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Mower Deck Gearbox Lube Discussion


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#1 Billy M ONLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 11:09 AM

I know this topic has been beat to death in multiple threads, but none of the threads I've looked at have a good logical answer. 

 

I'm getting ready to change the lube in the gearbox on one of my mower decks.  What is the best lube to use?  Ariens specs a No. 000150 moly multi-purpose grease.  #2 grease was just recommended in another thread by another forum member.  Is #2 equivalent to the #000150 that Ariens specs?  #2 seems a little thick to me and is typically used in ball and roller bearings.  In a gearbox, thicker grease tends to make a cavity where the gears spin, thus starving the gears of lube.  I personally like #00 grease in a gearbox.  For those not familiar, #00 grease is a pourable, stringy grease that will flow back down to the spinning gears.  Some people make a 50/50 mix of gear oil & grease to make it.  I actually did this in the last gearbox lube change I did, and it's still going strong.

 

I mainly ask because I'm not familiar with the #000150 MMP grease that Ariens specs.  If the #2 is an equivalent replacement, I'm good with that.  I tried searching for some specs on the Ariens MMP grease, but had no luck.  Is anyone here familiar with the Ariens MMP grease?


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#2 framesteer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 12:55 PM

I would stick to the manufacturer's recommendation or as close to that as you can find.  If you need or want a more "fluid" #00 grease, John Deere sells their corn head gearbox grease in 14oz tubes.  A corn head gearbox is more complicated than most mower gearboxes, but has similar gears (bevel and spur), bearings (ball and needle), similar shaft speeds, and similar seals.  I've used it in rebuilding some "leaky" gearboxes that recommend SAE 90 or SAE 140 gear oil.  Less "leaky" and no problems yet.


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#3 Billy M ONLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 01:08 PM

I would stick to the manufacturer's recommendation or as close to that as you can find.  If you need or want a more "fluid" #00 grease, John Deere sells their corn head gearbox grease in 14oz tubes.  A corn head gearbox is more complicated than most mower gearboxes, but has similar gears (bevel and spur), bearings (ball and needle), similar shaft speeds, and similar seals.  I've used it in rebuilding some "leaky" gearboxes that recommend SAE 90 or SAE 140 gear oil.  Less "leaky" and no problems yet.

That's my question...what is the manufacturer's spec equivalent to?  I can't find any info on the viscosity of the Ariens MMP grease.  I did see the JD corn head grease and did consider it.  My local TSC stocks this #00 grease (see link).  I like the physical attribute of the #00 grease being able to flow back to the gears.  I've seen gearboxes with pockets of grease around the bevel/spurs and it makes me cringe.

 

http://www.tractorsu...indle-grease-00

 

The price is right and I can get it locally.  (You need to read the review as well!) :D



#4 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 01:31 PM

I did the oil and grease thing the last time. Straight oil will leak out the bad seals, so thicken it to where it won't leak and still pull into the gears. I assumed Ariens is like other companies in having it packaged for them by the manufacturers. That it is basically the same as others.
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#5 Wm McNett OFFLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 02:56 PM

I used Schaffers 248 Moly Syngard. It's red, extreme pressure grease, NLGI #2.
The gear box gets HOT when operating. So most grease will run. At 3,000+ rpm I don't believe you're going to get much of anything to stick to those gears.
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#6 Billy M ONLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 04:23 PM

I used Schaffers 248 Moly Syngard. It's red, extreme pressure grease, NLGI #2.
The gear box gets HOT when operating. So most grease will run. At 3,000+ rpm I don't believe you're going to get much of anything to stick to those gears.

I thought the gearbox may get hot enough to partially liquefy the thicker grease.  I have never felt the gearbox after mowing.  I'll have to do that next time I mow...in a few months!



#7 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 05:52 PM

The box takes No. 2 grease. If you don't believe me, call Ariens. I bought a replacement deck in 2010, Ariens p/n 831031. My original Gravely deck was obsolete and Ariens built this deck for me from parts. I believe  it is the last or certainly one of the last assembled decks they sold. The box is identical to my original except for one important improvement. They added a zerk fitting so you can directly lube the output shaft bearing. The box came packed with Stens 00036800 hi-temp grease (now Stens 751-317) which is a #2 EP lithium based grease. Any good quality, hi-temp, #2 EP grease is ok as long as it is lithium based or compatible with lithium based. 


Edited by artbuc, January 28, 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#8 Billy M ONLINE  

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Posted January 28, 2016 - 07:26 PM

The box takes No. 2 grease. If you don't believe me, call Ariens. I bought a replacement deck in 2010, Ariens p/n 831031. My original Gravely deck was obsolete and Ariens built this deck for me from parts. I believe  it is the last or certainly one of the last assembled decks they sold. The box is identical to my original except for one important improvement. They added a zerk fitting so you can directly lube the output shaft bearing. The box came packed with Stens 00036800 hi-temp grease (now Stens 751-317) which is a #2 EP lithium based grease. Any good quality, hi-temp, #2 EP grease is ok as long as it is lithium based or compatible with lithium based.


Great! So it's settled. I wanted to avoid any confusion over what is correct. The manual doesn't give much help besides telling you it's a moly multi-purpose grease. I'm fine with No. 2 grease if that is what is spec'd.

Art, do you have a pic of the zerk location? I was wanting to add one to my gearbox. I thought about putting a 90* zerk on the gearbox cover. I'll have to make sure there is clearance.

Thanks to all for the input.

Billy

#9 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 06:08 AM

I will post a picture if I can figure out how to, lol. BTW, the only reason I said lube must be lithium based compatible is because I assumed that is existing lube. It you thoroughly remove all old lube, you can use a different base although I do not know why you would want to do that.

Edited by artbuc, January 29, 2016 - 06:09 AM.

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#10 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 09:25 AM

I used Schaffers 248 Moly Syngard. It's red, extreme pressure grease, NLGI #2.
The gear box gets HOT when operating. So most grease will run. At 3,000+ rpm I don't believe you're going to get much of anything to stick to those gears.

Wm, this is a bentone based grease which is incompatible with lithium. Just to double-check, I asked Schaffer and they told me I would have to totally remove existing lithium grease before using the 248 Moly Syngard. Do you know what was in your box before you started using the 248? Did you have any issues with mixing 248 with the existing grease? Thanks.

PS. My homemade time delay module continues to perform flawlessly. Many thanks to you again for sharing your design.

Edited by artbuc, January 29, 2016 - 09:26 AM.

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#11 Wm McNett OFFLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 11:35 AM

I rebuilt the box on my 60" deck a few years ago when I rebuilt the deck. So it was clean when I refilled it with grease. Schaffers is what we have at work so that's what I use. I grease everything with it, universals, pto shaft, loader, backhoe, Magnatrac track rollers, spindle bearings, ........

I have a new housing around here somewhere. Was going to take a picture of it and the zerk location but I can't find my box of gearbox parts at the moment.

The zerk on the new housing and my 48" deck was in front under the pto shaft. Which is a little hard to get at, especially when it's on the tractor. On the box I rebuilt, I added the zerk to the back. 

It's above to mounting flange and below the upper output shaft bearing race. A simple job if the box is apart. 

I'm guessing it's about 1/4-3/8" above the flange, 1/4-28, drill too high and you'll run into the hard bearing race, too low and you won't be able to install it or get your grease gun on it.

In a lot of the manuals don't specify a lithium base grease, just say "Use Ariens Multi Purpose Grease or good grade of general purpose grease."

And when it says MOLY everyone is going to grab some grease that says MOLY not having a clue as to what the base is. I've always assumed grease was some type of clay with oil in it ;)



#12 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 12:48 PM

Wm, you are right about access. Installing the zerk in the back is a good idea.

#13 Wm McNett OFFLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 09:50 PM

Put the zerk about halfway between the bottom and the rib.
The bottom of the top bearing race is 3-1/2" down from the top.
Yes, they are rotated, couldn't figure it out on my phone.

Back
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Front
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