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Thread: Sodium vs Lithium, Wheel Bearings

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sodium vs Lithium, Wheel Bearings

    My front wheel bearings used sodium grease. I opened up the hubs, pulled the bearings and washed everything.The bearings are fine, but were fairly dirty. The existing sodium grease was still workable, but was dirty. I'm glad i cleaned it. I cleaned everything and switched over to a modern lithium grease and repacked the bearings.

    My back bearings i don't want to open up and worry about shimming and doing a whole bunch of cleaning. My goal is just to get operable for a season or two, and then go deeper. The more i open stuff up, the more i need to go further than my time allows. My question is...since the rear wheels have a lubrication fitting and the grease is lean...do i pump in lithium or continue with sodium or just bite the bullet and pull the bearings now?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    bozoli, pump it full with any good grease meeting, NLGI grade 2 EP grease. There is a SMALL purge hole on the top of the tube. Clean it off there well, and pump it in until it comes out clean and the same color as what you are putting in. If they aren't making noise, they are probably doing just fine.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Just What is NLGI Grade 2 I asked?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorgil View Post
    bozoli, pump it full with any good grease meeting, NLGI grade 2 EP grease. There is a SMALL purge hole on the top of the tube. Clean it off there well, and pump it in until it comes out clean and the same color as what you are putting in. If they aren't making noise, they are probably doing just fine.
    We sometimes throw letters around and expect folks to know just what we are talking about. I wondered just what NLGI Grade 2 EP meant, so I asked Mr. Google and he had more than I really wanted to know. Here was one of the better explanations:

    https://www.nyelubricants.com/need-t...se-consistency

    If you go to the local chain auto store, they might not have any idea about grade or EP/non-EP rating. I'd suggest a NAPA store, a good farm store or an industrial supplier like Grainger. At NAPA and Grainger, a tube runs about $6.00.

    The EP grease is "extreme pressure" and BMorgil can elaborate why you need EP in wheel bearings and u-joints. It is also good for the miscellaneous zerk fittings everywhere else around the vehicle - a bit of overkill, but you just need one tube of grease for everything.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    OK Larry, I get the point! My preferred grease by far is Chevron Ultra Duty EP in NLGI grade 2 thickness. I have some very good experience with this grease to say the least. Therefore I thoroughly trust it. There may be better, but I have plenty of proof this one will do anywhere. At NAPA this is a good pick https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/SLRS...rdInput=grease,

    As is this https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/MOR1...ordInput=mobil.

    When you go into the local Auto Parts store now a days, you may get a blank stare from the "grease expert" behind the counter. Pick your favorite brand and read the tube. This is the best way I have found. It will have the NLGI grade number and/or the Alpha designation of "GC" or "LB" rating printed on it. "GC" is the Automotive designation for Wheel bearings and the like. "LB" indicates it is good for chassis lube. It may also indicate if it has EP additives. If it is rated "GC" it has EP additives. The EP is a feature that drives the cost up. Usually if it is "GC" it is also "LB".

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