Snow plow problem

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Cabin Fever, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The blade on my snow plow is stuck in an angle to the left. When I move the controller (joystick) to the right, the pump turns on but the plow blade doesn't move. The plow does move up and down. I'm wondering if it is likely that the hydraulic cylinders (rams) that angle the plow's blade have water in them and it's frozen? Any ideas?

    Old Western 7ft plow (~1980), cable controlled.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We're having some frozen hydraulic problems with this sub zero cold snap too. Can you borrow/rent a heated shop for over night?
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Ross, no heated shop....but I was thinking on putting a tarp over the plow and directing my Reddy Heater under it. Or maybe heating the rams with a torch. Or maybe just removing the rams and bringing them inside. But before I put any effort into all of this, I was just wondering if frozen hydraulic cylinders are a common wintertime problem or not.
     
  4. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    The cold is raising havoc with everyone's hydraulics but this probably isn't the problem if you can still raise the plow. Water in the hydraulics would go probably migrate throughout the system. There should be signed of a leak, also, as hydraulic fluid would push out of any opening for water to get in to.

    Check the left / right solenoid valve or valves. I would check the continuity of the solenoid coils with a meter before any tear down. Low resistance is good or at least the coil appears good. If you don't have an ohmmeter, disconnect the hot cable (red) to the pump motor, then move the joy stick. You should here the solenoid click. I'm not sure what type of plow you have but rule of thumb is the sound should be similiar regardless if the joystick is pushed to the left or right (or raised position for that matter).

    We've had some pretty cold winters including this one with -35F wind chills this weekend. The plow may get sluggish but has never not turned due to the cold. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Joe, the pump valves on my plow are cable-controlled, not solenoid-controlled. When I move the joystick left and right, I can hear the pump kick on. I have also moved the 4-way angling valve by hand (ie, without using the cable) and no movement.

    Since the plow sits for days at a time, my thought was that any water in the system would migrate to the lowest level (water is heavier than oil). The angle rams are the lowest feature of the entire hydraulic system.
     
  6. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    C F
    I had that problem a while ago and found that my safety chain had gotten down into the place where the plow pivots and was jamming it.
    Look for any obstruction down in that area.