Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

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Cle Elum John
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Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Cle Elum John » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:46 pm

Hi
I am going to change out the hydraulic fluid on an old JD450. Can I get some recommendations for a reliable, cheap hydraulic fluid? It is for a homeowners machine and will not be used for daily work. I would like to get something that I can use through the winter. Temperatures will not be higher than 95degF or lower then 15degF. I am using Hyguard in the HLR, power steering and final drive. Doing the math it will be over $200 for 14gal of fluid. I have seen various brands run from less than $10/gal to well over $20. Locally Hyguard is about $17. Brand and viscosity would be appreciated. If Hyguard is what I should be using, let me know that also.

Thanks for any help
John
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:40 am

Hi,

I would opt for HyGard myself, but that said go to a generic tractor supply store and get some ISO 46 weight oil that matches at least the J14A specification. That ought to cost less than oil that meets the J20A or J20C (standard viscosity HyGard, J20B and J20D are low viscosity HyGard) specs. The current HyGard (J20C and J20D) lubricates far better than anything else out there.

Watch the oils which don't list manufacturer spec numbers. As in they just say '303', as some of those may not be too kind to your pump. States are currently enacting laws banning sales of hydraulic oil with only the '303' labeling. Those usually being found in Big Box stores for low prices. Their ability to lubricate moving parts is....questionable.

In other words, don't go too cheap.....

Stan

Edit: Maw Dang! I keep adding a D into those spec numbers. As in JD20C for J20C. I guess I got too much vitamin D! :P
Last edited by Stan Disbrow on Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

Cle Elum John
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Cle Elum John » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 am

Once again, I appreciate the help. The old manual calls out JD303. Now I know exactly what to look for.
I will do some pricing, maybe Hygard will still win out. Regardless, the HLR and power steering will still get fed Hygard.

John
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:46 am

Hi,

We were just talking about 303 in a thread over in the Early forum. It hasn't existed in decades, since the early 70s. The original J14(303) formulation used oil from the sperm whale. That is where the number 303 came from. That became illegal, so it was reformulated several times and became HyGard along the way.

Here is a copy of what I posted over there:

-----

I did a little more digging and came up with a timeline for Deere THF lubricants.

1960-1974, J14A, aka 303
1974-1978, J14B which was an interim replacement for banned sperm whale oil
1978-1989, J20A but it doesn't appear that the name HyGard was used until 1984
1978-1989, J20B which is a lower viscosity variant of J20A
1989-present, J20C which is standard HyGard
1989-present, J20D which is low viscosity HyGard

Also, I see where the State of Missouri banned the sale of '303' labelled THF in November of 2017. So, in effect, ending the nebulous useage of just the 303 moniker without reference to meeting various manufacturer specs and saying so. The news article mentioned too many lubricant failures from generic labelled low-cost THF using only the long-dead 303 label.

Lubricants. A veritable minefield. Sometimes I think we need a new section just for discussing lubricants......

Edit: we had a meeting of our local antique farm equipment club last evening. It was mentioned that the NC legislature is discussing banning the 303 labeling of THF right now. Following suit, as it were. I suppose it won't be long before most states follow suit.

-----

That was only a couple days ago where I heard the NC is jumping on the anti-303 bandwagon.

I think you will be fine with an oil from a tractor supply house, like Traveller brand from Tractor Supply. They don't make their own stuff. Someone makes it for them. Heck, someone makes it to spec for Deere. Unless someone knows of a Deere refining plant somewhere. ;)

Or, you could go for one from an actual oil jobber like Warren Oil (from the Warren plant in PA, used to be Amilie). We have one 20 miles down the road in Dunn, NC and Agri Supply in Garner carries it as well. Then there are Brad-Penn lubricants from what used to be Kendall in Bradford PA.

There are usually local jobbers carrying oil from the bigger names like Shell, Chevron, Gulf, Mobil, etc. Any of those would be fine. But, then the price is probably on par with Deere, so might not be any savings there.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

Cle Elum John
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Cle Elum John » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:06 pm

Does the designation AW32 or AW46 cover anything more than the viscosity? A local industrial hydraulic supplier has pallets of the stuff for $11/gal.
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:39 pm

Hi,

That will probably do it. AW means Anti Wear and 46 is the ISO viscosity you want given the temperature range you mentioned. AW32 is probably too thin.

Anti Wear means they have those additives. The other common one is R+O for Rust and Oxidation. The final main additive is an Anti Foam one, but they all have that. It is what originally separated hydraulic oil from Non Detergent motor oil. Way Back When, one used the same ND motor oil in the hydraulic system as well as the engine.

As in my 1950 John Deere M. The book says to use whatever you use in the engine for a given time of year where you are. Ah. The simple days. Use one oil. One weight. In the engine, in the hydraulics and even in the air cleaner. Getting hot? Change to a thicker oil. Getting cool? Change to a thinner one. Didn't use the Spring oil long? Save it for Fall and use it some more! Save what came out of the hydraulic system for use in the engine next go-around! :P

OK, enough fun strolling down memory lane.....

The final thing to look at is just what maker specs their oil meets and look for J14A for Deere at the least. Might even meet J20A or C (HyGard), which I bet it does. They should have a long list of what maker specs the oil meets. One issue is that there is no industry outfit for tractor hydraulic fluids like there is for motor oils and gear lubes, such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) who come up with classifications. Then, the equipment makers state a classification, and so do the lubricant makers. Like GL5 for hypoid gear lubricant or CJ-4 for diesel engine oil for example.

Stan
Last edited by Stan Disbrow on Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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jsal
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by jsal » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:37 pm

no to aw hyd oil bad for system !!! use a tractor fluid

JIM

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi,

He wants it in a separate hydraulic system. He is not using it in trans or finals. So, he has to see if what they have meets Deere standard J14(any letter) or J20A or C. If it does, it will be fine. If it does not, then we can say it is no good. Looking at several AW46 offerings online, some meet the Deere spec, some do not.

That can be said of stuff marketed as transmission/gear/hydraulic tractor fluids as well. Some are OK, some are not. You have to read what specs it meets.

Of course my easy answer is to go to the Deere dealer and by actual HyGard and then not have to read any labels. But, as noted, that option costs more. ;)

But, that is just what I do myself. I don't even need money or a credit card as I have an account which makes buying parts and such super easy. :)

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

Cle Elum John
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Location: Cle Elum, Wa

Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Cle Elum John » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:35 am

Thanks for all the help I appreciate it. The closest thing I could find was Walmart Super Tech Heavy-duty Tractor Hydraulic fluid. The description says it meets J20a J20b J20c and J14. It's puzzling that it can meet both J20a and J20b if they're different viscosities but.... It also has the standard legal Walmart legal disclaimer on the specification: "Anything we tell you is what the manufacturer told us and we can't be held responsible".
I would never use it in an HLR transmission, but at $9 a gallon it's probably ok for the loader. I may worry too much.

Again, thanks for the help
John
Reporting from the Peoples Republic of Washington State.

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:06 am

Hi,

Um, yeah. Well, you are using only in the hyd part and three of the specs match up. Maybe it falls in between viscosity so they toss that fourth one in there.....

It ought to be OK.

In my older stuff, the M and the 420, I use Warren R+O hydraulic oil. They are happy with that. As Lavoy points out they would not be happy with the newer stuff. Slow and somewhat noisy.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Lavoy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:47 pm

J20 is a spec like CE on an engine oil I believe, not viscosity, but I could be mistaken. Just like a CE rating on engine oil can replace a CD rating, I believe J20C can replace A bad B.
Lavoy
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Recommendations for Hydraulic Fluid

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:12 am

Hi,

J20A was superseded by J20C and J20B by J20D back in 1989. Deere specs the viscosity of J20C as ISO 42-68 and J20D as ISO 32.

I don't have a need for Low Vis here in NC, so I don't know how it varies in viscosity, but I can say that I have noticed where some pails of regular HyGard are a bit thicker than others. Most of the time I think it has mostly to do with the ambient temperature on the day I am pouring the stuff.

But, then, I have always noticed where these oils tend to be that way no matter what the brand and type. They don't have additives to keep them within a given range the way motor oils do. I don't worry about it. I just use the oil a given use needs and get back to working with the machines.

I change the stuff by hours run per the manuals, or three years, whichever comes first. I do know that some water vapor condenses out inside housings and there is a finite amount of that which the additive package can handle. Some machines get the oil warm enough to drive some out (hydrostats, for example). Others don't. Last thing I want is an issue from a saturated additive package.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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