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Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? #5326325 01/18/20 01:17 PM
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lumberc Offline OP
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Is fibrous grease (e.g. Lucas Red 'n' Tacky) bad for roller/ball bearings?

Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: lumberc] #5326392 01/18/20 02:40 PM
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doitmyself Offline
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Hello lumberc,

I am absolutely no expert on greases, but I will give you my opinion anyway. grin

I question whether "fibrous" nomenclature even applies to today's modern grease. To my knowledge, fibrous grease is something that was used in the Model T days and several decades beyond that. Greases back then were described as short or long fiber based on how they looked when pulled apart. A true fibrous grease was described as being sodium, anhydrous soda, or potash soap based and VERY fibrous in appearance. I have the impression that it was for more crude bearings, it didn't release it's oils well, and was not too water resistant. Here's a decent discussion on the subject: https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/fiber-based-grease-171568/

Another discussion: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/712735.html?1484323687
"In terms of lubricating grease, the word fiber generally refers to the interlinked molecules of soap thickener in the grease, the component that gives grease its characteristic consistency. Some manufacturers refer to the thickener as soap fibers. Some soap thickeners, especially those based on sodium and barium soaps, tend to impart a somewhat fibrous texture to the grease, while those based on calcium and lithium soaps tend to produce greases with a smoother texture. Modern greases do not contain what are typically thought of as fibrous materials such as cotton or wool

Amalie has a sodium grease they describe as highly fibrous for heavy, open bearings: http://www.amalie.com/Grease/Heavy-Duty-Wheel-Bearing-Grease


Lucas Red and Tacky is a common lithium complex grease that they describe as "smooth and tacky". I don't think tacky is the same as fibrous. R & T is certified GC-LB - good for both chassis joints and wheel bearings. Having said that, their literature markets it more as "especially good for sliding surfaces and open gears". shrug If I was doing high quality automotive bearings or similar, I would probably choose something marketed more for that. Just my 2 cents.

I have no experience with Lucas R&T and cannot comment how good it is for bearings. Maybe someone with actual experience will provide some real world advice.

Last edited by doitmyself; 01/18/20 02:59 PM.
Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: lumberc] #5326516 01/18/20 06:03 PM
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sloinker Offline
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I know on wheel bearings the old school guys like a grease with lots of moly and is stringy/ropy when pulled upon.


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Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: lumberc] #5326580 01/18/20 07:51 PM
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Mainia Offline
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As far as cars, boats, trailers, and most industrial equipment that don't have specialty grease specs, I only use aluminum complex grease. Shaeffer's 714 is my go to. Sorry, I will pass on any form of Lithium grease.


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Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: lumberc] #5326604 01/18/20 08:41 PM
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RDMgr Offline
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Lucas Red N Tacky is certified NLGI GC-LC which is good for wheel bearing and chassis use. Use of the old fiber greases is really limited these days. These would come close to meeting the current NLGI certification requirements.

Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: doitmyself] #5327211 01/19/20 05:05 PM
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lumberc Offline OP
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Big thanks for the replies, it has put my mind at ease.

Originally Posted by doitmyself
If I was doing high quality automotive bearings or similar, I would probably choose something marketed more for that. Just my 2 cents.

Hey man, the grease is specifically to lube my dirt bike swing arm bolt, swing arm bushes and swing arm needle bearings (all of which are notorious for seizing together). The problem is the dirt bike is air cooled so it gets seriously hot and I go offroading through water. I looked at the greases my local auto stores sell and Red 'n' Tacky won the data sheet war when it comes to water resistance and dropping point.

Re: Fibrous grease and roller/ball bearings, GOOD or BAD? [Re: lumberc] #5327518 01/20/20 04:03 AM
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justintendo Offline
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belray waterproof grease.


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