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Western Unimount - motor - Seized? or other?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by mjcp, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Western Unimount - Put away last year in working order.
    Hooked on today to move it, and The motor does nothing.
    Lights seem to work fine, disconnecting and reconnecting each plug has no effect. Moving joystick does nothing, no drain on battery, no lights dimming.

    Troubleshooting guide suggests electrical or pump seized, but I was thinking if the pump was seized I would see a noticeable drain on battery (since it does that when working well also). But if my electrical relays were a problem it would seem I would have problems with the lights.

    Any quick and dirty tests I should do before getting out the schematics?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    First, is the underhood solenoid clicking when your going up,left,or right? Let's start here first
     
  3. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Will check today

    thanks for helping
     
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    I'm trying to. But need a few answers and tests done first
     
  5. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    quick solenoid check

    First - I was wrong, headlights are not switching to the plow, running lights do but not high or low beams.

    with plow unplugged I hear normal activation of a solenoid under the hood in all directions R/L U/D

    with plow plugged in when joystick is moved, single solenoid click then no sound when joystick is moved in any other position, Plow does not react to initial click, no movement at all.

    when plow is unplugged (either plug) a single solenoid click is heard. After unplugging plow, and plugging it back in, the process begins again with a single click with no reaction from plow until unplugged again.
     
  6. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    Ok. Well you don't need the plow hooked up to test the solenoid output. Test light needed. Rubber band controller "up,l or r ". Probe the terminals. One small wire is switched pwr from the clicker and then the output pwr from the solenoid to the plow. Try that and see what you get
    The lights not switching might just be the plow headlight relay. How many relays do u have?
     
  7. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Update

    Didn't get to do the test you suggested correctly, I only had a few minutes between doing other stuff. What I did find was there are 2 devices on the passenger (Battery) sidewall of the 1995 F-150. One is the solenoid, the other I don't know, and I wasn't positive which is the solenoid.

    The one I think was the solenoid, has a Thick red cable going directly to the battery Positive terminal. A quick meter reading of the battery terminals showed 14.6v, but a reading from the negative battery terminal to the connector on the end of that red wire was at most 5.6v. I haven't figured out if there is a reason that would be ok, but it seems it should be the same reading at both ends of that wire. I also did a quick check of the 2 prong plug at the front of the truck - .0xx volts with the joystick in home position, and .xxx volts in -> right position.

    Tomorrow I will make more time to identify the solenoid and the terminals you asked me to measure and report back.

    My headlight circuit has 2 relays, replaced both last year with Autozone Lifetime warranty relays, one of the older ones had melted so I decided to replace both. will check them tomorrow also.

    Thanks again for your time and knowledge
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    Ok. Try the test light tho. Meters lie. And in this situation I'm wondering if the meter is giving false readings
    Which wire are you talking about that had pwr on one side and not the other?
     
  9. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    One of those solenoids is for the starter the other is for The plow. The plow one is more square the starter one is more rounded. Only one wire on each one will have voltage in it at all times.

    Check your grounds from the plow real good.
     
  10. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Thanks

    Clark lawn, thanks that will help me make sure I'm checking the right one.

    Dieselss, the red wire is about a foot long with lugs on both ends, one is attached to the bolt on the positive battery cable, the other end attaches to what I believe is the plow solenoid. Will get a test light on it tomorrow.
     
  11. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Verified - I was right about which solenoid was for the plow.

    Trouble light checks good u/l/r with ground clip on battery negative cable and probe on output of solenoid.
    Checked 2 prong plug also (vehicle side) checks good u/l/r
    Nothing in the Down position - I think it's supposed to be that way, but not positive.
    I could tell from your post you don't trust meters, but I also metered it, Battery putting out 14.6. Reading at vehicle side plug 12.6

    I'm guessing the next step will be to hook up to the plow and make sure the test light comes on when checking the plow motor connections so I will do that as soon as I get near the plow.
     
  12. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    Check your grounds!!!
     
  13. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Clark lawn - I'm not sure I'm doing a good job checking grounds. I checked continuity between lug on motor and truck frame, should I be checking other places as well?

    Todays results -
    Was near an autoparts store and decided a spare set of relays would be better than another 30 mile roundtrip, so I replaced both headlamp relays. no change.

    Current test results
    test lamp connected to vehicle ground (frame) on all tests
    Connection to top lug of plow solenoid(relay) always hot

    plow disconnected
    testlamp connected to lower lug of relay - lamp off
    Control moved to u or l or r turns lamp on - releasing control lamp stays lit until plow disconnected
    repeat above for all control directions same results

    same results with testlamp connected to connection on plow motor.

    Bonus symptoms - Running lights come on when plow connected and lights turned on, turning lights off and shutting off truck, keys removed, running lights stay on - until plow disconnected.

    Extra credit symptoms - Even though headlights never switch to plow, the lights on the dash indicate High beams are on regardless of column selector position. Also both turn signal dash lamps are dimly lit.

    hope this helps, I'm going to stare at the schematics tonight and hope something jumps out at me.
     
  14. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    Sounds like a bad ground and its back feeding through other circuits. I'd have to pull a schematic up but there should be a ground wire from the plow motor to the 2 wire plug and back to battery. Ohm it out end to end. Should be less than 5 ohms. There should also be another wire from the solenoid to the plow, brown I believe that is the ground for the solenoid. It runs through the plow. If you go on westerns website you can find the schematic for your application.
     
  15. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    Put you clamp end from test light on the B+ post and use the probe end to check your grounds. It will light up if you have a good ground.
     
  16. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    clark lawn - Thanks, I have all the manuals and schematics from Western. I get dizzy looking at schematics, but I can usually follow grounds without any problem. Great Idea using the trouble light from B+, don't know why I only think of testing From B- only. This makes good sense. Hardest part seems to be that most connections are in the rubber boots or other places I can't get to, but if I follow the flow I should find somewhere along the path to test.

    My next step will be to bench test the motor off the plow - I really want to eliminate the Big $$ component asap.

    It was Mid 50's today but I understand I may need this plow soon, like tomorrow.
     
  17. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    So wait. When you ck the solenoid, you said that the test light stayed lit after you put the clicker in N ?
     
  18. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Yes, when plow is first plugged in light is off, when joystick is moved u/l/r the light comes on then stays on after the joystick returns to the home position, until the plow is unplugged which turns it off. When the plow is disconnected I get a normal reaction from the joystick, on when u/l/r off in home position.
     
  19. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    odd,,, not supposta be doing that. something is backfeeding to solenoid im guessing so when its staying on, test light to 2 small terminals and see which one is backfeeding pwr
    ok your lights, when you plug in your plow, your gnd out the relays causing the pins to switch from 87a to 87.
    so you need to ck these pins
    low beam relay
    pin30. yel-headlight pwr in
    pin86 brn-parking light pwr in
    pin87. blk-plow light out from relay
    pin85. blk/og gnd from the plow when the 2 plug connector is hooked up to the plow
     
  20. mjcp

    mjcp Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Todays frustrations -
    task 1 check and clean all grounds - resulted in breaking the ground bolt on the motor -aarrrgh!
    still managed to clean everything down to bare metal but had to improvise a new ground, more later.
    Even took apart lights and cleaned all connections.
    Test motor - used jumper cable to put 12v direct from battery to motor. Motor spins - lots of arcing so I didn't leave it for even a full second, but I did it twice and definitely heard the motor spinning. Assuming now that motor is not seized.
    tested solenoid - with plow unplugged everything tested normal. 12vdc utility light used, grounded to battery. When connected to hot side of solenoid, light on at all times. When connected to switched side of solenoid light comes on with u/l/r movement of joystick and turns off when joystick returns to home. With plow connected electrically movement of joystick u/l/r turns on trouble light, but it stays on after joystick returns home, until either plug is disconnected.
    Next task was to check, as dieselss asked, each terminal of the light relays. What I was surprised to find was that according to the schematics both were miswired. The wires on pins 85 and 86 were reversed on both relays. These are the 2 sides of the solenoid part of the relay, and I didn't think that would change anything but I moved the wires, and hoped for the best.
    I reconnected everything, having to basterdize a ground for the motor (broken ground bolt on motor) I used my jumper cable and grounded the motor directly to the negative post of the battery. The ground wire from the other cable was clamped to the plow frame.

    When I got in the truck to test it turning the joystick to the R position turned on the test lamp but it did not turn off in the home position. This time I saw dash lights dim and my battery gauge dip and stay low. I think I heard the motor spin, I got out of the truck to see If I had headlights, but before getting to the front of the truck I saw that I was smoking at both the solenoid and the motor ground. I shut everything down at that point, and disconnected everything. I retested the solenoid without the plow hooked up and it is still working, so I know that I didn't kill the solenoid, but I'm done trying for today.

    I need to try to figure out what happened and why and hope I can at least use this "experience" to learn more about what is going on.

    Any more ideas? I seem to be moving backwards.