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Thread: Flex Shaft Lubricants

  1. #1

    Default Flex Shaft Lubricants

    As I get ready for testing several flex shaft lubricants, I thought I would share the ones that I have accumulated for testing.

    Speak up if anyone has a special one they want thrown into the mix.

    Even though this will not be a thorough scientific study, it will give me an idea on just which lubricants to continue using. I was switching around with a few different ones while prop testing and I believe it was complicating the results.

    I plan on using one prop (for now) and using two sets of batteries, making two consecutive runs and recording the mph. I will attempt to test one lubricant each morning when the water is calm and no wind.

    Here is the list: (thanks to those who have suggested some of the below)

    Marine Wheel Bearing Grease (blue)
    Grim Racer Speed Grease
    Hob-E-Lube White Grease with Teflon
    Hob-E-Lube Moly Grease
    Tamiya Cera-Grease HG
    Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease
    Tri-Flow Synthetic Grease with Teflon
    Lubriplate “Lube A”
    Quantum Hot Sauce Reel Grease
    Quantum Hot Sauce Reel Lube
    STP (may thin this down)

    Testing is still a few weeks away, so if you feel strongly about one, just say so.

  2. #2

    Default

    I'd like to see the results myself. Thank you for testing.
    Government Moto:
    "Why fix it? Blame someone else for breaking it."

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    I here grease on the prop shaft and thin oil on the flex or wire drive works great.


    ...

  4. #4

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    ky gel...
    Still waiting for my boat to come in.it came in

  5. #5

    Cool

    You may find that the same lube tested on consecutive days will give different speeds. That has to be the first step in your tests - varify that any speed differences you see are due only to the lube and not to the day, the particular pack you used, the temperature or charge of the packs, the water conditions, etc. It would be a shame to spend so much time on what could be a vaulable test program only to find the results are meaningless....

    A few things to think about before starting:
    - How will you keep the lubes from being flushed up into the boat while running? The test results will be useless if the lube doesn't stay in the stuffing tube.

    - Are you using Teflon liners or not? If yes, how will the condition of the liner effect the results between the first and the last pair of runs?

    - How will you know if a lube works great for thirty seconds then breaks down?

    - What if the thicker lubes need to warm up a bit to give the lowest friction?

    - Is a difference of one mph even significant?

    - Is initial top speed the best thing to measure, or is amp draw or the ability to stay fast for a two minute race? You have to define what is meant by "best" before your testing begins.


    FWIW, my favorite is Pennzoil Synthetic 75-90W GL-5 from Wally's.

    http://www.pennzoil.com/#/transmissi...etic-gear-oils



    .

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluid View Post
    You may find that the same lube tested on consecutive days will give different speeds. That has to be the first step in your tests - varify that any speed differences you see are due only to the lube and not to the day, the particular pack you used, the temperature or charge of the packs, the water conditions, etc. It would be a shame to spend so much time on what could be a vaulable test program only to find the results are meaningless....

    A few things to think about before starting:
    - How will you keep the lubes from being flushed up into the boat while running? The test results will be useless if the lube doesn't stay in the stuffing tube.
    Correct! We'll see which ones have staying power.

    - Are you using Teflon liners or not? If yes, how will the condition of the liner effect the results between the first and the last pair of runs?
    Yes. Once I narrow the field down to the top 2 or 3, I will repeat the test.

    - How will you know if a lube works great for thirty seconds then breaks down?
    I won't, but I really don't want a lube that doesn't last one run. Longevity is one of the qualities I am looking for.

    - What if the thicker lubes need to warm up a bit to give the lowest friction?
    Each lube will get (2) 3 minute runs. If it takes longer than that to 'seat in', then I guess I won't know.

    - Is a difference of one mph even significant?
    Not to me.

    - Is initial top speed the best thing to measure, or is amp draw or the ability to stay fast for a two minute race? You have to define what is meant by "best" before your testing begins.
    You are right. I wish I had an Eagle Tree data logger, but unfortunately I do not. I plan on taking temp readings on the stuffing tube, but I cannot control the ambient temp over the several days it will take to complete the testing. Just have to wait and see.

    I plan to use two different packs (topped off) for each lube and plan on early morning runs when the water is flat and no wind. 1 lube per day.
    I am mainly looking for: 1. Free up some rpm/speed; 2. Longevity (I get tired of removing the flex shaft after 2 runs).


    FWIW, my favorite is Pennzoil Synthetic 75-90W GL-5 from Wally's.
    I'll see if I can pick some up.

    http://www.pennzoil.com/#/transmissi...etic-gear-oils



    .
    If you have another idea on the methodology, please let me know.

  7. #7

    Default

    I think Drag Boat Bob is doing us all a great service here, and while the methodology might not be lab-certified, I think it will still be good info, and I thank him for the time he is taking to share his results.

  8. #8

    Default science fair project!

    This will keep you busy for a while!

    Seriously, you may want to consider setting up a 'lab' experiment to save yourself time and get a better result by reducing variables. Consider:
    • deep plastic tub with lid to contain water splash
    • an old brushed motor (eliminates an ESC by allowing a direct connection to power)
    • 'constant' power source like a car or marine battery
    • prop sized to allow motor to spin up to target RPM's
    • ammeter to check current draw

    Since the only variables would be lube and temps of motor and shaft it would be easy to do all the testing quickly. Remember, the motor and prop can be small. We don't need to push the water, just spin up the shaft!

    Even if you go ahead with field testing you may want to first test to see if the first or second run has an advantage by repeating runs with the same lube. If there is a difference then each day's test could start with the same 'control' lube followed by the 'test' lube. This would also 'flush' the 'test lube 1' with the same 'control' before trying 'test lube 2' (Test 1 doesn't influence Test 2, etc...)

    Sounds like fun any way you do it (if you are a scientist like me...)

    Paul

  9. #9

    Default

    I use Mercury Quicksilver 2-4-C lube on all my flex shafts. Seems to work fine for me.
    Don't get me started

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJnK View Post
    I think Drag Boat Bob is doing us all a great service here, and while the methodology might not be lab-certified, I think it will still be good info, and I thank him for the time he is taking to share his results.
    I agree.
    Government Moto:
    "Why fix it? Blame someone else for breaking it."

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MT-Tank View Post
    This will keep you busy for a while!

    Seriously, you may want to consider setting up a 'lab' experiment to save yourself time and get a better result by reducing variables. Consider:
    • deep plastic tub with lid to contain water splash
    • an old brushed motor (eliminates an ESC by allowing a direct connection to power)
    • 'constant' power source like a car or marine battery
    • prop sized to allow motor to spin up to target RPM's
    • ammeter to check current draw

    Since the only variables would be lube and temps of motor and shaft it would be easy to do all the testing quickly. Remember, the motor and prop can be small. We don't need to push the water, just spin up the shaft!

    Even if you go ahead with field testing you may want to first test to see if the first or second run has an advantage by repeating runs with the same lube. If there is a difference then each day's test could start with the same 'control' lube followed by the 'test' lube. This would also 'flush' the 'test lube 1' with the same 'control' before trying 'test lube 2' (Test 1 doesn't influence Test 2, etc...)

    Sounds like fun any way you do it (if you are a scientist like me...)

    Paul
    Wow! I think I underestimated the interest in this undertaking. I have decided to limit it to 10 lubes (I have a list of 11 right now). The list has gone through many changes (Thanks again for everyone's input!) and I think I have as much as I can handle right now.

    Doc's idea is certainly a more efficient method of testing, but I want to have some fun driving as well. Even if my results don't produce any viable data, I will still have fun doing it.

    Maybe Doc could pick up where I leave off and we can post and maintain an updated list of the best lubes and the ones that produce the best price/benefit ratio.

    Anyway, now more than ever, I am curious about what will come out of this test.

  12. #12

    Default

    I should have mentioned that during prop testing, I used a few different lubricants which produced noticable differences in speed with the same prop.

    I really have no doubt that the shaft lubricant can mean a difference of 3-4 mph.

    I think this is going to be fun...

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-SOCAL View Post
    I use Mercury Quicksilver 2-4-C lube on all my flex shafts. Seems to work fine for me.
    Bill,
    I wondered about that one too.

    There are two very interesting lubes that did not make the list due to financial considerations (and the perceived price/benefit ratio):

    1. Neo Synthetic Grease (seems NASCAR likes it)
    2. Mercury Special 101 Lubricant

    Bob

  14. #14

    Default

    Iuse it on both gas and FE boats. Served me well.
    Don't get me started

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-SOCAL View Post
    Iuse it on both gas and FE boats. Served me well.
    Where do you get that from?
    Government Moto:
    "Why fix it? Blame someone else for breaking it."

  16. #16

    Default

    Amsoil blue marine grease on my flex cables
    Necessity is the mother of invention.............

    Youtube Video's http://www.youtube.com/user/Titanis2000

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by domwilson View Post
    Where do you get that from?
    I got mine locally at a small marine shop in Dana Point, CA. Check around, West Marine may carry it, but you have lots of places in SD that should carry it. Runs about $9 a tube and a tube lasts a very long time.
    Don't get me started

  18. #18

    Default

    I owe an apology to everyone expecting results from the lubricants comparison.

    I was only able to complete 2 runs before I hit an unidentified submerged object (USO). I sheared off the nylon bolts in both the rudder and turn fin. This also caused the stripped motor mount bolt to come out. I also slightly damaged the prop.

    After all that I decided that the water in the lake was receding too rapidly as 'new' USO's (mostly tree stumps) were becoming noticeable, so I stopped the testing.

    I will give it another go when the water rises...

    Bob

  19. #19
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    What about brake caliper grease? High temp stuff for the shaft, lots of heat there. And I'm kinda amused by clever marketing from marine companies when they say "waterproof" grease. Water and oil have never mixed.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    What about brake caliper grease? High temp stuff for the shaft, lots of heat there. And I'm kinda amused by clever marketing from marine companies when they say "waterproof" grease. Water and oil have never mixed.
    Never tried brake caliper grease. But if it works go for it. As far as water proof, I seen some greases emulsify on flex shafts.
    Government Moto:
    "Why fix it? Blame someone else for breaking it."

  21. #21
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    I have never tried caliper grease either. I have used it on brakes and thought about it on the boats. I use just whatever marine grease I found. To me I regrease after I run. Unless I'm going right back out. As far as the emulsifying within the shaft yes some less weight greases tend to mix rather quickly. Just thought it is ironic about waterproof grease. Just being funny:)

  22. #22

    Default

    There is nothing wrong with emulsions, they can provide excellent lubrication properties. I use them in my work spinning 5" shafts in 8.5" holes 20,000 feet long. Most all R/C boat cable lubes will emulsify in water anyway, "waterproof" or not.



    .

  23. #23

    Default

    I've been using white lithium grease on my impulse31 and the kids 26 stock proboats, is this not good ?

    I use it on my centre pin reels and it makes them spin like mad ! and goes good with water !

    small tube is cheap at my local hardware store > $1.99

  24. #24

    Default

    Government Moto:
    "Why fix it? Blame someone else for breaking it."

  25. #25
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    Default

    Sounds like a myth busters experiment

  26. #26

    Default

    Wow, someone is actually commenting on a 3 year old thread... I’ve been on the nitro side of things for a while, but starting to run my electrics again.

    FWIW, I did perform the lube tests, but refrained from publicizing my results due to the ‘uncontrollable variances’. I felt that the results would only start a ‘flame fest’ like the ‘water removing heat’ thread.

    I will say that there is some speed to be gained, but it came at the cost of longevity. The marine variants remained the longest while the Cera Grease allowed for the best speed. Every one of them emulsified (it’s not a sealed environment). In the case of the marine variants, the second and/or third run produced the best speed. I can only guess that this is partly due to their water resistant adhesion that broke down slower.

    I ended up liking Lubriplate for its ease of application. Just hold the prop and spray it on.

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=Drag Boat Bob;443854]Wow, someone is actually commenting on a 3 year old thread... I’ve been on the nitro side of things for a while, but starting to run my electrics again.

    Yes, just me, I actually read things new and old :)

  28. #28

    Default

    No problem Coop... Just surprised that's all...then again, I'm surprised a lot these days...must be that 'old-timers' setting in...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drag Boat Bob View Post
    No problem Coop... Just surprised that's all...then again, I'm surprised a lot these days...must be that 'old-timers' setting in...
    Lol old timers! I must be a middle timer!

  30. #30

    Default

    Did you ever test ProBoats Grease?
    Kyosho K.I.T.T.

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