200,000 Mile Oil Change Intervals

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Nomen Nescio, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Nomen Nescio

    Nomen Nescio Guest

    Since Chrysler doesn't provide oiling cups for the alternator bearings, the
    only oil they're going to get in 200,000 miles is the factory pack. Ditto
    for the CV joints, tie rods, suspension pivots, starter motor, air
    conditioning compressor, water pump, power steering pump, wheel bearings,
    and what not.

    Your car would be very grateful if you service it with fresh, wholesome oil
    paste bi-annually or every six months, whichever comes first.

    I'm from the old school. "If it moves, lubricate it". And lubrication
    needs renewal. Anybody whose ever repacked a ball bearing knows good
    grease goes bad. It gets dark, gritty, and like sludge after being in
    service a few months. No one will confuse pure Pep Boys grease from the
    stuff you find in old CV joints. The question is which way would you want
    to regrease the CV joints: In 15 seconds with a grease-gun to a Zerk, or
    half-a-day with a teardown thanks to Chrysler Corporation aka

    Let's bring back the Grease Monkey. If there were about 50 Alemite
    fittings on your Chrysler car, you simply go twice a year and pay a grease
    monkey a a buck-a-shot to shoot pure, fresh Pep Boys grease in all those
    Zerks. And he could oil all those oil cups at 50 cents per squirt.

    Who wants to be surprised in the middle of the Mojave desert when your
    dried-out air-con clutch ball bearings start singing the blues?
    Nomen Nescio, Feb 11, 2006
  2. Nomen Nescio

    Joe Guest

    It's called planned obsolescence. Why should manufacturers allow you to
    service these things for pennies when they can sell you new ones for
    Joe, Feb 11, 2006
  3. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I don't buy that. My experience is that modern permanently sealed
    components far outlast the old one's that had to be greased all of the
    time. My 96 minivan had all of the original suspension parts at 178,000
    miles and ten years of age, other than one lower ball joint that I
    replaced at about the 150,000 mile mark.

    Most people who have parts with grease fittings don't bother to grease
    them, or worse yet, they overfill them and blow out the seals which lets
    water and dirt work its way in. Most folks don't know that about half a
    pump on most grease guns is plenty for 20,000 miles or so.

    I think on average, the sealed parts last much longer than greasable
    parts. Sure, a person who was very fastidious about maintenance might
    make parts last longer by greasing them, but I don't think the average
    car owner would be well served by returning to the old style parts.

    Matt Whiting, Feb 12, 2006
  4. It depends on the use.
    The grease in sealed ball bearings can only go bad due to heat, a seal
    failure and entrance of water, or internal wear. If the bearing is high
    quality and is lightly loaded such as an alternator bearing, the seal isn't
    going to fail and it is not going to develop the
    amount of wear needed to contaminate the grease, nor the amount of
    heat needed to make the grease fail. Sealed bearings work fine for
    these uses.

    I dislike sealed bearings in axle bearings, so I would agree with you
    there, but that is about it.

    And as for suspension parts and CV joints that is rediculous. Those parts
    have rubber seals that are absolutely going to fail after enough flexing
    and due to aging of the rubber. No amount of regular lubrication is going
    to keep a CV boot from splitting after enough time and wear on the rubber
    boot. Same goes for tie rods. sealed ends are going to fail at the same
    rate as non sealed ends.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Feb 12, 2006
  5. Nomen Nescio

    Joe Guest

    I somewhat agree. I think the manufacturers know that a lot of people
    simply won't adhere to the scheduled maintenance and parts will fail.
    Because of that, they've made better, non-maintainable parts. The other
    side of that coin is that when the part does fail, it's more expensive to
    I fully agree with this. But it goes both ways - manufacturers will make
    money when those parts fail. It's all going towards passenger vehicles
    becoming more and more of a "disposable" commodity.
    Joe, Feb 12, 2006
  6. Nomen Nescio

    Richard Guest

    Heck, I once owned a vehicle with over 40 lube points. (1956 190SL) and
    would not want to go back there ever again.

    Richard, Feb 12, 2006
  7. Nomen Nescio

    John Kunkel Guest

    The sealed ball bearings in the compressor clutch only rotate when the
    compressor isn't running, in the "middle of the Mojave" it's unlikely that
    they would fail because the compressor would be engaged.
    John Kunkel, Feb 12, 2006
  8. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Making a tie rod end or ball joint sealed maks it no harder to replace.

    My minivan would have easily made 200K with almost all of the major
    parts still in service. Cars my parents had in the 60s and 70s didn't
    even come close. My dad bought a brand new Ford Falcon in 69, I
    believe, maybe 70, and it required new ball joints before it made 50,000
    miles. If 200,000 miles is the disposable point for new cars ... I'll
    take it! :)

    Matt Whiting, Feb 12, 2006
  9. Nomen Nescio

    Guest Guest

    My 1940 Royal Coupe has 25 just on the front end.
    Guest, Feb 13, 2006
  10. Nomen Nescio

    Joe Guest

    The part is more expensive, not harder to replace.
    The key to longevity is proper maintenance. Sure, some of those parts
    were simply not designed for longevity. But with proper maintenance
    almost any car could run upwards of 150k miles.
    Joe, Feb 13, 2006
  11. Nomen Nescio

    Steve Guest

    True, because they're the same. I would say "making a tie rod end or a
    ball joint *TRULY* sealed is impossible." Having taken apart both
    zerkless and zerk-equipped tie rods and ball joints on cars made over
    the past 50 years, I can tell you one thing: the seals are no different
    on the "sealed" ones at all. They do an OK job, but they're far from
    perfect. Ball joints and tie-rod ends, IMO, should always be
    zerk-equipped simply so that a conscientious owner CAN force new grease
    in and drive the contaminated grease out. For the owner that "doesn't
    want to be bothered," they'll last just as long either way.
    Steve, Feb 13, 2006
  12. Nomen Nescio

    Steve Guest

    Some did...

    I just converted my 1966 Dodge to disk brakes in December 2005. It still
    had the original upper and lower ball joints, and Pitman arm at 268,000
    miles. The lowers were still tight, so guess what? They're still in
    there with the new disk brakes and still racking up the miles, as are
    the tie-rod ends! The uppers had to be changed for the new spindle that
    the disk brakes required, and I upgraded the steering box as well and
    replaced the Pitman arm as part of that. Its had upper and lower
    bushings replaced once or twice, due more to age than mileage.

    Your parents' car's problem wasn't that it had greasable ball joints,
    the problem was that it was a '69 Ford. I know whereof I speak. My first
    car was a '68 Ford, and the front end was a horrible design. It was
    impossible to keep ball joints tight in that car. And shocks- the goofy
    "fake McPherson Strut" setup always kept a slight side-load on the
    shocks (which shocks aren't designed for) and wore them out.
    Steve, Feb 13, 2006
  13. I kinda like the sealed for life parts. You get a better seal which means
    that no dirt will get in the joint. With no dirt mixed in with the grease,
    the part will last a really, really, really long time. The old joints with
    zerk fittings were sealed as well because they had to allow a way for the old
    grease to get out when you pumped in fresh grease. If the seal on the modern
    parts fail, they are a pain to replace.
    Alex Rodriguez, Feb 13, 2006
  14. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Well, the sealed parts don't cost any more than the one's with zerks and
    often just the other way around. So, if the part doesn't cost more and
    it isn't harder to install, whye how can it be more expensive to replace?

    My dad maintained his cars very well as his father owned a car
    dealership and garage and he was well versed in car maintenance and
    repair. The cars of the late sixties and early seventies were simply
    not built nearly as well as the cars of today. We had a 1971 Maverick
    that had holes rusted through the front fenders by 1974!! I'm not
    talking surface rust, I'm talking holes you could stick your finger
    through. I learned how to use body filler and paint on that lemon (yes,
    it was even bright yellow!).

    Matt Whiting, Feb 14, 2006
  15. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Where does the "contaminated" grease exit from? How does it get
    contaminated if it is sealed? The fastest way to ruin the seal and let
    contamination in is from overzealous greasing.

    Matt Whiting, Feb 14, 2006
  16. Nomen Nescio

    Steve Guest

    If you grease conservatively, the "boot" just slowly fills with used
    grease and the joint itself always contains the freshest grease. The
    used grease in the boot doesn't go anywhere, and you can grease it many
    times before it fills. But if you do get carried away, its just
    basically an elastic seal between the stretchy boot and the two halves
    of the joint so the grease pushes out between the boot and its mating
    groove in the joint casting/housing.
    Exactly. None of those type joints are truly sealed... even the
    zerkless ones on modern cars. Been there, looked at those after 100k
    miles of service- they're made EXACTLY the way they were 30 years ago.
    The boot has to rotate on one part or the other, so the seal isn't 100%.
    Its GOOD, but not like a precision grease seal in a rotor casting or
    axle housing. But even if you ASSume that the boot is perfect, the joint
    contaminates its own grease with metal as it wears.
    Nah. They just lift and vent themselves as I described above, then seal
    back into their grooves.
    Steve, Feb 14, 2006
  17. Nomen Nescio

    Art Guest

    I remember my 71 Dart Swinger with disk brakes. A moron blew so much grease
    in it blew thru the seal and contaminated my brake pads.
    Art, Feb 14, 2006
  18. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    The trouble is, many folks don't do that as I said earlier. And a car
    that lasts 200K will likely be greased at least 10 times and probably
    20. Even at one pump, that is a lot of grease. I don't think many
    boots will contain that much.

    But that contamination is much less abrasive than dirt getting in and
    less corrosive than water getting in.

    But they don't seal all that well and dirt and water will begin to work
    they way in the first time you burp the seal.

    I currently have vehicles with both "permanent" and greaseable
    components and the permanent ones have outlasted the greaseable ones
    almost across the board. Grease away if you like, but I'll take the
    permanent parts any day.

    Matt Whiting, Feb 14, 2006
  19. Nomen Nescio

    Steve Guest

    Like I said- I've had "permanently lubricated" ball joints sitting right
    next to old greasable ones, and the seals are *exactly* the same. NONE
    of them are really and truly "sealed".

    And in my fleet of cars, the record-holders are the greasable balljoints
    on the '66- still good at 270,000 miles. The "sealed" tie rod ends and
    ball joints on my wife's 93 LH car were replaced at a little short of
    200k miles. Good, but not the record-holder. And those lower balljoints
    were *LOOSE* at that point! Amazingly the car still drove great and
    didn't wear the tires strangely, but with the balljoints removed for
    replacemtn there was a HUGE amount of obvious slop in them.
    Steve, Feb 15, 2006
  20. Nomen Nescio

    Matt Whiting Guest

    There is a big difference. The permanently lubricated ball joint seals
    have never been compromised by having grease forced out of them. The
    greaseable joints in all likelihood will at some point will have their
    seals compromised.

    And how much time have you invested in greasing those joints on your 66?

    Matt Whiting, Feb 15, 2006
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