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Grease for 4x4 hubs?


Cedar

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I'm in the Northwest and looking forward to some wet, snowy, likely slushy/salty conditions and when the weather is good in the future, I found a recreational spot that requires passing through water up to the hubs.

The grease in my manual warn hubs around the o-ring dust seals look grungy and water-wet. I need to replace an o-ring and clean them up. If I make sure to only get a thin coating in the mechanism and on the spindle (I've read enough of where people get into trouble with too much grease in the hubs), why wouldn't I want to use some good marine trailer bearing grease around the o-ring for a good water seal?

What's in there now looks like Ford's dark gray lithium with moly complex grease. Though there are a couple spots that look fairly pearly blue. Does the hub-spindle interface develop the sliding pressures where a moly added grease is necessary to preserve the parts? I know I don't want the marine grease to mix with the bearing grease (different soap bases), but it's tacky enough and the drop point is 550 F so I'm assuming it's not going anywhere?

When I asked the parts guy at one local dealer he said they didn't stock any greases specified in my manual, couldn't recognize them by the names either (long life lube, 4x4 lube). Are M1C75-B or M1C198-A relevant specs anymore?
 


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Anime

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The hubs themselves don't require additional grease aside from a light film when re-assembling after a rebuild, most of the lube they need is just for light wear/rust prevention. The wheel bearings/spindle flings additional grease into the hub over time, and so if anything, you wind up needing to remove the hubs once in a while to remove the grease before it makes it's way into the hub parts.

You can use whatever grease you want on the o-rings, but the same grease as on the hubs or wheel bearings themselves is fine, since that's what's going to get on them anyway. Keeping the O-rings in good shape on these is a good way to make them last a lot longer, or at least extend the time between rebuilds. If an O-ring fails and crud makes it's way into the hub, it can be a problem, so a supply of new O-rings to change out every so often is cheap insurance.

The lubricant specs from a '94 manual are very much outdated, pretty much any quality brand name multi-purpose grease will work fine and likely exceed the old specs, but I prefer using wheel-bearing specific grease on the wheel bearings and bearings in general.

There are lots of manual hub users on here, I'm sure you'll get some good suggestions on what has worked best for them.


Welcome to the forums!
 




zukman

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huntman58

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Question were do you folks get the new O rings for the warn manual hubs? I need some and would also love to have some spares also.
 




Maniak

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I get mine at ace hardware. They have a pile of big orings and they had some that fit.

~Mark
 




huntman58

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Cedar

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Thanks for the welcome and clarity on lube. I spend a lot of time reading here mainly because after taking my car to the dealer, there's so much stuff to unf***k. The chilton manual is great in ways, but I feel kinda cheated every time I see "proper grade and type grease".

With your words in mind I broke down and just used some old blue Cenex wheel bearing grease I found in my pop's shed. It's nice and tacky. I'm hoping that will last the winter until I get around to completely servicing the bearings.

I called up Warn customer service and they came up with a few o-rings. Since I was local I just drove down and picked them up. For me it was worth giving them a call.
 




Tony H

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Thanks for the welcome and clarity on lube. I spend a lot of time reading here mainly because after taking my car to the dealer, there's so much stuff to unf***k. The chilton manual is great in ways, but I feel kinda cheated every time I see "proper grade and type grease".

With your words in mind I broke down and just used some old blue Cenex wheel bearing grease I found in my pop's shed. It's nice and tacky. I'm hoping that will last the winter until I get around to completely servicing the bearings.

I called up Warn customer service and they came up with a few o-rings. Since I was local I just drove down and picked them up. For me it was worth giving them a call.
Heavy grease on the manual hubs will be fine.
Put a little on those new 'O' rings as you put them on.
 




Cedar

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Great, that's just what I put on them. I cleaned out really good around the area of the o-rings with brake cleaner and then made sure I had a small bead of grease around the new ring itself hoping it would help seal against the elements. I wiped some of the extra grease out of the splined clutch area but otherwise left it alone since I couldn't find any grit or signs of water. I put a thin film on the spindle and the locking nuts too.

After actually playing with the hubs in my hands I can finally understand all the recommendations for soaking them in hot ATF. I've serviced more bikes than cars and it's neat to see the similarities between "hubs". I only use motor oil or a light touch of amber lithium grease on the serviceable bike hubs since I don't want the pawls gummed up else they fail to catch and turn the wheel. It's just if they get gummed up in the car hubs, instead of spinning freely they try to engage and/or half-engage and explode?
 




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