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How to tell the years and issues?

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by dodge15004x45.9, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. dodge15004x45.9

    dodge15004x45.9 Senior Member
    from malvern
    Messages: 361

    Is there anyway to tell the years on these snow plows? I've never owned a western before but I was looking at a one and I'm trying to figure out the year this plow could be made. Its an 8ft pro plus. What are some if any issues that could lie in wait besides the normal solenoid going stuff? He said he bought the plow with the truck and doesn't want the plow. He's asking 2k but its the end of the year so I'm thinking he will take less cause he don't use it and he needs some $$$.

    IMG_1089.jpg
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    if that's the plow you are looking at, that's an early ultramount. you can tell by the rectangular headlights, as they have gone to nighthawks.
    one thing to look at is the pivot pins, they seize up. if the push beam isn't equipped with zerks you can add them or buy a new pivot bar. also remove the reservoir to ck the filter, there is an updated one the bolts to the pump
     
  3. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    You will need to spend some cash on a vehicle mount and headlight harness at least. Be sure to get the controller, ctlr cable, motor relay and isolation module etc. these things will cost $1000 to replace.
    As said above it is an early generation ultra so it's probably ten years old.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  4. dodge15004x45.9

    dodge15004x45.9 Senior Member
    from malvern
    Messages: 361

    Lucky it fits my new truck the user name was for my old truck so I'm saving some on that end and I had planned to have the fluid changed in the plow. Here are a few more pics.

    IMG_1090.jpg

    IMG_1091.jpg

    IMG_1092.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  5. dodge15004x45.9

    dodge15004x45.9 Senior Member
    from malvern
    Messages: 361

    Anyone have info on the nighthawk upgrade and is 1600 a good price?
     
  6. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    From the pics I would buy it for 1600 or 2000

    Way pics look doesn't look like it gets used a lot
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    If it has three plugs u can install Nighthawks no problem. If it has only two plugs it's a different story. U would need to replace most of the wiring on plow and truck. Two plugs is old relay system. Three plug means newer isolation module wiring. I would say it will cost about $1000 to change over. I have seen people cut old sealed beam lights off of a two plug and splice in nighthawks but I don't recommend it.
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    What's wrong with installing nighhawks on a 2 plug system? It's just wires and connectors
     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    The problem I would be concerned about is that if it's 9 pin there is only one wire for high beam and one for low. The nighthawks draw considerably more power than the old sealed beams to begin with so you are effectively increasing the current flowing through those two pins (high and low beam) by a factor of four, on 12 pins it doubles. And cutting the plugs off the end of the new nighthawk cable and splicing them onto that old two plug harness just seems like an awful waste. The last time I bought one of those nighthawk cables it cost almost $200! When people ask me to upgrade to nighthawks on a two plug I try to persuade them to change over to the three plug isolation module system. Just my opinion... By the time they get that old the two plug combination cable and plug is usually pretty tired and the relays are usually equally corroded and ugly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  10. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    If you're that worried about the power draw just run the off a relay. Having the truck side plowing wiring on the switch side of the relay.

    I hardly ever switch high/low on mine I wouldn't worry too much about that. Some times I prefer then off actually lol
     
  11. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    All these points are true, all your solutions will work. Hardwire, this, modify that, bailer twine and locking wire will get you by too. I am offering advice based on the big picture considering all the factors that I am aware of including appearance, reliability, resale value and how easy it will be for someone like me to figure out what has been done when it comes in for repair in the middle of a snow storm. Remember that old Midas commercial where they used to say "You can pay me now or you can pay me later?" I want the operator to make an educated decision about the shortcuts so he / she understands that the shortcuts and modification made now could come back to bite them in the ass when they need their plow most. Funny how the people who have the crappiest old jerry rigged plows always complain most about the cost of repair and push the hardest to get their jerry rigged junk fixed in an unrealistic time frame. Western never sold nighthawk lights on a two wire system for a reason.
     
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have both sealed beam light plow and my Nighthawks on my V and I don't see the nighthawks being better unles you running out in the woods in town to many street lights and lots has pole lights most time the lights don't even help I do notice nighthawk blinds me more when the snow is blowing over the plow or with stacking glares off the back of the plow. Most of time I run only park lamps when I'm in a closed lot
     
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    so one pwr and one gnd isn't enough to handle the output?
    the old sealed beams are what,,,55w? 60w? and the nighthawks are? ( I have no idea on this)
    and do the nighthawks have both beams on in h? (no clue again)
    but if your main concern is pwr draw, doesn't the iso mod use internal relays as well?
    me personally, I wouldn't blink an eye over switching over to different lights.
    and if your really worried about the draw, you could always add a relay to help with the output. that could go under the hood.
    I totally agree with you nick about the hodge podged plows and the crying over the cost of repairs.
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    We r getting way off topic with this. But yes there is a risk that one power and one ground is not enough. But I am just guessing. Assuming that brighter lights draw more current. In my electrical training we used charts to tell us what gauge wire was required for specific amp ranges. Now that it has been challenged I will need to get the facts. I will measure actual current. But further to the wire concern is the old grill plugs. If 10 amps are flowing through a two pins (ground and power) and there is not a perfect connection consider the heat generated. A 1 volt loss on a 12 volt circuit would be a 12 watt heater. When you consider how much heat a 40 watt bulb dissipates it doesn't seem like much but applied long term to such small pins it can and will do damaged

    Now back to the original thread. Dodge15004X4... Age can b determined by design. Rectangular headlights and a two plug electrical indicates it was a first generation ultra mount. I don't believe they ever put sealed beam lights on the four port isolation module by if they did that would make it a bit newer.
    As far as problems go... In my pinion.... As said, look at the pivot pins to ensure they r not seized for sure. Next look at the base of the headlight lift tower by the two bolts on each side. They tend to crack there over time. Check the cables, especially right behind the grill plugs where they crack. Check the pins and sockets in the plugs for corrosion. Check the vehicle side mount hardware for cracked in the welds. Have a good look at the motor relay, the big lugs tend to get rusty and break when loosened. Look at the headlight relays for corrosion and bad crimps. This is usually a source of stress when swapping veh to veh. Finally, check the plugs and cable on the controller. They tend to fail / break at the plug end and at the base of the controller strain relief.
    You said the original truck is the same as yours. That will save you $1000 and makes this plow well worth $1600 or $2000 if everything works.
     
  15. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,898

    We have a 4 port ISO plow with sealed beam headlights on it. Was purchased used in January 2011 and the guy we bought it from claimed it was 4 years old at the time.
     
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That's interesting, I wasn't sure about when Western made the change to Nighthawks from sealed beams and to 3 plug, 4 port isolation module from 2 plug relays. Assuming that the guy you bought your plow from didn't upgrade from relays to iso module we can use that as a dating system.

    The oldest plows I ever serviced were the conventional cable operated units where the plow came off but the hydraulic unit stayed on the truck

    Then came the uni-mounts straight blades with the Isarmatic pump assembly

    Later they introduced the Flowstat hydro unit but I am not sure if this was only for the uni-mount MVP or if they sold a few uni Flowstat straight blades?

    From what I have concluded the first ultra mounts came with Flowstat hydraulic units, the two plug (9 pin and 12 pin) relay system and sealed beams lights.

    Next comes the 3 plug, 4 port iso module with sealed beams (according to John_deergreen).

    After that they upgraded the 3 plug 4 port isolation module to nighthawks.

    The next evolution was 3 plug 3 port isolation module.

    The following Western change was to multiplex with the introduction of the Wide-out and the MVP+ which used the new 2 plug 3 port iso module.

    Shortly after this the HTS was introduced as the first straight blade multiplex. Still with nighthawks and 3 port isolation module.

    About the same time Western started shipping plows in the "big box" package where they were almost completely assembled at the factory, basically two pieces, the blade as one piece and the rest pre-assembled in the second assembly.

    Shortly after the big box and multiplex was introduced across the board they changed to the open back swivel bar and simple pins with grease zerks to eliminate the pin seizing problem.

    Then all the straight blades were switched over to multiplex 2 plug 3 port isolation modules

    Most recently, all models are selling with Nighthawks, multiplex / fleet flex, 3 port isolation modules and the new Ultra-mount II system which includes the new lift frame and the open back swivel bar with grease zerks. I believe ultra mount two was designed to correct the problem of the lift towers cracking at the bottom.

    This is the chronology I have come up with. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong and help me get the order of evolution right. Knowing this timeline would be great for helping people identify the age of a used plow.
     
  17. dodge15004x45.9

    dodge15004x45.9 Senior Member
    from malvern
    Messages: 361

    Is this the 3 plug you are talking about?

    IMG_1097.jpg
     
  18. HKusp

    HKusp Member
    Messages: 33

    I think he is referring to the 3 plug system that actually has 3 plugs.
     
  19. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That pic shows one of the plugs on three plug system. That one connects the three valves on a straight blade. I know this because there r only three pins. The other two plugs at the grill are for motor power (two big pins) and then the light plug which has 11 pins.
    So a "3 plug" refers to the plugs at the front grill of the truck that connect the truck to the plow. "3 port" or "4 port" refers to the number of plugs connecting the isolation module to the electrical of the vehicle. The photo below shows a 3 port isolation module, notice there are three holes for plugs. The older 4 port module looks just like this only it has four holes for plugs.

    3portISO.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  20. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,898

    I know little about the Unimount and Conventional systems, but that timeline looks correct to me on the UltraMount for all the reasearch I did on Western before we started buying new plows instead of used ones.

    I don't know why the original owner would have converted it over to the ISO setup. He sold this setup to us to get an MVP+.