Greasable Shackles vs Non Greasable

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 11:43
ThreadID: 134119 Views:6543 Replies:12 FollowUps:12
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Good morning to all the mechanics out there.

My BT50 had non greasable shackle bushes in the rear springs (leaf).

I had a suspension upgrade done. As far as I can tell, all suspension upgrades, including mine, use greasable shackles on the rear leaf packs.

I grease mine every 5000km or so. This morning, grease was coming out from under the nut outside the shackle rather than between the bush and the shackle, which makes me think that fresh grease is maybe not getting into all the places it should.

Two questions:
1 Should I be concerned and chase that up?
2 If non-greasable bushes are used by manufacturers, why do aftermarket manufacturers use greasable? Is there and advantage of one over the other?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

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FrankP

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Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:35

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:35
The grease should be between the pin/end plates and the bush. If it coming out from under the nut, then it is because it can't squeeze between the bush and the end plate for some reason. It might be as simple as pumping grease while someone jumps on the tow ball to make the suspension flex and break the seal between the plate and the bush. You could back the nut off a few turns too.

On mine the grease was pushing the bush out past the side plates, that took some fixing and new swear words were invented.

Why don't manufactures use them? Cost mainly.
The stock bushes were a softer rubber, so didn't transfer the road noise quite as much and will do the job quite well for most buyers. They also didn't creak and groan when they were dusty or dry.
Greasable cost more to make and more time to fit on the production line and need more maintenance.
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Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:38

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:38
Hi
Yes u should be concerned with grease not going where it should ,its best for grease to lube all the surfaces . Can u do something about it not really . As long as the bushes are in good condition leave it at that .

The bush should not rotate the shackle pin needs to rotate inside the bush .
A good industrial pin has a grease spiral machined in to allow for good spread of grease to all load surfaces .

What type of urethane bushes do u use ??.
Overly hard bushes wear out shackle plates typically red yellow etc
The super pro blue bushes always seem to be the correct hardness and can last along time even with only being greased on upon first install .

Rubber grease only needs 1 application on new rubber bushes also .
AnswerID: 607660

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:44

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:44
Hi Swampy,
Thanks. I think they are all-matal bushes. The grease used by the installer and which on his advice I have bought for home maintenance is black moly stuff.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 14:42

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 14:42
Frank P
They won't be all metal bushes. The polyurethane IS the bush. It is selected because of it's low coefficient of friction and resistance to wear while providing a cushioning ability and reasonable physical strength too.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:14

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:14
You guys are right - I was making assumptions.

I cleaned up around one shackle a bit. The bush is, presumably, polyurethane. It's either black or very dark blue. Can't see enough of it to tell.

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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:39

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:39
Not a qualified mechanic but a long time user of trailers. When the better "plastic" bushes came out I went that way. I found the greasable ones soon did not let graese into where it needed to be. In a simliar stuation on a back hoe, unless I greased every day the grease got hard and not go in correct area. Back to trailers, if I greased at least once a week seemed to be reasonably successful. the problem arises when not used for a few weeks.
Sometimes you can get away with getting grease into correct area by using a CRC type product. Will often loosen hardened grease to save a complete removal and clean. Plastic ones last for years, cheap to buy and easier to replace, don't rust in.
I think the after market guys are just ensuring repeat business in cleaning and replacement.

Neil

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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:48

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:48
The vehicle weight bearing down will push the shackle pins either to the top and bottom of the bushed inner surface.
I presume you always jack the vehicle chassis so that normal pin load is reversed AND the grease you administer gets to the ACTUAL wear surface. Unless you do that, the grease will travel along the crescent gap (Caused by the load) between the pin and the bush inner surface. Unfortunately it WON'T be under the area which you are trying/think you are lubricating.

Jack if up chassis, not running gear, first and then grease. The grease may then come out of different spots and actually grease the bushes/pins.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:52

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 12:52
Thank you RMD.
That is most logical, but I hadn't thought of it.
I will try it and post back here the result.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 13:22

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 13:22
Jacking the chassis properly allowed grease into the four rear shackle bushes.

However, on both front bushes the grease comes out from under the nut.

I have tried tightening the nuts. Fine thread, I was able to tighten them by 1/4 turn.

Should I try loosening? They cannot stay loose as they are not nylocs. (That can be rectified :-))
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 14:50

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 14:50
Frank.
The only thing I can think of IS, When the front bushes are fitted there will be a CRUSH tube as the inner liner which is there to resist crushing of the mounts of the chassis.

It is quite possible the EXPERT fitter has installed a crush tube which is a split tube, ie rolled flat but of steel. that would allow grease under pressure to exit between the inner faces of the two bushes on each side and travel along the gap between the bolt and the split tube. That will present the grease directly to the clearance where the bolt goes through the mount plate ans exit around and under the spring washer.

Better to have a hollow tube which isn't split IF that is the situation. Check with the fitter and ask IF the tube is split lengthwise. Get it changed for a solid tube if it is..
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:07

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:07
Thanks Ross, I'll do that.

It's a Lovells GVM upgrade. They're a reputable company and I'd like to think would supply "not the cheapest", but I'll check anyway.

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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 16:01

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 16:01
Another heads up od jacking up to grease shackles. Have done this to all my trucks over the years....and from memory never had to renew a shackle bush. Do it to my current van all the time ...even on the road. Only takes a couple of minutes with a good hydraulic jack to just start lifting wheel jacking under chassis or middle spring hanger .....3 or 4 shots of grease....and jobs done.

Cheers Keith
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:34

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 15:34
Greasable shackles are only necessary on polly bushes ...... and msotly because Polly bushes will not retain grease ..... it has to be constantly applied.

Rubber bushes don't need to be greased and should not be greased.

Most of the aftermarket companies supply polly bushes because they are far easier to manufacture than rubber, especially in short runs.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both rubber and polly.

Back in the 80;s when polly first became popular everybody thaught they where an answer to all our prayers ..... it did not take long for many to realise that polly had issues and did not work at all well in some situations.

I'm putting some new springs under the back of the hilux soon ..... I'll be using rubber bushes.

cheers
AnswerID: 607667

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:13

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:13
I agree with what Bantam has said.

When I had new extra leaf springs fitted to the front of my old Cruiser ute the company fitted greasable bushes, which got greased twice or so as often as the 5000 k general service interval.
The original rubber Toyota bushes lasted around 250,000 ks.
Even with regular greasing the new you beaut greasable jobbies are up for replacement after around 40,000 ks. We have in that distance covered the dreaded corrrugations of tracks like the GRR, but even so the originals did the CSR and such and still completed trips without the rapid wear rate.
I do have a spare set of greasable bushes which I will fit but after that I will be going back to the rubber originals, assuming I do keep the old ute.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:20

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:20
I would certainly like the maintenance-free aspect returned.

I suspect I'll be rep[lacing these with rubber when the time comes.

Thanks guys
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Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:01

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:01
HI
In some applications rubber grease is well advised either for fitting or bush longevity when operating .
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 17:48

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 17:48
yeh I am aware of rubber grease and have used it in the past but none of the oem bushes are fitted using rubber grease ...... if anything they use powder as a fitting lubricant .... french chalk or baby powder.

cheers
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:22

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 at 16:22
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I think I have it sorted now.

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 10:37

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 10:37
Frank,
I don't know for sure what the BT50 comes with, but the factory bushes on the 79series Toyotas is a rubber bush with metal sleeve - so its metal on metal and requires no lubrication and attracts no dirt. Lasts forever too.

The cheap aftermarket poly bushes require grease so they can move freely and so they don't squeak. I have also found that the poly bushes elongate so get a bit of play.

I've put the original bushes back into a couple of 79series that had greasable shackles - in one case it was because the greasable front pin had broken in the middle on the gunbarrel highway.
AnswerID: 607706

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:10

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:10
Thanks Phil.

When these poly bushes (supplied by Lovells as part of the kit) expire, I'll replace them with rubber. It seems to be the way to go.

Unfortunately the suspension upgrade was done over a year ago so I cannot retrieve the OEM bushes from the OEM springs - they've long gone to the recycle bin.

Cheers

Frank
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09
Tried greasable shackles and poly bushes on a couple of vehicles but prefer the old rubber bushes which are basically maintenance free no having to get the grease gun out and hope the grease actually penetrates the shackle pins into the bushes correctly because if it dosen't the bushes will wear the shackle pins out faster unlike rubber which wear the pins a lot les and they last a long time. Less unnecessary maintenance means more time driving and having fun.
Rubber bushes are noticeably more comfortable to ride on as poly doesn't absorb the jarring as much and sends it through to the occupants.
AnswerID: 607707

Reply By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 15:20

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 15:20
hi
over the years of farming life and since any time I have to grease shackle pins be it on a truck/caravan or 4x4 etc I always jack the vehicle body up with a trolley jack to take the weight off the pins while pumping the grease in
that way I have always got a spread of grease both ends of the shackle pin cheers
AnswerID: 607711

Reply By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 16:09

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 at 16:09
The local suspension guru here has alloy or steel bushes to replace poly bushes...but he makes sure that whoever has them fitted will use a grease gun. And as for poly bushes his uses for them is unprintable...altho one of them features the premier of the day and a part of his anatomy.

Cheers Keith
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Reply By: Member - abqaiq - Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:22

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:22
Just replaced rear springs on Truupy (gone to parabolics), both my very experienced local mechanic and discussing the spring replacement with an independent spring jobber,we all concluded that rubber bushings per OEM (one time rubber greased) and non-greaseable pins were the way to go. "Grease just picks up dirt, to no benefit."
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