(Topic ID: 326108)

Super Lube Types

By alkregha

1 year ago

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  • 15 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by alkregha
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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    #1 1 year ago

    Based on several recommendations on this site and others I’ve been using Super Lube on my stepper units (some metal to metal joints and on the Bakelite disc contacts ). I always use the smallest amount possible and wipe away the excess. However, I realized yesterday that I’m using this:

    Super Lube 92003 Silicone Lubricating Grease with PTFE, 3 oz Tube, Translucent White https://a.co/d/iX76J3Q

    Instead of this:

    Super Lube-21030 Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease, 3 Oz. https://a.co/d/aaeXyFW

    Both are dielectric and both have Teflon. But I’ve see a lot of guidance against silicone. Am I doing it wrong? Something I should worry about cleaning and redoing ?


    #2 1 year ago

    Your concerns are correct. Stay away from silicone.

    #3 1 year ago

    As you mentioned Super Lube is great for metal to metal slide contact points.

    My go to for metal shafts to metal pivots is Tri-Flow. It comes in handy all around the house as well. I just lubricated the hinges/door stop rollers on our SUV today with this.

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    Stay away from silicone.

    This is the first I'm hearing of this, and I've been working on EMs for years. Why use a lithium based grease as opposed to a silicone based one?

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    This is the first I'm hearing of this, and I've been working on EMs for years. Why use a lithium based grease as opposed to a silicone based one?

    To be clear: even the regular "multi-purpose" Superlube grease is not lithium based. Just a different synthetic, with PTFE in it. Though, I'd guess a regular lithium grease would be okay too, but might not last as long, because it will get gummy sooner.

    I'm no expert on use of grease in pins, but I suspect that the warning about silicone is because silicone-based grease, and other silicone-based products, can be harmful to paint and possibly other non-metal components on the machine. Maybe someone who knows more specifically will explain.

    #6 1 year ago

    Search for PBR-GREASE on http://www.pbresource.com/tools.html

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    #7 1 year ago

    These are the only 2 lubricants I have ever used on a pinball machine:

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    #8 1 year ago

    Note that dielectric grease doesn't actually conduct electricity. The benefit of using dielectric grease is to reduce friction and facilitate the mechanical movement of your device, not to improve its electrical conductivity. Dielectrics are actually insulators like those used between the plates of a capacitor that impede electric current. Another good reason to use as little as possible.


    #9 1 year ago

    Thanks for the responses so far. pete_d is thinking along the lines that I am which is “what is it that’s bad about silicone”? At this point I’m evaluating whether to take all the steppers back apart and clean them.

    On the one hand, I have the back unit out and am restoring stuff, might as well do it right. On the other hand, it doesn’t take much to break my momentum (back working on it after 1.5 years of delay)… and after 1.5 years the steppers I lubricated with it still seem happy (even without having moved at all). I used such small amounts that I’m tempted to leave it unless I hear “silicone is bad because…”

    #10 1 year ago

    I did some more googling and found this:


    Their reasoning seems to be that for electrical (purely) contacts, polymerization can cause it to become brittle and hard. But mechanical movement is usually enough to prevent that from happening.

    In any case, it was enough to convince me to clean it from the Bakelite contact discs

    For metal to metal, what I’ve read is that while there are certainly better lubricants than silicone for this, there is nothing Inherently wrong with it.

    For that reason I’ll probably leave the metal to metal joints alone (I barely used any of it anyway), and clean and re grease the discs. Going forward I plan to move away from the silicone version. If and when my steppers start acting up, I’ll know where to look.

    #11 1 year ago

    I have used silicone for years in stepper unit discs and Williams horseshoe drop targets. No problems so far, and it doesn't gum up like WD40 or CRC.

    #12 1 year ago

    What’s the concern with silicone on mechanisms? I think you may be mixing up cautionary statements.

    The only issue with silicone I’m aware of is using it in areas you plan to paint or clear coat. This is a common cause of fish eyes when painting over a pours surface that previously had silicone applied.

    #13 1 year ago

    On the Jukebox Restoration forums, this is a hot topic of discussion!

    I use Super Lube Synthetic Grease on pinballs. I wouldn't hesitate to use PBR grease. I trust Steve Young.

    I use Three-In-One MOTOR oil that I put in a zoom-spout bottle for most oiling. This is not Three-In-One Multipurpose oil.

    Some things I use Marvel's Mystery Oil (Red-Oil!) where I need something thinner. (Antique slot machine restorations use a lot of Red Oil.)

    I use Sta-Lube Moly-Graph Grease on a lot of things, and definitely on any jukebox I'm working on.

    This lubrication selection seems to be the general advice from technicians who have done hundreds of repairs, and had to follow the machines they fixed for twenty, thirty, or more years. It changes your perspective on what works when you have to live with choices you made thirty years ago. (Lubriplate... shudders...)

    #14 1 year ago

    jgreene - I’m trying to answer that same question I think. I’ve seen it a number of places. One that I hold in high regard is Clay Harrel’s website:


    To quote - “ When there is a need to lube an EM game, using the right lubricant is very important. Do not use white grease. Do not use WD-40. White grease solidifies and WD-40 gums up in a short amount of time. Do not use silicone-based lubricants either.”

    I’m sure there is a bit of situational application to this statement, and that is what I hope to clear up.

    In any case I think I know how I’ll proceed, but thought this was a good topic to hash through.

    #15 1 year ago

    For what it’s worth, I bought the synthetic multi-purpose grease from super Lube to go with the silicone lubricating grease. Texture-wise the two are very similar. Both semi-clear as well. I redid the Bakelite contacts with the synthetic grease. Some of the contacts had been sitting for 1.5 years with the silicone type, and I saw no hardening, goop, or residue. Actually it seemed more like it had evaporated slightly. Overall I feel like the silicone type might be “more slick” while the synthetic grease might last longer. I tend to think either is valid for lubricating stepper units.


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