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Steering Gear Box Lubricant

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Steering Gear Box Lubricant

    Hi all-

    What lubricant should I use in the steering gear box?

    The manual says-
    "Special lubricant approved by Ross Gear and Tool Company of La Fayette, Indiana"

    Ha Ha! (LOL)


  • #2
    I used John Deere corn head grease.


    • #3
      I just got through taking the 85W-140 lube oil out of the Saginaw power steering gear box and replacing with John Deere corn head grease. Even though I had replaced the felt seal with a neoprene seal a few months ago the lube oil was thinning out when the engine was running and leaking past the seal. The unit is only 2-3 inches from the exhaust manifold and was getting pretty warm. I debated taking the unit back out of the car and maybe trying to use a speedi-sleeve on the pitman arm to seal it better. My decision was to use a semi-liquid grease to try to eliminate the leak.

      There was an excellent thread back in 2007 concerning leaking steering gear boxes. I also did some research on-line concerning a few of the semi-liquid steering box lubricants available. Penrite steering box lube, Lubriplate Mag-00 and John Deere corn head grease were identified as potential lubricants. They all had pretty good reviews. The bottom line used to choose the corn head grease was the dropping point temperature of the three products. If I understood the research correctly that is the temperature the grease turns into a liquid. Per the data sheets I found on-line, Penrite = 221*F, Lubriplate Mag-00 = 340*F and John Deere corn head = 450*F.

      The steering is a little stiffer now than it was with the lube oil. One tube of the grease ended up being about one cup short of filling the gear box so another had to be purchased. I do not think the gear box will get hot enough to allow the new lubricant to leak past the seal.

      Charlie D.


      • #4
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA


        • #5
          I've topped off with STP a few times, and do not recall any problems. But I learned long ago, anytime the motor is out, its a good idea to replace that seal, so haven't had a real bead leak there for a long time on a Stude.

          I came up with a modern seal for the 56J's Saginaw, power steering unit a long time ago also, and that was a major improvement.

          I've often wondered how straight STP would do, since it is slicker than snot on a door knob.