|02-11-2020 07:20 AM|
So far the ice season isn't going great. By this time we have normally had many more subzero days than we have this year, so ice thickness is nowhere close to what is should be. As a result, instead of putting out our 40', 60', and 72' bridges for truck traffic this spearing season, we had to resort to our ATV bridges for now. Once ice conditions improve we'll get the truck bridges out but for now these are what we are stuck with.
In some cases you can jump the crack with the ATV to place the bridge
Usually we need to push each section across, however.
We also had 8" of snow this past weekend so the 99 got an extra workout due to that and also the fact that one of my buddy's plow trucks cooked the head gasket, so I picked up some extra work.
|02-05-2020 08:54 AM|
99 has been holding up pretty well. Every now and then she presents a starting issue that seems to be relating to erratic fuel pressure. I will be dropping the tank and doing a regulator/pump assy this weekend.
On a bit of a tangent- there was a vintage snowmobile show this past weekend so the 85 rode again in order to achieve a period correct look. We got the two early 70's Mercury 250E sleds out (the "E" denotes that these are both electric start models) nd loaded them up on the sled trailer from earlier posts. We ran over to the park that hosts the even- fun fact: the park is land donated to the town of Taycheedah by Carl Keikhafer, the man who founded Mercury Marine. This park is also the site of the "snow-bowl" where these sleds raced back in the day. It was a great time.
Washing up the sleds
Loaded up and ready to head out
Some of the sleds at the show. The front row is all "Sno Twister" models, these were the race sleds, the height of Mercury's foray into snowmobiles
The race track
|02-03-2020 01:55 PM|
|mrstang01||I'd love to find a good used repo wheel lift.|
|02-03-2020 01:46 PM|
|02-03-2020 12:21 PM|
You'll like the Chevy for plow duty, especially with the flatbed. The added visibility out the back is nice. I'd just figure out a way to get some ballast integrated into it. Some flat plate steel would work well, I'm sure. All you're looking to do is counter the way the plow unweights the rear end when it's raised.
|02-03-2020 11:48 AM|
Thanks for the info, I'm not really that familiar with plows. I was going by what I could decipher from your pics. That frame you took off of the green truck looked like it was really long and went back behind the front axle, I'm guessing now it doesn't. I sat down and did some pros-cons on the trucks I have laying around, and have decided that I'll just use a late 90s Chevy 6.5 diesel that I have instead. I figure there will be more readily available stuff laying around for one of those, and it's a 2500 with a nice flatbed. It's a clean truck with little value, so it will become my year-round dirty do all work truck.
|02-03-2020 09:30 AM|
This pic is from the '72-'93 Dodge W series frame install instructions for Hiniker systems. It sort of illustrates that the whole assembly lives over/in front of the axle.
If this is a route you are going to want to go I happen to know where there is at least one more of these frame setups new in box in WI.
|01-17-2020 02:28 PM|
Trucks are looking good. Since you are familiar with the older dodges, I thought I might ask your opinion on a thought Iím having for one of my trucks. We are moving to snow country in a few years and Iím starting to ready things for this transition. I have a 73 W100 shortbed with a 400/4spd and 4.10 geared 44f/9.25 rear on 3Ē lift springs. I thought this might make a good light duty plow truck to do my driveway and those of several family members. Seeing that the plow frame goes under the front axle and back to the frame, would the lift springs be ok, or would it be better to lower the truck? Any thoughts?
|01-14-2020 09:01 AM|
Little bit better after shot of the new rear shocks. Like I said, I am sure these will settle some more, but they brought the rear up nicely.
The past few days the 99 has been getting worked out well. This weekend I plowed both mornings and also played tow truck pulling a friend's truck out of a wet ditch. I hooked onto the rear to pop the back tires onto the driveway and then was able to yank the front up and out of the ditch. The issue was that the front was so heavy due to the plow and the rear didn't weigh a thing (1/2 ton with no ballast). It was a little touch and go with the treeline so close but it came out in short order.
Other than that she's been up to the usual duties; pushing and stacking snow.
|01-08-2020 09:14 AM|
After installing the leveling kit I noticed that the front was now sitting a bit higher than the rear. I figured this would be the case as I'm sure the leaf springs have settled over time. I picked up some Monroe load adjusting shocks and threw them in last night. They're affordable and have the rear end of the truck sitting about 1.5" higher than the front now. I'm sure the coils will settle as they break in but that should put me right where I want to be. I would highly recommend these if you're looking to supplement tired leaf springs with minimal effort/money.
New stance is perfect.
|01-07-2020 09:03 AM|
Haha! That reminds me, we had a 90 day wonder show up, 21 years old, 46 years of experience, had his head so far up the bosses ass he added DR to his resume, trying to get the boss to buy a 5k snap on scanner from "my guy" (he wanted his kickback)
He spent a full shift trying to get a late model gm 6.0 truck running, it was a 12 hour scan tool sales pitch.
The next morning I push a pocket screwdriver in the Schrader valve and get "red gas"
I pumped 45 gallons of of offroad diesel out, had it running at 9am. I saved 5 gallons of "red gas" in a 5 gallon bucket for the boss
Sorry for the hijack..
|01-06-2020 03:33 PM|
Also got to have a little fun, we had some of the guys from down south come up for a work meeting, so I got one of them to get out on the lake to drop a line. This was also a good excuse to use the adapter I made to run a Mora auger I picked up off FB marketplace in my MKE Fuel brushless drill. It plowed through the 8" we had like butter.
Not sure if this is really the right thread but someone might care. I put 35" tires on the bro truck this spring and they don't clear the front fenders with the leveling kit, so I found a deal on a 6" Superlift with Bilstein shocks that I couldn't pass up. I will need to blast and paint the components since Superlift's job is pretty shitty, but I was expecting that.
The most frustrating round of troubleshooting I have had in a while came from the 99. I let the truck sit for a few days over Christmas and when I jumped in it to go to work she wouldn't start. It would crank over no problem, but never fire. I found a TSB on the door lock circuit cutting power to the PCM and causing a crank with no start, so I investigated that to no avail, all the points to check out came back fine. I next moved to the crank sensor, I stuck a bore scope behind the head and found that the potting in the top of the sensor was cracked pretty bad, I assumed that this had allowed water to get into the body of the sensor and cause an issue, so I changed it. The correct socket/u-joint orientation took hours to get right only to find out that wasn't it either. Next, I pulled the codes and found one for TPS high input. I figured that the TPS had failed closed and the PCM was pulling spark out since it won't start with a WOT condition. That was not the issue either (later I thought back and realized that I had manipulated the throttle linkage with the key on and caused the code myself ). After clearing the codes and cranking for a while none came back. I threw a timing light on the #1 spark plug and found really intermittent spark. I also put the light on the coil wire and found the same thing, suspecting a bad coil I threw one of those at it. Again, not the problem. Since I was out of easy things to try I busted out the 85 and trailered the problem child down to the shop.
Once the next weekend rolled around I had a buddy of mine who has a new Snap-on scanner and a high dollar oscilloscope come out and we took another run at it. He plugged in the scanner and found no codes, he also found that the timing was acting properly while cranking. So with that established we scoped the crank sensor, which checked good, and the cam sensor, which also checked good. Now we knew something wasn't adding up so I ditched the timing light and hooked up a spark plug to one of the wires and grounded it on the manifold, sure enough spark was perfect. The only thing this left was the gas. I threw a gauge on the rail and found good pressure (44ish psi) so I hit the side drain on the gauge set to put some gas in a test vessel. As soon as that gas came out of the hose I knew our issue, the week and a half old tank had a terrible varnish smell and was stupid cloudy. We jumped power to the pump relay and used the gauge set as a drain to pump out the rest of the tank, added some new ethanol-free gas (for peace of mind) and changed the oil, just in case some gas had made it down into the crank case from all the cranking and not starting. When I hit the key she started up without and issue and has been fine for two days since.
Just goes to show you should never take the easy things for granted, especially when you start throwing parts around. AND I need to buy a better timing light.
Sorry for the shit pic quality, it's a saved snapchat, this was the rig to pump out the gas.
|01-06-2020 03:06 PM|
Lighting on the 8.1 is all finished up.
Installing the rear-facing light bar was super easy. The front bar is powered off of a 30 amp relay, so that is way more than ample current rating to just splice into the same power wire for the rear one.
With all of that done I also cranked up the tortion keys about 2" to give her a little more altitude as offset for when the plow is put back on. She is just about level unloaded so with the plow on I would guess the sag would get back down to factory height.
|01-06-2020 03:01 PM|
With the small plow to a point where I needed to com up with some more reinforcement ideas I decided to hop back to the 8.1. The truck needed some more lighting so I decided to finally install some lights on the plow frame brackets to get some more light up over the plow, since the truck headlights are useless with it on, and mount another lightbar to the back of the headache rack for rear facing help.
I saved the old headlight buckets that came off the 85, so I decided to reuse those instead of spending $500+ on new ones. My plan was to rewire them and add drop in LED sealed beam replacement lights.
I remembered that one of the guys who used to help out with maintenance mentioned that they kept having problems with these light buckets when they were on the 85. I wonder why...
I tore all the wiring out of both buckets and replaced it. All the connections are water tight and all of the grounds are covered with liquid tape
I ran the harness down the frame brackets and Teed it together where the control cable for the valve is. I also spliced in the running lights and turn lights. Everything works as it should.
These sealed beam LED lights are stupid bright!
When I added the switch for the new lights I also relocated the switches for the lightbar and strobes. I changed them to the regular toggle switches I use instead of the cheap plastic lighted ones that were in there
|01-06-2020 02:49 PM|
Repairs on the small plow:
I started with removing the front foot mount to give me a smooth surface from front to back for the new backbone to run down. If you aren't familiar, plow "feet" are installed when plowing on loose material, such as dirt or gravel to keep from destroying the ground. This is never a problem in our application as we always use these on ice, where we want the cleanest scrape possible.
Backbone set in and stitch welds laid out. note that the deck is wavy from all the hits this thing has taken over the years.
To flatten out the deck I setup a porta-power on what is actually the topside to push the high spots down. I welded the areas that were making contact as I went and let them cool before releasing the pressure on the porta-power.
Backbone welded complete with the deck straightened out. I was careful to stitch this in and not fully weld it as my thoughts are that, while I do want this to be very rigid, I would like to retain some flex in the deck material as to not put too much strain on the rest of the moldboard.
Stringers welded in. I still need to add some more reinforcement to the outer edges where the cutting edge support meets the formed back edge of the deck, but I haven't decided what I like for this area yet.
|01-06-2020 02:35 PM|
Been a while since the last update, life sure gets in the way!
After driving the 99 in snow for the first time it was quite apparent that even though the BFG Rugged Terrain T/A tires I had gotten had a good amount of tread on them they were not going to cut it, the tread design was just straight garbage. I scrounged up another set of take offs, this time Goodyear TrailRunner A/Ts. I did a quick remount and was back in business. I am still tempted to dismount the Goodyear Duratracs off my spare brotruck wheels and put them on this truck, but I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.
After that was done I cleaned up the shop and used the wrecker to put the small lake plow on a wheeled cart so I could bring it inside. This one has some major cracking issues on the deck structure and once I flipped it over the reason became apparent. The angle iron supports for the cutting edge are acting like knives on the 1/8" steel deck and all the flexing that has been done over time has cracked the deck at every one of those locations. My plan is to add a backbone down the middle of the plow and tie some stringers from the middle of the cutting edge back to the new structure to take some flex out. I will also drill out and weld up each of the cracks on the underside and plate the top of each one with round fishplates that have holes in the middle for a plug weld.
Putting the plow on the cart
In the shop
|11-11-2019 07:21 AM|
More new parts for the 99!
So Friday night I had a mishap after plowing a lot with the 99. I was on my way back from the account and suddenly the wheel shook violently and off came the driver's side front wheel! Fortunately it was very close to my shop and I was able to get it home with the fishing club's wrecker. If you have been watching you'll remember that was the hub that I just changed, upon inspecting the hub I found that all 5 lug nuts were completely gone, not even the broken portion remained in flange. I torqued all of the wheels at the same time two weeks ago when I put those wheels and tires on so my only theory is that either the knurling of the studs wasn't sized properly for the holes bored in the hub flange or the holes in the flange were too large to start with. Napa wouldn't do anything for me, which is a little frustrating, but it is what it is. I bought the second tier unit this time and will be doing a 100 mile re-torque to be on the safe side.
When the wheel off happened it wrecked the rotor, brake caliper, and fender flare. It also dented the fender, but that will be covered by a new flare so I'm not worried. The wheel is also slightly damaged so I got a new one. I also picked up a budget boost leveling kit, LED fog lights and drop in reverse lights, Lund Xtreme one piece front floor mat, and a new floor jack, because I finished off my old one driving the truck into the shop. I'm still waiting for the flares to come in, so I will throw that one on when it arrives.
I installed the new parts, threw the snowblower on the Allis, and took the Scag mower from the shop to storage.
New parts, picked up with the trusty 85
One piece mats are a must in a plow truck
BB leveling kit, new hub, new rotor, and new caliper installed
First real load behind the 99!
|11-05-2019 10:55 AM|
It's not going to help the truck pull trailers or push snow, but I tinted the windows in the new rig last night.
|11-04-2019 09:05 AM|
Last season the housing of the right headlight on the plow cracked pretty badly. I hacked it back together with screws, zip ties, etc. This weekend it was time for a long term fix. I traded a buddy for a set of used headlights off the same model plow. The RH headlight was broken like mine but the LH one was in good shape. This was perfect because the housings are actually the same left to right. All I needed to do was disassemble the light and put it back together in the opposite configuration to have a RH unit. I also made some stainless steel spacers to push the headlights forward so that I can open the hood of the truck with the plow attached.
Finally, I took the bumper mounted light bar off since it will be useless with the plow on anyways.
Converting the LH headlight to RH
Headlight orientations swapped, wiring rerouted, and LED marker/turn light installed
"New" headlight mounted with the spacers attached
Plow mounted up for a flurry that came through Saturday morning
|11-04-2019 08:35 AM|
|11-04-2019 05:35 AM|
My buddy plowed for years with his business with a 01 Supercab F150. Poor thing was beat but it did the job just fine.
Nobody puts chains on tires.
|11-04-2019 05:08 AM|
|11-04-2019 12:12 AM|
I have seen all sorts of vehicles that have been equipped with plows. Most of them were smaller like Jeeps, Broncos, Scouts, Blazers, and RamChargers because the short wheelbases make them a lot easier to get into tight places. I have even seen an occasional 4x2 truck with a plow. I can't imagine how well it would do the job without a driven steer axle but people use what they have if they can't afford to upgrade to something else.
|11-03-2019 07:05 PM|
I'm just a southern boy, ignorant in the ways of winter precipitation other than ice, but I do wonder: how common are half-ton plow trucks?
Seems like a heavy-duty job for a light-duty truck. The weight of the plow, pump, and frame all hanging off the front and the traction and weight of chains on the tires, aren't front axle hubs and wheel bearings stressed to the max? Or do you forego chains on light-duty trucks so tires slip before things break? That's still a lot of weight though. I've traveled a lot and seen plenty of plow trucks but can't recall seeing a half-ton in that role.
|11-01-2019 03:04 PM|
|lunacy||What lights are those? I'm thinking about adding some to the rear of my 92 1st gen.|
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