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unimount HUGE problems, need help asap

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by GreenKingL&L, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    I have a 9ft unimount pro-plow, and its mounted on my 02 dodge 3500. Last week we had a storm and about 3 hours into it, the plow started slowing down and becoming unresponsive. After 30 minutes of this the plow finally just quit. If I left it alone for 20 or 30 minutes, I could move it a little, not much, but a little bit. That was wired with a harness off of another truck, made to work for this storm.(new truck, wiring hadn't arrived yet) We flushed the unit, heated it up to make sure it wasn't frozen. No help.

    During the last week the new wiring arrived, so ripped out the old, put in the new CORRECT wiring harness, the plow was working great. This morning it did the same thing it did last week. Flushed again, checked all wiring and connections, seem to be good, no help at all. When you pressed the up direction it whirred like it wanted to go up, but didn't have the juice. While driving (with it still being unresponsive) and pushing the joystick, the headlights were dimming almost to the point of turning off. Figured the motor was bound up, or the brushes messed up, etc.

    Dropped that plow, put on a buddys plow, another uni, and it worked perfect all the way home. Went in the house, came back out to plow and I can't get it to raise, just like the other one.

    Does anyone have ANY ideas? willing to try them all. THe only thing that I can think of as being constant between last week and this week and both plows this time is the controller. Would that make sense? How to test? I'm at wits end, there is 6 inches or more on the ground, about 40 jobs left to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Have you checked for side play at the motor shafts ends? Maybe the bushings are gone. That will drag a motor down like that and draw excess power.

    I went back and read your post in case I missed something. I did. That you changed to a different plow and that one worked and later didn't. That might rule out the above unless there was another problem that developed with his plow coincidentally. I guess I would still look at testing the motor though.

    Also... you cleaned the filter screen when flushing?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  3. doh

    doh Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Same answer as streetsurfin'

    I usually get 3 years out of a set of brushes/bushings in my Uni Mount
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    When it won't lift...will it angle?
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Maybe a bad Battery?
  6. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    when it won't lift, it acts like it would rather angle, like it won't budge going up but it will jerk a little like when you try to go sideways. Using a voltmeter, the battery appeared to be charging at around 14.5, which is about normal.The drivers side battery was charging the same. However, when I tested the battery by itself (unhooked the bridge loop from the drivers batt) the battery was only charging 6.2. Plugged in the main power leads at the pump, and that 6.2 dropped to .2 I put in a new battery, and she worked great, both my plow and my buddies that I tried second. It only ran for several hours though before it started slowing again, and displaying similar symptoms. Middle of the night, went and put another new battery in it, and it worked again. So, something is draining my batts super quick. How do I check the motor as mentioned above?

    And by the way basher, thanks for the mount/wiring, it went right on and makes me feel alot better than having a cobbled together homegrown mount like I used to
  7. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    Alternator test??
  8. zappalawn

    zappalawn Member
    from pgh
    Messages: 56

    i would have the alternater checked it sounds like it aint charging the batteries. do you have a isolater between the batteries?
  9. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    the batts are set up in dodge factory condition, which is straight from one battery to the other with the power leads coming across the core support. I haven't had a chance to check the alternator, but I am going to, and I am going to look into a larger heavier duty alternator as well. I know they offer that as part of an actual plow package, so we will see.

    Here is the next part of the saga, Yesterday after installing the second new battery, I ran it for about two hours. I started smelling electrical smoke. Popped the hood and the jumper wire from the solenoid to the battery ground had pretty much melted. Pulled and replaced the burnt wiring, put in a new solenoid, turned the plow back on and it wasn't 30 seconds and the solenoid was rolling out smoke. I am about to take this plow and sell it for scrap iron. Anyways, more ideas would be great, its good to hear some new ideas
  10. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Since both plows did it, and you changed batteries, and your melting grounds, my money is the wire from battery to front of truck. Pins get loose and it looses ground. Take jumper cables from solenoid where plow hooks up and negetaive right to battery and test. Replaced many of these befor, will work but wires will get hot or start running slow. JOHN:cool:
  11. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Sharpcut may be right.Also consider this... I had solenoids melt down when my motor was going out. It causes the system to carry too much amperage, just as it would in his bad grill connection scenario. Once a circuit gets that hot any connectors in it may need replacing too-if any melted plastic or insulation gets on the contacts, it prevents a good connection and leads to overheating and more melting.
    I used to annually have to open the tips of the male side pins and snug up the female side of the grill connectors. My 85 Dodge had a connector in the charge wire to the battery that overheated from the high charge condition caused by plowing. See that you don't have a disconnect (I guess in the dodge it was provided for easy engine removal, or so I was told) in the feed wire to the battery from the alternator like Dodge did. Did they install a heavy gauge wire from the alt to batt when the dual battery install was done?
  12. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    not sure about the guage between batt and alt. I am going out to work on stuff now, I will check all connections you suggested. I have come up with another motor that I know is good, but before I put it on I want to make sure all of my connections are solid so I don't hurt the new one. Since my solenoid burnt up I have to replace it, and I don't have another western one. I do have a brand new ford truck style starter solenoid that I keep as a spare for my meyer plow. Only thing is I am not sure which post is which without a diagram of the new solenoid. How do I figure that out?
  13. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    If your gonna use it as a temp on this Uni....

    Remove the orange/black wire from the small post on the relay and ground it to the battery..... The brown/red wire on the other small terminal is your activation wire.. it's the only wire that should be on one of the small posts. Now you have to figure out which small post is the activation post..if you look very closely at the Ford solenoid, the 2 small posts should be marked with a small letter..one should be marked "I" and the other should be marked "S"..connect your brown/red wire to the "S" post.. DO NOT CONNECT ANYTHING TO THE "I" POST!...

    If the small post are not marked, do not use it!

    The Ford solenoid will need to be grounded through one of the mounting bolts, so ifs it's not bolted to a metal object under the hood (like the inner fender), then you'll need to run a short ground wire from the battery to one of the mounting bolts on the solenoid..

    The 2 battery cable posts do not matter... as long as you have one cable on each post, orientation doesn't matter.

    You definitely have a poor connection or a high amp draw on the plow side like you suspect... I've also seen the motors short internally and still operate, but draw a ton of power doing it.
  14. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    okay, according to westerns diagram on thier publications page, the orange/black wire is to be connected to both the small terminal on the solenoid and the battery ground. Is this incorrect, or is it just different becuase of the ford style solenoid I am now going to use? The western relay did not have to be grounded through a mount bolt, but you are correct this new one does. I have it all hooked up right now, have to go to the shop to hook the plow up, so I will go take the orange/black one back off the solenoid if thats what I need to do. Thanks everyone for your help--
  15. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    The small post on the Western solenoid with the org/blk wire is the ground post, thats why it has the org/blk wire on it from the neg battery terminal....

    The one small post on the Ford solenoid IS NOT A GROUND! Don't trip the solenoid until you get the org/blk wire off it! As when its activated, IT IS A DIRECT SHORT!
  16. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    okay, I am going to go try it out, thanks for your help---
  17. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    well I got everything hooked back up and put my friends plow back on my truck. good response, fast movement, batteries maintaining constant 13.5+ volts, showing I think 12.5 at the pump. No wiring has caught fire yet, knock on wood, everything seems to be good. I am going to temporarily use my buddies plow, and go ahead and work on my motor in the meantime. What has everyone found to be better, having one rebuilt or finding a new one? I think that the motor is drawing too much power and that is what started this whole mess. I want it fixed before I put it back on the truck--
  18. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Definitely go with new.... money well sent.

    Make sure you double check both the cable connections on the plow side while your there also... a bad connection can have the same symptoms as a failing motor.
  19. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,770

    Had what sounded like the same problem in the beginning of all this. When you tried to move the plow on one of the older trucks, slow as the day is long, mad a terrable noise.

    I dropped the fluid in the the lot, pulled the motor, pulled the pump, cleaned the filter and the pump, and put a spare motor on the plow. Worked great fastest that plow has ever been. Just my 2 cents.