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Fisher homesteader "down pressure"

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by 04pathfinder, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. 04pathfinder

    04pathfinder Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 10

    Hi
    I have a fisher homesteader plow mounted on a 2011 Nissan Titan (I know its too small for my truck but I only plow my lot and didn't want to add unnecessary weight).
    Well it turns out that weight is absolutely necessary when the lot is frozen and you're trying to scrape it clean or when trying to back-blade
    The homesteader has a patented feature called "scrape lock" (I guess they missed the boat when sno-way patented the "down pressure" so they had to come up with a marketing idea of their own".
    Anyway the scrape lock works sometimes but never 100% and right now for me its broken completely (it could be air or water in the lines or a number of other things that i will try to troubleshoot later).
    The setup has three hoses coming out from the pump. One for each left/right cylinders and one on the lift cylinder that pulls up the plow. That cylinder then has an extra port that is possibly used to move the fluid to the reservoir when its retracted (up position)
    I wanted to ask the hydraulics experts in this forum if there is a way to add the down pressure feature to this setup. either by means of an additional port _I dont even know if thats possible_ or by changing out the whole hydraulic setup to a setup with 4 ports/valves so that the "return" line that goes to the reservoir can be plugged into the extra port on the pump and therefore have a double acting setup on that cylinder that way.
    I dont know how the remote would work in that setup or if we will need a new one but if anyone can decipher my confusing post and is able to help please let me know.....im willing to experiment
    Thanks in advance for your time

    PS. I looked at the fisher manual on their website and they show a different setup on the homesteader there whereas the pump has four ports and the "return" line from the lift ram is plugged into the pump instead of returning to the reservoir. Maybe my plow is too old??? please advise....
     
  2. 04pathfinder

    04pathfinder Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 10

  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,951

    not trying tobe a whohaa, but your trying to invent the hydraulics to make this work, but you said the factory version is malfunctioning. my answer is why don't you get the factory equip working properly instead?
     
  4. 04pathfinder

    04pathfinder Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 10

    The factory equipment worked marginally at best and only under ideal conditions I already replaced the valve as suggested by fisher tech support. Next move would be to replace the cylinder at around $340 in order to restore the non-working scrape lock feature. I thought why not go a step further and upgrade the hydraulics to have down pressure_ im sure fisher would of done it if it wasn't for he sno-way patent_
    Also blizzard and boss plows are constantly modified to have this feature because it helps lighter plows to scrape better.
    Anyway thanks for the suggestion but rather than spending the money to fix it I would rather sell it and get a sno-way if I'm not able to modify it
     
  5. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,626

    Have you checked the relief valve for scrape lock for damage and proper adjustment? Even my 900+ pound plow won't scrape some frozen crap.
     
  6. 04pathfinder

    04pathfinder Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 10

    @kimber750
    Yeah. I actually replaced it with this from fisher "27792 - "CUSHION VALVE REPAIR KIT"
    The old one I puled out looked identical with no signs of damage. I put the new one in anyway but still no love.
    I still think the damage is on that valve, but it must be on the cylinder side. I don't see any other leaks from any seals and dont loose pressure on the lift cylinder when it operates the other way (lifting the plow)
    I tried to have a fisher dealer fix it but they dont really care to try since no one has any experience in this plow, and they are busy during this season. They also recommended to just replace the cylinder.
    BTW this is not a "make or break" situation, and its not really about the money. The plow still functions and with the right amount of practice and approach one could still use it somewhat efficiently.
    It would probably put a lot of wear on the plow to use down pressure when plowing forward at higher speeds on an open parking lot anyway
    the problem comes in when trying to back drag a driveway with a little incline (like mine) or uneven.
    I know all the techniques recommended in this forum but this plow is so light that i can deadlift it easily so if i drive over the snow and then try to back drag it it almost never works.
    I have the technical knowledge and all the tools to make modifications to almost anything and this would be an improvement that I would like to try and implement, not so much for the work that it will do (I don't plow professionally) but for my personal satisfaction.
    I understand that most of the guys in this forum are busy making a living from plowing with professional equipment and this is not much of a concern to them, but there is also a big following from homeowners that own this plow and to some of them it might make a difference
    thanks for your time
     
  7. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    After years of running full sized plows on full sized pickups, I downsized and have been running a Homesteader on a Trailblazer for 7+ seasons now. I was skeptical at first. I had looked at Snoway and the downforce but after the dealer was a jerk and the price was higher, I decided to go with the Fisher. I thought a lot about how to modify it for downforce but frankly, at least on the TB, the angle of attack on the scraper blade more than makes up for the weight. It's an animal and once you get an edge on the ice, it peels up almost anything. I just recently peeled up a solid sheet 2.5" thick on my old house (in process of selling) that I had let go too long and it thawed and re-froze into a glacier.

    I've often seen the same plow on bigger trucks running much higher off the ground. When down, the blade angle is less and perhaps less effective...
     
  8. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    Ok, so looking at the parts breakdown for fisher homesteader, it has a double acting hydraulic cylinder, which is the key component for down pressure. Now the first thing I can say, is that replacing the lift cylinder will *definitely NOT* repair your "scrape lock". That is, unless the thing is making a real nice fluid spray when you're operating it. If that isn't the case, no point wasting money. The cylinder is a very simple thing.

    Have you actually gone through the procedure for adjusting the scrape lock? There is a pressure adjustment on the valve block specifically for it. http://www.zequip.com/store/media/fisherpdf/FISHER FLEETFLEX MANUAL.pdf page 71.

    Now from what I can tell, this "scrapelock" thing really isn't much of a "feature". Looks to me like its just down, but not float. Frankly, it was pretty stupid of them not to add downpressure, since that feature would be pretty easy to add. Forget about patents -- down pressure has been implemented on front end loaders and bulldozers since the beginning of time, any such patent holds absolutely no authority.


    Now here's the thing; with any luck, adding down pressure to that thing may be as simple as a change in the wiring. If I was scared of an invalid patent and wanted to implement this feature, I'd set it up to be practically obvious to my customers how to actually make it work. What you are hoping for, is that there is a valve on it that reverses the flow between the two sides of the lift cylinder. Now I don't have one of these units, so I won't be able to check this, however, I can give you recommendation on what to do if it does not have one, and its quite simple actually.... http://www.princessauto.com/pal/Acc...-Position-Directional-Control-Valve/8383150.p

    That, unfortunately, is an 8-ORB.... but similar valve should be available in 1/4 NPT if you look carefully, otherwise adapters are cheap. But basically, if you stuck that thing in between your pump and your lift cylinder, then in a de-energized state, "up" (on your controller) lifts the plow, and in an energized state, "up" on your controller applies down pressure. I've personally been toying with the idea of replacing my lift cylinder with a double acting, replacing my chain with a rod, and finding a spot on my valve block to tap into the hydraulic reservoir.

    Hmm... maybe this; http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-Monarch...ic_Hydraulic_Valves_Parts&hash=item1c2d67d86b .... if you're comfortable with ebay.
     
  9. 04pathfinder

    04pathfinder Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 10

    @ jasonv
    Hi and thanks for the reply.
    I did follow the procedure to adjust the so called "scrape lock" but it didnt work
    my adjustment valve isnt on the valve block but right on top of the cylinder because i have the older model...same concept though.
    My hydraulic system looks like the attached drawing
    so it doesnt have a return line..or rather the return line goes back to the tank instead of the valve block so in order to push and pull fluid through that line i would have to plum it to the valve block and the valve would need to be a double acting valve. correct? otherwise where is the fluid going to go when the cylinder retracts?
    maybe in the case of the newer model where that hose is attached to the valve block it has that capability and at that point maybe i could order a newer style valve block but i cant get it out of the fisher tech support people _as to the valve being compatible or not_
     

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  10. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    If it goes back to the reservoir, then it definitely is NOT a matter of just wiring... HOWEVER, adding in a 4-way valve would be just fine. Hydraulic pumps do NOT PULL fluid -- push only. On a double acting cylinder, you extend it by pushing fluid into one end, and you retract it by pushing fluid into the other end. In both cases, you simply release the opposite end into the reservoir. What the 4-way 2-position valve that I suggested does, is REVERSE which side is being pushed into, and which is released into the reservoir.