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Thread: SEE - Cold weather hydralic issues

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    Default SEE - Cold weather hydralic issues

    I have seen comments on another forum regarding the hydraulics for SEEs being almost useless in extreme cold weather as the poster's SEEs came from down south and the fluid was too thick. Extreme cold weather in this case was in the -10 to -30 F range. I have seen the Technical Service hints about exercising the hydraulics in cold weather but its sound like that even has its limits. My SEE is parked for this winter due mostly to it getting in the way of snowplowing and no interest on my part to expose it to the nasty deicing chemicals used these days on the roads. I do at some point expect it will get used in the winter.

    The question in my mind is should we be looking at something other than regular hydraulic fluid or engine oil for the SEE hydraulics?. I have had very good luck on regular vehicles using synthetic motor oil to make them turn over quicker in the winter as the viscosity of synthetic is far less impacted by temperature (it pours readily compared to regular oil in cold temps which pours like molasses). I wonder if switching to synthetic hydraulic fluid will have the same benefits?. Synthetics used to get blamed for increased engine oil leaks but I don't hear that as often. Curious how the old seals in system would adapt to it?
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    dumpsterlandingfromorbit! gimpyrobb's Avatar
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    Could you put a heat exchanger in the hydraulic system somewhere? Run engine coolant to it and you should be fine.

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    Colonel Speedwoble's Avatar
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    The solution for cold weather is to switch to a thinner hydraulic fluid. Anything else is just a bandaid. The belt driven pump will operate as soon as the engine is started, so it will be affected by cold fluid. It is the system that should be changed or pre-heated. However the belt pump is an open center system, so minimal restriction. The risk with thick fluid is cavitation or overpressure in the system. Change the fluid to a thinner hydraulic oil, or follow the cold weather advice.
    The pto pump you can chose whether to engage or not.

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    4 Star General snowtrac nome's Avatar
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    We run synthetic aw 32 hydraulic oil up here with great success. that would be the way to go in my opinion, be advised it will be expensive but most synthetics are also environmentally friendly. Chevron clarity is what we use both environmentally friendly and flows good at cold temps. amz oil is also a great product but I don't know if it is certified as environmentally friendly.

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    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    I haven't has any issues running the snow blower (off the rear hydraulics) with regular AW32.
    Of course, I can't remember what the coldest temperature has been - not all the way down to -20, as I recall, but at least around zero.

    Running the backhoe in the morning after a single digit night hasn't been a problem, either.

    I couldn't afford synthetic, so if I had problems I'd probably switch to a lighter weight hydraulic fluid for the winter. Then dump the old AW32 back in in the spring.

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    Corporal msharky007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The FLU farm View Post
    I haven't has any issues running the snow blower (off the rear hydraulics) with regular AW32.
    Of course, I can't remember what the coldest temperature has been - not all the way down to -20, as I recall, but at least around zero.

    Running the backhoe in the morning after a single digit night hasn't been a problem, either.

    I couldn't afford synthetic, so if I had problems I'd probably switch to a lighter weight hydraulic fluid for the winter. Then dump the old AW32 back in in the spring.
    Would the oil viscosity have anything to do with down force on bucket etc? If it's too thick?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    I don't think it'd affect the force much, if any, but the speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The FLU farm View Post
    I don't think it'd affect the force much, if any, but the speed.
    Trying to figure out why my down force is poor, the pump tends to emit a screeching sound when I try to plant it to use the backhoe.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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    Colonel Speedwoble's Avatar
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    Are you using the lever in the cab, or the remote by the backhoe? Be aware the level in the cab, if pressed down all the way, will go into a float mode. Mine screeches then too. Even in best case, the pressure relief limits how much downforce you can get.

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    Corporal msharky007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedwoble View Post
    Are you using the lever in the cab, or the remote by the backhoe? Be aware the level in the cab, if pressed down all the way, will go into a float mode. Mine screeches then too. Even in best case, the pressure relief limits how much downforce you can get.
    Has anyone tried and succeeded at increasing the down force? I tried to use the teeth on the bucket to break up some hard packed dirt, and it seemed to me to just float along the surface.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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