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Western hand held keeps losing power

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Superior L & L, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    A buddy just called me for help, I told him I know a way of getting a answer :)

    He has a western hand held and it sparraticly turns off and also will every second or third time will even lose the back light to the controller. I told him to check the little wire that comes out the harnes and goes to the fuse box. Looking at some old threads someone also said to check ground.

    Can anyone offer any other ideas
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    We need to know what kind of plow it is to help you effectively. Uni or ultra mount? How many plugs at the grill? Relays to switch the lights or isolation module?

    Your suspitions are correct with the two points you made. Check the red wire that comes off the control harness just behind the controller plug. This should go to an ignition source, possibly a tie in clip at the fuse box. They come loose and break connection. Also you point about the ground is correct. The handheld controller will deactivate if it thinks the plow has been disconnected which is what happens when you loose the ground. There is a wire that goes through one of the grill plugs and then either loops right back and goes to ground or goes to the negative post on the plow motor and then goes to ground through the big plug. Give us more details on the plow and we can help you better.
     
  3. Butler

    Butler Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    i had the same issue. brand new plow. check the wires that go into male and female connections for the hand held. i found that i pulled my ground out just pushed it back in and it was good to go. the handhelds get beat around in the trucks. this is likely the cause.
     
  4. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    It's a ultra mount, no relays it's only a year old
     
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Straight blade or V
     
  6. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    Straight.....
     
  7. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Ok so now we know what we are dealing with.... Since it is only a year old it will have the three port isolation module (device that switches between truck & plow lights). There are basically two things that will cause your controller to shut down: first you need ignition power to feed the system. Any time that power is turned off for a moment the controller thinks the ignition has been shut off and it dissables itself. The second thing is the ground curcuit. This is a bit more complicated. This curcuit begins at the isolation module plug A. Make sure the plug is inserted securely and that the pins are not corroded away. From there the (black / orange) wire goes to the grill plug for the headlights where it loops right back around and comes back to the isolation module where it connects to the headlight harness through a black plastic plug that is not part of the actual isolation module. From there is goes to a black for pin plastic plug that bridges it over to the control harness adapter. About six inches into the adapter it splits off to yet another black plastic single wire plug and into the main control harness. The next stop is about 16 inches from the negative poost of the battery very near the plow motor relay. Again it is one of those black plastic single wire plugs. Finally the last stretch of wire joins in with the plow power cable and connects to the battery negative post or sometimes the engine block (any good ground). So if your power wire is good you have to go through this whole string and verify all the ground interconnects are clean, not corroded and tightly connected. Also have a good look at all the pins in the headlight plug because the ground curcuit has to pas through there too. Note that the ground path back from the headlight plug to the battery also acts as ground for the signals and markers so if this was failing you would see these lights failing too. Not the headlights, they have their own ground. Bottom line here is that you are chasing a bad connection. It's just a matter of finding and fixing it.
     
  8. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    As for the controller plug as mentioned previously, that is something to check but that being loose would make the controller come on and off, it wouldn't go off and stay off. You can unplug the controller and then plug it back in and it will come on again as soon as you plug it back in. The ignition and ground enabler curcuits don't pass through the controller plug.
     
  9. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 740

    My controller kept shutting off this year too (MVP). I unplugged the controller (inside the truck) and plugged it back in, and it's worked fine since then. Try that simple solution first.
     
  10. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    If it's only a year old, it may have multi-plex wiring, in which case it's a whole different animal. Ask him if controller has 4 or 6 wires coming out of it. 4 wires is a multi- plex system that has solenoid out on plow, 6 wires will be iso-module with solenoid under the hood.
     
  11. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    If its' a one year old ultra mount straight blade it can't be multiplex unless its an HTS, the other multiplex straight blades are brand new out this year.
     
  12. aceofspades

    aceofspades Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    My controller started by being slow when trying to move the plow, after a day of plowing and installing a inline fuse directly from the positive (battery) to the controller, I thought that by plowing it was wiggling the fuse loose enough to loose the connection. However, now while plowing the plow will move in its own direction (for example as I am pushing left it will turn right and left without me touching the controller)
    It sometimes wont go up or down or when I push up it goes down or turns, as well as when its lifted in the air the controller will say its on float.
    The plow is a BRAND new (just installed in November 2011) Western Pro Plus Ultra Mount Straight Blade. I was having issues with it 2 weeks ago where the controller just stopped working, and when I brought it back to be looked at the mechanic found a loose fuse, this seemed to fix it for awhile but now again its screwing up... If the plow wont move I can tap the controller on my dash and it will work again for a few moves. Does this mean my controller itself is messed up? However this is the 2nd controller in the truck too... Its mounted on a 2011 dodge 2500hd diesel.. HELP
     
  13. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 740

    If everything is new, should keep bringing it back to the dealer until it is fixed. No real other choice. If you have the ability to borrow a controller from someone else, you should do that and run it a little bit. If you don't have any problems with the borrowed controller, then the problem is most likely your controller.

    When I first got mine about four years ago, Western had a problem with the wires in the controller being too short, and the heat and cold would expand and contract the wires just enough to cause them to lose contact. Dealer fixed it by rewiring the controller, and I haven't had a problem with it since. However, I did buy a backup controller just in case.
     
  14. e30tech

    e30tech Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    This happened to my buddy yesterday. The installer used a fuse tap for the power wire on the handheld control. The fuse tap was causing the fuse to slop around and break continuity with the contact in the fuse box. This was the first use for the plow.
     
  15. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Those fuse taps are great, very convenient but they can be a problem if not installed correctly. First you need to make sure they are on the output side of the fuse and second you have to pinch them a bit to make sure they are tight. The smaller version are better because they have a loop that goes all around the fuse pin and you can pinch them tight but the othe kind for the larger fuses kinda rap around the bottom of the fuse pin and stretch the socket. I try not to use them . The best thing is to find an ingnition wire, cut it, use a crimp to tie in a wire and then use an inline fuse. But that takes more time and sometimes on the new trucks it's hard to find an ignition source.
     
  16. aceofspades

    aceofspades Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    thanks for the tips. I took it upon myself to install an inline fuse yesterday, plowed one long driveway was still having issues but had to go out again today to finish some others. the controller still is intermittant... will work for a bit and then just stop but will work again if i tap or shake controller. makes me think that it is the controller that is shorting out somewhere and telling to plow to either not move or do something i have not commanded. i will try to get a new handheld sent to me tomorrow as i dont live where I had it installed(3 hours away) and hopefully that fixes it once and for all. as I am concerned about burning out the pump because sometimes as I back away from a push you can here the pump still working even though I am not making any moves.
    This is the 2nd controller for this plow already and it was supplied by the dealer but hopefully 3rd time is a charm
     
  17. e30tech

    e30tech Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Mishnick -

    I haven't used these yet, but they look like they would work much better than a regular fuse tap

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  18. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    As long as you have the big fuses this looks like a good solution. Most of the newer trucks use the smaller size and this one wouldn't fit. But the design is better than the one I am provided. I will have to look into these myself.
     
  19. e30tech

    e30tech Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    They have these in mini and standard size.
     
  20. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    They are available in Mini-size. That's all I've used for the last 5 years, and have never had one pop out or blow a fuse. Plugs right in the box, and you have an extra fuse protecting the circut. They are about $9.00 U.S. at Autozone or Pep boys, but are also available through Buyers for about $6.00