Using ATF instead of Hydraulic Fluid

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
I got my SnoWay last year, and I think my warranty is about up. I'm planning on flushing out the system, but if I remember correctly, the hydraulic fluid was about $7 a quart. I though I remembered hearing someone say they use ATF instead of hydraulic fluid in their SnoWay... is this safe to do? Any pro's or cons? Thanks guys!

Tim
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
I've been running Amsoil synthetic ATF in my Sno-Ways for several years now, seems to work just fine and it's a bunch cheaper than the stuff Sno-Way sells. Amsoil says it's a suitable replacement for low temp hydraulic oil. From waht I can tell, the plows cycle a bit faster (than with OEM fluid)when cold and no slower when they get warmed up.
 

DaveK

Senior Member
Not sure about Sno-way's oil but this is what Western suggests.


Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) DEXRON®III to -10° F (-23° C)

WESTERN® High Performance Fluid to -25° F (-32° C)

Texaco 1537 Aircraft Hydraulic Oil for below -25° F (-32° C)



Dave
 
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75

PlowSite.com Addict
ATF is what is specified for use in my Monarch powerpack, and I don't imagine the pump/hydraulic circuits are THAT different between the various makes.

One thing the SnoWay fluid might have that ATF doesn't is some sort of anti-ice additive - but if you keep the system flushed & in good repair, that shouldn't be a problem anyway!
 
OP
SlimJim Z71

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
WOW... you guys a FAST!!! I just posted this!!! LOL. Anyway... thanks to all of you... these are the answers I was looking for.

Tim
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Thanks, Dave, for the fluid listing for various temps. Let's see, -10 F is around -23 C or thereabouts - definitely in the (expletive deleted) cold category.

Tim - you think THAT was fast, you should see how fast we get going when we skydive! :D
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Hey - I was right with my metric conversion! (OK, I confess - I went over to the window & took a look at my thermometer which has BOTH scales on it!)

And by the temps I generally see around here, ATF will be fine for my use. (Monarch specifies the use of ATF, but on the instruction sheet for my powerpack it never specified different fluids for different temps - perhaps the design of the pump/circuit is a factor in that)
 
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SlimJim Z71

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
Originally posted by 75
Tim - you think THAT was fast, you should see how fast we get going when we skydive! :D

I will ask you again... WHY WOULD YOU JUMP OUT OF A PERFECTLY GOOD PLANE?!?!?!?!

Tim (laughing)
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Because I'm a lot safer flying the parachute than down here on the ground what with all the maniac drivers on the loose! :D (And me preferring to ride the motorcycle to boot!)

I've been using regular DexronIII in my powerpack, but I might give synthetic a try this season.

Now, this might seem like a "dumb question", but since my powerpack is currently getting an overhaul (pump was getting worn, pressure was several hundred psi lower than it should have been) is there any sort of "break-in" period like there is with engines, before synthetic is OK to use? I don't think there would be, since I'm not trying to get rings to seat, just wondering though.
 
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SlimJim Z71

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
I know what you mean about being safer in the air. I want to go to Com Air academy next year to learn to become a pilot, and with what happened last week, I'm having a pretty hard time convincing the wife.

As far as the synthetic goes, it sounds like this would be a situation where it would be best to use it from the beginning. When I flush mine out, I'm probably going to run synthetic as well.

Tim
 

plowjockey

PlowSite.com Sponsor
Location
Dayton, Ohio USA
All right you guys (or girls) if any of you are posting. You have me sold but I need to find an Amsoil dealer in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Bruce

And if you are wondering the speeds before chute opening are from 118.63mph to 200mph. Am I right 75?
 

plowjockey

PlowSite.com Sponsor
Location
Dayton, Ohio USA
Thanks, Alan

I have ATF in my K-2500 unit now but my C-70 has regular hydraulic oil in it. I don't feel that this works as well with the Western pump on that unit. Is there a trick to getting all of the old oil out?

Bruce
 

plowjockey

PlowSite.com Sponsor
Location
Dayton, Ohio USA
Alan

Having just visited the Amsoil sit I notice that they advertise both synthetic ATF and Hydraulic oil.

Is the ATF better in a plow than the hydraulic oil?

Bruce
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
I know Fisher and Western OK ATF in their pumps. For Meyer I have seen something to keep me from using it. I overhauled a e47 that had run with ATF. The pluid was black and gummy and I had to spend a long time cleaning it. I use kerosene to clean the insides of my pumps.
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
The hydraulic oil is probably about a 10 weight, the same viscosity as conventional oil. It gets pretty stiff at low temps, might cause some pretty bad load on the pump trying to push it until it got warmed up. I know my central system on the 5500 howls terribly for the first few minutes after a cold start. ATF is much lighter, and (I think) capable of running at higher temperatures without breaking down. This is an even more viable consideration in the truck transmissions, where heat is the big killer of fluid.

As for draining, unless there are massive quantities of oil in the system, just do multiple drain and fill cycles. If you can drain half the fluid, the first fill will give you 50% swap. Drain and fill again and you would be at 75% and one more would give you 87%, probably close enough to complete for practical purposes.
 

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