WARNING:Western Plows & '14/'15 Superduties - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'11-16 General Questions General questions related to 2011-Up Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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WARNING:Western Plows & '14/'15 Superduties

So its been cold and snowy here in the Northeast if you haven't seen a weather report lately! So last week I'm just driving down the road, heat is blasting, radio on, lights on...went to adjust the plow a little for better headlight usage, when I hit the plow, BAZAAAM...all dash lights, displays, radio, nav screen all go OFF! Then "click", it all comes back on like a reboot almost! I **** my pants. Thinking it was a freak occurrence, I try to replicate...AND I do, over and over...so today finally after it happening a few more times I call the Western installer. Didn't get my story half out when he said "you either have a new Ford or GM"..."yes"....well he went on to tell me this..

Ford (and GM) are fully aware of this problem, EVEN on snowplow prep trucks....under the extreme cold conditions, the pumps of course work harder, drawing more power, and when the truck sees a voltage drop below 11.something, it does this. he told me to contact my dealer. So I did. According to my dealer, they are aware of this, and they are awaiting for ford to give them a fix! I said well if its happening on 14's too, then they knew this last year!!!

So the Western Bulletin is SP 837.

Does anyone have any insight on this? I think its bull**** that a "Snowplow Prep" vehicle should act like that!

Western dealer also did say a few people (probably that depended on plowing for an income) have added a 2nd battery to cure it out of pocket! I refuse to pay more for something that should be working proper in a $60000 truck, ESPECIALLY equipped with snow plow prep!

2015 6.2 F350 Wht Platinum/Caribou FX4 4x4 4.30 Lariat Ultimate SCrew 156wb Ordered : 2/25/14 Delivered : 5/29/14
Traded : 2011 6.2 F250 Black FX4 4x4 3.73 XLT SCrew 156wb
Traded : 2004 5.4 F150 Black 4x4 3.55 XLT SCrew 145wb

Last edited by gvales; 02-16-2015 at 09:57 PM.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 06:58 PM
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Wow, this does it going down the road only or will it do it when you first attatch and hit the pump for the first time when it is brutal out. The plow head lights don't go out do they? Have you verified that the reservoir has Western hydro fluid in it? How cold are you talking about? Have you load tested the batteries individually and verified your alternator is good?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well went onto plowsite.com forums...this is a common problem no matter the brand of plow....2014 and 2015 Fords, and 2015 GMs...

Below is a Fisher Bulletin...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9i...ew?usp=sharing

Seems like GM is more on top of it than ford when I read other forums.

2015 6.2 F350 Wht Platinum/Caribou FX4 4x4 4.30 Lariat Ultimate SCrew 156wb Ordered : 2/25/14 Delivered : 5/29/14
Traded : 2011 6.2 F250 Black FX4 4x4 3.73 XLT SCrew 156wb
Traded : 2004 5.4 F150 Black 4x4 3.55 XLT SCrew 145wb
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 07:17 PM
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I was not aware of that, thanks for the link.
So you do not loose plow lights do you? Now that would be extremly dangerous vs dangerous.
Yeah they need to adress that for sure.
What's is the drop out voltage? 11.5 Huh?
What exactly is in a plow prep pkg. on this truck?
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 07:26 PM
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So, I just read link and I guess they think by their test vehicle and field reports if accessories are on the alternator will be on full out put when the pump fires. Bet that can fix that with an option cable for alternator that has a resistor or something to get that baby putting out.I'm not that good with electric but I could see something like that working maybe. What say you electrical people?
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland dieselnick View Post
I was not aware of that, thanks for the link.
So you do not loose plow lights do you? Now that would be extremly dangerous vs dangerous.
Yeah they need to adress that for sure.
What's is the drop out voltage? 11.5 Huh?
What exactly is in a plow prep pkg. on this truck?
I don't loose plow lights as far as I know. But everything in the interior goes off for sure.

The Snow Plow Prep Package includes computer-selected springs for snow plow application and an extra-heavy-duty alternator with the Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8 or heavy-duty alternator with gas engine (not available with Heavy Service Suspension Package; requires 4x4).

2015 6.2 F350 Wht Platinum/Caribou FX4 4x4 4.30 Lariat Ultimate SCrew 156wb Ordered : 2/25/14 Delivered : 5/29/14
Traded : 2011 6.2 F250 Black FX4 4x4 3.73 XLT SCrew 156wb
Traded : 2004 5.4 F150 Black 4x4 3.55 XLT SCrew 145wb
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 07:51 PM
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You shouldn't have to sweat that because the electronic module that controls everything has its own hard feed, so I really think you will be safe in that regard. Sounds like they know what the deal is. They probably are just figuring out the cheapest ok way to deal with it. Douglas Dynamics is awesome and the big three know Douglas is THE plow company. They will fix it. Dash blacks out just stare straight ahead. The plow lights should not go black. That plow and it's module does not care whatsoever what the interior module is doing.

Last edited by Maryland dieselnick; 02-16-2015 at 07:54 PM.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Title should be : "WARNING:Plows & 14/15 Superduties"

because all plows affect the 14/15 superduties!

2015 6.2 F350 Wht Platinum/Caribou FX4 4x4 4.30 Lariat Ultimate SCrew 156wb Ordered : 2/25/14 Delivered : 5/29/14
Traded : 2011 6.2 F250 Black FX4 4x4 3.73 XLT SCrew 156wb
Traded : 2004 5.4 F150 Black 4x4 3.55 XLT SCrew 145wb
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 12:05 AM
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Interesting problem.

Normal low alternator load, then with a high additional amps plow requirement the alternator and/or wiring can't keep up so the supply voltage drops below 11 and the vehicles control module kicks out, either sensing a spike or low voltage. However, if the alternator load already is high and outputting a higher amount of amps, the additional high plow draw effects nothing.

Faster responding alternator?
Smaller wire to the plow pump to reduce current spike while not too small after initial spike?
Larger reserve for the spike (battery or more batteries)?

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 05:53 AM
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Why only on a 14/15? Why not on a 13? Makes me glad I have dual alts and batteried.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 07:09 AM
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Man that plow pump must draw some serious amperage to bring a running vehicle down to 11.5V. I would think the only solution would be a higher capacity battery or adding another battery.

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 09:58 AM
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This is almost certainly a transient problem.

The voltage regulator (inside the brain box) takes a peek at battery voltage once per ~100 ms, (milliseconds) and takes ~1000 ms to adapt the alternator(s) to a step change in current demand. There's no speeding it up in the field; it would require a major design change, which could only come from the Glass House.

A brush-type DC motor draws a huge inrush current, which reaches its peak in 1 ms or less. It's not possible to speed up a voltage regulator enough.

Reducing the size of the plow feed wire isn't feasible unless it's oversized to begin with, and either won't have enough resistance to effectively damp the current spike, or will have too much resistance for the pump motor to run efficiently. (I suppose you could use a resistor in a soft-start configuration, where the resistor's in the circuit for the first 0.1 s, then is replaced by a relay contact closing after the motor starts turning)
Adding an inductor in the plow feed wire will help level the inrush current without affecting steady-state motor performance.

A supercapacitor is a better choice than a third battery. They're smaller, lighter, contain no acid, don't lose power in the cold and will never need maintenance or replacement.
For example:
http://www.maxwell.com/esm/
http://www.maxwell.com/products/ultr...-large-modules
There's probably a wide variety available through extreme car-stereo channels. Likewise high-current inductors.

I've been trying to wrap my head around the advice in the bulletin and it makes very little sense. All I've come up with is that running the alternator(s) at a higher-current condition might make more load dump available. But relying on load dump to hold battery voltage up is a pretty big kludge.

Likewise "11 volts". It's absurd to think that automotive electronics wouldn't function just fine at 11 volts. It's much more likely that the battery voltage drops to ~6 volts for a few milliseconds and somebody measured it with a slow-responding general-purpose voltmeter.


One final thought: Is the oil the right viscosity?
Hydraulic pumps work best with a viscosity of about 20-60 mPas* (milli Pascal seconds, aka. 20-60 centiPoise) But hydraulic oils are rated & labeled at 40C. (104F) If the actual oil temperature is going to be closer to 0C, switch to an oil that has the optimum 20-60 mPas viscosity at 0C.

* Be sure to look up the specification for the specific pump in use.


On a related note, has anybody ever heard of heated shock absorbers? I'm getting really tired of being bounced around like I'm in a rock crusher, merely because the oil's cold.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 01:08 PM
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I have been having this problem since I picked up my 14 in late 13 the plow I put on is a fisher. First they told me it was the truck then ford told me it was the plow. Fisher has changed all wire harness saying there was an updated 1. That didn't work Fisher took in great detail what was going on & @ that time claimed they have not had a chance to see a plow on a new 2014 so it would take time to figure out what to do. So as of today I have had no response from ford or fisher. My lights would go out on the dash the blower moter would slow down it would turn off the heated mirrors & radio then everything would come back on but the mirrors you would need to turn them back on by pushing the switch. I put the 2nd battery in it over this past summer & so far this yr. everything is working fine. But I am waiting for a refund form ford & fisher for the battery & cables along with the battery try that I needed to add to a truck that was spec out & purchased for snowplowing. If anyone gets any further updates please let me know. I have a 2014 350 SD XLT RC with the 6.2L snow plow prep with extra heavy duty alt. Took delivery on 8/28/13

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 09:37 AM
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My cousin plows with a 2014 F-350, Lariat, short bed and ran into this problem last winter after plowing 8 to 10 hours overnight.

From what he had said, when plowing, the engine speed averages pretty low so the alternator's not putting out full current. Combine that with all of the electricals, accessories, stereo, sander, and extra lights running, plus the cold temperatures, and over time the battery's charge level apparently gets behind the curve. Eventually, when there's a big current demand from a plow actuator, the electrical system still delivers it, but with a bigger voltage droop, voltage noise/transients, etc. and they caused the dashboard to blank out (reboot?).

His solution was to do what they do on the Ambulance & Light Rescue truck at his Volunteer Fire Station. They use a super-heavy-duty alternator, heavier power wiring, and a bigger >1000 CCA Battery. (He didn't want to do a second battery with all of its extra paraphenalia.)

Nations 240 HP Series Alternators

This alternator puts out as much power at Idle as the Ford heavy duty unit does at higher RPMS. He hasn't had any problems so far, and he's been plowing far more this season in Northeastern CT than last.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:12 PM
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I talked to my friends in the plow business . If you don't want any issues get dual alternators and you won't have a problem.

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