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SUSPENSION & STEERING: Torsion-Level Compensator Grease
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To service the new Torsion-Level Suspension on 55th Series cars, the factory specified a special lubricant (P/N 474028) for the load arm link joints and the compensator planetary set. A redesign of the load arm links for the 56th Series eliminated the need for their lubrication, but this special grease was still required to service the compensator. While no periodic change of the compensator grease was required in normal use, the unit would need to be repacked after tear-down and re-assembly.

Yet, I doubt if any engineer ever envisioned that these cars would still be in use over 50 years later. As such, one has to wonder about the useful life of this special grease. Now, in the absence of the original grease, people are beginning to ask what to use. In fact, that very question came up some time ago, here, in a thread on "Compensator Grease":


...where Owen_Dyneto advised that a non-channeling grease was needed, and recommended Sta-Lube SL-3303, a moly disulfide grease fortified with graphite. I found that Sta-Lube was acquired in 1993 by CRC Industries, which provides the following info online:

SL3303 -- Synthetic Brake & Caliper Grease

Since the term "non-channeling" was new to me, I looked it up and found that a channeling grease will stay where it is after it has been displaced, which doesn't sound good for our purposes. On the other hand, a non-channeling grease tends to migrate back after being displaced, which can promote better lubrication in heavy load applications.

Meanwhile, I've used CRC's "Synthetic Caliper Grease" (#05353) to lubricate a throwout bearing and input bearing retainer on a manual tranny, specifically because of its graphite content. However, that product also contains molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which is cited in the SAE paper on TLS, and I wondered if it could be used instead. CRC's website provides the following info online:

05353 -- Brake Caliper Synthetic Grease

Bowman Davis brought up another Sta Lube product with MoS2 - SL-3314. CRC's website provides the following info online:

SL3144 -- Moly-Graph® Extreme Pressure Multi-Purpose Lithium Grease

This subject came up again, the following year, in a thread on "Old Topics":


...where Bowman refreshed his knowledge and added that he'd read, elsewhere [citation needed], that a lithium stearate grease was recommended for the T-L compensator, which corresponds to SL-3144. He then contacted CRC's tech dept. to ask if SL-3144 would be suitable for this planetary type gear box:


Yet, a question arose, later, as to whether MoS2 was a component of SL-3144. After following the links to the MSDS info for each product, I found that SL-3144 does contain MoS2, but (at 0.2 – 1%) it's a bit less than either SL-3303 or CRC's #05353 (both at 1 – 5%). For a variety of reasons, Bowman has since decided not to use SL-3144.

This may not be the final word, but until we can find out more details on the original grease, it looks like Sta-Lube SL-3303 is the closest we can come to an answer.


Posted on: 2009/8/28 9:08
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