handle the heat. The two that I recommend are Super Lube or Redline CV2.   Super Lube is used on many boat trailers because it can handle being submerged.  Redline has a lot of recommendations as well.  If you do have some old wheelbearing grease at home and it is separated in the tub, dispose of it properly and get some good stuff.  Same if your grease gun is oozing oil.  That is old school grease in it and it is time to upgrade.    

Hugh

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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23 hours ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

 

 

Distributor 

    There is a grease fitting on the front of the starter generator on the distributor mount.  Why do I see all these distributor gears with sharp pointed teeth?  Because the grease point is in the wrong place.  To do the distributor right, remove the plug under the distributor, put a dab of grease on a Q tip, and make that dab go into the gear teeth itself.  At least on the 1925 model you can do this.  

Hugh

 

I don't have any grease fittings on my car. They weren't invented yet. I have a small door made of sheet metal on the front of the distributor that swings to the side for filling with lube, and snaps back in place.

 

But my original question still remains. The modern grease that I injected in that door might mix with the Vaseline they originally packed the starter clutch with back in 1916 (or thereafter if they repacked it following the manual). Some different types of grease are not compatible, when mixed with each other they turn to liquid.

 

I'm going to answer my own question by mixing the grease that I used with Vaseline in a paper cup or my mother in law's best china, (RIP mother in law) and see if it liquefies. I'll post the results here.

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Otto,

The doors with the metal covers are oil doors.  They take a few drops of oil every 500 miles.  Those are for the starter generator bearings.  Notice the grease fitting on the very front for my distributor.  If that is not on yours, no problem because it is not well placed.   Hugh

IMG_6514.thumb.JPG.22e853764a0da3c90ecea62013b9e59b.JPG

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Otto, have you ruined your mother in laws china yet? Still waiting for the results of your mixing of grease.


Here is what I know about mixing grease. The soap is the part of grease which may or may not be compatible with other greases. For example, a lithium soap grease is compatible with a calcium soap grease, but neither is compatible with barium soap or sodium soap or clay. There are other types, most are on this chart. By far the most common grease thickeners are lithium soap and calcium soap, together they make up over 90% or 95% of grease you normally see these days, and since they are compatible there is usually no problem these days. The hydrocarbon part of the grease is the part that lubricates, and these are all compatible with each other and have nothing to do with it. For example, some grease has motor oil, of various weights, some have kerosene, benzene, mineral oil, some has synthetic oil (this is what is called "synthetic grease"), some has petrolatum, these are all compatible. The hydrocarbon part is not the problem, it is the soaps that are not always compatible. So, Vaseline is compatible with all grease, because it is hydrocarbon only, and has no soap.

 

Here is a chart:

 

 

grease.gif

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On 11/3/2019 at 1:25 PM, Rod Wise said:

earlier S/G that had a hinged door that swings out for greasing the distributor gear.

Otto,  I would remove the distributor and repack with new grease.

20191104_081849.jpg

 

My 15 Buick has the same door with a zerk grease fitting.

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I finally removed the jammed tapered pin from the coupler and removed my S/G.   I disassembled both ends to find out why it would not retract the starter gear.  The long rod with the tapered end that actuates the brushes was jammed.  A thin flat bar ("brush switch link") was bent, so it captured the rod & could not retract.  I straightened the bar and re-assembled the unit.  It now extends and retracts perfectly. 

 

It was a struggle for me to remove that heavy S/G.  So, I will wait for help to re-install it.  I just don't think I want to risk it without enough hands to help to lift it while getting everything aligned with the coupler etc.

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On 11/2/2019 at 9:43 AM, Otto Cycle said:

 

Now I'm worried. I squirted about 10 squirts from my grease gun into the starter generator (in the opening in front of the distributor). If they filled the starter clutch with Vaseline at the factory and repacked it back when Vaseline was called for, is this grease going to mix with the Vaseline? I hear not to mix different types of grease. The manual says to fill the distributor with soft cup grease (Vaseline).

 

Otto,

 

The grease that you put into the distributor grease door only greases the lower distributor, the front of the armature shaft, and the generator clutch. It will never get into the other clutch that Don is illustrating, which is not even in the starter / generator. He's showing the clutch that fits in the big gear in the housing that slides when you press the foot pedal. It has its own grease cup. The generator clutch allows you to motor the generator when the engine is off, Don's clutch is the one-way clutch that prevents you from over-revving the starter when the engine starts if you still have your foot on the starter gear. 

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