Steering Box Grease/Oil

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW Technical questions and discussions, regarding anything related to the WWII jeep.
Michigan45MB
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Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Michigan45MB » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:42 am

What kind of grease or oil would I use to fill my steering box?


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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by artificer » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:18 am

Back on board....
Gear oil 90-140 as is in Joels TM's
Assemble with grease if overhauling then top up with oil is the way I would go.
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:28 am

Joel's TM's and pertinent LO's do not list anything but GO-90. for the Jeep.
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:30 am

[quote="artificer"]Back on board....
Gear oil 90-140 as is in Joels TM's
Assemble with grease if overhauling then top up with oil is the way I would go.[/quote]
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The above statement by John is untrue and misleading.
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:00 am

With a proper Oil Seal and gasket and the copper crush washers in place....once mounted in the jeep and sitting on level ground...unscrew the square headed plug on the box and fill with 90 wt.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by artificer » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:11 pm

Assemble with grease if overhauling then top up with oil is the way I would go.
The fishing is great & isn't it nice to have some debate going on. I stand by this recommendation 110%.
Actually the appropriate TM recommends NGLI No! which is grease & this I don't recommend
John GIBBINS Member Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers [Ret], ASE Master Medium/Heavy Truck & Auto Technician USA -2002 Licensed Motor Mech NSW MVIC 49593 Current 2015
TO DIAGNOSE, TROUBLESHOOT OR FAULT FIND ANY AUTO SYSTEM....
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:58 pm

That debate is a short one....if you look at some TMs they do say "NGLI" but if you look at the War Department Lubrication Guide No. 501 as seen in the TM 9-803....and go down to "STEERING GEAR"....it says "GO"....then you look up to the top and find that "GO" is actually "SAE 90" for above freezing.

I myself am constantly losing sleep at night not knowing if I should go with GREASE or with the 90 wt. the Lubrication Guide in the TM 9-803 calls for but I went with the 90 wt. and no one has complained thus far. Why oh why did the military go with NLGI early in the war and switch to 90 wt. later on? Perhaps Old Man Winter was freezing up the steering boxes?

I dont know and have not heard the story about that...yet.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3-C 1947

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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:13 pm

Always use the latest revision of the TM or in this case, the "LO".
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by dpcd67 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:01 pm

Ok, I am going to get yelled at; but I never use GO 90 in steering boxes any longer; I use John Deere corn head grease, which won't leak out and won't freeze, but provides excellent oil like lubrication. And around here, there is a John Deere dealer on every corner, hell, their world HQ is here. Lube technology has come a ways since 1940. I know, in a perfect world, we all have perfect seals and nothing leaks out. My world is not perfect. If my trucks and jeeps are not leaking, that tells me they are empty. That last part is a joke.
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by VitoCapo » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:25 pm

I rebuilt my steering box (my first project I might add) my only advice is "Do not overfill it!"

I was convinced that I did it all wrong and tore it out and redid it about 3 times before I realized I was just putting in way too much oil.

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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:07 pm

There is one correct Lubricant Level for the Steering Gear, and that is to the level of the plug.
There is an old G503 post about one owner following anothers suggestion of the merits of using "CornHead Oil". He put it in his transmission and Transfer and nearly fried them. Best to follow the LO.
Note that the upper ball bearings are just at the upper lube level and in order to get the lube to flow to the upper level it should be GO.
Last edited by Joe Gopan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Derek Eddlestone » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:33 pm

In the seventy years since the jeep manual recommendations were made there has been a bit of research and development in to lubrication and what was good in the 1940s when experience in the motoring field was limited may not be the case in the new century. I've been filling my steering gear with a proprietary semi fluid grease for at least twenty years since I rebuilt it, with no ill effects and without causing any wear that can be felt when driving or detected at the annual inspection. Large parts of the old manuals are still valid but time has moved on and some things have changed like the recommendation to use 70 Octane fuel in your jeep. I wonder how some of the followers of these ageing manuals would feel if they were sent to Afghanistan clutching a bolt action Springfield because 'in my day that was the best gun to use'

Derek.

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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Marty, SoCal » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:44 pm

"I wonder how some of the followers of these ageing manuals would feel if they were sent to Afghanistan clutching a bolt action Springfield because 'in my day that was the best gun to use' "

Probably they would be glad as that rifle would put down a mujh at 800 meters with one shot, in the right hands. :wink:

As to the #1 grease phase out for 90wt gear oil, I would suspect it was because the gear oil could be drained and refilled after water fording, without disassembling the gearbox, vs grease, which would require the cover, at least, be removed to clean out the water contamination.
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Stir-Stick » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:53 pm

Howdy
Some Bubba's have solved the problem by replacing the 1/4 inch fill plug with a grease zert . This way , you can pump grease into it until your horn stops working :lol: . I have rebuilt quite a few steering gears , and if done correctly , you can use the proper lubrication and it will stay in there :wink: . Ain't that right Chuck and Ben :?: .
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Re: Steering Box Grease/Oil

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:16 pm

Stick....YUP!

There are TWO sintered bronze bushings that the sector shaft rides on...and in order for "lubrication" to reach the sector shaft on the one closest to the Pitman Arm ...you will find a "groove" in them. On that one it does not go all the way through so lube does not easily accumulates near the oil seal. I would wonder if all the "Lubrication Cocktails" would adequately reach in there if they have a viscosity of GREASE....? Perhaps this is the reason the change to 90 Wt. took place? I suppose on a long hot drive even "pudding" (mixture of oil and grease) would liquify at some point and allow flow to that bushing....but maybe not.

You can't "overfill" the box with 90 Wt. if you do it on level ground as the plug is down on an angle and the lube will overflow before it gets so deep it will leak from where the tube is attached to it or from where the horn gizmo is attached to it.

If you have ever dismantled a jeep and found GREASE under the steering wheel when you removed it...and then another gallon or so in the tube when you pulled it....take a look at the box....Bubba probably installed a grease zerk so he could be "sure" he put in enough.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3-C 1947


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