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Clogged grease fitting

dieselpig's picture

Any suggestions on fixing a clogged grease fitting?  I was lubing the machine today and came across one that wouldn't take grease at all.  I unscrewed the nipple and hooked it up to the gun and blew grease through it, no problem.  So the 'clog' is after the nipple.


Any ideas?

(post #67800, reply #1 of 24)

Compressed air and stand to the side while blowing?


Needle..stab around and see if you can dig out the crud?


Is it possible that there's not room for more grease and you're pushing on seals? More pressure could be bad news.


Hmmm, more questions than answers there, diesel.


 


 


PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #67800, reply #2 of 24)

Thanks peter, but I don't think compressed air will make it in there.... could be worth a shot though.  Needle.. maybe.  On this fitting, you get squeeze out when it's full, so I'm not working against any seals.


Hmmmmm.  This has gotta be a fairly common problem.

(post #67800, reply #3 of 24)

Try removing  any load or swivel the parts and try the gun again 

(post #67800, reply #4 of 24)

Tried both Jako, but thanks.  Put the boom on blocks and tried, and then worked the boom up and down and up and down and then tried with the boom up in the air.  Got a stubborn one.


I'd hate  to call Cat service for something like this.  $75/hr travel time and about $100/hr for actual service, 2 hr minimum IIRC.

(post #67800, reply #5 of 24)

Just found this:


 


http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&langId=-1&productId=200130974&R=200130974&issearch=403100


Anyone ever try one or know if they're any good?  $47 stings a bit, but it's still cheaper than service for sure.

(post #67800, reply #8 of 24)

Never used one, but looks like a clever idea.


On the compressed air, I was thinking screw fitting out, tapered rubber tip on blowgun, hold tight into hole and give a small shot. 100 psi may do it, may not. 



Ah heck,  if that tool works like it says, ya need one anyway!


PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #67800, reply #12 of 24)

The cleaner at northern tool will work if it's only plugged up with dirt. If it has metal shaving in it for some reason it won't do anything.

Can you change it, as IMERC suggested? I think the fittings are less than a buck each.

I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes. [Robert Heinlein]

(post #67800, reply #14 of 24)

Truthfully Boss.... I don't know how!  This is the first machine I've ever owned.  Is it very involved?  I guess it depends on the location and the machine, huh?  Maybe I can take a picture this afternoon.


Right now I'm supposed to be helping the guys pour concrete, but I ran in to the office to call a sand and gravel yard.  Couldn't help but check in to BT while I was at it, ya know?  Nothing beats working on your own house!!

(post #67800, reply #15 of 24)

If you get a close look at the fitting, it probably has a 3/8" hex head under it. You simply unscrew it and put another one back in it's place.

Any farm equipment dealer should carry them. Don't know about auto supply stores.

Bumpersticker: My kid had sex with your honor student.

(post #67800, reply #16 of 24)

e-mail me your address and I'll throw an assortment of fittings in the mail to you (no charge).

(post #67800, reply #17 of 24)

Wow!  That's awful generous of you.  Thanks... let me know what I owe you for postage at the least.

(post #67800, reply #20 of 24)

Can afford generosity easily when it is only 37 cents <G> (got a box of 200 fittings at a garage sale last year).  Will send just zerx fittings, as the mushroom ones are only one piece and if you blew grease thru that it is OK.  I lost 'track' of what machine you have, can you refresh my memory?


Sending the 2 piece type Boss Hog refered to:


1/4" straight, a spare


3/8" 90 degree base, has a 1/4" straight screwed into that


3/8" 45 degree base, has a 1/4" in that also.


Will put it in the mail tomorrow AM, simply a letter.


 


 

(post #67800, reply #21 of 24)

My machine is a Caterpillar TH-360B telehandler.  Thanks again.

(post #67800, reply #22 of 24)

DP,


 We had a couple of hydraulic cylinder ends off a JD Tractor in the shop the other day. They had the same problem and would not accept any grease. We ended up pushing the bushings out and found that the groove around the outside of the bushing, where the grease goes through, had rusted up solid, probably due to lack of maintenance. I dont know if yours is a similar setup, but new bushings and cleaning everything very good took care of that one.


Hope this helps,


Bill Koustenis


Advanced Automotive Machine


Waldorf Md

Bill Koustenis Advanced Automotive Machine Waldorf Md

(post #67800, reply #24 of 24)

the fitting has antwhere's from a 5/16 to a 5/8 nut  built on it... box wrench should do it.. 6 point socket is better...


The fitting is called a Zerk Fitting... if it's threaded it's NPT and not machine... compression is till wrench removal...


thighten the fitting a fuzz before you start the removal process.. life will be easier...


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #67800, reply #9 of 24)

Diesel, I just read your reply to Jako. It sounds like this might not be an easy pin to get to.

Another longshot, but it has worked for me: I have an electric grease gun that runs at about twice the pressure of a standard hand-pump type gun. It will lube fittings that don't take grease very well from a regular grease gun.

It's also a convenience when you're using 3 or 4 tubes of grease a day.

(post #67800, reply #6 of 24)

If the nipple you removed is just the tip of the larger grease fitting you should be able to install a new fitting. Most are standard units. If the clog is not in the fitting the way we normally worked it was to remove the fitting and spray or inject mineral spirits and suck or blow this out with a hand operated vacuum pump or compressed air to disolve the hardened grease and remove the plug. The compressed air usually makes a mess so the pump is better.

On large units a mechanics syringe, a steel syringe that holds a about a quart, can be used to pump in the solvent and remove the dregs after installing a piece of fuel line on the end. These units are great for sucking out oil and grease. You can clear a differential without dropping the pan.

Add a little solvent agitate with a piece of wire and suck it out. Repeat as necessary. Once you have it clear install the new nipple and pump in grease until the solvent thinned grease is expelled from other end. Keep going until good clean unthinned grease emerges.

There is a device which is designed to inject solvent into a grease fitting to free it up. A bit larger than a pen you draw up the solvent, fit it to the nipple and whack it with a hammer. Never used one.

On the other hand, as has been pointed out, perhaps the unit is full.

(post #67800, reply #7 of 24)

If it's on a part that's easy to get to (like a bucket pin or ripper linkage) I'd take it apart and inspect the pin. I've had pins get covered in a hard black coating that looks like the stuff that forms on exhaust valve stems. Once this stuff builds up sometimes that particular part won't take grease even though the zerk is good.

I've had it happen on ripper linkage and bucket pins, never on boom linkage. I suppose it's mostly the parts that take the worst impact.

I start with #240 and work through the grades up to #600 intil the pin and bushing are clean, lubricating the paper with penetrating oil. I reassemble the pin with assembly lube and whatever is the right grease for that machine.

(post #67800, reply #10 of 24)

change it... they're cheap...

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #67800, reply #11 of 24)

Usually the first thing you do is replace the zurk - I always prefered the mushroom type because of the positive attachment and I'm guessing you already know about wiping the fitting off with a varsol rag before you use it. Sometimes you get lucky and clean off the other end (i.e. where the spent grease comes out, usually from under a boot) with a steam jenny

In my limited experience, these problems were most often a failure of the fitting; more specifically, the spring-loaded check-ball. If that didn't solve the problem, we were left trying to decide if we could finese a fix or just bite the bullet from the start and start tearing down the unit.

.
Phill Giles
The Unionville Woodwright
Unionville, Ontario

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #67800, reply #13 of 24)

The few times I've been faced with this I just put all my strength into the hand grease gun and forced things open. I'd guess the hand grease gun can produce 500psi or better, more than you'll get from an air hose, and probably more than you'll get from most air-powered guns.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #67800, reply #18 of 24)

One thing to double-check. Someone may have inserted a long-shank nipple into a threaded opening that is fairly shallow, such that when the nipple is tightened all the way, the back of the nipple is pressing on the shaft or whatever and no grease can go through.

Try loosening the nipple a half turn and then greasing. If that works, put a lock washer under the nipple, or get a nipple with a shorter shank.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #67800, reply #19 of 24)

Is that the same as a pencil eraser nipple?

  Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #67800, reply #23 of 24)

Ahoy DP,


As you are mightily pumping grease into the fitting, have a accomplice tap the assemply with a ball peen hammer. Let yor conscience determine how hard to whack it with the persuader. Often that tapping will free up the obstruction.  Used to work for me on some fittings on a ancient New Holland Hay Baler I was cursed with.


Cheers,


Mr Blister,


On Beautiful Georgian Bay, Ontario