UPDATED 5/19/09
Changing your hydraulic fluid. Changing worn parts. Restoring your snow plow.

You'd be amazed at how much just a few maintenance items can improve your plow. This applies to all brands, generally speaking. First thing to do, is replace all the bolts holding the plow together, and holding the angle and lift cylinders on. The King Bolt is very important. Also the Bolt that holds the lift arm on. Just changing the bolts alone, will reduce a lot of play and the sloppy feeling, of most used plows. No need to change the bolts holding the cutting edge on. Yes, holes get elongated too, but doing this really helps. Bolts get worn where the most contact is made. When I removed mine, almost all had grooves worn in them. I replaced my lift arm, because it was worn bad, as well as the bolt holding it on. The bolt holding my pump and lift cylinder was really worn bad too. Pivot pins should be removed greased, and replaced. I once spent 4 hours with an Oxy/Acetylene torch and air chisel, trying to get a seized one out. It was in the middle of a storm, and not fun. I've seen some smaller Meyer Plows with grease fittings on them. I'd like to add fittings to mine too. These pins, have large cotter pins holding them in. These are the pins the plow pivots on, when it "trips". The pins hold the moldboard to the sector on the bottom. The trip springs hold it on top. After replacing bolts, and greasing, adjust the trip springs. Proper adjustment, is when they are tight enough for the trip spring coils to just start to separate. You can slip a piece of paper in between the coils. Not too loose, or too tight. That takes care of the mechanical stuff.

The above plow was undergoing a center pivot repair, so the trip springs were off when we drained the rams.

The hydraulic fluid should be changed. I do the angle cylinders first. Stand the plow up with the moldboard face down, and the A frame up. With the angle hose connected to the two rams, angle the plow all the way (using your hands, and a buddy if needed) to the left or right, depending on which cylinder has the flex hose with the coupler on the end (as opposed to the coupler on the cylinder used with the E-47 pump.). You want the blade angled to the opposite side. This is to fill one cylinder, and empty the other. Disconnect the the hose from the cylinder with the coupler on it (or use a spare hose with coupler matching half to open the line). Now remove the coupler from the end of the hose, and the other half of the coupler from the empty cylinder. Tie a rag around the cylinder you removed the coupler from, to help prevent a mess. Put the end of the hose over a container (I use a coffee can, cutting a hole in the lid to stick the hose in) Angle the plow SLOWLY, closing the cylinder, and pushing out the old fluid. The other cylinder is filled with air now. (no problem) Take the end of the hose, with the cylinder closed all the way, and stick it in a new bottle of hydraulic fluid. Carefully angle the plow by hand, extending the cylinder, drawing new fluid in, filling the cylinder. While you're doing this, the air is pushed out of the other cylinder. Remove the hose from the bottle, wipe the oil off the end, and reinstall the coupler. Replace the coupler on the other angle ram. Connect the two rams together with the hose, and work the plow left and right by hand, to circulate the fluid. You now have new fluid in your cylinders. It is normally not necessary to bleed air out of the system when using this process to change fluid.

You can also flush out the angle rams with Kerosene this way. (Remember to keep any source of sparks, heat, or open flames away when working with Kerosene.) You need a spare hose though to flush both rams. After angling the plow to one side manually pushing out all the fluid, you can put the angle hose in a container of kerosene, and then angle it back the other way by hand. slowly drawing Kerosene into the angle ram. Remove the hose from the Kerosene container, and put the end of the hose into a waste jug. Angle the plow slowly back the other way, pushing out the Kerosene, and whatever sludge it dissolved. Remove it from the waste jug, and stick it back into the Kerosene container, and refill the angle ram again. Remove the hose from the container of Kerosene, and put it in the waste jug. Angle the plow back the other way, pushing out the Kerosene and debris. Repeat this process for the other angle ram, flushing it twice with Kerosene. Now you need to flush out any Kerosene left in the rams. This can be done with a single quart bottle of hydraulic fluid. Use the hydraulic fluid in place of the kerosene repeating the flushing process. You can put the hose into the bottle, draw fluid in, force it back out INTO THE HYDRAULIC FLUID BOTTLE. Fill and drain the angle ram again into the fluid bottle, leaving the hose in the hydraulic fluid bottle. Repeat the process with the same bottle of fluid doing the other angle ram. Dispose of the hydraulic fluid in the bottle, since it will be contaminated with a little kerosene, and possibly debris.


Here are two videos I made and uploaded to YOU TUBE to better explain the flushing process.

Flush Angle Rams Part 1     Flush Angle Rams - Part 2


E - 47 Power Unit

Drain the fluid from the pump. Remove and clean the filter strainers using an 11/16" wrench.. There are 2 on Meyer E - 47 units, and a third inside the base assembly. (The third strainer requires disassembling the unit to clean it, and it is not a fast, easy job in most cases, and it requires additional parts. See the diagram below.) Removing the fill plug on top helps draining. Rinse the strainers in Kerosene. I use air to gently blow out the strainers. Replace them, torque them to 75 - 85 - in-lbs. and refill the unit with new fluid. Work the plow up and down, left and right to circulate the new fluid and get any air out. I usually wait until the next day to check the level.
Don't forget to clean electrical connections. Remove the cables to the solenoid, clean the ends and the posts, replace them. I replaced the nuts on my units electrical coils (solenoids), with brass nuts, after snapping a stem trying to get a rusted nut off. I had to buy a new valve then. I also apply Never-Seize to the threads. I remove all 3 nuts, clean the posts, and replace the nuts. I also remove the positive lead to the battery, and clean this connection too. I remove the + wire from the pump motor, and clean this connection, installing a new tooth washer if the one on there is rusty. I remove the ground wire from the plow pump, run a 5/16" - 18 tap gently in and out of the ground bolt hole to clean corrosion, and then clean that wire lug, installing a new tooth washer.
The face of the moldboard is important. It must be kept smooth for the plow to work well. The less resistance the snow has, the better. Mine wasn't too bad when I bought it. I was able to get away with sanding it with coarse sandpaper (80 grit). There were no large pits. If there is pitting, it should be smoothed out. A wire wheel on a drill, a disc sander, a belt sander, however. Get it as smooth as you can. Wipe it down with wax and grease remover. Prime it. Use a spray gun, spray cans, a brush even. Keep it smooth. Avoid sagging. Use several light coats according to the paint manufacturers instructions. I like to let the primer dry over night. Sand the surface lightly (I use 320 grit wet sanding paper), let it dry thoroughly, wipe the moldboard down with a tack rag, and apply your topcoat. I use Meyer Sno-Flo Yellow. It holds up well. I used to use Con-Lux. I can't get it anymore, or I'd still be using it.
Your plow should be like new now, and ready for action.
Most of what I just described applies to Meyer Snowplows, or was written with Meyer in mind. That doesn't mean if you have another brand, that this info is worthless to you. Hydraulic systems all have basic components and requirements. So do plows. The data pertaining to changing the fluid in the angle rams applies to all snowplows.
Plows as outlined above should be kept rust free. The bolts shouldn't be worn, nor the cutting edge. Any worn out parts, should be replaced. Pivot points should be lubricated. There are many parts of plows that "hinge". These are the parts you want to keep lubed, and check for wear often. Mounting pins should be in tip top shape, if worn, half sheared, or distorted, they should be replaced. Worn pins can be kept as emergency spares.
The hydraulic system has it's requirements. Each brand of system is slightly different. ALL cylinder rods, (or pistons as they are referred to), should gleam. No scratches or rust on the surface. Nice shiny chrome. This is essential. Any scratches or rust, or pits, will gouge the seal and wiper every time you move the plow. Remember leaky seals allow fluid to leak out, but also allow contaminants to get sucked into the system.

This is the fluid that was drained from the angle rams in the pic up top. It sat for two weeks, and is just now starting to separate. YOu can see the oil on top, the milky water/oil mix, and the gunk settling to the bottom.

If you are finding a lot of water in your hydraulic system, it's time to change seals on some or all your cylinders. Any leaky connections should be repaired right away too. Loose, leaking or sloppy hoses couplers should be changed. We've all seen the "rainbow dots" left on driveways and parking lots from drips of fluid while plowing with leaks. Having to keep checking the fluid level more than usual, and wasting fluid, AND polluting the environment. Fix the leaks! ALL have filters, and or strainers somewhere in the system that have to be cleaned or changed regularly. The fluid should be changed regularly too. ALWAYS use the manufacturer's recommended fluid. Meyer and Boss use Mineral oils. Western uses ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). When changing the fluid, flushing the reservoir, and angle cylinders is a good idea. Use KEROSENE ONLY for this. It won't harm seals or internals. Any residue left in the system will mix with the fluid without ill effects. The procedures outlined above are for all plows.
Find the reservoir drain plug, and drain the fluid.
Find the filters and or strainers, remove and clean them.
Flush the reservoir with Kerosene.
Replace the drain plug, and strainers torquing all fasteners and plugs to specs.
To bleed any air out of the rams, the process is much like bleeding brakes (which is also a hydraulic system). To bleed any air out, you first compress the cylinder you want to bleed.  Leave the fittings a little loose on each cylinder, work the blade full left, to full right a few times. This will bleed any air out of the lines. Snug the fittings, and you're all set!

If you paint your plow, wait approximately one month, and then apply a good coat or two of wax.


The above image shows the location of the third strainer, located in the Base Assembly.


<----- Front of pump. "A" Coil is located on back side of pump. "B" Coil is closest to the front of the pump, and the "C" Coil is located closest to the rear of the pump, or "on the right" in the above photo. The "B" Coil has a red wire, the "C" Coil has a green wire, and the "A" Coil has a black wire. These parts are often referred to as "solenoids", which technically they are "Solenoid Valves". They consist of (2) main parts, the coil (solenoid), and the valve. The coil, when energized, causes the valve to open by becoming magnetized when energized.... (did I confuse you?)

To remove the "A" valve (the valve is sometimes called the "cartridge") by using a 7/8" or 1 - 1/8" hex deep socket. To remove the "B" and "C" valves, it may be necessary to use a special socket which is available from your local Meyer dealer, and it is Part#21891. The cartridges should be cleaned by soaking them in Kerosene whenever you remove them. Any debris should be cleaned from the screens on them.

More info on Meyer Plows:

Changing Hydraulic Fluid Plow Pins
Meyer® E-47 Wiring Diagram Plow Tech
Meyer Plow Pivot Pin Repair Adding a 3rd Trip Spring
Meyer Plow Pumps Coil And Valve Assembly
Meyer E-47 Plow Pumps Meyer Sector & A Frame Repair


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