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Problems with Western Plow Electrical Plug-Ins

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gl1200a, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. gl1200a

    gl1200a Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I am having problems with my second wiring harness on my truck. This is what my dealer explained to me as the problem and fix. The trouble seems to be with the multi-pin connector on the truck side of the harness. The connectors widen out and no longer make contact with some of the electrical pins on the plow side connector and some of the functions stop working on the plow. This time it's the angle right that will no longer work. I verify this by having someone activate the right angle on the controller and hear no pump motor running on the plow. The one thing I have yet to try is a different controller to see if it is a problem within the controller itself. Barring that any ideas on fixes or am I about to fish a new harness thru my truck again. Thank you.
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I have a 7 year old Western plow and had problems with the plug ins 2 years ago. The parts are not that cheap and I was looking for a fast fix. I cut both ends off the wiring harness and replaced them with trailer plug ins. I used a 6 wire and a 4 wire plug in. All the wires are color coded and I just made sure that I put the matching ones together. Cost me $15 and it has worked for 2 years now.
  3. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Wiring Harness Fix

    I wish I would have thought of the trailer wiring fix. I just replaced my truck side connector with a repair harness. (I didn't really want to go with a repair harness, but that is what got ordered and payed for and wanted to get it done.) I used LIQUID electrical tape over the weatherproof butt connectors (silicone) and reular electrical tape over that. Then wrapped the whole group of wires in yet another layer of electrical tape. Headlight connector I had to solder because this harness was for a Dodge and they had a cheap 2 to 1 blue connector, these don't last with no vibration or weather.

    I hope this will stand up to the weather for at least a few years, then I will have to go with trailer wiring!!

  4. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    GL, Alot of times, we take a pair of channel lock pliers and give the truck side connector a good squeeze before we go and replace anything. On some of the older plow side connectors you can also take an awl to the center of the pins and give a the awl a push to open the pins back up, just becare that you dont jam the awl in to far and over open the pins.
  5. gl1200a

    gl1200a Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    You're all very helpful. I never thought of any of these ideas. But, in this case, it was the controller. I have a spare and plugged it in and the right angle worked again, but I will keep your suggestions in mind and very useful!

    Thanks so much to all of you.

  6. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Hey CET I had the same problem about 4 years ago and used the trailer hitch hook-up thing too. It works great and compared to the $200 they want for a new harness and it was a lot better on the wallet. By the way, it stands up a lot better to the weather/wear and tear and it's a lot heavier duty. Just remember the Dilectric Grease !!!!!!

    BTW GL200a - I had a controller go down in the last storm - Western wants about $225 for a new one (found a used one a buddy had for about $100) - anyway I was able to fix the old/broken controller with the parts off of a video game controller that my kids have. The guts of those Western Controllers are worth about $3. I you're gonna toss that old controller, I'll pay you to send it to me so I can fix it! Glad you could fix the problem with the controller - it's a lot easier fix than the wiring harness connections.
  7. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    The 9 an 12 pin plugs are available in just a replacement end that takes a little wire splicing. Both side can be picked up for about $90.00.

    As for the controller, both the joystick and handheld have a replaceable PC board that cost about half of a whole controller, just takes removing a few screws, switching boards and re-installing screws.

    Hopefully this saves you guys from paying for alot more than you need to.
  8. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    pump power

    any pin and sleeve type connection is going to fail
    i have used the type used on fork trucks the two pieces push
    together for a tight fit
    i know the fishers do the same thing. they get loose and burn
    carbionize and pump no run just clic from relay my buddy
    didnt even get a season out of a brand new setup :drinkup: :drinkup:
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257


    Mine was a 9 pin. When I phoned the dealer he wanted $150.(Canadian) for just the truck side. I thought that was a little high. The night it actually broke I put them together with heat shrink tubing to get through the night.
  10. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    We had a similar problem with the Boss plow back in around 2000 or so.

    The solution (as stated above) was a pair of trailer plugs (small one for lights, large one for hydraulic control).

    Here's my two cents:

    Find a local parts dealer for tractor trailers and use those plugs (Mine came from Archer Trucks in St. Catharines). They are the same as the ones you find in Canadian Tire (or equivelent) but are not cheapie plastic or tin, but are actual die-cast heavy duty pieces. The best part was because of the quantities they buy and sell them in, they were about 1/2 the price of Canadian Tire as well!

    They have been on for at least four seasons now. Not even the springs for the covers have gone bad yet!

    I found the OEM hookups to be really lacking in quality.

    ps: the heavy power cables (pos and neg) we also replaced with a two-prong industrial quick connect--they have a common brand name but I cannot think of it right now but they are very sturdy.

    I can get a few pics if anyone is interested.
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    You think dielectric grease from the start would of helped?
    Man I swear by the stuff! It seals from moisture and lubes connections.
    Never had a problem when I used it.