Wrenchin’ Wednesday: Efficient, no-mess grease packing

Phillip Thomas

Packing grease is becoming a bit of a lost art as most modern vehicles have long since moved to sealed unit bearings for the wheels, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t still run into them as traditional spindle-type wheel bearings lasted well into the 1990s. The method passed down for generations is to cup a glob of oil in your hand and begin working the grease into the bearing by scooping it in your palm to drive grease into the rollers. It’s a process that’s messy and sometimes wasteful as grease is bound to drop out of your hand at some point while working the bearing, so today’s Wrenchin’ Wednesday proposes a clever alternative.

Phillip Thomas
Phillip Thomas

Start with a plain zip-top bag. Turning the bag inside-out, scoop in a bunch of grease. You can be generous here if you’re doing a handful of bearings, as the excess will stay in our bag. Pull it back through, turning it right-side-out in the process, and toss the bearing in.

Phillip Thomas

From here, force grease through the bearing by working the baggie tighter and tighter around it. It’s easy to make quick work here since there’s nowhere for the grease to go but through the bearing, as opposed to doing this by hand, where the grease can squeeze out of the way. If you were doing a pair of bearings for each corner of the suspension, you could easily toss multiple bearings into the bag to pack them all at once too.

Phillip Thomas

And there’s practically no waste, just flip the bag inside-out again and wipe it off in the grease bucket. This Wrenchin’ Wednesday is filed under the KISS theory, no expensive tools necessary and the humble baggie can be found sitting in a drawer in any kitchen.

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