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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil

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Bret4207

01-03-2018 05:31:47




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What would be a safe product to thin 303 type hydraulic oil with for very cold temp use? I was thinking ATF, but maybe simple diesel would work? At -20 or below it just get too thick. This is on old tractors like a MF65 and JD 420C.




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Bret4207

01-04-2018 04:57:26




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Thanks for the thoughts guys. The crawler sits well away from any power sources, so I guess I'll keep warming the oil with a torch until I can replace it with something better.



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Bret4207

01-04-2018 04:55:35




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Uh, then how do you get your wood out in the winter? :lol:



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504

01-03-2018 18:16:31




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
I drive a delivery truck with a hyd lift gate, from the dealer it had ATF in it and it would not go down in 30deg weather.(gravity down) The cure is Airplane hyd fluid,the viscosity never changes with the temperature. We buy it from a local oil company.



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hd6gtom

01-03-2018 17:38:26




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Bret the 303 oil I sold was equivalent to a sae15 oil. Maybe something more modern is less weight, are you sure you don't have a filter partially plugged or perhaps a filter with a very fine micron element?? I was given 5 micron filters for my skid loader instead of the 10 micron units called for. Things were very very slow till it warmed up. Good luck.



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JTWAT

01-03-2018 16:34:08




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
You could set a halogen flood light under it shining on the belly. That will warm it up or keep it warm over night.



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RLP in Co.

01-03-2018 13:05:09




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
With my backhoe I just let it idle for 20 minutes before I use it, however I have never used it in the REALLY cold weather that some of you guys have. I wish it had a heater for the transmission and the hydraulic tank.
When I started my pickup the other day when it was 0, the power steering pump complained for about 10 minutes. I'm thinking next time I might take a little propane torch and heat the oil a little before I start it.

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SVcummins

01-03-2018 10:36:34




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
A premium hydraulic oil is not that much more money than the cheap 303 oil



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WayneLee

01-03-2018 09:04:57




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
We used to thin out loader oil with 2 qts of gas. It evaporated when the temps warmed in the spring



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2002sliverado

01-03-2018 06:52:54




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
I have to agree with Tx Jim, in going with Low-viscosity Hy-Guard, rather than thinning it out. I have mostly JD equipment, but I do have a few Farmall/IH tractors. The one I do use in the winter time is an 86 Hydro. It does have a heating element in the bottom of the transmission. Whenever I have to use it for moving snow, I do plug it in the night before and it makes a world of difference! I use the Case-IH Hy-Tran in that tractor specifically as required/recommended. I don't like the price of it, but I guess I have a bit more peace of mind in using that product versus another brand.

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Ragnarok

01-03-2018 06:51:55




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Yeh...The John Deere low viscosity is probably your best and safest bet for cold temp hyd. oil.

I've noticed that some aftermarket '303' fluids are noticeably thicker than even standard JD Hy-Gard.

Low-vis Hy-Gard will mix with normal viscosity Hy-Gard no problem. I imagine it would be ok for the old spec aftermarket 303 fluids too



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marloweg

01-03-2018 06:47:46




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
first off 303 is the wrong oil for the 65



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Mike M

01-03-2018 06:29:10




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
The Crawler is best left to sit when the ground is frozen ! They can take off like on ice skates and get you into serious troubles. BTDT.



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2underage

01-03-2018 06:17:03




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Bret there is not much that you can safely use to thin that hydraulic oil. You could use some diesel fuel and that would work for a while but even in cold weather the oil will warm up and it then will be too thin to lubricate the pump and the valves in the controls. If the tractor starts in this minus 20 weather it is best to let run for a while before using the hydraulics. With my 8 year old Kubota tractor, that I keep in a shed, I let it run for 20 minutes or longer when the temp is below 10 degrees and so far no problems.

If you do use something to dilute the hydraulic oil remember to drain it when warmer weather comes. Repairs or replacement of a hydraulic pump can take a big bite out of that state pension! Happy cold weather farming and happy new year.

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JDEM

01-03-2018 06:08:53




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
My 1960 John Deere manual says to add kerosene to 303 if used in extreme cold. Or - use Type A automatic transmission fluid.
Manual is for 1960. Now, lots of companies sell special low-viscosity transmission oils. Standard 303 it eqivalent to viscosity of 20 weight motor oil. Winter-grade modern trans oil is 10 weight.



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Tx Jim

01-03-2018 06:01:36




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
low viscosity Hy-gard



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Traditional Farmer

01-03-2018 05:51:36




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Buy a decent quality oil to start with.



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dhermesc

01-03-2018 06:21:06




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Traditional Farmer, 01-03-2018 05:51:36  
Agreed. Anything you do to the 303 oil will make it too thin to use this summer. It would be cheaper to start out fresh with Hy Guard or Hy Guard equivalent and not worry about it.



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caterpillar guy

01-03-2018 05:43:35




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 Re: Thinning 303 type hydraulic oil in reply to Bret4207, 01-03-2018 05:31:47  
Just use a heater to blow on them. We have temps down that cold and we just let them warm up a bit at first. That is with the Hytran oil. All IH tractors with one Deere in there. Don't seem to have much trouble with the oil.



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