Anyone else have a hard time removing a grease gun from the zerk fitting?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by svejkovat, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. svejkovat

    svejkovat Been here awhile

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    Heads up... you need to take pressure off of the fitting by loosening/wrenching the coupler body on the gun tip.

    That's the gist. Hope it helps someone. Rant follows. No need to read it.... I'm just letting off steam.

    Good god. I'm in a bad enough mood over an obdurate repair tonight (it's my nature to attribute personalities to machines).

    This has happened often enough before but tonight I was just so pissed that I yanked the #ucking zerk right out of it's threads. Much swearing and throwing of tools ensued.

    So I google "stuck zerk" and find many pages of reference to this exact phenomena.

    For instance...
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/kubota-owning-operating/195690-grease-gun-stuck-zerks.html

    Seems it's "common knowledge" that when a gun (any gun) gets stuck on a zerk (as happens with surprising frequency apparently) you need to loosen the coupler body with a wrench on the barrel of the gun to relieve pressure on the zerk. Only then can you remove the gun without breaking the damn fitting.

    I've been struggling with zerks since I can remember. Never learned since I only meet them about once every five years or so. I'd assumed I was missing some technique that involved twisting or something to get it off the zerk.

    So I discover it's not a technique after all. It's a matter of messing up a job enough times to discover a work-around that "everybody else knows already". How can such a common tool be designed for trouble like this?
    #1
  2. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer Supporter

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    Remove at an angle and don't try to pull it straight off. :evil

    Marc
    #2
  3. S2P

    S2P Been here awhile

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    I did know this, however I usually just yank them off, It seems to me that the ones I have trouble with, are the ones not taking any grease,that is why they have so much pressure. I keep a finish nail around to push the ball in on the grease zerk,sometimes that helps to get them started. I grease a lot of fittings on the farm equipment:D
    #3
  4. svejkovat

    svejkovat Been here awhile

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    That's correct if all is going well. If there is unrelieved pressure on the zerk (and how does that happen sometimes and sometimes not?. Isn't the gun designed to deal with this?) then no angle or other technique will do any good. Trust me... I tried all of it.

    Do read that thread I linked. Or google "stuck zerk".
    #4
  5. svejkovat

    svejkovat Been here awhile

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    You just solved the mystery for me I think. This has always been a sporadic problem for me so I assumed it couldn't simply be the gun/guns. But tonight's project involved replacing a shaft and bronze bushings on a machine tool. The bushings were pressed in and then required a bit of honing to get the shaft to rotate smoothly. Pretty tight tolerance. There are zerks on the arbors and the bushing needs to be drilled beneath them to grease the shaft. I had to squeeze very very hard to get grease into the shafts. Even then almost none squeeged into view. Generally when greasing a zerk the grease has much more room to escape.

    Now i know. One broken zerk later. But it makes sense now. If I ever have to squeeze that tightly again to pack grease I'll expect to have to loosen the coupler at the gun tip to release pressure.
    #5
  6. HapHazard

    HapHazard Be Kind - Rewind

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    I've levered the bastid off with a BFS (big screwdriver) between the coupler and base curve of the zerk.
    I don't think I'm strong enough (or pissed off enough) to pull a zerk out by the roots.

    Glad to learn the proper procedure and reduce my level of butchery.:D
    #6
  7. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Buy a better grease gun/tip.

    I had that problem forever, and eventually I just manned up and ordered a real grease gun fitting.
    #7
  8. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    The problem is not from "grease pressure", but from "collet pressure":
    [​IMG]

    Those little fingers that you can see in the end. If the coupler is too loose it leaks grease, and if it is too tight as you know they are a bear to get off. Simply adjust it so that it clips on and releases easily. The main problem is you don't find out about it until everything is covered in grease and slippery, so either grab it with pliers or wipe it off with a rag and then turn it until it releases easily.
    #8
  9. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Grits in the collet, you may have to take the tip off and give it a good wash and blow some air in it.You can usually tell when they get harder to push in or feel rough as you push. I cleaned a few in them old days.:wink:
    #9
  10. svejkovat

    svejkovat Been here awhile

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    t'was a poor tap in the cast iron to begin with. Went to NAPA to get a handful of replacements and decided to give these a try since I wasn't looking forward to retapping, epoxying, helicoiling, etc....
    [​IMG]

    Replaced the two troublesome fittings with these. Chased the hole with a 1/4bit. Very satisfactory tight fit with a few strikes on a deep well socket with a sledge hammer.
    The press fit zerks get a lot of bad press but for this job they were a godsend.

    Thanks for all the good info here.
    #10