Additive to keep plow from freezing

   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #1  

shooterdon

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Joined
Nov 24, 2012
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Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
I have an old Western plow. With the sub zero and zero temperatures we have been getting, the pump freezes. Once it warms up into the 20痴 it works.

Is there an additive that can be added to prevent freezing?

I realize that draining the fluid and adding new will cure the issue, but I am lazy, it is very cold, and I do not have a garage I can work in.

Thanks for any advice
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #2  
If you really want to fix it you must drain all fluid out of the system and dry it. That means the pump, valves, hoses, and cylinders.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #3  
If it works once you get it started,
wrap some heat tape around it to warm it before you use it,
or a heat lamp.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #4  
This question peaked my interest. I have a Western plow, but only for the past 6 years, and it doesn’t really get very cold where I live.
Anyway, I still replace the fluid every fall.
A quick read on PlowSite.Com seems to indicate the majority of cold weather areas do well with yearly fluid changes. Some recommend air brake deicer, or even straight isopropyl alcohol in very small amounts (like 2 ounces alcohol to 3 quarts oil). The addition of any alcohol based product introduces the real risk of pump or cylinder seal damage.

With water sinking in oil, perhaps you could drain small amounts off the reservoir, refill, then operate for a while. Repeat.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing
  • Thread Starter
#5  
RjC,

That makes sense....hoping the water sinks to the bottom. It will be a while before we get warm enough to melt ice but I could try heating the casing with a propane torch.

I have dry gas and thought about trying it but had the same concerns you expressed.

One of my neighbors has the same problem and he uses a propane torch to heat everything up. Takes him 10 minutes. But if it is really cold, like now, the pump refreezes and he had to heat it up again. Might be what I need to do in the short term.

Totally my fault for being a lazy *** this fall. Need to drain the fluid ever year.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #6  
Is the fluid freezing because of moisture, or are you getting melt water in the motor housing, which then freezes overnight, locking the armature?

Happened on my Boss plow a couple of times, until I resealed the end of the pump with RTV.

Leave an unsealed portion on the bottom to allow any condensation to drain.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #7  
They make special oil for the plow pumps that won’t freeze, it has some form of antifreeze in it which mixes with any water and prevents the pump and lines from freezing.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #8  
I sure am glad I have an old plow.
I bought my plow well used 25+ years ago, it's on the 3rd truck and still has the same fluid in it that it had when I got it.

I have added some due to blown hoses (just common CHEAP ATF) but never had a need to "change" it.

I did have an incident for the first time this year when it was below 0 deg. where it didn't want to angle right, but when it warmed back up to the teens, no sign of a problem.

If it happens again, I will probably check it this summer.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing
  • Thread Starter
#9  
They make special oil for the plow pumps that won’t freeze, it has some form of antifreeze in it which mixes with any water and prevents the pump and lines from freezing.

I found some at NAPA and am picking it up tomorrow 7-12 inches of snow forecast over next couple of days. Will drain as much of old fluid out as I can and fill with this new stuff.
 
   / Additive to keep plow from freezing #10  
They make special oil for the plow pumps that won’t freeze, it has some form of antifreeze in it which mixes with any water and prevents the pump and lines from freezing.
x2
This is a big deal. I am not one for spending money on special fluids and the like but this is one where you want to suck it up and use the plow hydraulic oil.
 
 
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