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

Getting ready for my first season.

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Plow More, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Plow More

    Plow More Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    I purchased an 8' Pro plow this summer and I am in the process of getting all of the electrics and mounting hardware on my truck. First off I would like to flush the hydraulic fluid the best I can, is snow plow fluid necessary or is there some other stuff I can use, maybe tractor hydraulic fluid or atf? Also are common wear items I should keep on hand? I was thinking an extra hose and relay at the minimum. Is there any way I can test the rams/seals to see whether or not they may be getting ready to give me issues?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Use plow fluid or atf. Regular hydraulic fluid will be to thick when it is cold. I think one of the best ways to flush the hydro system is to hook the plow up to the truck and set to aframe on some blocks. Drain the resovoir and collapse the lifting ram all the way. Take the hoses off the valve body and turn the plow one way. Fluid will come out one of the hoses, next take the hose that fluid came out of and put it in a bottle of plowing fluid and turn the blade the other way. As you turn it fluid will come out of the other hose and the one in the fluid will fill with new fluid. Once turned the other way put the other hose in the bottle of fluid and turn it again. Keep doing this until you are satisfied that you got everything out you wanted to.
    Hose and solenoid for sure and the tools to change them.
  3. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    The best way to test the ram seals is to use the plow. The gland seal kits are not expensive so just have some spares. Point to remember... never leave the plow raised to the max when you bring it into a warm shop from out in the cold. Unlike the angle rams there is no pressure release to let oil out of the lift ram when the pressure builds. When the oil warms up and expands it will push the gland nut right out of the cylinder and destroy the ram. Always put the plow down when you park it!!!

    Definately do not use standard hydraulic oil. ATF is OK but the blue plow oil is best. It is actually aircraft grade fluid and maintains a low viscosity at a very wide range of temperatures. Expensive, yes but worth it too. Keep in mind that the blue fluid is what they call a "desecant" meaning it absorbs moisture so don't store it in open containers and keep your cap on the plow reservoir. Most operators don't realize that the Western reservoir caps have a five pound pressure valve in them so they don't actually breath. When pressure gets too high they let air out but they don't vent in and out like you might think. This way the air trapped in the reservoir acts like a bladder expanding & contracting but NOT breathing. This keeps the fluid moisture free and keeps you plowing no matter how cold it gets.

    My last piece of advice would be to keep in touch on the plow site. This is the best resource you could ask for, free advice from hundreds of experienced operators and mechanics 24 hours a day. Good luck with your first year plowing, hope it snows a ton in your area.
  4. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    you can use automatic transmission fluid
  5. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Also keep fluid with you. IF you break a hose but don't have fluid and lose a bunch you are kinda screwed. Plus if you get a small leak you can add until your route is done and fix it when you are done. Anything else you can think of to avoid downtime. I also keep a 12 volt tester and an omh meter. This way if you have a problem you can try to figure it out. Either while you are waitng for parts or for someone to give you a hand.
  6. JD822

    JD822 Member
    Messages: 55

    I always purchased a emergency parts kit. They run about $70 bucks or so and contain hoses, spring, pin clips, a solenoid, etc. I gave a link to one below. You can also just buy what you need and throw them in a tool box. Make sure you also have the wrenches you need to do the work and a flashlight. Thumbs Up


    Well worth the investment imo. I also bought a couple extra solenoids (about $13 ea) because mine were always burning them out. Also, I would either purchase Western brand fluid or a aftermarket one made specifically for Westerns. Not to much in price cost, (around $6.xx or am and $8.xx/qt $19.99/gal for OEM depending on where you go) to make sure the fluid met the specs set by Western. I would rather be safe then sorry. :nod:
  7. PGC

    PGC Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    If you ever break down and are unable to fix the plow when out working, just put the plow up in the snow bank and adjust your chain so that you become mobile again.
  8. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I know its an old thread, but having a shovel is necessary.

    i didnt learn that one the hard way.
  9. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 187

    Wouldn't hurt to keep a few basics on hand like an extra pin and a couple clips. If a clip pops off from hitting a chunck of ice the wrong way and you loose a pin, nice to have an extra. Or, keep a 5/8" hitch pin, or bolt in your truck. You can use it as a hitch pin when you need it, and a plow pin in an emergency.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011