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Author Topic: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?  (Read 678 times)

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Offline 47sawdust

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Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« on: September 15, 2021, 02:44:02 PM »
My dump trailer uses ATF,so does my WM Lt 30.
What should be used in a wood splitter?
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2021, 05:13:18 PM »
What does the manufacturer suggest?
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Online mike_belben

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2021, 06:54:56 AM »
The truth is about any oil will work.  I run old dirty systems on diesel fuel with a few squirts of atf or ag-20 for lubricity in order the flush them out and theyll operate fine.

Long term Its more important that you keep any chosen fluid clean, operating in its temp range and change it before its additive package is depleted.  The only way to know that for certain is to send a hot sample for lab analysis.  Blackstone labs is pretty popular. Your pump is probably iron and aluminum which is what transmissions have been made of all my life.  Transmissions have high pressure hydraulic pumps and seals so its just fine to use atf in a simple gear pump. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2021, 07:09:11 AM »
I use Blackstone labs. I think about $40 for an analysis. I used their results to replace the final drives in my excavator before they failed and stranded me 1/2 mile from nowhere. The gear side showed severe wear particles. I have had engine oil done as well.
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Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2021, 05:57:41 AM »
I used some ATF fluid once in an old JD tractor hydraulic system.  It was used fluid out of a front end loader.  Times were a little tougher back then and the fluid was free.  It worked for a little while, but before long it took out all the seals in the lift cylinders and rockshaft seals.  I had fluid leaking everywhere.  Lesson learned.  Apparently some seal material doesn't tolerate ATF ingredients.  I wouldn't use it in my splitter based upon my experience. 
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Online mike_belben

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2021, 08:05:08 AM »
I will have to remember that one.  What vintage of JD?

Its hard to know if it was what the seals were made of, what the atf is made of, or what acids, sediments, abrasives etc had been added to the oil by the loader that consumed the ATF first.  

Either way thats a real kick when youre down scenario. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline sum1

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2021, 09:10:57 AM »
If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter use ATF it will not get thick in the cold weather and your splitter will operate the same regardless of ambient temperature. Some of the box store splitters will specify ATF for this reason.

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2021, 11:25:41 AM »
Thanks for your replies.
My splitter is a Timber Devil made in Quebec.The mfg.has been slow to respond to my inquiry.
When I modified the splitter to self propelled the fluid seemed to have a reddish color to it.To my untrained eye that seemed to indicate ATF. I am about to install a 16gpm pump so I will get another chance to wear some fluid.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2021, 11:35:26 AM »
Some brands of hyd oil has red dye in it. 

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2021, 01:01:27 PM »
That is why I'm confused.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2021, 04:42:33 PM »
Looking at a NT wood splitter manual:

"Fill reservoir with 10 wt. AW32, ASLE H-150, or ISO 32 oil"

Another one said the same and then said:

  • Note: If the log splitter will be run for long periods of time in outdoor temperatures above 70F, we recommend changing the hydraulic oil to DEXTRON III.


Another:

  • The log splitter was prefilled with 4 gallons of AW32 hydraulic oil before shipping. AW46 & universal hydraulic oil
    are all acceptable types of fluid. Automatic transmission fluid can be used when operating in
    temperatures below 32 degrees to enhance engine starting.


    Another:


    Hydraulic Oil System
    Capacity ........................................... 5 gal. (18.9 L) For year round use in warmer climates (always ABOVE
    32 ̊F/ 0 ̊C):
    – ISO32
    – Universal Hydraulic Oil
    For year round use in colder climates (BELOW 32 ̊F/ 0 ̊C): – Automatic Transmission Fluid

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2021, 04:46:31 AM »
You can also use “Universal Tractor Fluid” in the place of any of the fluid that was just listed. It’s also commonly referred to as “UNI-TRAC” fluid. It’ll accomplish all of those things and then some. It’ll even work for John Deere 404!
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2021, 07:36:05 AM »
The JD tractor I used the Dextron fluid in was an early 1950's  model 40 with a loader on it.  It may have had leather seals in loader cylinders but not in the rock shaft seals.  I never repaired the loader cylinders, but did change the rock shaft seals.  The experience left me with poor opinion of using ATF instead of hydraulic specific oil or even engine oil for hydraulic systems.
ATF works great for lube on my bandsaw blades and to lube roller chains though.
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Online LeeB

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2021, 10:18:10 AM »
What's the cost for 5 gal of ATF? Cost for 5 Gal of universal fluid? 
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2021, 02:44:54 PM »
We were paying $60CDN for 20L (5 gallons) of atf when I sold wood splitters. It was funny, if we added that to the price of the machine most customers had no problem with it. If we included it sales were tough.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2021, 07:33:32 PM »
I've drained the fluid and am installing a 16gpm pump.I'm leaning toward using Dextron III  after reading the info Hilltop posted.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2021, 08:53:58 PM »
I cannot say if its good or bad, but I can tell you that everyone one of my offroad buddy's that chose to run atf instead of power steering fluid would constantly replace power steering pumps. ATF does not dissipate the heat like hydraulic fluid does so your fluid temps stay higher. That is most likely the cause of the failures listed above. Heat is the #1 killer of so many vital components.

Plus I am pretty sure as long as you don't buy the cheapest walmart  fluids the flashpoint is quite a bit higher on the power steering fluid.

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 09:55:16 PM »
The last time that I sold UniTrac fluid, 5gal was about $30 US & you can just use a massive cooler for bringing any temperatures down in any kind of fluid. Just keep in mind that some symptoms are more difficult than others to get proper plumbing into them.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2021, 07:40:57 AM »
plus it is one more key failure point and another maintenance point.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Atf or hydraulic in splitter?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2021, 11:33:28 AM »
FWIW  have around 8-10 gallons of Dexron II in my splitter that has a return line filter .At one time I had cases of "leakers " all free from a bulk oil plant .Plus in my air over hydraulic  auto hoist I have about 50 gallons in it but I had to buy that stuff .It really wasn't that bad in bulk . That hoist cylinder BTW,13.5 inch  will lift a pick up truck on about 60 PSI air pressure .The seals don't leak on either one of them .


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