Mixing hydraulic fluid and ATF

Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
I bought a SpeeCo branded log splitter yesterday. It came with 5 gallons of AW46, but once the entire system filled up, it's about an inch below the add mark on the dipstick and 1.5 gallons low. I'm seeing mixed reviews online that don't seem to match what's in my owners manual. People say their manual specifically says not to mix whereas mine says it can be "substituted" ( I take this to mean it's mixable?) as well an an entire switch for cold weather performance. Are there any long term issues with me topping off the system with ATF? I have plenty of that on hand.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,384
Location
Iowegia - USA
If its a 22 ton log splitter (you didn't state the model or tonnage force) the stated capacity is 5 gallons and usually comes with NAPA ISO 46 fluid. Filtering is important so stock up on extra filters and replace 1 quart per filter change. A recommended hydraulic Oil which is a blend of mineral and synthetic base oils can be found in ISO46; https://www.schaefferoil.com/documents/130-254-td.pdf
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
Originally Posted by MolaKule
If its a 22 ton log splitter (you didn't state the model or tonnage force) the stated capacity is 5 gallons and usually comes with NAPA ISO 46 fluid. Filtering is important so stock up on extra filters and replace 1 quart per filter change. A recommended hydraulic Oil which is a blend of mineral and synthetic base oils can be found in ISO46; https://www.schaefferoil.com/documents/130-254-td.pdf
Thanks. It's a 25 ton. The reservoir holds 5 gallons. Filling the entire system while maintaining a "filled" amount requires 6.5. It's also good to know ISO46 is a blend. I'll stick with the one fluid.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,384
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Originally Posted by MolaKule
If its a 22 ton log splitter (you didn't state the model or tonnage force) the stated capacity is 5 gallons and usually comes with NAPA ISO 46 fluid. Filtering is important so stock up on extra filters and replace 1 quart per filter change. A recommended hydraulic Oil which is a blend of mineral and synthetic base oils can be found in ISO46; https://www.schaefferoil.com/documents/130-254-td.pdf
Thanks. It's a 25 ton. The reservoir holds 5 gallons. Filling the entire system while maintaining a "filled" amount requires 6.5. It's also good to know ISO46 is a blend. I'll stick with the one fluid.
ISO 46 Hydraulic fluid can be based on anything from pure mineral oil, to a mineral oil PAO Blend, to a pure PAO synthetic. Cold weather performance improves as you go from a mineral oil to a Blend to a synthetic. When I built log splitters using Caterpillar Rams, I used Schaeffer #254.
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
Thanks. I have no idea what it ended up coming with, but I'm assuming it's the cheapest mineral stuff possible. The containers were generic with no manufacturer. Same with the pint of oil it came with. No manufacturer. I'll see how it does in the cold before topping off.. I guess the less fluid the system has, the faster it'll warm up and since it's cold, nothing should get too hot. Their idea of cold weather and when to change to a better fluid is 32*F so I may have to make a change sooner rather than later. Somewhat surprising it came with such a thick oil since you'd think anyone splitting wood would be in temps much colder.
 
Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
Say I did want to switch. How clean would the system have to be if changing from hydraulic oil to ATF? I assume no old fluid can be left behind. Seems like it'd be easier to stick with a thinner and/ or synthetic hydraulic oil since I'd assume I'd just need to drain and refill. Maxlife ATF seems like the cheapest well rounded option IMO. Cheap, easy to find and full syn.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,384
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Thanks. ... Somewhat surprising it came with such a thick oil since you'd think anyone splitting wood would be in temps much colder.
The fluid that it came with should have the same viscosity as a Dex/Merc ATF since it specs an ISO46 fluid. I suggested stocking up on filters because those filters can trap a lot of moisture.
 
Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Thanks. ... Somewhat surprising it came with such a thick oil since you'd think anyone splitting wood would be in temps much colder.
The fluid that it came with should have the same viscosity as a Dex/Merc ATF since it specs an ISO46 fluid. I suggested stocking up on filters because those filters can trap a lot of moisture.
How are these systems prone to moisture buildup?
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,384
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Thanks. ... Somewhat surprising it came with such a thick oil since you'd think anyone splitting wood would be in temps much colder.
The fluid that it came with should have the same viscosity as a Dex/Merc ATF since it specs an ISO46 fluid. I suggested stocking up on filters because those filters can trap a lot of moisture.
How are these systems prone to moisture buildup?
Speeco 25 Ton Log Splitter Manual Page 10, Item 16, Part No. 3903750, Dip Stick/Breather Cap
 
Messages
12,247
Location
Indiana
Thread starter
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by dlundblad
Thanks. ... Somewhat surprising it came with such a thick oil since you'd think anyone splitting wood would be in temps much colder.
The fluid that it came with should have the same viscosity as a Dex/Merc ATF since it specs an ISO46 fluid. I suggested stocking up on filters because those filters can trap a lot of moisture.
How are these systems prone to moisture buildup?
Speeco 25 Ton Log Splitter Manual Page 10, Item 16, Part No. 3903750, Dip Stick/Breather Cap
This is what I was guessing, but I wanted to make sure. It's garage kept and will never see rain so that should help.
 
Top