grease guns

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nofate, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. nofate

    nofate what blackflies?

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,878
    Location:
    Chapleau, ON
    I am getting pretty frustrated using hand pump grease guns. Just when you get under a machine to grease some difficult to reach fitting the gun looses its prime and you gotta pull the plunger back, unscrew the cap and smear a big gob of grease from another cartridge into the small void that caused the gun not to pump anymore.

    Am I doing something wrong in the loading of the cartridges or in using the gun? I've tried different brands of grease and even bought a new Lincoln grease gun, but the problem crops up on almost every cartridge I use. Is this just how these grease guns work or can I do something different to prevent this from happening. Thanks for your advice.
    #1
  2. Trl Rdr

    Trl Rdr Big Red Bird

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
    #2
  3. nofate

    nofate what blackflies?

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,878
    Location:
    Chapleau, ON
    Thanks for the informative link. My problem is definitely air in the cap area, but when I try to loosen the cap enough to get rid of the void the cap usually comes off and the cartridge pops out and makes a big mess. I'll just have to practice this technique some more I guess. I feel a bit silly asking about what should be a basic proceedure, but it has caused me some frustration.
    #3
  4. Trl Rdr

    Trl Rdr Big Red Bird

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
    I was trying to locate a picture for the lincoln grease gun. Does it have a bleed valve? it may look like a big grease zirk with a ball in the center. You should not have to unscrew the head & make a big mess.
    #4
  5. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,663
    Location:
    The only county in Illinois with no train tracks
    unscrew the cap and smear a big gob of grease from another cartridge into the small void that caused the gun not to pump anymore.


    It sounds like the plunger is not pushing up like it should, that is the only way you can get air in there, or else you may have some hardened grease in it somewhere.

    If you can disassemble the head and clean it, try that otherwise remve the head, wipe clean as best you can, then let it soak in a coffee can of gas for a few days. I had a gun once that had a check ball hang up due to hardened grease and it would do the same thing. After about 4 years I got tired of it and took it apart and cleaned it, which solved the problem forev e and ever. Took about 20 minutes to do.
    #5
  6. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,651
    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Make sure the plunger rubber is installed correctly for cartridge type feeding. If it's upside, down in the position for bulk feeding it won't work properly.

    When you install a new cartridge, wipe a film around the inside of the cardbord tube at the bottom. Only turn the cartridge housing on to the head by a couple of turns, then let the plunger snap closed. Finally, screw the housing in the rest of the way. That should give you an initial prime.

    Clean the rubber plunger often.

    If it's cold out, find a way to pre warm the grease like leaving the gun on the floor of a truck by the heater.

    Store the tubes with the peel off tops, down. For some reason this seems to help.

    I use either the Lincoln pistol grip or Ingersoll-Rand pistol grip guns, they seem to work the best. Only get the best models available.

    Shell grease seems to work really well for me. It feeds nice and is very high quality.

    If you do alot of greasing, invest in the Lincoln cordless gun. It's a very nice tool that saves a ton of time.
    #6
  7. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,651
    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Forgot to add:

    Change or clean the hose end often. They will go bad and cause flow restriction that the gun can't overcome, causing you to lose prime.
    #7
  8. steven1955

    steven1955 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    277
    How old is your grease?

    I don't use a whole lot of grease out of my grease un, so the grease in my grease gun was several years old. My gun stopped pumping. When I took it apart I noticed that the grease had separated into an oil and very thick solid which was hard to break apart even by hand. This was an expensive Castrol systhetic grease.

    New grease gun cartridge, used the new grease to clear the old grease out of the hose. Problem solved.
    #8
  9. TonyT

    TonyT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    297
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, laddie
    Grease guns have been a source of frustration for me for years. Your link has cleared up a lot.
    I have noticed that my grease gun seems to leak "oil" and a fair amount of it over time. I don't need to do a lot of greasing, so the gun lies there for months at a time. I use Canadian Tire Motomaster brand usually, maybe not the best quality and quick to decompose???
    Cheers,
    Tony
    #9
  10. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,260
    Location:
    Tampa
    Some grease guns are really lame quality while others work great. I was an auto mechanic during college and we had one old manual gun at the shop that was probably older than I am and never missed a beat. All the newer manual ones we tried constantly had the issue with trapped air. We had a pnumatic gun that worked pretty well. I don't recall who made it, but I think it was sold by the Mac tools guy (but wasn't an actual Mac).
    #10
  11. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,089
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    Install cartridge.
    Push in plunger.
    Unscrew the top till its got a few threads left, careful not to let it fly off. You will hear the air coming out. Tighten up the head again, few pumps and your off.
    I now use a battery operated one and it works a treat.
    #11