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Western snow plow cables melting on my XJ

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by property mgr, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. property mgr

    property mgr Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I have installed a Western 7’ 0” conventional cable plow on my 1993 XJ Cherokee Country. The cables that operate between the joystick and plow pump have melted from contact with the engine block. My joystick is mounted inside the cab next to the gear shifter on the passenger side, mounted to the lower front dash, inline with the removable cup holder that clips into the side of the transmission hump cover. The cables enter the fire wall about four inches below the lower dash line just where the front floor board wraps into the transmission hump. Then the cables travel behind the engine and slightly up to just below the driver side manifold, then over to the top of the wheel well, then just under the front corner of the air filter box, then to the drivers side of the radiator, then exit through the lowest grid of the front grill on the drivers side and then over to the plow pump housing.
    I pulled the first set of cables that melted at the rear of the engine block and replaced them with a new set using the same basic cable route but I enclosed them inside a three foot length of radiator hose to shield them from touching the engine block or manifold.
    This appeared to work for about three hours and then the up/down cable locked up similar to the first melted cables. I have not yet pulled the second set to determine where they may have melted.
    Has anyone mounted a Western cable plow on an XJ? Where did you locate your joystick and what cable route did you choose through the engine compartment? Any thoughts on where to route the cables or how to shield them from melting would be appreciated.
    Thanks guys!
  2. bdhunter

    bdhunter Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    You might investigate lifting the cowling grille and seeing how much wasted space there is under the wiper motor/arms assembly. Perhaps that would give you a straighter, higher run.

    Another trick might be to route them through a piece of flex MC (Metal Clad) casing for #12 or #10 wire rather than a radiator hose that isn't too heat resistant. Home Depot or Lowes should have that, or if you have a froend that's an electrician maybe they could help.
  3. property mgr

    property mgr Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Problem Solved

    Ended up re-routing the cables. Mounted the joystick just above the brake release with a little modification of the lower dash. Dropped the lower dash to access the speaker, removed the speaker cut the dash, fabricated a metal bracket to attache the joystick housing to, routed the cables out through the fire wall just above the fuse box near hole where the hood release cable exits. Ran the cables under some of the existing wiring and brake cabling on top of the drivers side front wheel well and exited to the drivers side of the radiator and through the drivers side front grill to the plow.

    The Western cable jackets did not hold up to the heat of the 4.0 even when shielded inside a radiator hose sleeve. The last set welded itself to the inside of the radiator hose.
    I'm hoping this is the last cable problem for this plow!

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. bdhunter

    bdhunter Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    Thanks for posting the solution.

    I'd love to see pics of the way that plow fits on your XJ, especially the "frame" mounts.
  5. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    Cherokees are know for high "under the hood" temps. I saw a write up in Peterson's Off Road about excessive high temps in the engine bay on them.