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Stumped!!

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by linckeil, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    Western SEHP (unimount style) pump

    I won't bore you with all the details and the diagnostics, but here's what was happening - plow would not angle left. stared off where maybe 10% of the time it would not angle left, then progressed later in the route to 95% of the time. up and right worked perfectly fine - as did down.

    All valves/coils are functioning as they should. controller was functioning as it should (even put on a spare controller and same thing happened). the motor would NOT spin when trying to angle left, but the S2 & S3 valves were shifting as they should. jumped solenoid while holding controller left, and bingo - blade went left. tested for power at the wire that supplies the solenoid in order to activate it and have power under all functions (except down of course).

    i couldn't understand it. why would the solenoid not activate when going left even though the controller was sending it power? and it's not a bad solenoid, as it worked going up or right - both of which use the same wire from the controller to activate it (so not a bad connection either).

    in a last resort effort i decided to swap in a new solenoid even though i HIGHLY doubted that would make a difference. but low and behold, the plow functioned perfectly with a new solenoid. so after 40 minutes of down time i was back at it and it has worked flawlessly ever since. i wasn't gonna second guess it anymore as i was just happy to be up and running again.

    but now as i try to understand what happened, i'm still drawing a blank. anyone have an explanation?
     
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,672


    Test voltage at solenoid when pressing left. Betting it is a little lower compared to right or up. Weak coil in solenoid and slightly lower voltage supply may have caused your issue. Remember you are running two valves with left and only one with every other function.
     
  3. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    i used a test light at the time as that is what i was carrying in the truck. i will put a volt meter on it and see what left reads relative to up and right. when shifting 2 valves when going left versus only 1 for right or up, it would stand to reason that would leave slightly less voltage to send to solenoid, but how much? i wouldn't imagine it would be a noticable difference. but with a weak coil in solenoid i guess it could be enough to keep from activating it. so far this theory is about the only explanation that makes sense.

    any idea what the voltage reading should be while truck is running? close to 12v i'd assume?
     
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    At the solenoid,,,,,it should be batt voltage. What ever is at the batt, should be everywhere else.
     
  5. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,612

    Make sure they don't have 12 volt to them all the time and are activated by the ground.
     
  6. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    ever hear of voltage drop?

    if testing the big lugs at the top of the solenoid they should be the same as the battery as the solenoid is located so close to the battery and voltage travels though heavy gauge cables - so, yes, here battery voltage should be the same.

    however i will be testing the voltage at the small wire from the controller that activates the solenoid. i'm not so sure that should be 12v (will definetly be less than voltage at the battery). the 3 coils that activate the valves on the pump are rated for only 10v - and this likely because of the voltage drop that occurs in any vehicle further downstream from a battery. these wires may not even see 12v and thus if the coil was looking for 12v, they may never be activated.
     
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,868

    Roy says Westerns never break down.
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    It still should be battery voltage no matter what.
    Yes I've heard if voltage drop, never known it to be a good thing
     
  9. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    i don't want to get too far off topic here, but voltage drop occurs in every system - whether ac or dc. and no, it is not viewed as a good thing, but is something inherent to electrical systems.

    in the scenario we are discussing here, voltage travels from the battery, to the controller, and then when activated, leaves the controller and goes to the coils and the solenoid. if you think that there is not one bit of voltage drop from the battery to the coils or solenoids after traveling all that way through very small gauge wiring then you are mistaken. the further downstream from the battery combined with a reduction in wire size will lead to voltage drop.

    and if you're telling me that the voltage activating the solenoid will be the same as driectly at the battery, then it completely dismisses kimber750's theory that angling left sends slightly lower voltage to the solenoid - which is the only theory that makes sense as to why this problem exists in the first place.

    if you still insist that battery voltage will be the same, go probe your factory reverse lights and see what voltage is when they are on, and then immediately check voltage directly at the battery.
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    There MIGHT be but what will it be? A tenth of a volt?
    If my reverse lights had a considerable volt drop then something would be wrong.
    A volt drop is acceptable, more...something is wrong.

    As far as kimbers theory, I'll agree......
    However, there were tests you didn't do so given your facts all I can say is replacement of the solenoid WAS a lucky guess.
     
  11. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    so first there should be no voltage drop, now a full volt drop is acceptable? so what is it?? and yes, the difference of a tenth of a volt could very well be the difference between a weak coil in a solenoid activing or not activating.

    as for the tests i performed, i clearly say in line #2 "I won't bore you with all the details and the diagnostics, but here's what was happening...."
    what further information do you need? what else would you need to know?

    p.s - that last question is rhetorical. i really don't care what you have to say. i've read enough of your posts. your throw out vague, arbritrary suggestions. then when challenged on a theory as simple as voltage drop, you still persist with the same nonsense. then when challenged again, you change your tune, but dispute it could never make a difference - even though in this case its the difference between something working and something not working. and i'm sure you will continue to argue. you're just the kind of guy that likes to have people think you know a thing or two. and to someone unfimiliar with the topic at hand, you may suceed. however to anyone who knows a thing or two about the topic, it's painfully obvious that you really don't know all that you think you do. in fact while i was typing out this problem i said to myself (and i am serious), "i hope dieselss doesn't chime in, but i'm sure he will". anyway, enough with my rant. kimber750 i'm sure is on the money and it's nothing more than a weak solenoid that saw a greater voltage drop when angling left (even if only a tenth of a volt) versus right or up due to the activation of 2 valves versus 1.
     
  12. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,672

    Wow, didn't think my theory would start a debate. I am just guessing at what may have happened. And in my special little mind it makes sense. :dizzy:
     
  13. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    lol... not your theory thats being debated. topic got derailed and the naturally occurring phenomenon of voltage drop was being dismissed as a fallacy.
     
  14. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    any idea what the voltage reading should be while truck is running? close to 12v i'd assume?

    And the fact that you had to ask that means your not as smart as you claim.

    Normal volt drop of a volt IS acceptable this I have agreed upon all along. But if your gunna say that 2 or more is normal them your wrong. Further info.....don't matter cause you'll claim that all you wires are undersized and it goes 20, feet so it's gunna drop. Details are important.
    Changing my tune, and realizing my mistakes are 2 totally different things.
     
  15. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265


    i see you're still at it.....

    i asked what voltage at the wire activating the solenoid should be, not what voltage at the battery is. 2 completely different things when one takes into account voltage drop. while you claim to know what it is, you refused for several posts to acknowledge it.

    post #4 above you say "What ever is at the batt, should be everywhere else." this makes it abundantly clear you do not accept voltage drop as a reality, or maybe you never knew what it was to begin with.

    and then several posts later after being presented with fact, you do in fact change your tune and say "A volt drop is acceptable".

    do like i said above and check voltage on your factory reverse lights and then check it directly at your battery. are they the same like you say they will be???

    and when did i ever say 2 or more volts was an acceptable drop??

    and now you are disputing the FACT that there is inherent resistance in all wiring and that the smaller the gauge wire and the further it has to travel, the less voltage will be present. this is basic electrical 101 stuff. clearly you dont get it and refuse to be educated on it, so you really shouldn't reply to any electrical questions and make clearly incorrect statements such as "What ever is at the batt, should be everywhere else."

    you're just making yourself look more and more foolish. you really need to stop.
     
  16. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,973

    ill say that yes theres voltage drop. your correct.