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Old 03-21-2016, 12:49 AM
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New spicer u joints

When installing new u joints without grease fittings, I've heard people say not to add any grease to the needle bearings at all besides what shops with the joint. What do you guys do?

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Old 03-21-2016, 01:00 AM   #2
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Spicer's sealed u-joints have a precise amount of grease under each bearing cap. To the point that the bearing caps need to go back to the exact trunion position where they came from. So no don't add more grease, at least if you're using the high strength/high quality Spicer u-joints like the 5-760x or 5-1310x for the axle shaft and driveshaft respectively.

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Old 03-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by oceanjake View Post
What do you guys do?
I read the instructions that come with the part.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Spicer's sealed u-joints have a precise amount of grease under each bearing cap. To the point that the bearing caps need to go back to the exact trunion position where they came from. So no don't add more grease, at least if you're using the high strength/high quality Spicer u-joints like the 5-760x or 5-1310x for the axle shaft and driveshaft respectively.
I understand not mixing up the caps because that can cause an unequal distribution of grease with too little in some areas, but what exactly is wrong with adding grease? The extra grease should just squeeze out during installation, shouldn't it? The greasable u joints don't care about grease being added nor do they care about some precise measure. Assuming the caps fully seat, what makes the sealed joint so fussy about extra grease?
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:41 AM   #5
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I understand not mixing up the caps because that can cause an unequal distribution of grease with too little in some areas, but what exactly is wrong with adding grease?
Spicer advises against adding additional grease to their sealed series of u-joints in their installation instructions. Not to mention that not all greases are compatible with each other.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:44 AM   #6
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That is a "because I said so answer". Spicer must have a better reason than simply to protect us from our own poor judgment.

Let's assume we use compatible grease.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #7
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when grease is squeezed out under a watertight seal, the seal can become distorted. If it stays distorted, then it is no longer a seal and it allows grease out or water in. Besides there is a rather large grease reservoir at each end of the u-joint trunion which is where the replacement grease comes from on 'greaseless' u-joint, so there is no need for 'a little extra grease'. But it all depends on each cap having a very good seal for the system to work.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post

Let's assume we use compatible grease.
And what would that be?
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:18 PM   #9
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And what would that be?
Couldn't tell you. Do you think Spicer uses a super secret blend?
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:18 PM   #10
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when grease is squeezed out under a watertight seal, the seal can become distorted. If it stays distorted, then it is no longer a seal and it allows grease out or water in. Besides there is a rather large grease reservoir at each end of the u-joint trunion which is where the replacement grease comes from on 'greaseless' u-joint, so there is no need for 'a little extra grease'. But it all depends on each cap having a very good seal for the system to work.
This makes sense to me. Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:29 PM   #11
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Couldn't tell you.
I knew you couldn't. That was the point.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:36 PM   #12
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I knew you couldn't. That was the point.
Right. That doesn't mean someone else can't know what kind of grease is compatible with Spicer u-joints.

This stuff might work...
Spicer Drivetrain Products Life Series Ultra-Premium Synthetic Grease SPL1051


If you want to make a good argument then talk about deforming the seals. Bobchase did a nice job with that. However, if we are required to remove the caps to install the joint using a press, then the seals can't be terribly fragile. The whole argument against feels very discretionary rather than black and white.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:21 PM   #13
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The whole argument against feels very discretionary rather than black and white.
I had precisely the same impression about the argument "for." Especially when said argument is contrary to the manufacturer's instructions, which are most certainly "black and white."
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:39 PM   #14
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Occasionally manufacturers issue guidelines and warnings to protect us from our own mishandling. Yet those who dare to question will often successfully service non-serviceable parts and equipment in many arenas. This feels like one of those times when some knowledge and common sense can superceded what daddy told us (often with good intentions) to never ever do.

All I was wanting was a decent explanation for something that sounded suspiciously over-cautious to me. Damaging the seals makes some sense to me.
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
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Lots of transmissions no longer come with dipsticks as they are "non-servicable". But you should still change the fluids in them if you want them to last.
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:49 PM   #16
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Lots of transmissions no longer come with dipsticks as they are "non-servicable". But you should still change the fluids in them if you want them to last.
But...would you add fluid to a brand new vehicle, just because you think it might be a good idea?
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:50 PM   #17
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Lots of transmissions no longer come with dipsticks as they are "non-servicable". But you should still change the fluids in them if you want them to last.
My BMW is the same way, no frigging dipstick for the transmission and it's a PITA to change its ATF. I have changed/flushed the ATF in a lot of auto transmissions but I'm not so sure I'm up to what my BMW will take to do that job. I think I'm faced with paying a shop $400+ to do a flush.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #18
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I see your point there with a new one tangofox007, but still some people like to know what exactly is in the parts they use. I installed all my Spicer ones as they are, but wondered about what to do for 'service' in the future, esp if running in wet etc...
I was just trying to used the trans sticks as an example of service weirdness, not what to do/not do with brand new stuff...

Jerry, lots of newer stuff is coming that way Disposable items transmissions are I guess (at 4k+ each lol...) :/
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:14 PM   #19
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Having double-checked Spicer's instructions on that particular u-joint series from Spicer, they do confirm not to add more grease. They do have a larger series of sealed u-joints where they provide packets of grease to add for the initial greasing but that's not the case for the 5-760x or 5-1310x.
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:19 PM   #20
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From Spicer packaging:
Click image for larger version

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Old 03-26-2016, 10:20 PM   #21
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Perfect, I was looking for a copy of that particular packaging. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:27 PM   #22
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I get it. Really I do. And I get why the vast majority of the time, there is little reason to add grease to these joints. Though, I still have the suspicion, for all the reasons already stated, that this is ultimately another CYA warning.
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:33 PM   #23
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Ok, I give up. You know better than Spicer does.
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:35 PM   #24
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Ok, I give up. You know better than Spicer does.
It's a philosophical argument.... It really isn't that hard to understand.
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:48 PM   #25
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It's a philosophical argument.... It really isn't that hard to understand.
Your "philosophy" is impossible to understand. So what does your philosophy have to say with Spicer recommending that other larger larger sealed u-jounts have grease added but not their mid-size sealed u-joints? CYA with one line of sealed u-joints but not another? Really?

Or is Spicer manic-depressive and they just don't know which way to do a CYA? Grease or don't grease? I don't think so. I'll trust the manufacturer to know WTF they're talking about.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:17 PM   #26
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...So what does your philosophy have to say with Spicer recommending that other larger larger sealed u-jounts have grease added but not their mid-size sealed u-joints?

...
Since you bring it up, I would be interested to know why there is a difference between the large and mid-sized. Aren't you? Perhaps the smaller seals on the mid-sized joints are easier to damage than on the larger joints and Spicer is taking into consideration the end user?

This has little to do with Spicer and more with wanting to understand why a certain thing can or can't be done. I doubt you have never questioned a manufacturer's instruction or would would be fine with the unquestioned installation of a Skyjacker dropped pitman arm on a TJ. The fact that we remove the caps to install a u-joint before using a press to reinstall them makes me suspicious as to how delicate these seals really are. I don't recall ever having said that Spicer was incorrect with their direction. I have only questioned the absoluteness of it. And I still don't understand why that is so difficult to wrap your head around, except that we happen to be talking about Spicer.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:31 PM   #27
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I'm done here. I strongly recommend you go with your personal philosophy and pack the crap out of any sealed 1310 or 760 Spicers with grease and enjoy feeling you having really pulled one over on Spicer.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:36 PM   #28
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Where did I say I was going to do that? It really would be better if you just said you don't know and that you prefer to simply follow the manufacturer's direction.

You agree that this is tedious, unproductive and has very little to do with Spicer?

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