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Plow won't move after changing fluid

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by cschmitt, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. cschmitt

    cschmitt Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I’ve got an older cable operated plow, and I had a problem with it going up. It would just go side to side. I pulled the covers off the 3-way and 4-way valves and found blocks of ice inside. I figured I should pull the motor off as well and check the reservoir, sure enough there was a big block of ice in it as well and blocking the filter. I cleaned the reservoir, pulled the pump out, dried it out and cleaned the filter and reinstalled. Then I serviced the reservoir, it briefly went in all four directions, then nothing. The motor runs, and the pump appears to be working, but can’t get the plow to move either laterally or up/down.

    I’ve been reading several threads about servicing/bleeding the hydraulic system and I’ve followed the procedure several times but can’t get it to move. The couplings appear to be OK. I figure it would have to be something common to both directional systems. I pulled the fittings off the cushion valve that go to the rams and cycled the controls to see what kind of flow would come out, but fluid only dribbled out. According to the manual, testing with a pressure gauge installed in that fitting should show 1650-1850 PSI so I figure I’ve got a pressure issue. Could the shuttle valve be causing this? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    tymusicHad one like that a few years ago. I would suggest to also eliminate a cable problem. Take the cover off again and manually flip the lever (s) inside. Might take two to do this. Sometimes the cable is not in the same spot as it was initially and everything will go screwy.
  3. monsonant

    monsonant Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I'm not a plow mechanic . I come to this site when I have trouble . I have a basic understanding of how things should work , so I try to field a few questions as a payback for the help I received . I offer pretty basic information but often that is all that is needed . Water in the system is not good . You said you cleaned the pump and the reservoir . Thats good but there will still be water/ice in the system if you did not thaw it out and then flush it out . Use fresh fluid when you refill it and make sure the motor gasket is not leaking. You have to figure out how the water got in there. If you had ice under the valve covers make sure you get it all out. Use new gaskets or at least use a little silicon to help seal them so no more water gets in there . A little where the cable goes in will also help. Turning the valves by hand will tell you if the cables are out of adjustment . If they were frozen up and you were pushing and pulling on the controls they could easily be out of adjustment .. or even broken . I have had the little connector (on the end of valve side of the cable )that connects to the valve come loose.
  4. cschmitt

    cschmitt Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the replies. My first thought wasn't the cables just because it wouldn't move in any direction, so both the cables would have had to acted up at the same time. I did watch the cables with the covers removed from the valves and they did move, but may still be out of whack as you say. I'll give them a closer look.

    As far as the ice, I didn't have a place to totally thaw out the unit, just trusted that I removed it all. Sounds like I better do that to be sure as well.

    Thanks again and I'll post what I find.
  5. cschmitt

    cschmitt Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Well, things warmed up around here and the pump started working properly again, so you guys were right about more ice in the system. I drained the system again and did a better job of cleaning it out, and replaced the fluid with plow fluid rather than ATF like I did before. The old cork seals were probably the culprit for letting water in, so I used RTV instead.
    Thanks for the help and hope I can return the favor.