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Grease nipples

Desmond

Website User
VOC Member
I wish to replace the original tiny grease nipples on my '51 Comet with ones that will accomodate a modern grease gun without having to tap and re-thread. I understand that is possible and Mike Fotherby of Grove Classics has offered me 1/4" BSF or 1/8" BSP. What size and thread are we? Presumably, I am also looking for some straight nipples and some angled ones as on the main bearing of the swinging arm. What do we call the angled ones?---Any advice helpful--Desmond
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Better think twice about usefulness of grease nipples for lubricating ball or roller bearings. Basically the assembly should be designed to be greased just once when new. How often do you grease the wheel bearings on your car ?? My guess, never in hundredthousands of km . So for the swing arm with no high speed bearings in there why grease them all the time ? Because of poor seals like felt most likely. Typically you find pounds of old grease in girders, swing arms, steering heads , useless mostly. Exception are plain bearings which need more maintenance certainly. So it is a good idea to rethink seals at each place containing bearings so in the end you can forget greasing the lot at all - with unlimited life.

Vic
 

Simon Dinsdale

VOC Machine Registrar
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Moderator
Desmond
As far as I know Vincent used 1/4 BSF grease nipples.
If you replace the ones on the brakeplate's for lubricating the brake cams then the modern ball type have too long a threads and they may tighten against and lock the brake cam when you fit them. If you try cutting the length of the thread down then the internal spring and ball will fall out of the grease nipple, just don't ask how I found that out. A small fibre washer over the thread will allow the grease nipple to tighten up without locking the brake cam.

Simon
 

Desmond

Website User
VOC Member
Simon, Vic & Bruce---Thank you very much for your response and guidance. Sounds as if I might generally do best by dismantling and greasing except that I do not really want to do that with the Girdraulics. Anyway, I now know where I am going. Thanks.

Desmond
 

Vincent Brake

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Better think twice about usefulness of grease nipples for lubricating ball or roller bearings. Basically the assembly should be designed to be greased just once when new. How often do you grease the wheel bearings on your car ?? My guess, never in hundredthousands of km . So for the swing arm with no high speed bearings in there why grease them all the time ? Because of poor seals like felt most likely. Typically you find pounds of old grease in girders, swing arms, steering heads , useless mostly. Exception are plain bearings which need more maintenance certainly. So it is a good idea to rethink seals at each place containing bearings so in the end you can forget greasing the lot at all - with unlimited life.

Vic
Hi Vic, meistens...
Oh sorry uk.
Mostly we use grease nippels, just to be certain dirt sets not INwards.
I have some experience with kueber Syntetic gease. 15 jears a spindle on 4000 rpm 24/7.
No regrease at all.
Than the same. Differnt customer. "Cleaned" always with airgun.
A fail after 4000H of service.
Since than grease nipple. To service 1000H And no problems anymore.

Alles Gute da im Nahe von Muenchen gewunscht!!
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Were grease nipples used on the Lightning and Flash brake cams? They aren’t shown in drawing MO45 or 46, but the total used (9) is the same for Rapide, Shadow, and Lightning.
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Well, machine tool spindles are a different kind of fish, no contact seals in there for temperature sensitivity, only labyrinth types. On motor bikes it is a better idea to have REAL seals, no felt rubbish as these only collect road dirt and eat away the corresponding faces on shafts and all. Not suitable for power washes as well.
In case you like some lathe hours you may add some grease retainers in the assembly of hubs or swing arm bearings like in my photos, plus some spacers to go with real seals , dust lip types, to act on stainless. Then you grease the Timkens once, assemble all components and forget them for a few decades, mostly lifetime . Even a combination of suitable washers can save some lathe work for having grease retainers in there. Big bonus: You can be sure the grease will be confined IN the bearing all the time and will not get lost in time in all cavities in the hub or swing arm - in pounds over time.
Grease nipples on brake cams - dangerous I´d say ! The unsuspecting will grease a few times - and will end up with greased linings . Good luck when he gets to know in a non-critical situation. Better to wash the components and regrease after two or three tire change intervals, no nipples active. So grease nipples are allright in some places but not in all definitely. And yes, often the designers did not spend much time on reasonable assemblies to obtain practicality in all conditions.

Vic
swing arm with grease containers , seal holder with o-ring on o.d. to snap into seat, x-ring for sealing on ss spacers, low speed condition :
P1090118.JPG

P1080851.JPG

hub seals with grease retainers, ss spacers for dust lip type seals:
P1090103.JPG

4 LS front wheel:
P1100239.JPG

rear wheel:
P1100232.JPG
 

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