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Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints #5152964 07/06/19 10:31 AM
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OCDriver Offline OP
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I foolishly listened to my old man telling me "oh yeah, that's strong stuff, just use it" when I borrowed his grease gun. Turns out it contains wheel bearing grease (this stuff, to be exact). I used it to grease my end links and outer tie rod ends. I'm replacing the links and one of the tie rod ends anyway, so I'm not worried about those.

What potential problems could this cause? Is it possible to remove it from the grease jacket? Can I just pump in the correct type of grease to push out the wrong stuff?

Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: OCDriver] #5152980 07/06/19 10:53 AM
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danez_yoda Offline
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Using very different types of grease in the same boot will give you lower performance thanhaving the same type, the grease could be fine but it mat be contaminated by a different base from tye original grease. that said if you pumped until the new grease came out s little of the old was left you are probably good to go.

Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: OCDriver] #5153022 07/06/19 11:44 AM
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Kestas Offline
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You used a grease that is aluminum based. Chances are your links had a lithium based grease in there. It is likely the two greases are not compatible. Are the boots an open design? Can you flush out the old grease by pumping a lot of new grease through?

Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: OCDriver] #5153061 07/06/19 12:43 PM
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Rat407 Offline
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No issues at all. I would be more concerned with not being able to get them greased. Seeing that you can they will be just fine.


2002 Silverado 5.3 5w-20 AMSOIL
Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: OCDriver] #5153063 07/06/19 12:47 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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It's usually hit or miss on a very simple mechanism, whether you can flush old hardened grease out or the new grease just finds a path past it.

I would get some of the (wrong) grease and confirm it dissolves in gasoline, take the tie rod end off, pop the boot off (if it can be done without damage which it may not) and agitate it in a tube of gasoline while wearing nitrile gloves to get ALL grease out, then shake out excess gas, let dry, re-grease.

However, if one of your tie rod ends is shot, odds are the other one has enough wear that I'd just replace it too, unless for some reason it is very expensive with no good aftermarket alternative.

I suppose that if you have no confidence you can get the wheel toe-in correct after removal for cleaning or replacement, this might be a reason to leave it in place, pop the tie rod end stud out of the knuckle, take the grease nipple off, liberally spray brake cleaner in, work the joint around to loosen the grease, then repeat spraying and working the joint a few more times, THEN re-grease. Once you get all the old grease out, you might find it is looser than you thought and end up replacing it anyway.

Last edited by Dave9; 07/06/19 12:48 PM.
Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: danez_yoda] #5153071 07/06/19 01:06 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by danez_yoda
Using very different types of grease in the same boot will give you lower performance thanhaving the same type, the grease could be fine but it mat be contaminated by a different base from tye original grease. that said if you pumped until the new grease came out s little of the old was left you are probably good to go.


What are the chances the place you take your car now for a lube job will use the same grease as the place you used the last time? Similar scenario here, and you could argue wheel bearing grease is heavier duty than chassis grease. No more harm than adding a quart of different brand oil to your engine.

Re: Used GC/bearing grease on ball joints [Re: OCDriver] #5153316 07/06/19 07:27 PM
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Trav Offline
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If the previous grease was a commonly used Lithium complex then there should be no issue with compatibility. [Linked Image]


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
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