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any tips on making a grease fitting face the NEEDED direction on Reach Arm?

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  • Steering: any tips on making a grease fitting face the NEEDED direction on Reach Arm?

    Putting the steering system back together; looking closely at my original "before" photos from BEFORE disassembly (see attached), I noted that the angled grease Zerk for the Reach Rod is pointing BACK... and after studying related photos, see that it HAS to, or there will be no way to get at it with the radiator shroud, etc. in the way.

    SO, of course upon reassembly, the exact same Zerk in the same Reach rod takes an extra 1/2 turn to get snugged up (I'm NOT cranking on it!), and faces almost directly FORWARD (towards where the radiator will be).

    Therefore, any tricks to place a Zerk the direction you need it to point, or am I stuck going to the hardware store with Reach Rod in hand, trying the handful of those angled zerks they have on hand and hoping ONE of them threads in the way I need it to?

    Thought about leaving it "right where it needs to be", though too loose, and putting never-seize on it, but seems...."wrong" though I suppose could work and "seal" (and withstand the pressure of a grease gun?)
    Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the first to have to position this or other zerks in a particular direction.
    Thanks!
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Go to Chinese Freight and buy one of their Zerk fitting kits, they are less than $10, have 50 or so different Zerks. Pick and choose.

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    • #3
      Yeah, pretty much figured I'm stuck finding a new one with just the right thread pitch.

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      • #4
        It's likely that the tapered threads on a new fitting will "snug up" at a different angle than the used one. Good luck!

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        • #5
          There are zerks for just about any application imaginable. There are some that even swivel so that you can position them where you want them. The problem with the swivel ones is that, sometimes, in tight spots, where you are holding the grease gun in one hand, and the nozzle in the other, you might have to chase the swivel with the nozzle to get it hooked on. Sometimes, they swivel out of the way in tight spots. On some vehicles, you might have to turn the steering to position the zerk for access. Very common with tie rod ends and U joints.

          If you don't find an assortment of fittings to suit your needs at your local "chain" auto parts store, try a farm supply that supports farm machinery or commercial trucks.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            You might be overthinking this...
            Over the years, I have owned quite a few full sized Dodge Conversion vans and Roadtrek camper vans. Since I grease my own vehicles, I always replace the straight grease fittings on the inner tie rod ends with 90 degree grease fittings. Much easier to grease these two fittings when laying on your back.
            I just install them and tighten them to where they are pointing down. If it takes an extra half twist so be it.

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            • #7
              Yeah, the others are all straight; NO position is a good position laying on your back working up, is there? :-)

              THIS one is only an issue because it's on the reach-rod, and I happened to have taken "BEFORE" photos showing WHERE YOU HAVE TO GET AT it when everything is back together; impossible unless it is facing BACK away from the radiator and that huge shroud. (or so it appears?). HAWK OWNERS, please correct me if I'm wrong and you can get at that far zerk on the steering reach-rod (drag-link) down by the radiator regardless of direction. I COULDN'T tell from photos exactly the level vs the radiator, could be low enough I could still get at it, but simple enough to go to Fleet Farm or someplace and bring the rod with til I find one that points 'back' like it should. Hardly worth starting a thread for; but did so as much for learning (ALWAYS pick up new tips here!) if there WAS a good trick for something like that. :-)

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              • #8
                Pick up a few thin washers with the correct ID, and try them until you find one that puts the zerk where you want it.

                Or, put a thin O-ring under it and set it where you want it.

                Or back the zerk out a partial turn and grease it. Wipe off the bit of grease that gets by the threads.

                It's a grease fitting, not rocket science.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jnormanh View Post

                  It's a grease fitting, not rocket science.
                  Ha! Glad I wasn't drinking anything. That comment would have made me spray all over the keyboard!
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                  17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                  56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                  60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Studebakercenteroforegon View Post
                    You might be overthinking this...
                    Over the years, I have owned quite a few full sized Dodge Conversion vans and Roadtrek camper vans. Since I grease my own vehicles, I always replace the straight grease fittings on the inner tie rod ends with 90 degree grease fittings. Much easier to grease these two fittings when laying on your back.
                    I just install them and tighten them to where they are pointing down. If it takes an extra half twist so be it.
                    Appreciate this thread for reminding me to consider the reach rod zerk fitting angle. I'm in the process of fitting power steering pieces to my Hawk, have the bellcrank mounted and am about ready to adjust the reach rod length. My guess is that a 90 degree zerk will do the trick, but we'll see.

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                    • #11
                      Barry- Can you try a little washer under the fitting? This process is analogous to shimming your Bellcrank center bearing. You might fluke it first try, but you can also thin the washer down to change the way the Grease Nipple points when it's firmed up. Maybe even a little teflon tape?
                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        I'm guessing the grease fitting is a form of tapered "pipe" thread. Sealing is achieved by the tapered threads wedging together with full tightening. .Using washers will prevent the threads seating, and sealing.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with Dan, and would try a few different fittings until one stops in the right direction.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dan Timberlake View Post
                            I'm guessing the grease fitting is a form of tapered "pipe" thread. Sealing is achieved by the tapered threads wedging together with full tightening. .Using washers will prevent the threads seating, and sealing.
                            Don't know what Studebaker used, but Zerk fittings come in NPT (pipe tread), PTF, Straight thread like 1/4-28, Tapered thread also 1/4-28, BSF, press fit, and Metric sizes.

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                            • #15
                              You could also make few wraps of Teflon tape around the threaded part of the fitting, which should tighten it up somewhat.
                              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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