Grease for repacking a new sealed bearing?

Messages
19
Location
TN
Thread starter
I will be installing new front wheel bearings on my car, and I would like to repack the new sealed bearing with a good grease to make them last longer. I was thinking Mystik high temp would be good for this. What do you suggest would be good?
 
Messages
19
Location
TN
Thread starter
Yes I know, but I want to make absolutely sure that the grease in the bearing is a really good one so that the bearing lasts for ev er.
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
It won't make a difference and the chance of messing up the seal is a big negative. There is a whole lot more to sealed bearing failure than just the grease.
 
Messages
7,428
Location
beaver land EH?
concur with what Familyguy and SteveS has to say: not worth the trouble, won't make a difference and you risk damaging the seal. 2 things that you should watchout for when it comes to sealed bearings: (1) brand name: always go with the best possible bearing brands (NTK, SKF, Timken, etc.) (2) be extremely careful when preloading the bearings. 90% of the bearing failures down the road are pretty much caused by improper loading/preloading of bearings during installation. All others such as quality of grease, etc. are moot.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,788
Location
The Motor City
Are you sure that you can easily take the bearing apart?... most don't come apart. One big production issue we run into with some designs is that the seal doesn't always sit square in the assembly. The seal can easily get bumped. It may have been made that way, or it may have gotten bumped at the assembly plant. If the seal has any wobble to it, you can expect premature failue from water ingress.
 
Messages
505
Location
Winston-Salem, NC
Another problem is some greases don't play well with others. Mixing two greases may cause them to loose lubrication properties and your hopes of helping might even wind up hurting. I thought about doing exactly this on an old Accord I had but thought better of it. Good luck!
 
Messages
9,645
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
you can overfill the bearings easily and the grease will pop out the seals. been there done that 'cause I knew better than the bearing manufacturer. They come filled with a quality grease from the factory. I'd only think about repacking them if they had a lot of miles and you didn't have the $$ to buy new ones.
 
Messages
19
Location
TN
Thread starter
Do you all really think they put in a grease as good as or better than something like Mobil synthetic, or Mystik High Temp in those bearings?
 
Messages
7,428
Location
beaver land EH?
Originally Posted By: Blink7
Do you all really think they put in a grease as good as or better than something like Mobil synthetic, or Mystik High Temp in those bearings?
LOL! You still not getting it, do you? Truth to be told: properly manufactured/applied bearings with proper preloading, etc. can go a long way w/o the need of exotic grease. stock grease is designed to meet/exceed bearing manufacturer's designed/engineered specifics and never underestimate their ability to keep the bearings working. Also something to note: unless you can pop the seals and wash out all the original grease packed in that bearing before pumping in some "exotic" grease of yours, otherwise, watchout for potential failures down the road due to grease incompatibility issues mixing original grease with wrong type of grease": http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/greasechart.htm (thanks Molakule!) For more info, consult Kestas for he is a bearing engineer.
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Originally Posted By: Blink7
Do you all really think they put in a grease as good as or better than something like Mobil synthetic, or Mystik High Temp in those bearings?
Better. Many sealed bearings use a polyurea base grease which is very long life, and also incompatible with all our usual greases. In addition, the chance of getting dirt into the bearing when you remove the seals is always present. Leave sealed bearings alone.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,788
Location
The Motor City
Usually the greases packed in automotive bearings are adequate. For all the hundreds of warranty parts I've seen, not one has been returned because the grease per se was subpar or marginal. As long as you can keep the water and contaminants out of a bearing, the grease will do its job for the life of the vehicle. Grease is not the weakest link.
 
Messages
4
Location
Ca
Wow, I'm disappointed in all this naysay on taking bearings apart to change the grease out. I just did this right now and would love to re-open this thread with some real facts and pictures. I am a retired master mechanic, and am always sad to see a concept called "preventative maintenance" becoming a scarce thing, with instead "expected failures" as a result. As if anyone here has seen a super high quality grease inside even a Timken bearing? https://electricalfundablog.com/identify-bearing-number-calculation-nomenclature/ and https://www.ahrinternational.com/[censored].shtml should make this post worthwhile. That's the nitty-gritty for just what goes into bearings, and trust me, the usual lubrication is a joke. Bearings aren't built to last forever, but you sure can help them get there. Let's look at this grease found in most bearings, even high-quality Turkish units found on a high-end Audi. I just finished cleaning it out with chlorinated solvent-- use this so it doesn't attack the plastic cages inside. Then direct high pressure air through the bearing afterwards to remove the remaining residue. Do this outdoors or in a well ventilated area since this is toxic stuff. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] As you can see here, the grease which is from 2008 has completely ceased flowing, and the bearings were completely dry. They had no lubrication. This is on a low mileage well-stored vehicle, and the price of these parts far exceeds the time it tooks to simply remove them and pop the seals out, clean them and regrease them and then expect an extremely long life. This was done as preventative maintenance while the intake valves were decarbonized (1st gen direct-injection engine carbon problem.) Seals can easily be opened without damage using a tiny flathead screwdriver pried from the inside. Videos on how to do it are abundant, as high-end bearings for skateboards etc all are sealed units and people want to open them up to change the grease to something else etc. As for the comments about grease mixability, yes it is true that white lithium grease will cause all sorts of problems with sodium-based greases, but if you're using something like Mobil 1 synthetic grease then you shouldn't have to worry, right? In any event, chlorinated solvent can be used to safely clean out a bearing without harming any of the races, without leaving any residue of any kind. Find it in an auto parts store as electrical parts cleaner or alternator cleaner. It is non-flammable. Grease can be packed in, depending on the size, with your gloved palm and just push. It's readily apparent when the grease pushes out the other side, you've done the job well. Pop the seals back on with nothing but your fingers, and everyone can enjoy a bearing that will now last forever. I like Redline CV2 grease, not really sure there is much better, but hopefully, my first real post to BITOG is a good one and not a firestarter. :P Have a safe holiday! Kemanorel
 
Messages
139
Location
New York City
I'm all for repacking bearings, but the problem I have is when I remove the existing seal, It gets deformed just enough to have the new grease seep out. If I could buy bearing seals, I would try and repack them
 
Messages
1,739
Location
Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted by Kemanorel
As for the comments about grease mixability, yes it is true that white lithium grease will cause all sorts of problems with sodium-based greases, but if you're using something like Mobil 1 synthetic grease then you shouldn't have to worry, right?
No, not right. M1 synthetic is in no way some kind of compatible-with-everything grease. Repack bearings when you can get new seals (those designed to be serviced). Replace bearings when you can't, or if they are inexpensive enough (from a major brand) that it's not worth the bother. FYI your picture of the bearing packed with M1 had WAY too much grease in it. Try using about 1/3rd that much.
 
Last edited:
Messages
9
Location
TX
I don't see the point of pulling seals, cleaning and repacking on a easily available bearing......especially with the chance of failure and the labor needed to replace it. Yeah doing that on a skateboard doesn't have a huge penalty for labor to get to the bearing again. Now when you are talking about something that is unattainiumn and no longer made that is a different story. Apparently people have unlimited time on their hands are are stupidly cheap to replace a replaceable bearing.
 
Messages
6,854
Location
California
The bearing manufacturers are usually tight-lipped about what grease they use in sealed bearings. The Japanese suppliers(Koyo/JTEKT, Nachi, NTN and Nachi) do have a code that corresponds to whatever grease they use at the factory for 6000 series bearings and they use Li-complex greases from Shell, Kyodo Yushi or polyurea XOM Polyrex for bearings going into electrical motors. They don't disclose for sealed wheel end bearings. It's safe to assume the OEMs spec Li/Ca-complex greases but getting the seal to work as intended after prying it out and popping it back in is another story.
 
Top