Which lubricant to use?

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jymbee

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Posted here previously about ways to remove rust from tow hitch & BlueOx and getting around to implement some of the suggestions I received. Next step will be to lubricate the various moving parts including the cylinders. I figure I'll use some steel wool to clean the cylinders to start but wondering which lubricant would work best for those and other moving parts. I've got a number of options on hand including the usual WD-40, WD-40 PTFE Dry Lube, Spray White Lithium grease, and multio-purpose Lithium Grease. Thoughts?

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Domo

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Manufacturers often recommend using a water soluble cleaner to clean cylinders, wipe them dry after cleaning and then use a dry silicone spray as the lubricant.

Please notice they are yet another company that does not recommend WD-40. (The Original)

Here's a good link from RoadMaster; Click here.
 
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Utclmjmpr

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WD40 does not "stay" very long in my experience,, for this app you need something with a good penetrant ability.. In 33 years of aircraft maint. I have found, and rely on LPS2 ,,it penetrates well and has a consistency that remains in place for longer periods..>>>Dan
 

Kirk

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On both the leveling jacks and the tow-bar arms I like to use one of the petroleum oil based products. I have used gun oil many times as it leaves a water repelling coating and prevents rust.
 

Utclmjmpr

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The thing I find interesting is all the RUST on that tow bar,, mine.( Roadmaster), is mostly stainless steel and does not rust..>>>Dan
 

jymbee

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Manufacturers often recommend using a water soluble cleaner to clean cylinders, wipe them dry after cleaning and then use a dry silicone spray as the lubricant.

Please notice they are yet another company that does not recommend WD-40. (The Original)

Here's a good link from RoadMaster; Click here.
Yeah, I actually never considered "plain" WD-40 as a viable option for this kind of application.

I may be overthinking this as I called BlueOx and she said to only use white Lithium grease on the cylinders and do not lubricate anything else. (?) I asked a few different ways but she may not have understood what I was tying to do as she said to use only something like Dawn detergent and water. Fine for cleaning but not sure what that had to with lubrication.

I wanted to replace the rubber boots as well so there was quite a bit more disassembly involved when it gets back together I'll just use something like shown in this video-- even though I don't understand why he wouldn't remove the zip ties on both ends of the boot to lube?

 

Martian

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They sure do! The stronger grades will rust and it won't be pretty but it will not get very far. They may have wanted to cut weight and used a thinner 304 stainless and another maker might go for a slightly larger bar in 316.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The tech help at etrailer.com also recommends cleaning the arms with silicone spray but lubing with a "multi-purpose grease". The problem I had with that is that a grease collects road dirt when the arms are extended, so my preferred choice was either a light machine oil or dry silicone spray. A grease probably lasts longer, but wiping and re-spraying the arms is easy to repeat periodically if the towbar is used heavily.

For the swivel joints, I sprayed heavily with Kwikee (step lube) to flush away any accumulated dirt and let it drip dry. Silicone spay would probably work as well. No further lubing required.
 

Utclmjmpr

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I also assume that many folks leave their tow bar hooked the the M/H when not in use,, mine is always hanging on a wall in my heated garage after cleaning, so never gets to the point shown in the picture..>>>Dan
 

jymbee

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I also assume that many folks leave their tow bar hooked the the M/H when not in use,, mine is always hanging on a wall in my heated garage after cleaning, so never gets to the point shown in the picture..>>>Dan
I guess it depends on how long you're on the road. :)

I usually wrap the towbar in a heavy plastic garbage bag of for longer times at home, remove it and store it in the garage. Unfortunately this time of year, not heated. :(
 

Ray-IN

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The tech help at etrailer.com also recommends cleaning the arms with silicone spray but lubing with a "multi-purpose grease". The problem I had with that is that a grease collects road dirt when the arms are extended, so my preferred choice was either a light machine oil or dry silicone spray. A grease probably lasts longer, but wiping and re-spraying the arms is easy to repeat periodically if the towbar is used heavily.

For the swivel joints, I sprayed heavily with Kwikee (step lube) to flush away any accumulated dirt and let it drip dry. Silicone spay would probably work as well. No further lubing required.
Blue Ox tow bars have a rubber boot that covers the entire sliding bar, thus very little dust gets inside the boots.
They are shown in the main frame of that video, upper left corner with bars retracted.
To clean the sliding bar the black zip-tie on one end must be removed, and a new one installed after cleaning and lubing.
 

jymbee

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Blue Ox tow bars have a rubber boot that covers the entire sliding bar, thus very little dust gets inside the boots.
They are shown in the main frame of that video, upper left corner with bars retracted.
To clean the sliding bar the black zip-tie on one end must be removed, and a new one installed after cleaning and lubing.
Yep, pretty much where I'm at except I think it best to remove zip ties from each end to clean, lubricate. Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, I had to replace the rubber boots as well and that required quite a bit more effort.
 
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