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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2003
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    772
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    Northern Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota B82004WD

    Default When to change hydraulic fluid?

    When I got my low hour used B8200, I changed all the fluids, front to back. In the ten years since, I have only added about 220 hours to the clock (now at about 660 hours). I change the engine oil once a year, never mind that I never have put on more than 50 hours. It lives in a closed barn, out of the weather. I am wondering if I should change the hydraulic fluid- it seems clean and clear, and the manual specs 400 hours, but it's been in there for almost 10 years now. This is a gear drive tractor, not HST. Opinions are sought!
    I am tending to think I should change it, because of time.

  2. #2
    Silver Member toxicjeeper's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    190
    Location
    N.B Canada
    Tractor
    LS 5020c

    Default

    i would change it if for kothing more than peace of mind..some hydrailic oils can be pricey but if your tractor just reqiirers a plain jane oil it shouldnt be that hard on the wallet

  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    6,522
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    If it isnt contaminated with water and is still clear as you described, there is really no reason to change it. The oil doesnt wear out, just the additives which I think are destroyed by heat and water but I could be wrong. As long as it looks new then it is doing its job and anti-oxidents are still at work.
    Back in the old days, tractors didnt even have filters and as long as the oil was clean, we never changed it (some folks wouldnt change it even when it was milky brown color which is bad idea)

    For your tractor it shouldnt break the bank to do an oil and filter change if you are worried about it. Lots of folks here will chime in now and chastise you for not changing it sooner I am sure, but truth of the matter is that it is still perfectly good oil IMO and you know what they say about opinions.
    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, 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 CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2012
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    334
    Location
    Winchester Ky
    Tractor
    Allis Chalmers ED 40

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    I agree with Gary. Good clean oil is good clean oil. It does not need to be replaced on any time frame, but rather by it's condition. The first 50 hr service and fluid change has some merit, due to the cleansing of cases, housings and internal componants. Many particles and metal filings will end up in the fluid during the first hours of use. After that, it's a judgement call. If you have questions about your fluid condition, take a few minutes and examine it. Let the tractor sit a day or two without being started. Place a CLEAN pan or bucket under each drain plug,(preferably white or light colored) remove each plug one at a time, let a cup or so of fluid drain from each(unless you're a master with drain plugs you'll get at least that much before you get the plug threaded back in). You want the plug fully removed for a second so the oil flows and the crud on the bottom flows with it. Once you get a sample from each compartment, take them out into sunlight and examine each one. A little gray matter is normal, maybe even some flakes. Any evidence of water or silvery colored fluid is another matter. If the oil has a metalic tint to it, maybe you should consider changing it. Remember the heavy stuff settles to the bottom, so the oil near the plugs will be the darkest. Compare what's in the pan to what you see on the dipstick. It can be a bit darker but should still be clean. Base your decision on what you find. If it all looks good, run it.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    67
    Location
    Mt Vernon ,KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX4700TLB

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    If your fluid looks clear and no moisture, just change the filters is the better thing to do, fluid is to costly to change if not needed its a waste.. good filtration is the best insurance for all tractors.. but only if the fluid is good, changing all fluids for the first 50 hrs is not worth it -other than engine oil.. engine oil is a whole different matter.

  6. #6
    ATP
    ATP is offline
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    Nov 2012
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    79
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    Land Between the Lakes
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038e

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry in Ky View Post
    I agree with Gary. Good clean oil is good clean oil. It does not need to be replaced on any time frame, but rather by it's condition. The first 50 hr service and fluid change has some merit, due to the cleansing of cases, housings and internal componants. Many particles and metal filings will end up in the fluid during the first hours of use. After that, it's a judgement call. If you have questions about your fluid condition, take a few minutes and examine it. Let the tractor sit a day or two without being started. Place a CLEAN pan or bucket under each drain plug,(preferably white or light colored) remove each plug one at a time, let a cup or so of fluid drain from each(unless you're a master with drain plugs you'll get at least that much before you get the plug threaded back in). You want the plug fully removed for a second so the oil flows and the crud on the bottom flows with it. Once you get a sample from each compartment, take them out into sunlight and examine each one. A little gray matter is normal, maybe even some flakes. Any evidence of water or silvery colored fluid is another matter. If the oil has a metalic tint to it, maybe you should consider changing it. Remember the heavy stuff settles to the bottom, so the oil near the plugs will be the darkest. Compare what's in the pan to what you see on the dipstick. It can be a bit darker but should still be clean. Base your decision on what you find. If it all looks good, run it.
    Very good written advice,,, thanks for the post


    John Deere 3038e
    Kentucky

  7. #7
    Bronze Member mkow1969's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    60
    Location
    Newfane, NY
    Tractor
    New Holland T1110

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    My opinion.... I can get a bucket of oil at napa for 60 bucks and the filters would cost less than 20 bucks. When I think about the money I have in my tractor and the cost of the oil change and peace of mind I have when I use it... I think it's worth changing it. My manual says to change the hyd oil every 300 hours. I like to monkey with it so I change all fluids every 100 hours. I'm guessing most of you may think I'm wasting my money but it's a hobby for me and gives me something to do on days when I'm looking to get dirty. I work on computers for a living so it's therapy for me. Not a technical answer for sure. Just my thoughts.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Northern CA

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    I like mkow1969's comment. Life is to be enjoyed and nobody (except the tree huggers) is being hurt by what he does.

    Anyway, ten years is a long time indeed even with little use. Maryland gets cold some winters so condensation may be happening although not enough to make the fluid milky.

    You could drain a cup and have a used oil analysis (UOA) done to see what's up inside. However, the money would be better spent on a new filter and new fluid. There have been advances over the years in oil additives and quality (like UDT vs. SUDT vs. synthetic) and you don't mention what brand of oil was used when you changed it. Recommendations would vary depending if the old oil was from Sam's Club or UDT from kubota.

    Given the use, or lack of, a high grade synthetic may last the life of your tractor and maybe even your life, too. If you decide to use dino oil it is advisable to get it from a tractor dealer. Kubota, New Holland, and Case market very good quality oil.
    2009 Kubota M7040, R1s, LA1153 FEL, fork lift, 3 rear remotes, T&T
    2002 Kubota L48 TLB, 12", 18", 24" HD buckets
    2001 Kubota BX2200, Turf, LA211 FEL
    7.5' Howse 3PT disc, 88" Gearmore 4G4 box scraper, 4' box scraper, Gearmore GB85 blade, LandPride RCR2596 cutter, 6', 4' flail mowers, 6', 4' rototiller, 4' Bush Hog cutter, HD subsoiler, Bearcat 70554 chipper, Bush Hog PHD w/ 12", 6" augers, Ford 101 3-bottom plow, 8' land leveler, 6' rake, lots of misc.

  9. #9
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    Last time I was at the kubota dealer, I pinned the shop manager down and asked if the Kubota UDT was any better than universal hydraulic oil that meets the UDT spec and the answer was no, just cost twice as much and once tractor is out of warranty, use whatever you want and it will do just a well as the Kubota oil, just didnt recommend to mix them. Drain the Kubota oil and replace with universal and live happily ever after. The dealer (Timberline) didnt even carry SUDT as he claimed for Arkansas temps. it isnt needed; only northern latitudes need it where it gets below 0 F.
    I purchases several gallons of UDT for make up oil for filter changes on the B26 and complete fluid change on the RTV 900 and needed it since removing the hydro filter opens the reservoir to drain. This is the last time they will see UDT oil as when oil CHANGE time comes again, it will be Universal Hydraulic fluid which is half the cost or less. Atwoods sells a couple of brands of Hydraulic oil for $39 for 5 gallons that (according to the label) meets Case, IH, NH, Kubota, Caterpillar and many other requirements for hydraulic oils that share common reservoirs for hydraulic, transmission & brakes. My LS dealer also recommended using that for replacing the oil in the LS when I bought the tractor.
    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, 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 CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  10. #10
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: When to change hydraulic fluid?

    I remember from the 60's and 70s that IH tractors required Hy-Tran fluid and it was red in color, JD had their own fluid (cant recall what they called it) but it was green, Fords was clear but if you had different brand tractors it all go mixed when swapping remote cylinder operated equipment and no one ever had any issue with hydraulic pumps or brakes.
    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, 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 CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

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