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  1. #1
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    David Brown 990. Ford 4500, John Deere STX38

    Default Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Hi all

    I've had a look through the articles here but couldn't see anything specific to my question - apologies if it has already been asked and answered.

    I have a Ford 4500 Tractor-Loader-Backhoe. I'm running a Universal fluid ("ISO 46") in the main hydraulic system (manual states it should be Ford M2C48-A), but need to top up the transmission fluid (manual states should be Ford M2C41). The machine has a 'power-reversing' transmission and I have no idea what is in it at the moment.

    Two questions:-

    1) Is it okay to use the universal fluid in the transmission as well (I have no idea how 'ISO' grades relate to manufacturer specific numbers)
    2) If yes, can I just top up the existing unknown fluid with it, or could they react together if not the same type and cause issues?

    Machine is used only lightly and irregularly on a farm if that makes any difference.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    I don't think you would have a problem with mixing hydraulic fluids. Depending on the temperature you could be running ISO 32 or for higher temps use ISO 46. Higher number the thicker the oil is for ISO number. I think ISO 46 is like a 30W oil and ISO 32 is like 10W or 20W. Info on this is available by searching the net.
    Most hydraulics use a common sump for transmission and hydraulics, but it sounds like yours have separate sumps for each. One of them is likely a thicker oil but I am not familiar with Ford/New Holland spec numbers. Again, the internet is your friend and specs on these two oils are likely available online.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  3. #3
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    David Brown 990. Ford 4500, John Deere STX38

    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Thanks Gary. Yes it does have separate sumps for the working hydraulics and the transmission, my experience before getting this machine was with standard tractors with common sumps so never had to decide whether I could mix oils before. From what you have said, and from other information online, it looks like I am okay to go with the ISO 46 fluid I have. I wanted to save the expense of purchasing a different drum of another grade but not at the expense of damaging the machine. For the temperature range I should be operating in the graphs of iso46 compared to iso32 are not that different.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    I WOULD NOT be putting any ISO plain hyd oils into the trans / rear end on that machine.

    In fact. I'd have a utf meeting m2c134 spec in ALL sumps other than the engine. Ford specs that for hyds, tranny, rear ends, final drives, gear reduction, power steering..e tc.. )
    souNdguy

    sent from my NOKIA LUMIA

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Hi Soundguy,
    I appreciate your advice, can you tell me why not though? What makes "ISO plain hyd oil" different from a Ford spec one? Is it just viscosity, or extra additives...???

    I don't know a lot about fluid specs (as you can probably tell)

    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Quote Originally Posted by loopman View Post
    Hi Soundguy,
    I appreciate your advice, can you tell me why not though? What makes "ISO plain hyd oil" different from a Ford spec one? Is it just viscosity, or extra additives...???

    I don't know a lot about fluid specs (as you can probably tell)

    Cheers.
    I think what Soundguy was saying is that the hydraulic oils are ok to mix but don't use them in the transmission and rear end. They are different oils so get a separate oil for the transmission that meets the New Holland spec. I don't think you can find one oil that meets all of your requirements, but then again anything is possible I suppose.
    Again I am not familiar with Ford or NH specs, but Soundguy has a lot of Fords and likely knows the brand name of oils that will work for you without going to the high dollar NH dealer oil. My little dealing with small Fords was over 50 years ago but it seems to me that the rear end and transmission oil would be a much thicker oil than hydraulic oil usually in the 80W to 90W range
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Ditto what soundguy said.

    The 4500 does indeed have a separate sump for the hydraulics, that only operate the loader and backhoe. My 5500 is the same way. I dont have a bit of problems putting in a plane ISO 46 (DTE25) oil in there. All it is, is a pump, valve, and cylinder. Thats what plain hydraulic fluid is for.

    But the trans and rear end have bearings and gears to lube. And those gears see extreme shear forces and loads. Plain hydraulic oil was not designed to lube bearings and gears properly. You need a universal hydraulic/transmission oil for the rear and trans. It works well with gears and bearings but can also be used for the main hydraulics for those tractors that pull oil from the trans for the loader and backhoe.

    So short answer, IMO, plain ISO46 is fine for the loader and BH. But not fine for the trans and rear end, as the universal transmission fluid has other additives to properly lube the gears and bearings
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  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    many times.. when dealing withthat much oil..it's just as cheap to get a drum of utf for ALL sumps.. vs getting pails of plain hyd oil and then pails of utf..
    souNdguy

    sent from my NOKIA LUMIA

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Thanks for the advice, I shall see what I can get from the local suppliers and will avoid plain hydraulic oil as you all suggest. Seeing the machine had seen better days when I bought it, it might be cheap insurance to drop the transmission oil out and refill with the correct specs.
    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mix hydraulic fluids ?

    Since you know what your specs call for, it is a simple matter of looking on the cans for what manufacturer specs the oil meets. There are lots of Universal Hydraulic /Transmission oils available. You just need to find one that lists both specs that you need. I use Triple S Premium universal hydraulic / Transmission oil in my tractors, BUT they all have common sumps for both oils.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

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