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Plow Freeze ups

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by blam133, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. blam133

    blam133 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I work part time for a landscaper in upstate New York and do most of the mechanics on the vehicles. The temperature has been consistently in the teens and single digits for most of December and January.
    We plow with 4 trucks; 2000 Chevy 3500 Duramax rack body with a Fisher V-Plow, DownEaster sander / 2000 Chevy 3500 Dump diesel with a 8' Diamond Plow , DownEaster sander/ 2003 GMC 2500HD with a Fisher V-Plow and a 95 Chevy 2500 with a 8' Fisher Plow. We have been experiencing "freeze ups" with the new V-Plows and the Diamond plow . I was told that the new enlosed hydraulic units have a breather in them which condenses and then freezes. We have also had similar problems with the Diamond plow(although not an enclosed system) . Our remedy while we are still at the shop is to put heat on the unit by either a 300 watt work light or more recently a salamander heater.
    Has anyone else experienced this type of behavoir and does anyone have any tips to prevent this.

  2. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Change fluid prior to every season and as required.
  3. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    flush the unit and the angle cylinder's fill with new fluid change filter screens and put some alcohol in there little bit
  4. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Best bet get new fluid in them. Make sure you get units warm enough to melt any ice inside system prior to draining or it will ice up again....Chuck
  5. JunkFood331

    JunkFood331 Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    PLOWMAN45 you said to put a little bit of alcohol in the system. Approx. how much and like the HEET brand?? :confused: Just curious on what you do and or use.
  6. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    rubbing and like a quick spritz
  7. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I ran into a guy today with the same problem, our local Meyers dealer told him to obviously drain and install new fluid, but to go to the local NAPA and pick up some Air Brake deicer or Airbrake antifreeze and to put 2 ounces in with the Meyers fluid. It's probably some type of alcohol also, or has alcohol in it. I'm going to try some of it as I have also had slow movement on some of the super cold mornings. I changed my fluid and it seemed to help a bunch.
  8. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 86

  9. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Meyer fluid has deicer in it. Just remember wrong type of alcohol and it will destroy o-rings in system...Chuck
  10. blam133

    blam133 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanx everyone for the extremely informative forum. I also spoke with Fisher's technical support for further clarification and I think we got this beat. Looks like the fluids get changed tomorrow or Wednesday! Good luck to us all the rest of the season.
  11. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Chuck, Why do you think that Buckeye Truck would tell a customer to use the Air Brake stuff, if it was harmful??? They are a big dealer and pretty reputable in Cols. I think that we all know that the Meyer fluid has a deicer in it, that's 1 of the big selling points. They did not say to fill it up with the Air Brake stuff, just '2 ounces'.
  12. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Not trying to rough any feathers, just know from experience that there is a multitude of different formulas for both the rubber used in o-rings and in deicers. Hate to see someone have a catastrophic failure from trying to shortcut....:) :) ..Chuck
  13. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    Alcohol makes rubber hard and brittle, which leads to cracks, which leads to breaks. That seems like the long hard messy way to drain the system. :p
  14. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Flush and change fluid on a regular basis and you will not need or should you use alcohol additives and avoid failures and costly repairs in the future. Like your engine, it is proper maintenance. Protect your investment and main tool of work. Get that water out the proper way.
  15. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    well i use a little and all the super cold weather i never froze once here
  16. blam133

    blam133 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Felt I needed to share this with everyone that suggested Alcohol in the system.
    It's a good logical idea and may work for a while but bad technically. I talked to FISHER'S technical help yesterday and brought up the suggestion of alcohol. Strongly not reccomended!
    Alcohol will not freeze up and will absorb moisture(like dry gas in your car) But will also dry out any seals overtime.
    I guess the best lesson I learned from everyone is back to basics...change the fluid EVERY year and maintain the equipment...
    Getting ready for another STORM $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Be Safe.....
  17. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    You are supposed to change the hydraulic fluid EVERY season. This will fix the problem. Because the new plows components are all external the cold breaks down the fluid and it starts to freeze. Its not condensation its just that the fluid is losing its elements. I live about 1 mile from Fisher plows manufacturing facility in Maine and they would tell you the same thing. To change the fluid, there is a drain plug on the bottom of the pump. Simply drain the fluid and put the plug back in. Then unscrew the fill plug and refill (You will need a flexible funnel cause the fill hole is at an angle. Fill it with fluid till it is flush with the fill plug, just before it starts to pour back out. Cap it and your all set for another season. Now, the color of the fluid dictates which fluid you need. If its pink then it is Dextrose transmission fluid. If it is Blue then it is Fisher juice which can be purchased from a fisher dealer. You must use whatever fluid was in it to begin with. Which hopefully is the Fisher juice. the reason they went to this is because the Dextrose just wasn't cutting it. Hope this helps.
  18. meathead1134

    meathead1134 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 170

    OK I'm new this season and have a quesiton. I have a fisher minunte mount 1. How much hydraulic fluid will I need for mine. Second what do I do with the waste hydraulic fluid???
  19. ashsupply

    ashsupply Junior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 26

    Electric hydraulic units take just under 3 quarts, when completely drained, but a gallon is cheaper than 3 quarts.
    Hope this helps.
  20. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    i have spliced into my heater core line and run a stretch of hose out the grill and make a few wraps in the case and then run it back to the motor. keeps it nice and warm.