Previously, the selection of the correct lubricant
to use in Komatsu products was very simple as, with very few exceptions,
either a SAE 10W or a SAE 30 weight engine oils were used in all compartments.
There were a few exceptions, like the one in the fine print of the Operation
and Maintenance Manual that recommended the use of Tractor Hydraulic
Fluid in wheel loader axles instead of engine oil, but generally it
was either SAE10W or SAE 30 engine oil.
However, recent developments in friction materials
that allow more compact clutch designs, and the creation of engine oils
that are so slippery they prevent the positive engagement of transmission
clutch packs have created the need for specialized lubricants and hydraulic
fluid. Additionally, the apparent autonomy of the KAIC Parts Department
in promoting “branded” oil has, to a certain degree, confused
Thus, the purpose of this memorandum is to provide
clear information on the selection of oils that accurately reflect Komatsu’s
recommendations as expressed or discussed in the following:
- Applicable Operation and Maintenance Manuals.
- P&SN A930243 of 12/09/1993. Hydraulic Oil Selection WA700-1,
- Installation Manual (P&SN) BA00013 of 11/01/2000. Transmission
- Installation Manual (P&SN) BT02024A of 08/05/2002. WA Axle Oil.
- P&SN AR01050 of 11/30/2001. Friction Modifiers in WB140-2, WB150-2
- Ohkawa, S., Konishi, A., Hatano, H. and Voss, D. “Pump Failures
in Various Type Hydraulic Fluids” Hydraulic Failure Analysis:
Fluids, Components, and System Effects ASTM STP 1339, G.E. Totten,
D.K. Wills, and D. Feldmann, Eds., American Society for Testing and
Materials. Deals with the effects of different types of hydraulic
fluids on a Komatsu HPV35+35 piston pump.
- Komatsu Parts Policy Letter (PPL) 649 of November 15, 2002.
- P&SN AR00051 of 11/27/2000.
For operation in temperatures above +50F, the best choice of oil would
be SAE15W-40. As a minimum, this oil must meet API specification CD,
CD/SF. The currently effective CF-4 is better, the 1998 CH-4 specification
is better yet, but the just released CI-4 is the best yet. CI-4 will
be required for the new generation engines that use very low sulfur
fuels and exhaust gas recirculation or EGR. Consult the Operation and
Maintenance Manual for recommendations below +50F.
- Komatsu Bulldozers, Wheel Loaders, Trucks
and Graders with planetary transmissions:
- SAE30 engine oil may be used if it meets the older API CD Specification.
According to P&SN BA00013, do not use oils meeting the new
CF-4, CG-4, or subsequent specifications in this series. They
are too slippery and failures may result.
- Specially formulated power train oils may be used. These are
identified by Komatsu as TO10, TO30 and TO50. The Komatsu America
product equivalent to SAE 30 CD engine oil is Heavy Duty Trans
Fluid 30, which has been, renamed Power Train Oil TO.
- Komatsu Bulldozers Such as D32E-1A, D32P-1A,
D38E-1A, D39E-1A, D39P-1A, and –3 Wheel Loaders with countershaft
- Selecting the correct oil for these transmissions can be particularly
confusing as the O&M Manuals for these tractors direct the
use of SAE10W Heavy Duty Transmission Fluid (HDTF), but Parts
Policy Letter (PPL) 649 of November 15th, 2002 states that HDTF
has been renamed Powertrain Oil TO. PPL 649 further states that
it will replace API CD engine oils previously recommended in Komatsu
- Installation Manual (P&SN) BA00013 specifically deals with
the new Komatsu transmission oil specifications and makes the
- Do not use CF-4, CG-4, or subsequent specifications
engine oils in Komatsu transmissions (they are too slippery).
- TO10, TO30, and TO50 transmission oils are the recommended
replacement for SAE10W, 30 and 50 weight CD engine oils.
- The formulation of these Komatsu branded TO oils is
so close to the Allison C4 or Caterpillar TO-4 specification
that the use of oils meeting these specifications won’t
- Komatsu –1 Wheel Loaders with countershaft transmissions:
- Same as above, but use the SAE30 weight grade.
KOMATSU WHEEL LOADERS AND GALION DERIVED KOMATSU
GRADER AXLES AND BRAKES
The correct lubricant to prevent brake chatter is what Komatsu refers
to as HTF or Hydraulic Trans Fluid. The Komatsu part number is 1400138H2.
It is generally known in the industry as a Tractor Hydraulic Fluid or
THF, and is specially formulated to enhance the smooth operation of
wet brakes. Other similar products are Chevron 1000 THF (Previously
Chevron Tractor Hydraulic Fluid.) and Mobilfuid 424. P&SN/Installation
Manual BT02024A of August 5, 2002 concerns Axle Oils for Wheel Loaders.
If one of the previously recommended oils is not available,
an alternate oil for these applications is SAE 30 weight CD engine oil
that has been treated with not more that three percent (3%) by volume
Friction Modifier 1400117H91. It is important that the 3% mix ratio
not be exceeded, as the effectiveness of the brakes will be reduced.
(It is understood that if the brakes are accidentally “overdosed”
with Friction Modifier, brake operation will usually return to normal
after the mixture has been reduced to 3% or less in 50 to 100 hours
of operation. This occurs because Friction Modifier is a “sacrificial
surface treatment” that wears off.) Please P&SN AR01050 of
November 30, 2001 for WB applications.
KOMATSU HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS
There has been a lot of discussion on this subject, but as of this date,
the only product recommended by Komatsu for hydraulic system use is
SAE10W engine oil that meets API specification CD (or later specification
in this series) or MIL-L-2104. At this time, the use of AW series hydraulic
oils, such as AW46 are not recommended.
P&SN AR00051 of 11/27/2000 discusses different
types of biodegradable hydraulic oils and makes recommendations for
their use in Utility Models. It should be noted that this P&SN does
not address the larger construction or mining machines. If it is there
is a need to use biodegradable oils in a construction or mining machine,
it is suggested that the application be discussed with the KAIC District
Service Manager, and if needed, a SEST request be filed.
If you are confused or in doubt about what oils to use in Komatsu Products,
you won’t go too far wrong with the following during ambient conditions
that are generally encountered in our service territory:
15W-40 that at least meets API specification CD. API specifications
CF-4, CH-4, or CI-4 are better yet.
- Planetary Transmissions in Tractors or Wheel
SAE30 API specification CD or TO oil such as Komatsu Heavy Duty Transmission
Fluid (HDTF) TO30 or CAT TO-4. Do not use a CF-4, CG-4, or CI-4 specification
oil. Do not use HTF or Hydraulic Trans Fluid.
- Counter Shaft Transmissions in WA-1 Wheel
Same as above.
- Counter Shaft Transmissions in Small Komatsu
Bull Dozers & –3 Wheel Loaders
SAE10W API specification CD or TO oil such as Komatsu Heavy Duty Transmission
Fluid (HDTF) TO10 or CAT TO-4. Do not use a CF-4, CG-4, or CI-4 specification
oil. Do not use HTF or Hydraulic Trans Fluid.
- Wheel Loader Axles with Wet Brakes &
Grader Differentials with Wet Brakes
Komatsu HTF or Hydraulic Trans Fluid or the industry standard Tractor
Hydraulic Fluid (THF) like Chevron 1000 THF or Mobilfluid 424.
- Hydraulic Systems
SAE 10W engine oil.
Hopefully the information contained in this memo will
be helpful and aid in the use of the correct lubricants. It is being
distributed first by e-mail and then by mail. Other reference material
will be included with the mail distribution. If you have any questions
or comments about this, please contact me at the Kent branch (253) 872-3500
or by e-mail.
LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON LUBRICANTS