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SERVICEBULLETIN: Grease filling of the propeller system


SERVICEBULLETIN 180921: Grease filling of the propeller system


We have recently been sending service engineers out to perform yearly inspections on several vessels. There seems to be a lack of grease in the majority of them. It is highly important that the vessels abide to the proper filling of the propel system with grease weekly. If the vessel has been taken up and the system is found to have too little grease, then it is advised to fill with grease more often (2-3 times a week). Some propeller systems require more grease when they are slightly worn, or preform a lot of manoeuvring. We have added an extra step at the end of greasing to insure the propeller system is fully greased.


Guidelines for maintenance: (Servogear Instruction Manual. Part. lll Re 05. 2018 p.26)
Lubrication of the propeller system: 
• Grease type (Mobilith synthetic grease: SHC 460, K-NATE NLGI 1, or Esso synthetic grease Fliess
• Grease should be filled (C) weekly by pumping grease through the grease nipple on the flare of the propeller shaft flange coupling.
• Remember to remove the ventilation plug before pumping the grease and then replace the ventilation plug after filling.
• *NEW* Pump a few times with the ventilation plug in until there is some resistance to insure that the propel system is fully greased.


When docked:
• Check the amount of grease in the propeller hub. 
• If amount of grease is too small, more frequent intervals between refilling are recommended. We recommend filling up the propeller hub and shaft bore with grease from outside. 
• Air driven pumps are recommended for this job.
• Start by turning propeller shaft, so that you have one hole underneath propeller hub and 2 holes on top. 
• Remove the 2 ventilation plugs A and B on top, and C inside on the rim of propeller flange. 
• Start filling until grease comes out from first ventilation hole A and plug it. 
• Start filling again until the grease comes out from second ventilation hole B, and finally fill the grease until it comes grease out from ventilation hole C, inside the vessel.
• Reinsert the last ventilation plug.
• Pump in a bit more until there is a little resistance to insure the systems is fully greased.
•  It is important that the grease is tempered to have a good filling and to avoid high pressures. 



Remarks: Plugs on the outside are out of stainless steel. Do not mix these with plugs from inside/engine room. 


Precautions: Go through procedure with crew, to ensure maintenance has been done properly. If greasing of propeller shaft cannot be done correctly from inside, then greasing from outside is recommended, in order to fill system. We also recommend ordering new shaft couplings to have in spare if needed for next demounting in case accidental greasing has occurred. After the air nipples are replaced, pump a few times until there is some resistance to insure the system is fully greased.