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Trim/tilt hydraulic fluid - which one? Manuals differ in recommendations.

BigBabyLou I have three manuals for my 1989 King Cobra and every one of them recommends different hydraulic fluid for the trim/tilt system. One manual says "use automotive oil with specification SAE 30", another manual tells me to use transmission fluid type F, the third one recommends solemnly marine power trim/tilt fluid.

Up until now, I have always believed that transmission fluid and engine oil were different. The manuals caused a pretty big confusion to me.

If you know, can you please explain to me what the proper fluid is and why the manuals mention different types?

Thank you very much
Lou
2002-06-18
sea wolf use the tranny fluid. that's all trim/tilt fluid is. i bet your manuel says to use OMC trim/tilt fluid? they tell us to use that cause it cost more $$$. i've used tranny fluid in my 87 cobra for years. never had a problem. 2002-06-18
Mumblerone I would never use engine 'oil' in a hydraulic situation...but, I'm always ready to learn. [Frown] 2002-06-18
clanton Dextron ATF. 2002-06-18
f_inscreenname Older Mercruiser trim pump. SAE 30 2002-06-18
BigBabyLou Thank you, guys, for your replies.

I was betting on the ATF (the trim/tilt unit is a hydraulic system, afterall) but was baffled by the SAE 30. As of now, I have SAE 30 in my trim/tilt system (the manual which recommended it was the first manual for my boat I ever read) but if I need to bleed the system next time, I will most likely go with ATF.

And yes, Sea Wolf, you're right, the original Owner's Manual says "only OMC Trim/Tilt fluid". Of course we don't fall for that. We're smart people. We know a lot of stuff. Mostly thanks to this board! [Cool]

Thanks again for all the input! It's more than appreciated.
Lou
2002-06-18

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Outboard Motors

Power Heads

Lower Units

Props

Repair Manuals

Controls, Steering

Trim/Tilt

Power Tilt/Trim

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