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Thread: Steering Knuckle Lubrication

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016

    Steering Knuckle Lubrication

    Hello Forum,

    Still slowly working away at the front end of my CJ3A - ordered all kinds of fun stuff and been staring at the knuckle for about a month, so I had to tear into the steering knuckles today on my day off. They were dirty with what I call "bolt cake" on them...decades of mud smoothed out over the bolt so you can't even tell it's there.

    My plan is to clean it all, paint what needs to be freshened up and then put it back together with new seals...etc. but that leads me to my question. What is the proper lubricant to put into the knuckle? It looks like the past person put grease in it, but I was not satisfied with how it looked nor the amount that I found.

    So, what goes in there? Grease? Oil? I've read a few articles and remain unsure.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Ft. Wayne, IN

    Knuckle Lubrication - No one easy answer

    You ask: "So, what goes in there? Grease? Oil? I've read a few articles and remain unsure."

    Welcome to the world of old Jeeps. You have already found out that there a lot of opinions out there about just about everything.

    I did a quick Google search, and came up with this tid-bit:

    Lots of anything that's clean isn't a bad answer. Synthetics are too slick for old seals - and even new seals of an old design. I had never heard of "knuckle pudding", it sounds interesting.

    Get greasy and have fun.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    I recently rebuilt mine. I greased the outer edges where the felt is with some some bearing grease I had. Before restoring it My grandfather pumped grease into the knuckles, my guess is he didn't care for the leaking since he did the same for the rear and front axles. **FYI Its not fun to clean out but it works.** I haven't filling mine yet but I will probably try just some normal gear oilthat I have left over from the axles. If they leak I will try something new.

    Remember these things are built like a rock try some different gear oil wts and see what works as long as there is some lube it will be fine. I guess unless you are building a trailer queen then ignore me.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Go to your local John Deere dealer and ask the parts department for Corn Head Grease. It's the grease you put in the corn head on a farming combine. The grease is thick when cold and when it warms up a little from being used, the viscosity gets a little lighter (like a heavy oil) allowing it to be thrown up onto the top king pin. I did a lot of research into it and that's what I'm running in my knuckles now. FWIW...I haven't driven it anywhere yet as I'm still in restoration process....but my axles are both done and filled with it.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    I used corn head grease can find it cheap on Amazon.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Northwestern Ohio
    Ww, Thats a 2017 post there pardner! Anyway, go here for an explanation on the correct stuff. https://willysjeepforum.kaiserwillys...ox-Lubrication "Corn Head Grease" fits the bill, it does have an EP additive though it is a "0" grade, a bit thinner than the true closed knuckle greases we used to fill them with. A "00" viscosity stays in a bit better. If the grease gets too thin it will end up in the tubes.

    Steering knuckle lube MUST have EP additives in it if the U-Joints are of the open seal, "CV" or Bendix type. If you install sealed u-joints you do not need to fill the knuckle at all. You must be sure to repack the knuckle bearings every now and then with good wheel bearing grease.

    This should help for an explanation of what we did at the factory.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-08-2021 at 04:35 PM.

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