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Old 03-28-2017, 06:05 PM   #1
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Is this just power steering fluid?

This is probably a silly question that I probably already know the answer to, butů.I like to confirm before I change the fluid and maybe it is incorrect. I have a big tank in the back of my 1996 Monaco Windsor that has read hydraulic fluid that powers the power steering box in the front as well as my hydraulic fan. The fluid is a red color just like transmission fluid. Is it transmission fluid????

Looks like it could hold about 5 gallons of this fluid
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:07 PM   #2
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If it was mine, I'd look in the operators manual. They always list the recommended fluids and capacities for that build year.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:10 PM   #3
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Most likely it is ATF. The use of AFT in power steering is pretty standard.
Check your coach manual or check on the internet.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:46 PM   #4
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Wish I could look at the manual.... but I don't have one.

Monaco knows nothing. But I'm damn sure it's ATF.

What other fluid is red?
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:48 PM   #5
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Transmission fluid is hydraulic fluid, as is power steering fluid,
as is transfer case fluid in 4-wheel drive vehicles, as is the
fluid in many Lippert hydraulic leveling systems. All the same
stuff, as long as it meets the standard required by the manufacturer,
often referenced as "Dexron or Mercon", type III or something
similar. It does need to be changed as part of your maintenance
schedule, per the manufacturer recommendations.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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Can't speak to your chassis, but Spartan chassis uses #32 hydraulic oil, and it's red. This powers the power steering, hydraulic cooling fan motor, and something else I have now forgotten.
There should be an information label on the reservoir tank somewhere.
Know of a nearby Monaco dealer? Stop in and ask the service dept.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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I don't know who made your chassis, but if it is a Freightliner you can call the Freightliner help desk with your VIN number and they'll answer your questions.
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:30 PM   #8
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Couldn't find anything older than 2001 but according to the 2001 Windsor Manual Pg. 279-281 The steering/fan pump uses Dexron3 Automatic Transmission fluid. There is also a 25 micron filter located inside the fluid reservoir that needs to be changed. Manual states a capacity of 44 qts. The filter number is 07010886 (Monaco) or 84101B (Nelson). I know on my coach many things do not change from year to year, so I'm thinking 1996 vs 2001 there probably isn't much difference and if your system is Nelson then there is probably a good chance they are the same.
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:23 PM   #9
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Dextron III is your fluid!
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1doodadd View Post
Dextron III is your fluid!
Yes Dextron III and personally I would change it @ every 10 years if that , because IMO about the only thing that will break down in that fluid in this intended use is the chemicals that condition the seals.

Just an opinion
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by macandphyl View Post
as is transfer case fluid in 4-wheel drive vehicles
Careful, different transfer cases take different fluids. In my vehicles I have owned, some took gear oil (80w90), and in the ones I have right now, two take transmission fluid and one takes a special manual transmission fluid from Torco, not to be confused with the GL-3 my manual transmission takes.

Confusing yet?
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MonacoWind96 View Post
This is probably a silly question that I probably already know the answer to, butů.I like to confirm before I change the fluid and maybe it is incorrect. I have a big tank in the back of my 1996 Monaco Windsor that has read hydraulic fluid that powers the power steering box in the front as well as my hydraulic fan. The fluid is a red color just like transmission fluid. Is it transmission fluid????

Looks like it could hold about 5 gallons of this fluid
Monacowind96. I have a 96 Dynasty and my manual says to use Dextron II transmission fluid. Just had mine changed and this is what I had them put in.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:46 PM   #13
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Monaco used 3 different fluids at different times AW46 mostly clear, Dexron lll a red tint, 10W40 Diesel engine oil yellow tent. And I'm with RobRoy if it smells ok and not contaminated why change, and the filters (3) Nelson 84101B, or Donaldson p550698, use a coat hanger to fish the old filters out and be careful taking the top of the can off as there is a larg O ring under the lid.
Your fluid is Dexron lll as you stated.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:20 PM   #14
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ATF is specified for my coach

Hi Monacowind96 - I have a 96 Dynasty and have the same type of canister in the back.
My manual says to use Dexron II ATF fluid. I've been contemplating draining that canister and changing the filters too.

I bought 5 gallons of ATF (Walmart Super-Tech brand) for $11 a gallon - VERY REASONABLE. I don't have a spec on the capacity of the system. However with the lines running to the front of the coach and the lines for the fan motor, it could easily be more than 5 gallons. 44 quarts - could be...
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