Re: Hydraulic Fluid Sources and Type

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Posted by TheOldHokie on March 11, 2019 at 07:59:57 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: Hydraulic Fluid Sources and Type posted by Kimberly on March 10, 2019 at 23:49:42:

Your tractor has a common sump that supplies oil to the transmission, final drive, and hydraulic system. So the oil needs to be suitable for use in all three applications.

The original owners manual recommended a mild EP gear oil, grade SAE 90 (Ford M-4864B) for summer use and grade SAE 80 (Ford M-4864A) for winter use. Here is a link to a Ford chart with oil recommendations for all of the tractors up thriugh the Hundred series.

Ford Tractor Oils

A decade or so later oil formulation had progressed considerably and Ford introduced a new all season tractor oil (M2C-134D) that replaced the older oils and was recommended for year round use in just about all of their common sump tractors. So how does that match up with the current day products you listed?

  1. A number of the products on the list are pure hydraulic oils. They lack the level of EP additves needed for wear protection of the transmission and final drive gears in your tractor. They are identified by the labeling as Anti-wear (AW) hydraulic fluids and/or a grade designation of AW xx or ISO xx. They are intended for use in dedicated hydraulic systems and should not be used in a common sump tractor application.

  2. The products labeled as Tractor Transmission/Hydraulic Fluids (UTF) are multi-function fluids designed specifically for common sump applications like the N-series tractors and are a generic equivalent of the Ford M2C-134D oil. They have a robust EP additive package for final drive and transmission wear protection and a high viscosity index making them suitable for all season use in a hydraulic system. As such they closely match the performance characteristics of the seasonal oils originally recommended by Ford and eliminate the need for changing oil with the seasons. I would suggest you stick with them and as previously mentioned avoid the ones labeled as J20A or 303 oil. They are inferior oils matching a long obsolete John Deere specification and are not suitable for year round use in cold climates. And unless you live in an extremely cold climate I would avoid products labeled as J20D compliant. This is a modern low viscosity version of the J20C product and intended for use in more modern equipment that are very sensitive to cold weather increases in viscosity (e.g. hydrostatic/CVT/power shift transmissions, power steering, wet clutches/brakes, etc).

  3. Not listed is a modern SAE 80W90 gear oil. This is a multi-grade version of EP gear oil that will perform a bit better as an all season oil than the originally recommended gear oils but not as well as the UTF products

  4. Also not listed is the all mineral SAE 90 GL1 gear oil. This is a conventional gear oil that contains no EP additives and has an extremely low viscosity index making it inferior to just about all of the others in terms of wear protection and cold weather performance. I put it in the same category as the 303 oils.
There are a lot of products to choose from but the simplest and most economical choice for year round use is any Premium UTF that Rural King or TSC has in stock/on sale.


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