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View Full Version : Has anyone added fans to a hydro unit?


Ronlawn
03-05-2007, 05:23 PM
I'm looking at a 2 yr old (low hours) Simplicity Champion ZTR 18hp-44in unit for $2800. Simplicity calls the hydros commercial grade. The pumps are under the seat, and have hose lines going down to the wheel motors. There is a filter in there, but no oil cooler or cooling fans!

The Citation model, the next step up, has fans over the hydros and I was wondering if anyone has ever added fans to help cool hydro pumps and extend their longevity? Would they pull too much juice and require a bigger alternator, etc?

I've run Dixon cone drive mowers for 10 years and like their lightness, and I don't want to get some overly heavy gauge ZTR that weighs 1000+ lbs crushing down on the turf. So I kind of like the idea of a mower that straddles the residential/Commercial category, but am worried about the hydros running cool enough. Thanks Ron. :)

pugs
03-05-2007, 07:45 PM
Most of the pumps I have seen with those fans on them do not have anything in the way of cooling fins...so I do not see the fans being of much help. The only thing they may do is keep some clippings from collecting around the pumps. But I have seen plenty of grass stuck around the pumps of mowers with fans.

I think your best bet at improving the hydro system if you really feel the need is to find a larger capacity oil resovoir or add an oil cooler to the system.

Blowing air at an aluminum block is not going to do much IMO...

bobcat175
03-05-2007, 08:01 PM
Most of the pumps I have seen with those fans on them do not have anything in the way of cooling fins...so I do not see the fans being of much help. The only thing they may do is keep some clippings from collecting around the pumps. But I have seen plenty of grass stuck around the pumps of mowers with fans.

I think your best bet at improving the hydro system if you really feel the need is to find a larger capacity oil resovoir or add an oil cooler to the system.

Blowing air at an aluminum block is not going to do much IMO...

I second the external oil cooler...

ed2hess
03-05-2007, 10:44 PM
I don't know the Walker fans look kinda wimpy and the fins on the motor don't look like much but apparently it is important.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
03-05-2007, 10:56 PM
Dixie chopper puts fans on there deck spindles looks cool.

bobcat175
03-05-2007, 11:10 PM
Check out the setup that Wright does for their Sentars.

Richard Martin
03-06-2007, 07:05 AM
You can also make sure they are using synthetic oil in the hydro system. If they're just using a regular 10w30/10w40 you can safely switch over to synthetic.

MarcSmith
03-06-2007, 08:19 AM
add an inline cooler and position it above the cooling air intake for the engine...

I think the fans on walkers are a necesity sinse you have all that heat generating equipment all enclosed (more or less) and in very tight quarters.

Marc

Ronlawn
03-06-2007, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the ideas, the oil cooler sounds like the most effective way to go. And over the engine intake for air flow- great. Ron

pugs
03-06-2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the ideas, the oil cooler sounds like the most effective way to go. And over the engine intake for air flow- great. Ron

Just do not put it very close to the engine. You dont want to block the airflow to the engine or heat the air going into the engine too much so that you cause cooling problems for the engine.

Ronlawn
03-07-2007, 01:15 PM
Yes of course, thatís what I figured. While researching this yesterday I found some other discussions about this on the site. Iím thinking that one could use small automotive transmission coolers to do the job, one for each hydro, on the return (or low pressure) part of the loop. Here are a couple of helpful links I found.

Here is a site with electric fans
http://www.alamomotorsports.com/pmc/Cat_page18.html


And here is a link showing a hydro oil cooler placed near the air intake.
http://www.scag.com/oilcoolers.html

Wolfden
03-07-2007, 03:24 PM
I use to maintain Excel Huslers (sp) if I remember they had cooling fans on the pumps .. they may not move alot of air but some movement is better than none IMHO
I'v thought about putting some or a cooler on my Sears/Craftman 25hp Kolher .. never can run to cool I guess lol


Wolf

Ronlawn
03-07-2007, 03:46 PM
Yes of course, thatís what I figured. While researching this yesterday I found some other discussions about this on the site. Iím thinking that one could use small automotive transmission coolers to do the job, one for each hydro, on the return (or low pressure) part of the loop. Here are a couple of helpful links I found.

Here is a site with electric fans
www.alamomotorsports.com/pmc/Cat_page18.html

And here is a link showing a hydro oil cooler placed near the air intake.
www.scag.com/oilcoolers.html

bobcat175
03-07-2007, 04:46 PM
Check out the setup that Wright does for their Sentars.

Go to Wrightmfg.com and click on the Illustrated Parts List on the left. Then click on the most recent Sentar, it should be the top one. Now go to the Engine Deck Components (p7) and see how they mount it.....now go to the Hydraulic Parts (p19) and see how they plumb it....this seems to be exactly what you are looking for....unless you want to setup another fan somewhere.

Ronlawn
03-12-2007, 07:05 PM
Thanks Bobcat,

I looked at those diagrams, and called the local dealer about getting the parts. the engine mount bracket (they call it a weldment) is only about $30, but they wanted $115 for the cooler itself – which is a little pricey. The Sentar just uses a single cooler where the separate pump lines join together on the way back to the holding tank. The Simplicity is set up the same, minus the cooler. It should be a pretty easy job thanks to the diagram.
I wrote Simplicity to ask what they thought, but no answer yet. The pump should be strong enough to handle that small bit of extra travel and fluid, one would think? (they are Hydro-Gear 10a pumps, but I don't know what that means, and can't find a brand name).

Sorry about the double post – I didn't see where the posts went to a second page.

bobcat175
03-12-2007, 08:07 PM
Thanks Bobcat,

(they are Hydro-Gear 10a pumps, but I don't know what that means, and can't find a brand name).


no prob....
hydro gear is the brand. 10a is the model.
http://www.hydro-gear.com

Ronlawn
03-18-2007, 03:44 PM
I wrote to Hydro-gear and got a helpful informative response back:

Ron,
An oil cooler is not the most efficient way to cool the hydraulic
system, but it is the only economical way to modify an existing vehicle. You
were told correct on placement of the cooler. What you are trying to achieve
is getting air flow through the fins of the cooler. Without the addition
of electric fans, the placement of the cooler over the fly wheel of the
engine is the best. Insure you leave a gap to allow your engine to pull some
cool air in also, otherwise you will affect your engine cooling. Usually a
2 or 3 inch gap will be adequate. The plumbing should tie into the cooler
after the "T" where you can plumb one single return line in and one return
line out of the cooler to the reservoir. Insure the cooler will not
restrict the fluid flow, otherwise you will have low oil in your reservoir as it
will pull more than it can return. You will also not want to create a
back pressure to the pump. The pump case pressure is less than 5 psi
normally.

The current configuration on that vehicle (mower) should not require
and additional cooler, but the rule of thumb in hydraulics is the lower the
pressure, the lower the temperature, results in a longer life
expectancy of the hydraulic system. Our company cannot recommend any modifications
to original equipment designed and built by another company, so this comes
as information only. An alternative would be to use 15W50 synthetic oil
as a replacement of the 20W50 motor oil. This will increase your
temperature range and still maintain the viscosity needed in the pumps and not
affect performance.

As I mentioned, Hydro-Gear cannot make any recommendations to modify or
change an existing application and it would unfortunately void the
warranty, since it is not an approved change, even though it may
improve the conditions.

Doug H,
Technical Service Representative, Hydro-Gear

johnwon
03-18-2007, 08:31 PM
I have seen something that may help some.....I've seen these finned oil filter heat sinks. I'm not sure what they are called but if anyone knows of a good source please share it here. I know that someone makes nice ones for Harleys. Anyway it could not void the warranty

FATWEASEL
03-18-2007, 10:56 PM
You should be able to use a regular automotive style transmission oil cooler. You can pick them up at most chain auto parts stores or from Jegs or Summitracing for less than $45. The kits come with all the parts to hook it up except the bracket for mounting which would be custom for this app.

You could make brackets yourself from steel or aluminum stock from Lowes or Tractor Supply.

Andy :)