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8FT Pro Plus only goes down

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by DGODGR, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I have a Western 8' Pro Plus (Ultramount obviously) that will not go up, or angle. It did drop after the problem started. It happened to me the other day but it came back on line after I truned the controller off, and then back on. The same thing happened again this morning but now it's done. I loaded it on the trailer and hauled it home. I turned the key, yet left the engine off so I could hear what was going on, if anything. The only thing I could hear was the solenoids for the valving. No relay clicking. I suspect the relay as I did not see the lights dim when trying to work the plow.
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    You need to determin if the solenoid is failing to close or if the solenoid is simply not getting current sent through it telling it to close. Take a test light and see if it light comes on when connected to the small brown/red wire at the solenoid (and a good ground like the battery negative). If it does light up when you hit up, left or right then put the test light ground on the other small wire at the solenoid (orange black). If it still lights up then you have good power and good ground, the solenoid (big relay) is shot. If the light does not come on when connected to those two small pins on the relay then I would say you have a bad ground. Black / orange is always ground on Western plows, follow that wire to the battery negative and look for a broken or corroded connection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  3. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    OK. Thanks. I'll try checking out the plow tomorrow.
     
  4. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    OK. I hooked up the plow today. I put the continuity tester between the small black/red wire and the battery negative terminal. The light came on when I pushed the up, left, or right button on the controller. It did not come on when connected to the small black/orange wire. I really don't see how it would come on anyway. It is connected from a ground to a ground. Maybe this works if the relay is shot. I'm not sure how trustworthy this test was because the plow is now functioning again. I guess the best course of action is to go buy a relay and either swap them out now, or have one on hand if it happens again. I don't know what else it could be since the pump motor runs fine when it is working, and the ground wire checks out fine. The relay is mounted in front of the passenger side battery. Do the relays, especially one that may be on its last leg, act up when they get warm?
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    You are right that this test from ground to ground is redundant if the system is working. But when it is failing this is a great test because if the light comes on between ground and ground you know the original ground is bad. It's what I would call a "detour" test. Same applies to going from battery + to the + lug on the motor. I like to use a voltmeter there because when the relay is open it will show 12V difference and then go down to (zero idealy) less than one volt when the relay closes. The voltage you read is what we call an I R drop or I = current R= resistance drop. That is the voltage lost when current flows through a restriction. In a high current curcuit like the motor there will be some loss but in a low current curcuit like your relay coil there should be no noticable voltage difference. That is why the light works so well. If the light comes on at all you have a clear indication of a bad connection.

    As for you question about the solenoid / relay. This is a terminology issue that most people don't pick up on. By definition a solenoid is something that provides external motion, like the coil on the starter that makes the starter gear engage the ring gear. The thing that Western labels as the "solenoid" is as you say, a "relay" because there is no external mechanical action, only the switching of power on and off. So you are right to assume I meant the big power relay that controls the plow motor.

    This will be my last post for a week, I am leaving for some R&R in Mexico. Will be back next weekend to hear what has developed. Cheers!
     
  6. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    OK. It's been a while since I've tried to use this truck and plow (I have been using my other truck). Today I replaced the relay with a new one. I was sure that this would fix things. Then I tried to move the plow but it still has the same problem. Maybe the new relay is junk right from the box? What else can it be and how would I trouble shoot?
     
  7. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Did u try a hand control
     
  8. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    No but I think the controller is probably not the issue. As I stated in post #1 When I push the controller buttons I can hear the valves moving in the valve body (located at the pump mount).
    I guess I will check voltage, at the lugs on the pump housing, while the button is activated.
     
  9. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    You can hear the valves moving....do you hear the plow motor running at the same time??? I'm cornfused bout this tho. Not sure how you can hear the valves on the plow working or "clicking" at all...
    So, if the motor isnt running while your using the contoller...we can go from there
     
  10. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    In an attempt to hear, I turned the truck off but left the key on. I stepped out side the truck and operated the controller. I can hear the valve body activating when directed by the controller. The motor will not operate. I replaced the solenoid with a new one but it still does not work. I will have some tim etomorrow to work on it.
     
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Ok,,,so valves are working. Them your not getting signal to the solenoid. Either pwr or gnd is missing. Nick had you on the right track. Gotta ck pwr signal and gnd at the solenoid.
     
  12. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I will check it, per his instructions, tomorrow.
     
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Ok. Just to reirriate. Use a test light for this test only. Og/bk should be gnd. And the other is pos when controller is used
     
  14. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Muddy waters:
    Today I drove over to the plow and hooked up the wires but not the Ultramount recievers ( I know that it probably doesn't matter). I got my continuity tester and multi meter out and ready to track down the problem. Sounds great doesn't it? Ironically the problem is that everything works fine now. Obviously this is fantastic if it continues to work. My concern is that it may be an intermittent problem. I don't want to have it stop working while I'm out on my route. I still think that the last relay was bad as I noticed that the top of it (just under the (2) main lugs) was slightly melted which allowed the stop nuts to be a little loose.
    So now my mind wanders as to why everything works now and not the day I switched out the relays.
    Am I sure that I turned the controller on before I attempted to operate the plow?
    Did I plug the leads in all the way?
    Etc, etc.
    Following misnicks advice I took a little bit of time chasing the ground (the O/BLK wire on the small lug of the relay) to see if I could locate a source for the problem. It is only about 2' of wire before it hits the battery negative lug. The wire is inside of the factory schield and there are no signs of splicing from the outside. Still I think there may be a connector under the schield because the wire is of larger guage when it exits the schield. Shortly after said exit it has a water tight, OEM type, connector. I unplugged it and checked it out and it all seemed fine. Everything still worked fine after I reconnected the connector and I had to reposition the harness a bit to get at it.
    Thoughts?
     
  15. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Here's a test you could do. Unplug the output wire of the solenoid. The 4G positive to the plow. Either rubber band the joystick up,left,right. Or tape the hand held same way, go under hood and wiggle test all the wires and see if you can hear the solenoid "click". That would mean you located the area you need to look closer at for a problem. Also, try the wiggle test at the plow.
     
  16. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Thanks. I'll give it a try tomorrow. I have tried the wiggle test at the plow/truck connector but it has not shown to be an issue. If the valves are working the control wire shouldn't be under much suspicion. That leaves the 4g wire for the motor. I did spread the male plugs (plow side) to ensure a better engagement.
     
  17. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    My dad had this problem last year. He was sure it was the solenoid, he replaced it and it worked for about 20 mins. Dead again but down. The main power plug was bad. We spread the plugs to get him through the night, then we replaced the cables and all was fine.

    He had power on the truck side of the power plug all the time once we hooked up to the plow he would have intermittent power at the motor terminal. His setup is the relay style ultramount. I may be way off but hope it helps.
     
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    There's still a lot of tests to try. wiggle everywhere you can, even if you don't think its needed. Them what I would do,,,resistance wiggle test on the main pwr and gnd to the plow. Remember,,just b/c it looks good,,it might not be internally. Don't leave anything to chance