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Plunger lubrication quandary, ’51 ES2

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Plunger lubrication quandary, ’51 ES2

Posted by Grant MacNeill at August 11. 2017

My complete rebuild would be on schedule if new “issues” did not crop up every week !#!&!!.

I’ve dismantled my Plungers;  Soaked off the rust and decades of old grease stuck in the coils.

I notice that the grease nipple in the alloy rear fork-end lubricates only the bearer rod; the spiral groove along the length of the rod allows the grease to lube the roughly 9” of rod-travel on the fork-end unit as the springs compress and rebound.

My question;   how should I treat the springs and spring cavity ?

The spring covers are not watertight/airtight, so rain and/or condensation will enter the spring cavity.

If I load them up with a cup or two of grease, then I fear that the water that gets in will be trapped and not find its way out the bottom.

My two original period manuals don’t mention oiling the springs…only the bearing rod.

The implication to me is that this cavity was initially empty from the factory with presumably some grease smeared on both ends of the springs where they bear on the covers.  Any lumps of ancient grease I found had oozed out of exposed part of the bearing rod at the top and bottom of the cavity… as previous owners enthusiastically pumped grease into the nipple.

Am I correct in my thinking here ?

I am contemplating coating the inside of the covers and the springs with rust-paint,  then spraying them with ACF-50 anti-corrosion spray (which works wonders on my old bikes).  This would rust proof the springs and insides of the covers and act as a lubricant since the springs always seen to rub slightly on one side or the other of the covers depending on how I orient them.

Does this seem sensible?

Does anybody have and advice or an alternative approach?

I have put a couple thousand miles on the bike so far and I am very pleased with the way the Plungers feel and handle.  That little bit of extra play compared to a rigid frame makes all the difference for me.

Grant MacNeill,  Toronto

51 ES2, 51 R51/3, 62 R27

By the way,  if you have not tried the new Paul Goff LED headlight bulb…I highly recommend: very bright, low draw and seems to last forever

Re: Plunger lubrication quandary, ’51 ES2

Posted by Michael Rettie at August 14. 2017

Hey Grant,

I'm a real fan of using sticky chain lube for this purpose. I've used it on unplated fork tubes up inside the headlight ears that normally get rusted and then impossible to dismantle. Came apart like a dream years later.


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