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Lubricating the steering rack on a Bug-Eye

twas_brillig

Jedi Knight
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We have a 1959 bug-eye; the factory shop manual references filling a grease gun with hypoid oil and adding it every 12,000 miles; in the lubrication diagram, the reference is to "Apply the grease gun filled with oil to Ref. B to the nipple on the steering rack and give 10 strokes only." Ref. B provides a list of brands, primarily referencing 90 wt.
The Haynes Manual advises (for the early Sprites): 'After fitting the steering rack in place, fill it with 10 fl oz (280 cc) of SAE 140 extreme pressure oil."
I was planning on pulling the drain plug and maybe flushing it it with solvent or spraying a bunch of brake-clean inside, then putting the drain plug back in after it drains and using a small funnel to fill after pulling the grease fitting - the rack hasn't been used since before we bought it in 1972.
I'm concerned that Haynes suggests 140 wt extreme pressure and the factory recommended 90 wt hypoid. And I can't remember what I used on our BE.
Any suggestions on the oil to use, and how much (ie drain and fill or ??)? Thanks, Doug
 

apbos

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Corn Head Grease
Paul
 

PAUL161

Great Pumpkin
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This is an on going subject and the use of grease or oil has been a debate since these cars were built. The factory said oil, for a particular reason, it lubricates all the parts better as it flows back and forth when turning. The bellows push the oil from one side to the other, make sure the bellows aren't cracked or leak. Grease remains in one spot and over time the ends of the rack don't get lubed properly, it will also get thinner on top of the rack over time. Use what the factory recommended, or, if you live in a super cold climate use 90W, warm climate, 140W. PJ
 

BlueMax

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All the new Spridget racks that are sold today from the likes, AH Spares, Moss, VB Moss UK, Ect are made in South America. The new up dated racks do not come with a provision to lube rack through an alemite fitting. When center my new rack I need to remove the boots to obtain accurate measurements for centering. I notice that the rack only has synthetic grease now. All the hotrods with up dated steering today come the same, lube with just grease. I think that lubrication technology in that period just wasn't adequate to do the job as it is today.
 

apbos

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About $4.00 a tube from your local John Deere Dealer. Best of both worlds.
 
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twas_brillig

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Never thought of John Deere as my lubricant source...
I pulled the gaiters last evening plus the drain plug and the 'oil' fitting and it looks like a previous owner pumped a lot of grease into it. Couldn't get one hose clamp off so will do that this evening. Did a bunch of wiping. Also dropped a note to Red Line just in case they had any thoughts. Doug
 

nomad

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Its easy to use the correct 90wt or 140wt. I've used both. Just unscrew the plunger end from your gun and pour in some of the transmission oil and keep the gun upright. Fit to the nipple and pump. I do it on my cars every few month's. I would clean as much of the grease out as I could and pump in 90wt. Agree completely with Paul.

Kurt.
 
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twas_brillig

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I picked up a jug of Royal Purple 'Maxgear' 75W-140 High Performance Gear Oil this afternoon and will try that. It does call up the various API specs but the fine print advises that it's an 'extreme pressure hypoid gear oil'. And it costs more than the wine I drink, so it's gotta be good....
Thanks all - Doug
 
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twas_brillig

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Put the 'grease' nipple and drain plug back in last night and installed one gaiter, leaving the one covering the exposed rack off. Wrapped the splined input to the steering box with paper towel and clamped on vice grips so I could 'steer' the box. Borrowed one of my wife's measuring cups and used it measure the 10 ounces, and then spent some time withe the steering rack on end, slowly pouring it down alongside the rack and spinning the vice grips. Put the last gaiter on and will reinstall today. And hope for no (significant) leaks. Doug
 
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twas_brillig

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well, dang. We installed the rack a week or so back, and both it and one front Armstrong are leaking - I missed a hole in the gaiter. So, pulling the steering rack (we hadn't tightened down on the tie-rod ends) and replacing both gaiters next week, and will throw in 5 ounces or so of fluid. I was figuring we'd have to pull the rack anyway to get the bottom pulley on the crankshaft more easily (assuming we can get the engine/trans installed ). And both shocks have been replaced with rebuilds from World Wide. Progress is progressing. Slowly. Doug
 

SaxMan

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I have a pdf copy of the Sprite manual from 1969, and they recommend 90 weight gear oil...same as you use in the rear diff. I used that in my rack after I replaced the bellows, which were completely shot. So far, everything seems to be doing well. The steering feels a bit smoother to me...noticeable but not a night and day difference. I do love the feedback that you really can only get from manual rack and pinion steering, it's like the car becomes an extension of you.
 

SD Bugeye

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This is an on going subject and the use of grease or oil has been a debate since these cars were built. The factory said oil, for a particular reason, it lubricates all the parts better as it flows back and forth when turning. The bellows push the oil from one side to the other, make sure the bellows aren't cracked or leak. Grease remains in one spot and over time the ends of the rack don't get lubed properly, it will also get thinner on top of the rack over time. Use what the factory recommended, or, if you live in a super cold climate use 90W, warm climate, 140W. PJ

Its 50 years later my feeling is if no one has come to a conclusion that one is better than the other by now I don't see a problem continuing to use either for the next 50.
 
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