Issues with Western Isramatic Mark III after fluid change - Snow Plow Forum -†Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums

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post #1 of 2 Old 11-13-2018, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Issues with Western Isramatic Mark III after fluid change

Hello everyone! So I inherited a 1986 Chevy S-10 with a Western Isramatic Mark III plow on it, very helpful for those Michigan winters! However, I decided to change the fluid in it because to my knowledge, it hasn't been done in a long time and was actually icky looking when it came out.

So I went ahead and drained all the fluid, reinstalled the bottom drain plug, pushed the top piston all the way down as far as it would go and started filling up the reservoir. Once I get it filled up, I leave the fill plug off and lift the plow. Works just fine lifting! But it will not angle whatsoever. I can certainly hear the motor trying but nothing happens. If you go outside, you have a ton of play from side to side with it so I can certainly move it so it seems as though it's not getting any pressure through the hoses.

I guess that means I'm obviously missing something. Makes me wish I wouldn't have messed with it especially since it's so old but the lift function itself is a lot more graceful and seems to operate better than before but now until I can get it to angle, I'm kind of at a loss. Any input would be most appreciated!

I used Dexron III ATF fluid for the record.
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post #2 of 2 Old 11-26-2018, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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After working on this thing even more on my own, I finally have it angling. Since I always reply back on my questions to post results, I will update this thread so others know what I did.

Considering that it won't angle at all in either direction made me rule out that it wasn't a blockage. What further supported this is I ended up draining everything again and removing the motor housing and motor from inside the pump housing. It was pretty clean in there as in no rust but still dirty from not being properly cleaned. So I cleaned everything up with brake cleaner along with the filter which was in great shape considering its age. So everything was completely cleaned in that regard. I removed the 4-way valve and sprayed brake cleaner through the valve ports and there was no blockage there and I had a bit of ATF fluid come out. So that wasn't the problem. I also sprayed it through the pump housing where the valve meets the housing and there was no blockage there either, I had fluid come out of the holes. So that wasn't the problem!

After putting it all back together again and refilling with new, fresh fluid and running it again, it still wouldn't angle. So I started thinking it was a mechanical issue.

I took the cover off the 4-way valve to reveal the inner workings where the control meets the rotor and whatnot. I tied a rope to the control and so I could move it while outside the vehicle to watch what happened. And nothing happened. You could hear it engaging but no movement at all. So I figured I was on the right track. It was icky inside of there so being out of brake cleaner, I used penetration oil and lubrication oil to clean it out and lube it up and left it sit overnight. The next day I sprayed it out a bit more and even lightly tapped the rotor with the end of my screwdriver. Got in the vehicle and tried the control. Low and started moving sideways! It was slow but it was working! After angling it several times back and forth, it started getting better and better. I think the cylinder had some air in it. I fully collapsed the passenger ram before this, but the hose into my ATF fluid, and then manually moved it all the way to the left side so the passenger ram was full of fluid before I did all of this. I think that's why it was working better on that side but the driver's side still had some air to work out.

So now it's finally working just fine. I keep checking the fluid and topping off as necessary since I either have a small leak or there is air still trapped in the system. But the most important part is that Western is now ready to tackle another winter.
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