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Thread: Steering Box 54 Wagon Question

  1. #1

    Steering Box 54 Wagon Question

    Hey All,

    Opened my steering box and appears to be regular bearing grease in there. I see the manual says GL4. How has everyone been getting GL4 in the grease fitting. New one for me!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The grease fitting was put in to replace the pipe plug that was originally there. Odds are that the seals are leaking oil on the steering box. So, the farm fix was to pump the steering box full of grease. The problem with doing that is that the grease doesn't seep into all to where the lubrication is needed most. Your best bet is to pull the steering box and go through it to clean out the grease, install new seals, and put in the SAE 140 gear lube. If you do not want to go through all that at this point, you could add the lube on top of the grease to prolong the rebuild, for the time being. Some lube is better than no lube, it will fill in the voids that the grease has left around the sector and to the upper bearing.

    https://willysjeepforum.kaiserwillys...-box-lubricant
    Last edited by gmwillys; 03-13-2024 at 01:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I think you miss spoke gm, don't put in SAE 140 gear lube. Follow the link gm provided for the right lube.

  4. #4
    Thanks gmwillys! So is there a fitting I can add to my grease gun to add the SAE140? Do you have a pic of what that would look like? Ive only added grease in mine or is there something else, maybe just use the bottle itself? How do you know when its full?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Just cut the tip on the bottle to fit the hole and squeeze the bottle.

    Don't use SAE 140 gear lube
    , use this https://penriteoil.com.au/assets/pis...X%20GREASE.pdf or something similar. SAE 140 gear lube is not the correct lube for the steering box. I think gm and others have had success with "Corn Head Grease". If you check the link gm posted, there is an explanation of the correct lube characteristics. The right lube is very thick like honey or even thicker. It needs to be the correct consistency to travel up the steering gear without being to runny.



    Here is the link gm posted:
    https://willysjeepforum.kaiserwillys.com/showthread.php?2442-Closed-Knuckle-and-Steering-Box-Lubrication


    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-14-2024 at 06:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    I may have added to the confusion by saying that SAE 140 would not hurt on a steering box already loaded up with grease, - but it would have shown leaky seals.

    Corn Head grease is good stuff for steering boxes and if I recall other threads, it's good for knuckles as well. A good farm store will know what you're looking for.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    The service manual and the owners glove box manual do not help the confusion. The service manual calls for a Military Specification MIL-L-2105B. That is a Military spec for NLGI grade 4, and the wrong stuff. The owners manual calls for SAE140 which is also the wrong stuff. The correct weight is a grease, NLGI grade 00 extreme pressure grease. In general the service manual is excellent. There are a few mistakes however in regards to the older models. Some of the specification info applies to the newer models only.

    The good news is you can still buy the correct grease for a vintage manual steering box. If you Google Manual Steering Box Grease, you will get all kinds of opinions, and some suppliers of the correct grease. The right grease will say right on it "For Manual Steering Boxes". It needs to be very thick not runny at room temperature. It also Must be an Extreme Pressure grease. My favorite is the Champion, I have been using that on steering boxes for a very long time! I don't know if you can still find it however. I have 1/2 of a bottle left. The John Deere Corn Head grease is a good option. The vintage steering boxes are not the same as the newer stuff. What works in a modern steering box may not be intended for your classic.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-16-2024 at 08:17 AM.

  8. #8
    All good info and thanks! Yeah, that was my next question on the SAE140 post since the manual says 90W. I have cornhead grease for the knuckles, but haven't made a decision on the steering box without some discussion.
    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Thank you Bmorgil for the correction, and LarrBeard for the better explanation of the exert linked. I know my steering box has W90 in it, and don't have any issues with leaks, but the next service interval, I'll change it over to the corn head grease. I already use the corn head grease for the front knuckles but have not switched over the steering gear box.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 03-13-2024 at 11:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    There is so much confusion on this one because so much has been used. Basically if it is an Extreme Pressure lube and fairly thick (i.e. Hypoid Gear Oil GL5 not GL4, or Extreme Pressure Grease etc.) No harm will come. The Gear oils are too thin at ambient temperature for the old box. It isn't going to ruin anything, just might be a little loose feeling because it isn't the right viscosity at the temperature it is running at. It is likely to leak out eventually. The lube that was in the early vintage Ross box was a thick almost waxy substance. It was much like the Champion, Corn Head and some others in consistency. As the box evolved sealing capabilities and clearances were improved, the lube became Hypoid Gear Oil (GL5). Now a days in a more modern gear type Manual Steering box, you will probably find Hypoid Gear oil. The cork seal in the early Ross Box will let all the runny lubes out eventually. If the seal has been changed out to a neoprene it will help a lot. As long as you have a high weight EP lube in there you have done no harm. It ill work quite well as designed however with the right stuff in it.

    Here is another source:
    https://penriteoil.com.au/assets/pis...X%20GREASE.pdf
    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-14-2024 at 06:38 AM.

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