My girlfriend and I both own GM SUVs, a Tahoe and a Yukon XL. Because these vehicles are based on a truck frame, the chassis requires periodic lubrication. There are 11 grease fittings -- four are easy to reach, while seven are more difficult. This issue encompasses all 2001-2006 Tahoes, Suburbans, Yukons, Yukon XLs, and CK1500 full-size pickup trucks.
The primary reason for the difficulty is that straight fittings are used in orientations where the grease gun nozzle must be applied at unnatural angles encumbered by obstacles. These locations would be much easier to reach if GM had simply used right-angle fittings instead of straight ones. An acquaintance and I were puzzling over why GM would have made this decision. We identified three possibilities:
- Right angle fittings cost a few cents more.
- Right angle fittings took a different assembly tool.
- Threading could start at any azimuth for straight fittings, for right-angle fittings the threads must start at the right point so the fitting faces the right way when tight. Not really a realistic problem.
Finally tiring of the frustrating experience, I set out to resolve the problem by replacing the seven offending fittings on each car. Well, the bad news was that four of them weren't threaded at all -- they were pressed into the steering components and couldn't be replaced. Fortunately the other three, the most difficult to lube, were easily replaced.
By the way, don't let anyone tell you that GM has gone 100% metric, the three fittings to be replaced were 1/4-28 (UNF) American inch-dimensioned threads. Perhaps the components they were mounted in were delivered as assemblies from US suppliers.
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