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Pro Plow 8ft wont raise all the way

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by snowbear3, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. snowbear3

    snowbear3 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey all I just got the plow hooked up and the fluid changed this year and everything works great, but the plow will not raise up all the way. The motor/ pump will still run but the plow wont go up any higher. It's like I'm hitting its full stroke but the plow is maybe 6" off the ground. I have flushed out the lift cylinder a few times so I don't think it's the cylinder. I gotta get this thing going so any help is appreciated.


    -Thanks
    Steve-o
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I know this is basic but have to ask, did you do a chain adjustment? Put the plow down and then into float mode. (hold the down button until the green float light comes on) Then push the lift frame down with your hand right to the bottom of cylinder travel. Now hook the lift chains as hight & tight as you can. If you get a few links tighter then it will lift quite a bit more. If that doesn't help you need to look at your truck front end to see how much it sags when you lift. Also consider the ballast in the rear. If you don't have enough ballast the rear will lift and allow your plow to remain low.
     
  3. snowbear3

    snowbear3 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Well I've had this plow for the past 7 years and have just drained the fluid every year and everything has been fine for the next plowing season. I've looked at the Western troubleshooting pages and found that it could be the S3 or S2 valve because that is what controls the lifting hydraulic system. The S3 is the main lifting valve. And I have an 99 Ford F-250 diesel 4x4 with added leafs in the front and it doesn't move hardly at all. So I don't it has to do with the front suspension at all. So I think it's something plugging the S3 valve, because everything else works like it should side to side. Could it be the cylinder, S3 valve, the truck plugs or the controller?? It was working fine this summer when I was moving it around the yard.

    -Thanks
    Steve-o
     
  4. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I would think it is more likely a valve problem than a ram problem. The ram is such a simple device, either it works or it leaks. There could be debree in the valve or the valve could be failing to transition completly. Might also be a pressure production problem like worn pump or pressure relief valve problem. Since the lift cylinder requires the most pressure that is where pressure loss will show first. it would be nice to have a pressure gauge on it and see what it is producing and then compare that to what is being forwarded to the lift ram. If a gauge is not available I would pull the valves and examine them. Use a 9 V battery to suttle them and see that they click distincltly. Also look for any debree that might be stuck in them. Sometimes you can hold them open with the battery and then blow them out. All it takes is a bit of hair, shred of gasket or a little metal fileing.
     
  5. snowbear3

    snowbear3 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey Mishnick Merry Christmas! I blew out all 3 of the valves (S1-S3) and ran the lift cylinder with the chains removed and it ran the complete stroke. I was wondering if it could be the pins that go into the pivot bar, maybe they have seized?? Would the pins being seized be stopping the full stroke of the lift cylinder??
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That is an interesting thought. This would certainly create significant resistance and could get tighter the higher you go. Try, with the plow off the truck, putting a little jack under the A-frame and then try to move the headlight tower forward and backward. Normally the towere would fall forward as soon as you take the weight off the landing gear. Carfull it doesn't fall.

    If this is the problem you are in for a treat (NOT). When those pins seize they are a bugger to get out. I usually just cut them off and replace the pivot bar assembly with the new style that has the grease zerks built in.

    If that is not your problem I would find a buddy with a pressure gauge and verify you have the pressure to do the job.
     
  7. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    My dad had a similar problem it would lift with the chains removed and it would angle. However it wouldn't lift the plow. What happened was the pickup tube fell off of the pump in the canister. So it would raise it a little then the pump couldn't suck up the fluid. Western sells an update kit and had a metal bracket that bolted the pickup tube in as well as the friction fit. Easy check pull the canister off and see. Also when we lifted it up with the chanis off the lift arm was spongey we assumed this because it was full of air not fluid. Good luck. Let us know what it is.
     
  8. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    That would explain not going up all the way but you would clearly hear the sound change when the oil level dropped below the pickup hole. It sounds like the pump is sucking air and the motor free wheels.

    If you haven't had the reservoir off then that would be a good thing to do. When I do a fluid change I always pull the canister off, check the magnet and wipe the dirt out of the bottom. At this time I blow out and inspect both the pickup (sump screen) and the return screen for dirt and metalic debree. There are four little screws that hold it on and then the friction from the O-ring. Be carfull though as sometimes there can be residual pressure and it will come off on it's own once the screws are out. Open the filler cap before removing the screws. And when you put it back on, make sure the magnet is in a location where it won't interfere with the sump.
     
  9. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Pivot pins at the rear of the plow seized in the pivot bar. Have to take the light bar off, unbolt the pivots, and heat, lube and beat them till they come out, wire wheel both female and male ends, antiseize and assemble.
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,002

    search for my thread on this,,,and never antiseeze them,,,,,get water resistant grease instead
     
  11. snowbear3

    snowbear3 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Mishnick, I figured what was up with the plow finally. It was the pivot bar pins. It wasn't too bad getting them loose. It took a lot of heat and beating but they finally broke loose. I didn't take them completely out but I drilled a hole in the pivot bar and kept spraying some PB blaster in the hole. This is just a temporary fix once the seasons over I'll replace everything pivot bar and pins and replace the other things that need to be fixed. So long story short thanks for the help!
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,002

    How big of a hole did you drill? Could you just tap it out ans add a zerk tho?
     
  13. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Way to "adapt and overcome"! Do what you must to get by and then fix it right when you can. Drilling the holes to get penatrant in was clever. When you get your new pivot bar it will look different, they are not a closed tube but are open on one side and use a different kind of main pin which is held in with a cotter ranther than going under that carriage bolt. The best part about the new style is that they come with an easily accesable grease zerk. However, I have modified the old style by drilling and installing greaze zerks in the top on the ends so if you got a used one it would be upgradable.