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Buying a new plow a Wiring Question

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by GSShelper, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. GSShelper

    GSShelper Member
    Messages: 98

    I want to get a new western plow for my 2012 sliverado hd im considering installing it myself, it has the hb3 headlight with daytime running lamps,how difficult is it to install the wiring? is there wires to find or cut? i dont know much about electrical but not afraid to read instructions, im kind of curious if i can handle it. would have me $1000 on install.

    thanks in advance
     
  2. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    It's plug and play pretty much. The only thing is tapping keyed on power for the remote. But it's easy if you research it
     
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    $1000 is a lot for just install labor.
     
  4. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    They charge $600 here. I charge 4-500
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Installation can be frustrating if you have never done it before. As far as wiring goes you do have to tie into ignition power but that is easy. I use these little fuse taps that go behind a normal mini fuse in the fuse box. You just pull an ignition fuse, radio or accessory, and then figure out which side is in and out of the fuse. This is important because if you put your tap on the wrong side your plow will be un-protected.
    The other thing is cutting and tying into the signals (on both sides) and markers (on one side) at the front by the headlights. The actual headlight wires are just unplugged from the back of the bulb and connected to the Western headlight harness, then the other part of the Western harness comes back from the isolation module and plugs into the bulbs. Cutting and splicing the signals and markers is not hard. You just need a test light. Turn on the left signal and then probe the three pins going into the left signal / marker bulb. The one that flashes is the one you cut and splice into for that function. Same for right signal and marker. Don't cut too close to the plug, give yourself a few inches to work with. Cut the wire, strip back about 3/8" and then use the provided butt connector and heat shrink to put them back together with the appropriate Western wire added in. So you will have two wires going into one end of the connector and one coming out of the other end. Be careful not to use too much heat on the heat shrink tube or you will burn the wires.
    The last thing you need to watch for is where you plug in the two four pin black plugs on the control harness. The two plugs are both the same and interchangeable. The one on the end of the harness is labeled "battery" and must be plugged into the power harness that goes to... you know it.... to the battery posts. The other four pin plug goes to the headlight harness but that one has no label so people often interchange them. It won't do any damage but the plow won't work if it's backwards.
    Also note that on the GM four headlight trucks it's kind of a trial and error thing getting the plugs right on the headlights. You will notice that the Western harness has no "key" on the headlight plugs so they can connect to the original vehicle headlight plugs two ways. GM doesn't put them in the same on every truck so it's a 50 50 thing. If they are backward that light will not work on the truck after the kit is installed. I like to take the plow lights and plug them in before I mount the plow and put the grill back together. If everything is installed and connected all you need to do to make the truck think the plow is present is plug in the headlights. If everything is right the controller backlight will turn on and the headlights will switch from truck to plow. Do this and verify that all the plow lights are working and all the truck lights are working before you reassemble everything. That way if one of the headlights fails you can unplug and flip the plug over with ease. It's a bugger to get at the driver's side headlight plugs on many GMs because the battery and windshield washer reservoir are in the way so you don't want to put that all together just to take it apart again. If you have a battery on the driver's side you will have to remove it and the battery tray. Then unbolt the WW reservoir and just pry it back enough to get your hand in to unplug the headlights and install the Western plugs. If you have really big hands get someone with small hands to reach in there. It's tight but possible.
    One last tip.... Don't run the controller wire through the firewall until everything is working and the plow is filled with fluid. If you leave it out in the engine compartment you can connect the red ignition wire directly to the battery with a jumper cable so you can stand with the controller in your hand while you fill and work the air out of the hydraulics. The plows come full of fluid now but the hoses and rams don't so you need to run it up and down / side to side a couple times, then drop it to the floor and top it up. I do this three times and then you will find the level will no longer go down. It's so much easier to watch for leaks on the hoses etc. if you can stand right beside the plow while you work the controller. That curly cable doesn't stretch far enough to reach from the cab. Then finally when all is working run that wire through the firewall and connect it to the fuse box.
    You will get a hanger thing for your controller.... I never install them because they make two screw holes in the dash. I just hang the controller over the shifter or jam it between the driver's and center seat. If you do mount it consider where people's knees will be. You may not hit it but if you have a tall operator you don't want him smashing it with his long legs.
    I hope that helps, sorry I ran on for a while I just kept on remembering all the issues that "do it yourselfers" came to me with when they had trouble. At my shop I charge $750 Cdn, more for Dodge diesels as they take the longest because of the stupid bumper design. GMs are really easy (other than driver's side headlight) and Ford's are my favorite installation, they are a breeze to install on.
     
  6. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    You know you can pull two pins and the headlights pop out right?
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Those two pins on the Classic GM are awesome but that's not used on the new models. I wish they never stopped using them. Last year I called a GM dealer to ask if there was an easy way to get the new headlights out and they told me that the passenger side is easy but the driver's side is so hard they don't even tell you how to do it in the owner's manual. They actually say in the manual to take it to the dealer to have the driver's side bulbs replaced and they list it as more than an hour job in the flat rate book!
     
  8. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    We use the cut out plug GM provides, no need to remove the headlight bulb on the new trucks, just pop the plug off and add your harness in between.
     
  9. GSShelper

    GSShelper Member
    Messages: 98

    THANKS GUYS i have a few friends one is electrician, and one use to work on cars and is familiar with wiring , they both told me they would help, ill youtube how to remove driver headlight,,, you guys are awesome Thanks Mishnick for your details on the little things to look out for!
     
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Basher... Can u give more detail on this "cutout plug?" Where is it ? I have never heard of this. Is in a new thing? Do you need any kind of adapter for it?
     
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    There is one on either side, you get everything there, parking, turn, headlights. It is the connection point most manufacturer's adapters use. You can see it until you stick your hand in there, then it's all feel unless you want to go though the hassle and scope it.

    I recorded a Snoway install on a 2015 GMC yesterday, commented to the installer afterward we should have shot a close up of the headlight harness install. Maybe next time.

    here are a set of install instructions;

    1. Find the existing 8 position breakout connectors. These should be located
    near the headlights on both the passenger and drivers side of the truck.
    They do NOT connect directly to the headlights. Disconnect both PS and
    DS connectors.
    2. Connect the adapters to the OEM headlight side connectors
    and truck side connectors. No additional wiring or splicing is required.
    3. Check all light functionality before operating the plow.
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    "2. Connect the adapter." I know the 8 pin plug you speak of but the adapter is still in question. Is this a special Western headlight harness or an adapter? If it is in deed am adapter is it from Western? If so do you have a part number? This is great info, much appreciated!
     
  13. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I don't know why but last I knew DD didn't have a adapter for the cut out. But then we don't have to cut the fascia or bumper either.

    I think it would be worthwhile to buy a adapter (from Snoway, Snowdawg, someone who uses the cutout) to wire into rather than going though all the time and hassle of removing the lights so you can cut up a new system.