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Magnetic Block Heater for Iced up Plow Unit?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by plownow, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. plownow

    plownow Junior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 6

    When a power unit ices up - presumably due to water in the fluid - the answer is sticking the truck in the heated shop and flushing the system. But how about if a heated shop isn't handy? Can a guy stick a magetic engine block heater on the unit (where exactly on the unit?) to thaw out the iced up valves or otherwise bound up innards? Any danger in overheating something - cooking seals or anything?
  2. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    It goes back a long time, but my dad used to wrap line heaters around his pump and ran to a switch in his truck.

    If I were to do it today, I'd be sure to have a fused circuit.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Not sure but try those water line wraps that plug in.
  4. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    Put The Heater On The Bottom Of The Block Let Heat Rise Also I Was In The Auto Zone Near Me The Other Day And Found A Bunch Of Heaters For Cheap Katzs Brand These Were Forty Dollar Heaters Ike Lou Were Speaking Of Also Inline Heaters Buck Apiece We Bought About Ten From That Store And Went Straight To Next One Same Thing All Auto Zones Are Stopping Selling Katzs Heaters Go Check Your Local Store We Got About Seven Hundred Bucks Worth Of Heaters For Less Than Price Of One Go See
  5. plownow

    plownow Junior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 6

    golden arches: What do you mean by line heaters? 12 volt system?
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Sure, you can use one of those magnetic heaters. What are they 500W or some thing? But what happens is the water will refreeze sooner or later, so now your back to step one.:(
    It is better to flush your system, clean your filter and use a good grade of hyd fluid.
  7. JTW

    JTW Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    holy run on sentence Bat-Man!! :dizzy:
  8. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    He had 12 volt pipe wrapping that wound around the fuel line on the dozer and tractor. He ran that around the Meyer pump and wired direct to the battery.

    I haven't looked for them for a while, but we used to buy from Case.
  9. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    true, but after you drain the system and refill you will be in the same situation again if water gets in there again. I would say a combination of both processes would work good. If you know you have water in there, then make time to drain and refill, but if the problem doesn't become apparent until you have to be out plowing (which is usually the case) having some kind of heater on there would be great to get you through until you can fix the problem properly.
  10. john-boy

    john-boy Member
    Messages: 56

    For the meyers pumps, there was a group making a aluminum block that mounted between the valve body and the main pump housing that obviously required longer bolts. this valve body was hollowed out inside so that coolant could run thru it in the same manner as your heater core does. end result is the pump cannot freeze and the fluid stays 100 plus degrees so u get great performance. downside is it only works on a perminent mount pump. If u can't find one of these, its could be machined fairly easily. Otherwise the simple solution is to get the seals replaced on your pump so the water stays out.
  11. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    never heard of that before but sounds like that would be nice,as far as seals you can be plowing when snowing tear the seal and every time ithe ram goes in it sucks the water in a matter of an hour things can go bad and fast,been there done that .solution spare pumps at shop keep pump bolts antiseized and fix the problem pump later.downtime dont make ya money.(put froze pump on floorboard)drain when done and check your angles rams .
  12. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Seems to me that I was tought back in highschool way back in the 60's that a magnet would not stick to aluminum. Hmmmm. When you drain the pump assembly for a meyer system be sure to drain the rams also. They are at the bottem of the system and water goes to the lowest point. then heat everything to melt any ice that remains, then drain it, before replacing the fluid.
    If one of my pumps are frozen in the morning I heat it with a propane torch at the bottem of the pump. It does not seem to refreeze again that day.
  13. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    what about power angle rams

    The contaminated fluid is also in the power angle rams. If you warm up the pump unit you still have the rams in the cold. I would think the best way to stop that problem is to change the fluid.

  14. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    You are 100% correct. But the heater is a quick fix. As you cycle the plow, you also cycle the rams - circulating the fluid back into the warm pump.
  15. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    But the fluid that comes back from the rams does not contain any water because it is still in the rams in the form of ice. You must melt the ice inorder to cerculate it through the pump

    My theory is when the pump is heated it causes a chanel to be cut through the ice in the botem of the pump. warm fluid them melts the ice and holdes it in suspention throughout the day alowing the pump to run normaly. then when shut down for a longer period of time the water refreezez in ice cristals through out the system. When run again for the first time in the morning the ice christals begin to collect atound the filters pluging them till they are again warmed up.
    My Meyer plows when they do freeze will cycle through through 2 or 3 lifts or 2 or 3 full angles left and right before it stopes. But only when first started when it is below 20 degrees. If I go to the shop and drain the fluid it looks clean with no water. after it is empty I then warm up the pump and drain it again finding about 1 tablespoon of water mixed with verry little plow fluid. Then I remove the rams drain them, again warm them and find more fluid this time with water it it. I do not reuse any of the fluid because I have found it all contains very small bits of ice when it is first drained which would again contaminate the system.
    Spmething that I haved found after 25 years of plowing with meyer's systems is if when the system is clean covet the pump assembly with a platic bag when not in use will reduce the conditation in the pump/resivor.
    Clean and change system ever year at the begining of the season, put the pump and rams inside in the summer and you will not have a freezing problem.