White Soap Based Lithium Grease

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White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by ice_station_zebra » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:48 am

I see a lot of requirements for White Soap Based Lithium Grease throughout the FJR maintenance and service schedules. Is there a preferred/recommended brand and format out there? I'm assuming the spray aerosol is not in wide use.
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by CollingsBob » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:59 am

I bought a tub at Canadian Tire..I have read of people using a more waterproof alternative

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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by bill lumberg » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:09 am

The spray can aerosol I’ve used dries to the consistency of shaving soap scum. I don’t use it any longer.
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by ionbeam » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:31 am

White is the key word. The color of the grease indicates some minimum standards and characteristics the grease has to meet.

Here are a couple of unedited 'used' posts that I wrote in days gone past so they may not exactly match what the OP asked.

Greases have a number of characteristics, one biggie is the Drop Point. When soap-based grease is heated until a critical temperature is reached the gel structure breaks down, and the grease becomes liquid. When grease is heated above the Drop point and then allowed to cool it usually does not fully regain its grease consistency therefore it will not lubricate.

Lithium-soap greases have very good stability and good water resistance. They have a buttery texture and are a brownish-red color. The 'soap' is actually a metallic salt resulting from the interaction of fatty acids or esters typically with an alkali. Lithium soap greases have a Drop point of ~350ºF. LiSoap grease is a good general purpose lubricant/protectant for low temperature and wet environments.

Moly Paste has a non melting, lubricating base containing a high percentage of low-friction molybdenum disulfide. It is a thick paste type grease that has a temperature range up to 750°F when in contact with air. Moly paste 'plates' the work surfaces with moly disulfide which remains and protects working surfaces even if the grease gets squeezed out. Moly also fills microscopic voids in surfaces. Moly has a film strength of 300,000 psi and adheres tenaciously to metal surfaces. Moly paste is almost always blue to black in color. One last trait is that moly does not fling off at high speeds.

Wheel Bearing Grease is also a lithium complex grease which contains petroleum base oils. They typically have a white color. The primary application for it is in high temperature operations such as wheel bearings. It may be used at continuous operating temperatures up to 325°F. It prevents rust and corrosion, reduces wear, and provides extreme pressure protection. Dropping point is ~500° F.

T120TT then asked:
Can wheel bearing grease be safely substituted for lithium soap based grease of a lower Drop point? I assume the reverse wouldn't be true. Correct?
Down the slippery slope.....(so to speak)

Generally you can substitute white for red-brown grease in non critical applications when the temperatures will be well below the drop point, thickness (viscosity) isn't critical and water exposure will be minimal. When da BIG BOOK says Moly, use it.

Soap based greases are generally in a family of 'short fiber greases'. Most soap-thickener fibers are microscopic and the grease appears smooth; if the fiber bundles are large enough to be seen, the grease appears fibrous. The texture of a grease is observed when a small portion of it is pressed together and then slowly drawn apart. Texture can be described as:

Brittle — ruptures or crumbles when compressed
Buttery — separates in short peaks with no visible fibers
Long Fibers — stretches or strings out into a single bundle of fibers
Resilient — withstands a moderate compression without permanent deformation or rupture
Short Fibers — short break-off with evidence of fibers
Stringy — stretches or strings out into long fine threads, but with no evidence of fiber structure

Other significant differences between similar appearing grease can be:

Penetration (mechanical, not www.xxx)

Oil separation

Viscosity @ 40°C & 100°C

Oxidation resistance

Resistance to water

3 & 4 ball wear ratings

[common sense] Substituting grease for side stands, pivot points and perhaps lightly loaded bearings should be fine. It gets a bit more adventurous at the higher loads like steering head ball bearings as opposed to roller bearings. If the grease is being used for non critical, non stressed items white grease is white grease.[/common sense]

There is a grease compatibility issue. When two greases are mixed, the resultant mixture often exhibits properties and performance characteristics that are markedly inferior to those of either grease by itself. Therefore, it is wise to exercise caution in switching between types of grease that may have compatibility problems.

It is recommended not to mix greases with different families of thickeners. For example, lithium – 12 hydroxy soap should not be mixed with ALUBEN aluminum complex soap.

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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by Bounce » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:38 am

I think that answers it all. Ammirite?
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by ice_station_zebra » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:28 pm

Bounce wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:38 am
I think that answers it all. Ammirite?
Yeah if its white(ish), says lithium and doesn't come in an aerosol can it should be good enough?
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by raYzerman » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:05 pm

Not good enough... cheap white lithium soap grease will dry up and be like caked soap. Some lithium soaps aren't compatible with others. The white spray is good for your door hinges on your car you can get at and it won't stain your clothes. I rarely use it, but good if you need liquid penetration.
Wheel bearing grease better which around here is brownish... I'm using Mobil 1 red synthetic for most things as it is less prone to washout (and therefore wash-IN when it comes to your rear suspension pivot seals). It is a good all around lube and a 1 lb. can will last you for your next 10 birthdays.
When there are high spinning moving bearings such as my lawn mower deck, I use a #2 moly grease, which is roughly 3-5% moly, or a grease designed for that application. Moly paste on the other hand is 50-60% moly, meant for splines, etc. Or, if you get creative, you can buy moly powder and mix it with your fave lithium grease. Better yet, get titanium dioxide grease, higher melt point than moly. The Chinese have the corner on all this rare earth stuff....
Didn't we have a thread on grease types already?
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by ionbeam » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:24 pm

raYzerman wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:05 pm
...Didn't we have a thread on grease types already?
So, what's your point? :lol:

Oil, grease, tires, crush washers all have a life of their own and never die. :zombwobb:
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by raYzerman » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:25 pm

Of course.... you are absolutely correct. My deepest apologies for not recognizing this... getting old and forgetful.
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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by bigjohnsd » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:41 pm

raYzerman wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:05 pm
Not good enough... cheap white lithium soap grease will dry up and be like caked soap. Some lithium soaps aren't compatible with others. The white spray is good for your door hinges on your car you can get at and it won't stain your clothes. I rarely use it, but good if you need liquid penetration.
Wheel bearing grease better which around here is brownish... I'm using Mobil 1 red synthetic for most things as it is less prone to washout (and therefore wash-IN when it comes to your rear suspension pivot seals). It is a good all around lube and a 1 lb. can will last you for your next 10 birthdays.
When there are high spinning moving bearings such as my lawn mower deck, I use a #2 moly grease, which is roughly 3-5% moly, or a grease designed for that application. Moly paste on the other hand is 50-60% moly, meant for splines, etc. Or, if you get creative, you can buy moly powder and mix it with your fave lithium grease. Better yet, get titanium dioxide grease, higher melt point than moly. The Chinese have the corner on all this rare earth stuff....
Didn't we have a thread on grease types already?
But, is the Mobil 1 Synthetic compatible with any or all of the above?

I use Motul 100898 Tech Grease 300 Grease Technosynthese OEM Approvals: NLGI 2
Product Range: Car, Gardening, Leisure, Marine, Motorcycle

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Primarily because I have 3 of these kool tubes of it.

I also have several little tubs of EP Wheel Bearing Grease and some StaLube EP Moly grease that has to be 40 years old.

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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by raYzerman » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:14 pm

Keep yer stick on the ice........... (Red Green)
Duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can sure muffle the sound.

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Re: White Soap Based Lithium Grease

Post by FJRoss » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:11 pm

Grease is good. No grease is bad.
Synthetic more chemically stable with better temperature span.
We aren't running a jet turbine or high speed centrifuge. And we are not greasing the wheel bearings of a diesel locomotive.
Not an extreme high speed or high pressure application anywhere on an FJR
I would suggest a reasonably high quality waterproof synthetic all purpose bearing grease and be done with it.
Wheel bearings, relay arm, steering head, axles, brake pivot, shifter, clutch pivot, drive splines - one size fits all. Use moly paste for the rear splines if it makes you feel good but don't be shocked if there is no difference in longevity. They will still outlast the bike.
Where are you going to get significant wear that a different grease would have made any difference???

Oh, I have found that the white lithium grease to be less suited to heavier duty applications and doesn't seem to be very resistant to washing out. Wouldn't be my first choice. Also seems to oxidize/dry out but that could be dependent upon brand, type and composition - not all the same as per Ion's post, above.

Edit: I sometimes use a silicone grease in a higher temperature application like brake moving parts (slider pins) but even that might not be necessary.
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