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Steering Box Lubrication - Better than 180 oil or 600 Mobile and you can find it locally


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If you are here because you are having difficulty finding 180 weight oil, you have come to the right place.


Early Dodge service manuals call for 180 weight oil for use in areas like the steering box, but the search for 180 oil will be a pain in the ass. With the exception of some specialty early Ford parts companies, you will find 180 oil expensive and mostly likely in quantities larger than you will ever need. You may also hear that a direct replacement is MOBIL 600 weight oil, but you will quickly come to see that Mobile 600 is mostly sold in 5 gallon pails and you need far less. The good news is this, you can do much better than either of those two lubricants. In fact, for the steering box, both of those lubricants will work for as long as it stays in the steering box. Lubrications have come a very long way since the 1930s and, just like plastics went from Bakelite to Polyethylene, the lubricants we can apply to the steering box are far superior even in the limited roll of the steering box.

Enough said, here we go, forget about 180 oil and 600w Mobile.

Go down to an Auto Parts Store and get one of the following:

- STP Oil Treatment
- Lubriplate 250

One can also go to John Deere and get Corn Head Grease. Ask for An102562 in the grease gun tube.

All of above are superior to the 80 year old specified lubricant. Why are they superior? Well not only can they do the “pressure” part of simple gear lubrication but they will do something the earlier oils don’t do at all….they will stay in the case.  

I use CV Grease in my steering head in a 1934 Dodge DR. I like that I can buy a small tube of it, I like that it stays in the box, and costs $4, even in 2023.

To make the whole process a fast 5-minute job one needs:

1.           Grab a 3/8 socket and a short handled wrench, add a 6” extension
2.           A small scissors to clip the corner of the CV grease bag
3.           I use a medium size syringe that I buy on Amazon. . I take the smallest size heat shrink tubing and shrink it on the syringe, That allows me to effortlessly load the CV grease from the bottom of the box up. Just open the top threaded cap of the filling box (not the one with the standard screw driver rounded head) and fill it so that the gear assembly is well covered. Carefully tighten in the cap and you are done. 







Edited by Semmerling
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Above is good stuff and even easier, more cost effective and available if you wish to use a CV style lubricant....buy a tube of your chassis lube at your big box or w-world, milk it down to the consistency you desire with motor oil by stirring in a bit of oil at a time to get your mix....very very inexpensive and have has zero issues with this for the past 35+ years having first used this mix servicing Porsche CV joints.  And yes, all these years later, the grease is good as is the CV joint.  I use a moly/lithium grease and I also keep a mixture of this on hand in a lidded container with a hole in the top for the acid brush to store there also, excellent for assembling where a light coat of grease is desired.  For break in I have a huge container of powdered molybdenum disulfide that I make a paste with using motor oil....have never wiped a cam on break in using this stuff and that is using a cam from another engine on swap.  Good stuff....the powder is a tad expensive these days.....got mine surplus at the Army/Navy store long ago.  8.00 a quart container.    

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