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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good day,

I have a 20 year old unimount that I restored a few years back, and unfortunately, I have an issue I have not been able to resolve. I'm hoping someone here can send me a gift, and tell me what I should be looking for, other than what I've already done.

It's a 2 plug unimount, isarmatic pump, electric controlled, and a little over two years ago, I replaced the wiring harness, as it was getting old. The only piece I didn't change was the short motor wire (positive and negative) two pin plug that leads to the battery and solenoid. All was replaced otherwise, and functioned perfectly throughout both seasons. New solenoid under the hood last year, as well. I keep a couple spares on hand, and it looked a bit funky, so I swapped it out.

This season, I hooked it up, and it seemed all fine, till i had my first test run on my commercial site. With less than a 1/2" of snow, I just went to scrape it for my customer, and noticed that the plow functioned perfectly, except for one scenario. When the plow is in FLOAT, the left button sometimes works, but mostly throws an alert code to the controller, and stops functioning turning left.

Since the pump, motor and harness were only about 2 years old, I thought it might be a controller issue. I swapped out my spare brand new controller, and nothing changed. Put the old controller back on, and opened up the western mechanics guide to see what I could find. Here's what I did.

1. Tested continuity between the motor and harness where it meets the 3 valve body coils.
2. Cleaned grounds at motor, coils, and where the harness meets the service panel under the hood. Tested continuity from plow side to truck side, and it's good, even though the two plugs at the grill.
3. tested each coil with a multi meter, and all read 6.5 to 6.6 ohms. Guide says normal is 6.7 or close to it, so I ordered new coils. Didn't think they were bad, but wanted to eliminate the issue, should the system be that sensitive to the ohm reading.
4. In the meanwhile while I was waiting for the coils to come in, I cleaned the two plug connections at the truck, both the 12 pin, and the 2 pin. Again, both were changed 2 years ago, and it seems to be fine. Those of you wondering why I have a 12 pin, vs the 9 pin, was I changed it purposefully at the time, so I could allow myself to add lighting to the plow side and run it through the 12 pin. Never did, so the other pins are simply dormant.
5. swapped out the motor, and installed a new motor, even though it was only 2 years old. I had a brand new spare, and figured if the china made motor I had was going bad, this would eliminate this issue. It had no effect. No big deal, as I consider it rotating the spare.
6. Cleaned all connections under the hood, both with the service panel, and the wiring where it meets such.
7. Checked the pins, per the mechanics guide, where the controller meets the 6 pin harness block. All functioned as normal.
8. I received the coils today. I tested all the old coils and they all read 6.5 or 6.6 ohms. I tested the new coils, and they read 6.7 or 6.8 ohms. I installed the new coils, and it didn't change the feedback issue at the controller. I did, however, notice that the coils had a bit of oil at the bottom of each one, surrounding the hole that the valve mounts through. I thought that was a bit strange, considering everything was dry otherwise.

So, back to the same issue.

New motor, new coils, grounds checked for continuity, plug tested at controller per FSM, and yet the plow still malfunctions when ONLY in Float, and at no other time. If I tap the up button, and cancel Float, the left button works normal.

To me, acts as a bad ground, bad wiring connection, or something electrical, considering it only happens in FLOAT, and not at any other time. I have two complete backup motor / pumps on the shelf. Last resort, I'm going to swap the entire unit out for one of my spares, and see what happens.

Video attached

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you.


Wood Gas Rim Auto part Circle


Automotive tire Gas Font Cylinder Auto part
 

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Do you have a controller that is not a buyers one?

Despite the two controllers you tried, my money is on defective controllers. Its Buyers.

Barring that, my next guess would be a bad control harness, either side. I know you said you put a "new wiring harness" though you didnt specify what that actually included

It wont be power unit related. Or even coil related. The lower valve is separate from the other two so the left function should affect it in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you have a controller that is not a buyers one?

Despite the two controllers you tried, my money is on defective controllers. Its Buyers.

Barring that, my next guess would be a bad control harness, either side. I know you said you put a "new wiring harness" though you didnt specify what that actually included

It wont be power unit related. Or even coil related. The lower valve is separate from the other two so the left function should affect it in any way.
The harness was a replacement western harness from power unit to the 6 pin connector in the cab. The only harness not new was the motor to two pin at the grill because each of the 3 power units I have, retain their own harness attached.

Tomorrow I'll redo the fsm controller harness test to see. If I need to go western, I'll order one up, and eBay these units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Dogplow, hope everything has been good, when your in float, what is the voltage out to the valve magnet? Did you do a continuity/ohm test from the controller plug out to the wire ends at the valve magnets?
Couldn't test it that way, as I was by myself, and my test leads aren't that long to reach.

Will review the harness test again tomorrow
 

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The harness was a replacement western harness from power unit to the 6 pin connector in the cab. The only harness not new was the motor to two pin at the grill because each of the 3 power units I have, retain their own harness attached.

Tomorrow I'll redo the fsm controller harness test to see. If I need to go western, I'll order one up, and eBay these units.
Power cable shouldn't matter. If you contact a local dealer, you can see if they have the tester to bench test the controller(s). Otherwise, the control harness may have gotton damaged since you installed it. From your description, the problem did not occur before all the replaced pieces besides the coils, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For two consecutive seasons I've used the plow with zero issues. This season, after sitting in storage, is the first time this issue has occurred. I will look carefully at the control harness tomorrow to see if it got nicked , or crushed somewhere along the way.

Thank you for your time, and suggestions. It's appreciated.
 

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Seems like a controller issue to me too, but it is a little odd that they both have the same exact error.
- Does the pump run when this happens?

According to the sell sheet the internal diagnostics are supposed to make troubleshooting easy, but apparently not "too easy" since they do not have a manual online that explains trouble codes.
- Do you have a manual, and does it explain what the flashes mean?

I would probably start with opening up the controller to confirm that the wires have not detached partially from the circuit board, and also to give it a sniff to make sure nothing smells burned.

Coils are not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Valves are not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Wiring to the valves is not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Wiring to the solenoid is not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.

When the plow is in the air, 2 coils and the solenoid are in use, and it looks to me like all 3 coils and solenoid are activated when floating and moving left. This action would have the highest possible draw on the controller.
If the controller is monitoring current out, it is possible that this action is tripping the protection circuit (if it actually has one) which leads me back to the solenoid possibly drawing too much power.
- Are you using a generic solenoid?
- Have you replaced it recently possibly causing this issue in the first place?
- Do you have a different one that you can swap in?

Sorry for the rambling, kind of thinking out loud here...
 

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When the plow is in the air, 2 coils and the solenoid are in use, and it looks to me like all 3 coils and solenoid are activated when floating and moving left. This action would have the highest possible draw on the controller.
If the controller is monitoring current out, it is possible that this action is tripping the protection circuit (if it actually has one) which leads me back to the solenoid possibly drawing too much power.
That does make a lot of sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mebes said:

Seems like a controller issue to me too, but it is a little odd that they both have the same exact error.
- Does the pump run when this happens?

I posted a video. It sometimes runs, and works normal. Sometimes it doesn't, and that's when the overload goes into effect, and stops all movement until you press the up button, canceling float

According to the sell sheet the internal diagnostics are supposed to make troubleshooting easy, but apparently not "too easy" since they do not have a manual online that explains trouble codes.
- Do you have a manual, and does it explain what the flashes mean?

Didn't have a manual when I bought them.

I would probably start with opening up the controller to confirm that the wires have not detached partially from the circuit board, and also to give it a sniff to make sure nothing smells burned.

Easy enough. Can try that tomorrow.

Coils are not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Valves are not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Wiring to the valves is not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.
Wiring to the solenoid is not the problem since plow operates normally when it is not in float.

Scenario's Correct on all 4 points above.

When the plow is in the air, 2 coils and the solenoid are in use, and it looks to me like all 3 coils and solenoid are activated when floating and moving left. This action would have the highest possible draw on the controller.
If the controller is monitoring current out, it is possible that this action is tripping the protection circuit (if it actually has one) which leads me back to the solenoid possibly drawing too much power.

- Are you using a generic solenoid?
Yes

- Have you replaced it recently possibly causing this issue in the first place?

Yes. Recently replaced (end of last season). Could be related
- Do you have a different one that you can swap in?

Yes, I have 2 spares brand new in the truck. Universal units, unfortunately.

Sorry for the rambling, kind of thinking out loud here...

Please, no sorry. I'm very appreciative of the help you're offering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fastest and easiest
Wow, you have quite the taste in generic stuff

I think mebes is right and the generic solenoid is the key
Not really. The coils are western, the rebuild kits for the pumps are western, the wiring harness is western, the only fluid I use is western.

OTOH,

The solenoid is made by "Stens", and the controllers are buyers. I sold my western controller, which worked perfectly fine, simply because I liked the larger finger pads on the buyers controller, as it was easier to utilize with gloves on. No other reason.

I guess I should have kept it, eh ?
 

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Do you have a meter that can read resistance (ohm's)?
If you do check resistance across the 2 small terminals on all 3 of your solenoids find the one with the largest ohm reading and install that one.
More resistance = lowest watts
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you have a meter that can read resistance (ohm's)?
If you do check resistance across the 2 small terminals on all 3 of your solenoids find the one with the largest ohm reading and install that one.
More resistance = lowest watts
Yessir. I have two different meters, so that I can compare both of them to each other, being skeptical of the readings of the old unit I have.

Easy enough test, and something to remember for the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you have a meter that can read resistance (ohm's)?
If you do check resistance across the 2 small terminals on all 3 of your solenoids find the one with the largest ohm reading and install that one.
More resistance = lowest watts
Wouldn't I be a monkey's uncle, spending all day today looking over the wiring, cleaning all the grounds, testing the continuity of all the wiring my test leads could test, crimping all the wiring spade connectors, in the 25* weather, when all it was was a bad starter solenoid relay ?

If it turns out to be that, you'll have to give me your address, so I can send you a gift card to the local liquor store, so you can buy yourself some beer.

Lol...
 
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