There are a couple common reasons for experiencing chatter when actuating the hydraulic lift or turn on a snow plow. Here, we discuss some of these common causes and what to do to repair them.
1977 Dodge W-200 Sno-Commander
A 1977 Dodge W-200 Sno-Commander has a hydraulic snow plow setup.
It is conceptually a very simple system to operate, and the blade normally moves quickly and cleanly with a Meyer snow plow, but last winter I was getting some issues with the plow blade chattering when actuating the plow either up and down or side to side. After some investigation, two courses of action were taken to fix the problem.
Contaminated Hydraulic Fluid
Part of the reason for the less than desirable performance was due to contaminated hydraulic fluid. The existing red fluid was purchased with the plow several years ago, and had not been changed since then. Also, the reservoir had been inadvertently topped off with power steering fluid at one point.
For this reason, I siphoned out the reservoir and added back in the correct “blue juice”. This stuff can be quite pricey. I found the correct fluid for a reasonable price on Amazon, but had to purchase a case of it. I am okay with that, since it is a good practice to flush and re-fill the fluid every year. I’ll include a link to the fluid below, this stuff worked like a charm:
With the reservoir topped off, the motion was smooth like butter.
However, occasionally when at lower RPM and with a load, there was still some chatter.
Check the Tightness of the Belt
After checking the belt deflection, I found that the belt was somewhat loose (about 1″ of deflection when pressed). Even though it had the proper tension at the beginning of the snow season, over time it had loosened up a bit. With the vehicle off, I tightened the belt until it gave about a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch deflection when pressed with a bit of force.
After these 2 fixes, the plow ran perfectly. Smooth as butter and no chatter.
There are other problems that can cause chatter during motion of the plow, but these are a couple of real common ones. I hope you found this helpful!
I bought the hydraulic fluid off Amazon so I could get the fast shipping and excellent return policy. The price was great when I got it but will likely change over time, so click this link to check the current price on Amazon: