Substitute for John Deere Hy-Gard J20D?

Dec 8, 2006
I'm getting tired of paying John Deere's prices for their Low Viscosity Hy-Gard (aka Hy-Tran) fluid, otherwise known as "J20D". Any one know of a substitute for this, from someone like Shell or Mystik?
What other suppliers do you use. Any of the major oil companies ( Shell, Exxon, etc) will have generic hydraulic/transmission fluids.
Big R's, Farm fleet, rural king, most NAPA's in Central Il all carry a low priced universal tractor fluid that meets the jd specs.
Just to clarify... All of these manufacturers/stores have the equivalent of *low-viscosity* Hy-Gard? I'm not referring to the regular stuff... If they all carry the equivalent of los-vis Hy-Gard, then what rock have I been under???
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I misread. They very well may not have a low vis equiv. I would think the local jobber would carry an equiv.
Citgo has Lo-Temp Trans Gard that meets the J20D spec.. Not sure if there is a Mystic(Citgo) equivalent. Amsoil and Chevron have single products that meet BOTH the C and D rating. Top notch products, but initial cost probably won't be less.
Texas Refinery Corp's Special Low Temp Universal Torque Fluid meets the JD J20D spec. It has a -50 deg pour point so low temp operation shouldn't be a problem.
Chevron "Synthetic All-Weather THF" meets JD J20C and J20D specs. Viscosity at 40*C/100*C is 44.7/9.5 cSt. Chevron "THF W" meets J20D only. Viscosity at 40*C/100*C is 34.4/7.3 cSt.
I'm getting tired of paying John Deere's prices for their Low Viscosity Hy-Gard
How much are they charging for it mrsilv04? Reason I ask is a guy at the TractorByNet forum said he paid some amazing amount, like $10/qt or something, and I just got some from my local J-D guy on Saturday for $12/gal for my X595. It's definitely J20D "Low-Vis/HyGard".
I am using Amsoil Synthetic Tractor Hydraulic/Transmission Oil SAE 5W-30 (ATH) in my JD lawn tractor. It meets the specs for the J20D fluid.
According to the Official John Deere service manual for Lawn Tractors LX255,LX266,LX277,LX2 (TM1754), You Can use a SAE 5W or 10W30 Oil (Synthetic or Mineral) or John Deere HY-GARD™ J20C Oil. Its your choice. I had some HY-GARD™ on the shelf in the garage that meets the J20D spec, but if I run out, its nice to know that I can use an SAE motor oil. I'd put a copy of the PDF on here if it was legal, but unfortunately I had to pay money to John Deere for it and I don't want to be sued for copyright stuff.
What's the application here? For what it's worth, Deere does specify engine oil to be used as hydraulic fluid in quite a few applications- including machines that are far more expensive and powerful than lawn tractors. They'll often have a chart in the operator's manual showing a variety of engine oil viscosities and either standard or low-vis hyguard, depending on temperature range. Case also uses engine oil in some of their skidsteer hydraulic systems. But they have an additional additive to put in with the 10w30.
While I know for sure that the Chevron "Synthetic All-Weather THF" meets the JD spec for this and several other TT transaxles, I would stick with the Low Vis HyGard. I'm a long time JD tractor owner and have always used HyGard where indicated, with absolutely no complaints. The fact that it is very reasonably priced, makes it a no brainer. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Chevron makes the HyGard, but it would take some searching to get that info. JD has a lot at stake in what they recommend, and I'm confident they wouldn't recommend anything but the best for their transaxles. I know it's a natural tendency to want to "change", "imporve", "re-engineer", or "second guess" the engineers at the factory, but don't change what is known to work, not to mention recommended by the guys who build them.
Hope this isn't against policy here. If so, I won't be offended by a delete of this posting. Just trying to help out... Anyway. I have an unopened 55 gallon drum of the Citgo Transgard THF Lo-Temp in NW Ohio, that I'm willing to part with. It specifies John Deere J20D compatibility.
All my machines are much older than your Deere I'm sure, but I've switched over our hydraulic and transmission oils to ATF. I paid $8/gal for a drum of Sunoco ATF which has fantastic cold flow properties. I'm not advising you to defy the recommended oil for your machine, but in this case my manuals gave me the flexibility to run this ATF and I'm very happy with it.
HyGard/HyGard Low Vis is one of the best fluids on the planet for its intended use, and its competitively priced. No need to re-invent the wheel with this fluid choice.
J20 specs are on almost every crap to platinum level aftermarket hytran fluid out there. They are NOT all created equal. The John Deere site explains this. The low vis Hyguard is really good stuff and my only fault with it is questionable protection in the hot summer months with long hard hours of work. Regular Hyguard works in any low temp where you will get me out there and working, so my compact utility manual has that. EIther Hyguard can even serve as hydrostatic fluid. I have been told, but do not know for sure, that Valvoline produces it so maybe they have similar aftermarket product, but the good stuff is NOT cheap.