Ball Grease

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:23
ThreadID: 56930 Views:10978 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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Do you grease your ball for the trailer or not.

I have been told to do this but have been informed by some that it is unnecessary.

Be kind

Redeye
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Reply By: DIO - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:34

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:34
Metal on metal - no lubrication - what will happen? Probably not too much that could be classed as detrimental. Keep the ball and cup clean and free of grit/sand etc. I use a bit of WD40 to prevent corrosion - also helps to lubricate.
AnswerID: 300120

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:39

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:39
We tow a van & do not use grease on the ball or connection points on our weight distribution bars. If you do you will find it attracts dust which makes it abrasive & therefore makes things wear a bit quicker. It also creates a mess & you will find that the grease seems to get everywhere you don't want it. Your hands, clothes etc.
We do use a product called Dry Lube, comes in a stick form & is available from Auto product retailers/ hardware shops. It looks bit like candle wax. Its clean & easy to use & stops the stress noises when in a caravan park etc reversing or turning tight situations.
AnswerID: 300121

Follow Up By: DesF - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 17:04

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 17:04
Hi ,Have been towing an assortment of trailers ,vans etc for 30 years or more and have always used grease on the ball, as said it will not make it jump off ? Even with old cast 2 piece balls , have never worn one out but have seen trailers jump off because the balls have been worn away when used dry.
Also I have a piece of rag (small) which covers the greasy ball head before I put the cover on, it also makes the cover grip better, when I take the cover off I just put the piece of greasy rag inside the cover till ready to repalce it.
Cheers Des.
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Reply By: Member - John M (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 19:21

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 19:21
tow balls were designed NOT to be greased however you can grease the hitch (if it has grease nipples) get your self a cover that sits over the ball when not in use this will capture what grease is on the ball hence every time you put the cover on it will leave grease on the ball but no dont grease it directly.

hope this helps. happy travelling

john
AnswerID: 300134

Reply By: mowing - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:08

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:08
Hi Redeye,
As mentioned the tow ball was designed not to be greased. The idea is that you want the vehicle and trailer to remain attached. By greasing the tow ball and making it slippery you run the risk of the coupling coming off as the trailer moves up and down. I would never grease a tow ball.

Regards

Mark
AnswerID: 300145

Follow Up By: On Patrol (East Coast) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:59

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:59
Mark
I would check the adjustment of your coupling if grease would cause it to uncouple, adjusted correctly the coupling and ball are a close fit that should not even rattle, grease or no grease uncoupling would be impossible. The coupling is a positive lock.
Colin.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:35

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:35
I agree On Patrol if the coupling and ball are adjusted correctly I cannot see how they could possible part company.

In terms of greasing I've always applied grease ever since I've owned trailers as I always thought with metal to metal contact it was commonsense and I've never ever had an issue. I've never had dust get up into the ball area it does collect at the base of the ball.

When I separate I just put the ball cover on and regularly clean the ball with a paper towel then re-grease. Tried silicon and crc but I didn't think they are good enough for the pressures between the metal contact.

I believe you'd have to get more wear with a dry contact.
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FollowupID: 566378

Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:04

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:04
Hi Colin
I thought you greased your balls !!

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FollowupID: 566400

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:47

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:47
Silicon dry spray lube perhaps....silverback
AnswerID: 300168

Reply By: donk - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:47

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:47
In the manual that was supplied with our new van 4 years ago it says to use silicone spray on the tow ball which i have been doing although i still use LMM grease on the wdh trunion contact points

Regards Don
AnswerID: 300169

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:13

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:13
Redeye,
As mentioned before just to reinforce, personally I use a dry lube to put some sort of lubrication on the tow ball. A little bit won't hurt and little bit of lubrication makes the internal mechanism work a bit better plus the engagement and disengagement are a bit easier. My opinion as usual, others may disagree.
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 300219

Reply By: Thermoguard Instruments - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:27

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:27
Hi All,

Can anyone provide a reference to some engineering source or document that confirms that "towballs are designed not to be greased"? I'd really like to read it, as it seems to contradict normal engineering practice regarding load bearing steel-on-steel sliding contact. Or is this perhaps another urban myth?

As for gease making the coupling more likely to separate from the (properly attached) ball... Are you serious Mark, or just taking the Mickey?

In the meantime, I'll continue to clean off the old grease from the ball, the inside of the coupling and the WDH trunnions with old newspaper whenever it looks dirty and apply fresh grease. So far our ball hasn't worn enough to need the coupling adjuster moved in over 6 years and many tens of thousands of km towing with between 150 and 220 kg ball weight.
AnswerID: 300262

Follow Up By: mowing - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 23:02

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 23:02
O.K. I'll stand corrected as someone has misinformed me for a number of years. Checking the net. it appears that most are using grease or some form of lubricant on the tow ball. Looks like I will have to get the grease tin out on the weekend!!

Regards

Mark
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Reply By: garryk - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:12

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:12
G'day
I used to grease em , but am feed up with getting good clothes grease marked
So its the Dry Lube stick or a good rub with Sunlight soap now
Some lube but stays clean
Garry
AnswerID: 300296

Reply By: Redeye - Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 18:12

Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 18:12
Thanks all for the feedback.

Will continue with lubrication.

Redeye
AnswerID: 300451

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