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Could it be Frozen Hydraulic Fluid?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Marchon, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Marchon

    Marchon Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    My Meyers E47 seems frozen, it will raise but not drop or angle.
    Last night, the NE Kingdom of Vermont dropped to -12 F thermo reading (below zero).

    I ran the plow, last - 4 days ago. All worked well as it has for the past month. I did nothing at the end of that run, unusual. I left it fully angled to the right and down on the ground as usual when parking the Dodge Ram that is all. No checking or disconnecting anything. Today mid-day, about +18F, sun out all day, a good 5 hours before attempt, and I cannot get the plow to drop or angle left or right. It will raise though I did not raise it all the way as I did not want to get stuck with it up and have to support it there and I did not want to have it strain the front suspension.
    I could not think of a good reason to take it all the way up. I do not need the truck presently except to plow.

    Two separate operation levers, the left-right switch activates the motor, and a visible though slight movement is noted, but the plow goes nowhere. The plow is off the ground with good clearance. Looking over the pistons, no ice seems to be binding them. Brushed all powder off and sprayed some ice defrosting liquid on the piston shaft. No difference.

    Should I keep some sort of oil on the silver part of the piston to help knock ice off easily? What sort of lube would be wise?

    Checked the fluid, with a metal rod apparently 6 inches in, no frozen fluid. Fluid perhaps an inch from top, recommended to be 1/2 inch. Thinking some water was frozen not visibly at some piston wiper junction, I lightly ran the left side of the plow into a tree while activating the appropriate switch. Of course, I jumped on and shock the whole assembly.

    I cannot imagine what could be frozen.

    Is there any vent to the outside for the plow drop, which could be frozen over? That would make no sense, as in a bad design concept.

    Could some hydraulic fluid be frozen, such as- at the bottom of pump or hose lines, though none is apparently frozen in the main cylinder tank? After buying some more fluid, I may disconnect a line, push in the metal stopper ball, and activiate the appropriate switch. The quick connect was frozen today, and I had given up at that point of sunset. Any reason not to do this, or warnings in doing this? What diagnostic test could help answer the failure to drop?

    I doubt if it is the solenoids, as I would expect it to angle at least one way (left) no matter the solenoid. And why both down and right solenoids failing simultaneously. I rechecked the wiring harness to the switches, unplugging and re-inserting. But again, the motor activates with angling, so something frozen seems the last option.

    Any help appreciated, thank you,
  2. #1 plowtech

    #1 plowtech Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Before you really get into it, i would first try warming your reservoir and valve/coil block with a heat gun, dont go nuts melting wires. Meyers are SENSITIVE to temp, thats one reason they made design changes. try that first if that doesnt work we can go to the next level. There are many more things we can cover but 1 step at a time. Good luck PT.:waving:

    from NJ
    Messages: 196

    Check the wires to the switch s in the cab, this kinda happened to me a few years ago, and a wire or two had loosend up an dcome off the swithe terminals .....
  4. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I had a plow do the same thing almost last storm. Heating the valve block did the trick. (A few careful minutes with a torch.)

    I also had a plow once that would go up and do nothing else it had a short in the harness but the lights used to go out too.

    Realy sounds like somethings frozen. If you dont need it right away and can get it in a garage with a heater I bet it'll work miracles. Once you get it working if it is the fluid I'd flush everything and start over with a fluid that has antifreeze additives.
  5. hyperpack

    hyperpack Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    Warm it up

    A good way to thaw something like this out is to fit a cardboard box over the pump,Cut it to make it fit and tape it up then use a hair dryer to blow heat up under the box, Don't hurry run it on low heat and let it run for a few hours.I had to do this to my western a few years ago I then added some isopropyl alcohol to the oil ran it for 1 plowing then changed oil and never had any more trouble.
  6. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    What i do if its gonna be cold out is, I have a 6foot heat tape that you plug in. I wrap my pump up with it and plug it in with my truck WORKS great...........
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    One time about 10 years ago I have a valve freeze up at minus 10. Letting a 75,000 BTU nipco heater blow in front end of truck for about 10 minutes warmed it up good. I changed the fluid and had no more problems with that unit since.
  8. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    Also its a good idea to use the factory meyer fluid it has anti frezzing agents in it. I have seen a lot of people use atf thats no good.
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    All the agent is is a bit of methyol alcohol added to fluid (because alcohol can bond to both the water and the oil and keep water in solution and from freezing). It does not take much either as 1 oz or less will do most of the time. I have used ATF fluid in Western and Fisher pumps for years with no problems too.
  10. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    If that was 100% true tarkus then the factory would use the less expensive atf .The factory fisher fluid has a low pour point of -70,anti-wear properties,and is also rust and corrosion resistant.
  11. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Right in the manual is says ATF is aceptable in Fisher and Western plows. If you work in cold weather you can use synthetic ATF or thin ATF with a bit of kerosene ( 2 oz's or so per quart or even more if i is very cold which is that same as using a lighter base stock oil to begin with) ATF fluid has a harder life in a tranny than it does in a plow pump. I would not use ATF in a Meyer plow though as they like a little lighter fluid as a rule. I have not messing with the fluid in the other brands not mention here so I have no comment there.
  12. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    I wonder how lubricus kerosene is .Boy i would'nt use that in my plow pumps
  13. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I had problems with my E47 last year they all went away when I put the rubber cover on the pump and started using the Blizzard rapid action fluid.
  14. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    I use ATF3 mopar stuff in my pump and i never have a problem.... its fully synthetic and i take it over all others out there... we have a blizzard 8-10 and the rams on the wings kept freezing. we tried boss and blizzard fluid and still the same problem.. i heard of one of the local guys doin this and i tried it and the responce time of the plow and so was great.. has no froze once yet... i bought a new meyers plow and as soo as i got it home from the dealer i drained the meyer and went to ATF3 works GREAT
  15. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I would not use pure kerosene but what you you think 0 or 5 w oil is? It is a base stock from which some of the very light "oil" (like lamp oil/kerosene) has not be completely removed in the cracking process. I have never done it but I have know people to use pure kere in crankcase for a 5 or 10 minutes of idling to flush engine. I had a old ford tractor 20 years ago that you had to put about 20% kero in hydraulic system in winter (they called it transdraulic fluid back then) for it to work properly in winter otherwise it would not work at all. That tractor still runs today. Never thin with gas though as it had not lube qualites at all to speak of.
  16. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

  17. RAYJAY

    RAYJAY Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    what kind of isoproyl did you use and how much ,
    my plow uses about a quartof hydro in the reservoir
  18. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Meyer you have to use their blue fluid. I have seen Meyers pumps that where all corroded from ATF you can use it in a pinch but change to the blue fluid asap.
    The spot where I think you get the most water in to to system is though the packing nuts on the cylinders and rust little pits fill with snow and get retracted back in and the snow fall off in to the oil.
  19. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    YOU DO NOT USE ISOPROYL!!!! It is at least 30% or more water by volume to begin with when you buy it at store. Use only Methanol (Dry Gas or gasoline antifreeze) and just 1 oz or less max.
  20. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    Hey turf how many meyer pumps you see that have done that? i use a full synthetic ATF3 mopar fluid for 2 yrs now and it works great,,, WAY better response... just wondering thats all