1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

ultramount problem wont lift up.

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by wayside, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. wayside

    wayside Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    05 ford f350


    just bought all new wires & plugs only part that was used was the relay.

    everything was working fine, i tested the plow. placed it on the ground moved it out the drive way, but when i went to put the plow up didn't work. and it has been working all day.

    All the lights work fine, controller worked and lights up. When i move the controller around i hear a CLICK coming from where the relay is but nothing works.

    did my relay go bad? thanks for your help.
     
  2. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88

    Does the pump motor run? If not, get a voltmeter and see if you have voltage going to the relay and coming out of the relay on the large terminals. Then see if you have voltage going to the pump motor.
     
  3. wayside

    wayside Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    thanks i will try that once i get back out there.
     
  4. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88

    I always keep a good Digital Volt Meter with me. It's paid for itself many times. If I have to quit plowing to help another plow guy, you owe me big time. Even a cheap one will get you by. I like the Fluke brand, they haave some nice leads, check them out if you have a Grainger store near you.
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    All you really need is a cheap 12V test light. The positive side of the relay should be hot all the time, if not then check the battery connection. If the pos side is hot then get someone to try the up function with the test light on the other terminal of the relay. If it lights up but the motor does not turn then you may have a bad motor or a bad grill connector. Move the test light to the pos terminal of the motor and hit up again. If it lights up there you know the relay and wires are good on the positive side. Now, if the motor does not spin put the light on the negative terminal of the motor and try up again. The light should NOT come on there, if it does you have a bad ground return to the battery. If the light comes on at the pos but not at the neg then you can think about a new motor. Another quick way to test the motor is to just hook up a booster cable from the battery pos and neg to the motor pos and neg. It will spark a bit but should spin. If it does not spin then the motor is for sure toast.
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    One more thing... be careful when you are testing the relay! I have seen people standing between the plow and the truck when their partner hits the control. They got a suprise when the plow moved and hit them in the back of the legs. Be careful!!!!
     
  7. wayside

    wayside Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks a lot guys!!! the relay went bad, picked up a new one and all is good, again thanks for getting back to me.
     
  8. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    A heads up you might want to pick a spare up sucks to have a 12 dollar part make you lose a couple hundred
     
  9. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88

    Good idea! What's even better is to buy a better quality one and also already have the spare mounted next to the one you're using. When it fails, just switch the wires from one to the other. It only takes a few minutes to switch the wiring, it takes little while to switch the solenoid.
     
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Hmm, seems a bit excessive to mount a second relay just in case one fails... Would you suggest buying and mounting a plow pump motor too since they frequently fail? And as far as the quality goes... how do you know you are getting a better or worse quality relay than the original? I have been building and servicing Western plows for more than five years, the majority of solenoids I have replaced were damaged during transplant from one vehicle to another. I like to think that the engineers who designed these machines know what they are doing, suggesting that an end user start substituting parts seems foolish especially if there is warranty on the unit. If I have a plow come for warranty work and there are aftermarket substitutions noticed my manager would decline warranty on anything that might have been effected. Stick with the OEM (orignal equipment manufacturer) parts unless you know how to spec out current capacity, heat dicipation and duty cycle etc. That's my opinion for what it's worth.....
     
  11. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88

    Well let's see, the guy had a relay fail. If there were another mounted he would not be sitting at home trouble shooting it. Second point, what good is a warranty if you're sitting at home waiting for the local plow dealer to open. As with all enginners, I live with one, things are built to just do the job to the rated capacity of it's design limits. If for some reason, lets say the battery voltage is low and it causes it to operate outside it's design limits it fails. So if you install a relay that exceeds the OEM design spec, say replace the probably around 70A rated solenoid with a 200A correctly rated solenoid with a metal case construction instead of the plastic 70A constrcution that when it get's hot it distorts and fails, you're less likely to have a failure.
    " Would you suggest buying and mounting a plow pump motor too since they frequently fail?"
    It's like I just quoted you, "they frequently fail," I would replace it with a better quality motor if one was availible. But if it failed often, I'd keep a spare. I guess then there's not a need for him to have a DVM or a test light either, let warranty take care of that too huh?
    This past year I was plowing with a few buddies, one of his solenoids failed, he thought he was dead in the snow until he talked to his father. Dear 'ole dad said, "Call Floyd he's ussually got a trick or two that will work." well he called me, I got the solenoid jumped out and got the plow up so we could get out of the wind and was kind enough to take my SPARE NON OEM solenoid off my truck and mount for him to continue working with the undestanding if mine failed I wanted it back ASAP.
    I guess you're going to have a duck when I post how I built my own wiring and hand controller for the Unimount I bought with no controls or mount. Looks like I might have at least $20 in parts for the control box, I'll have more in the OEM plugs from Western than anything else. I hate to cut and splice, that way if someone else buys it from me and decides they want OEM, they can plug and play.
    Sorry if I sound a bit ill, I just was offering a reasonable solution and a way to head off a problem in the future. Maybe Western should offer an upgraded Solenoid.
    "Unless you know how to spec out current capacity, heat dicipation and duty cycle etc."
    Yep sure do. I'm working on an Electrical/Elecronics degree now, it's the other BS classes like English I do not like to take. I have all my core claases finished, 3.6 GPA.
     
  12. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88


    With todays equipment, I'd use a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) over a test light. A test light will just tell you IF voltage is there, let's say the light burns on both sides of the relay, you think the relay is good, but on the plow side it's burning at say 10.2 VDC or less not the 14.2VDC battery voltage, you have a set of contacts going bad in the relay not making a good connection. A test light will not tell you that, a DVM will. If you were to use a test light on other parts of the truck and do not know exactly what you're doing you can smoke parts with a test light. A DVM will read VOLTAGE LEVEL. Another way to check a relay that "clicks" and does not seem to work is to connect the DVM accross the two large terminals, B+ coming in and the post going out to the plow with the clamp on leads from a good set of Fluke meter leads. With the solenoid de-energised it should read battery voltage, when you energise the solenoid and it "clicks in" in a perfect world it will go to zero, but ussually you read a small voltage because of a voltage drop accross the contacts from a slight bad connection. Just for the fun of it, take a DVM and connect it to the battery ground post and the other end to the engine block and have someone crank the truck. If it goes up more than .5VDC you have ground problem that will only get worse with time. You can do the same with a plow to check to make sure you have a good ground. It works on the positive side also to check connections. Once you understand how use a DVM not as a test light, but as testing tool, you'll find things are faster and easier to troubleshoot. I've found most problems are ground related. If after replacing the solenoid, take the DVM and connect it to the battery Negative post and the other lead to the solenoid body, if it uses the body of the slenoid as a ground, and energize the solenoid, if you have more than .5VDC rise, find the ground problem. Remember to look for the root cause of a problem and not just replace parts to fix the symptom.
     
  13. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    mishnick
    everyone has a different opinion, don't mock the person
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    All your points regarding IR drops and DVMs are correct, clearly you have a strong grasp of electrical theory and "good for you" on the 3.6 gpa. My electronics degree was so long ago I don't remember what my gpa was. But I think you missed the point; I was dealing with economics more than electronics. Plowing snow for most people is a business where they try to make a profit. The average plow operator doesn't have a degree in electronics so troubleshooting with a DVM on the side of the road in a snow storm is probably not in the game plan. A simple test light costs what... about $5 for a good one while a DVM cost... well a lot more. The test light works at -40F and at +90F while the DVM ... well... at anything below -10F the LCD screen either expands and cracks or the battery goes dead. I myself own a very expensive Fluke DVM along with many other wonderful diagnostic tools but I don't keep them in the tool box under my truck seat.
    In any case, I think we have gotten off track here. We started out trying to help a guy troubleshoot his plow without costing him tons of money. After all that's why he came to the plowsite right. If he wanted to spend money he could have just called a mechanic and paid to have it fixed right? The guy apparently determined that it was his relay and now it's fixed so why are we still thrashing it out? I gave my opinion and you gave yours. I suggested buying an inexpensive testing tool and to stick with OEM while you suggested buying an expensive tool and to upgrade and even buy a second redundant unit and mount it. We both offered advice and now it is up to Wayside to do what works for him. Lets leave it at that. I am sorry that I suggested your advice might be foolish, I was just "giving my opinin". Now perhaps we can get back to helping people with their plows as it is obvious we both have lots to offer. Good luck with that degree.
     
  15. TheEquineFencer

    TheEquineFencer Member
    Messages: 88

    Twinman326 said the same thing I think...
    Enough said, pray for snow!
     
  16. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    wayside, glad you found your problem..Also just for argument sake just make sure everything is clean, tight, and have a good amount of dielectric grease..

    Safe plowing...........