OX5 by Lockheed Martin
> Reader's Photo
OX5 by Lockheed Martin
Jeep Photo Gallery
Leave this field empty


> Jeep Articles > General - Extras > Short Fiber Grease

MoabJeeper Magazine Article

General Articles - Extras

Short Fiber Grease

Article written by Frank Dunphy

Date Added: 09/26/2010

**Article Disputed by Toyota Master Mechanic ? info inside** Got Birfields or a closed-knuckle Jeep axle? You may be using the wrong lube. Frank tells us about how 40's Jeep tech held the answer to his Toyota problem.

Disclaimer: This is a reader-submitted article. It is not the work or opinion of MOABJEEPER Magazine. Consequently, when Rick (Toyota Master Mechanic) contacted us and provided conflicting information from TOYOTA MOTOR SALES CO., LTD. MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES 1981 Models we felt the documentation must be attached (see below "Disputing the Toyota Information"). Now, please continue reading and make your own educated decision.

A year ago I was doing some work on a closed steering knuckle axle out of a 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser. As I started tearing down the axle, I stumbled onto something very interesting. The wiper seals were oozing lube, but that?s not the interesting part. What was interesting is the lube itself. It was unlike anything I?d ever come across before. There was no cross-contamination with the gear oil, or any other foreign fluids in the knuckle, so I knew this mystery goo must be the factory lube.

So I needed to get some factory lube. Easy enough right?... It all started with a call to the local dealership. I asked exactly what this particular lube was. I could tell I was not getting the straight scoop from the service manager. Further, the oil suggested by the factory service manual didn?t add up. It states to use a molybedendum disulphate lithium chassis grease #2. This, I found out through an oil and grease supplier, is a rather vague term. This additive is found in all sorts of lube anything from oil, grease of any base, and in its pure form used as a dry lube.

I knew this lube I sought had to exist. Aside from the Toyota axle, I had also seen it in a viscous coupler. The problem was I had no idea what it was, only that its characteristics where not what you normally encounter with oil?or grease.

So I began reading in an old Motors manual to see what the manufactures used in the 60?s and 70's. Ford stated to use 1/2 pint of the "proper lube". Well that doesn?t help. International indicated to use a viscous chassis lube. Better, but still useless. Dodge's term got me closest. "short fiber wheel bearing lube" is what they called for. ?Short Fiber? is a term associated with the soda soap greases which is another term for sodium based. At this point I knew I was looking for a fluid lube, but I still needed more detail.

Obviously I had to dig deeper. Knowing that this closed-knuckle design can be traced back to the WWII era vehicles, I acquired an old Jeep book. In it I found the answer. Sodium based lubes were used at the factory for initial fill, a #1 or #0 sodium based grease depending on temp. In the #0 form this is a semi fluid lube. Finally I new exactly what I needed? but where do I find it? After pretty exhaustive searching I was able to find it, but only in bulk. I saved my pennies and ordered some, and sure enough this was the stuff!
I know what you?re thinking. Why on Earth would I go through so much trouble to find this particular lube instead of using something else readily available?

Disputing the Toyota Information
Rick, Toyota Master Mechanic, provided us with the following information from Toyota's own manual circa 1981 regarding the use of lithium based grease not sodium based.
Manual covering the following models (picture right).
First page
-- Molybdenum disulphide lithium base grease.
Second page
-- Propeller Shaft - Lithium base chassis lubricant (NLGI No. 2)
-- Double cardan joint - Molybdenum disulphide lithium base chassis lubricant (NLGI No. 2)
-- Drag link ends and steering - Lithium base chassis lubricant (NLGI No. 0)
Third and final page
-- Steering knuckle grease - Molybdenum disulfide lithium base grease (NLGI No. 2)

Final Thoughts

It?s all about the base. Sodium based lube is used in areas that are prone to leakage (closed-knuckle axles for example) and where high service intervals are desired. The slight leakage is actually what you want. In this Toyota axle application, a slight amount of discharge is desirable to coat the exposed steel ball with a film of lube to prevent rusting and pitting. It?s supposed to look wet! I hope all you Toyota guys that just pack the knuckle full of grease and call it good are paying attention. Oh and one more thing. This lube is incompatible with any other base of oil or grease. So when you or pretty much any automotive shop crams a bunch of bearing grease in with the factory lube, the mixture will thin out and leak (and not in a good coating-the-ball kind of way).

At this point you have no excuse. I?ve done the hard work for you. All you have to do is follow the link and buy the right lube the first time.
Novak steering knuckle repair

Our Thank You's!

Thanks Frank for your submission. We're always happy to help our readers share their hard work.

By: TwitterButtons.com


Print Article Email Article
ALL Extras :

Home | Articles | Forums | About Us | Store | Contact Us | Links

© 2003-2008 Moab Jeeper Magazine. All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Privacy Policy apply to this site.View our RSS Feed
Jeep®, Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Daimler-Chrysler Corporation. MoabJeeper Magazine is not in any way associated with the Daimler-Chrysler Corp.