Hilliard clutch lubrication - what is a "lightweight oil"?

I finally read the Hilliard installation instructions and it says “We recommend a light weight oil. Do NOT use grease”. Oops. I’ve been using red grease until now.

So, what is a “light weight oil”? Does 0w20 motor oil count? Tri-flow (but it contains teflon which they don’t recommend)? Canola oil? “3-in-one” oil? Something else?

Ideally something I can easily find at Amazon / Home Depot / etc.

Anytime something calls for “lightweight oil”, my go to is air tool oil. I could be wrong, but its worked so far.

Whatever engine oil you use.

I use L&T clutch oil because I have a pint I bought 20 years ago that is still 3/4 full.

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I would guess any mineral/fossil oil would work but do not use vegetable. I like the air tool oil idea if you have it.

Are they talking about on the needle bearing?

If so….:grimacing::grimacing::grimacing::grimacing: I’ve used grease for years with 0 issues. It’s when it runs out of grease that you have problems….

Instructions reference the “bushing” which I presume is adjacent to the bearing so I’d assume the same applies to both?

I agree I’ve had zero issues using grease, but instructions explicitly call out not to do that. Oddly, the Hilliard Fire clutch which uses a near identical bearing/bushing calls for high temp grease:

So, I have no idea.

Are you referring to a Hilliard with the needle bearing? Or bronze bushing?

Hilliard Flame. I guess my question applies to both the needle bearing (cylinder with pins) and the metal cylinder (bushing?) that encloses it.

Bronze bushing, definitely oil. My procedure for bronze bushings in my draggin skin clutches is polish the inside a bit with some fine grit sand paper, wipe clean, drop a few drops of air tool oil in the bushing, wipe it around with my finger, let it sit for an hour to soak in, then wipe it off and reassemble.

Needle bearings clean off any gunk, and lube with either grease or oil.

I use whatever gooey/slick shit I grab off the shelf.


Agree yeah I suspect the instructions weren’t updated on the Flame when they moved to the needle bearing, as flames used to only use the bronze bushing. In THAT case, using the wrong lubricant will cause issues, because the bushing is oil impregnated and can swell if cleaned with WD40 (never saw someone use true grease).

I use a product called “Super Lube” for the bearings and bushing and haven’t had any issues associated with heat or wear. It’s consistancy is somewhere between grease and a lubricant oil.