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Author Topic:  Lithium Grease
Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2019 8:36 pm    
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Is it ok to use Lithium grease to lube a Multi Kord changer? What is the best cleaning and lubing product?
Thank you?
Gloria


Last edited by Gloria Baldwin on 11 Aug 2019 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 3:30 am    
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You will get replies to always use nothing but every ultra high tech space age ultra dry teflon dynamic super lube under the sun.. However , when that guitar was made, all they had was plain old motor oil, or light oil that was then called 'machine oil", or some form of grease, and they worked fine with that..
I am not familiar with the Multicord changer, but I used white lithium grease on certain areas of many old pedal steels as well as some high friction areas of modern pedal steels for decades, and it worked perfectly, and stayed there much better than oil... I would NOT glob it in there by the handful, but if you have two pieces of metal rubbing against one another causing friction, you could certainly try it.. Worst case, you would have to clean it out and replace it with something else.. I still use only motor oil and a bit of white grease on my pedal steels, and they have always played perfectly. Still do... bob
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 3:42 am    
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As far as a cleaning product, for me, plain old WD 40 and a small brush works great for cleaning, as does plain old lighter fluid.. I use that or some very light penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, to take grit and gunk out, let it drip dry on some newpapers, and then use automatic trans fluid, or plain old motor oil to lube... Don't use WD 40 as lube, but its always worked well for me for cleaning metal parts. Use a good light oil or auto trans fluid.. Use lithium grease on high friction areas if you'd like..Guys with modern steels will scoff at these techniques, but thats how it was done by everyone for many many years, and it will work fine on your old multi Cord... bob
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 5:56 am     Lithium Grease
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Thank you so much Bob for this info. I have bought a few Multi-Kords now that I have to take apart and clean as the tuners and changers are filthy. Sounds like your products will do the trick.
I’m still open to any other methods out there.
Thank you very much,
Gloria
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John Haspert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 10:05 am     Lubricants for PSG
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Hi Gloria, I spent 41 years in the lubricants industry and recently retired after being research chemist, Lab Manager and Senior Corporate Engineer for a major lubricants manufacturer. I read the posts from many on this topic and Have seen a number of passionate replies. In any case, Lithium grease is a generic description for a semi solid lubricant based on a Lithium thickening system. Beyond that, there are very many variants, but not a lot uses on a PSG. Because a PSG, has lot of areas where there are tight clearances and a need for the lube to penetrate, a lower viscosity oil is better suited. Mineral oils will tend to oxidize and thicken. A PAO based lube is better suited. Some recommend a PTFE included product. That too can be an advantage, but it needs to be a colloidal dispersion with very small particle size. BTW, a product like WD-40 is not your friend. It is great for a lot of other stuff, but the RP components build a waxy, sticky film so not good for changers. If you want to PM me, I can offer more detail.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 12:56 pm    
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I have always been told to avoid WD-40. From Ron Lashley at Emmons to Paul Franklin Sr.

I use plain old 3-in-1 oil on my Franklin. The Franklin is 38 years old and still as tight as it was new. I disassembled and cleaned the changers twice on an Emmons PP that I had and also used 3-in-1 oil on that.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 1:13 pm    
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Jack Stoner wrote:
I have always been told to avoid WD-40. From Ron Lashley at Emmons to Paul Franklin Sr.


Same here...I was taught to never use WD40 as a cleaner or lube as it leaves behind a residue that attracts dirt/dust. I always use Naphtha solvent (aka lighter fluid) in a tub as a cleaner, then lube the parts with a tiny amount of very light model railroad locomotive engine oil Winking
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Roger Crawford


From:
McDonough, GA USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 1:17 pm    
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Automatic transmission fluid.
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 1:47 pm     Lithium Grease
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Thank you all very much for your input. I will not use Lithium grease to lubricate.
Gloria
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 4:19 pm    
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told ya,, The "lube police" out in force.. I have been at this pedal steel game for 43 years. They haven't changed all that much in that time in my opinion.. Automatic trans fluid or light motor oil or machine oil worked perfectly then, and it does today, and yes I will continue to use white grease on select wear points , as I did 40 years ago.. my steels have always played perfectly, always in tune, and with NO wear... I clean my guns with WD 40 as well, before lubricating with oil or Lubriplate,, No problems there either, and they are very precise. . This " leaves a residue" story is nonsense.. Its NOT a heavy duty lubricant and I don't use it as one, but its FINE for cleaning metal parts that will later be lubricated with something heavier.. As an ASE Master Tech for decades until I retired, I used every lubricant on every type of small precision part or assembly imaginable . I have yet to see the light spray lubes "leave a gummy residue" on ANYTHING , Either WD40 or other lubricants like it... which there are dozens of ,,... geez... bob
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no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 5:44 pm     Lithium Grease
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Thank you Bob, well stated. Last year I took 2 klunker Multi Kords apart as 1 of them was compromised with mold and I wanted to salvage it. I used WD 40 to clean it up but have not lubed it yet. Hope it’s ok. I bet lighter fluid would get the moldy smell out of that changer. I wanted the moldy smell to get out of it before I lube it and put it all back together. Hope it doesn’t rust or freeze up. Ha!
Thanks again,
Gloria
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Ed Boyd


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 6:14 pm    
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For What it's worth WD-40 is a solvent not a lubricant.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 6:28 pm    
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WD stands for water displacement.

Here is a good article about the product.

Click Here

Great marketing. Does everything but cure the common cold.

Laughing
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2019 7:11 pm     Lithium Greasr
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Hi Ed, yes, I only used it to clean the changer. Have not lubed it yet. I’m hearing several oils I can use instead of lithium Grease.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 12 Aug 2019 2:29 am     Re: Lithium Greasr
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Gloria Baldwin wrote:
Hi Ed, yes, I only used it to clean the changer. Have not lubed it yet. I’m hearing several oils I can use instead of lithium Grease.

Yes WD 40 works pretty good used for cleaning as you have done. Looking at your changer, I would not use any grease there. Personally I would use automatic transmission fluid.. Thats what some very good pedal steel builders used and recommended for many years.. It has worked for a lot of us for a long time.. You don't want gallons of it in there.. I typically apply it with a small paint brush..

There have been arguments on this forum for decades about lubricants, sometimes heated.
Any "wet" lubricant is better than no lube at all.. You are looking to reduce friction.. Any decent oil or even light grease would do that.. The main problem with grease is that over many years they can harden and cause problems.. I have seen many old Sho Buds with the factory grease in the changer that was like concrete.. However those guitars were 50 years old, and I doubt modern grease lubricants would harden that badly..

The point is this,, The people that designed and built those guitars used grease in them, and it lasted for decades.. It reduced the friction as it was supossed to do until it could no longer function after it hardened.

IF you used grease nothing bad would have happened..

Thats probably what your guitar was lubricated with when it left the factory, because thats what they had in those days..
Grease, or perhaps plain old straight weight motor oil. Nothing bad happened to it.

That being said, for the most part grease is no longer used on steel guitars these days.. most of us keep up with them pretty well, and if kept cleaned and lightly lubricated, most any good lubricating oil will be fine.. LOTS of guys these days are using dry lubes and swear by them, and thats fine, no problem as far as I am concerned,, However , these are still a lot of us that use oil or trans fluid, and also have ZERO problems and our steels remain in great playing condition.

No matter what you use, keeping it clean under there is paramount... Keep it clean, and lubed and it will outlive you and function as it should... bob
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no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 12 Aug 2019 4:53 am     Lithium Grease
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Hi Bob,
Ok, got it. I already used the WD-40 last year to clean it up real good. So I will go buy a bottle of automatic tranny fluid to lube it.
I truly appreciate all of your help guys.
Thanks a bunch,
Gloria
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Jack Ritter


From:
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 12 Aug 2019 6:41 am    
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Singer sewing machine oil works fine for me and I dob it on and into tight places with a very small artist paint brush. Keeps from over lubing.
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Gloria Baldwin


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 12 Aug 2019 6:52 am    
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Hi Jack, I’ve used 3-1 oil by not sure that’s any good. I don’t know one oil from another but I’ve learned a lot from you all.
Thank you.
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Jack Ritter


From:
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 13 Aug 2019 6:20 am    
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Howdy Gloria, I have also used 3 in 1 and works fine.
Does not evaporate and leave a tacky surface. Same as Singer. Jack
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 13 Aug 2019 11:49 am    
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Gloria Baldwin wrote:
Hi Jack, I’ve used 3-1 oil by not sure that’s any good. I don’t know one oil from another but I’ve learned a lot from you all.
Thank you.


the point is, it just needs to reduce friction.. The oil type is not all that critical.. Auto trans fluid, 3 in 1, Singer , plain old motor oil will all be just fine...bob
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 13 Aug 2019 12:35 pm    
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Tri-Flo

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Jack Ritter


From:
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 14 Aug 2019 5:36 am    
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Jeff Newman also told me years ago to use 30 wt non detergent motor oil.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 14 Aug 2019 6:58 am    
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Has anyone tried possum fat? Very Happy
Erv
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post  Posted 14 Aug 2019 7:08 am    
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I know that most steel players drive Teslas, but for the rest of you, don't forget how easy it is to get a drop of oil off the end of the dip stick in your pickmup.
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James Flaherty


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2019 3:28 pm    
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I used to use white lithium grease but when I recently disassembled my changer the white lithium had trapped all kinds of gunk in it. Over time this gunk can scratch the surface of the changer axle and the part of the changer that is in contact with the axle. I heard about, and recently bought, something called Du Pont Dry-Film Lubricant with Teflon. When I sprayed it on it came out wet for about a second and then dried into a white Teflon coating. Hopefully, this stuff will not attract or accumulate the kind of gunk that got stuck in the the white lithium grease.
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