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Western Tornado problem

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Krimick77, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50

    My spreader is coming on as soon as a I turn the ignition on, but only for 4 or 5 seconds and then it quits and then I can't turn the spreader on at all after that.

    I was having problems yesterday when I salted, but not this. Everytime I turned on the spreader it was drawing too much power and would work for a few minutes then quit. I replaced both batteries this morning and now the this new problem. My cab control is brand new as I just replaced that on Monday. If I unplug the cab controller, the spreader does not turn on with the ignition.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    Sounds to me like your decoder box at the back end might be failing. Are you getting any flashing lights on the cab controller? There is a table in the owner's manual that tells you what the various flash combinations mean....

    What you have on the Tornado is a type of multiplex communication. That is to say that there are two wires that run between the control in the cab and the decoder at the back end of the sander. One wire is for commands from the cab to the sander and the other wire is for error messages from the sander to the controller. If you pull off your spinner and look on the driver's side of the conveyor you will see a black plastic box. Under that box is the decoder. If you want to see it just loosen the two 10mm bolts and pull the cover off. It looks just like a three port islation module with a bunch of electrical lugs on the top. This thing decodes your commands and translates them into electrical current being sent to the spinner and conveyor motors. You could try replacing it but it's not cheap. I am also wondering if your big cable that runs from the battery (&fuse) might be rubbed through and touching something to the frame? What I do is just unplug the original wire at both ends and then connect a new wire beside the truck just to test things. If all works correctly then I take the time to pull the old cable out and have a look at it. Sometimes you can splice the small communication wires if they are not too badly damaged. The cable is a couple hundred dollars and a pain to change out. Hope that helps.
  3. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    It might also be that your conveyor is too tight and overloading it. I would loosen off the conveyer a little and see if this solves the problem.
    On edit: A bad bearing will also overload it.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  4. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50


    My first thought was that it was the module as you suggest. I have dual motor spreader so there is 4 posts, using a light tester i checked the the power at the posts and I have good power going into the module and coming out on all posts.

    The error message I get is the one constant beep, which means there is a communication problem. I am thinking it is a problem with the two thin wires that send the singal back and forth as you mentioned. I have ordered a new cable as this seems to be the most logical problem since I have power at the module.

    Also I have found that my conveyer works fine with the spinner disconnected. It responds to on/off and all speed adjustments, but only when the spinner is unplugged. As soon as I plug the spinner back in, everything stops working.


    I have checked the chain and it has a slight bit of slack to it. When disconnected from the drive chain the gearbox spins with very little effort and the bearing inside the conveyer motor seems fine to me, spins quite freely and no noise.

    Thanks very much for the suggestions guys, I really appreciate the ideas. It seems odd to me that the conveyer works fine with the spinner disconnected?
  5. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    That all makes perfect sense, sounds like you have a good grip on things. But before you actually install that new cable have a good look at the old one once you have it pulled out. Look for spots where it is worn through the sheathing. It can be repaired / spliced. I have done several. Then you could take the new cable back for refund. Not sure what it's going to cost you but here in Canada they cost about $400.
  6. Goldendog

    Goldendog Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 23

    I'm having a constant beep on the controller when I start with a full load. If I get out and rotate the spinner by hand a few turns it will start and run again for a bit. As the load gets lighter and about half a load or so I have no problems at all. Not much of an electrician but can the module affect this. Cables all seem to be fine.
  7. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Check your module

    Hey word of warning !!

    check your module in the back, the plastic covering it, Does not keep out any product.

    I just had to buy a new Module for my tornado because the salt got into it and killed it.

    And I washed my tornado after every storm or every other storm.

    I never thought salt could get into that area past the cover, but it did !

    I am going to be sealing the cover with silcone to keep it from happening again.

    and those modules are not Cheap!

    so pull your covers off and check your modules or else your going to be buying a new one.
  8. Goldendog

    Goldendog Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 23

    Just trouble shot it down to the module. I just ordered it on line from plow part direct for $443.99. Only Western dealer here in Alaska wanted $720.00 for it and couldn't have it until Monday at the earliest. Sucks were having freezing rain now so I'm going to have to limp thru with half loads till it gets here and hope it keeps working. I don't dare load it up all the way. Don't want to end up shoveling the sand out. Thanks for everyone's input.
  9. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    My controller went last year while I was salting.
    They had no controllers in stock.
    I had my son standing in the back of the sander shoveling Magic salt out and onto the roads.
    It took us almost 3 hours to salt when normally I would have been done in 1 hour.
    I almost made him ride home in the sander, Magic Salt Stinks.
    But he was happy I paid payup