1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

fix it or live with it?

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by meborder, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    Hello all,

    I'm new to the forum and new to plowing and need some advice on whether to fix my plow or just live with the leak.

    I've got an old western cable actuated plow with t-handle controller. I bought it off my neighbor earlier this year and have spent the last month fixing cracked welds, modifying mounting brackets and replacing odds and ends getting it ready for service.

    I've finally got a fully functional plow vehicle, so I am worlds ahead of where i started, so I'm excited about that.

    But here's the problem. There is a fluid leak behind the access door for the 3-way valve cable. When I raise the plow, ATF leaks into the cable housing and chases the cable up into the cab. The truck is a POS so the fluid inside is much more of a irritation than anything else.

    I've looked at the mechanic's guide and talked to a service rep and it looks like two o-rings seal the shaft to which the cable attaches. On the face of it, this looks like a simple fix, but i'm scared to death that if I take it apart, I'll hose something up getting it back together, and I'll be back to square one --- no plow.

    Anyone ever fix on one of thes old dogs? Is it as easy as it looks to fix? or am i better off trying to live with it for a season and have the parts on hand to fix it if needed? (to be honest, i'm a little tired of working on it ... this was a 2-week project that took many left turns on me)

    This plow is just for me, and will never earn me a dime, other than plowing my butt out so that i can get to work.

    thanks in advance!

  2. Mike NY

    Mike NY Senior Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 108

    If I'm understanding correctly, your valve body is under the hood of a hot engine and manafold. I would be very concerned about starting the truck on fire with atf leaking. Fix it.
  3. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    It leaks in two places.
    1. at the pump, in front of the vehicle
    2. in the cab, from under the t-handle.

    there is no danger of fluid hitting anything hot, unless the cable were to burst under the hood. I suppose that is possible, and may be good food for thought.

    Really im just concerned with making a functional (but leaky) plow non functional because of some querky nuance that i am unaware of with this old of a plow.
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Look at the positive at least the cable won't rust up it has plenty of lube. Other than that I can't help, I've only had two cable actuated pumps & never had that problem
  5. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    pesty leak

    if you can find someone who has experence with the old t handel cable control system's i would say have them install the new o-ring's but beware that the camshaft can get worn also .
    they can be a ***** to get the cable's readjusted .here is their mech pdf
  6. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    This is what scares me the most. I know those cables can be problematic, especially if there is a need for adjustment, as there is really no provision to adjust anything.

    I'm kinda thinking that if a couple quarts of ATF and a bag of floor dry is all it takes to get me through the winter, then this might be a better repair left for next spring.

    still open to input, especially if someone has actually had one of these apart.


    So, i have to ask.... where in Davenport do you live?

    I grew up in Blue Grass, but went to school in Davenport. Most of my family still lives in the area.
  7. larboc

    larboc Member
    Messages: 98

    Why not loosen up the cover so the atf leaks on the ground instead of the cab? Must be a pretty healthy leak.
    I'll look at a spare housing tonight and try to get a picture of what's going on in there for you.
    They aren't that complicated to work on, but why not just get a new housing/pump? Around here anyway plow trucks come in for scrap all the time, dozens of western pumps that probably work just fine get scrapped. Could probably pick up a whole working pump for $15 if you take it off.
  8. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    I guess I hadn't thought to check the salvage yards to see if they ever get trucks in with plows that work.

    Seems like around here, if it is a truck with a plow, any plow, it is worth 1500 - 2000. If it is a nice truck it is closer to 3000.

    I can check some of the yards around here and see if anything ever turns up.

    as far as leaving the cover plate loose, i have left it somewhat loose, and it does leak from behind the cover, but like you said, it is a pretty healthy leak.

    My big concern is whether i can pull the cam out without distrubing the lift valve behind it, or if the cam is worn if i can find a replacement.

    thanks for the help!