I still have the original ball joints in my 74 Pantera. They are ok, but I would like to add grease zerks to them. Any suggestions on where to drill fit them? Thanks.
Replies sorted oldest to newest
Adding grease zerks can only help the ball joints but my experience is the four upper ball joints get very little wear and tear. The lower fronts are a different story. While rebuilding suspension on the last two cars it was clear that the lower front ball joints had play in them. No amount of grease could fix what I have encountered.
But back to your question, based on the zerks on one of my cars it looks like you can drill and bottom tap the center of the pressed sheetmetal cover on top of the upper ball joint. Then it is just the opposite for the lower. I know this is somewhat vague and others may have a more precise method.
Also, the play in the lower ball joint is only detectable when it is removed from spindle above it and/or the a-arm below it.
I just pulled the front suspension out on 6997 and you are absolutely correct.
With the wheel on there was only a very small amount of detectable play but when the front uprights were fully separated it was obvious the lower ball joint was sloppy and needed replacement.
Both front and rear upper ball joints were all good.
Steve is correct- drill the center of each ball joint. I've also not seen a worn upper assembly. Zerks are usually 1/4-28 SAE thread but Dorman has some others. On the upper rear, you will need a 1/2" extension so the zerk sticks up enough to get the grease gun on. And for convenience if you don't have a hoist, you can use right angle zerks in the lowers so you don't need to raise the car to the moon for greasegun access. When tapping threads you'll only get about 1-1/2 threads in the sheet metal housing, but thats enough as there's no pressure involved. Do NOT overtorque or you can easily strip the thread(s)! Note also the tie rod ends can also be done.
Boss wench -have you ever put a zerk into the shaft casing between the two front wheel bearings ? The access would be ordinary but it could be done ?
No- never did. It would take a LOT of grease to fill up the space. Might even affect front wheel balance. The rear seal (not included on all Panteras) is not that great at sealing even the little grease actually needed. There is no front seal so you'd have to adapt one somehow or the rig would throw grease everywhere when things got warm in operation.
If the stock front bearing halves are properly hand- greased every few years, they last a LONG time. I'm running OEM 1972 bearings in lightweight aluminum hubs. I learned to hand-grease wheel bearings when I was 16- in a different century!
Yes - you are right of course. The manual says to partially fill the space to the inside level of both bearings cups ( which I took to be the pressed inner races ) which actually is still allot of grease. The centrifugal force would actually force grease up over the cup edge which would keep those bearings very well supplied, for a very long time.
6997 is having a full front rebuild (bearings, seals , wheel studs, lower ball joints and A arm mounts) and I will be putting in zerks in all the suggested locations.
I just installed two of the front inside grease seals- managed to dent one putting it in so am waiting for a new one to arrive to do it again properly. They are not so easy to install without messing them up as they are so light. My error was slightly over pressing with a soft timber backing piece. Dumb.
My old dad taught me how to force the grease through by putting a pat on the palm of your hand and progressively working it through the bearing - always seems to pack the grease in more thoroughly better than the double cone hat arrangements your supposed to use .( not that anyone had a cone packer back then anyway! ) Mind you do always seem to be well lubricated at the end of the process!
That's the way to hand-grease tapered rollers. Done correctly, it forces fresh grease in and old dark grease out along with contaminates, water or whatnot.
If you're using Delrin or poly a-arm bushings and are using zerks drilled in to keep them from squeaking, some try hand-cutting a long spiral groove like rifling in a pistol barrel on the inside so the grease from a zerk spreads along the whole bore of the bushing.