Friday, May 24, 2019

1976 Corvette Front-End Grease Points | C3 Chassis Lube

Chassis lubrication in something that is either forgotten or just ignored even though it's an important part of a vehicle's maintenance regimen.

For starters, a chassis carries not only the weight of the vehicle but also drive train systems, suspension, and steering components, which are subject to flex and motion.

In order to keep these components operating properly and with minimal wear, automotive grease lubricates and helps keep these parts cool, clean, and moisture-free.

To get the right lube into these joints, a grease gun is required.

Automotive grease guns—manual and pneumatic—are equipped with special nozzles that connect to grease fittings, also known as Zerk fittings which are a one-way valve that allows grease, under pressure, in this case, to enter the joint or bearing channel and fill the area.

When the pressure stops, the valve immediately closes.

Lubricating these components is important and necessary, albeit messy in most cases, so have a good supply of shop towels handy for the job. Sometimes, washing the area to be worked on is advisable. Remember that the underside of your vehicle is exposed to road dirt and grime on a constant basis, and you don't want to risk introducing any foreign matter, along with fresh grease, by accident.

In the case of my '76 Stingray, lubrication points are as follows:

  • Upper and Lower Ball Joints
  • Inner and Outer Tie Rod Ends
  • Pitman Arm
  • Idler Arm
  • Power Steering Control Valve
  • Clutch Z-bar Cross Shaft

After raising the front of the car and removing the wheels, you gain access to most of the grease fittings. For some, you have to crawl under the car.

The first task is to clean the Zerk fittings as well as the surrounding area to avoid contamination of the fresh grease.


And speaking of grease, I like to use a general-purpose lube such as Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease, but any other quality automotive grease formulated for suspensions will do.


Provided the Zerk fittings are clean and unclogged, as you pump fresh lube it will allow grease to go in the void and you may even notice the rubber boot swell (in the case of ball joints, for example) as fresh grease enters the chamber.

Additionally, you may also notice old, dirty grease ooze out which is fine. If that occurs, I continue pumping lube until I see fresh grease come out of the boot, then wipe the area clean.

If you lube your chassis on a regular basis, these components may only need a couple of pumps out of the grease gun. If the joints are dry, they will need a bit more.


The gun nozzle (above) should snap into the Zerk fitting. This ensures a tight seal for delivery of the fresh grease.


Some of the old, dirty grease will ooze out, which is fine. Just have shop towels handy to remove it.

In the case of the power steering control valve (below), I usually give the fittings one or two pumps and that's it.



The clutch Z-bar cross shaft (above) gets three or four pumps.

The idler arm (below) also has a grease fitting and gets lubed accordingly.


One item I added to help keep the Zerk fittings clean are grease fitting Polyethylene caps, which help keep dirt and grime away. They are inexpensive and highly visible which will make lube jobs easier.

They are available in different colors and I chose yellow to make it easier to spot them in order to give the Zerk fittings a few pumps of fresh lube every time I do an oil change.

I think I will also order caps in black to protect the caliper bleeder screws.

As far as the chassis lube is concerned, that's it for my Corvette. However, your Vette may have other components that have Zerk fittings, such as replacement U-joints, for example. So make sure to check and lubricate accordingly.


If you need to purchase a grease gun, I strongly suggest you buy one with a pistol grip. This design allows you to pump the fresh grease easily and it costs only a few more dollars than a lever gun.

Thanks for following my 1976 Corvette Stingray blog!


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