Other option to Cub Cadet Hydrostatic Tranny Fluid?

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51
Location
Kansas City
Thread starter
Can anybody recommend a safe & reliable after market alternative to the very expensive fluid used for Cub Cadet lawn tractor hydrostatic transmissions? (I have a cub 2164.) They recommend changing the filter annually, which uses a quart or so in the process, and they recommend complete change/replacement at an hourly interval that is equal to every second year for me. That's about 4 quarts @$10/each! Thanks, -Doug
 
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51
Location
Kansas City
Thread starter
Thanks, JTK - I'm a little surprised with all the expertise and ingenuity here that there haven't been a couple of solid responses. Maybe nobody that frequents BITOG: 1. Cuts their grass - they hire it out! [Cool] 2. Changes their CC transaxle fluid [Eek!] 3. Owns a nice CC lawn tractor [Wink] What did you find for the transxle filter - do you have a cross reference for it? I did discover here a while back what the aftermarket oil filter is for the B&S engine I have, let me know if you need it, I have it written down at home. BTW - I grew up in Rochester and occassionally visit Upstate for family and business. (But avoid coming in the winter.) -Doug
 
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1,259
Location
Indiana
I'm guessing it's the same Eaton hydrostatic pump and motor system as the old WheelHorse unit like I have. Mine runs just fine (15 years anyway [Wink] )on good old 10W30 dino, changed every 100 hrs which for me is about 2 years. The stuff coming out looks just like the new stuff going in, since there's no combustion it stays quite clean looking compared to engine oil. I would look for some logos on the pump and motor housings and then do some internet searching on that mfgrs site for recommendations. FWIW the hydrostatic steering in the M1 Abrams tank is a high pressure system and runs on 15W40 engine oil (or 0W20 in arctic usage).
 

JTK

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12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
Doug, here are the filters I use for my 2544 (2005 model year): Oil Filter= Carquest # 85516 (oversized, 2x as long as OEM) Transaxle Filter = Carquest # 85410 (exact size to OEM) Our transaxle filters should be the same, the engine oil filter is for a kohler command 20hp. That filter will fit most all kohler, briggs and honda applications provided you have the room. Same filter as motorcraft FL400S. The WIX website is handy for x-refing. nascar- I dunno if CC used eaton pumps. Most were sauer/sunstrand, the new ones are hydro-gear. G/luck Joel
 
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51
Location
Kansas City
Thread starter
I found an answer. I decided to comb the Internet further and found someone on a tractor pull enthusiast site who builds and modifies lawn tractors. For the heck of it - nothing to lose - I tossed the proprietor an e-mail asking about options to the expensive cub cadet branded hydrostatic fluid. See pasted exchange below: ===================== Hi Brian, I have a 2164 cub cadet lawn tractor with a hydrostatic transmission. Do you know what I can safely use to change out the hydrostatic transmission fluid? I've heard people say motor oil, but the old quart of cub cadet branded hydrostat tranny fluid doesn't look at all like motor oil. Thanks for your time, Doug Kansas City ===================== Hi Doug. For the IH and MTD Cub Cadet transaxles, the official Cub Cadet repair manual says the recommended oil to use is Hy-Tran B-6, Hy-Tran PLUS (MS-1207), Hy-Tran ULTRA or equivalent. "Equivalent" means that it's safe to use any quality, name-brand hydraulic oil that meets or exceeds CASE/IH requirements. Brian M. ==================== Thank you, Brian. Although I work on cars a bit, I'm not knowledgeable about hydrostatic transmissions. Is "Hy-Tran" a brand name or classification? If I went to a Tractor Supply store or auto parts place, would they know what I was referring to? -Doug =================== Doug, "Hi-Tran" is a trademark name, I think. Anyway, most Farm & Home stores have Hi-Tran or at least they do here. If you do find any, look on the rear label of IH/Case hydraulic oil containers. It should say something about Hi-Tran. Brian M.
 
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168
Location
Maryland
I looked into this issue last year & found the reference to Hy-Tran(b) equivalent fluid. I think Hy-Tran is an IH spec from years ago. I ended up using Amsoil ATH so all of my hydraulic systems would have the same fluid & I have not had any problems. The ATH fluid works great in my kubota L3410, particularly in the dead of winter.
 

JTK

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12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
I agree RJC. Hy-Tran is more of an ATF looking lube, where the 'new' Cub Cadet Drive System Fluid Plus is a heavier (pouring) motor oil looking/smelling stuff. Hy-Tran would probably work, but the newer CC's use hydrogear hydrostats. HG typically specs motor oils in the 40wt range, 15w-40 typically. I don't have the B's to run 6qts of hy-tran in my 2005 CC 2544. Besides, that ~$40 worth of drive system fluid plus I changed out last year (+ WIX filter) is gonna stay in there for awhile yet. Joel
 
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51
Location
Kansas City
Thread starter
JTK, Not sure I followed what you were saying in your last post. My cc is a 2000 model year, not sure who the actual manufacturer is for the hydrostat. I found a 2 gallon jug of Hy-Tran for $20. (Though it is not synthetic.) I have not yet found the syn. or syn blend Hy-Tran. You mentioned "...the 'new' Cub Cadet Drive System Fluid Plus is a heavier (pouring) motor oil looking/smelling stuff." Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean. The pricey CC drive system stuff I've had is a clear fluid syn blend that is moderately thick but w/o much of an odor that I an detect. Using an air compressor I blow the dust and debris off the tractor, motor, and hyrdro after every use (I even pull the deck and scrape if off.) I'm trying to determine if I can safely use the Hy-Tran if I continue to change it out every 100 hours of use (about 2 seasons for me). I change the filter every year and top off about .5 quart of drive fluid that is lost during the change. -Doug
 

JTK

Messages
12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
Doug it all depends on what CC specs for your specific tractor. On the Cub cadet garden tractors with hydro-gear driven transaxles, CC specs the use of 'drive system fluid plus' only for this application. I know hydro-gear brand hydrostatic drives use motor oil in the 40wt range (usually 15w-40). I dunno the specs on Hytran, but I *think* it's a less viscous, ATF/hydraulic type lube. It may work fine in any of'em I dunno. If you dont have a HG rear, you may have a sauer-sunstrand rear. IIRC, those can use hytran. Joel
 
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7
Location
canada
You so you can use 40 weight oil. Can I use 5w40 Rotella T6 in my hydro gears safely. It calls for 20 W 50 motor oil conventional. Thank you in advance
 
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1,605
Location
Watertown, New York
A lot of the cub guys are using the filters from John Deere. One from a John Deere 317 or 318 will work on the older Cubs and cost half as much from what ive been told. Last time I got one for my 318, I think it was 7 or 8 bucks. John deere Hygard transmission/hydraulic fluid is about $16 a gallon from my local Deere dealer as well, and id bet would work just fine in the Cub.
 
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582
Location
WV
I know fluids can be expensive, but for me, the hydrostat is NOT the place to save a buck or two. I've had JD's all my life, and I've owned other brands along with the JD's. I've learned that the fluid, changed every other year is not that big a deal, and I've yet to have a hydro go out. I had a pristine WH 141 auto, that was my pride and joy, even though I didn't really like mowing with it, as it had a 36" deck which took forever to mow with, but it was just a fun tractor. Well, in a moment of weakness, my neighbor talked me into selling it to him. He's one of those guys who messes with things until they don't work anymore, and sure enough he changed the hydro fluid, (it used 10w40 or 20w50 motor oil), but for some odd reason, he decided that if oil was good, tranny fluid would be better (at least that's what I'm thinking he used). It lasted not quite a whole summer before it stopped going uphill and finally quit moving altogether. Post mortem revealed a ruined hydro. JD's usually use HyGard, and that's what I use in mine. So, $40-50 bucks every couple years seems cheap for a good hydro.I don't know about Cubs, but the JD TuffTroq K91/92 can cost upwards to $4K, so I'm not gonna try to save a buck or two on fluid.
 
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Messages
12,238
Location
Indiana
Earlier an Eaton HST unit was mentioned that was also used in Wheel Horses of this era. If this is true, what model is it?
 
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JTK

Messages
12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
This is an ancient thread. Way back then I had a conversation with Hydrogear corp in regards to "Cub Cadet Drive System Fluid Plus" that Cub 2000 and 3000 series riding mowers of that vintage used. You can substitute 40 and 50wt variants in these drives. I forget exactly what they hold but I seem to recall 6qts. I had a ~2005 model year Cub 2544 that I ran 15w40 in and my ~2010 model year Cub Z-Force 44 with ZT2800 drives also spec'd Cub Cadet Drive System Fluid Plus.
 
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