Greasing new hubs

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Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 7 Dec 2014, 11:17pm

Re latest shimano hubs; I've not done one of those yet, but I don't see much harm in filling the whole hub tbh. if the seals are good I'd suggest using a semi-fluid grease, as this will get everywhere more easily and won't leak out too quickly. If you have first class seals and/or don't mind a little leakage, you can run hubs in (gear) oil, which works really well as long as you keep it up.

Re greasing; most non-bicycle applications use grease nipples (which the Yanks call 'zerk fittings' for some reason) but bicycles often use a simple ball fitting or just a plain hole e.g. if it is a DIY conversion. you need a pointy nozzle for these applications. Proper grease nipples and ball fittings have a check valve in them that doesn't leak out backwards even under high pressure. Well, that is the idea, anyway. Fortunately bicycle parts don't need high pressure grease application.

Dualco make some small bulk-fill grease guns which come with a pointed nozzle; for occasional use on bikes these are fine, but the nozzle isn't very long so access is poor in some cases. Theses guns appear to lack any kind of bleed valves.

R.S. sell a small-ish pistol action bulk-fill grease gun which has a single-stage bleed action and comes with a fitting for conventional grease nipples. It is a pretty good little gun for the money but you will need a pointed nozzle converter for many bike fittings and the single stage bleed is a bit of a pain, moreso on conventional nipples at high pressure than otherwise, admittedly.

There are many other grease guns out there, many of which accept grease cartridges rather than bulk fill. If you intend to buy grease in cartridges then maybe it makes sense to buy a gun of this sort. Bulk filling of small guns from 1lb tubs is fairly easy; you just take the spring pressure off, remove the reservoir from the gun, then push the reservoir down over the delivery plate in the tub (the one with a hole in it) until it is full. Stick it back on, spring back on, bleed it out and you are good to go.

Probably the 'gold standard' in small grease guns are those made by Wanner (now wanner-abnox). Like this;

Image

These guns use bulk fill, have (usually) a two-stage bleed, and are 'last a lifetime' quality, with full spares backup. The one in the picture is an older model but the internal spare parts from the current 'MiniWanner' model fit perfectly in most cases. The delivery tube is mounted via a 1/8" BSP thread, so you can use other fittings easily enough. Once fitted with a pointy nozzle they are tops for doing bike work. The seals are usually good enough that you can use these guns with oil if you want, but I guess it risks leakage when the gun is stored.

The downside is that these guns are pricey; about £70 new these days, but if you are lucky you will find a used one for a lot less than that.

Note that with any conventional grease gun it is a very bad idea to leave the spring pressure on the reservoir; this causes the oil to separate from the soap in the grease, leak out, then leave the soap behind in the gun, usually in a solid lump after a few weeks.

Mad thought; I have wondered if you can make an inexpensive 'grease gun' by refilling a sealant cartridge with grease and using a small nozzle with it in a sealant gun. It wouldn't do high pressures, but they might be high enough for some bike greasing operations.

cheers
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531colin
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby 531colin » 7 Dec 2014, 11:27pm

Long nozzle for Dualco grease gun.....http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/dualco-mini-grease-gun-needle-nozzle-id20200.html?gclid=CO-L-5WKtcICFeLItAodyF0AsQ#info
If you store the Dualco guns upside-down, you don't need to bleed them every 5 minutes. (this tip from Mick F, if memory serves)

JohnW
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby JohnW » 7 Dec 2014, 11:45pm

mark a. wrote:............Do you all take your hubs apart as soon as you get them? Or will the hubs be fine and I can wait until their annual maintenance?


I always strip down new hubs and regrease and re-set them before riding them. Having said that, they'd probably be ok for a year if I didn't.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 8 Dec 2014, 12:08am

531colin wrote:Long nozzle for Dualco grease gun.....http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/dualco-mini-grease-gun-needle-nozzle-id20200.html?gclid=CO-L-5WKtcICFeLItAodyF0AsQ#info
If you store the Dualco guns upside-down, you don't need to bleed them every 5 minutes. (this tip from Mick F, if memory serves)


that is a 4" nozzle IIRC. They do loads of others too;

http://www.dualco-inc.com/products.tips.html

up to 12" or so. For doing hubs a nozzle that is ~8" long is about right, because you can reach in through the spokes easily. The wanner gun is really good for this job, in part because the pump head is very slim; about 20mm wide where it goes between the spokes.

Dualco are US-based, which means all their guns come with a 1/8" NPT thread on the fittings. This thread doesn't interchange with 1/8" BSP, so all UK (and many European) grease fittings can't be used on a Dualco gun, and Dualco fittings don't fit anything else either.

Nice tip about the inversion BTW.

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Mick F » 8 Dec 2014, 7:53am

531colin wrote:If you store the Dualco guns upside-down, you don't need to bleed them every 5 minutes. (this tip from Mick F, if memory serves)
Yep.
Well remembered! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

rjb
Posts: 3007
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby rjb » 8 Dec 2014, 9:10pm

Brucey wrote:Re latest shimano hubs; I've not done one of those yet, but I don't see much harm in filling the whole hub tbh. if the seals are good I'd suggest using a semi-fluid grease, as this will get everywhere more easily and won't leak out too quickly. If you have first class seals and/or don't mind a little leakage, you can run hubs in (gear) oil, which works really well as long as you keep it up.

Re greasing; most non-bicycle applications use grease nipples (which the Yanks call 'zerk fittings' for some reason) but bicycles often use a simple ball fitting or just a plain hole e.g. if it is a DIY conversion. you need a pointy nozzle for these applications. Proper grease nipples and ball fittings have a check valve in them that doesn't leak out backwards even under high pressure. Well, that is the idea, anyway. Fortunately bicycle parts don't need high pressure grease application.

Dualco make some small bulk-fill grease guns which come with a pointed nozzle; for occasional use on bikes these are fine, but the nozzle isn't very long so access is poor in some cases. Theses guns appear to lack any kind of bleed valves.

R.S. sell a small-ish pistol action bulk-fill grease gun which has a single-stage bleed action and comes with a fitting for conventional grease nipples. It is a pretty good little gun for the money but you will need a pointed nozzle converter for many bike fittings and the single stage bleed is a bit of a pain, moreso on conventional nipples at high pressure than otherwise, admittedly.

There are many other grease guns out there, many of which accept grease cartridges rather than bulk fill. If you intend to buy grease in cartridges then maybe it makes sense to buy a gun of this sort. Bulk filling of small guns from 1lb tubs is fairly easy; you just take the spring pressure off, remove the reservoir from the gun, then push the reservoir down over the delivery plate in the tub (the one with a hole in it) until it is full. Stick it back on, spring back on, bleed it out and you are good to go.

Probably the 'gold standard' in small grease guns are those made by Wanner (now wanner-abnox). Like this;

Image

These guns use bulk fill, have (usually) a two-stage bleed, and are 'last a lifetime' quality, with full spares backup. The one in the picture is an older model but the internal spare parts from the current 'MiniWanner' model fit perfectly in most cases. The delivery tube is mounted via a 1/8" BSP thread, so you can use other fittings easily enough. Once fitted with a pointy nozzle they are tops for doing bike work. The seals are usually good enough that you can use these guns with oil if you want, but I guess it risks leakage when the gun is stored.

The downside is that these guns are pricey; about £70 new these days, but if you are lucky you will find a used one for a lot less than that.

Note that with any conventional grease gun it is a very bad idea to leave the spring pressure on the reservoir; this causes the oil to separate from the soap in the grease, leak out, then leave the soap behind in the gun, usually in a solid lump after a few weeks.

Mad thought; I have wondered if you can make an inexpensive 'grease gun' by refilling a sealant cartridge with grease and using a small nozzle with it in a sealant gun. It wouldn't do high pressures, but they might be high enough for some bike greasing operations.

cheers


Or a recycled syringe without the needle and with the tip profiled down to a point. Nibali and his Astana team mates should have a few available by all accounts :twisted:

BTW i use a Tecalamit one made at their Plymouth factory in the 1960's almost identical to the one in brucey's pic. Current ones are still made but but don't show the filling draw chain and handle so may be a bit different now so i can't comment on the quality but they almost went under in the 1980 recession before being taken over . http://www.tecalemit.co.uk/product_info ... ity-p-2634
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, 2 Dawes Kingpins, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, On One Pompino, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

Steveo2020
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Joined: 26 Apr 2012, 8:57pm

Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Steveo2020 » 8 Dec 2014, 10:58pm

Hi

If one were to fit grease nipples to a hub which would be the ones to use? Are they self tapping? There isn't much metal in the hub shell for them to thread into?

Is there any sensible place to fit a grease nipple to spd pedals?

Cheers

beardy
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby beardy » 8 Dec 2014, 11:33pm

Is there any sensible place to fit a grease nipple to spd pedals?


Probably not as they are very easily greased by just unscrewing the core, dipping it in grease and screwing it back in, this works as well as a grease gun would in flushing through the bearings with new grease.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 9 Dec 2014, 12:19am

+1 on that.

You can fit 1/4" (or 6mm) threaded grease nipples into hubs, but TBH it is probably easiest to just drill a small hole and use a nozzle type gun directly.

If you want to seal the hole again, using aluminium tape works as well as anything else and makes for a neat finish.

cheers
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CJ
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby CJ » 9 Dec 2014, 8:27pm

Mick F wrote:
531colin wrote:If you store the Dualco guns upside-down, you don't need to bleed them every 5 minutes. (this tip from Mick F, if memory serves)
Yep.
Well remembered! :D

Yep, and they have a slotted hole in the bottom of the can. So if you hammer a nail upwards into the bottom of your lubricants shelf, you can simply hang the thing from the head of that nail.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 9 Dec 2014, 9:20pm

CJ wrote: Yep, and they have a slotted hole in the bottom of the can.


like this;
Image

So if you hammer a nail upwards into the bottom of your lubricants shelf, you can simply hang the thing from the head of that nail.


Possibly that is a vestige of an earlier design feature, which was likely to have been a spring loaded piston in the grease reservoir. Guns with this feature typically have a chain (like wanner and some medium-sized tecalemit models) or a rod (like the RS gun) protruding from the base. The slotted hole in the base is meant to latch onto the chain or rod so that the spring pressure can be taken off the grease when the grease gun is not in use. Usually there are two pistons; a spring piston and a another grease separator piston.

Smaller guns often don't have such an arrangement; some telescopic guns use the hand pressure on the gun base in place of spring pressure. This kind of works, if you have filled your grease gun very carefully.

One reason for recommending guns like the wanner (and similar) is that they are so easy to bleed out. There are two bleed valves; with greases up to #2 consistency, opening the reservoir bleed (before the pump) causes both air and grease to bleed out. Opening the second bleed and using the pump purges the delivery line, so you can even bleed the gun out when you are already hooked up to a grease nipple. Guns lacking one or other bleed screw are often a PITA to use. In fact I've been driven to add such bleed screws to guns that lack them because they have been so ineffective otherwise.

cheers
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fatboy
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby fatboy » 14 Mar 2015, 5:49pm

Just set about drilling and greasing the hubs on my road bike which has low end non sealed Shimano hubs. Started with the front which went well. Decided to do the back one which had me he was scratching no end of time! What I did was to strip down clean and drill. Once I'd convinced myself that the swarf was gone I partially reassembled and pumped with grease. Then set to adjusting the hubs (my least favourite job!). When they felt right they were too loose (wheel moved side to side) and ewhen right in terms of side to side movement that went away just when the skewer was tight the wheels seemed stiff. After much grumbling and taking apart and putting back together i concluded that I had too much grease, and/or the grease was too thick. I scraped a load out and it freed up quite a lot. The grease is the Website red stuff which came with the grease gun and is really gloopy. Has anyone else had this experience? I want to drill the rear hub on my tourer/commuter but am going to wait a bit.

Assuming my conclusion is correct what grease should I be using?

Cheers

Chris
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Brucey
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 14 Mar 2015, 6:41pm

on some such hubs it is possible to misplace one or more balls (lost in the grease somewhere, the wrong side of the outer edge of the bearing cup) and the bearing simply won't adjust correctly, pretty much as you describe. So given that you can now pump the hub full of grease if necessary, you need only use enough during assembly to be sure that the balls are positioned correctly; you can always add more later on, after you have adjusted it.

A good test for the bearing assembly being correct is that you should be able to finger tighten the left side cone and still be able to turn the axle fairly easily by hand. If you can't do this, or it feels very rough, it doubtless means that the bearings are bad in some way.

cheers
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fatboy
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby fatboy » 14 Mar 2015, 6:48pm

The balls were definitely in the right place. The grease that I was using it far too gloopy and when I've used the stuff to pack Shimano SPD pedals I can't get the stuff to fill the cavity easily and the pedals turn more stiffly when I've used the stuff rather than other types of grease.

Any recommendations for grease?
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Brucey
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Re: Greasing new hubs

Postby Brucey » 14 Mar 2015, 7:37pm

I have never known a surfeit of grease cause me to adjust a hub badly, or cause it to run rough or whatever. But anyway you don't need to be adjusting it with that amount of grease in, you can put it in later on.

If you use your grease gun regularly the exact type of grease is less important than normal; it doesn't have to last that long. The only important thing is that it is runny enough to get where it needs to easily, but not so runny that it comes out the hub under its own steam too quickly.

If you find a #2 grease is too sticky, you could try a #1 grease instead. They do vary though, even when they are meant to be the same grade.

cheers
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