Snapper Comet mowers were produced for many years and they are such durable machines that people keep them running by performing basic maintenance while new low-priced mowers typically become salvage-yard candidates within 10 years.
Naturally we expect most parts to be model-specific, but some items like fuel, oil, grease, tires, blades and engines, should interchange. I don't believe that Snapper is producing oils or greases. It does not surprise me that they market those products under their own brand name. I found it disconcerting to learn that grease specified by Snapper for use in their Comet model differentials is being marketed as "Snapper 00 Grease" without standard interchange standards committee compliance specification!
Worse, they refuse to tell Snapper Comet customers what that stuff is.
Instead, they insist on hiding that interchange information and demanding that Comet owners buy their rebadged product.
I may have a 5-gallon bucket of some perfectly suitable replacement grease in my shop. Yet I can't be certain if what I already bought is a suitable substitute without that interchange information.
"Thank you for e-mailing Snapper. This grease is specially formulated for Snapper and we do not have a substitute. The Snapper part number for the four ounce tube is 7029443 and the part number for the 32 ounce bottle is 7061017. We have a Dealer that sells on line and you may be able to order this through them, their web site is www.alamia.com
Talk about self-serving statements!
Buying grease in 4 ounce or even 32 ounce containers is priced higher per ounce than 5-gallon bucket prices through standard trade vendors. I also assure you that this cat and mouse game, intended to wring out a few extra nickels from captive customers, is highly offensive to me and to other Snapper product owners. It would also require one more trip to a dealer that might not be needed if they released the standard interchange specification information.
Does anyone know what the heck interchange specifications correctly describe this secret formula "Snapper 00 Grease" which has been marketed for at least 50 years already?
I KNOW from experience that swapping in the wrong grease into some limited-slip differentials quickly clauses them to chatter as they slip then bite during cornering. I want to run suitable grease in my Comet's differential. But I also hate being so obviously abused. I refuse to reward that kind behavior. Help - spill the beans.
Greetings John !
First off let's take a look at what grease is.
Grease is 70% to 80% base oil + 1% to 10% Additives + 8% to 12% thickeners.
Grease thickeners are:
1 soap based organic ( lithium complex, and aluminum complex )
2 non soap based organic ( Polyurea)
3 Inorganic ( Clays and Silicas)
The ammount of thickener added determines the thickness of the grease.
There are 9 NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) Grades, they are:
NLGI # 000 very soft, semi fluid
NLGI # 00 very soft, semi fluid
NLGI # 0 very soft, will not flow
NLGI # 1 soft , couplings
NLGI # 2 The most commonly used grease for automotive type use, wheel bearings, universal joints.
NLGI # 3 Very stiff, high speed bearings
NLGI # 4 Extremely stiff
NLGI # 5 Nearly solid
NLGI # 6 Solid brick , used for lubricating drag line cables
Lithium based grease is the most common and widely used thickener.
Polyurea is frequently used in sealed for life bearings and electric motor bearings.
Clay and silica thickeners are used more for industrial and special applications such as nuclear power plants, and extreme temperature applications such as steel plants.
When changing greases compatibility must be taken into consideration, mixing greases that use different thickeners is asking for trouble.
Polyurea thickeners are only compatible with polyurea thickeners, do not mix polyurea with greases containing a different type thickeners, the reaction from incompatible grease thickeners produces fluid seperation, the item being lubricated is left with the leftovers of the reaction which will lead to component failure.
Sodium thickeners are only compatible with sodium thickeners.
Lithium thickeners are the most common thickeners most of us use on our auto, heavy equipment, lawn mower type applications. Lithium complex is compatible with other lithium type thickeners as well as most calcium type thickeners.
The snapper grease you refer to is a NLGI # 00 semi fluid grease, no one has made mention of the type of thickener used in the snapper grease. It may very well be a lithium type thickener, but without the manufacturer specifications I would be guessing.
There is a saying to remember when changing greases, when in doubt flush it out. If you would like to change to Amsoil 00 grease, or another brand, be sure to flush out the housing to remove old grease before adding the new.
Another thing to consider is what components are in the gearbox, if it contains no yellow brass or soft copper, you could use Amsoil SAE 190 GL-5 Severe gear synthetic lube, as it is the same viscosity as the NLGI #00 semi fluid grease. If the gearbox uses these soft metals the Sulfur based EP additives in the GL-5 gear oils will corrode yellow brass and soft copper.
Many companies play the scare the customer back to us lubricant "Game" with their customers, the more you know about lubrication, the less often you end up a victim of their "Game".
Hope this helps !
Have a great day !