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Old 07-26-2005, 16:01   #1 (permalink)
M&S
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Bearings, U-Joints, Grease, Mud, Input?

Hello all,
We have a 95' F-150 4x that we have owned for a bout 4 years now. Other
than it being a 6 cyl. and ball-less its been a decent truck. Killer is,
we live at the end of a two mile dirt road that is steep, rocky in
places, red clay mud in places, holes that stay wet/deep for long
periods, really muddy in the winter, etc.. We have been working the road
(not maintained by the state) as well as our driveway (1/2 mile of the
same) each year to make it better but it will never be a nice road.
Needless to say, we go through U-joints on the rear driveshaft about
every 4-5 months, the front about once a year, and I have done the U
joints in the front end once so far at about 2.5 years after we bought
the truck. We go through front wheel bearings in 6-8 months on average.
A bit more frequent on the passengeres side as on remote country roads
it takes more of a beating getting over in the ditch for oncomming
vehicles. I have also replaced drag link and TR ends in that time. Given
the truck was bought used I cant complain about the TR ends and drag
link (150k miles on it now, 116 when we bought it).
My question is, what is all of your input on U-Joints, bearings,
grease, etc. for such rough conditions? We have been buying Federal
Mogul Precision U-Joints (pretty generic) and I keep a complete set for
the entire truck in-stock at all times. I can change them out in a flash
at this point. Wheel bearings have also been Federal Mogul and running
standard Valvoline disc brake grease. Running a general Valvoline grease
in the U-Joints.
Last two sets of U-Joints I tried not greasing them at all after
installation on the suggestion of a guy I spoke with who runs his truck
off road (tending gas wells) daily. He said in his experience the more
you grease them the faster they go. His logic was that the frequent
greasing holds the seal open, then when the drive is hot (going down the
pavement at normal speed) and you pull onto a dirt road with wet/muddy
holes the quick quenching/cooling allows the joint to more easily suck
water in. He said he coudnt say anything more but that was just his
experience.
My experience (over the last 8-10 mos.) is that the U-joints lasted no
longer, and no shorter, than when I had greased them monthly. Given
that, I could save the time and money (not much money) of greasing them.
Looking at it logically I cant imagine the seals are held open very long
after greasing them when you head down the road they warm up/whip the
grease out from under the seal etc.. That said, I didnt get any more
life out of them greasing them regularly.
I am writting this having just finished a new set of wheel bearings
(front) replacing a set I put in late fall last year. I clean everything
in a parts washer, use a bearing packer on the wheel bearings, change
seals every time, etc..
I am looking for input from anyone on ways to stretch this process out.
Questions:

Is it worth tracking down/buying a different brand of U-Joint or bearing?

What are all of your recommendations on grease (brand/type) for the
wheel bearings and U-Joints?

Any other input would be greatly appreciated. At this point I think the
guys who coined the phrase "Built Ford Tough" needs to send a truck down
here for a year or two and see that showing a truck bouncing up a pile
of fist sized boulders doesnt cut the mustard with regard to daily use
in hard conditions in the real world.

Thanks, sorry for the length,
Mark

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Old 07-27-2005, 21:01   #2 (permalink)
Joe
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Posts: n/a
Re: Bearings, U-Joints, Grease, Mud, Input?

I grew up in a place that sounds like yours, but we never had any wheel
bearing problems. But we didn't have enough water to submerge our truck's
axles all the time. Are you getting in enough water to submerge the hubs?
If not, it sounds to me like something's just not right.

Front U-joints were the worst for us. We went through those like candy, but
the rears would last a long time. We probably used Moog or spicer, don't
know which. It's been a long time.

"M&S" <no@no.com> wrote in message
news:K3zFe.5360$6f.4930@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> Hello all,
> We have a 95' F-150 4x that we have owned for a bout 4 years now. Other
> than it being a 6 cyl. and ball-less its been a decent truck. Killer is,
> we live at the end of a two mile dirt road that is steep, rocky in places,
> red clay mud in places, holes that stay wet/deep for long periods, really
> muddy in the winter, etc.. We have been working the road (not maintained
> by the state) as well as our driveway (1/2 mile of the same) each year to
> make it better but it will never be a nice road.
> Needless to say, we go through U-joints on the rear driveshaft about every
> 4-5 months, the front about once a year, and I have done the U joints in
> the front end once so far at about 2.5 years after we bought the truck. We
> go through front wheel bearings in 6-8 months on average. A bit more
> frequent on the passengeres side as on remote country roads it takes more
> of a beating getting over in the ditch for oncomming vehicles. I have also
> replaced drag link and TR ends in that time. Given the truck was bought
> used I cant complain about the TR ends and drag link (150k miles on it
> now, 116 when we bought it).
> My question is, what is all of your input on U-Joints, bearings, grease,
> etc. for such rough conditions? We have been buying Federal Mogul
> Precision U-Joints (pretty generic) and I keep a complete set for the
> entire truck in-stock at all times. I can change them out in a flash at
> this point. Wheel bearings have also been Federal Mogul and running
> standard Valvoline disc brake grease. Running a general Valvoline grease
> in the U-Joints.
> Last two sets of U-Joints I tried not greasing them at all after
> installation on the suggestion of a guy I spoke with who runs his truck
> off road (tending gas wells) daily. He said in his experience the more you
> grease them the faster they go. His logic was that the frequent greasing
> holds the seal open, then when the drive is hot (going down the pavement
> at normal speed) and you pull onto a dirt road with wet/muddy holes the
> quick quenching/cooling allows the joint to more easily suck water in. He
> said he coudnt say anything more but that was just his experience.
> My experience (over the last 8-10 mos.) is that the U-joints lasted no
> longer, and no shorter, than when I had greased them monthly. Given that,
> I could save the time and money (not much money) of greasing them. Looking
> at it logically I cant imagine the seals are held open very long after
> greasing them when you head down the road they warm up/whip the grease out
> from under the seal etc.. That said, I didnt get any more life out of them
> greasing them regularly.
> I am writting this having just finished a new set of wheel bearings
> (front) replacing a set I put in late fall last year. I clean everything
> in a parts washer, use a bearing packer on the wheel bearings, change
> seals every time, etc..
> I am looking for input from anyone on ways to stretch this process out.
> Questions:
>
> Is it worth tracking down/buying a different brand of U-Joint or bearing?
>
> What are all of your recommendations on grease (brand/type) for the wheel
> bearings and U-Joints?
>
> Any other input would be greatly appreciated. At this point I think the
> guys who coined the phrase "Built Ford Tough" needs to send a truck down
> here for a year or two and see that showing a truck bouncing up a pile of
> fist sized boulders doesnt cut the mustard with regard to daily use in
> hard conditions in the real world.
>
> Thanks, sorry for the length,
> Mark
>



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