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Thread: Choosing the right grease for your application

  1. #1

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Choosing the right grease for your application

    I'm trying to figure out how to choose the right grease for various jobs. I'm no grease expert and won't pretend to be. Here's what I think I know and please correct what's wrong and add what I've missed.

    There are a number of different types of grease mentioned in the Honda manual. Unfortunately, they always seem to be proprietary in nature or seemingly non-existent at Kragen or Pep Boys.

    Below are the types of grease Honda has recommended and the relevant US translation:

    Silicone grease = dielectric grease. Widely available in little tubes that fit nicely in the tool box. This is used for any kind of electrical application where the grease can't interfere with flow of electrons through the circuit. I use it in every electrical connector to keep age and resistance at bay. Silicone grease is also good for keeping rubber boots from sticking to spark plugs or dizzie caps.

    Moly grease = assembly lube. Also widely available at parts stores. This is for heavy friction, sliding and shear applications like clutch splines and CV joints. CV grease is moly grease, but it's a sticky gloppy mess.

    Brake caliper grease = high temp grease. At least this is my best guess.

    Lithium grease = multi-purpose/ everything else grease. Use for door hinges, trunk latches, etc. etc. etc.

    That's my best guess, so tell me how much nonsense I'm really talking.
    Dr_Snooz
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    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else



  2. #2

    lostforawhile's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    I'm trying to figure out how to choose the right grease for various jobs. I'm no grease expert and won't pretend to be. Here's what I think I know and please correct what's wrong and add what I've missed.

    There are a number of different types of grease mentioned in the Honda manual. Unfortunately, they always seem to be proprietary in nature or seemingly non-existent at Kragen or Pep Boys.

    Below are the types of grease Honda has recommended and the relevant US translation:

    Silicone grease = dielectric grease. Widely available in little tubes that fit nicely in the tool box. This is used for any kind of electrical application where the grease can't interfere with flow of electrons through the circuit. I use it in every electrical connector to keep age and resistance at bay. Silicone grease is also good for keeping rubber boots from sticking to spark plugs or dizzie caps.

    Moly grease = assembly lube. Also widely available at parts stores. This is for heavy friction, sliding and shear applications like clutch splines and CV joints. CV grease is moly grease, but it's a sticky gloppy mess.

    Brake caliper grease = high temp grease. At least this is my best guess.

    Lithium grease = multi-purpose/ everything else grease. Use for door hinges, trunk latches, etc. etc. etc.

    That's my best guess, so tell me how much nonsense I'm really talking.
    the brake caliper stuff there are two different items, the first is anti squeak compound ,it goes on the back of the pads, in a couple of lines, it won't melt and run into the pads. stops disc brake noise. the other is the special grease for the pins, the brake calipers slide on pins, a lot of people don't lubricate these pins and the calipers seize, they are the pins under the little rubber boots. it's a synthetic grease that also won't get into the brake pads.

    as far as general greasing, I use lucas red and tacky, used it for years at work and it's great stuff, I have mostly moog suspension stuff, so they have grease fittings.

    door hinges and stop sliders, get a tube of white lithium grease, it will stop the squeak and it's waterproof.

    as far as rebuilding I bouhgt a huge tube of lubriplate engine rebuilding grease years ago, it's also white lithium based.

  3. #3

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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Lets see how much I can remember from 2nd year millwright class...

    Most of the grease you're gonna see is EP2, which is a general purpose extreme pressure grease, which is great for rolling element bearings, chassis lube points, excavator boom and bucket pivot pins etc....Can be moly, lithium or clay based.

    I think you pretty much nailed Di-electric grease.

    However moly grease/= assembly lube. At least in terms of engine/powertrain assembly. When I assemble an engine, I use either clean engine oil, specific engine bearing pre-lube, or Lubriplate 105. Anything else that isn't an engine, brake system, or electronic gets good ol' EP2.

    Brake caliper slide grease is also silicone based. You do not want any petroleum based products anywhere near your brakes, at least until the wheel seal fails... I use a product called Syl-Glyde

    I have never learned about, or been able to find a satisfactory description of CV grease. Though I have been told that (used?) CV grease can be extremely poisonous, and many techs and mechanics refuse to handle it without nitrile gloves on. Guess I'm as in the dark on this one as you.
    ICHIBAN!
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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Quote Originally Posted by lostforawhile View Post
    as far as rebuilding I bouhgt a huge tube of lubriplate engine rebuilding grease years ago, it's also white lithium based.
    Lubriplate 105 motor assembly lube? Turns out it's calcium based. Lithium based greases won't break down properly in the engine oil, and leave clumps of residue behind. Lubriplate 105 won't, it dissolves in the oil just after first startup.
    ICHIBAN!
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    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Quote Originally Posted by lostforawhile View Post
    the special grease for the pins, the brake calipers slide on pins, a lot of people don't lubricate these pins and the calipers seize, they are the pins under the little rubber boots. it's a synthetic grease that also won't get into the brake pads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ichiban View Post
    Brake caliper slide grease is also silicone based. You do not want any petroleum based products anywhere near your brakes, at least until the wheel seal fails... I use a product called Syl-Glyde
    So is disc brake bearing grease acceptable for a slider pin application or should I buy a tube of something special?

    I started the thread because I go to Kragen and see a dozen greases for sale. Then I read the Honda manual and see another half-dozen that I didn't see at Kragen. If I go to Google to try to figure it out, I get lost in really technical discussions of soaps, bases and drop points. My eyes glaze over and I think, "Um...nachos?" So instead, I just grab one of the four greases I have on-hand and hope for the best.

    So I guess the one question is, how do I build a good grease selection without a lot of hassle?

    The other is, how do I know what I can substitute when I don't know what "Honda Brake Cylinder Grease (P/N 08733-B020E) or equivalent rubber grease" is (p. 20-32 in the '89 manual)?

    Question three, am I over-thinking this?
    Dr_Snooz
    www.snooz.cc

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else

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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    So is disc brake bearing grease acceptable for a slider pin application or should I buy a tube of something special?

    I started the thread because I go to Kragen and see a dozen greases for sale. Then I read the Honda manual and see another half-dozen that I didn't see at Kragen. If I go to Google to try to figure it out, I get lost in really technical discussions of soaps, bases and drop points. My eyes glaze over and I think, "Um...nachos?" So instead, I just grab one of the four greases I have on-hand and hope for the best.

    So I guess the one question is, how do I build a good grease selection without a lot of hassle?

    The other is, how do I know what I can substitute when I don't know what "Honda Brake Cylinder Grease (P/N 08733-B020E) or equivalent rubber grease" is (p. 20-32 in the '89 manual)?

    Question three, am I over-thinking this?
    I think what you are talking about when you say disc brake bearing grease is grease for non front wheel drive cars with regular bearings, disc brakes produce more heat then old drum brakes so they needed a higher temp grease. The bearings on our cars are all sealed, so it's not applicable, the stuff for the pins is a synthetic brake caliper slide grease. You can also use the same stuff for all the pivot points on the rear drum brakes, as far as the honda grease I have no idea what they are talking about.

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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Ok I just went out in the freezing ass cold and dug out a tube of the brake grease, with a flashlight because none of my fluorescents will start up in the cold, It's versachem synthetic brake caliper grease and brake quiet, it acts as a lubricant for all parts of the brakes, plus as a disc brake quiet on the back of the pads.

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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    For brakes, like sliders and such I use the little bottle of CRC Synthetic brake lube. It's got a little brush in the lid so you can keep your hands clean. I seem to do quite a bit of brake work, and it's been handy to have a nice jar of it. I also have used the CRC Brake Quiet, which I wouldn't consider a lube. It seems to be more of a rubbery adhesive that's bright orange, but eventually collects enough dust that you can't see it anymore. I decided not to use the Brake Quiet when I put the brakes on the Miata, and haven't had too much trouble with noise. The lube, according to their site is "Polyalphaolephin & Pentaerythritol Esters w/ fumed silica." Sure...
    http://www.crcindustries.com/auto/co..._ss.aspx?ID=64

    I also have a tub of Valvoline synthetic general purpose grease for wheel bearings and such. According to their website, it's a lithium-based "NLGI #2 Grade Lithium 12-Hydroxysterate EP Grease" I have no idea what that means, but seem to work well for rear wheel bearings and such.
    http://www.valvoline.com/products/co...-oil/grease/64

    Also have a tube of Syl-Glide that I use for door hinges, the flappers inside the heating system, and other non-critical stuff.

    And a tube of di-electric grease for my electrical connections, just as you already described. Put it on battery terminals, spark plug boots, and jam it in some wiring harness connections.

    That's really all I've got in my collection, and it seems to get me by just fine so far. I don't really rebuild CVs, just replace them with new/rebuilt ones, so I have no idea about that.
    Last edited by 2ndGenGuy; 02-01-2010 at 09:23 AM.

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    lostforawhile's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing the right grease for your application

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    For brakes, like sliders and such I use the little bottle of CRC Synthetic brake lube. It's got a little brush in the lid so you can keep your hands clean. I seem to do quite a bit of brake work, and it's been handy to have a nice jar of it. I also have used the CRC Brake Quiet, which I wouldn't consider a lube. It seems to be more of a rubbery adhesive that's bright orange, but eventually collects enough dust that you can't see it anymore. I decided not to use the Brake Quiet when I put the brakes on the Miata, and haven't had too much trouble with noise.
    http://www.crcindustries.com/auto/co..._ss.aspx?ID=64

    I also have a tub of Valvoline synthetic general purpose grease for wheel bearings and such. According to their website, it's a lithium-based "NLGI #2 Grade Lithium 12-Hydroxysterate EP Grease" I have no idea what that means, but seem to work well for rear wheel bearings and such.
    http://www.valvoline.com/products/co...-oil/grease/64

    Also have a tube of Syl-Glide that I use for door hinges, the flappers inside the heating system, and other non-critical stuff.

    That's really all I've got in my collection, and it seems to get me by just fine so far. I don't really rebuild CVs, just replace them with new/rebuilt ones, so I have no idea about that.
    it's a moly based grease and yes it can make you very sick, ask me how I know , at least some of it can, it's the messiest stuff on the planet as far as i'm concerned, and there is almost nothing that will remove it from your hands, or dissolve it from the parts you are working on. I'm not sure about the newer stuff but some of the older stuff had poisonous compounds in it that could be absorbed right through your skin,
    Last edited by lostforawhile; 02-01-2010 at 09:23 AM.

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