Hydraulic oil vs. motor oil

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M700man

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Mar 26, 2006
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I know this subject has been beat to death, but there does not seem to be a definitive answer. Bobcat suggests 10w30/10w40 motor oil "in an emergency" . That tells me it is not the ideal oil to use. I was also told by a Bobcat technician, that the "Bobcat Oil" is supplied by the lowest bidder, and the brand will vary from lot to lot. Additionally, he/others said do not use "tractor oil" if memory serves me correct. As I may have mentioned in another post, I talked to a local oil dealer who recomended using Mobil DTE15M. Now, I am faced with the additional problem of a machine in good condition, but needs the filter changed. Of course I will lose some oil in the process and I have absolutely no idea what kind of oil is already in it. I cannot believe that mixing motor oil and hyd. oil is a good idea. I realize both are oil, but that doesn't do it for me, as I have had the $$$$experience on hydrostatic pumps/motors several times and am painfully aware of just how important the proper oil is. No, personally I don't buy the "cheapest" as you get what you pay for. So, what's the best solution? Really depending on you guys. Thanks, John
 

sterlclan

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as far a oil goes my machine lists 10 30 as the spec oil and hydralic and motor oil are almost the same thing they would mix most likley with no problems just my 2cents worth Jeff
 

Tazza

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as far a oil goes my machine lists 10 30 as the spec oil and hydralic and motor oil are almost the same thing they would mix most likley with no problems just my 2cents worth Jeff
Personally, i would change your oil to a brand that you know. When you need to top it up you know exactly what to put in. On my bobcats i use only Castroll RX Super, i use this oil in my engine, my hydrostatic/hydraulic system and my chain case. If you just got the machine, i recommend you drop all the oil and replace the filters, then you know exactly where you stand on a service point and you know what oil you are running. It would be a good idea to change the chain case oil too, most people neglect doing this job, i know its a horrible job, but its needed. In alot of cases, water gets in and the oil is a nice white colour.
 

sterlclan

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Personally, i would change your oil to a brand that you know. When you need to top it up you know exactly what to put in. On my bobcats i use only Castroll RX Super, i use this oil in my engine, my hydrostatic/hydraulic system and my chain case. If you just got the machine, i recommend you drop all the oil and replace the filters, then you know exactly where you stand on a service point and you know what oil you are running. It would be a good idea to change the chain case oil too, most people neglect doing this job, i know its a horrible job, but its needed. In alot of cases, water gets in and the oil is a nice white colour.
I like the idea of draining the case first and putting the old hydrualic fluid in that thing holds a lot of oil personaly I havent done that yet but next time I am going to Jeff
 

M700man

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I like the idea of draining the case first and putting the old hydrualic fluid in that thing holds a lot of oil personaly I havent done that yet but next time I am going to Jeff
Yes, that is my intention- to drain the fluid and replace it with a known brand, so I can add the same to it as needed. Good point though, I completely forgot about the chain cases. What type of oil do they use ? Thanks for all the replies, and yes, I am following this as you guys post. I try not to be one of the ones that ask the thought provoking questions and then dissappear, without ever posting results/findings, etc. Thanks, John
 

Tazza

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Yes, that is my intention- to drain the fluid and replace it with a known brand, so I can add the same to it as needed. Good point though, I completely forgot about the chain cases. What type of oil do they use ? Thanks for all the replies, and yes, I am following this as you guys post. I try not to be one of the ones that ask the thought provoking questions and then dissappear, without ever posting results/findings, etc. Thanks, John
The chain case uses the exact same fluid as the hydraulics/hydrostatics.
As others have said, you can use the old oil from your hydraulic system and drop it into the chain case. I have sort of done this before when i was purging my system of its old oil. I droped all the oil i could, then re-filled the system and ran it a bit. I drained the system again and put the oil in the chain case. Re-filled and drained again and threw it in the chain case. Basically the chain case got a mix of older and new oil which wouldn't matter. At the time, the machine had quite a few leaks, i was topping the oil up all the time, so all the oil was basically new.
 

bobbie-g

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Mar 15, 2004
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The chain case uses the exact same fluid as the hydraulics/hydrostatics.
As others have said, you can use the old oil from your hydraulic system and drop it into the chain case. I have sort of done this before when i was purging my system of its old oil. I droped all the oil i could, then re-filled the system and ran it a bit. I drained the system again and put the oil in the chain case. Re-filled and drained again and threw it in the chain case. Basically the chain case got a mix of older and new oil which wouldn't matter. At the time, the machine had quite a few leaks, i was topping the oil up all the time, so all the oil was basically new.
Oil is a whole lot cheaper than repairs, even if you buy the Bobcat oil/hydraulic fluid. And it just feels great to have changed the hydraulic/hydrostatic fluid, and know that you have good clean oil. Until you rent/borrow your next hydraulic attachment. Then you're once again polluted with whatever dirty oil the last guy was running. As someone posted here, the solution to that is to disconnect the return line connector from the attachment and run a gallon or so of fluid into a bucket. Then you have sort of purged the last guy's junk and have filled the attachment with your nice clean fluid. ---Bob
 

skidsteer.ca

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My local Bobcat teck say 10/30 motor oil. He does not support buying the cheapest no name brand you can find though. The only reason bobcat recomends using their oil is they want to sell it to you. If its ok to use 10/30, then its ok period. They don't say in my owners manual to remove it as soon as you get your hand on their brand again. Beside they pretty much have to build the machine to use some sort of readily available oil, some customers are 100s of miles from their dealer. Btw 10/30 is a far better hyd oil then what is called hyd oil (ie Shell tellus 68). It has more lubrication. Std hyd oil is pretty much the cheapest oil they can make. Another mechanic friend say you can substitute most any oil for hyd oil (in a system that calls for a Tellus type oil), but recomends motor oil in all aplications that don't call for a transmission/hydraulic oil ie Shell donax TD, which is a gear and hyd oil. Std hyd oil is Cheap, thats your first clue to its quality, trans/hyd and motor oil are just a better grade product, and therefore more expensive. Bobcat oil on the other hand is expensive, but likely no better than a good motor oil. I run shells rotella t 10/30 in engine, chain case and hyd. If you loader calls for trans/hyd oil however, you must not use motor oil then. Just my .02 Ken
 

scsindust

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Sep 17, 2005
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My local Bobcat teck say 10/30 motor oil. He does not support buying the cheapest no name brand you can find though. The only reason bobcat recomends using their oil is they want to sell it to you. If its ok to use 10/30, then its ok period. They don't say in my owners manual to remove it as soon as you get your hand on their brand again. Beside they pretty much have to build the machine to use some sort of readily available oil, some customers are 100s of miles from their dealer. Btw 10/30 is a far better hyd oil then what is called hyd oil (ie Shell tellus 68). It has more lubrication. Std hyd oil is pretty much the cheapest oil they can make. Another mechanic friend say you can substitute most any oil for hyd oil (in a system that calls for a Tellus type oil), but recomends motor oil in all aplications that don't call for a transmission/hydraulic oil ie Shell donax TD, which is a gear and hyd oil. Std hyd oil is Cheap, thats your first clue to its quality, trans/hyd and motor oil are just a better grade product, and therefore more expensive. Bobcat oil on the other hand is expensive, but likely no better than a good motor oil. I run shells rotella t 10/30 in engine, chain case and hyd. If you loader calls for trans/hyd oil however, you must not use motor oil then. Just my .02 Ken
I got the AW46 spec oil from NAPA. It was priced pretty good, and it comes in 5 gallon buckets.
 
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