Greasing the U joint in a 1990 318
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Thread: Greasing the U joint in a 1990 318

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Display Name: Tarponhuntr

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    Greasing the U joint in a 1990 318

    Went to hit all of my grease points today, and tried getting too the small zero in the yoke.
    With my standard grease gun, the head is too big to fit in that small space.
    What is everyone else using to do theirs?
    I've looked at some of the small grease "pistols", but the ones I've seen have the same head as what I'm using, so I've passed on them.
    Thanks
    Tarpon

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  3. #2
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    Display Name: David C.Dunbar

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    Alemite and Lincoln, possible others, make an adapter. (Try Google) Fits onto your regular grease gun/hose tip for Zerks. 3-4" long, the tip shaped like pencil. That tip can push in the grease fitting's ball to admit lube. Used one in garage every day on driveshaft "U" joints in the '50s. Still a handy tool today. David

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    Display Name: David C.Dunbar

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    Yes, Alemite narrow needle nose adapter. It doesn't snap onto fitting. You'll need to hold pressure against the depressed fitting's ball. Be sure the ball springs back to seal against dirt, etc. david

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    Display Name: Jake M

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    What coupler do you have? I've got a couple of varying sizes, they all fit fine? My tractor, and two driveshafts out of parts tractors.

    How many "jaws" are inside the coupler? If you've got four, (often called "heavy duty") it's (probably) way too big for universal use. (And prone to just not working randomly anyway as the jaws always seem to move out of place and make insertion or removal way too difficult). Or one of the trigger operated locking ones? Those are spectacular (and cost more than a new grease gun) and aren't gonna go in that joint no matter what you do.

    Ok, I just went and measured the larger of the two I have here at home. They're both what I'd call "standard". Just off the shelf crap at whatever crap DIY parts stores I happened to be at. Whadda you have to measure with? My largest one has an outside diameter of 0.555 inches at the business end. 71/128 of an inch. Just a whisker under 9/16. a little sloppy fit with a 9/16 open ended wrench. Less slop but still a little play on a 14mm open ended wrench wrench. If you're in that ballpark and it won't go... I'm guessing there's a better fitting (if you see fit). Or the inverted cup fittings, which lots of folks (and a few manufacturers) refer to as "needle fittings" will work. They're fat, with a cone tip. A "needle fitting" is the size and shape of a hypodermic needle tip, and will NOT work for this.
    Last edited by Jake M; 06-27-2020 at 07:57 PM.

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    Display Name: Tarponhuntr

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    Thanks guys!
    I never knew such an animal existed, but it turns out my local O'Reilly's, right up the road, has an adapter to do the trick.
    Problem solved, and $10.00 ounce of prevention may save me a several hundred dollar repair.
    I don't think that zerk has seen any grease since it left Horicon, in 1989/90.

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    Display Name: Tarponhuntr

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    I believe I've got her squared away.
    I found the needle type adapter, but not the hypodermic type.
    Even better, it gave me an excuse to get a new hose for my grease gun, and a new tip as well.
    Somehow, a new tow strap and a few other goodies wound up in the buggy too.

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    Display Name: Randy

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    Just a point about the tow strap...an actual 'tow strap' or a recovery strap? Two very different animals that can look (and be called) the same. But after many years of four wheel drive experience the tow strap should never be used for extraction (on anything that is seriously stuck anyway). Might as well use a chain. A recovery strap is designed to stretch and then use that stored energy to 'yank' the stuck vehicle free. Much easier on drive trains and vehicle frames too. A 'tow strap' will have some amount of give, but overall, it's just a braided rope or a lifting strap put to a different use.

    The old hypodermic needle type tip is supposed to only be used to puncture the rubber seals on axle joints to put more lube in. They aren't too popular anymore I don't think. I may be wrong since I'm not a shop mechanic. The needle tip adapter is slightly different, it's working end is blunted round. The hypodermic adapter is just that, cut at an angle like a hypodermic needle for what I just mentioned.
    Last edited by Randy-IA; 06-29-2020 at 11:12 AM.

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    Display Name: Tarponhuntr

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    Thanks for looking out.
    I actually got the blunted end grease adapter, and it worked great.
    The U joint is now greased and happy.
    As the tow strap goes, it actually was a recovery strap, but intended for use on ATVs, so it'll be great for the 318.
    It'll be used on both ends I'm sure, either pulling brush and logs, or getting it out of jams that I put him in.
    Good heads up though. I've got the chain, but the strap is just much easier to throw in a tool box or go bag.

  11. #9
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    Display Name: Randy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarponhuntr View Post
    Thanks for looking out.
    I actually got the blunted end grease adapter, and it worked great.
    The U joint is now greased and happy.
    As the tow strap goes, it actually was a recovery strap, but intended for use on ATVs, so it'll be great for the 318.
    It'll be used on both ends I'm sure, either pulling brush and logs, or getting it out of jams that I put him in.
    Good heads up though. I've got the chain, but the strap is just much easier to throw in a tool box or go bag.
    I just say what I have experience with, not saying others don't have the same or different experiences, but on a forum one never knows what experiences others have. I never intend to talk down to folks.

    I agree on the ease of use and transport of a strap versus a chain. On my big tractor I just hang a 3/8" (graded) load binding chain on the front weights. I still use my 30'x3" 30,000lbs rated recovery strap that I bought about 40 years ago for some things however. It lives in the back of my 2500 Ram. It has leather covered twisted ends but it's getting pretty ragged these days. I don't subject it to hard pulls anymore. Just easy snow recoveries. When it gets muddy just power wash it or throw it in a five gallon bucket of water with some dish soap and agitate. Then rinse good. Today's straps are built different from the one I have. Whether they are better or not is debatable. My feelings on that are that very little built these days is better than stuff built (before these days). Except cars and trucks...they seem to be better in some respects, just much less user friendly.

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