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Annual Maintenance stinks!

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by toast, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    Today I thought I would be pro-active, and flush the fluid in my 8' pro Uni-mount. I wanted to get all the fluid out of the rams, so I dis-connected them from the A frame, and cycled them by hand, dispensing the fluid in a drain pan. Then I drained the reservoir, no sweat. Reading up on the web, I remembered that you are supposed to initially turn left, and right before attempting to lift the plow, right? The pump sounded like it was working alot harder, and now the plow just BARELY moves to the right, turning left is still not normal, but much better than turning right. I went to put more fluid in, and the resevoir was pressurized, and the new ATF was full of air bubbles. A buddy said you cant bleed the system, and it will do it by itself. Is this normal? I gave up for the night, getting cold out. What should I do next. The plow was functioning 100% before I messed with it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Don't be surprised if it begins to work fine after it's allowed to set overnight. Doing that give it time to settle the air out of the aerated fluid that you created during the initial movements of the plow. The pressure in the reservoir at the same time is also normal after the initial movement.

    Top it off an try it again...but don't over work it. Have to give it time or else you aerate the fluid again. It also helps if you raise the front of the truck and allow the blade to hang, this places the front of the rams at a downward slope, putting the fluid outlet port higher...thus helping any trapped air migrate out of the ram by way of the angle hose. This procedure will speed up the air removal process as well.

    And yes you can bleed the angle rams if it's absolutely necessary by cracking the hose connections open...but seldom have to on a straight blade Unimount.
     
  3. atf is a horrible hydraulic fluid excellent for what is was designed for which is use in automatic transmissions but contains to many detergents to be a good hydraulic fluid. use a good low temp low viscosity hydraulic fluid and you will have less equipment wear and less chances of freeze up. The pump sounded louder because it was probably cavitating (the air bubbles collapsing under pressure) that is very bad and causes pump wear.
     
  4. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    I let the plow sit for a week, and I tried it again. It was much improved, but still not 100%. After a couple of cycles, I removed the plow again. I just got my truck back, and was going to try it again today, but I noticed it was leaking fluid from the valve manifold block. It is leaking from the plug in the attached picture, but I cant find anything about it in the manual. I never touched this before, but I tightened it down a bit, but it is still leaking. Im afraid to tighten it down anymore than it is. What does this plug do, and what would cause the ATF to seep from here? I am using Amsoil synthetic ATF if that makes a difference...

    PLOW.JPG
     
  5. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    It's just a pipe threaded plug. Look at the area around the plug to be sure the valve block ins't cracked. If it looks ok, remove the plug and run just a little pipe tape around the threads and screw it back in. Don't over-tighten it and don't over tape it.
     
  6. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    Ok, The valve block is not cracked. When I pulled the plug fluid was under pressure again (although not near as much) I probably lost 8 oz or so, but after the plug was off ATF kept seeping out. Is this normal?
    I put 1 layer of thread tape on the plug, and put the plug back. So far so good, but its only been an hour...I also topped of the reservoir when I was done.
     
  7. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Totally normal and nothing to be concerned with. Its just an unused outlet port anyway so no issues there.
     
  8. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    Glad to hear that! The seeping has also stopped. Can't wait to hook her up in the AM.
     
  9. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    Wow, what a day! I cycled the plow a couple of times, and it was much, much better. Pulled the fill plug, and a there was a small amount of pressure released. I plowed my driveway just to make sure everything was good. Worked fine. Just as I was about to leave, the plow was dead. Solenoid clicks, but I can only drop the plow. No motor on any input. Luckily I had a spare solenoid, and everything was back to normal. Did my first account, and went to the next. Went to straighten the plow, and it went left. I hit right, and the plow went left more. Hit left, and the plow went left. By this time the plow was at full left, and it will not even drop. I had to shovel half my accounts today :( . Good thing I only have 4 I guess. I havent had a chance to even research, because I have to go to work. What a bummer!
     
  10. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    To give you a starting point...the S3 valve is stuck shifted. :waving:
     
  11. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    haha, thanks ;) Is that an easy fix? Do I need to worry about blowing ATF all over again?

    Thanks for your help B&B. Hopefully this will be the last of the bugs for the season payup
     
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Not a tough fix no. Pull the valve and check it out...might simply have some debris stuck in it. Make sure the spool is feel and give it a good cleaning. If it sticks again replace it.
    You'll lose a little fluid but not a great deal.

    The S3 is the one nearest the bottom of the three valves. :)
     
  13. toast

    toast Member
    Messages: 44

    Just an update, I took out the SV3 valve, wire wheeled the corrosion on the exposed shaft for the coil, applied 12 V and it works like it should...Didnt find any obstructions of any sort, so I put her back together, and shes been working ever since. Thanks B&B! Do the exposed rams need any sort of maintenance/lubricant help keep the seals or not? If so, what is recommended?
     
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Good to hear it was an cheap and easy fix. :salute:

    Not necessary to do anything maintenance wise to the exposed rams during the season. But in the off season it's good practice to coat them with some type of corrosion inhibiter...chassis grease, Fluid Film etc).. If the plow sets outdoors idle for long periods during the season though a quick spray if Fluid Film isn't a bad idea ..