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Synthetic oil in hydro drive

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by wdb, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. wdb

    wdb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I am getting to the point where I want to do the first oil change for my drive. The manual says to use 10W40 motor oil. The dealer told me not to use synthetic oil like Mobil1 and that I must use plain oil and this additive from Hustler. I have always used synthetic oil in transmissions and other hydro drives. It tends to make the unit run cooler and quieter. What should I do since I don't want to void the warranty or anything.
  2. miniZ

    miniZ LawnSite Member
    from DFW Z8
    Messages: 6

    I sent Hustler "service@excelhustler.com" email about using Mobile1 in my Mini hydro system. The reply I got said their current recommendation is 15w50 and no Lubrizol when using Mobile1.

    The dealer said he's always used dino 10w40 and no Lubrizol but Mobile1 10w40 should not be a problem.

    Manual says 10w40 with Lubrizol.

    I'm planning to go with Mobile1 but I'm going to wait for confirmation about the 15w50 vs 10w40 w/wo Lubrizol.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Hope you don't mind, but I would like to chime in and piggy-back your thread here.

    In recent times, I was trying to get the attention of someone at Hustler to wedge my foot in the door to present an upgrade package of tweaks for the Z's and also a new deck. But no dice so far...

    Anyways, in conjunction with this issue I wanted to chime in and say that one thing in my list of tweaks was the move away from conventional 10w40 motor oil in the hydros. What I would like to ask in conjuction with this thread is WHY 10w40 and WHO made that decision?

    Although Hustler seems to have some of the most superior drive systems on their units, I was at first puzzled to read about several hydro drive failures. Seems to be the most common big buck problem... Anyways, I was puzzled until I was able to get ahold of some literature (Hustler's is great by the way) and see 10w40.... I know none of the internal specifics of any failures. But it occured to me this could be the culprit.

    Now I may be off in left field here and I knew nothing of any additive package or anything. But in my limited understanding of motor oil, 10w40 to me would be the worst possible choice for hydro fluid. Reason being is, to my understanding, it contains a very high amount of viscosity improvers (polymers). Meaning in very simple terms, it's a 10 or less base stock with a large enough amount of uncoiling polymers that when hot, it is not supposed to get any thinner or below 40 viscosity.

    The problem with this as I understand it is that 10w40 has the most viscosity improvers (10 base - 30 improvers)and polymers wear out, causing lower operating viscosity and/or oil consumption eventually. By this understanding, speaking in conventional oils, 20w50 is a better choice (20 base - 30 improvers) because although the amount of improvers may be equal, the original base stock is better to begin with.

    Anyhooo, I don't see why Mobil 1 15w50 or other synthetic, 15w40 synthetic or conventional, and 20w50 would not be better choices for hydro fluids? But what do I really know? Nothing, but it's a 'thought' anyways....
  4. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I want to know this also.. If the dealer doesn't have a filter in stock, would a comparable Wix filter from Napa work? Also, does anyone know the part # for a Wix filter.

  5. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    Of course we at Hustler recommend only using the Hustler part # for this application.
    This is a item that only needs to be changed once a year (in most cases) why worry about a few dollars? when you can buy the oem filter and be 100% confident that it is the right filter.

  6. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    It is true, if using synthetic oil in our applications, we recommend 15W-50, with out the use of Lubrizol.

    I am not a engineer, so I am not going to comment on anything I am not 100% certain of.
    I am going to forward this post to some people at the factory that know a lot more about this subject then myself and see what info they can provide to us here @ LS.

  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I wasn't worried about saving a few dollars. I'm more worried about getting my hydro filter and oiled changed now. The dealer has been closed for the holidays and if I find out they don't have a filter in stock tomorrow. I wanted to get a Wix filter and then change the oil again when the dealer got one in stock. My dealer hasn't had a part yet that I have needed.

    Oh, the reason I want the oil changed right now, is because I'm doing Aerations with a tow aerator.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Absolutely agreeable about the filter thing. That is so long as the dealer doesn't want stock in my company in exchange for the filter... LOL...

    As far as the oil... well I'm no engineer either! Only making an observation and stating what I have been 'told' about oil. Anyways, the attitude of 'why not ask' the guys at the factory is part of what makes this company so great. You never know, maybe I made a solid observation. Then again, maybe I'm way off base. In any event, it will be interesting to see what the engineers have to say...

    OSDOTF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    It's been my understanding that the change interval and correct viscosity (10w40) are more important than the type of oil. In all cases, the correct amount of Lubrizol should be used. What follows is my post from early this summer which was the final word in the thread:

    "Do NOT leave out the Lubrizol. It is not a feel-good additive like STP. Essentially, the Lubrizol formulation specified by Excel is a anti-wear and anti-oxidant zinc package (zinc alkyl dithiophosphate is the main ingredient) designed to extend the life of your hydraulic system. Lubrizol makes a large number of additives for different applications so it's best to stick with the Hustler packaging (PN 027912 for 7oz, PN 027920 for 10oz). If you are curious about Lubrizol, try their website: www.lubrizol.com.

    "Here are my guidelines for using syn oils in your hydraulic system: 1. Use only 10w40 that is compatible with petroleum-base oils (a considerable amount of oil remains behind when you drain the system); 2. Use the correct amount of Lubrizol additive for the amount of 10w40 oil added; 3. Follow the owner's manual change intervals--just because you paid more for synthetic doesn't mean it's ok to stretch the time between changes.

    "If you want a feel-good, "chicken soup" additive, consider Motorkote100 (www.motorkote.com). I added it to the 10w40 Castrol Syntec in the engine and (with Lubrizol, naturally) hydraulic system of my personal 23hp Mini Z when I changed fluids at 50 hours."
  10. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    We recommend that if you switch to synthetic you do not use the Lubrizol additive.


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