Transmission Oil
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Thread: Transmission Oil

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    DFarmer's Avatar
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    Transmission Oil

    I've read all the old posts on fluids, so maybe I shouldn't be posting this, but am up in the air which to use; low viscosity or just hygard. I know lots of you have years of experience with hydrostatic transmissions and I want to get your opinion. Now my reason for asking is: The two dealers I have dealt with, one says use only low viscosity, the other hygard. Owners manual says it comes from factory with low vis and to use it. Then a paragraph down it says use the viscosity that best matches the temperature range I will be operating in the most. Being this far south, I want be using it even close to 0 degrees, but use it a lot in the high 90's. Oh yeah, it's a 1025R.
    Don
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFarmer View Post
    I've read all the old posts on fluids, so maybe I shouldn't be posting this, but am up in the air which to use; low viscosity or just hygard. I know lots of you have years of experience with hydrostatic transmissions and I want to get your opinion. Now my reason for asking is: The two dealers I have dealt with, one says use only low viscosity, the other hygard. Owners manual says it comes from factory with low vis and to use it. Then a paragraph down it says use the viscosity that best matches the temperature range I will be operating in the most. Being this far south, I want be using it even close to 0 degrees, but use it a lot in the high 90's. Oh yeah, it's a 1025R.
    Don
    There is a possibility the two dealers are referring to the same product but just calling it by different name. I use hyguard low vis in mine.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DFarmer View Post
    I've read all the old posts on fluids, so maybe I shouldn't be posting this, but am up in the air which to use; low viscosity or just hygard. I know lots of you have years of experience with hydrostatic transmissions and I want to get your opinion. Now my reason for asking is: The two dealers I have dealt with, one says use only low viscosity, the other hygard. Owners manual says it comes from factory with low vis and to use it. Then a paragraph down it says use the viscosity that best matches the temperature range I will be operating in the most. Being this far south, I want be using it even close to 0 degrees, but use it a lot in the high 90's. Oh yeah, it's a 1025R.
    Don

    Low-viscosity hygard.


    Unless you live in Arizona/Mexico, just stick with the low-vis stuff.


    I read up white papers a couple of job back, and something like 95% of wear on a transmissions occurs on start-up when the fluid is cold. The quicker it gets flowing to spec and temp, the (theoretically) longer your transmission will last.
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    My 2 cents...

    My understanding for the existence of the low vis. Hy-Gard was pump cavitation occurring during warm-up on some models. Low vis. was designed to prevent that, but comes with a different temperature range due to the window of temperatures it could maintain sufficient viscosity for transmission protection. This may be all wrong as I'm not a John Deere engineer and this knowledge was gleaned on the internet (so, it must be true right?).

    Below is the (correct) temperature range for JD Hy-Gard (based on my numerous manuals and dealership confirmation).
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	download.jpg 
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    There are numerous images of this info online with varying, incorrect ranges, just so you know.

    How do you want to damage your transmission? With insufficient viscosity to prevent wear on hot summer days or potential cavitation during warm up on cooler days? I don't think the dealer will tell you NOT to use what your manual states, but ask them which do they sell more of, Hy-Gard or Low Vis. Hy-Gard? I'd bet for summer operation, you'd be fine with regular Hy-Gard.

    For winter - if you have such a thing, I would think Low Vis is the choice fluid. It's what your machine was spec'd to use. Outside of that Low Vis temp range, I'd be temped to consider the thicker stuff. And yeah, I'm suggesting rotating fluids seasonally... which sounds insane to me too. But that's what the temp chart suggests to me... No farmer I know has time to do fluid changes like that, so the thick stuff would probably be the sump all year for them in your climate.

    Personally, I have Low Viscosity in my sump as spec'd. I run 30 weight engine oil in my push lawn mower, but will never start it with the temp in the 30's (F) - it's below the temp spec and will likely shorten my engines life. I run 0W-40 in my tractor year-round. It's frigid here in the winter and cold cranking is the hardest on the engine in terms of wear. 15W-40 may be good enough on average but 0W40 is much easier on the engine, especially in January. Transmission fluid serves a similar purpose in the wear reduction department. Don't run outside your viscosity range based on temperature and protect your investment.

    Most of us northerners can't comprehend working in 90+ heat and humidity, BTW. That's too hot to work outside if you have the choice!

    Southerners have this High vis./low vis. dilemma and it's been hashed numerous times. There a hole in the temp spec for the JD transmission fluids plain and simple - the low vis stuff doesn't cover the southern states in the summer and JD isn't clear on what to do about it.

    Matt
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattF View Post
    My 2 cents...

    My understanding for the existence of the low vis. Hy-Gard was pump cavitation occurring during warm-up on some models. Low vis. was designed to prevent that, but comes with a different temperature range due to the window of temperatures it could maintain sufficient viscosity for transmission protection. This may be all wrong as I'm not a John Deere engineer and this knowledge was gleaned on the internet (so, it must be true right?).

    Below is the (correct) temperature range for JD Hy-Gard (based on my numerous manuals and dealership confirmation).
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	download.jpg 
Views:	169 
Size:	6.6 KB 
ID:	493370
    There are numerous images of this info online with varying, incorrect ranges, just so you know.

    How do you want to damage your transmission? With insufficient viscosity to prevent wear on hot summer days or potential cavitation during warm up on cooler days? I don't think the dealer will tell you NOT to use what your manual states, but ask them which do they sell more of, Hy-Gard or Low Vis. Hy-Gard? I'd bet for summer operation, you'd be fine with regular Hy-Gard.

    For winter - if you have such a thing, I would think Low Vis is the choice fluid. It's what your machine was spec'd to use. Outside of that Low Vis temp range, I'd be temped to consider the thicker stuff. And yeah, I'm suggesting rotating fluids seasonally... which sounds insane to me too. But that's what the temp chart suggests to me... No farmer I know has time to do fluid changes like that, so the thick stuff would probably be the sump all year for them in your climate.

    Personally, I have Low Viscosity in my sump as spec'd. I run 30 weight engine oil in my push lawn mower, but will never start it with the temp in the 30's (F) - it's below the temp spec and will likely shorten my engines life. I run 0W-40 in my tractor year-round. It's frigid here in the winter and cold cranking is the hardest on the engine in terms of wear. 15W-40 may be good enough on average but 0W40 is much easier on the engine, especially in January. Transmission fluid serves a similar purpose in the wear reduction department. Don't run outside your viscosity range based on temperature and protect your investment.

    Most of us northerners can't comprehend working in 90+ heat and humidity, BTW. That's too hot to work outside if you have the choice!

    Southerners have this High vis./low vis. dilemma and it's been hashed numerous times. There a hole in the temp spec for the JD transmission fluids plain and simple - the low vis stuff doesn't cover the southern states in the summer and JD isn't clear on what to do about it.

    Matt


    I'm going to give an alternative solution for standard hygard. Leave your block heater plugged in all winter. The standard cavitation on startup I was hearing was bothering me so much, I started leaving it plugged in all the time if the temp was below zero. I now don't hear any cavitation whatsoever, and I can drive my tractor right out of the garage. Make what you will out of that...
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    DFarmer's Avatar
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    I've got 8 hours to go before my 50 hr. oil change. I think since I use the tractor a lot more during the summer, I'm going to use the hy-gard. I work with it mostly from March til around October. A lot of high 90's to 100 degree days.
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    DFarmer's Avatar
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    Well I got the 50 hr. transmission oil changed today. Wasn't to bad, but glad it's done. Tomorrow will go for greasing the drive shafts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemachine69 View Post
    I'm going to give an alternative solution for standard hygard. Leave your block heater plugged in all winter. The standard cavitation on startup I was hearing was bothering me so much, I started leaving it plugged in all the time if the temp was below zero. I now don't hear any cavitation whatsoever, and I can drive my tractor right out of the garage. Make what you will out of that...
    The engine block heater only heats the engine, not the hydraulic fluid. To heat the hydraulic fluid you would need to install the transmission heater.

    Leaving either of the heaters plugged in 24/7 when it's cold will chew up a lot of electricity. You really only need to energize them a while before using the tractor.

    I'm voting for Lo-vis HyGard.
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    DFarmer's Avatar
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    When I changed the transmission oil about 3 weeks ago, I poured the oil from drain pan into a couple of containers. The oil looked good draining and when I poured it thru a funnel into oil containers, it looked good. Guy I give oil to was pouring it into another container and some of the oil coming out was gelled. He called and told me I might want to come look at the oil that was in my tractor. I don't think it was like that coming out of tractor, but I don't know why it looked like that a couple weeks later.
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