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Unimount fluid - mixed?

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by FordGP, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. FordGP

    FordGP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I aquired a Unimount of unknown history, which seems to work just fine. I picked up some non-factory Western fluid (blue) to use for a fluid change at my local parts store. The manual I downloaded for my Unimount just refers to Western High Performance fluid, and doesn't mention the color. What I drained out was red, like ATF, but I don't know if the previous owner used ATF or if there is a proper red fluid for this pump. I'm concerned about mixing fluid types, so what would you suggest?
     
  2. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    It had ATF in it, do a flush and fill it with what you have.
     
  3. 33yearsinsnow

    33yearsinsnow Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 111

    Make sure you flush the cylinders and hoses when you do the flush and fill to make sure you get all the old hydraulic oil out. You will also want to clean or replace the filter and purchase a new cork gasket for the motor (cheap about $1.50)
     
  4. FordGP

    FordGP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    What can be used to flush things out, other than the $8/qt. Western fluid? Also, what's the danger of using ATF fluid? I can't help but wonder why so many people use ATF if it's that bad...it's not much of a cost savings.. I appreciate the advice. Thanks.
     
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Flush with Meyer Hydra-flush
     
  6. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    ATF fluid has a tendency to freeze more often. Were hydra fluid (blue fluid) works much better in cold weather.

    Just my opinion
     
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    ATF can be a much as 11 times as thick as Premium snowplow fluid.
     
  8. FordGP

    FordGP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    How about some ATF mixed with the Western fluid? What's so bad about that?
    I need to find out the process for flushing all the old fluid out yet, but I'm guessing it's a lot more involved than just draining/refilling...I hadn't planned to take the pump apart and the cylinders off.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  9. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    ATF also has paraffins or waxes in it that hardens up when exposed to extreme cold temps :eek:
     
  10. FordGP

    FordGP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I see. For the first time by me, this pump was used as-is last year (with the ATF) and worked great. Last year was an especially cold year for us too. I don't doubt you guys are right by recommending not using ATF--just trying to understand why. I still wonder about the mixing issue.
     
  11. 33yearsinsnow

    33yearsinsnow Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 111

    Although there are people who disagree with me on this web site I believe ATF works fine with the exception of the fact it does tend to freeze quicker then a good snow plow hydraulic fluid. I know many people have had no problem with ATF but if even the smallest amount of water get into your system then you risk freezing faster and want a lower temp. hydraulic fluid. As far as mixing fluid you really want to do a flush and fill as you dont know how long it has been since it was last done and have no idea what kind of gunk is in the cylinders and hoses. To do a proper flush and fill you want to remove the drain plug, electric motor from the unit, all three valve assy, and the relief valve. Remove the filter from the hydraulic pump, remove the hydraulic hoses and quick disconnects.Once all this is done clean these parts less the electric motor in a parts cleaner or with brake clean. Reassemle the unit (purchase a new cork gasket cheap about $1.50) before reinstalling the electric motor and refill with a good snow plow hydraulic fluid.
     
  12. FordGP

    FordGP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for all the input!

    I just saw in the Isarmatic Specs section of the Mechanics Guide that it lists WESTERN High Performance Fluid to -25*, ATF Dextron III to -10*, or Texaco 1537 Aircraft Hydraulic Oil for temps below -25*. We have -25* days here in the winer, but it usually doesn't snow when it's that cold.
     
  13. tom.807

    tom.807 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    you nailed it in that statment, i do this every other year but change fluid yearly. I also would recomend that when motor is off to clean the brushes and commutator end of armature, it is only another two bolts. Just take apart slowly if you have not done this before to assure proper assembly. This is a very common problem with motor issues just having a dirty motor.
     
  14. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I've always run atf in my pumps and I have no problems doing it, but the two plows I have now have the blue fluid in them and it should be changed. I have a LOT of atf in the garage and would rather use it than go buy expensive blue fluid and I have the same question that hasn't really been answered yet: Is there a problem mixing the two? I ask because I'd probably just do a drain and fill if I bought new blue fluid because both of the plows work great (not worried about the little bit of fluid in the lines/rams), so can I do the same (drain and fill) and replace with atf, thus mixing the blue fluid left in the rams/hoses with the new red in the pump? I really doubt it would cause much of a problem, but I don't know for sure.
     
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    You should never mix dis-similiar fluids.
     
  16. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I guess I'm wondering if they are dissimilar enough to make a difference? I can see where it would matter in some situations, but as a hydraulic fluid in a plow pump, will one act that much differently that it will make a difference? You know what, I'm going to try it and let you know.If it doesn't work, I guess I'll have to flush it all out and replace it with atf.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  17. tom.807

    tom.807 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    tymusic TOM HERE, I RAN ATF FOR YEARS WITHOUT ISSUES. I DONT KNOW HOW COLD IT GETS WHERE YOU ARE BUT HERE I FREQUENTLY GET -25 TO -40 AT TIMES. THAT IS WHERE YOU SHOULDNT USE ATF IT DOES FREEZE BEFORE THAT AND DOING YOUR SYSTEM NO FAVORS,JUST HARMING IT. MIXING AINT GOING TO HURT IT BUT JUST CHANGE ANNUALLY WITH JUST YOUR FLUID OF CHOICE. DO A COMPLETE TEARDOWN AND CLEAN EVERY COUPLE OF SEASONS. I PERSONALY NOW RUN THE LIGHTEST HYDRAULIC FLUID I CAN GET , AVAILABLE AT MANY AUTO SUPPLY STORES AND HAVE NO PROBLEMS. IT HAS DIFFERENT CONTENTS THAN ATF MAINLY PARAFIN WAXES NOT PRESENT, AND ALSO CHEAPER THAN THE DEALERS OIL. DONT LOOSE ANY SLEEP OVER HAVING MIXED FLUID AT RARE TIMES IM SURE EVERYBODY HAS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. GOOD LUCK AND HOPE YOU GET SOME SNOW.
     
  18. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I pulled the motor and pump, drained and cleaned the housing last night and refilled it with ATF and it's working great so far with a the mix of blue and red.
     
  19. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    "Sitting on a snowflake, waiting for the van to come." John Lennon
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  20. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Just an update - the plow with the mixed ATF/Western fluid is still working perfectly. Not a single issued with the mixed fluid (or anything else) yet.