ATF vs. Hydraulic Fluid

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by Porter, May 11, 2011.

  1. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

    I know this is stange, but I have been trying to find the difference between automatic transmission fluid and hydraulic fluid. I am looking to find a fluid with the same properties as ATF but without the red color for a "home made" cleaning solvent. (My thinking was that ATF is dyed red so you could detect leaks, but perhaps I am wrong.)

    I figure some of the more vetern mechanics may be able to shine a little knowledge my way.

  2. FerrousBueller

    FerrousBueller Junior Member

    Hydraulic jack fluid is often a honey color, is that what you're looking for?
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    There are much better cleaning fluids than ATF. Read the label to see what precautions there are to skin or health before going any further.
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    Maybe if describing the usage of oil to clean might get better results.
  5. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

    I should have stated hydraulic "oil". (There are hydraulic fluids that are water and glycol based)

    My reason to ask this strange question is that it appears to me that there are many on this board with significant experience in "all things motor related" or may have extensive experience in using hydraulic fluids for current or previous jobs. Figured I would give it a shot

    I am looking to make a firearms cleaning solution. Not for storage, just cleaning after use.
    The orignal forumula (called "Ed's Red") is for equal parts of:
    ATF, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits and Acetone.
    I am aware of the potential issues with acetone and mineral spirits on wood finishes and plastics. Ultimately will likely just mix some up and give it a try. Looking for a cheap way to make a bulk cleaning solution to divde up amongst a group.

    The MSDS sheets for hydraulic oil and for ATF don't really help but appear to indicate different detergent packages comprising 5-15% of the total volume. The 85-95% base (in both hydraulic oil and ATF) seems to be the same, highly refined petro oil.
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  6. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    I know that 50/50 mixture of atf and acetone is supposed to be one of the best pentrating oils that you can use. Glider is very correct in telling you too read the labels regarding health and skin issures.
  7. wilks3

    wilks3 Junior Member

    ATF is 10wt hyd fluid with red dye and whatever the spec is for the application. I.E., Honda, Dodge, Ford whatever.
    Would Marvel Mystery oil work for your gun cleaning?
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    #2 om the MMO:s
  9. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

    Not reinventing, just a cheap version.
    A 16 oz bottle of Hoppes was $12 locally.
    I can make a gallon of "Ed's Red" for about $32 and it cleans just as well.

    I have a 1 gallon jug of John Deere hydraulic oil (free) and was wondering if it would be similar to ATF. It is a group effort with a some friends.