1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by FTGUprprtyMaint, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    i have a western pro and the fluid in the pump is a little low, and needs to be slightly topped off. The fluid in it now is red. Looks a lot like tranny fluid. Is it going to hurt the pump if the two fluids are different?
  2. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    If it is a belt driven pump then use atf. If it is a electric/hydraulic pump then use plow pump fluid.
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,908

    ATF is o.k. to use in a pinch.....

    .Atf has paraffin it it.
    At low temps the wax will clog your filter and make your plow sluggish and it will draw more amps.

    Your plow does not need any friction modifiers or detergents that atf has in it..

    Use a good hydraulic fluid with an AW rating like the blue stuff, Boss meyers and a few others make a quality fluid too..

    Yes I too have used atf and it will work o.k but a good quality hydraulic fluid is the best.

    Is your plow an automatic transmission? so why use atf..

    transmission fluid is warmed/cooled, tempered by the cooler that is inside your radiator,your plows fluid is not..

    and yes in cold weather your tranys that still use atf will be sluggish and whine until it is warmed up.
    Plus the filter in your tranny is many times larger than your filter for your plow.
    Your tranny generates heat.
    your plow pump does not., well not much anyway..

    Do your self a favor and skip the atf...

    Ps It does not matter if your pump is belt driven, driven by an electric motor or pto.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  4. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    when i was at the store i grabbed a bottle of both the blue stuff and atf, should i drain the red stuff out of my pump before filling with the blue or is it ok to mix them?
  5. Fordistough

    Fordistough Senior Member
    from USA
    Messages: 394

    You should drain the pump and push the plow side to side to drain the angle cylinders, then refill with the Hyd. Fluid
  6. doh

    doh Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I have always used Dextron in my Western, and it is currently -27 F here (not that I am plowing, but it still raises and lowers fine.
  7. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

  8. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Ok this is coming from a guy who has put over 150 westerns plows together and worked on hundreds more westerns at thier winter day job. The SOP at the western dealer I work for. All UNIMOUNTS pumps get ATF, no matter what!!!!!!!. If the a ULTRAMOUNT, if its red, it gets red, if its blue it gets blue. Mixing the two are not a really good idea.

    The ATF is just fine as a plow fluid. Unless you constantly plow in the 10 degree and below temperatures. Then you want to do a complete system flush with the blue fluid, run for 5 minutes, flush again, then run for 5 mins and flush a 3rd time. The blue fluid, just happens to have anti icing agents in it. I have not seen any performance differences if you use blue or red. Unless its 10 or below out. There is probably a 90% chance there is a USE ATF sticker on your plow somewhere, all the early ultramounts said that.
  9. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,126

    :Dbut what would you know... your only a professional.
  10. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    Thank you. Now I've got to figure out why it moves so slow side to side, and my headlights dim.
  11. stc911

    stc911 Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 9

    INstructions needed

    Where can I find a procedure which explains what actions I need to do to flush my plow system. I have atf in and it's been less than 5 here for 2 weeks and the atf has either frozen or thickend up so bad the plow wont work at all. The motor runs but the fluid is to thick . I even pulled the drain plug and removed the fill plug and fluid will not drain. I stuck a piece of wire in the drain hole and it would not go inside. It appears that there may be some ice formed in the reservoir. We have had snow almost every other day for 2 weeks now and my drive is getting to deep.
  12. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    stc911 your issue is not due to ATF in your system. It sounds like water has gotten into your system. I have the same weather as you do and I am having absolutely no issues with ATF. In fact as itsgottobegreen said my Western pump has a factory sticker on that says to fill it with ATF. Negative 10* F is not too cold for ATF. IIRC the pour point for regular ATF is -40*F, synthetic blend ATF is -55*F and synthetic ATF is - 65*F. Different brands will have slight differences but this is just a rule of thumb.
    There have been many topics on flushing the system, I am sure if you did a search it would find several articles on it.
  13. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    At this point (frozen solid) you need to get it inside to warm it up. DO NOT use a torch on it.
    You can try wrapping it in a regular heating pad on high if you dont have access to a garage.
    But either way you have to warm it up to get the fluid out. And put some kind of water remover in it.
    I would try the heating pad if you dont have a garage. I have used one like that before. Just wrap it as tight as you can and put on high.
    Takes about an hour or so to defrost the whole thing.
    Then change the fluid out.
  14. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    We thaw pumps by throwing them in the truck's passengers floor to warm, it never gets hot enough to hurt anything. then once they melt bring them inside to work on. Keeps from filling the shop with trucks just sitting waiting to be worked on.

    ATF is 11 times thicker then Premium plow fluid at -15

    you can keep running ATF but you'd be better off with Western High pro fluid. easier on the pump, draws less amps to operate, and flow faster.
  15. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    im still stumped with why my plow moves so slow. the fluid s only one year old and it doesnt get that cold here in rochester, its about 20 degrees and been like that all week. The fluid doesnt seem too thick where its not moving and i have a 1000 cranking amps batery - 850 when its cold?? and a larger alt.
  16. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    i don't care if the fluid is 1 day old, dissimilar fluid reactions, and or paraffin separation can clog a unit in hours. Pull your motor and clean/change the filter. flush the unit and change to premium plow fluid. a good sign it's a fluids problem is a gel like substance clogging the screen

    Does the plow drop slowly?
  17. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,908

    You should change your plow fluid annually (yearly, every year)

    The hydraulic fluid/atf absorbs moisture from the air.
    If you keep your plow in a heated garage condensation happens in the reservoir.

    Every tine you move your plow air is ether pushed out or drawn into the reservoir. This is a source of moisture.
    over time it builds up causing ice to form clogging your filter or freezing up your pump.
  18. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    no the plow drops at a good rate but all hydrolic movements are slow
  19. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,126

    It may have nothing to do with the fulid at all. If the motor is weak or tired, the plow will slow down a lot.
  20. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    not only is it slow but it bogs my battery down when im plowing. cant quite figure it out