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Type A Transmission Fluid For My Hydro- Can I Use Dexron-mercon Iii?


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#1 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2013 - 11:03 PM

I happened to have 2 bottles of Dextron-Mercon III on the shelves- can I mix it with the Type A that is already in it??

 

Just hate to see it go to waste, but dont want to mess up my transmission. this is on my Bush Hog HD-12


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#2 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2013 - 11:35 PM

That is a tough one Scott. I know you can use any of the Dextrons to replace the type A. As Dextron is what came after "A". All of the Dextrons are just a better quality (more additives and such) than "A". But It has never been recommended to mix A and the later Dextrons.

 

I guess there is the possibility they will not mix well? But I have never tried it so I do not know. If it was me, I would just drain the "A" and replace it with Dextron.

 

My other guess would be that Daniel will prob know better than any of us :D


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#3 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 02:12 AM

I would think its probably ok. The think real issue with mixing the 2 is due to clutches. The hydro doesn't have any clutches. I know that's one of the differences between type A and type F. Type F was slicker, and may cause clutches to slip.

When I was working at the rocky quarry, we had a lot of Allison transmissions. Thy called for C4 oil, we changed them it out with 10 Wt motor oil. The biggest concern was if the clutches could handle it without slipping.
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#4 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 06:11 AM

Won't hurt a thing.


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#5 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 07:10 AM

I don't think you would have a problem mixing in a quart. The biggest issue is that the type A and original Dexron was a 20 wt oil. The Dex 3 is a 5 wt oil. I've read complaints that the new thinner fluid is causing lube problems in the old automatics. You might run into problems if you did a total fill with the Dex 3. The dollar stores around here have type A.


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#6 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 08:54 AM

Mixed it myself, and in a JBI.   NO problems at all.  Type F is called for in my JD F935, and I've mixed Dexron in it as well.  No problems at all.  All hydro's are basically the same except for the Eatons which use balls instead of pistons.  All the piston types can use Dexron.  I have some technical facts pages somewhere to back it up, but not sure where I filed them.  


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#7 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 09:07 AM

I have done it in my JD 318. I had no idea what was in it when I bought it? My brother who has ran JD's for over 30 yrs said add Dexron. And I have put enough hours on it(sometimes 6 hrs without stopping till it needed fuel) if there were a problem it surely would have shown up by now.


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#8 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 10:28 AM

Good hate to waste good money!! Thanks for all the input!


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#9 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 10:36 AM

I certainly wouldn't have any problems adding the Dexron to the type A.

Although.... I still find it hard to believe that they used to spec ATF in these shared hydraulic and axle systems.  ATF has hardly any anti-wear additives.  It works great as a hydraulic fluid but not so great at protecting the gears.  A universal tractor fluid tends to be spec'ed in all newer tractors and is the way I go in all my hydros. 


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#10 larryd OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 11:05 AM

Great imformation

 

larryd



#11 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 11:14 AM

 ATF has hardly any anti-wear additives.  It works great as a hydraulic fluid but not so great at protecting the gears. 

I don't think I'd agree with that statement. If it were true, we wouldn't see automatic transmissions going for hundreds of thousand miles without killing the gear sets. They even spec ATF in the modern standard transmissions. I think the weight of the oil is probably most critical. The newer units use more bearings instead of bushings and washers which is fine with thinner fluids. The electric solenoids don't like thick fluids. I believe the hytrans fluid is a 20 wt. and don't think it would hurt a hydro but never had any personal experience with it.


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#12 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 11:19 AM

 I believe the hytrans fluid is a 20 wt. and don't think it would hurt a hydro but never had any personal experience with it.

 

Actually, I have seen in some MF14/16 manuals which specify using heavy duty 30wt motor oil for hard service in warm/hot climates.  I have used it myself with great results.  Actually helps a lot in worn hydro units.


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#13 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 01:53 PM

At the rock quarry we had a drill that used ATF in the hydrostatic system.
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#14 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 05:06 PM

I don't think I'd agree with that statement. If it were true, we wouldn't see automatic transmissions going for hundreds of thousand miles without killing the gear sets. They even spec ATF in the modern standard transmissions. I think the weight of the oil is probably most critical. The newer units use more bearings instead of bushings and washers which is fine with thinner fluids. The electric solenoids don't like thick fluids. I believe the hytrans fluid is a 20 wt. and don't think it would hurt a hydro but never had any personal experience with it.

 

I'm just repeating what I've learned from bobistheoilguy.com.  There are several tribologists that contribute on the forums there and one specializes in transmissions.  They've all mentioned repeatedly and oil analysis shows that ATFs have little to no wear additives.  The transmission lube engineer over there is always going on about how ATF is a poor choice for manual transmissions and that manufacturers are only spec'ing it to simplify production line requirements.  More and more manufacturers are shifting there spec'ed fluid to dedicated manual transmission lubes.  The manual tranny in one of my cars spec's ATF(according to the vehicle manufacturer) and there have been some durability issues.  The company that actually produces the tranny recommends a manual transmission fluid.

 

Of course, all that doesn't really matter.  As you mentioned, ATF ultimately does get the job done. :thumbs:  It actually just goes to show how easy straight cut gears are on lubricating fluids.  The lack of anti-wear additives isn't really a factor as the oil itself is enough to minimize wear.  And really, with the low speeds most GTs see, ATF is fine but some GTs do have helical gears and I wouldn't want to use ATF in them.

 

Even though ATF works OK in GTs, I still say universal tractor fluids are better. :D

 

 

For reference, the earlier ATFs such as Dexron 3 had a max viscosity of 7.5cst @100°C and current Dexron 6 is 6.4cst so a bit thinner but both fall within the 20 weight range of 5.60-9.29cst.  John Deere normal Hy-Gard © is 9.4cst and Low Viscosity Hy-Gard (D) is 7.1cst.  I think International also has a normal and low viscosity fluid which are similar weights.  Ideally, if your transmission was spec'ed for ATF you would want to use a low viscosity tractor fluid but all the fluids mentioned are very close in real world viscosity (all in the 20 weight range except for the normal Hy-Gard.)  The only time you might notice any difference would be initial slow hydraulic function at very low temps if using a normal tractor fluid in an ATF spec'ed hydro unit.  I have a normal UTF (9.32cst) in my Troy-Bilt GTX and the hydro deck lift and power steering take a minute to warm up when it's below freezing.


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#15 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2013 - 05:09 PM

Yes, whenever I've used motor oil, and I've also used hytran oil at times, they seem to do better in cooler temps if you allow a couple minutes for everything to spin a bit.  It's better for the engine to be given this warm up time in cool weather too really.


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