Using grease to hold loose bearings in place while assembling a transmission?

Discussion in 'Transmission & Driveline Topics' started by vegaguy, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. vegaguy

    vegaguy Member

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    I read the Richmond Super T-10 service manual (after I already had my transmission assembled of course) - which I assume is going to be the same for the Borg Warner Super T-10 - and it says NOT to use grease to hold loose bearings in place while assembling the transmission because it won't dissolve in gear oil and grease doesn't provide adequate lubrication for the moving parts; instead they recommend petroleum jelly. I tested this out with regular black moly grease and sure enough it doesn't dissolve completely in gear oil: working it around in the oil with my finger just causes it to break down into small clumps. Unfortunately when I assembled my transmission I followed a video where the guy doing the rebuild says to either use grease or assembly lube (which he uses), and I of course used grease. Now I have a dilemma: should I disassemble a large part of the transmission just so I can clean the grease off of the loose bearings and reassemble them with petroleum jelly, or should I hope that the grease will eventually work its way out of the bearings so the gear oil can get in and properly lube them.

    Anyone used grease to hold bearings in and NOT had any issues down the road with premature wear to the bearings, etc?
     
  2. BigBlock73

    BigBlock73 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
    I use this on my Muncie and have had no issues.
     
  3. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I use Vaseline since I haven't ordered the above green goo. Then after a few hundred miles I change it. Grease is suppose to dissolve.
     
  4. vegaguy

    vegaguy Member

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    I'll check my experiment again today to see if time has caused the grease to dissolve in the gear oil; otherwise I'm inclined to clean the grease out of my transmission's loose bearings and repack them with petroleum jelly just to be on the safe side. No sense risking ruining an expensive gearbox.

    Maybe grease dissolves better in engine oil than gear oil since there are detergents in motor oil to help break it down. I've read where lithium based grease doesn't though and shouldn't be used in an engine. I think most grease these days is lithium based so it might be best to just use grease for wheel bearings and chassis parts and use something else, like a dedicated assembly lube, on the inside of engines and transmission.
     
  5. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Grease or assembly lube is used.

     
  6. vegaguy

    vegaguy Member

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    Those are the videos I followed, too, but I think he's wrong about using grease since it clearly doesn't dissolve in gear oil. He does say not to use white lithium grease though; I don't know what is special about white lithium grease as opposed to most other greases that are lithium based. I appreciate this guy posting a video showing the basics of the overhaul process, but like most other Youtube videos you have to take it with a grain of salt.

    I still haven't got an answer to my question about whether anyone has successfully used grease to hold transmission bearings in, so I'm going to take that to mean the answer is NO. Like I mentioned above if the company that actually manufactures the new Super T10 transmissions (Richmond) says not to do it then it's probably a good idea not to do it, especially since no one can offer proof that it can be done without prematurely wearing out the transmission parts.
     
  7. Jeep43

    Jeep43 Veteran Member

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    I'm sure many people have used grease in the past and if it was an issue people would be much more aware of it.

    Maybe there are some special greases that would be no-no but I can't see how those needles covered in bearing grease wouldn't break it down and mix it with gear oil considering the elevated temp and those rollers mixing it up.
     
  8. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    From the 1970 GM overhaul manual.
    Muncie and Warner transmissions mentions grease. In your post it sounds like someone is trying to cover their azz on something or they don't have a clue what their talking about. I go with clueless. If your still paranoid then dump the gear oil, drive it for 100 mi, then dump the gear oil again then refill and call it the day until you rack up more miles and dump it again.

    Muncie
    IMG_1177.JPG IMG_1178.JPG

    Warner
    IMG_1179.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 10:15 AM
  9. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    grease is just "cold" oil anyway...lol....Vaseline or motor honey has always worked
     
  10. big gear head

    big gear head Veteran Member

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    When I assembled my M23 the guys at AutoGear said not to use anything with moly in it. They said to only use transmission assembly lube.
     

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