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Tornado spreader grease zerk upgrade

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mishnick, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Just had my first Tornado brought in for pre-season inspection and found all three conveyor bearings seized. The owner just said "do what you would if it was yours" so I tried something I have been thinking about for a while....

    You know how hard it is to get your operators to grease the equipment when it's twenty below zero right??? They always say they do but we all know they don't. And even if they do those two front conveyor bearings are really hard to get at when the unit is installed in an OEM pickup box. So I set out to find a cheap way to make these grease zerks a bit easier to get at, so here is what I did....

    First I bought two regular el-chepo grease gun flex extension tubes which happen to have 1/8 pipe thread male on each end and are about 20 inches long (about $8 each) Then I got two brass bulkhead fittings for about $4 each. Then while I was replacing my conveyor chain and bearings I just pulled the original zerks out of the bearing and substituted the extension tubes. Finally I made a little bracket out of a few inches of 2 X 2 by 1/8 aluminum angle. I used wood screws to secure the new zerk and bracket up high where the operator can see it and grease it without digging in the snow, jerry can's etc that are always in the way between the box and the spreader hopper.

    Something else I should mention is what I learned about the bearings... My authorized Western dealership didn't have any original replacement bearings so I went to a bearing specialty place called Motion. They showed me the default replacement but explained that they are made in China and are very low quality. So I asked for something a bit better, they gave me a made in Japan option that they say is 4 X the quality for twice the price. I noticed the first time I greased these higher quality bearings that the grease came out of the seal ALL around the bearing circumference rather than just right beside the entry point like the cheap Chinese version do. I am curious to see if these higher quality bearings upgraded with the remote grease point will last significantly longer than original equipment???? We shall see.... Anyway, check out my photos and give me your opinion, waste of time or good investment?



  2. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,512

    That's a Great idea for the Zerk fitting extensions.....:salute:
  3. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Buyers makes them. Never checked cost though. Great job
  4. mac77691

    mac77691 Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 3

    Do you have a part number and name of the replacement bearings you bought?
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    The part number I used was UCLF206-102D1 However..... I accepted these only because I was in a jam and needed something right away. Two problems with this particular bearing: First the flange bolt holes were 5/8" and I needed 1/2" so I had to also buy "bore adapters" which are little sleeves that you press in to reduce the hole to 1/2. Second, the grease zerk hole is smaller than the 1/8 NPT so I had to drill and retap it. For inventory I ordered a version with the correct size flange hole and the 1/8 zerk hole but I won't know that part number until I receive them.