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Western Ultramount issues..

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by jaded13640, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. jaded13640

    jaded13640 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I've got an 04 Dodge 3/4 ton with a western ultramount.

    I was having an issue with the blade not lowering. I aimed the salamander at tank and coils and it started working. But then the next day it wouldn't lower again until I drove the truck down the road. Evidently it jarred it loose again. I drained the fluid in it and it was red. Evidently it got filled with transmission fluid. I drained the fluid from the tank, opened every line and forced every ram in and got out as much of the red fluid as possible. I refilled it with the western brand fluid. Problem solved. It's never not lowered since. Either there was moisture in the fluid or it was the fluid itself. I don't know but it worked great after changing it to the western brand fluid.

    But there's a new issue. With the blade raised you can push the blade side to side several inches with just a light amount of pressure by hand. I'm wondering if I have air in the two turning rams? It's been two or three months since I changed the fluid so I would have assumed that the air would have worked it's way out by now but I don't know for sure.
    If that's not it I can only assume it's the valve. When pushing snow it will move in whichever direction it feels like.

    What does this sound like to you guys?

    I told the guy at the hitch joint, the only place in the area that sold the western brand fluid, that I was going to drain the lines, pistons and tank. He insisted it only needed two quarts. I told him if there was any chance it could need more I'd gladly grab another quart. It bad weather it took three hours to make the round trip. But, again, he insisted that two quarter is all it should need. I've not noticed any leaks at all.

    Another symptom of note, when rotating the blade the motor will run a little before the blade starts to turn. I guess that's the reason I suspected there was air in the system. The lift ram seems to respon pretty quickly. And it seems a touch loud. Not screaming or anything, just louder than I would have thought it should be. I guess it's the noise that leads me to wonder if there's air in the turning rams.

    So,
    A. Is there any bleeding procedure I should have followed? The guy that sold me the fluid said there wasn't but I was a bit suspect about his experience with the operation. He seemed pretty knowlegable about parts and such but I got the impression he's never installed or actually worked on one. And even if there was an actual bleeding procedure, could there possibly still be air in those two rams after this much use? We've gotten more snow this season than the past several AND I've been using it to plow out friends and neighbors to earn a few extra bucks.

    B. Does this have a shuttle valve arrangment? In other words one solenoid and one valve that causes the blade to rotate in BOTH directions? If so, which would sound like the more likely culprit, the valve or the coil? Or, less likely but possible, BOTH?

    Or
    C. Could it just need more fluid? It sure seemed to me that more than two quarts of trans fluid came out when I drained the entires system.

    Just a little more infomation, this is my friends truck and plow and had never changed the fluid. I told him that it should be done periodically. I later found from this forum that it should be done every season. I guess he felt that since he was only plowing his own driveway it wasn't getting enough use to need frequent changes.

    I live near flint michigan and we've been getting a fair amount of snow this winter. I certainly don't want to hurt the plow, especially since it's not mine.

    Also to note, I've been using the plow to earn a little side cash so it's been used more this season that all the seasons prior. He had the plow installed when he bought the truck new in 04.

    I hope that's enough information but feel free to ask any questions you may have if I've left anything out.

    Thanks a bunch,

    Wayne

    One last thing, what's up with the text all over the thread starter page? This has been a huge pain getting a thread started with all this text all over the place. I'm using this in AOL. Might I have better luck opening the forum in the google?

    Thanks again,

    Wayne
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    Have you cked the fluid since the drain and refill?
     
  3. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Yeah did you at least check the fluid?
     
  4. jaded13640

    jaded13640 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I assumed it would be leaking from one of the lines I removed when I drained the entire system but it's leaking around the shaft of the lifting ram.

    Again this is a Western Ultramount that's about 10 to 11 years old and had little or no service done to it before I started using it.

    Does that have a replacement seal available?

    The plow was put on the truck when it was bought new back in 03 or 04. it's at least 10 years old and until I started using it the fluid had never been changed.

    First it wouldn't lower. I aimed the salamander at the tank/valve assembly, changed the fluid and the lowering issue was resolved.

    I'm sure part of the issue with the ram leak is that I had not been lowering the blade when I parked the truck at night. I don't know how many times I've frozen mine to the ground on my old truck and with my back being pretty destroyed now, chopping ice and prying it loose it not an option. I don't have a set parking place. If I did I'd set a couple of 4x4s on the ground to set the blade on. But, again, I almost never get the same parking place twice.

    Any advice on the leak/seal availability would be greatly appreciated.

    To answer the question about did I even check the fluid, it doesn't have a dipstick. I don't know if the fluid is supposed to be filled right to the fill plug or not. The guy at the hitch/plow joint wasn't much help.

    Should it?

    Thanks,

    Wayne
     
  5. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    I'm on mobile. But there is a fill plug on the backside of the pump. There is a level plug on the right side.

    Sounds like you have water it in from leaking through the seal as well as low fluid.

    Let someone else explain it to you. And yes seal is replaceable but you're plow should operate regardless. The seal contributes to leak down.
     
  6. jaded13640

    jaded13640 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I only recall one fill plug. It's on the back of the tank, towards the truck grill.

    There's a vent on top of the tank but to my knowlege there's only the one fill plug.

    The plow still operates. The fluid level is low enough now that it struggles to lift the plow blade but it does still operate.

    Wayne
     
  7. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    Just the fill and level is on the back.
    You can either buy a lift ram packing kit or the whole lift ram assm
     
  8. jaded13640

    jaded13640 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Again this is an Ultramount.

    Does it use ATF or do you HAVE to use the Western brand fluid?

    It turns out the packing kit is pretty cheap, like under ten bucks but I've never done one.

    Is there anything special to it? Just take the ram loose and unscrew the cap? I don't know what the "kit" includes.

    If there's a procedure already on the forum somewhere could someone link me to it?
    If not could someone give me some pointers?

    I spoke to one of the plow joints here in the area and was told that they prefer using ATF as opposed to the Western fluid because ATF seems to deal with the moisture in the system better than the Western Brand fluid. I thought that was odd given that they're a Western dealer and could have sold me the expensive Western fluid so I tend to want to believe him about the ATF being better.

    When I initially drained the system it was red. Obviously it had ATF in it from the get go. The issue was that it had never been changed in the 10 plus years the owner had it. I used Western fluid but given that I have a leak, I need to add something to it. If Western fluid is mandatory, I'm kinda screwed because nobody in town has it right now.
    So, I NEED to add something so I can use it. If the western brand is mandatory and I add ATF until I can get some western fluid, what will happened if the two are mixed? Nothing? Catastropy? What?

    Thanks,

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You want to use the Western Blue fluid its for very cold temps
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    Plow fluid only in ultramounts !!!
    Any plow fluid will work. It don't have tobe Westerns, and low temp plow fluid will do. Like 3 quarts
     
  11. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Yup.

    Isn't there a level plug on the right side block?

    We're trying to help you man no need to yell. It's pretty obvious you're fluid level is incorrect by your description. It sounds like you just need to replace the top seal.

    Sounds like water is getting in from that seal. Very typical on Meyer plows
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    No level plug. It's an ultra so just the plug on the backside
     
  13. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Maybe I'm thinking of an older ultra pump
     
  14. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    On my pump there is a plug on the side of the pump on the drivers side. I open that plug and fill using the fill hole on the back passenger side fill hole until fluid come out on the
    Of the plug hole on the left side. Also theres a filter on the pump it self. Did u check to see if that's plugged?