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Old 09-29-2018, 06:04 PM   #1
1968_K20_4x4
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Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

Recently I went through the closed knuckle Dana 44 on my 68 K20, checked everything and replaced the seals. Everything was in good shape so I cleaned it all and reassembled it. I assumed that the wheel hub bearings would be lubricated by the oil in the knuckle ball... but now I am not so sure. So my question is, does oil flow through to the wheel hub bearings to lubricate rhem from the knuckle ball in a closed knuckle axle? Or should I have lubricated the bearings when I reassembled the axle (they're currently dry and I have not added any oil to the axle yet) I have the axle all put back together now and dont want to have to tear it all apart if I dont need too, but I also dont want to ruin my bearings without oil. I appreciate any help from someone with the understanding of how a closed knuckle is designed to work. Thanks
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:39 PM   #2
jdl71
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

I assume you're talking about the inner and outer wheel bearings? I packed mine with grease like any other bearing. There should be a wheel seal on the inboard side of the hub also. I'm pretty sure they don't get any lube from the knuckle ball, I really don't see how they could if the seal is good. Most closed knuckles still around have had grease put in them instead of oil in them now to try to slow the leaking. You've replaced the felt wiper seals though it sounds like.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:00 PM   #3
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

I think he may be talking about the upper and lower knuckle bearings. If so, they are not lubed by the gear oil. They need grease for that type of axle. There is a pipe fitting on the rear of the knuckle ball where the grease is inserted. I got mine from torqueking.com. It comes in a tube to use with a caulking gun and takes about half a tube if you have the 8 bolt knuckle seal and a bit more for the 12 bolt seal HD version
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:12 PM   #4
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

I wondered that, but he did say wheel hub. Hopefully he did not put those in dry.

Could be all wrong here but I thought I read in the Factory manual it called for 140wt in the knuckles. Everyone moved to some sort of grease when the wipers started leaking.
I've seen the stuff torque king sells, going to get some and their seal kit when I get to that point.
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

i have read a lot of guys use the 00 grease for the closed knuckle lube .

i found it at the local napa under part # SME 706612 they had to order the the local hub but had it the next day .

and like said if the wheel bearings is what your asking then yes need to be packed . and i would even pack the knuckle bearings my self if me just to be sure .
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

My apologies here. You guys are right. The knuckle bearings should be packed like you would do with the wheel bearings. The knuckle ball grease is primarily for the axle u-joint.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:46 PM   #7
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

I think the OP was talking about wheel bearings. Sure hope he figured it out before he drove it.
While we're on the subject of knuckle grease, I've had great luck with John Deere Corn Head grease. Absolutely no leaks, just a slight film on the knuckle (as there should be to prevent corrosion) My local Deere dealer had it on the shelf, and when he asked what I was using it for, he said he sells a lot of it for the same thing.
BTW the only way that upper bearing gets lubed is when in 4WD, so if you do a lot of street driving, is best to dial in the hubs and drive around in 2WD for the day at least once a month. Your mileage will still suck just like always, but everything inside that knuckle will last a lot longer.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Closed knuckle Dana 44 wheel hub bearings

I can vouch for the cornhead grease.
Used it in my 69 K2500 front knuckles and my 1956 Dodge powerwagon that l also used it in the PTO winch too, Known leakers
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