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Unread 01-31-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
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Default Whats with all the greasable steering?

I have been replacing tie rods, pitman arms, ball joints, ect on two of my vehicles. Not really important which vehicles they are as my question is not related to that. I'm just wondering why all the good replacement parts for that type of stuff has to be greased. When the factory stuff did not. I know a lot of people like to be able to grease the new parts, (for some reason) but you have to take into account that the old parts did not require it. The automaker expected the factory parts to go 100,000 miles (or more) without needing to be greased or anything. Which to me, seems perfectly reasonable.

Yet even Motorcraft or ACdelco parts have a grease zerk and need to be greased at fairly regular intervals. The instructions I've gotten in the packaging with the new parts say to grease them at least every 6,000 miles. In my opinion, I do enough vehicle maintenance without adding more that was not even there from the factory. So why the change? Obviously GM and Ford intend for ACdelco and Motorcraft to be the standard replacement parts for their vehicles. So why would they add maintenance now, that they never do from the factory? No vehicle that I've ever owned has had to have its parts greased, it was all self contained. Now I realize that greaseable parts may last longer, but that really isn't my concern. I personally don't care how much longer they last. As it isn't significant enough, when compared to how long the factory parts were intended to last.

I also realize you can get the el-cheapo replacement parts that don't have to be greased, but I think that most people know that they are not up to the standards of the factory parts, or the greasable replacement parts such as Moog brand. I'm talking about quality, non-greasable parts here. Like the kind that cars have when they're brand new. Automakers don't sell the car with that cheap junk so I certainly wouldn't want it on my ride. And its actually difficult (at least in my experience) to find the real, original replacement part to go on the vehicle when it comes to this stuff. They seem to want you to but the greasable ones these days as replacement parts, even though they don't put that stuff on your average new vehicle. I feel like something's missing here. Anyway, what are your thoughts and opinions?

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Unread 01-31-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Automakers don't sell the car with that cheap junk
Bwahahahaha


Carmakers build to warranty these days. Cars are designed to last to the end of their warranty and not an inch further. How far beyond the warranty they'll last is anyone's guess.


Quote:
They seem to want you to but the greasable ones these days as replacement parts, even though they don't put that stuff on your average new vehicle.
The greasable ones are better. You don't need to grease them every six thousand, you can grease them at 30,000 to 50,000 if you want. Won't hurt a thing.


The greasable ones last longer because when the grease breaks down you can put new grease into them. The permanently lubed ones lack this advantage, and once the grease breaks down, they're doneskis.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Agreed Its cheaper to manufacturer the part with out fittings. On the replacement part they don't care because it's your money not there's. I believe the factory ones have a Teflon lining that provides lube, but so do the aftermarket grease able ones. At one time it was come for people to request a shop install grease fittings into these from the old timers. Now no one seems to care.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Cheaper for sure.

And in a competitive world it's a contest who can boast lower cost of ownership.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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If the factory pieces would have had grease fittings, and it was regularly greased per specs, they would not have failed as early. They design it to last the full period of the warranty, and not really any longer. They want return customers...
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Unread 02-01-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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Yeah but they won't have many return customers if their stuff fails right out of warranty. Take my mom's 08 trailblazer for example. Its about 80K out of warranty, and up until this point its been doing fine in this department. Of course that's not to say they won't fail, cause eventually they will just like everything else. But I don't have a problem with them failing 80K out of warranty. They lasted plenty long, they have to wear out eventually.

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Unread 02-01-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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And a properly maintained, greased fitting will last 160K past warranty. It's more than double the lifetime. Hell, most of the time, a greasable ball joint will outlast the rest of the car it's attached to, provided it's maintained properly.


They want repeat customers. Best way to do that is to build to warranty and to instill a desire to buy a new one every four to six years, which the auto industry has done quite handily. With warranties being 10/100 these days, and people still replacing every four to six, they drum up tons of repeat business, and the third owner of that car more often than not ends up going to the dealer to get service done on the car that's past it's expiry date.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 02-01-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Ok well how about my next question. If you're adding grease every 30K miles, where does all the old grease go? How do you not bust the seal and cause premature death of the part? Cause if the old grease is gone, then it went out somehow. But if its not gone, if its all still in there, then you're forcing more grease in which will eventually rupture the seal. How do you get past that dilemma?

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Unread 02-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #9
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It breaks down and oozes out past the seal. Happens in the non-greasable parts too, and that's why they fail.
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Tired Iron ain't got no time to wear out...

My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 02-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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Ok thank you sir. What about the full synthetic grease like Royal Purple sells? Perhaps that would last longer than conventional grease?

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