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Technical Zerk Wont Take Grease, Torch?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730


    I wanted to grease the front end of my 1950 cadillac, and right off the first try, they were so caked and old they wouldnt accept any new grease.

    Saw a guy online heat the area up with a propane torch and that softened up the old stuff and new grease went in like a charm. (Heres the link).

    My concern is, is it too risky in terms of catching stuff on fire for an old engine bay thats covered with old grease and oil? I think it should be okay. How long do i heat it?
    gas pumper likes this.
  2. Replace the zerk.
    Gman0046 likes this.
  3. Yep, what are they, like $0.10???
  4. zerk is much cheaper than a propane torch refill

  5. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl

    What do you do with the old harden grease that in already in the joint? I finds that heat applied to the part will liquify the grease and then can be pushed out of the joint with new grease.
    Fender1325 likes this.
  6. Done it. Works well. Just don't go crazy with the heat. Just warm it up.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    Fender1325 likes this.
  7. Andamo
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 503


    Maybe try the wife's hair dryer on HI if you're concerned about a open flame. Don't bother cleaning it when you put it back either, she'll just smile and understand.
    WDobos, Fender1325 and Cosmo49 like this.
  8. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,029

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Fill a small grease gun with your favorite penetrating oil...Replace grease fitting with new one and pump the penetrating oil thorough till flow happy then follow with regular grease..
  9. It's pretty easy to take the zerk out and run a small nail through it or buy a new one,can't be too expensive,maybe 25 cent. HRP
  10. studebaker46
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 682


    I have had to do both sometimes the grease is so old heating takes care of the joint but not the fitting. p.s. don't get grease onwifes h.d. they get all pissy about that. tom
  11. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Don't take the chance of getting murdered in your sleep. Go to a hardware store and buy an electric heat gun for about $25.

    I remove the fitting and use a drill in the hole to remove as much of the old hard grease as possible before installing a new fitting. There is also a tool that you put grease in, put it on the zerk and hit it with a hammer to force grease in.
  12. I first off remove the zerk and try it on the bench to see if its the fitting or the part it was screwed into. Go from there.
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  13. smoked1
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 123


    I would use a heat gun not the open flame!
  14. Jack it up & work the steering back & forth, use a good grease gun that is air operated.
  15. When I used to run into this on heavy equipment, I'd rap on the part being greased, with a hammer while applying grease . Usually broke stuff loose and it took the grease.
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole

    I used to wire brush the old dirt and grease off, and wipe with a rag. If it would not take grease, heat with a propane torch. Not red, just warm it up. If that doesn't work put a new fitting on. Or, if you have a wrench and a box of fittings handy just replace it. The heat trick saves a little time but does not always work.

    If the grease squishes out around the fitting, try covering the fitting with a rag and then stick the grease gun on. This seems to make it seal better.

    In a case like that, it helps to give it another grease job after a week or 2, then go to the regular interval. Sometimes a car with lumpy steering only needs a couple of lube jobs to smooth out.
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  17. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,105

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I find myself wondering how many cars or trucks have been burned to the ground over the years by these sort of hillbilly fix it tactics. :D
  18. Cheapskate 5000 fix- remove zerk, put into container of thinners and shake, drink beer, remove zerk from thinners, stick zerk on the end of grease gun, pump a bit of grease through, install zerk,, grease up joint, drink more beer.....
    fsae0607 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  19. seabeecmc
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,052


    You guys must be to young. Just smack it with a hammer .Ron [​IMG]Who uses his own likeness as his avatar?
    Thaplumbr and sunbeam like this.
  20. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730


    Im kind of suprised at the hairdryer/heat gun suggestions. I mean these are pretty heavy duty looking suspension components and its 50 degrees out roughly. I cant imagine that being sufficient.

    Anywho, I'll torch the sumbitch and if its still bad i'll replace the zerk and try again!
  21. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole

    I worked in garages and body shops for years and never burned one down. Never set anything on fire heating up grease fittings with an acetylene torch either.

    I set the most fires while working in a muffler shop. Using a cutting torch on every job, sparks flying. I kept a spray bottle of water hanging on the oxygen tank to quickly douse fires, it saved a fortune in fire extinguishers.

    One day some wisenheimer swapped my spray bottle for one full of WD40, that was exciting for a while.
  22. I would probably try the torch, then burn myself, then drop the torch, then bump my head trying to get out from under the car, then.... Ah fuck it- spend the 12 cents already
  23. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730


    Honestly, I dont believe its the zerk malfunctioning (although it could be), but more-so the joint loaded with decades old hardened grease. A new fitting wont get rid of that old stuff.
    Andamo and lothiandon1940 like this.
  24. This is just a problem of elimination.
    First thing you need to do is make sure the zerk is allowing grease to pass - no matter what.
    Using a tight fitting 6 point tool, unscrew the fitting and stick in your grease gun and test the fitting. If grease won't go thru the fitting it's not going to get thru into the joint - no matter what.

    Now you mentioned all that caked up grease, some guys will not clean it off, jamb a grease gun on there and shove the grime thru the zerk and now it's plugged up, they figure the next guy can deal with it. Kindly step in front of the nearest mirror because I'd like to introduce you to "the next guy"

    Check out 36roadster's post.
    Scroll back up and read seb fontana's post.

    As far has hair dryers go, use it as needed & just get her a new one for Christmas, that will make them so happy. :)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  25. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    I use a heat gun as it can produce almost enough heat as a torch without the flame . and to loosen old grease start heating near the outlet ( boot ) if the grease is real hard time to take the parts apart and clean and regrease them as the soap is what helps the grease soft to lubricate and if its missing the grease can be abrasive and cause the parts to wear out quicker . as for zerks I have the old zerk cross tool to pull them and reinsert new ones . never had a old zerk fix itself after having the grease harden or get dirt in the hole
  26. DERPR30
    Joined: Jun 3, 2010
    Posts: 810

    from HARVEY LA

  27. Gene Boul
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 805

    Gene Boul

    Heat gun + new zerk.
    PS I like the Zerk Zapper I believe I'll buy myself one for Christmas...
  28. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,469

    King ford
    from 08302

    Many non heat options to try first as noted ,sometimes heat is the only one that works...if you have a wet towel and fire extinguisher handy it's fairly safe.....good luck!
  29. Getting rid of the surrounding grease and grime cakes first helps keep fires down too.
  30. mammyjammer
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 505

    from Area 51


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