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New plow

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by geist262, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. geist262

    geist262 Member
    Messages: 30

    Hey guys, I just had a brand new Western Midweight plow installed. I really like the plow, but I noticed a little side to side play in the angle rams. Is this air in the line? Will this work it's way out or what? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. geist262

    geist262 Member
    Messages: 30

    Oh and what I mean by play is that if I lift the blade and grab one side, I could move the plow left to right easily for a few inches.
     
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,215

    If it's spongy then yes probably air.
    Read the manual and follow the procedure to bleed out air in the system, it may be as simple as cycling the plow for a few minutes. You'll more than likely have to top of the reservoir once or twice during the process.
     
  4. geist262

    geist262 Member
    Messages: 30

    Ok, thanks
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Whoever built and installed your plow didn't finish the job. The plow hydro unit comes filled but the rams are always empty. You have to top it up and then run it to all three extremes a few times holding the button for a second after it hits the end to ensure you reach max pump pressure. This 1500 psi compresses the air and forces it to be absorbed into the fluid. When you cycle the other way this high pressure fluid takes the air back to the reservoir where the air decompresses and foams out just like the head on a freshly poured beer. When I build a new plow I cycle and check the level three times before I let it go.

    Make sure you know where the filler and level plugs are.... People often think that the level plug at the back is also for filling but that is not the case. Pull the black plastic (finger punishing) cover off by removing the two hair pins and main pivot pins from the lift frame. (Watch for the black plastic anti-scratch washers that will fall out. They are supposed to be stick on but they never stick) Then allow the lift frame and lift ram to fall forward, under control. Take the plastic cover off and you will see the grey plastic filler / vent cap on the front of the valve body. Leave the cover off and put the lift frame and pins back in so you can cycle and fill. Make sure the plow is all the way down by holding the down button until the green float light comes on, then push the lift frame down until the lift ram is fully retracted. Now take the level plug out of the back of the reservoir and fill it through the brass elbow on the front that the filler / vent cap was threaded into. Top it up slowly until you see the blue fluid about to flow out of the level plug. Put the plug in the level hole finger tight and then run it through the cycles again until the fluid level is still visible in the level hole when you pull the plug, pushing the lift ram to the bottom each time. I usually do this three times and the third time I don't have to add any. After this put the cover back on the hydro unit and you will find that the blade is solid as a rock.

    Last point... don't lose that grey plastic filler plug. It's not cheap and it's not just a vent. There is a 5 psi pressure relief valve in there that prevents the reservoir from actually breathing. It causes the little bit of air in the top of the reservoir to compress and decompress just like a balloon or bladder. This keeps your fluid from absorbing moisture out of the air because the reservoir doesn't actually breath fresh air each time the fluid level goes up and down. If you do lose it don't just replace it with a cheap mushroom vent cap or you will have ice in your fluid in no time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  6. geist262

    geist262 Member
    Messages: 30

    Mishnick, thanks for that informative post. Much appreciated. BTW, what fluid is used by Western?

    Thanks.
     
  7. timboy

    timboy Member
    from Ny
    Messages: 66

    Where in the world did you find that information,if you are filling all of your straight blades through the breather elbow you costing yourself a whole lot of extra time?
    I have been installing and servicing fisher and western plows for 12 years and I have never heard of this at any of the 5 or so tech seminars that I have been to nor any literature I have read.
     
  8. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I have been on the Western Factory course twice over the years too. Can't say I remember if they said to fill it through the "filler" plug on course or elsewhere. Perhaps I do it that way out of simple logic and mechanical experience. Many machines I have worked on over the years have a fill hole in the top and a level hole in the side, like every right angle gear box on every sander ever built. It should be intuative to most mechanics. Filling a sealed chamber from a single hole is faster if you put fluid in one hole and let air out the other. Before Western plows started putting the shrouds on the hydro unit the fill and level plugs were both easily accessable. Now, I agree it's a bit of a pain in the butt. However, when you build a new plow you have to take the cover off anyway to install brass elbow. Even if the filler was not under the cover I would leave the shroud off until the unit is tested so I can look for leaks on the hydro unit and adjust the quill if necessary.

    I have seen people top up their plows through the level plug with a squeeze bottle but they tend to make a mess as they can't see when the fluid is about to overflow. To each their own. I have also seen installers who never read the instructions and failed to remove the front pipe plug to install the elbow and the grey plastic 5 psi vent / filler plug. They just assumed these two part weren't required....

    In retrospect.... I had a look at a bunch of owner's manuals to find that on the old Isarmatic units the pictures show three plugs, drain (bottom), level (upper side) and fill (top most point). Those units with the reservoir mounted horizontally and having a dipstick call the grey plastic thing the "filler / vent plug. Later model user manuals label what I called the "level plug" as the "filler plug" and what I called the "filler / vent plug" is labeled as just a vent. So... you could very well be right with the terminology, and you are certainly correct that it would save time topping up from the rear plug when the cover is on because you don't have to take off the lift frame and shroud.

    That being said, the fluid still goes into the same place regardless of which hole you put it in through. Filling through the top of the new Vs and Wide-outs is perplexing for many users, I have a little zig-zag adapter that allows me to use a small funnel through the top while I watch the rear hole with a flashlight so I don't spill any fluid. Cleaning up the fluid that otherwise runs all over the back of the hydro unit also costs time to clean up.

    Bottom line... it appears that you are technically correct. I thank you for your "constructive criticism" and I will amend my instructions in the future. That's one of the great things about this site, we all learn from each other and I appreciate that very much. Thumbs Up
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  9. Hysert

    Hysert PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,257

    Listen to Dave he knows his westerns.... Dave your to nice of a guy to take crap like that!!! Keep it up buddy
     
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    To get good at anything a smart person listens to everyone's thoughts and gives them due consideration. I understand why people get a little upidy when they bring forward conflicting thoughts. So often I have asked a senior technician "why do we do it this way?" Only to get slammed down and belittled for asking an obvious question. It's more a retaliation for embarrassing the "master" than anything else.

    As for Timboy... if what you are doing works for you that's great. 12 years as an installer you will be pretty efficient and confident. But just so you can see my solution here are some pics to make my method clear.

    I have always used this little blue funnel to fill the fluid in the brass elbow on the front. When they went to the multiplex units with the shroud I considered filling them from the back but came up with the two brass fittings and a few inches of synflex to get around the problem of the awkward position of the vent plug. It just worked so well I never considered any other way until the new multiplex straight blades with the cover came out. I hate pulling those covers off, especially when the plow is outside at -20. I always hurt my fingers trying to pull the cover.

    Looking at the pictures I see how dirty the outside of my funnel looks, rest assured that the inside is clean. Any "good" mechanic knows that it takes 1/4 the diameter of a human hair to take out an hydraulic system.

    filladapter.jpg

    filling.jpg
     
  11. geist262

    geist262 Member
    Messages: 30

    I topped off the plow today. I had to put a quart of fluid in it. Thanks for the help and information guys.
     
  12. Doughboy12

    Doughboy12 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,668

    I was going to say a flexible funnel would work at a fraction of the cost...then I read the above part and thought to myself ... "There is no way to keep one clean"

    Not a :mechanic:
     
  13. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Flexy funnel won't bent that tight, tried it.
     
  14. timboy

    timboy Member
    from Ny
    Messages: 66

    Nice filler set up, I could definetly see that being handy for filling a v blade or prodigy while its on the truck.
     
  15. Doughboy12

    Doughboy12 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,668

    I ended up using a tiny funnel from a cheapo 6 funnel stack... think "Horible Freight."

    It gets me out just far enough to pour in the top. Not what you want to do to fill the whole tank but I just needed to add a 1/4 quart...slowly so it didn't over fill.

    I used painters tape and some plastic under the fill to hole in case I over filled it. I was trying to prevent needing to wipe up a mess but the small funnel prevented that.

    :mechanic: