Basics of chassis lubrication

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ChevronTexaco Global Lubricants has reformulated its Chevron Delo 400 motor oil for increased soot dispersancy, anti-wear characteristics and extended drain intervals. The oil meets the upcoming API CI-4 Plus standard for low-emission engines.

ConocoPhillips announced that its heavy-duty diesel engine oils from Conoco, Phillips 66, 76 and Kendall are compliant with the upcoming API CI-4 Plus standard.

Petro Stopping Centers are stocking Optima’s YellowTop group 31 round-plate batteries at participating locations nationwide.

Great Dane Trailers has opened a new, 35,000-square-foot branch facility in Mount Joy, Pa.

Caterpillar C15 engines with 625 and 600 horsepower ratings are now available in Kenworth’s W900L long-nose conventional.

With the new Core-Free Carrier Program, Spicer Heavy Axle customers no longer will be assessed a core charge when purchasing a carrier assembly.

Eaton Corp. signed a five-year agreement with VTTi Inc. to provide Eaton MD (mobile diagnostics) – a new line of cellular-based diagnostic software for automotive and commercial vehicle service.

Some fleets use automatic chassis-lube systems, while others favor sealed, lubed-for-life components. But manual chassis lubrication remains the most common practice, according to Mark Betner, Citgo Petroleum’s heavy-duty product line manager.

Chassis lubrication normally has been at one half the engine oil change interval, he adds, but stretching oil drain intervals often means neglect of chassis components. Here are some technician training tips and suggestions gathered by Betner:

A symptom of a lubrication problem is U-joints emitting water upon relubrication. This means the grease has been displaced and water has entered the U-joint, resulting in corrosion and premature needle bearing failure.

When lubing U-joints, technicians should make sure that grease has traveled completely through the channels of U-joint cross and is getting to the needle bearings. A visual check to see if grease appears at each of the needle cap crevices is an important safeguard. Some fleet owners even relieve the pressure on the drive line of a U-joint to ensure that grease is getting to the needle bearings, but this is a time-consuming activity and consequently is not practiced widely.

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Slack adjusters often will have excessive grease outside the component. This means the grease is being displaced either as a result of poor operator braking habits or grease that did not have adequate consistency. The brake cam bushing, if allowed to go without grease, can result in worn brake cams, which can cause improper rotation of the brake bracket assembly and excessive brake wear.

Spring and shackle pins will seize as a result of lack of lubrication. This leads to spring breakage. Dry and scored spring pins are a sign that the service interval is being overextended or the grease is being displaced prematurely because of inadequate consistency under highly loaded circumstances. These components are especially challenged by highway conditions – water mixed with newer anti-ice and snow-melting compounds, creating a severe corrosion environment.

Too much grease often can be as damaging as not enough grease. The ball joint is one example of a component that can suffer from over-lubrication. Too much grease in the ball joint can cause the boot to rupture and lose grease. Other components may not be physically damaged from over-lubrication, but excessive grease outside the component can attract contaminants. The buildup of grease outside the component can also lead to highway contamination, raising environmental concerns.

Optimum chassis lubrication requires excellent shock resistance and staying power for wear and corrosion protection. Grease specifications should be built around these properties that will allow for extended service intervals and longer component life.

New look for Holland
The Holland Group recently launched its new website, which provides improved access to product information and literature, service and sales contacts, news and events and films. The site also features the company’s new sales and service video presentations for instant viewing. Online literature offerings now feature more in-depth information, are better organized and are downloadable as PDFs.

By clicking on a map region, visitors can access a complete list of representatives for the area, while a News and Events link outlines upcoming trade shows and describes new products. A Where To Buy link lists Holland’s distribution network alphabetically or by state, and direct links are provided to OEM websites.

Delco Remy cranks up torque, amps
Delco Remy’s new MxT (maximum torque) starters feature high torque, an advanced gearing system and a sealed, noseless configuration that eliminates debris accumulation and related wear, the company says. The heavier-duty 38MT for engines up to 12 liters, and 39MT for engines up to 15 liters, offer Electrical Soft-Start technology that eliminates milled ring gears and pinions by ensuring proper engagement before cranking. They also feature an Integral Magnetic Switch, which makes for a more reliable starting circuit. All three starters, including the 29MT for engines up to 8 liters, transfer torque with reduced component mass, improving weight efficiency and accessibility.

Delco Remy also has introduced its 35SI alternator line, designed to deliver 110 or 155 amps in operating environments up to 221 degrees F. Brushless technology with fewer moving parts and internal connections make for more consistent activation speeds for enhanced durability. Also, remote voltage sensing monitors the battery terminals and adjusts power output to provide optimal charging.