Water in Hydraulic Fluid

   #1  

EddieWalker

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May 26, 2003
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Tyler, Texas
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Several, all used and abused.
My 1998 Ford/New Holland 555E loader backoe has water in the hydraulic fluid. I first noticed that the idiot light for the hydraulic temperature light was on. I cleaned the radiator, but it wasn't very dirty, and that didn't fix the light issue. Then I replaced the filters and saw that the fluid was whitish in color.

My plan is to drain the fluid from the tank and open as many hoses as I can get to so I can get as much of it to drain out as I can. This is going to be a huge mess and a pain in the rear. What I haven't figured out is how to get to the rest of the fluid. Blow air into the lines and maybe force out as much as I can that way might help. Any other ideas?

Then there is the big question of where the water came from? To my knowledge, water and hydraulic oil do not share anything in common like the engine oil and radiator water share neighboring spaces in the block, so I'm also hoping for insight, or just random guesses on your thoughts that might lead me to the source of the water.

I realize that there is no way for any of you to know how many times that I will have to drain and install fresh hydraulic oil, but is there a point that the amount of water in the oil will go away on it's own during operating temperatures? This has money pit written all over it, but whatever it costs in fluid, it will be cheaper then a hydraulic pump rebuild.

Thanks,
Eddie
 
   #2  

Shaneard

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N.C.
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1993 Ford 4630, 1972 IH 140, 1970 IH 140, 1975 IH Cub, 1949 John Deere A
Does your tractor sit out in the rain at times? There has to be a breather for the system somewhere and that could be where it got in. My dad had that happen on one of his once. I would guess at least 2-3 oil changes should get most of it and using it getting it hot will get rid of some of it as well. You may never get it all out.
 
   #3  

Wood_Butcher_Dav

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Apr 27, 2002
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310
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Illinois, Macoupin County
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Kubota BX2200
I had an issue at my work once that had gotten moisture in the hydraulic test stand that we use. Changed the fluid once (100 gallons) and filters many times. The filters that we got had beads in them that would absorb moisture. It does not take much water to make the oil turn white or milky. This unit was in storage for a few years before being brought back in service, it is thought that the build up of moisture was from the vents and condensation over time with non use, no heat cycles to drive out moisture.

Dave
 
   #4  

RNeumann

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Aug 29, 2016
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North Idaho
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Mahindra 1538
As stated above it’s most likely a breather or something like that into the reservoir- not from coolant.

As far as getting “all” the fluid. Don’t try. It near impossible and takes more effort than it’s worth. Shot your drain intervals the next few times and call it good.
 
   #5  

Cord

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Mar 21, 2005
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Richfield, Wi
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You can only get so much of the old fluid out. The rest will need to get flushed out. Buy the cheapest hydraulic fluid you can get because it値l take several flushings. Oil temps will be important to boiling the water out.
 
 
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