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  1. #1
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Default Bulk Grease Choice?

    Okay, after a post last week I ordered a bulk grease pump. Now it arrives and I rush to my John Deere dealer to get a 35 pound (5 gallon) bucket of grease -- only they don't carry it in stock.

    While I like their grease, I am not married to it. If I am going to have to go out and hunt down a bucket of grease, I might as well go looking for something specific.

    What kind of grease does the well-informed tractor owner look for these days?

    I am currently leaning toward Lucas "Red & Tacky", with which I have always had good luck, but I am willing to listen to all suggestions.
    4410 ePR, 3rd SCV, Skid Plates, TuffTop Canopy
    430 FEL, 48 BH, MX-5, Bush Hog Chipper, and more.

    455, 60" deck, MC-519, 3pt hitch

  2. #2
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    Depends, are you looking for a good grease or the best? For starters I would suggest a grease that is Moly fortified since you have a FEL on your tractor. The Moly really helps to reduce wear on items like loader pins where there can be very high loads placed on the pin/bushing surfaces.

    My suggestion would probably be TRC's Moly 880 Crown and Chassis grease in NGLI #2. All TRC greases are available in 45 pound pails.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member nmu98's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    All I use now is starplex

    Havoline.com: Products: North America: Greases - Starplex

    Its a clear red color and super stickey! All the excavators use it. I have tested it against mobil 1 syn in a trailer with the bearings going bad, and the mobil 1 turned to oil, where this held together and was much cooler.

  4. #4
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    When I did some work on the side for a regional grease supplier helping sell grease, I sold quite a bit of grease to the coal mines and a couple of larger excavating companies. However, I do not have the in depth chemistry knowledge of the exact properties and specifics of the different greases. My knowledge comes from what the distributor taught me, but mostly from the buyers for the two coal companies I supplied. Maybe "dieselpower" can give the more scientific reasons for me. What the buyers showed me was that the higher quality greases they want were a very tacky grease. The buyer would put a dollop of grease on his index finger and then put his thumb on that glob. When he slowly opened his finger and thumb he'd look to see how far apart he could get his finger and thumb before the grease wasn't still connected. He said that, for their uses, the further the grease would stretch the better. With cheap greases, as soon as you began to open a gap between your finger and thumb (with the grease between), the grease would not cling together and stay connected. With higher quality greases you get an inch or two before the grease wasn't still connected.

    I know I’m not explaining that very well, but the Lucas Red & Tacky and Kendall grease they used both passed his little test. I suppose it makes sense that you’d want grease that stays where you put it as well as sticking to all it touches. From what I’ve seen, the Lucas grease is popular and apparently pretty decent in the quality area.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    I also read the post about the bulk grease pump. I do not have one, yet. But probably will.

    A few questions before I go that route...
    A ballpark figure, What does a 5 gallon pail of good quality grease cost? What about grease separation when it sits around for a while? Will a grease gun operate without a grease cartridge sleeve in it? ...they do wear out and soften up after many uses.
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  6. #6
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbug
    I also read the post about the bulk grease pump. I do not have one, yet. But probably will.

    A few questions before I go that route...
    A ballpark figure, What does a 5 gallon pail of good quality grease cost? What about grease separation when it sits around for a while? Will a grease gun operate without a grease cartridge sleeve in it? ...they do wear out and soften up after many uses.
    JD's PolyUrea is $99 list for a 35 pound (5 gal) pail. Champion (local budget distributor) generic grease is $70 at my local farm supply. I don't have a price yet on the Lucas R&T.

    Reading Lucas' web site, one reason I am leaning toward R&T is that they specifically mentioned long shelf life.

    My understanding is that most quality grease guns are designed for either cartidge or bulk loading. If bulk loaded, the tube is removed.
    4410 ePR, 3rd SCV, Skid Plates, TuffTop Canopy
    430 FEL, 48 BH, MX-5, Bush Hog Chipper, and more.

    455, 60" deck, MC-519, 3pt hitch

  7. #7
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    And to expound on what Dargo said, after the initial open, open and close your finger and thumb several times, and see if the consistency stays the same.

    It is a pretty simple, low buck, limited use test, BUT, it is amazing to me (and I buy a fair amount of grease) the differences you can visually see when doing that.

    I run Starplex for reasons other then how most folks select their grease.

    When my dad asked last week, what I told him the most important factor in my opinion was, is to stay consistent. Different greases are formulated with different thickeners and they do not all neccessarily play well together.

    Pick a reputable quality grease, that you can live with the price on, that you can consistently get, Grease often, (it is the rare case where overgreasing causes issues) and things will work.

    If you constantly change grease, and formulations and thickeners, I see problems developing.

  8. #8
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    Just like with engine oils, UTF's and gear oils there are many properties that come into play to make a superior lubricant. With grease some of the key features to look for are load capacity, water resistance, cohesive/adhesive properties, compatibility, temperature range based on application and oil seperation characteristics.

    Let's start with water resistance. It's fairly straight forward. The greater the resistance to water the better. If it resist water it will repell it forming a water resistant coating on lubricated parts preventing rust and corrosion. The greater it's water resistance the better it can maintain it's load rating when contaminated with water. The best greases can maintain their load rating even in the presence of 20% water. A demonstration I do for water resistance is done on my car or truck side window. I take the competitions grease and smear a little on it (my window that is), take a handfull of paper towels, soak them with water and spray water on the window while I try to rub it off. Eventually I end up wiping off all the competitions grease. Then I stick some of my grease on the window and do the same. All I end up doing is spreading the grease around, you just can't get it off with water and paper towels. You have to use solvent to remove it.

    Cohesive/Adhesive properties. This is the "stickyness" of the grease. The cohesive properties is what makes it stringy. The more cohesive it is the more resistant it is to being pulled apart. In other words, it doesn't want to let go of itself. The adhesive properties are how well it sticks to other things, your tractor and you (and much to your wifes dislike your cloths). There is a fine line in how cohesive and adhesive a grease can be. I have seen greases that were to cohesive that they actually balled up and fell off on rotating shafts. A properly formulated grease should be just adhesive and cohesive enough that (lets say on a pillow block bearing and shaft) it should be able to form a barrier against contamination/dirt yet resist balling up and falling off. Basically it should leave a ring on the non rotating part of the bearing and the same on the shaft. It more or less forms it's own seal against dirt entry. Cohesive/adhesive greases will also greatly help to reduce grease consumption and actually help to reduce wear. If the grease resist being pushed out, slung off or washed off and stay's in place the next time you have to grease you don't have to use as much. A good grease may cost more but if you only use 1/2 as much where's the savings in the cheap stuff. Also if it is staying where it should, the lubricated part, you reduce wear. When the grease is not cohesive and adhesive enough and is forced out under load there is nothing left to protect the equipment. Where do you want your grease? On the ground or where it should be, in the lubricated part doing it's job.

    Compatibility isn't a huge problem but something to watch for. Some grease thickner types are not compatible and when two non compatible greases are mixed the end result is a grease mix with greatly reduced lubricating properties and also tends to become thinner. If switching grease thickner types just lubricate a little more frequently until you get the majority of the old grease purged out.

    Temperature range, it's a no brainer. If you are lubricating bearings in a furnace you want a ultra high temperature grease that never melts. In most tractor applications you don't need a ultra high temperature range. Something around a 300 deg. F. dropping point is typically fine for a tractor. You need to watch temperature ranges when you start to get into things like electric motor bearings and disc brake wheel bearings etc...

    Oil separation is just what it sounds like, a greases characteristic to bleed/separate oil from the thickener. Ever opened a pail or tube of grease that has been setting for any length of time and seen oil? Picked up your grease gun and seen oil run out the end? That's oil separation. A good grease will not bleed it's oil out of the thickener until it is actually in use where it bleeds out a controlled amount to do it's job, lubricate and can reabsorb any oil that does bleed out. I have pails of grease at my place that have been setting for over 12 years and show no signs of oil separation or cracking/shrinking of the grease. A grease with excellent oil separation properties should in all honesty never go bad setting on the shelf, even 30 years later.

    Load rating is a greases ability to protect from wear under extreme pressure/load. The greater it's load rating the more protection it provides at higher loads. If you are lubricating items like FEL's and BH's you want the highest load rating you can get since they place enormous amounts of load on the pins and bushings.

    Another option you can get in many greases is the addition of Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly). In applications like FEL's and BH's it is a excellent wear preventative. In these applications even the best grease on the planet will at some point be pushed out. The Moly forms a solid film on parts and acts as a last defense against wear. It is also great at reducing frictional heat. John Deere actually spec's a 3% Moly grease on their excavators. A good Moly grease will have 5% Moly by volume.

    I'm sure I forgot a couple of things but its a start.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Southeastern Ohio
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    Kubota L3600

    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    interesting topic.

    what is the timken OK load rating & how is it derived?
    is it a definitive index of a grease's resistance to pressure?

    i went to the TRC web site. the crown & chassis grease recommended in this thread had a load rating of 80. the grease i'm using has a rating of 50.

    jeff

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulk Grease Choice?

    Hi DieselPower, Jmbrock, Jeff, Dargo, Alan, and the gang,

    To JmBrock...I was going to ask the same kind of questions that you had just asked, but you beat me to it...What does Timkin, 4 Ball Wear, etc., mean?

    DieselPower, (resident lube expert), ....Thank you for your post on greases. I hope you don't mind if we pick your brain a little bit more. It is an interesting subject and hard to get real information that we can understand. This is the grease I am using now, (in cartridges), and was thinking of getting a pail. Or maybe yours is better, I don't know...since I do not have the knowledge to understand what all the indexes really mean...just numbers listed in a column.
    https://www.cbest.chevron.com/genera...PDS7668266.PDF
    Looking at the test data on that page can you explain to us what the dropping point numbers , 4 ball numbers, water washout numbers, viscosity index numbers, etc., etc., really mean? Is there some kind of chart that puts all those numbers into context and tells us what they mean? For instance, I noticed that oil separation for the NLGI grade 2 is a 2...does that mean it will separate out in a long time, (years), or no? It is a 5 for grade 0. Is 5 good or bad?

    I'm sure a few other folks on the board would like to know also, so they could make informed decisions before buying a bucket.
    Last edited by Redbug; 06-09-2007 at 12:41 PM.
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

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