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Water in Plow

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by jcr1210, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. jcr1210

    jcr1210 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    My oil was white so I drained the oil out, worked the plow side to side put a shot of heet in the plow due to freezing. Now the oil is pink any thoughts should I work the plow for a couple of days then change the oil again I just don't know how to flush the system completely...
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Need to find where the water is getting in, otherwise you will keep having the same trouble.
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    sounds like you didnt get all the water out in the first place. so just changing out the pump oil didnt do the full trick. you need to get all the fluid out of the angle rams too.
  4. jcr1210

    jcr1210 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    How do I get the oil out of the rams? I removed the hoses and worked the rams by pushing the plow side to side. This is the only way that I know of.
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    That's right. Might just need to do this a few more times tho. Do the rams, pump, and lift ram. Just putting "heet" in the system will not get rid of all the water.
  6. Citrausa

    Citrausa Member
    Messages: 56

    I'm having this issue for some reason (this year).
    Do you suggest disconnecting the hoses from the rams and manually moving them to empty any fluids out? Then manually moving them to suck in new fluid? (Having jacked up arms from the Marines makes this a challenge). Or should I drain pump reservoir, work the plow a bit and do the process all over again?
  7. dd3brand

    dd3brand Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Please watch this video: http://www.fisherplows.com/fe/parts_service/maintenance_gallery/video.php?id=11 This will walk you through proper draining of your fluid. AND...if the oil is pink, it is probably transmission fluid....please use the recommended hydraulic fluid from Fisher as the hydraulic oil has a dryer within the chemicals to help with any water that gets into the system. Check all of your hose connections, and the gland nuts of your rams to ensure they are snug and not drawing moisture into the system.
  8. dd3brand

    dd3brand Junior Member
    Messages: 20

  9. nealybird

    nealybird Senior Member
    Messages: 750

    yes, unhook hoses and push blade manually to push the old stuff out. then lower the blade, hook hoses back up and refill. then angle back and forth a few times to fill the hoses and cylinders, then top off fluid again.

    also pitted, rusty rams will pull water in with every stroke.
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    What is this "dryer" thing Dd3brand??? The blue Western and Fisher plow fluid has no dryer in it, in fact because of the cooking that makes is stable viscosity across a wide range of temperatures it is actually a descecant. That means is ABSORBS moisture!!! That is why they have the grey plastic filler cap with the 5psi pressure relief valve. This device prevents the reservoir from breathing to avoid allowing moist air to come in contact with the fluid. In a late model plow trans fluid (pink Dexron) is not suitable, switch to the blue plow fluid for best performance.

    Back to the real issue.... If your fluid is contaminated with water check your grey filler cap. Try to blow through it, if you can it's no good, get a new one. A bad pressure cap will cause your fluid to become contaminated.

    To do a good job purging the fluid you need to empty the reservoir and then disconnect the hoses from the angle rams (lift ram will be empty if it's all the way down) and then manually move the plow from side to side with the hoses in a bucket until no more fluid come out. You need to jack it up a bit to do this of course.

    After doing this fill the system and then put it through the paces a few times and then top it up again. Make sure you go right to the end of the strokes an hold the button for a second at the ends to force the pump to go over the pressure relief valve to get max pressure into the rams. This compresses the air and helps it absorb into the fluid so it can then decompress and "foam out" when it decompresses in the reservoir. After a purge and refill (or flush as some call it) you need to run it through the functions three times and then check the level and top it up as required. After the third time it's usually good to go.

    If you have no fluid leaks then water can't get in anywhere but through a bad filler cap.
  11. Citrausa

    Citrausa Member
    Messages: 56

    Thank you!

    Thank you! I will check it out
  12. to_buy

    to_buy Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    How about pits in the rams dragging the water in when the pistons move back and forth?
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    Yes, they can
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    Pressure inside the hydraulic system is around 1500 psi, pressure of water droplets outside is, well, nothing... If fluid is not leaking out then no significant amount of water is getting in.
  15. Citrausa

    Citrausa Member
    Messages: 56

    I ended up taking my truck into my mechanic. With me not having a garage and not having the physical strength to do what needed to be done. He ended up draining the pink stuff (water mixed with trans fluid), removing the pump, cleaning out the housing and filter, draining the rams, reassembled it all and added a blue high performance fluid.

    Oh and adjusted the valves too. Said the trans fluid was crap and recommended the blue stuff.

    Not bad for $30 bucks!
  16. mn-bob

    mn-bob Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Glad to hear you have it taken care of .

  17. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 443

    Diconnect the angle hoses from the pump & lay them in and oil drain pan. then angle the plow back and forth, manually. this will flush all the fluid out of the angle rams & hoses.
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,392

    And also suck the fluid back up. The way I read what your describing.
  19. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    No one ever said exactly what kind of plow this is??? Is it conventional cable plow? You said your mechanic adjusted the valves?? They are the only Westerns that have any real adjustment that needs to be checked regularly.

    If it is a cable plow or an Isarmatic then there is no grey plastic vent cap. The hydraulic unit is sealed with pipe plugs. In this case when you top up the fluid and put the plug in the fluid level will go down and create a small vacuum (lower pressure than atmospheric) which could suck moisture into the fluid if you have a leak anywhere in the system. What you could try is to fill the fluid to the proper level with the lift ram retracted all the way, then leave the plug out and lift the blade to the top and then put the fill plug in tight. This way, when the ram is less than fully extended there will be positive pressure in your reservoir compressing the air space in the top just a bit. Like in a submarine, if the pressure inside is slightly higher than outside no water leaks in. If you unit has a small leak somewhere you will see the blue fluid seeping out even when it's not in use, if the plow is down creating positive pressure.

    The new plows (Flowstat and newer) have a gray plastic vent / filler plug that has a 5 Psi relief valve in them. This allows the reservoir to breath in one time as the fluid level goes down but will not allow the air in the top of the reservoir to vent out unless the pressure inside goes over 5 Psi. Effectively, this works just like a bladder in the top of the reservoir, the air pocket is compressed and decompressed each time the fluid level goes up and down but it doesn't allow atmosphere to actually come in and out. This way no moisture gets in and there is always positive pressure just above atmospheric pressure up to a max of 5 Psi. That is why, when you unscrew the gray plastic vent / filler plug from a late model plow you hear a puff of air pressure release, just like opening a carbonated drink. This is good, desirable and necessary to keep your fluid dry.

    The pits in your ram will allow a very small amount of water in but unless they are huge this won't be a lot of water over a season.

    You said the previous fluid was red trans fluid. Your mechanic is right to recommend the blue plow fluid. Trans fluid is designed to be used in a trans which gets hot and warms up the fluid to make it thin. Your plow NEVER warms up so trans fluid stays thick. Blue plow fluid is aircraft hydraulic fluid, designed to remain within a very narrow band of viscosity. It stays thin at very cold temperatures and thin at warm temperatures. The side effect of this stable viscosity is the property of absorbing moisture out of the air. It's the same as high quality brake fluid. And that is why brake master cylinders have that little black rubber diaphragm under the filler cap. As the brakes wear and the fluid level drops no air actually comes in and gets exposed to the fluid, the rubber diaphragm stretches. Same idea, different engineering.
  20. Citrausa

    Citrausa Member
    Messages: 56

    My mistake. It's a conventional Western Plow with the cable system. Year, model and etc I am unsure because this is only the 2nd winter I've owned it and my mechanic (former brother-inlaw) found it cheap for me. As far as adjusting the valves, that's what he told me. And I have plenty to learn! lol

    I would love to know more about it (my plow) so as to be able to rebuild any seals that might be bad (lack of better words) and maintain it. Hell it runs slow, so would love to make it go a tad faster.

    Thank you for the information. I can't tell you how much knowledge I've gained from this website in the short time I've been on.