Daan

Greasing U/Js; how hard can it be?

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Ok, So there is a thread on U/J quality in the international forum were people are mentioning short lives of their U/J, and questioning their quality. Of course, a genuine U/J generally lives longer than a cheap replacement. 

But In my experience, there is more to it. Mainly maintenance; how often do you grease your U/Js? And the next question is than how is it done. Before you all think I teaching you to suck eggs I will expand on this  a bit more: Problem I found is that one grease nipple is serving 4 bearings. In reality, this means that the grease tend to find the route with the least resistance. This usually means you are effectively greasing 1 or 2 bearings only. And what about the others? They are dry as a bone and fall apart. 

To combat this, I thought about it, and came up with a method that I will show you here. It is rather involved, but I have not changed a U/J in 10 years. Here we go:

First off, grease as you would normally. You can see which bearing gets grease, as it pours past the seal:

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The ones that dont get any grease need feeding as well. You can do this by pressing the bearing which has already been greased against the crosspiece like so:

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This now should stop the flow of grease to the already greased bearing, and find the next passage with the lowest resistance.

If you still have other bearings that have no grease coming out, you can add a G-clamp with a nut, to press 2 opposed bearing cups against the cross piece. keep repeating this process until all bearing cups have grease coming out.

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This process is rather fiddly, but as mentioned, since I started doing it this way, I have had no failures. I have done this with the props on the car and using 2 opposed G-clamps. Also, the blue grease is better in my experience, as it does not go solid like the yellow stuff (which I am using here, unfortunately).

Hope that helps, and have fun greasing these things!

Daan 

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