No announcement yet.

Rear Wheel Bearing Grease Color Change

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.


    • #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.


      • #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:
        Last edited by tbirdtbird; 09-23-2017, 10:52 AM.


        • #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 & 1~ Coupe
          Henry Ford said,
          "It's all nuts and bolts"
          "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

          Mitch's Auto Service ctr


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


            • #7
              Here is a source for Mystik:


              • #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,"
                We have utilized the properties of grease lubricants to keep our wheels and machines running for centuries. But as time goes by, we have developed greases to keep up with the demand, such as lithium greases. With the influx of grease options, it can make the grease selection process difficult to navigate alone.

                The Mystic JT-6 is also lithium based

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


                • 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


                • #10
                  I buy mine at Tractor Supply.


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


                    • Mitch
                      Mitch commented
                      Editing a comment

                      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, 10:10 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


                    Related Topics


                    • ndnchf
                      Greasing wheel bearings -VFF wisdom confirmed
                      by ndnchf
                      Not that I ever really doubted it

                      I ordered a rear tube shock kit from Ken Davis. Nice kit. The lower shock brackets bolt to the rear brake backing plates. This requires pulling the hubs to access the nuts for the bolts. I figured while I was there I might as well inspect the wheel bearings, regrease them and install new seals. Since I've had my CCPU, I've attempted to grease...
                      08-25-2022, 05:01 PM
                    • chas1930
                      rear wheel bearing grease.
                      by chas1930
                      very new to the Model ! vehicles. Inherited from my 95 year old father. 3 yrs ago I did manage to start and drive by myself. So I am learning very slow.
                      OK, my question is... rear wheel bearing were installed 4 years ago on the restore process. Now 2,500 miles later I would like to know how to lube them. I think they are sealed but not sure. I see two fittings on the backing plate. Original...
                      03-28-2020, 03:20 PM
                    • Captndan
                      by Captndan
                      OK what’s the difference between front wheel and rear wheel bearing grease?
                      04-19-2019, 05:51 PM
                    • Rob Doe
                      Rear wheel bearing grease zerk / The one we're advised not to use
                      by Rob Doe
                      Yesterday, I was trying to look and feel for a hole that would supply the grease to the rear wheel bearing via the zerk at the bottom, backside of the axle housing. (The zerk we are advised not to use as the grease winds up in the housing??) I did not discover any such exit for the grease. I just looked at an exploded view of the rear brakes and the wheel end of the axle housing and see nothing that...
                      09-07-2021, 05:12 PM
                    • Jwmckenzie
                      Packing grease in the Front Hubs
                      by Jwmckenzie
                      I am getting ready to re-pack the front wheel bearings. In the past I have always packed the area in the hub between the two bearings with grease. Now I am wondering if that is necessary. I am pretty sure we discussed that a few months ago, but alas my search skills have failed me this morning. So what say you........
                      Pack the area between the bearings full of grease
                      Just pack the bearings
                      05-22-2023, 07:44 AM
                    • carolinamudwalker
                      Greasing chassis
                      by carolinamudwalker
                      When greasing the chassis did I read where someone said never grease the rear axels? Maybe it was Tom W
                      09-01-2018, 09:01 AM
                    • wrndln
                      Packing rear wheel bearings
                      by wrndln
                      I did a search for the preferred way to pack the rear roller bearing, but found nothing in my search. Anyway, I was thinking of installing the bearings, seals and snap rings without any grease. Once that is done, then putting grease through the hole in the middle of the bearings into the bearings. Does this sound like a good plan or should I pack the bearings first before installing them (would...
                      12-12-2019, 10:37 AM
                    • Chuck Sea/Tac
                      Grease coming from back of rear drum
                      by Chuck Sea/Tac
                      I saw a trail of grease coming from the hole below the grease fitting on the rear of the backing plate. See pictures.
                      I have several thousand miles on the last greasing of the bearings, although I may have squirted a couple of pumps in a few hundred miles ago when I did a grease job. This is the first time I’ve seen this. I need to pull the drum and take a look, but I have a pinched nerve...
                      08-18-2020, 07:10 PM
                    • John Brissette
                      Rear Wheel Bearing issue
                      by John Brissette
                      Three years ago the right rear wheel bearing failed while touring in our 1931 tudor. The repair was time-consuming and expensive. After reading several of the posts on VFF about rear wheel bearings I thought it would be a good idea to pull the wheel and check.

                      When I installed a new reproduction bearing 3 years ago, I packed it with Mobil 1 synthetic grease. The grease seal was installed...
                      You do not have permission to view this gallery.
                      This gallery has 2 photos.
                      10-31-2021, 05:23 PM
                    • Grit Kid
                      Bearing grease?
                      by Grit Kid
                      For some reason I don't have a search capability anymore. I was trying to find threads on what bearing grease do you use?
                      09-26-2020, 07:23 PM