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Pivot bar/A-frame gap

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by MarkEagleUSA, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    This past weekend I replaced the A-frame and pivot bar on my UltraMount Standard. The welded tube had apparently broke loose and the previous owner tried to weld it. Needless to say, the welding job was far from appropriate and not only was the pivot bolt welded to the pivot bar, but the weld on the A-frame was cracked almost 3/4 of the way around.

    Anyway, with new parts I feel a whole lot better going into the winter. My problem is that I followed Western's instructions about tightening the pivot bolt but there is a small gap of about 1/16"-1/8" between the pivot bar and the A-frame. The ends of the pivot bar are snug against the ears in the A-frame but there is still that gap in the center. Is this normal? Could/should I use some shim washers to fill the gap and prevent the pivot bar from warping?
     
  2. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,345

    That is a cake welding repair if you know what you are doing.
    T.J.
     
  3. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Sounds to me like your A frame might be warped a bit. The fact that things were welded and cracked again suggests that there may have been some ruff use in the past so it's not suprizing that it is a bit out of wack with the new parts. When I build new plows there is no gap at the pivot bolt. I suggest you do in deed put a washer under the bolt to act as a shim to reduce that gap.
     
  4. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I'm not a welder but I probably could have done better than what was there.

    It's a brand new A-frame and pivot bar. Could it be warped from the factory?

    As far as the crack goes, I'm pretty sure it's because there was so much weld placed around the bolt tube that the metal became brittle/fatigued. The pipe sticks out about an inch and the weld was almost that far up... it looked like an ice cream cone!
     
  5. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    I would tighten it so there is no gap and see how tight it is for the plow to pivot. After you tighten it put it on the truck and set the blade down but put something under one side, like a jack or block of wood. If the plow sits on the ground and the block I would say you are good to go. That is all that pivot is for so the plow can articulate different than the truck. If you pull it apart to see if it is warped I would have someone weld both sides of the bushing on the aframe and the pivot bar then grind them smooth. I have fixed quite a few of them when the welds fail.
     
  6. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    When I put it together on Sunday it looked like the pivot bar was starting to bend in towards the A-frame (or maybe the A-frame was bending towards the pivot bar... it was hard to tell). That's when I loosened up the nuts and re-tightened them according to Western's instructions.

    You're saying weld and grind as an alternative to using shim washers, correct?
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    So as I understand things... the old pivot bar and A frame were damaged and you replaced them but now the new pivot bolt has a gap right?

    You will have noticed that there are two nuts for the pivot bar bolt in the centre. The reason for the two nuts is to allow for preload adjustment. Just like wheel bearings you set the tension with the first nut and then lock it in place with the second. I would elevate the plow and then tighten the first nut just until you can no longer pivot the plow, then back it off 1/2 turn. If there is too much tension on that bolt I am afraid there would be excessive wear on the end of the pivot bar and on the rectangular holes that the bar slide up and down in. Personally I would rather have a bit of a gap at the bolt than to have the bolt too tight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  8. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Yes, brand new A-frame and pivot bar. The gap is between them.

    These are the instructions from Western's installation manual that I followed:

     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Yep, those instructions are bang on. In simple terms just make that pivot bolt as tight as possible without jaming the pivot bar. A small gap is not a problem if it is adjusted correctly.
     
  10. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    The piece of pipe that teh bolt goes through used to be only welded on one side from the factory. I like to weld both sides when I put new bushings in peoples plows when westerns welds break. It has to be ground flush on the mating side of the pivot bar and aframe or it would gouge one another.

    I could be mistaken though I am not sure if there is any difference in the standard duty than the pro or pro plus, I just noticed that you have a standard duty. I have only worked on the pro's or pro pluses.
     
  11. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I'm by no means an expert and I know nothing specific about the Pro Plus, but my understanding is that the Standard and Pro are essentially the same except for the blade and the fact that the Pro has 4 trip springs while the Standard has only 2. I think the Pro A-frame and quadrant can be used on a Standard but not the other way around.

    For now I'm just going to go by Western's instructions and keep an eye on the pivot point to see what happens. In the meantime I'm going to attempt to repair the old A-frame if for no other reason than to see if I can do it. Of course having a spare can't hurt, could it?
     
  12. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,345

    Where are you in CT. PM me if you want assistance in fixing the "spare".
    T.J.