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55 Unimog 401 Westfalia Cabine, 78 Subaru Brat, CTD mega cab
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just checked the fluid level in my portal axles on my 55 401, (wheel countershafts, wheel intermediate gears) nomenclature??. I intially thought I had found rusty water or sand. After checking all four, I concluded that it is a sandy brown color grease with some liquidity (oil?). There is also a grease zerk on all 4 wheels. My service manual says, lubricate front axle joints (2), use grease gun (fill with transmission oil). Now I am sure I have convinced myself that gear oil (80W90) belongs in the portals. Am I right? Maybe the former owner say the grease zerks and filled with grease?

Any ideas on getting the grease out. I am thinking about filling with diesel, running on jacks, and flushing several times, then run gear oil and flush several times.

Hmmm, once I get the grease out, my Unimog my actually roll.

Kimmer
 

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Unimogs
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Hi Kimmer,

We've seen quite a few vehicles primarily ones used as tractors that had the hub reductions filled with grease. In talking with a farmer in Germany a couple years back his opinion was simple.....his 411 never went over 20 MPH, when the hub reduction seals started leaking gear oil, it was easier just to fill them with grease as the grease was less likely to leak!

In Holland it seams very common to fill the 404 steering box with greese instead of gear oil...again less likely to leak. (Until you get those really hot days.)

Flush the boxes out, but I will be really surprised if you don't have leaks when you re-introduce gear oil to them.

Cheers,

Scott
 

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55 Unimog 401 Westfalia Cabine, 78 Subaru Brat, CTD mega cab
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think you are exactly right. I started thinking about that after I started adding gear oil and found that one hub does leak. Grease can't be all that bad as wheel bearings are packed and travel faster than 20mph. Not quite the same comparison as gears in the portal axles though. Just curious if any one else has used grease instead of gear oil.

Kimmer
 

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1976 406
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509 Posts
Kimmer,

I haven't put grease into my portals, but my 416 did come from Germany that way. To get the fist bunch of grease out I used compressed air to blow out as much as I could. I then put in the correct oil and changed it monthly, each time getting more of the grease out. After about the 3rd oil change the seals started leaking. I did this on all four wheels and had to replace the seals on all four.

Everything is fine now.

BWSwede
 

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55 Unimog 401 Westfalia Cabine, 78 Subaru Brat, CTD mega cab
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
What oil did you put in, 80W90?

Kimmer
 

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1976 406
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Kimmer,

Yes, I put in 80/90 gear oil.

BWSwede
 
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