Western wideout melted power cable

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M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
Well I replaced the power cables and solenoid today and retested. wires off the solenoid get hot but I can still safely touch them without getting burnt. same goes for the connection to the truck where they melted before witch is back to normal when I load test them at the shop.

But of course more repairs are needed now since yesterday. The plow controller in the cab started to flicker on and off. I found the male connector on the truck side is not making good contact. I'm going to see if I can splice a new plug in instead of replacing the whole harness. Also I found some cracks in the moldboard, so i get to farm weld and hope it holds.
 

dieselss

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
N.w. Indiana
I don't have enough length to retch the neg on the battery so I cleaned the spot on the frame where it was before.
Make a new cable going from neg batt to frame where plow neg is.
Auto part stores carry pre-made batt cable btw...

Have you preformed a volt drop test at all the pos and neg connections?
 
OP
M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
will a 2ga wire work? I have junk bin of wires and have a jumper cable I could cut up.

I have never done a volt drop test before. All I've done is check for power at the solenoid. How is that done?
 

dieselss

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
N.w. Indiana
2g is more then enough.

Volt meter. Neg at batt neg.
Take your pos, and go directly at alt and operate plow(use the same functionevery time..I'd say up)....what's the reading
Then go to battery, and repeat.
Then In put at solenoid, then output solenoid. Then plow motor.
Do this at as many connections as you can. Them do it for negative.
Give your truck about a 2 minute recovery time in between tests.
I believe the spec is no more then a 1 volt drop across the system..
Maybe someone else might have a different number, I just thought it was 1 volt.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
2ga? Maybe,I would go bigger.Bigger is always better with power cables. Plow cables should never get hot. Warm,perhaps, under heavy use.Power cables should be as short as possible,and directly to the battery,optimally. When your wires get "hot", are they both? and are they hot the whole length? Localized heat is sign of a problem. Trucks have a ground wire from engine to the frame, and is always a possible problem. When your wires get hot, is the pump motor getting hot? It also never hurts to upgrade the battery and charging wiring when adding power using accessories to a vehicle. Search The Big Three on the net, many sites list the instructions. IF your wires are hot along the whole length, and the motor gets hot, might be a failing motor. Sometimes you can find the problem by getting them hot, and feeling for the hottest point,usually a connection. Might also help to know what plow and what truck you have.
 
OP
M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
2ga? Maybe,I would go bigger.Bigger is always better with power cables. Plow cables should never get hot. Warm,perhaps, under heavy use.Power cables should be as short as possible,and directly to the battery,optimally. When your wires get "hot", are they both? and are they hot the whole length? Localized heat is sign of a problem. Trucks have a ground wire from engine to the frame, and is always a possible problem. When your wires get hot, is the pump motor getting hot? It also never hurts to upgrade the battery and charging wiring when adding power using accessories to a vehicle. Search The Big Three on the net, many sites list the instructions. IF your wires are hot along the whole length, and the motor gets hot, might be a failing motor. Sometimes you can find the problem by getting them hot, and feeling for the hottest point,usually a connection. Might also help to know what plow and what truck you have.
Im having the problem with a 2012 f250 v8 and a western wideout. we have 2 250s that run same plows and 2 550s that use the same plows so truck to plow changes often.
 
OP
M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
2g is more then enough.

Volt meter. Neg at batt neg.
Take your pos, and go directly at alt and operate plow(use the same functionevery time..I'd say up)....what's the reading
Then go to battery, and repeat.
Then In put at solenoid, then output solenoid. Then plow motor.
Do this at as many connections as you can. Them do it for negative.
Give your truck about a 2 minute recovery time in between tests.
I believe the spec is no more then a 1 volt drop across the system..
Maybe someone else might have a different number, I just thought it was 1 volt.
Should the truck be running? I know I have drained the battery testing in the past.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Agreed....plow cables are only 4. Can't push more amps through a wire then what it can handle. So why go bigger when there's no need.
Length increases resistance,which increases the amperage. You/he are speaking of adding a cable from battery over to where the plow is grounded somewhere on the frame, which has already increased the resistance. Basic wiring. The wiring on the plow is sized for it to be wired per the instructions, which is neg. to the battery. The truck is not powering the plow,the battery is.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
TO do a proper voltage drop test, you have to energize/power up the device.The truck would not have to be running, but the plow would. You can find simple directions on the net.
 

dieselss

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
N.w. Indiana
TO do a proper voltage drop test, you have to energize/power up the device.The truck would not have to be running, but the plow would. You can find simple directions on the net.
So, your going to be operating the plow multiple times for the volt drop test...now you are using up battery volts with nothing replenishing the voltage. So how is this an accurate test?
 

Ajlawn1

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
South Bend, IN
Length increases resistance,which increases the amperage. You/he are speaking of adding a cable from battery over to where the plow is grounded somewhere on the frame, which has already increased the resistance. Basic wiring. The wiring on the plow is sized for it to be wired per the instructions, which is neg. to the battery. The truck is not powering the plow,the battery is.

Doesn't larher gauge also add resistance?
 

Hydromaster

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
406
Yes the engine should be running when performing your tests
now as far as grounding, if you take a larger than the stock engine to frame grounding cable from where your alternator is grounding (that bracket/ bolt that goes into the back of the alternator ) & run a ground cable from there to your battery that’s if you’re going to ground your plow to the battery.

if you’re set on using this frame ground location, I would still run larger cable from the battery and the engine block.
A lot of newer trucks are known for poor grounding and bad ground loops

If there’s a lot of resistance in the ground circuit, there will be issues.

I like grounding my plow to the same place my battery is grounded to and usually I pick on top of the alternator.
This alone can solve a lot of issues.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Doesn't larher gauge also add resistance?
Now. Think of it as a pipe or water hose. Length increases resistance, larger diameter reduces. Perhaps this would help--
The second thing to consider when selecting the correct size battery cable is the length of cable you need. The length is important because as electricity flows through a battery cable, there is an resistance to the flow of that electricity which will generate heat in your battery cable and manifest itself in the form of what is called a voltage drop at the end of the cable. Voltage drop is simply the voltage seen at one end of the cable minus the voltage seen at the other end of the cable. This voltage drop is influenced by the diameter of the copper conductors inside the cable, or the gauge size, and the total length of the cable - The longer the battery cable is, the higher the voltage drop will be, and the larger the diameter, or gauge (AWG) of the battery cable, the less the voltage drop will be.
So, your going to be operating the plow multiple times for the volt drop test...now you are using up battery volts with nothing replenishing the voltage. So how is this an accurate test?
I think you do not understand voltage drop testing of an ancillary device. Will post a link in a bit.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Yes the engine should be running when performing your tests
now as far as grounding, if you take a larger than the stock engine to frame grounding cable from where your alternator is grounding (that bracket/ bolt that goes into the back of the alternator ) & run a ground cable from there to your battery that’s if you’re going to ground your plow to the battery.

if you’re set on using this frame ground location, I would still run larger cable from the battery and the engine block.
A lot of newer trucks are known for poor grounding and bad ground loops

If there’s a lot of resistance in the ground circuit, there will be issues.

I like grounding my plow to the same place my battery is grounded to and usually I pick on top of the alternator.
This alone can solve a lot of issues.
No,not running. He is not trying to test the voltage drop of the charging system,but the plow,and each time he tests it, should only be for a second or 2.
 

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