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Made by Monkeys

This Lube Job Takes a Contortionist

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GTOlover
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Platinum
Get an adapter for the grease gun
GTOlover   12/16/2013 9:42:49 AM
I also have had to grease several GM vehicles from 1968 GTO to Suburban. Ford F150 and even a few Dodge vehicles. Those oddly located zerk fittings can be easily greased with a right angle grease gun adapter.

http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-7202-thexton-418.aspx

I use a similar tool as this and it works well. The key is to make sure to keep the fitting clean before and after the lubrication.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Get an adapter for the grease gun
naperlou   12/16/2013 10:22:14 AM
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GTOlover, you beat me to it.  I still have the grease gun my father and I used when I was young.  I think it is older than me (an that's over half a century), but it still works fine.  Of course, the only thing I have to use it on these days is the lawn tractor.  That one is not so hard to get to.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
My vote is cost
Charles Murray   12/16/2013 8:56:39 PM
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As for why GM made the decision, I'm betting cost had something to do with it. Even if it's just a few pennies apiece, you have multiple fittings per vehicle, spread across all of the GM models described here. It ends up being a significant cost.

Constitution_man
User Rank
Gold
RAM is also guilty...
Constitution_man   12/17/2013 9:16:20 AM
...or should I say Dodge.  My older [1999] Dodge has those goofy low-pro fittings that look like a tiny funnel in the steering knuckles.  BTW they do not work well.  Correction, they rarely work AT ALL.   Any amount of resistance to flow results in a plethora of grease "boogers" that are NOT in the knuckle.  At least the spec for that worthless fitting has a diametric cut that a #2 flat screwdriver tip will neatly engage.  Here's why I say that...

Solution...  After a dozen or so attempts to locate a #10-32 fitting at a hardware or autoparts store, I hit up a buddy of mine at Alemite Corp for a couple of #10-32 straight fittings.  These remain in my tool box under lock and key.  Each time I service the truck, I remove the goofy low-pro fitting, install the gift from Alemite, grease the knuckle, and put the goofy fitting back.  I cannot leave the Alemite fitting in the bearing because if the truck is fully steered either direction there is interference.  I do not remember Alemite's part number but I do recall that the numbers "1032" are hidden within the part number.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: My vote is cost
William K.   12/17/2013 9:34:35 AM
Chuck, it is true that on autos cost is the main reason that any decision is made. Thgis includes the selection of inferior and unsuitable materials and also assembly shortcuts. This explains why Chrysler products had for at least ten years used caliper materials that were going to rust and lock-up, which assured that the disk brakes would wear very unevenly, inside to outside. Cheap cast steel rubbing on cheap cast steel is always going to exibit serious binding as soon as it rusts. Other makers used a range of designs to allow both inside and outside caliper parts to move, so that the binding problem would be avoided completely, while Chrysler kept on using bare iron against bare iron. It was a case of doing things as cheaply as could be done, with no concern for those who kept a car more than a year.

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
Metric fittings...
kf2qd   12/17/2013 9:52:15 AM
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As for those grease fittings... many metric pipe fittings are really BSP (british standard pipe) and are a 55 degree english thread. Only difference between them and our UN threaded fittings is the thread angle. Some metal is dsplaced when using our english pipe threads but they function just fine.

 

Just one of those cases where metric may not be metric...

 

Like the 16 TPI threads on the injsctor parts on a 1970 Mercedes diesel hed I rebuilt many years ago.

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Metric fittings...
bob from maine   12/17/2013 10:55:10 AM
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Ah, 'tis a joy to behold. Threads come in so many flavors, NPT, NF, NC, Wentworth, British Standard, BSP, Metric .75, 1.0. 1.25, Aeroquip, and last but not least, stripped. My 2000 Dodge Ram P.U. uses both SAE and Metric. Body parts (steering box mounting, brake stuff, fender mounting bolts) all are SAE, mechanical (engine, gearbox, drive-line) all are metric.  I'm not sure what the big issue is with zerk fittings, no-one greases anything anymore anyway! I routinely see cars with 20K miles that have never had an oil change - the word "lease" means no-maintenance-required, right?

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: My vote is cost
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   12/17/2013 1:44:13 PM
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Another possibility that we don't like to consider is that this design is so non-critical that it was done by a first-timer Jr. Designer and never even checked by the design team, or leader. The design review checklist probably just indicated that the fittings were present in the design – good enough. 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Haven't seen a grease fitting in years
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   12/17/2013 2:40:29 PM
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Another thought just occurred to me – I haven't seen a grease fitting in years. Used to be, Oil change and a Lube Job; but no more. Maybe just on the SUV's and other truck chassis'? I drive a sports sedan ,,,

 

btlbcc
User Rank
Gold
Re: Haven't seen a grease fitting in years
btlbcc   12/17/2013 6:45:08 PM
It's not just grease fittings, although I'll admirt to having run across a few tough ones.  The car companies often design their vehicles for ease of assembly in the factory, but for service.  We've all heard about cars where you had to drop the engine off it's mounts to reach some of the spark plugs...  My Ford Focus required the removal of a component - an electrical box, if I recall - in order to replace a headlamp bulb.  A Jaguar S sedan I owned many years ago - a $90 special - had the starter motor fail.  You could see the mounting bolts; you could even get your fingers on them, but the only way you could get a wrench on them was with a 3-foot long series of socket extensions insertad from bahind the transmission.

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