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  1. #1
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    I got a email today asking about using TRC's oil in a Power Trac and what motor oil I would suggest. Motor oil in the hydraulic system I thought? Why would you use a 10W/40 motor oil in a hydraulic system instead of hydraulic oil or a UTF. So I called and spoke with the TRC lubricant engineers and then Power Trac and spoke with their design engineers.

    The reason I got from Mike Laney (engineer) at Power Trac was that the main reason is that 10W/40 motor oil is easier to find locally for some people and cheaper. I explained that engine oils are formulated to deal with combustion byproducts and gases, something that is not encountered in a hydraulic system and doesn't have additives that should be in a hydraulic system. I also explained that hydraulic oils and UTF's offer superior protection to hydraulic pumps by preventing pump cavitation, offering thermal and oxidation stablity and a far superior anti foam additive package to name a few differences.

    The main reason I called them was to see if they would suggest TRC's UTF Red for use in their hydraulic systems. It is equivelant to a 10W/30 SAE oil and the additive package would be far superior for the hydraulic system compared to engine oil.

    I got this email response from Mike a little while ago.

    "I talk to the head engineer and I was told that UTF Red is a great product
    that will work well in the Power Trac equipment and have already had a few
    of our customers use it.

    Thanks
    Mike"

    So what's this mean for Power Trac owners. Well in a nut shell they use 10W/40 motor oil because of avability and price. If you however want better protection for your hydraulic system you might think about changing to a 10W/30 equivelant UTF fluid.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
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    Arnold, MD
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    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower
    Well in a nut shell they use 10W/40 motor oil because of avability and price. If you however want better protection for your hydraulic system you might think about changing to a 10W/30 equivelant UTF fluid.
    I got the same word regarding Amsoil Tractor Hydraulic Fluid. Power Trac advised that the machine will love it. I haven't tried it yet but did buy it.

    John Coxon is using hydraulic fluid, right Sedgewood?

  3. #3
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    I think any hydraulic oil or UTF would be a step up from engine oil. I was rather stunned that they used engine oil.

  4. #4
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Powhatan Va.
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    2000 Power Trac 422

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower
    I got a email today asking about using TRC's oil in a Power Trac and what motor oil I would suggest. Motor oil in the hydraulic system I thought? Why would you use a 10W/40 motor oil in a hydraulic system instead of hydraulic oil or a UTF. So I called and spoke with the TRC lubricant engineers and then Power Trac and spoke with their design engineers.

    The reason I got from Mike Laney (engineer) at Power Trac was that the main reason is that 10W/40 motor oil is easier to find locally for some people and cheaper. I explained that engine oils are formulated to deal with combustion byproducts and gases, something that is not encountered in a hydraulic system and doesn't have additives that should be in a hydraulic system. I also explained that hydraulic oils and UTF's offer superior protection to hydraulic pumps by preventing pump cavitation, offering thermal and oxidation stablity and a far superior anti foam additive package to name a few differences.

    The main reason I called them was to see if they would suggest TRC's UTF Red for use in their hydraulic systems. It is equivelant to a 10W/30 SAE oil and the additive package would be far superior for the hydraulic system compared to engine oil.

    I got this email response from Mike a little while ago.

    "I talk to the head engineer and I was told that UTF Red is a great product
    that will work well in the Power Trac equipment and have already had a few
    of our customers use it.

    Thanks
    Mike"

    So what's this mean for Power Trac owners. Well in a nut shell they use 10W/40 motor oil because of avability and price. If you however want better protection for your hydraulic system you might think about changing to a 10W/30 equivelant UTF fluid.
    I am using Mobil 1 20W50 (synthetic) oil. Is this better than a hydraulic fluid, worse, or about the same?
    Bob Rip
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    Let me fail and I will understand.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Columbia Co, Eastern NY
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    PT-1845

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_Iliff
    I got the same word regarding Amsoil Tractor Hydraulic Fluid. Power Trac advised that the machine will love it. I haven't tried it yet but did buy it.

    John Coxon is using hydraulic fluid, right Sedgewood?
    Right, kubota AW ISO VG 46 hydraulic oil. I find I lose a tad more torque when it's hot than I would prefer but otherwise it seems to work fine. It's been in there about 700 hours now. If I were to change the oil again I would look for something a bit heavier. I got no word from Power-Trac ;-)

    Sedgewood

  6. #6
    Super Member woodlandfarms's Avatar
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    PowerTrac 1850

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Sorry if this is stupid.. What is does UTF stand for? Also intrigued on using Synthetic... Kaching on the price of it, though...

  7. #7
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    JACKSONVILLE, FL
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    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_Iliff
    I got the same word regarding Amsoil Tractor Hydraulic Fluid. Power Trac advised that the machine will love it. I haven't tried it yet but did buy it.

    John Coxon is using hydraulic fluid, right Sedgewood?
    It probably would be better, but the cost is about 4 times as motor oil. The question should be, is it 4 times better?

    I have noticed that some of the larger hydraulic machines such as road graders, and front loaders also use motor oils in their systems.

    20 gal of synthetic= $480.00, maybe less in bulk.
    J.J.

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    Git er done.

  8. #8
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    Quote Originally Posted by woodlandfarms
    Sorry if this is stupid.. What is does UTF stand for? Also intrigued on using Synthetic... Kaching on the price of it, though...
    UTF stands for Universal Tractor Fluid and is the lubricating oil used in most tractors. It is designed to be used not only as a hydraulic oil but in common sump systems it also lubricates the driveline gears (transmission/rear), wet clutch and wet brake systems.

    Sedgewood - I would have to agree that a ISO 46 hydraulic oil is probably a little on the thin side, especially when hot. A 10W/40 motor oil would act like a ISO 32 when cold and like a ISO 150 when hot. That's why I would suggest a UTF. UTF oils from most manufacturers are a multi-viscosity oil so would give better performance over a large temperature range while maintaining it's viscosity.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Barryh's Avatar
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    Former owner of a P T -180 / Kubota BX-1500 .. A Craftsman Yard Tractor / John Deere 140 H-1 / Cub Cadet 108. And now ( Little Red ) a Power Trac 1425

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    >>> it also lubricates the driveline gears (transmission/rear), wet clutch and wet brake systems. <<<

    Some, of which do not really apply to the Power Trac, I believe our tractors are mostly hydraulically pump driven.

    Although, I'm sure there would be some benefit over dino,

    I'm not sure how much better it would be over a good synthetic oil. Which will be my next move.
    Barry
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  10. #10
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Motor Oil as the Hydraulic Oil in Power Trac

    See, this is why I enjoy TBN so much. Good discussion and help from knowledgable folks. I'm glad the little squirrel brought it up.

    With that said, I have a ton of questions, so please bear with me... Thanks in advance!

    I've had the same oil in the reservior for 5 years now... about 250 hours of operation. It still looks clear and clean. I would like to change it out, just because of the years, not so much the hours.

    I believe there is currently 10W40 in there now. Cold weather starting is not a problem but I would like it to act thinner, so would a 5W or 0W be acceptable?

    Hot weather performance hasn't been a problem, either, but I would like it to have a bit more oomph on those rare 95 degree days, so would a W50 be accptable?

    If I put in a 0W50 or 5W50 synthetic motor oil what should I expect VS the 10W40 that is currently in there?

    Do we really need the additives that real hydraulic fliud offers when synthetic motor oil is so slippery, anyway?

    Has anyone had cavitation problems on a PT and how would we know if we did?

    Has anyone had a foaming problem on a PT? I've looked in the hydraulic reservoir many times and never saw anything but clean oil. No foam ever. Whould I ever see it in the reservoir or does it occur inside the components of the system?

    If I decide to go with 5W50 or 0W50, what hydraulic fluid would give similar characteristics?

    What is the cost comparrison of synthetic motor oil at 5 bucks a quart ($200 dollars for a fluid change on my 10 gal. system) VS the cost of a hydralic fluid that will be comparrable?

    Is the cost savings/increase on fluid every few years really that important when amortized out over the life of the tractor and the possible bennefits of making the components last longer?

    Finnally, what do the commercial operators of Power Tracs like Hans and Blackwell run in their systems? Have they seen any problems with motor oil used as hydraulic fluid or have they switched to "real" hydraulic fluid?
    MossRoad

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