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Western Suburbanite problem

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by aero550, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. aero550

    aero550 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a Western Suburbanite on a Chevy TrailBlazer that has worked flawlessly for 6 years. Towards the end of last season it started giving me trouble. After a couple minutes of use, it will start giving me control problems. I will have it all the way down in float and will ask it to angle left but it will start raising instead. Or, I will have it up and ask it to angle right or left, but it will act like it's locked and won't move. If I'm persistent, it will finally do what I want, but sometimes I have to command the opposite to finally get it to free up, or sometimes putting it back down in float will allow it to start angling. Frustrating to say the least.

    I have removed and the valves and made sure those were clean and I have replaced the coils, thinking that one or more of those had gone bad and they are not very expensive, so worth a try, but it still has the same problems. I have also replaced the fluid every year and at the start of this season, I replaced the fluid and the filter. It has always been stored indoors and is in very good, clean condition.

    My next thought would be to replace one or more of the valves, but they are pretty pricey and I would want to be reasonably sure that's the problem first. Which valve or valves is responsible for left/right angling?

    What might be causing my problem? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    S3.

    The problem is more likely contamination, which can plug up the orifices not only for the valves, but also the cushions and poppets. The only repair is cure the source of contamination, and a thorough cleaning of the entire system. This includes dismantling of the manifold, removal of all the valves and screws, cleaning and blowing, and reassembly.

    I just did two of them and finally (after first thinking the cause was the hoses or rams, discovered it was the seals/packing in the lift ram). The beauty is after a cleaning like this, the system is good for another 5+ years (short of normal maintenance/repairs).
     
  3. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Clarification: angling is actually S2, S3 and the poppets, but it's not that simple if contamination is present.
     
  4. aero550

    aero550 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    OK, I am planning to do a fluid change and will remove all the hoses and valves and try to clean and flush out the manifold. I have a feeling I have some moisture in there and maybe some debris. It seems to work fine for the first few minutes after coming out of an above freezing garage, but then it gives me problems as the unit cools down.

    Can I use brake cleaner in the manifold? My thought was to spray it in there and blow it out with compressed air and then let it sit awhile before putting everything back together.
     
  5. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Yes. Just be certain to blow most of it out. A little moisture is hardly a problem compared to debris/contamination.
     
  6. aero550

    aero550 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    One more question. Having never dealt with these before, what does it look like inside the manifold? Is it just a straight shot from each valve to each hose, or are there a bunch of galleys in there like an ant farm? Are the cushion/poppet passages a straight shot to the the valve passages or do they meander around inside the manifold. I guess I'm trying to determine if it will be easy to blow air straight through or will I just be blowing contamination into other passages?
     
  7. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    There are a number of intersecting orifices. It is best to pull out, rather than blow in an effort to blow through. I use a forceps or tiny needle nose, or even a needle to pull out the contamination rather than blow it out. After I have pulled out all the contamination, I than use a cleaner, and then compressed air.

    The slides in the cartridges are most susceptible to miniscule contamination, as all the ports and orifices in the manifold are obviously larger than that.
     
  8. aero550

    aero550 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Just to follow up on this....

    I removed all the valves, hydraulic lines, and what poppets I could get to easily from the manifold, removed the fluid, and sprayed cleaner and compressed air through the manifold after checking for any debris (none that I could find). I let it dry for about an hour, then reassembled everything with a NEW S2 valve. Then added new fluid.

    I have plowed about three times now since then and haven't had any problems. Not sure if it was the thorough cleaning or the new S2 valve that fixed it, but it sure is nice to have it do what I tell it again, finally.

    Thanks, johnhenry for all your help!