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Order Ford 600 Parts Online

Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas?

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02-11-2019 05:33:19

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First time posting on this board. Have had a 600 on the farm for 40+ years. Tractor is used all the time. When I was a kid I'd bet it was getting anywhere from 200-300 hrs a year. The other day it fired up at say -5 to -10F. I had a 3 pt blade on the back and wanted to use it to pull some snow away from some buildings. The 3 pt is one thing rarely used in the winter so maybe just never noticed this before.

After reading stuff online some talked about sludge in the bottom of the hyd reservoir. Never having been in there for a really long time I removed the PTO lever/cover and found things to be very clean inside. There was a also a plate on the bottom of this reservoir so I took that off pretty much finding nothing. We simply run in the hyd portion was we call UTF, or equivalent of Deere Hygard which I run in all of my farming tractors.

Is my pump worn, oil too heavy for these temps, something in rockshaft cover causing this, looking for tips and ideas. Sorry for the tipped photos. Unsure in this forum how to rotate them. TIA

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02-11-2019 15:54:43

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
All ATFs contain friction modifiers, except for those ATFs specified for some Ford transmissions and the John Deere J-21A specification;[6] the Ford ESP (or ESW) - M2C-33 F specification Type F ATF (Ford-O-Matic) and Ford ESP (or ESW) - M2C-33 G specification Type G ATF (1980s Ford Europe and Japan)[3] specifically excludes the addition of friction modifiers.[3] According to the same oil distributor, the M2C-33 G specification requires fluids which provide improved shear resistance and oxidation protection, better low-temperature fluidity, better EP (extreme pressure) properties and additional seal tests over and above M2C-33 F quality fluids.
Note the reference to ford and john deere j-21a being excluded.

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02-11-2019 15:49:53

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
The 1967 Ford Type-F fluid specification was intended to produce a “lifetime” fluid which would never need to be changed. This was the first of many Ford “lifetime” fluids. The 1974 Ford Car Shop Manual reads "The automatic transmission is filled at the factory with "lifetime" fluid. If it is necessary to add or replace fluid, use only fluids which meet Ford Specification M2C33F. Many other transmission manufacturers have followed with their own "Lifetime" automatic transmission fluids".

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02-11-2019 15:47:40

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
Ford said in the owners manual....for the hydraulic system.

you could use several oils..

you could use m4864a with m4864d mixed in for below 10F.

you could use m4864a pure above 10F.


you could use m2c41 at any temperature.

SO. the m4864a is a mild ep gear oil and you must mix in very cold weather.

Or use the m2c41 (type A automatic transmission fluid) in all temps. {{{{yes, it does say type a automatic transmission fluid}}}}}}

For the engine... A mm or ms rated engine oil is recommended for engine use.... by temp as multi wt oils were not available in 1957. (It notes to bump up one level or notch in oil wt, after first years use in cold weather.)

The m2c41 must be used in the power steering.(type A automatic transmission fluid) at any temp.

AND a mild ep gear oil for use in the ...pedestal, final drive, transmission, and rear end where equipped. It suggests an 80wt mild ep gear lube.

So. back to your question. IF your running a gear lube in your hydraulics, its too thick for cold winter use (below 10f) unless you dilute it. If your running a type A hydraulic fluid or better, its ok for round the year use. You tractor did NOT have wet brakes, or wet clutches, or extreme high pressures... that required a synthetic blend, nor was it made after 1975 with the higher pressures. So about any UTF (Universal Tractor Hydraulic fluid) will meet or exceed your tractors specification for Type A hydraulic fluid for use in all temps. If your operating continuously in sub zero temps, you might want to bump the hydraulic fluid to a synthetic blend to give you even better service. But then you would need to change all the other fluids for extreme cold weather work. Also you would have to watch for water vapor in the gas tank and lines freezing as well. The ford 641 is not the best tractor to use at -40 degrees anyway.


In 1949, GM released a new Type "A" fluid specification[9][10]. In an attempt to make GM automatic transmission fluid available at retailers and service garages everywhere. It is important to understand that every automatic transmission produced by any vehicle manufacturer (Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC, Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Desoto, Packard, and Studebaker used GM Type "A" transmission fluids in their transmissions from 1949-1958.
In the 1940's, 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, ATF contained whale oil as a rust and corrosion inhibitor[11]. A moratorium on whale oil at that time prevented the continued production of older ATF such as the original 1967 DEXRON formulation (Type B), and the fluids which preceded it. Vintage GM (1940-1967), Ford (1951-1967

Through the late 1970s, Ford transmissions were factory filled with a fluid identified as ESW M2C33-F. To provide a fluid that would be available to the general public for service fill, oil companies and other than factory fill suppliers were allowed to develop fluids meeting the ESW M2C33-F specification and market these fluids under their own brand names but identified as Type F.

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02-11-2019 15:32:25

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas? in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
I've had better results with synthetic oil that is less effected by temperature (high or low ). The system is very early technogly so not so good by modern standards. We seldom see less than 20F around here and Ns/hundered Fords were slow for first hour when tractors were new. Even with a new pump,there's a huge difference in how a loader works compared to 10 year later tractors. That's why most people add a pump to pto or front crank when a loader is installed.

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Sean in PA

02-11-2019 14:48:40

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
The Low Viscosity Hygard is what is spec'd for the hydrostatic transaxles in JD lawn & garden tractors. I use it in both of mine. It is a little thinner than the Traveller's Premium UTF that I use in my Ford 4000, but not by much. If the regular Hygard is much thicker than that then I could see why a Ford 600's hydraulics would be slow in the cold weather, but if you're saying that's what you've been using for 25-30 years and this winter is the first time it's been slow then it must be something else.

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02-11-2019 08:43:47

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas? in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
Is it possible that someone got some 90 wt oil mixed in?

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02-11-2019 08:20:19

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas? in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
Any frozen water in there? that will plug em up.

If it was me, I'd run some diesel or kero in the hyds sump and let it circulate and then drain, and then see how she acted with that UTF. if still super slow, you can always do what the old JD manuals reccomend and thin that oil with a quart of kerosene in the winter. :)

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Larry NCKS

02-11-2019 07:54:57

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
Three things come to mind.

1. I agree with Dean. If it's cold, oil is thicker. however, it should warm up and flow better as the tractor warms up.

2. It appears you are changing oil. That may have been long overdo. Don't just put oil in because it's what you use. Make sure it meets or exceeds the spec for that machine.

3. Your hydraulic pump could be needing bled or even an overhaul.

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02-11-2019 06:10:01

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas? in reply to 730diesel, 02-11-2019 05:33:19  
The "plate on the bottom" provides access to the relief valve. DO NOT use goop on this plate upon reassembly.

Any evidence of water contamination?

Sounds like thick oil but not familiar with HyGard so cannot comment.

I would expect operation to be much slower than usual in sub zero temperatures.


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02-11-2019 14:11:30

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 Re: Ford 600 hyds super slow to in op in cold weather, ideas? in reply to Dean, 02-11-2019 06:10:01  
To answer some questions. I would say there was no water contamination and zero ice. I'd say hard to believe any gear lube migrated in there as the level was good. 25-30 years ago we were changing oils and the operators manual listed an oil for the hyd section but when we took that book to the Ford dealership it was all deer in the headlights trying to figure out what oil that has now become. They were basically it is too old for us to know, which I kinda understand. We are all green except this one tractor. In the Deere world they use Hygard in everything modern but stuff like combines for a long time used "low viscosity" Hygard in their hydraulics. Low vis is basically 10W and maybe a lighter oil would help in this situation. When I started it that day it took 25 minutes before it basically raised. After I used it for another 25 minutes it wasn't so bad.

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