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What fluid to use in a older unimount

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by 99f250superduty, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. 99f250superduty

    99f250superduty Junior Member
    from boston
    Messages: 17

    I have a 15+ year old western
    What's the best fluid to use? It's current red fluid in there now.
     
  2. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Blue stuff.
     
  3. 99f250superduty

    99f250superduty Junior Member
    from boston
    Messages: 17

    I've heard the blue stuff talked about on this site. What is it exactly?
     
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    An aircraft-like fluid, very good in low temps.
     
  5. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,981

    red will work I use to just add a tea spoon or so of the red heet bottle to it to help keep it from freezing. Make sure you change the filter every year and fluid so you get any water out.
     
  6. daman

    daman Member
    Messages: 69

    Go to your JD dealer and get a gallon of there low temp hy-guard hyd. oil works great its a low viscosity thin oil that works outstanding in cold weather also has a good additive package for wear and packings.
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Why not just use the fluid that Western recommends? Blue plow fluid is what is recommended and it's not so espensive. As mentioned it is aircraft hydraulic fluid and it has a very wide operational temperature range. Red fluid, auto trans fluid, is far from ideal for cold weather. Its' designed to be used in transmissions that warm up as you drive. The fluid in an electric over hydraulic system, like your plow, never gets warm.
     
  8. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Western does recommend ATF for use in Unimounts.
     
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    They sure do!! Look carefully at their recommendations and I think you find they also recommend 5051 or 5056 fluids for colder temperatures.

    The old cable operated units with valve gates like your kitchen faucets can handle ATF just fine without throwing extra loads to your motor, pump and battery. The new electric valves have opening the size of a IRS agent's heart and require much more energy to flow the thicker fluid.

    ATF is much more viscous (thicker) and it's viscosity increases as the temperature drops. ATF is around 11 times thicker than premium plow fluid at zero degrees, that's 11 times the amount of work for your motor and pump and draws MUCH more amperage to perform the same functions at a slower rate of speed. Electric Hydraulics pick up heat as they operate and the heating cooling effect can cause paraffin separation in certain conditions further creating issues as it will clog pick up filters and restrict flow even further.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  10. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Ok professor.

    I was simply responding to a direct question. I know enough about hydraulics and viscosities.

    I've been running ATF to 0' for years in a number of plows w/o a freeze up. Below that temp I won't try it.
     
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992


    ATF wouldn't freeze at lower temps but it becomes molasses as the temps drop.


    Here is Western recommendation straight from one of their manuals.

    Remove the fill plug and check the fluid level.
    With the blade in the lowered position, the fluid
    level should reach the fill hole. If additional fluid is
    needed, fill the reservoir with WESTERN® High
    Performance Hydraulic Fluid to –40°F (–40°C),
    or other fluid conforming to Military Specification
    MIL-H-5606A, such as Mobil Aero HFA or Shell
    AeroShell® Fluid 4.


    I apologize if I have provided too much information.
     
  12. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Another thread where a simple question turns into to an all out war......
     
  13. 99f250superduty

    99f250superduty Junior Member
    from boston
    Messages: 17

    Thanks I bought the blue
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That is interesting that western actually recommended ATF at some point for the old cable plows. Took me a while to figure out the thing about the IRS agent. We don't have that here so I had to research it a bit. That's funny. I have to wonder though if the western engineers recommended ATF at that time because the blue fluid was not yet invented? Here where we se temperatures swing from deep artic cold to above freezing our engines used to have multiple viscositis of engine oil recommended depending on temp. Now the same engine can run a single multi grade year round. 5W40 for example. Back in the 60s it didn't exist. Just like the blue plow fluid. Bottom line here is that it's 2014 now and the blue plow fluid is the best thing available now and it IS NOW recommended for use in ALL western plows.

    Interesting thread though. So many people with so much information. We all have the same goal and that is to provide answers to those who ask right? We won't always agree on terminology or procedures. We all offer what we believe to b correct and sometimes we learn that our knowledge is flawed. That's what I like about this site. Being right All the time is no fun. It's when somebody questions what I say that the fun begins. And best thing of all is when I am wrong because that means I learned something new!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  15. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    i have a unimount of 1994 or so vintage with a sticker that says to change fluid annually and use ATF. the sticker is right on the valve body in plain sight.

    despite that, i've been using the blue plow fluid for years with much better performance than the ATF. i always add one cap full of HEET each year when changing the fluid for good measure.
     
  16. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,981

    Thread after thread
     
  17. 99f250superduty

    99f250superduty Junior Member
    from boston
    Messages: 17


    What's heet?
     
  18. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,981

    stuff in a red bottle that you put in your gas tank to absorb water. Most gas stations carry it.
     
  19. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Yes sir.....
     
  20. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Kwik trip does not, however.

    I was looking for it the other day and they didn't sell it.