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#2260890 - 05/14/11 01:33 PM Why can't I find a grease gun that works?
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
Hello all,

I am having a horrible time successfully "priming" my grease gun. Note I am speaking about grease guns powered via compressed air.

For years, I had a "cheapie" gun I bought at Pep Boys for about $30. It was made by Coleman. It worked great for several years. Then, suddenly, it wouldn't pump grease any more (I always use NLGI #2).

I am using it with a 20 gallon air compressor.

So I went and purchased a Sears "professional" continuous feed grease gun...Paid about $70-$80 for it. But I can't seem to get it primed! Took it back and exchanged it for another of the same model. Can't get it primed either! I've tried using the air bleed screw, even tried removing the cartridge, re-inserting it, and made sure plenty of grease was "in front" of the cartridge so it would be pumped to the nozzle. Made a real mess! But No Luck.

Any thoughts? It shouldn't be this hard! I must be doing something wrong. It's not the air compressor - the gauge reads 150 PSI, and I believe it - plenty of pressure.

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#2260903 - 05/14/11 01:48 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
JRed Offline


Registered: 06/01/09
Posts: 1633
Loc: Virginia
How about a simple pump-style grease gun? What the heck are you greasing?
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#2260915 - 05/14/11 01:58 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
I grease a lot of equipment, including the driveshaft of two of my trucks. I crawl under the trucks and am in awkward positions trying to get to the zerk fittings, so I wanted the convenience of an air-powered grease gun.

I also grease a number of commercial mowing equipment.

I'm thinking I am doing something wrong, although I can't imagine what it could be...

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#2260956 - 05/14/11 02:35 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11201
Loc: apple valley, ca
Put the grease tube in the gun. Put it back together with the top a couple of turns loose. Let it sit over night then screw the top on and try it.
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#2260977 - 05/14/11 02:57 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
What do you think is happening? How will this help?

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#2260985 - 05/14/11 03:06 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11201
Loc: apple valley, ca
Leaving the top loose lets it push the air out. Works on mine.
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Z400 napa 15w50
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#2261661 - 05/15/11 11:17 AM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10785
Loc: The Motor City
Are you sure it's the gun and not the grease? Not all greases are pumpable. Check the product data sheet of the grease to make sure it's a pumpable type.

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#2261848 - 05/15/11 03:33 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4699
Loc: MI
This is what Lincoln suggests and I found several threads recommending this, but I don't know why:

"I grease trucks for a little extra cash everyweek, got [censored] off as ever because I had the exact same problem, heres what I do every tube change and it works every time, When you replace the tube of grease and screw it back on to the gun, take off the tube feed right off the gun. Pump the gun and wait the for the grease to start coming out, if you have an air type like I do, when the grease comes out hold your finger over the hole so it does not suck air back into the gun, screw back on the tube feed and away you go , hasnt failed me once yet, sounds like a lot of work but the other way has never worked for me."

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#2262008 - 05/15/11 06:56 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
doitmyself - Are you talking about the "nozzle arm" when you use the phrase "tube feed"?

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#2265170 - 05/18/11 08:43 PM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4699
Loc: MI
Sorry, been out of town a few days. And, I can't find the links I originally quoted.

I found several threads that recommended taking off the tube or hose that the zerk connector is on. This is the "tube feed".

And...this is just a trick I read about, but don't have any experience with. Nor do I have any idea why this would work.

Another guess, maybe for some reason, the rubber cup/plunger is not fitting into your grease cartridge to push on the grease???

Here's the Lincoln manual, but I can't find the above procedure???? http://www.gemplers.com/docs/manual/151482.pdf

Also, both the Lincoln and the Alemite air gun instructions say to hold the gun verticle, with the tube and or pump facing up while priming......another trick?????


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#2271396 - 05/26/11 10:23 AM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
WagonBoss Offline


Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Northern Virginia
I have an IR 590 and on occasion it won't prime. Unscrewing the cap a couple of turns, cycling the trigger while tightening it back will cure the ill. Worked so far. You only need 80-90 PSI output for most guns. Too much air is not a good thing.
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#2286723 - 06/13/11 07:07 AM Re: Why can't I find a grease gun that works? [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
Well, I have tried everything including the suggestions above...Can't get my new grease gun working with the Amsoil GLC Multi-purpose grease. I am beginning to think it is the grease itself. Interestingly, one suggestion above "almost" worked...I removed the nozzle/arm that connects to the gun. The gun did produce several thick lines of grease at that point, but when I put the nozzle back on, I only got small, thin lines of grease, and it eventually stopped.

However, I *did* get my old grease gun working again, using the above suggestions, using the older (now discontinued) Amsoil GHD grease. It worked well enough that I was able to get both of my trucks done.

The GHD does seem "softer" than the GLC grease.

I might try to switch nozzles between the grease guns to see if that changes anything...If that doesn't work, I will try a different grease.

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#2877811 - 01/20/13 02:25 PM Getting desperate - it's happening again! [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
Well, here I am again with the same problem.

I never did get the Sears professional grease gun to work (the one mentioned in the beginning of this thread). The grease gun I had that worked broke due to it being dropped.

So I went to Pep Boys and bought another grease gun today. Also thought I would try some Valvoline synthetic grease with moly.

Can't get the new gun primed. Tried all the suggestions above. Even tried heating the grease cartridge in a microwave to soften it up a bit.

I spent well over an hour trying to get this grease gun to work. When I couldn't get it to work, I tried the Sears professional gun again. Can't get it working either.

This has got to be the most frustrating thing I have ever dealt with, tool-wise. Now I am dead in the water - I can't grease anything!

I *MUST* be doing *something* wrong, but I cannot for the life of me think of what it is. My other air tools work, and I get plenty of air pressure, so I do not believe it is the air compressor.

Any last suggestions? This shouldn't be rocket surgery, and I really don't want to use a manual grease gun as it's too difficult for some of the things I am greasing...

HELP?!!

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#2878680 - 01/21/13 08:12 AM Re: Getting desperate - it's happening again! [Re: btanchors]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10785
Loc: The Motor City
Which grease are you using? Not all NLGI2 greases are rated as pumpable.

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#2878961 - 01/21/13 12:50 PM Re: Getting desperate - it's happening again! [Re: btanchors]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 545
Loc: Herndon, VA
Kestas,

I have tried three different greases: Amsoil GHD (No longer available), Amsoil Multi-purpose, and Valvoline synthetic.

The GHD worked fine in the grease gun that broke.

All of these greases came in 14-oz cartridges - why would they come in cartridges if the greases weren't pumpable?

I'm both embarrassed and frustrated that I can't get any of these greases or grease guns to work!

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