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Rear Wheel Bearing Grease Color Change

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  • Rear Wheel Bearing Grease Color Change

    Just replaced a broken left rear axle shaft in my 31 Slant Town Sedan with a good, used original shaft. When I pulled the rear drums/bearings/hubs off the car, the rear bearing grease (I used StaLube 3131 drum brake grease, a light yellow color in the can, and hand packed the bearings myself) had turned gray after about 2,000 miles of driving, about the color of anti-seize compound. There is no noticeable wear or damage to the used original rear bearings or to the new hubs (which were installed 2,000 miles ago after a catastrophic reproduction rear wheel bearing failure). Should I be looking for a problem or is this a normal color-change for this grease? BTW, I intend to switch to Mystic JT-6 No. 2 grease when it is time to repack both front and rear bearings. I had been using Pennzoil 707L grease on the front bearings (StaLube 3131 on the rear) but this product seems to have been discontinued. I have read about other folks using the Mystic JT-6 grease with good results so will try it on both my front and rear bearings. Thanks for any advice! Jon

  • #2
    I'd clean the rear wheel bearings, hubs, and axle tubes, then repack with the Mystik and check the color after about 500 miles.
    I wonder if some of the color change might have come from some of the old grease being left inside the original rolled bearings?

    I use compressed air with a syphon sprayer and gas to clean all the old grease out of the bearings without having to remove the seals.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, Tom, for your reply. When I installed the used original bearings into the new hubs 2,000 miles ago, they were totally clean and grease-free before I packed them with the StaLube. I also check the temperature of the drums with a laser thermometer from time to time to make sure my brakes are adjusted correctly and have not detected any overheating of the rear brakes. My concern is that I have had two catastrophic (and very expensive since it was both sides each time) failures of reproduction rear wheel bearings over the last five years and the StaLube grease had turned the same gray color then as well. At this point my used original rear bearings and hubs look fine but the grease is again gray. Perhaps I am worrying about nothing and the color change of the grease is normal. I will pull the hubs periodically after switching to Mystic grease to see what the color and condition of the grease might be.

      Comment


      • #4
        We can't get the red Mystik that Tom likes here, but we use a premium Stalube grease which is red-purple in color and like it a lot. Been using it for about 5 yrs.
        Not familiar with the 3131 product. When it comes to bearings, we always go overkill

        I'll see if i can dig up the Stalube #, for those that cannot find Mystik

        If you can get Mystik, go for it, it is Tom W approved and it doesn't get any better than that!

        If the bearings and races are shiny and smooth I am not sure what significance the color change has

        OK the PN of the Premium Extreme Pressure Stalube that we use is 3191

        Here is a source for Mystik:
        https://www.amazon.com/Mystik-665005.../dp/B00TPA9J0I
        Last edited by tbirdtbird; 09-23-2017, 09:52 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          The sta-lube 3131 product is a low temperature grease used for slow moving bearings. I would not use this in any automotive application even though it says it's okay for drum brakes. Stick with a high temperature application grease at all times, we all have our favorites and flavors. My first thought was what Tom said about residual old grease and particles left in the hub or bearing, until i read about the 3131 product. Get that stuff out from all your wheels if it still exists and repack again.
          3 ~ Tudor's
          Henry Ford said
          "It's all nuts and bolts"


          Mitch's Auto Service ctr

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          • #6
            Thanks, guys, for all the great advice! I am now on the hunt for a tub or two of Mystic JT-6!

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a source for Mystik:
              https://www.amazon.com/Mystik-665005.../dp/B00TPA9J0I

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, the 3131 is a sodium based grease, while the 3191 is lithium based.
                Here is an excerpt about the difference:
                "When lithium greases emerged in the marketplace, they were found to be superior to calcium and sodium greases,"
                source:
                http://www.machinerylubrication.com/...purpose-grease

                The Mystic JT-6 is also lithium based

                A key phrase to look for in a wheel bearing grease is 'extreme pressure'

                Comment


                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Dave nice info

                • CountrySquire55
                  CountrySquire55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks very much! Great information!

              • #9
                I have bought the Mystic red grease at O'Rileys.
                Alaskan A's
                Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
                Model A Ford Club of America
                Model A Restorers Club
                Antique Automobile Club of America
                Mullins Owners Club

                Comment


                • #10
                  I buy mine at Tractor Supply.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Anyone have a brand name for the calcium sulfonate grease?

                    Comment


                    • Mitch
                      Mitch commented
                      Editing a comment
                      lubriplate
                      castrol

                      have it

                  • #12
                    I use Starplex EP2 grease for wheel bearings. Never a problem. Mobil XPH 223 would be good also.Rod
                    Last edited by Rowdy; 09-23-2017, 09:10 PM.
                    "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." Thomas Sowell

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