Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

How bad would it be to run atf through a hydralic assist system?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by white-rhyno, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. white-rhyno

    white-rhyno 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Posts:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ellensburg Washington
    I have ran atf in my steering for three years now. Now that i got the ram installed im having second thoughts about running atf through the ram, should i flush the system with power steering fluid? I know it is a heated debate about atf and power steering fluid in a normal system but what about when you run a ram also??
    Thanks
    Brad
     
  2. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2001
    Posts:
    5,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mineral Springs, NC
    i didnt know there was a heated debate, not wanting to steer this post off course, whats the benefits of each?
     
  3. gmule

    gmule 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Posts:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Conifer Colorado
    I also have a question regarding synthetic vs regular fluid and if its ok to mix. If you can't mix 'em whats the best or easiest way to purge the system.
     
  4. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Posts:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tyrone, PA
    ATF and power steering fluid are basically interchangable in a power steering/hydraulic setup. They are both hydraulic fluids. ATF is special in that it is formulated to work with the clutches in the tranny. I have run several hydraulic rams off ATF with no side effects (1 dump truck, 2 dump carts, hydraulic liftgate and a crane) and used it in all my power steering setups with no ill effects. If it's only performing a hydraulic function then fluid is fluid. For instance one of our dump trucks has used tranny fluid for years, but now one of the cylinders is goind bad and no matter how much we repack it the thing still leaks. So we now use tractor hydraulic fluid because it is thicker and doesn't leak as much. Downside is it's slower in the winter time when the fluid is cold.

    It's when you add in stuff like tranny clutches or or tractors that use the hydraulic fluid as transmission lube that you have to be specific what you put in.
     
  5. blk87K5

    blk87K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Posts:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Wrong. It makes the softer seals used in automotive set-ups hard and brittle. It isn't good for them. Just put steering fluid in it. Why pay a load of money for a hydro assist set up, then jeopardize it by running ATF so you could save $.50?

    Don't mix synthtic and non synthetic. They don't mix and where the barrier is between the two, heat will build up dramatically.
     
  6. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2000
    Posts:
    2,690
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bakersfield, CA
    Yep, when I was speaking with Jeff Howe of Howe Performance last week he said never to run ATF in a steering system and if you run it in one of his he will not waranty anything. Synthetic PS fluid is the only thing you should run.
     
  7. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Posts:
    22,058
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA.
    Most GM vehicles recommend dextron III ATF in the power steering system. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  8. white-rhyno

    white-rhyno 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Posts:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ellensburg Washington
    Thanks for the info guys. Im going to flush my system before i hook up the lines tomorrow.
    Brad
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,026
    Likes Received:
    360
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    [ QUOTE ]
    i didnt know there was a heated debate, not wanting to steer this post off course , whats the benefits of each?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    ahh man, thats the worst pun I have seen on ck5 in years!! tell me that was intentional!! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  10. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Posts:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tyrone, PA
    [ QUOTE ]
    Wrong. It makes the softer seals used in automotive set-ups hard and brittle. It isn't good for them. Just put steering fluid in it. Why pay a load of money for a hydro assist set up, then jeopardize it by running ATF so you could save $.50?

    Don't mix synthtic and non synthetic. They don't mix and where the barrier is between the two, heat will build up dramatically.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I am only speaking through experience and a 25 year old truck with the same power steering system right down to the hoses that use ATF. People will find there is a big difference between theory and actual use. My actual use stems from the fact that with 3 trucks, all with hydraulic equipment on em, 2 tractors and a backhoe, and 2 dump carts it is more about how many fluid containers you have around rather than the money. I would rather use ATF on all the equipment that can use it and save having to stock power steering fluid as well. Also many hydraulic pumps and rams specify using ATF as fluid, so with your theory they should not use ps fluid right? No, the big brain pan scientists can say what they want but in my EXPERIENCE, which is considerible in this area, for hydraulics fluid is fluid unless it has to perform some function other than pushing a ram.
     

Share This Page