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Frozen Plow?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by cmg70, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. cmg70

    cmg70 Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    I have a 2 yr old Western plow that is behaving like there is frozen water in the lines, but I just drained the hydraulic fluid last week. When I changed the fluid I made sure I got the lower ram lines as well. The fluid looked pretty good, it was a dark blue with no obvious ice or water. I figured that would fix it but I still got the same result when I went to hook up the plow tonight.

    When I hook up the plow and go to raise it the plow turns to the right and stays there. the motor runs but it won't angle left or right or up or down. When it did this in the past I would let it warm up a few minutes and then sometimes it would work, if I couldn't' get it to work I would use a come-along, winch it up and put it in my heated shop overnight. In the morning it would work fine. So I figured it was water in the lines and my draining of the fluid would fix it. But it did the same thing today and the temp has been around 30 degrees for the last few days, not very cold. I have it in my shop right now and am hoping I can get it to work tomorrow as we are getting snow tonight!

    Any thoughts as to what else to look at? Do I need to flush it again? Could it be a clogged pump filter or stuck valve? Would those be temperature sensitive?

  2. plowdog

    plowdog Member
    from MN
    Messages: 45

    It wouldn't hurt to clean the pump filter, but that doesn't sound like it will solve the problem. Try removing the left cyl. hose at the pump, put it in a can to catch the oil and bump the controller left until fluid comes out, put it back on then do the same to the right. Sounds like you may have an air lock. There should be nothing temp. sensitive about a plow.
  3. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    The S3 valve isn't opening.. it needs this valve to angle left and also to raise..

    Pull the cover off the valves and check the S3 for magnetism...it's the one with the light blue wire. If it has magnatizem your electrics are a good and it's the valve itself that has a problem...

    You can pull it out and clean it, and manually push the spool to see if it moves.
  4. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    B&B is on top of the game again !!!!

    I was just getting ready to post, when you did LOL
  5. cmg70

    cmg70 Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    Hey guys, thanks for the quick response.

    If it is the valve, why would it work when the plow is warm? It is acting exactly like it did before and twice I put the truck in the shop and it worked after it warmed up. So it makes me think it is a water freezing issue. Would the valve stick if there was still water in the system?

    As far as the air lock I can look at that but as I wrote above the heated shop seemed to fix it before. When I did drain the fluid I made sure that I disconnected both ram lines and manually angled the blade left and right to get all old fluid out.

    I drained the fluid about a week ago and I used the truck on Friday to plow and had no problems but the temp was about 35 degrees. It dropped to about 25 degrees last night and was around 30 degrees today, so I think it might be water/temp related.

    I'll check it in the morning and see what happens.
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    I've seen valves that would only work above a certain temp before due to a burr or a piece of debris caught in the spool...

    They're just like anything else, they expand and contract with temp variation and when you dealing with tight tolerances can create problems such as this...so just because it seems to be temp related don't over look the valve itself as being the problem.

    I've seen poor electrical connections that would lose contact under a certain temp also...:nod:

    Sure, it could have ice in the system and it would tend to affect the S3 first as it's the first valve in the system after the pump..did you find any ice in it?

    But either way the S3 isn't doing it's job for one reason or another....
  7. ironjet

    ironjet Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    i've had a simple clogged filter cause some gremlins
  8. cmg70

    cmg70 Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    Well I checked the plow this morning in the heated shop. Still the same problems. Motor runs but no plow movement.

    So I rechecked all of the connections ( for about the 10th time and using dielectric grease) and I wiggled the snowplow control harness and seated it firmly and guess what - plow works.

    So it looks like I have a bad connection in the wiring harness from the vehicle control harness to the snowplow control harness (battery harness and light harness are fine). Not sure if it is in the pins or maybe a frayed wire inside the harness. I'll keep an eye on it.

    thanks for your suggestions and we are supposed to get 4-8" of snow today!
  9. f250man

    f250man PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,124

    Was having the same problems with my Meyers and found that it was a broken wire at the controller connector
  10. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Ok I am having the exact same problem. Was working fine yesterday. It went to get stops welded on today in a heated shop, brought outside was working fine, drove down the highway to my first stop and dropped fine, wnet to angle left, made a chatter noise and now will not do anything at all. The motor runs and NO movement at all. I checked fluids and connectors and all seen fine.
    B&B, to pull out the S3 do I need to have the fluid drained out? We are supposed to get more snow tonight and I am getting upset. I changed the fluid at the beginning of the season abd am now lost for an answer. All the shops are closed.
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Nope, you can pull the valve. Might get some fluid loss but not all.

    Since you moved it from a warm to cold environment it could have iced up if it had water in it prieviously, so if it won't even raise check the S3 and also the pick up filter on the pump. Either may be plugged with ice.

    Check the S3 (during lift or angle left) for magnetism before you pull the valve though to be sure it's a hydro problem and not an electrical issue. (be careful of blade movement!) Could have knocked the ground wire off on the coils while it was being repaired.
  12. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Do I need to drain the fluid to pull the pump out to check the filter?
    when the pump runs it makes a totally different sound than before. I already took the cover off of the solenoid area and all wires were connected. I will go out and check for magnetism now and be back in a minute. THANKS B& B
  13. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    If your going to pull the motor to get into the pump filter (located on the gear pump itself) then you should go ahead and drain the fluid. May need it regardless..
  14. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Thanks again. When I checked the fluid it had air pressure in it and blew some fluid out at me. Level is fine and still blue as I only use Western fluid.
    I am running down to my shop to pull it inside to be a little warmer than -12 standing in the driveway. I will log on down there and let you know what I find. Thanks again,
  15. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Craziest thing ever

    Tried everything last night, drove all the way to the Western dealer and whala works fine...
    So the guy sells me a new filter, gasket and fluid and says do this or we could get you in next week Friday...:angry: Friday??????:eek:
    So after the Bulls game tonight I will change fluid again....:dizzy:
    B&B... Thanks again for your help./.
  16. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Sound's like and electrical issue to me...
  17. amcolandscaping

    amcolandscaping Member
    Messages: 31

    ok its snowing out here in ny and my plow seems frozen. How do you guys unfreeze your pumps? I put it in the garage and put a blanket around the pump. do i have to drain the fluid and start over? I dont have any more fluid left and i am sure the store it out!
  18. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Portable heaters work good. Gets the pump and rams both in order to get the water out. (Ice doesn't drain too well :D).
  19. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    We toss them on the passenger floor of the truck and turn the heat on full blast. Never gets hot enough to hurt the unit but thaws them quickly. of course if the shops not full and you can get them in the door a radiant heater a safe distance away works also.:cool:
  20. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Eveything checked out electrical wise. The solenoids magnetized when they were supposed to and the motor ran when I moved the joystick. I am sure it was just moisture. Plowed with it all day and night and not one lick of problems. Someone said to put some heet in with the fluid. I am using the Western blue fluid. I am sure being in the warm shop caused some moisture issues. And to think I was going to use this as my excuse to buy a new plow. Darn it, now that it works I cannot justify getting the wideout yet till next year.:mad: