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UltraMount plow won't raise

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by salty106, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. salty106

    salty106 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I am having trouble with my 8' straight ultra mount plow raising. At first yesterday morning, in 0 degree temps, it would not raise at all. After a few minutes it would raise off the ground a couple of inches. It had worked fine the day before. I changed the fluid in the pump. Did not help. When I raise, it will go up a couple of inches and won't go up any further, motor will still run until I let off the button. I had my brother lift up on the plow as I tried to raise and with his assistance it would go up. It will angle from side to side fine. What can I do?
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    How cold is the plow? You changed the fluid but did you remove the reservoir and clean the frozen moisture off of the sump screen? Where I work it is common for people who don't have heated garages to come with this complaint. We will leave the truck & plow in the shop over night to find it work great.

    When I do a yearly service I pull the reservoir right off and clean the sump screens out with brake clean and compressed air. I wipe out the inside of the reservoir and examine the magnet to be sure there are no metallic particals.

    Keep in mind that this fluid is a desacant, that is it absorbs moisture and that moisture will freeze and collect on the sump screen. The best way to describe this accumulation is that it looks like mucas (snot) when it is cold and frozen. Just draining and refilling the fluid will not clear this especially if the plow is cold.

    Westerns have a plastic filler plug that is often indirectly resoposible for this type of problem. The plug is often lost or broken and replaced with a simple mushroom vent cap. Not cool!!!! The original filler cap is more like a radiator cap than a vent. They allow air to come into the reservoir only when the fluid level goes down and the pressure inside drops bellow atmospheric. When the plow goes down and the fluid level goes up the pressure inside increases but air will NOT vent out until it exceeds 5psi. In effect this is like having a bladder in the reservoir air space. Air does not actually vent in and out it just compresses and decompresses preventing air and moisture from coming in and out thus reducing / eliminating moisture absorbtion in the oil. Bottom line here is change your fluid once a year (shortly before snow season), clean out the sump screens and never replace the original pressure valve filler cap with a cheap substitute.
  3. salty106

    salty106 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    It was cold below zero plus wind chill. My plow does stay out outside. I did remove the reserviror and wipe clean the bottom of the pan. I was not able to change the filter but it looked clean.

    This plow has a Breather cap on the top of the reserviror, seperate from the filler plug. Does this breather go bad?
  4. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    I had a similar problem a few weeks ago a i think mishnick is right. there was moisture that had collected in the bottom and frozen. unfortunately i don't have a heated shop or anywhere where i could warm it up. Do you have a heated garage you could keep it in for a while? of course if it is moisture, you'll have to get it out sooner or later or it will just keep happening any time it is real cold and you let is sit.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    I am not sure what kind of plow you have so I am not clear on your filler cap / vents. Most Westerns have one square headed, pipe thread filler level plug and then the breather / filler cap on top. When you top up you put the plow on the ground, take the filler level plug out and then fill fron the top until fluid comes out the level hole. it's the gray plastic one on the top that has the 5psi pressure valve in it. The other one is just a metal plug.

    The filter never needs to be changed, only cleaned. It is just a metal mesh kinda like a fly screen sock or in some cases it's actually a corogated screen with a plastic top & bottom. Either way they just need to be blown out. The problem you are going to have is the cold. When the temp is below freezing the ice could be anywhere in your system. In the rams, the valve body, the lines or the reservoir. What you need to do is get the plow into a warm shop overnight and then purge the fluid. Normally I only change the reservoir oil but in severe cases I will open the hoses and empty the rams too. To do that you just have to remove the hoses from the rams and then with the plow up a bit manually push the blade from side to side a few times and with the chains off extend and retract the lift ram a couple times too. This will blow all the oil out but is does make a mess. After you have done a "warm" purge you need to fill it up, run it and then refill it three times to be sure all the air is worked out. At the same time of course you should remove the reservoir again, empty the fluid, wipe it out and blow out the sump screens. I like to use a can of pressurized brake clean to blow through the screen and then clean that out with compressed air. After that you should be back in business.
  6. twinman326

    twinman326 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,683

    Have you check the S3 valve?

    S3= raise

    check the S3 valve to make sure the valve is spooling (moving up and down) correctly.

    Make sure you fluid is level

    When you replace the fluid, did you swing the plow left, and right several times before you raise the plow? If not you might have air in the system..

    When you wipe out the reservoir, you should of remove the suction filter and the diffuser screen to make sure they are clear and clean and nothing blocking the pickup tube
  7. salty106

    salty106 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks Guys. I don't have a heated garage, but I can clean out a spot in my garage and heat an area and try to warm it up. It is suposed to get close to 30 degrees tomorrow so that will help.