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What fluid to use?

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#1 Enginerd OFFLINE  



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Posted August 25, 2011 - 09:52 PM

I realize this is a probably a question without an answer, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

I have an older Ariens GT17 with a home made loader. A few months ago the 3 jaw coupler between the front PTO and the hydraulic pump failed. It was way undersized, so I bought a U-joint that will hold up better. I had to remount the pump and I lost some of the red fluid in the process. After getting the pump back on and testing it last night, I broke the eye off the end of the hydraulic ram that tilts the bucket:wallbanging:. I just got it back from the welder and reinstalled it today. I tested it in the garage without any weight in the bucket, and it's working well so far.

I know, this is a long way to go to get to my question. I lost roughly a quart of fluid in the process of removing and re-installing bits and pieces. There is a reservoir on the tractor that probably holds a little over two gallons. I think I should probably top it off, but I'm wondering what to top it off with. The hydraulic fluid is red. Should I use ATF? If so, which one? I also have some hydraulic fluid of unknown origin in a 5 gallon pail that came with a scissor lift I bought from friend of mine. Is there any rule of thumb as to what is most often used in this kind of application, and if not, do you think I run any risks topping it off with a fluid that is probably not what is already in the reservoir?

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#2 olcowhand OFFLINE  


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Posted August 26, 2011 - 08:17 PM

If it's ATF, I would add Dexron III, as it works with almost every auto trans, so is pretty flexible in it's application. Some hydraulic fluids are red also. Blending ATF & hydraulic fluid shouldn't be a problem here. I have blended ATF & motor oils in hydrostatic transmissions & never had a problem.

#3 donjdlx OFFLINE  


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Posted August 28, 2011 - 06:49 PM

If I recall correctly, that Ariens tractor has the same hydro/transaxle that Deere used in the 140, 300, 317, etc. (Sundstrand hydro, Dana axle). If so, when those GTs were new, they used Type F ATF. That was then superseded by John Deere Low Viscosity Hygard which replaces all the Type F now and is backwards compatible. So, it would seem reasonable to use in the loader hydraulics the same that is in your hydro. I agree that blending the different oils is ok, however it would be best to keep common oil in both systems if you can. The reason I mention the JD oil is that that is an excellent choice if you are apt to change oil in those systems.

#4 Enginerd OFFLINE  



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Posted August 29, 2011 - 12:45 PM

Thanks for the replies. Oddly, the hydro unit calls for 10W30, so I'm sure the hydro and the loader are using something different. Glad to hear the Dextron is somewhat universal. I'll top it off, and if something breaks it needed fixin' anyway. :D

#5 Guest_jdecker94_*

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 05:21 PM

i use hygard in my sunstrand 15, now i can break the tires loose at idle, amazing amazing fluid.