The Importance of Grease

The Importance of Grease


When I went to bolt on the front brake drum backing plate last week at François’ shop for the PF Coupe project, I noticed something loose when I tightened everything down. Like checking a ball joint, I grabbed the drum and tried to move it back and forth. I was met with a “Kunk, kunk,” kind of noise. Looking behind the brake drum, it soon became apparent what was the problem. The king pins on the suspension uprights were worn out.

The only solution was to pull the front suspension apart and inspect what parts were worn and needed replacing. The king pins on this car have upper and lower needle bearings, and were pretty rusty. Lack of regular greasing caused the bearings to rust and wear out.

Seeing how much rust was trapped inside these suspension pieces, I asked François how often I should grease my suspension. He recommended greasing everything once a year, but since he knew I drove my car through some pretty heavy rains recently, he suggested I do it sooner than later. Trapped water can really rust the internals of the suspension, and I certainly didn’t want to rebuild my suspension again anytime soon!
grease nipples

François lent me a box of modern zerk fittings to install on my car. Many of the original fittings were missing when I restored my car, and I wanted to be able to use a regular grease gun to grease my suspension, so these would help a ton with the modification.
suspension nipples

There are seven fittings on each side of the suspension, not including the tie rods and pitman arm, so I made sure I didn’t accidentally miss one.

I’ve gotten so used to modern cars with permanently sealed bushings and tie rod ends that
suspension nipple

You can see how muddy everything got from driving on my dirt road, and taking it down to Pollard’s shop in the rain for the party, but hey, it’s proof I drive my car! If I get one more warm day, I’ll take her out and hose down the suspension.
throttle linkage

The throttle linkage came back with a nice new black oxide coating for my car. I set up my laptop with a picture of the linkage before I took it apart so I could put it back together correctly. (The stickers on my laptop are from my daughter. She thought my computer could use some decorating.)

Maybe no one will notice except us Ferrari people, but I think the coated linkages look great. Are the throttle return spring supposed to black oxide too?

Here’s the before picture. Without the black oxide coating on the throttle shaft, it would have rusted by springtime.

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