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Trouble Angling Plow Plow Wont Move Service Your Plow Before Winter

Created on: 2020-11-12

Check out this video from resident 1A Auto Mr. Plow, Len, as he guides you through getting your snow plow ready for winter.

Hey, friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. So, it looks like we're getting a little bit of snow. I decided I was going to go rush out and put on my plow, but I got a couple things going on. There's also a couple things that I want to make sure I service before I go pushing any snow. So, let's talk about it.

Okay, friends, so we finally got a plow into the studio, because we want to go over some of the maintenance items that we would be wanting to deal with if we were going to be running a plow in the wintertime. Now, just as a quick disclaimer, we want to make sure that you understand that we're dealing with a Fisher Minute Mount plow here. All plows are going to be a little bit different. Some are going to be bigger, smaller. Some are going to have a little V, but essentially, the points that we're going to go over are going to be the same points on pretty much any of the plows, to be honest with you.

One of the first things we're going to want to do after we hook up is we're going to make sure that we test those lights. Make sure you've got some headlights. We've also got some high beams, and, of course, there's going to be directionals. You want to make sure that all your directionals work as they should. That's gonna be super important. Now, what you might have noticed on these lights is they look like they were a little dim and yellow. Of course, there are upgrades for them. That's something that you should probably service, but if that is going to be the case, and you're going to upgrade, don't go with something that's hyper white or, like, a super cool color. You want to go with something a little bit more warm. That way there, when you're driving through the snow, you're going to be able to see the yellowish hue reflecting off of the snow.

Next, we need to make sure the plow itself functions as it should. Let's go ahead and lift it up. And then down. That's perfect. I'm going to go ahead and go back up again, and let's test left and right. Now, something that I want to mention real quick is at no point, at any given time, am I going to be sticking anything underneath the blade of this plow. Don't put your feet under there because you're leaning over, or your fingers, or anything else.

With this up in the air, I can shake it around, and I want to make sure I lube all my pivot points. Just kind of wiggle it around. Any parts that you see that move around or even grind up against each other, those are areas that you're going to want to put a little bit of lubricant. Now, when we're talking about lubricating the pivot points, we also want to make sure that we're talking about the chain as well, because if you were to notice right along this area, there's going to be a contact point here. This one right here, every time the plow is going to be shifting around, you're going to be grinding metal into metal unless, of course, you put lubricant there. It's, of course, a great idea to make sure you clean off whatever lubricant you have there, inspect the chain to make sure it's not damaged, and then, of course, put new lubricant on there, and then you should be good to go. If it looks as though the link's damaged in any way, it really only makes sense to go ahead and replace the chain.

Now, these connectors here, you probably noticed that they get a lot of gunk inside of them. It's really a good idea to make sure that you try to clean up that area the best you can, but don't also forget about the area on the actual truck itself. The area where those prongs are supposed to go into needs to be super clean. After you get it nice and clean, go ahead and add a little bit of dielectric grease in there. People will go about cleaning these in different ways. Some people just use the spray. Some people do nothing at all. Other people have a nice file that they'll get in there. I just use a wire tie. I'm going to spray this with a little bit of spray, and then just use the wire tie, because it's plastic, it's not going to damage anything, and just get out any of the crud that might be inside all of these pins. Wow, look at that.

Now, for the next part, let's go ahead and make sure that we have all of our wiring disconnected, so there's nothing going from the truck to the plow. Since we're talking about electrical, we also want to make sure that we check our cables. All right. You're going to have a cable here. And then you can see that there's another one. Like I said, every plow is a little bit different, but anything that looks like it's a cable that leads to someplace, we just want to take this apart. We're going to make sure the cable is nice and clean and, of course, the grounding point's clean. That way there, it makes perfect contact. I'm just going to take this so it bottoms out, give it a teeny bit more, make sure it doesn't wiggle. Do the same to all wires. We also want to make sure we go ahead and check the wiring that goes to those connectors. If you see that they're cracked, broken, or frayed, that's something that you're going to want to deal with. You could, of course, try to coat them with something such as electrical tape. And speaking of wires, don't leave them hanging.

Okay, so we just talked about a lot of things here so far. We talked about lubricating the mechanical aspect of things, the areas where things touch on, and, of course, the pivot points. That's going to be super important. We also made sure we checked our electrical contacts. That's going to be also very important. Let's move along to checking the hydraulic system. We're going to double-check these hydraulic hoses, and you want to make sure you don't see any fraying or leaks anywhere. If you see an area that's damaged, it's definitely something that you're going to want to replace. You don't want to be on the side of the road with these things leaking. Take a look at your hydraulic pistons, and just make sure those aren't leaking as well. We're also going to make sure that our upper piston is nice and clean as well. And also, for the next step, make sure that it's in the down position.

Now, the next thing we're going to wanna do is go ahead and lift up on the plow a little bit. I like to use a nice jack for that. And I'm going to try to come underneath the frame, not the actual plow aspect, not the part that's going to pivot. We want this just high enough that we can wiggle it around, but not high enough anything can get underneath there. Next, go ahead and find your fill plug. We're going to want to remove that first, because if it doesn't come out, well, then, you're definitely not going to want to drain the fluid out. Okay. That comes loose. I'm just gonna put it in there just a little bit.

Now, along the bottom aspect of most of these plow pumps, you're gonna find a drain plug. We're going to remove that drain plug, but when we do it, we want to make sure we have a nice big catch pan under here, because there's going to be a lot of fluid that comes out of there. Typically, it's a good idea to find yourself something that's semi-clear, if not clear. And we're going to try to catch at least some of that fluid, because we want to be able to analyze/inspect it. Now, while this is draining, let's go ahead and remove our lines from the pump assembly itself. Break that free. You wanna go in the opposite direction, so it's kinda more like a righty-loosey, instead of lefty-loosey righty tighty.

It's a great idea to make sure that you pay attention to where each line goes. If you have a whole bunch of lines, maybe you have one of those folding plows or something like that, just go ahead and mark them. Let me put this right into that bucket. Now, this part's going to be super important. Trust me on this. You're gonna want to empty out your bucket. You want to make sure that there's nothing in it for the most part, because, well, what we're going to do at this point is we're going to have these lines facing into a nice collection bucket. I'm going to go ahead and force the plow in one direction or the other, and it's going to push out the corresponding fluid from inside of those pistons. Something else I want to mention is you want to make sure that you don't have any of your lines inside the bucket. The last thing we want to do is suck any fluid back into the lines.

Typically, when I'm servicing these pistons or flushing the system, I try to make sure that I go back and forth at least a couple times. That's going to make sure that we get out the majority of the fluid that's in there, so we can replace it with brand new fluid. You're going to also probably think about this right here. This is the upper piston. That's what makes the plow go up and down. How do you flush that out? Well, you can go ahead and do it, but right now, essentially, with this and the down-low position and the drain plug out of there, there really shouldn't be very much inside here, if you think about it.

All right. While we're doing this and we have the piston fully extended, why not just give them a nice wipe-down with something that's a little hydrophobic. That's going to help keep the moisture away from these. Now, before we go ahead and put our hoses back on here, we're gonna wanna make sure we have the bucket out of the way, and we're also going to want to make sure we put on a little bit of this thread sealant. That's going to be super important. We'll go ahead and bottom this out, and then we're just going to give it a little snug. Okay, so that's pretty much bottomed out. Just give it a teeny bit more. I'm gonna give that hose a nice wiggle, make sure it doesn't pivot. We don't want a leak right here. Now, most if not all pumps are going to have some sort of filter. For our particular Fisher Minute Mount, it's going to be located underneath the motor area, inside of the reservoir. So, what we need to do is disconnect the wiring from the motor itself. Remove however many bolts are holding your motor to the pump assembly. Now, there's going to be a seal in between these two areas, so we're going to try not to damage the area. I'm just going to give this a nice little bonk, try to break it free, and now we can just lift this motor right up and outta here. And there it is inside.

Now, as you can see on this particular motor, we have a couple seals. We have the outer seal, which is going to be sealing the moisture from being able to get inside of the assembly here and contaminating our fluid. And then, of course, we're going to have this little pump seal right there. So, we just want to kind of inspect them, make sure they're in decent enough condition. If you've got access to replacement parts, well, why not go ahead and replace them?

All right, now we have a nice look at what's going on inside of the reservoir area. If you look along the front of this particular reservoir, we're going to be able to see where the screen is. That's going to be the filtering unit for this fluid. Typically, what you might see on these screens, as well what you see here, it's pretty much like a gunk pile up inside there. And essentially, what that's from is contaminants making its way inside there, and then as the fluid's getting pumped, it's getting filtered through that screen, but of course, it's getting a little blocked. The more blockages there, the more struggle you're going to have with your pump. The more I look around inside this reservoir, the more crud I can see. We need to make sure we get out the majority of this.

There's going to be two bolts that we're actually going to remove at this point, and that's going to help us get this out of here. I'm going to go diagonal. This one right here, and then this one over here. I already started loosening them because, well, sometimes they jam up, but we'll just go ahead and remove them, and we'll get this out of here. Make sure if you have any extra hardware, such as washers, you get those out of there. You don't want to leave it floating around in here. Now, I'm just gonna grab this. I'm going to carefully pull it up and out of here. Look at that screen. That is something else. And take a look at the inside of there.

So, now, let's take a look at what's going on with this filter. We want to do this over a nice collection bucket, because as soon as I pull it, it's going to go ahead and put out a whole bunch of fluid. Here we are. We'll empty that right out of there. Let's go ahead and inspect that filter a little closer at this point. Now, I'm going to try to just spray this down with some parts cleaner, right over a nice clear cup, so that way there, we can see it. Let's look at the mess. Look at all the crud that's coming off of there. Any of that crud that you see that's on there is causing restriction for your fluid to flow. Let's get it all out of there. Overall, this filter is in decent condition now that I've cleaned it. Is there some spots that could use a little bit more love? Yeah, of course, there is. Could you just go ahead and replace this? Well, yeah, of course, you could do that too. Do whatever's best for you, but take a look inside the cup after you're done cleaning it, just so you can kind of gauge what's going on. This is going to tell you what last year was like for that plow.

It's going to be a real good idea to go ahead and clean this down as well. Something that you want to be careful with if you're using a parts cleaner of any sort would be, of course, getting any inside this area right here, along that seal area right there, because, of course, it could deteriorate it, and any other port that you might happen to find. With that said, let's just go ahead and give it a nice wipe. Make sure you get all these little ports there, because they usually fill up with crud. Looking underneath, you might happen to see that there's a seal. You're gonna want to make sure that that's in good condition as well. If it looks like it's torn or worn, you're gonna want to replace it. Now's the time. Once it's cleaned down, go ahead and get your filter on there, whether it's old or new.

Before we go ahead and get the pumping unit back inside here, we need to take a look inside, and you want to make sure you clean out any gunk or debris that's in there. Get out all the old fluid, and of course, all the old crud. So, now we've got this nice and cleaned out inside there. There is no more debris. We did a really great job. Something else that we want to pay attention to is this area up along here, which is where that seal's going to ride. If you're going to be replacing the seal, you want to clean this side, obviously, which I do either way, and, of course, the pump/motor side.

Now, it's going to be time to get this back in. So, let's just go ahead and put this in. Now we want to go ahead and turn this, so the filter is going to be facing towards the lower aspect of this. That's going to be where the reservoir is going to be at its lowest point. Start in both my bolts, and then we'll snug them up. So, now with both of these bottomed out, we're just going to give them a little snug. Definitely want to make sure that they're not going to come loose while they're in there.

Let's go ahead and put our drain plug back in the bottom here. I like to use some thread sealer on all these plugs. So, any of them that you take out, when you reinstall them, just use a tiny bit of thread sealer. Okay, that bottomed out. Teeny bit more. That's good enough. Now, for our plow, we're gonna wanna make sure we take out our check hole plug. That's going to be this plug right here on this Minute Mount. I'm just going to go ahead and take this out. Now, the fluid that you want to use is going to be whatever's recommended by your specific manufacturer. But, of course, what I would try do is make sure I get the lowest possible temperature available. Typically, it's not going to get any colder than negative 50 around here, so I don't anticipate a problem. I'm going to go with this one.

Now that we still have the pump out of here, let's just go ahead and prime this. Essentially, what I mean by that is I'm going to take some of this fluid and I'm going to go ahead and put it in there. At least put in a good amount, maybe even until it comes up to this point right here where the check plug is. That should be fair enough for now. Let's go ahead and take just a tiny bit of that fluid, and we're going to lubricate this shaft end, and now we're going to take the pump and we're going to get it mounted back on here. Something to pay attention to is this area right here. You want to make sure that that's going to be lined up copacetically to the internal aspect of the motor itself. You can go ahead and just try to pivot it around until it does.

There we are. That lines up perfectly. Start in both of your bolts. Just make sure they're snug, of course. That's bottomed out. Just a teeny bit more. Do the same to the other. Now, we're going to go ahead and put our wiring back on there. Anything that you happen to remove, you're going to want to make sure you put the biggest wire that is on there up against the motor itself. And then, of course, the corresponding wires after that. But basically, make sure that the biggest wire has the best amount of ground. Let's just take a nice funnel, and we're going to go ahead and fill this. You want to do this with that check plug open. That way there, any extra is gonna make its way out, and then we'll continue on with our flush. Now that we've got fluid come out, let's just go ahead and close this up a little bit. Let's go ahead and make sure that this fill plug is in there as well. Let's plug in the electrical again. Get the jack out from under here.

Okay, so what we need to do now is bleed out the hydraulic system. What I mean by that is let's get the air right out of there, and replace it with the brand new fluid we just installed. To do that, we want to make sure that we have the plow plugged in, which we just did. We've got it topped off with fluid. Now we're going to go ahead and power it up. We're going to make the plow go up, down, up, down, do that approximately five times. That's going to help make this piston go up and down, and what it's going to do is it's going to force out any air that's inside of this area, and get it into this area right here, which is the reservoir. After that, we're going to go each side on this. We're going to go side to side, approximately five times each. Let's do it.

Now, with our collection bucket back under there, let's go ahead and take this plug out of here. Gonna be under a little bit of pressure. Okay. No fluid's coming out. That's telling me that it's a little low right now, so let's go back over to the fill and top it off. Let's get that check plug back in there. Okay, that's bottomed out. It's good enough for me. Don't forget that fill plug. Okay. Now, some people say that one flush is going to be good enough. Is there a possibility that there could still be a little bit of air trapped in the system? I would say yes. I would say it's also a pretty good idea to make sure that I go ahead and try to do that turn to turn, up and down, another five to six times, and then go ahead and check that check plug one more time. We just wanna make sure that there's no air inside the system. Of course, air bubbles are bad.

So now, there's one more thing that I want to talk to you about the plow, but before we do that, let's talk a little bit about the truck you're going to be pushing the snow with, or pushing the plow with. You want to make sure that you have a good known battery, so get yourself a little multimeter, and go ahead and check the voltage here. You want to make sure you've got at least 12 volts, if not 12.4. It's also a good idea to make sure that your alternator is up to par, because if it isn't, you're probably not going to have enough energy to move the snow around using your plow. Other than that, well, keep up with your maintenance. Make sure you're up-to-date on your oil change. You're going to be putting a lot more strain on the engine, and, of course, that transmission. If you have an issue with the transmission, you're not going anywhere.

Okay, friends, I told you I was going to get back to the plow, so here we go. We're going to talk about the facial aspect of the plow. We want to make sure that this is in good, smooth condition. If it's all rusted and pitted anywhere, obviously that's going to be an issue where snow and debris is going to stick to it. Other than that, even if it's in good condition like this one is right here, I would still coat this with something. And there's a whole bunch of household items that you can go ahead and put on this that's going to help make sure that that snow and sleet and everything doesn't necessarily stick to it. So, what I'm going to do is I'm just going to put a nice coating on here, something hydrophobic, which essentially means it's going to keep the water away from the metal, and we should be pretty good when we're driving down the road with some snow.

Okay, friends, so that's pretty much what I've got for you for maintenancing your plow. There's probably a bunch of other things that maybe you might do for your particular plow, or maybe you learned a little something along the way. Either way, if you've got something to say, leave it in the comment section below, because I always love to hear from you. If you liked the video, smash on the like button for me. It would mean the world. While you're at it, subscribe, and ring the bell. That way there, you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

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