Trans Hydraulic Fluid Comparison

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4,563
Location
NW Ohio
I recently had the occasion to to VOA on the Traveller brand "Premium" Trans Hydraulic Fluid available at Tractor Supply. We have previously discusses this oil on this forum. I was very disappointed in the results and not a little chagrined because I had publicly advocated it as a generic replacement for the HyTran my Farmall 826 calls for. So, I got some virgin HyTran Ultra (advertised as a low zinc formula) and subjected it to a VOA. Then I got hold of a basic additive package blender use to make THF and added it to the Traveller. You can see the VOAs here: THF VOA Comparison I was not overly impressed with the HyTran either, as least based on the few other THF VOAs I've seen. What's missing is he zinc and I wonder what is used to replace it. THe new stuff is super strong and should do well. Whaddaya think.
 
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8
Location
SE Oklahoma
I thought zinc was bad for the "yellow" metals, therefor low zinc in common transmission/hydraulic applications is good. I am currently using Xtreme tractor hydraulic (Yellow bucket) made by Cross Oil Refining. I just found out that they make a Xtreme Ultra Premium TH (Black bucket). This sounds better for my tractors, but I am not sure. I think I will call the company tomorrow. They are in Arkansas. I have JD, CIH, and Cat tractors, and I want an one oil that will meet ALL specs.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,510
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Iowegia - USA
Most THF's are between 7 and 9.5 cSt, with the latter being most common. It looks like the additve thinned your 9 cSt Traveller down somewhat. The newer chemistries are generally better than the old high zinc formulas.
 
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Jim Allen

Thread starter
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NW Ohio
 Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Most THF's are between 7 and 9.5 cSt, with the latter being most common. It looks like the additve thinned your 9 cSt Traveller down somewhat. The newer chemistries are generally better than the old high zinc formulas.
We're getting that viscosity retested... another VOA of Traveller and of the blend. One would think only gallon of additive in 22 wouldn't have thinned the fluid that much, but maybe so. The base oil carrier in the additive seemed pretty thick (I'd guess a 20 to 30 grade). Mola, My big question is: What are they using in the these new fluids as an anti-wear additive? It's not showing up in the VOA. The VOAs look nothing like the generic THF formula you gave me some years back, which had lots of Z & P. The Traveller and Hytran look similar, though the HyTran has more of the additives that show up (calcium for one). I have lots to learn here yet.
 
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8
Location
SE Oklahoma
I just contacted Cross Oil by phone. They are going to email the anylisis on their two tractor hydraulic oils. These oils are high in Zn. They said that Zn is bad on silver metals, but the main reason for lower Zn in Hytran and others is to be environmental friendly.
 
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8
Location
SE Oklahoma
These results were sent to me from the manufacturer. They represent two tests done on the same oil. Are these numbers good for a THF? Ca .223 .256 Zn .107 .106 P .088 .088 S .337 .330
 

Jim Allen

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If those number are percentages, and I did my math right, that's: Ca 2230/2560 ppm Zn 1070/1060 ppm P 880/880 ppm S 3370/3300 ppm That would seem to be a pretty strong additive pack based on what I have seen. Mola sent me numbers on a sample universal formula from the high zinc era: Ca 3900 ppm (or 3500 ppm Mg) ZN 1400 ppm P 1200 ppm S 3500 ppm B 100 ppm
 
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8
Location
SE Oklahoma
I am just beginning to study this oil anylisis stuff. I have always changed oil periodically in equipment, and had good luck. Now with costs rising on everthing (oil, parts, and equipment cost) I am willing to learn more. I take it that base oil has no Ca, Zn, etc. The value(quality)of an oil is in the additive pack added to the base oil? When I run a UOA I obviously am looking for contaminates like wear metals, fuel, or anti-freeze. My question is do the additives that are good breakdown with use? Is this what TBN and TAN measure? TIA for any help.
 
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Wouldn't the high adds be good {needed} for the trans and diffs? I know that only so much add package is needed and more won't really help but I am old fashioned, more up to a point is better as it may buy time on the parts?
 

Jim Allen

Thread starter
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NW Ohio
Base oil is just that, no additives. Both the base oil and the additive package work synergistically to produce the end product. Both the choice of base oil and the additive package can each add substantially to the cost of the product. To some degree the strengths in one can cover for the weakness of the other, but I think the additives have an edge in order of importance. In other words, a good-but-not-great base oil with stellar additives might be a better oil overall than the reverse. My opinion anyway. Overall, you don't want to get to far apart with either element. Synergy is the name of the game, and to some degree the additives must be tailored to the base oil, and vice versa The additive package does break down no matter how good it is. The TBN is an indicator of the strength of the package. TAN measured the acidity of the oil in total, but is also an indicator f the strength of the package because as the additives wear out, the oil become more acidic. A high starting TBN is a good thing, but sometimes they drop precipitously. It's better to have a number that will stay high over the course of the life of the oil rather than one that starts high and drops like a rock. I agree Steve: I really think that the difference in cost can be seen in the level of additives in the compared oils.
 
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