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Old 04-26-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Default ATF as hydraulic fluid

I recently purchased a hydraulic jack. It has a powered pump, and the instructions say to use ATF as the fluid. But, it doesn't specify beyond that.

I have been reading all sorts of stuff on the web. Most of the differences seem to be in the OEM specified additives. Not having used any hydraulics in person, I have no idea how important or not these additives are.

So, does it really make any difference in this application? Synthetic or regular? Dextron, Mercon, TF or plain old store brand?
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Use the cheapest AutoZone brand atf you can get.

The detergents won't have any affect on your Jack, as it's considered a low intensity lift.

The detergents can cause seal issues in your higher intensity systems, and actually foam/cavitate depending on pump design.

Any hand operated system isn't gonna have any of these issues.

Or, conversely, find your nearest TSC, and buy some tractor trans/hydraulic fluid ($20/gal)

We use that shut in everything in the field, and have had no issues to mention.

*advice given reflecting 10+ years as a professional heavy equipment/hydraulic technician*
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:10 PM   #3
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Use the cheapest AutoZone brand atf you can get.

The detergents won't have any affect on your Jack, as it's considered a low intensity lift.

The detergents can cause seal issues in your higher intensity systems, and actually foam/cavitate depending on pump design.

Any hand operated system isn't gonna have any of these issues.

Or, conversely, find your nearest TSC, and buy some tractor trans/hydraulic fluid ($20/gal)

We use that shut in everything in the field, and have had no issues to mention.

*advice given reflecting 10+ years as a professional heavy equipment/hydraulic technician*
It's a powered (110V) system, not a hand pump. "Hydraulic fluid AW32" is $14 a gallon. Cheap store brand ATF is $5 a quart. Synthetic is $6. A buck or two isn't gonna break the bank, so out of the three, do you still recommend the Cheap ATF? What flavor (Dextron3, ATF4 and MerconV are all the same price), or doesn't it matter?

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:20 PM   #4
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It's a powered (110V) system, not a hand pump. "Hydraulic fluid AW32" is $14 a gallon. Cheap store brand ATF is $5 a quart. Synthetic is $6. A buck or two isn't gonna break the bank, so out of the three, do you still recommend the Cheap ATF? What flavor (Dextron3, ATF4 and MerconV are all the same price), or doesn't it matter?

Thanks for the advice.
Personally, I would only use the aw32.

However, if the system is primed with atf, or the pump was shipped with atf, then obviously I wouldn't mix fluids.

Of the choices in reference to ATF, no need for synthetic. Cheap dex3, or 4 is fine. The different types only refer to the detergents, as you already know, and those are of no importance in your system.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:30 PM   #5
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Shipped dry, I believe. Since the AW32 isn't that much more, I will get that.

Many thanks.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:28 PM   #6
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Yup cheap ATF is what you want.

I use it all the time at work and home.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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From the BendPak website: "BendPak lifts are designed to operate using standard 10-weight, non-foaming, non-detergent hydraulic oil or Dexron-III ATF fluid."

So, which is it? They are not quite the same thing. Still wanting a direct answer, I called the service line. Ranger products are made by Bendpak. Tech told me in no uncertain terms to use Dextron III ATF. The reason is, that the ATF is thinner than the AW32, and will work better (faster) in the small power pack shipped with the QJ. Either would work, but be sure not to mix them. He could not tell me why Dextron III vs. Mercon or ATF4. Just the info he had at hand, which was Dx3 was the stuff to use.

Horses mouth and all that. I will use the ATF.
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:47 PM   #8
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I used autisticzone special ATF in my quickjack. FWIW. Seems to do just fine.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:36 PM   #9
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I set mine up a week ago and used whatever ATF was on sale when I was at the store. Don't over think.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:01 PM   #10
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Don't over think.
I'm an engineer; it's automatic.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
I used autisticzone special ATF in my quickjack. FWIW. Seems to do just fine.
"vatozone" rolls off the tongue a little better
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