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Discussion Starter #1
Just reassembling the gearbox on my 33 tiller. Is there a suitable substitute for cornhead grease? I have a variety of greases on hand and am hoping to be able to use one. However if it is a special grease that has no real replacement then I guess I’ll have to buy it.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
 

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Mike, Nothing I've seen to replace cornhead. One benefit of cornhead is it looses viscosity when it warms up (though running gearbox.) The thinner/less viscus grease then flows into the gear mesh & bearings providing lubrication to both. A "conventional" grease tends to retain its viscosity and the gears simply wallow out a hole in the grease...leaving gears and bearings without lube! I wouldn'd substitute!

Check online, maybe (???) Greenpartstore.com. I saw a post today somewhere where they have it for $4.00+ a tube. May be a different site, but green something! Bob
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Bob.
I saw it on their website. It was $4.03 with $9.99 shipping. About $15 Shipped on Amazon. I’m not in a big hurry so I’ll wait until my next trip to my local JD dealer.

Mike
 

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Either the Greentractortalk forum or Mytractorforum has greenpartstore as a vendor and sometimes (??) gives free shipping to members of the forum. Both are excellent forums with lots of JD stuff. May want to join and check them out. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just called my dealer. They have it for $4.03 a tube. I will pick one up on Saturday.
Thanks again.
 

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I'm finding some other applications for it around the farm as well- going to change out the gear lube that keeps leaking out of my airens snowblower worm gear box to corn head grease too. The brush hog gearbox might like it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Reading my my mind, Graham. As long as I’m driving there for one tube, I may as well buy two.
 

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Mike, Nothing I've seen to replace cornhead. One benefit of cornhead is it looses viscosity when it warms up (though running gearbox.) The thinner/less viscus grease then flows into the gear mesh & bearings providing lubrication to both. A "conventional" grease tends to retain its viscosity and the gears simply wallow out a hole in the grease...leaving gears and bearings without lube! I wouldn'd substitute!

Check online, maybe (???) Greenpartstore.com. I saw a post today somewhere where they have it for $4.00+ a tube. May be a different site, but green something! Bob
Never knew it. Thank you.
 

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Deere300, JD used similar gearboxes on the 49 & 33. The early gearboxes had cover plates with an elbow and a pipe plug/level plug. JD spec'd out SAE 90 gear oil for the boxes with fill & level fittings. These fittings were later removed and a plain flat plate was used. JD spec'd out, 'no periodic lubrication required,' for the plain plate. Although I can't find it printed anywhere in my info, I believe this is when JD changed to cornhead grease.

MY personal preference would be cornhead grease and remove cover plate every 5 years (200-300 hrs) and visually inspect. Bob
 

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Bob's post #2 about most lubes not being where needed can be a real problem. So many specs depending on application. My wife makes lots of her own recipes whole grain breads with organic ingredients The gears in the Kitchen Aid mixer sounded dry and laboring. Yes the machine was many years old, high mileage. Pulled the gear case apart, orig white lube type everywhere but on the spur gears. Cleaned gearbox, liberal dose of JD corn head. Sounds happy now. Being more of a liquid, it weeps a bit but not a problem. Google the JD corn head grease video. David
 

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Good find Mike! I particularly like the comment in post #2, 'as it will slump to prevent cavitation voids like a #2 grease.' And as stated elsewhere in the thread, it has definite uses and places where it is NOT used. Heavy loaded areas require an EP grease or a moly grease, and cornhead is neither! Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes Bob, which is in so many words what you said in the second post of this thread. Thanks again.
 

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I'm going to concur with the thread here. While you can technically find other greases designed for similar purposes, you're going to pay five times as much for similar performance. That gearbox is not terribly demanding of it's lubricant, you could substitute other types all together... Primarily though, the John Deere stuff, right from the dealer, is under five bucks a tube, and quite literally built to a "set it and forget it" quality point. Good to go (in this application....) for another twenty, thirty, forty years so long as you don't cut the seals. At that price, you really can't save enough to make it worth scheduling that gearbox for periodic oil changes.
 

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I used to use Lubriplate 105 white engine assembly grease in the lower units of direct drive antique outboard motors, basically those with no shift or gears...just spin it around to reverse, etc. Cornhead grease was an acceptable substitute...hence this reply. Lubriplate is non-emulsifiable...won't mix with or dilute down and seep out due to water intrusion...which may not even be a factor in your application...just sayin'. Just my .02 cents...hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Saturday I picked up some Cornhead grease at my dealer. Yesterday I filled the gearbox with the 3 oz the manual called for. It is definitely a lighter viscosity compared to standard grease. Just to see how it would react to temperature I got out my HF heat gun and warmed the grease for about 45 seconds. True to expectations, the grease, while only a bit warm, would slowly ooze off the gears and sides of the gear case. No doubt that while tilling in warmer weather (it was 35 degrees in my barn) it will be fluid enough to keep the gears and bearings lubricated despite cavitation.
 

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Excellent experiment! I was going to do the same thing when I did the gearbox on my blower but put the cover on before I thought about it.
 
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