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grease gun for trailer bearings (worse than a Chinese finger puzzle)

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I bought a grease gun a while ago and I'll be %^&$#ed if I can figure out how to use it!  I'm exasperated and before long I'll be curling up into a fetal position and sucking my thumb.  It did not come with instructions.  Before I place the grease cartridge into the tube I assume the "plunger" is supposed to be pulled out as far as it will go (and will go down as grease is used up).  But SOMEHOW, the plunger manages to go down the entire tube-seemingly defying physics.  How is this possible unless grease is somehow bypassing the plunger?  In any event, I cannot get it to apply grease.  I've gone online and not found anything useful.  WHAT am I doing wrong?!!!!!!!!

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Assuming that the plunger is spring loaded, the rod portion of the plunger will go completely into the tube, the rubber portion on the inside will be pressing against the grease with the aid of the spring...

Once the grease gun is back together & before putting it on a zerk fitting (grease fitting), it helps to pump it relatively slowly until grease comes out of the tip...

If you are pumping for a long while ( I would say more than 20 pumps equals a long while) and no grease comes out of the tip, pull the plunger back out and take grease cartridge out to make sure the end of the cartridge isn't bent up.. this will prevent the rubber from applying pressure to the grease.

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3 minutes ago, superB said:

Assuming that the plunger is spring loaded, the rod portion of the plunger will go completely into the tube, the rubber portion on the inside will be pressing against the grease with the aid of the spring...

Once the grease gun is back together & before putting it on a zerk fitting (grease fitting), it helps to pump it relatively slowly until grease comes out of the tip...

If you are pumping for a long while ( I would say more than 20 pumps equals a long while) and no grease comes out of the tip, pull the plunger back out and take grease cartridge out to make sure the end of the cartridge isn't bent up.. this will prevent the rubber from applying pressure to the grease.

Thanks!  I'll work on it tonight and see what I can see!

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Usually, the reason grease won't come out is because you need to purge the air from the gun.  Unscrew the body two or three turns to allow air to escape, and then pump the gun until grease comes out.  At that point, screw the body back tight and you should be good to go.

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The grease tube has two caps. One plastic on the end you slide into the grease gun. Take that cap off. The other is usually a pull tab. Take it off after you get the tube into the grease gun. Then screw the lever half on. 

I know this sounds very elementary but I've worked with techs in shops that didn't take the pull tab off then say they can't get any grease out. Usually takes about 5-10 pumps on my grease gun after changing cartridges to get the grease to flow. 

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One more explanation

To load a grease gun.  Loosen the head part with the pump from the tube that holds the grease cartridge a couple of turns so it can get a little air. You do this so the plunger does not pull the grease out of the pump and loose it's prime.  Pull the plunger all the way out and you will see a notch in the rod.  The hole in the back of the gun the rod goes through is elongated so that notch in the rod will slide over into the enlongated  slot.  That locks the rod and plunger back so it's easy to get back in with a fresh cartridge in it.

Take the plastic cap off the tube of grease and slide that end down into the metal tube of the grease gun.  Once it's fully inserted, pull the cap with pull ring off the other end of the tube of grease and partially screw the tube back into the head of the grease gun, leaving it a couple turns short of being tight, so air escape.  Unlock the rod from the slot and let it go forward.  Now, you will notice the rod has two positions if you turn it a little while all the way back and pushing it into the tube.  One way lets the rod slide freely all the way in, but if you turn it a 1/2 turn or so it won't slide in, or if it won't slide in, turn it a little and it will slide in.  That's so, if needed you can put pressure on the grease in the gun to get the air out so it will pump.  That's also why you leave the tube backed off a couple of turns.  Now pump the handle a few pumps and get grease to coming out.  Once you are able to pump grease, finish snugging up the tube in the grease gun and you have the rod pushed all the way in out of the way.   The rod goes all the way in but the piston stays back and the spring pushes it forward as you use the grease.

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