Grease that Meets OEM Specs vs. Grease that Suits Your Equipment’s Needs

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August 29, 2018
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August 29, 2018

One of the most common grease specifications for off-road equipment is 3% or 5% Moly. Caterpillar lubrication specifications 5130 (7TJ & 5ZL), 5230 (7LL) and 994 (9YF) all call for 3% or 5% Moly grease. Many off-road equipment manufacturers have followed suit. The intention of these specifications was to supply equipment with a boundary type lubricant when pressures exceed the limits of the base oil viscosity. Many lubricant manufacturers have formulated grease that contains 3% or 5% Moly but have not addressed the maximum Extreme Pressure performance needed in these applications. Bel-Ray Performance Lubricants exceed the maximum Extreme Pressure requirements.

Extreme Pressure (EP) performance is tested by the 4-Ball EP Test, ASTM D2596. Lubricant is first placed between the 4 balls. The top bearing rotates while increased pressure “load” is applied to the bottom bearings. When the lubricant fails, the balls weld together. Generally, for a grease to be considered an EP it needs to have at least a 4-Ball EP Test performance of 200 kg or more. According to ASTM the maximum Extreme Pressure load is 800 kg.


There are several greases that meet the 5% Moly standard but how do they compare on the ASTM EP Test? Some lubricant manufacturers only score a 250 kg on the 4-Ball EP Test, and this is with 5% Moly. It is very common to see major oil company’s 3% and 5% Moly grease that have between a 300 kg and 500 kg rating on the 4-Ball EP Test. In the mining industry this level of Extreme Pressure performance may not keep your equipment safe from the rigors of day- to- day life at a mine. Even Caterpillar Desert Gold Grease only has a 4-Ball weld load of 620 kg. Bel-Ray produces two high performance greases that have 5% Moly; Bel-Ray Molylube 5% Moly Extreme Pressure Grease AC and Bel-Ray Molylube 5% Moly Extreme Pressure Grease LC.

The AC stands for aluminum complex, the LC for lithium complex. Both greases have Extreme Pressure properties and 5% Moly as required by many off-highway equipment manufacturers. The inherent properties of these thickeners and the proprietary chemical system utilized by Bel-Ray yield grease with exceptional mechanical and thermal stability, excellent anti-wear and Extreme Pressure properties, unsurpassed rust and corrosion protection and resistance to water.

Both of these exceptional greases boast a >800 kg load on the 4-ball test. Any 4-Ball weld value <800 kg means the grease failed during the test, whether at 250 kg or at 620 kg. Both Bel-Ray’s 5% Moly greases finished the test without welding.

What kind of test are you putting your grease through? What are the repercussions of your grease failing and your equipment components welding together?

The 5% Moly OEM spec may satisfy your warranty, but what about when the warranty is over? How long will your equipment last using substandard grease that has 5% Moly but does not have the load carrying capabilities that you need? Bel-Ray has designed these greases not only to satisfy the OEM standards but also to keep your equipment running strong well after the warranty has expired.

What grease will satisfy your OEM specifications and keep your equipment running stronger and longer? What are your OEM specifications that need to be met?

For help answering these questions and more, contact your local Bel-Ray Representative.