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Please Help! Plow acting weird!

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Champion1, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hello there I have a western Ultramount 7.5 plow. Bought it used two years ago and worked fine for the first season. The solenoid under the hood has been replaces twice and the motor has been replaces twice. The problem I am having is that when raising the plow it moves slowly and sounds like its underpowered or bogging down. It will go up just slow. also the lights dim and earlier today the engine and entire cab electronics severely bogged down when raising the plow. First time that has ever happened. I have had it to two different shops and been told different things. One shop said it was the plow harness that was bad, another says maybe a valve or pump. The pump has been tested and was good. The solenoid replaced and was fine, brand new electric motor and after installing that it worked great for ten minutes but then started acting up again and then after another 30 min started working fine again. Please help with any suggestion, i am super frustrated at this point and cannot figue out what it is. Please help!
     
  2. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Have your truck battery and alternator tested. How was everything tested "good"?

    Was the motor aftermarket?
     
  3. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    #1 - What type of fluid are you running?
    #2 - Have you load tested your batteries?
    #3 - Can you hook this plow to a buddy's truck and see if it does the same thing on his truck? (this would rule out the claim of wiring... which is hard to believe)
    #4 - Have you changed filter and fluid every year?

    By 2 year ago purchased plow, is that purchased new 2 years ago or used?

    IF used, can you give us the year and make truck it is on, and the wiring configuration under the hood or how many plugs you have hanging from the grill if you don't understand what I mean by wiring configuration?
     
  4. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yes I went to the auto store and the batteries tested good, alternator good and charging system was good. The motor was aftermarket a buyers product. The motor was replaced the first time at the end of last season and immediately when I got it back I thought it was a little weak but didnt know any better. The this past week a guy looked at it and said it was drawing way to many amps i believe over 500 is what he said. He said to replace it which we did and then worked fine for ten mintutes and now like i said its good but then acted up and ten good and then acted up,lol The plow was used when I bought it and it is on a 2013 f250 4x4. It has two plugs on the front grill and yes the fluid has been changed and filters cleaned since i have owned it. I dont have a friend that i could hook it up to, unfortunately. It was a western fluid. Not sure what load tested batteris means, but autozone guy hooked a machine up and said it was fine.
     
  5. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552



    Ok, two plug - on the cab controller 4 pin connection to you controller or a 6 pin connector?



    Where are you located? There are a bunch of guys on here that will let you hook your plow to their truck if they have the same wiring?
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    This has to be a 6 pin controller because he has a motor relay under the hood. Must be a three plug system.
     
  7. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Maybe something with the plow power cables? Idk about buyer motors. The solenoids I had were complete junk though
     
  8. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I believe it is a 6 pin. Any ideas?
     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    If you have access to a clamp on amp meter it would be good to know how much current the motor is drawing.

    Two things will cause the motor to pull down the lights on the truck:
    1 The motor is shorted and is drawing current but not converting it to pressure, bad motor...
    2 There is something physically resisting the movement of the A-frame goin up and down. This could be a valve issue (valve not opeing fully) Or it could be seized pivot pins. Try raising and lowering the plow with a jack to see if it moves freely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Truck lights dimming indicates excessive current draw. Bad connections on the motor cables would be a resistance causing low current draw. I don't think it's cables.
     
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    Ha... good call. Or a relay based 2 plug...

    How old is this plow in terms of manufacturing?

    Two plug - two years old is multiplex, but if you have solenoid under the hood, this plow must be an early 2000's ultramount
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I don't recall any two plug ultramount ones, only the Ultra II. When Western converted to ultra-mount they started with the 4 port isolation module. The new 2 plug multiplex units are too new for him to have bought used 2 years ago.

    Champ1.... do you know if you have a 3 port or 4 port isolation module? And tell me I am correct with my conclusion that you have three plugs at the grill.
     
  13. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Definitley just two plugs at the grill . not sure on the isolation module. I do believe it was a early 2000 model. A frame has no obstructions and plow moves freely. Some friends have said maybe it is just a connection problem. One shop said it was a harness issue but my local dealer said if it was a harness issue then it would either work or not work. The shop that said it was a harness problem said that every time i was using it it was losing 4 volts, and that was why the solenoid went out. idk if that helps.
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Ok Philbilly2 you were right. It must be a very early relay controlled ultra-mount.

    Loosing 4 volts? If the voltage drop was across the solenoid / motor relay then that would certainly cook the thing. Watts is curent X volts, consider about 100 amps X a 4 volt drop. That means your relay had to discipate about 400 watts of heat!

    But we still have no explaination for the slow movement and dimming truck lights. If the plow moves freely up / down / left and right then that brings me back to the motor drawing too much current. It normally would start at about 100 to 120 amps to get it moving and then drop down to around 60 amps to continue going up, or less to continue angleing. Do you have access to a clamp on DC amp meter?
     
  15. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I do not have access to that. i will hopefully have that information tomorrow. Is it something that could be a problem with the pump? When it does act up its not like its a super slow movement its about equal to half speed of when its operating properly. Could it be something with the harness? today was weird, hooked up and went up and down maybe 5 times and was perfect. Then it acted up and went slow. Then 30 minutes later it went up and down 5 times perfect. Could it be something with the fluid, we have been in the single digits here. Fluid gelling?
     
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    If it's switching from correct operation to bad operation and then good again it's probably electrical. It may be that a valve is not fully opening but that's not really electrical. The fluid is probably not related to this because the fluid is not going to change on the fly like that.

    An easy thing to check is the bypass check valve. This little valve allows the fluid to bypass the quill (adjustable valve to restrict the drop speed of blade). If there is debris in this valve or it's stuck shut then fluid will have to go through the restriction of the quill and it would raise slowly.
    Have a look at this link on page 11. http://library.westernplows.com/westernplows/pdffiles/27097_061503_web.pdf
    Also look at page 21. This page shows the hydraulic flow while lifting and shows the open bypass check valve.
    That's a simple place to start.
     
  17. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    so how would I go about checking the bypass valve? Also if it were to turn out to be a a valve would it last through a event tomorrow cause we are suppose to get a bunch of snow,lol And i do think i see what your saying, the fluid is suppose to go through the bypass valve.
     
  18. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    The bypass check valve is easy to check. With the blade on the floor remove the plug holding the bypass valve in then if it doesn't just fall out use a magnet on a little screw driver to remove the small parts. With the plug and the valve parts removed you could flush the orifice by hitting the up button for a second. This will shoot plow oil out of the valve hole effectively washing out any debris that is causing problems. Then examine the spring and other small parts. If they look undamaged just put them back as they were and tighten the plug. If you took the valve right out and just put the plug back in the worst result would be the blade dropping fast so don't worry about doing damage or finding the valve is damaged. You can plow without it if you must.

    To understand the operation a bit better think of it this way: The quill is and adjustable screw that acts like a water tap. The more you turn it in the higher the restriction is and the slower the fluid can pas through. This is how you adjust your plow drop speed. Open all the way you risk cracking concrete or damaging the plow. Too far closed and you could go for coffee while you wait for the plow to drop.... Of course you want to control the drop speed but you don't want to slow the plow going up; it's heavy and slow enough without restriction. So, the bypass check valve is like a one way valve, it allows fluid to flow freely one way and blocks fluid flow the other way. When the blade drops this bypass check valve slams shut forcing the fluid to go through the restricting quill valve. When the plow sends fluid into the lift cylinder this valve opens up allowing the fluid to flow around the quill restriction.

    If you look at the link and the pages I posted for you it should be clear. If you can't understand these diagrams then you will need to recruit someone who has some mechanical background to walk you through it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  19. Champion1

    Champion1 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks so much for the information that is a big help and I will be performing that check tommorrow! One last question, if the problem happens to be the solenoid valve that allows the plow to lift is that something that although is causing the plow to be slow will last maybe another day until I get the part to replace it? Because what im afraid is it may be the valve s3 i believe that makes it go up and down that maybe that is the one not opening all the way. The dealer in my area doesnt usually have a whole lot of parts in stock so it may take a couple days.
     
  20. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I can't predict the future. But if it has been intermittent until now I would expect it to continue the same pattern. Sometimes working the unit can make the problem go away.