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Isarmatic IIIa Cable Plow Issues

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Hockey369, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi Everybody, I'm new to this forum but have been searching quite a bit the past few days. I am having an issue I cannot seem to figure out.

    The past two years, I have not had an issue with my plow setup besides the solenoid going bad part way through last year. I replaced it and everything was fine for the rest of the year. This year when I went to put my plow back on (I only use the truck as a yard truck so the mount and motor/pump assemble stays attached year round), the motor wouldn't turn. I can hear the solenoid clicking repeatedly and very fast when I try to lift the plow but no motor movement. I replaced the solenoid with a new one to make sure that wasn't the issue.

    I also disassembled the motor, cleaned out the pump, filter, sanded the connections to the motor and still have the same issue. When I had the motor off, I bench tested it by putting 12v to the positive side and a ground connection, jumped from the truck battery and the motor spun freely. When I assembled everything back together, the motor wont spin. I tried to jump from the battery again with the negative and positive connection just as I did on the bench and still wont turn. I checked the pump and made sure that spun easily by hand, which it did, and then hooked up my cordless drill to it and spun it and was able to see fluid moving freely and coming back into the reservoir.

    Thinking the motor could be on its last leg, I ordered a new motor and installed it last night. When I went to lift the plow, the same thing happened, the solenoid just clicked repeatedly very fast. I'm at a loss as to why the motor will spin freely on a bench, but not when assembled into the housing. I was thinking it could be a bad ground connection, but when I jumped the plow motor from the battery, I had the ground connected directly to the battery's ground. Anyone ever have an issue like this before? Thanks for the help in advance and sorry for the long post.

    -Tim
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,943

    What i would try first
    Neg from truck batt to plow motor. Use jumper cables.....Try plow.

    Positive output side of solenoid...jumper cable to positive motor post....Try plow..

    Trying to rule out plow cables by this test.
     
  3. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thank you. I will try this when I get home from work tonight. Luckily in CT we haven't had any real snow yet but I'm sure we will get some soon.
     
  4. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Okay, so I was able to finally test some things out. I started by connected with jumper cables the negative battery terminal to the negative motor nut, no change in behavior, the solenoid clicked repeatedly and fast. I then jumped the power cable from the output side of the solenoid to the power post on the motor and the solenoid just clicked once. Every time I tried a different direction, I got only one click instead of the repeated fast clicking.

    I thought I might have wired the solenoid incorrectly, so I switched the little wires so they look as the picture shows below. Originally I had the cab control wire and the red wire switched around. Not sure if that makes a difference at all?? Should it make a difference?

    [​IMG]

    The motor still doesn't spin, but at least I received a change in the solenoid behavior. Next I am going to try to take the power and ground cables off completely from the plow motor and try jumping without anything else on the motor. I ran out of time to do that this past weekend so I haven't tried that yet.
     
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,943

    The small jumper wire needs to be positive.
    The signal wire from the controller is negative.
    Did verify power out from the solenoid to the motor?
     
  6. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Does the solenoid typically list which small wire terminal is supposed to be positive and which one is supposed to be negative? The red wire has power to it from the battery (connected to post as shown in picture), and the cable control provides the negative signal when the control is engaged to move the power a direction (up, left, right).

    Power output from the solenoid is 12.5 volts when the control is engaged to move the plow. I tested this with the power wire to the plow motor disconnected. I have not tried it with the power wire to the plow motor connected though. I will test it at the plow motor with the power cable connected to ensure 12.5v is getting all the way to the plow motor.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  7. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,943

    The small pins don't matter.pos or neg.
    12.5 that's low. You want charging voltage.14.5ish
     
  8. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Okay, my truck wasn't running at the time when I checked the voltage so it was just getting battery voltage without the alternator. I assumed that would have been enough to turn the plow motor. Its a new battery as of October and has 700CCA.
     
  9. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    Make sure your battery connections are clean. Had one something like this and the positive cable from battery to solenoid was bad.
     
  10. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I finally got around to working on my plow again. Since the power and ground cables looked somewhat older so I decided to just replace all of them. Cheap insurance that nothing was grounding out and that the cables are good. I put a new ground wire from the plow motor to the battery, a new power wire from the battery to the solenoid, and a new power wire from the solenoid to the plow motor. I started my truck and was getting 14.88V at the solenoid so I went into the cab to try the plow. Pushed the joystick up, the motor started to spin and the plow rose about 2 inches, then the motor stopped. I tried to turn it right, motor started to spin, plow started to angle for less than 1 second and then it stopped again. Every time after that when I hit the joystick, nothing happens now but I can hear the solenoid click once when I try the left, right or up position on the joystick. I tried putting a negative cable onto the little post on the solenoid to make it click over, it clicked, but the plow motor didn't spin. I'm wondering if the motor was on its last leg and when I bench tested it, it worked because it had no load on it? I'm working alone on this so I wasn't able to see if I was getting 14.88v at the plow motor last night when I used the joystick to move the plow. Hopefully this weekend I can check that out and make sure the voltage is getting through the solenoid, but it is a brand new solenoid so there shouldn't be any issues.
     
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    What is your amp draw across your motor when you press up, left, or right?

    Also, how is your fluid level... I know this seems dumb, but we have to rule that out of the picture too.
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,943

    Just jump the solenoid to see if your getting voltage to the motor
    I thought you said you replaced the motor?
     
  13. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I had replace the motor, but it didn't work when I reassembled everything originally. I think I had a wire grounding out that is now fixed. So I put the old motor back on as when I bench tested it, it worked. I was going to ship the other motor back and save myself $130 but its still on my shelf until I get the plow working. I used the screwdriver trick and connected the battery cable (14.88V) to the cable to the plow motor cable by using it as a jumper. I'm not sure if that worked well or not as a jumper. I will try to jump from the battery to the motor bypassing the solenoid and see if that works. I will probably just replace the motor too as its only 2 bolts and at this point, it looks like that might be the issue as I should have full voltage at the motor.

    I will have to check my amp draw when I have a second set of hands this weekend.

    Could low fluid be causing an issue? Is there something internal that would prevent the motor from working with low fluid? I would of assumed that it would just sound like its starving for fluid. I will check my fluid level though, I know for a fact the level is above the pump filter by 2 inches as I just had the motor off and the fluid was right to the top of where the motor attaches, but not all the way up to the fill plug threads as stated in the manual.
     
  14. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    I don't think it will, your problem sounds 100% electrical, but when you were able to get the pow to raise a bit, then it stopped, that is also common with low fluid. It is just one more think that we need to rule out. Weirder things have happened in this world. You might have more than one issue here.
     
  15. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,943

    This is not making any sense.
    Do this.
    Remove the signal wire from the solenoid, the one from the controller. Move the joystick to the up position, to move the cable to open the valve.
    Jumper cables from your truck battery to the plow motor, pos and neg. What happens?
     
  16. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    Good call, bud - go back to the old reliable basics of the jumper cables on this one. I could not agree more. We need to rule out this motor.
     
  17. Western1

    Western1 Senior Member
    from MI.
    Messages: 676

    Just because it's a new solenoid doesn't mean it's good. I've had plenty of them bad out of the box. Especially those cheap ones!!!
     
  18. Hockey369

    Hockey369 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Good news, plow is working!! Thank you all for your help! I really appreciate it, especially since we are supposed to get our first significant storm this weekend (possibly).

    I started by testing the voltage at the motor with the truck running and I was getting 14.88-14.9v with the plow joystick trying to lift the plow blade up. I tried to check the amps through the motor but it was just spiking quickly higher than my meter could read. Since I was getting 14+v at the motor and the motor wasn't doing anything, I decided to try my new motor that was sitting the box. I installed the new motor, then it all worked perfectly!

    So I think I had two issues to start with. One was one or more of the wires were grounding out and causing issues with the solenoid clicking very fast repeatedly. And the second is the motor was shot. It must of been on its last leg when I bench tested it, or maybe I jarred it loose when I was removing it since I used a dead blow to separate the motor from the housing. The inside of the old motor looked pretty corroded when I took it apart. It all works now so thank you for your help!