Lotus Elan

Grease nipples

PostPost by: grahammay2 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:22 am

Hello All

Can anyone advise of the spec for all of the screw in grease nipples?
Better still is a spare set available?

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PostPost by: Jason1 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Can of worms :shock:

You are now going to get different opinions on grease or oil or grease+oil.
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:21 pm

The nipples on my car are 1/8" BSP.

Off the top of my head - steering gear, trunnions and prop shaft are the ones I can immediately recall.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:32 pm

Jason1 wrote:Can of worms :shock:

You are now going to get different opinions on grease or oil or grease+oil.

Not to mention nipples.

If you do not mind me saying so; this seems to be a bit of a pervy grease_smeared_on_nipples sort of question.

Do you want to know the spec of the nipples, or what squirts through them? :wink:
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PostPost by: grahammay2 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:32 am

Jason

If you know all the answers that will be great.

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:38 am

Does anyone know if Stainless Steel versions are available. Mine seem to rust up & seize with monotonous regularity. It seems to be the spring that fails, leaving the nipple as a source of water ingress. I always try and keep a couple in stock so when they fail, I just replace them with new....

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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:15 am

Jeremy
Stainless steel or Brass grease nipples are readily available.
I can't remember if the BSP thread is parallel or tapered but there is a wide choice available and different types of end.

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PostPost by: lotusfan » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:09 pm

The screwed plugs that go into the front vertical links are 1/4 in UNF. Namrick sell mild steel grease nipples, see http://www.namrick.co.uk/browse.asp?PCID=20
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:09 pm

[quote]
Jason

If you know all the answers that will be great.

Graham/quote]

Opinions vary; Lotus say Steering swivels should be lubed with EP90 oil (Page 12 Section 'O' of the workshop manual), if you search the forum you will find people saying grease is better and a oil/grease mix is even better.
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PostPost by: gordonlund » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Screwed trunnions! Ah what a subject. Ever seen a Morris 1000 with a front wheel splayed out making a right old mess of the front wing. :( Moggies had cast iron trunnions which needed greasing every 1000 miles if you wanted to keep them reliable. My long distance trips from East Anglia to Preston every weekend meant I had to service mine every two weeks according to the book!! Mind you that is a long time ago. If you failed to grease them regularly the grease went hard, water got passed the seals & the steel threaded upright used to rust and hence wear the thread away. First bump on opposite lock and your wheel popped out. Very embarrasing for the pure driver. Usually a little old lady with a dog. :oops:

Triumph derivitives, Lotus being one, use brass trunnions of similar design to the old Moggie thous. Hence use of Hypoid oil. Use grease and it will harden up and cause the previousy covered probs. Lotus Elans were sold new with blanking screwed plugs with instruction to fit grease nipples at service and then refit plugs. Many of us can't be bothered or we have just lost the screwed plugs. The secret is to oil them regularly, then you will not have any problems. Pump away with the grease gun, filled with Hypoid 90, and watch any water come out pass the upper seal and keep pumping until clean oil comes out. Makes a mess of the garage floor so use plenty of rags. Take wheel off beforehand also to prevent oiling the front tyre (not recommended)

All the best

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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:09 pm

I solved the grease-or-oil dilemma by using neither, after the last time I replaced the trunnions many years ago. After the initial shot of grease, I simply didn't lube the suckers. When I took them apart during the recent rebuild, the threads on the vertical links were as new. (The story might have been different if the car had seen more miles and more wet roads.)

I replaced the trunnions only because I had a pair on hand. I unscrewed the grease nipples and found replacements at the auto parts store down the street - no big deal. I also found a nice tube of grease for my old grease gun and I promise to use it.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:23 am

Can someone tell me why I should worry about my grease hardening in my trunnions but I dont have to worry about it hardening in my drive shaft universals or cv joints?

Can some one also tell me why I should put hypoid oil in my brass trunnions when the high sulphur level in the normal hypoid oils will corrode the brass trunnions (well it would if the temperature was hot enough) ?

sorry
could not resist
:D

cheers
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:34 am

I think you've answered your question yourself - temperature. I am pretty sure UJ & CV joints will run a lot hotter than a trunnion. Grease in a trunnion will just sit there, hardening, or at least not moving to the areas it is required to be in as in a CV or UJ. Ditto temperature related hypoid attack. I could try and get an infra red picture of the components after a run, but then again that's going a bit far!

Rusty nipples aside, my trunnions have covered at least 50k miles in my ownership and I will see what condition they are in for the rebuild.

I suspect this whole thread just shows up the archaic nature of this suspension component....

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:30 am

Unfortunately my trunnions get hotter with heat from the front disks than my cv's or uni get.

A master Yoda would say - I think heat the answer is not

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:23 am

Rohan,

This should explain what you?re looking for:

elan-f15/trunnion-lubrication-again-t14069.html

It well reminded me of the time in the mid 60?s when as a rookie plant engineer setting-up maintenance schedules I was shown by an old fitters mate how poor ?solid? grease was as a lubricating medium. With his help and advice from Shell we discovered semi-fluid grease which dramatically reduced the scheduled checks on a lot of machinery.
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