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2001 dodge ram 1500 4x4

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by chuckraduenz, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    well i just got a 2001 dodge ram 1500 5.2 gas 4x4 170k with a blizzard plow. good package for $5400 or not? thoughts? input? not shure on exsact plow size as im picking it up this week. need to adjust from and atv to a truck now. i would how ever like to bring the wheeler with. any ideas what i can do besides dragging the trailer with. was thinking about putting it in the bed backwards. but i dont know if weight and or will be a pain to drive off and back on a few times.
    thoughts?

    i got/have a 2008 polaris 500 with a 54" home made plow. lost my job in late 2008. i then took it into my own hands and started to plow about 4-6 reg places in 08/09 then 09/10 i got into forclosed homes did about 35 houses and my retuning customers so it got me up to about 40. i used the wheeler for 2yrs did pretty good. but this yr i have twice as many places to plow about 70/75. and the supervisor said he thinks its time i get a truck and a plow. thought about it for about 2 weeks. so today i whent and looked and got one. think im gona have my work cut out for me. this yr. and i seem to be getting more work every yr...

    think im gona hate taxes this yr. altho i did buy alota stuff this yr.

    thanks
    chuck

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. I know this is a couple week old thread but just stumbled onto it. A few observations/suggestions. First off you said the truck has 170k on it. Would recommend you at least have the motor and definately tranny looked at/serviced. At minimum flush tranny and change the fluid. Also notice the front end sags pretty good. This is not good for the front end and certainly doesnt help your rear traction at all. Consider some timbrens or aftermarket HD coil springs. Also you mention putting the ATV in back. Have u measured to see if it will fit in the short box? Also would recommend adding rear ballast weight prob like 300-500# when plowing.
     
  3. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    IMO i would not flush the tranny, just have a service done to it. Have the tech check the tranny lines too, one of them has a check valve that is prone to restricting fluid flow and is one of the biggest reasons why Dodge trannies fail so often. I do not believe i would bother carrying around the ATV, just put 4-500 lbs of ballast in the bed and learn to plow with the truck. I would also count on rebuilding that tranny too, especially with that milage.
     
  4. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    forgot to add in orginal post. trans has been rebuilt this yr, new front bearings and seals.

    the wheeler fits with the plow. altho the tailgate i have to leave down and strap it in. comes out and goes in faily easy. the reason i want the wheeler with is sidewalks, and smaller driveways. its came in handy so far.

    been useing it for a week now. so far its been good. it had 173k on it and now has 175k so far iv made almost $10k so its paid for it self and its just the start of winter. so far i have 80 homes to plow.

    ya i know i need somethin up front. and i probly well but for now its gona have to do. the 4x4 seems to have some issues going outa gear as sometimes it takes a few miles to disengauge and others it just a few feet. no idea on that one. it burns coolant. but im pretty shure it leaking from the thermostat houseing. havent llooked yet. but im gona.

    i did run a vin check. and it was in use for the state of wisconson. has a good record up to 150k. engine, suspenshion, tires etc....... so far its been good.......
     
  5. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Timbrens are fairly inexpensive use some of that money to get them because front end damage is alot more expensive than the timbrens. I plow with a chev 1500 and they cannot handle it as well without the proper maintenance and additions to the vehicle. A stock 1500 will endure wear and tear faster from general plowing then the others so adding things like timbrens are more crucial for a 1500
     
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    Please explain how the timbrens will reduce front end damage.

    the ball joints, shocks, tie rods, wheel bearing, U-joints, brakes, all see the same weight with or without the timbrens

    timbrens will help the springs live longer but thats about it.
     
  7. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Your right they do but when the weight is not distributed evenly for whatever the reason - un even tire wear, snow build up in the plow, low tire on one side etc. You will see wear and tear faster on all the items you mentioned. Not only that, overloaded coils combined with low clearance and bottoming out can cause more problems then it's worth
     
  8. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I have a Dodge 1500 that I stopped plowing with this year. I have a 2500 that I do my plowing with and the 1500 is still wired up to do the plowing but is just a back up.

    As far as the 4x4 taking a little while to disengage. That is normal, even when it was brand new. The 4x4 collar is shifted using vacuum so if the engine doesn't have enough vacuum to pull the collar when you shift it will wait and shift when it does. Also when you have pressure on the axle shafts (like accelerating) it will not shift. So when you shift just let off the gas for a second and it will create enough vacuum and release the pressure allowing it to shift.

    Now for the reason I stopped using mine. Let me first say that I understand how vehicles work very well as I used to be an ASE cert. mechanic and I am also very easy on my vehicles. But no matter how easy I was I still went through 3 front axle shaft U-joints in the 30,000 miles I have had the truck. And mine only has 100,000 miles on it now. One time I had to replace one axle stub shaft as well. And another time I had to replace the whole axle shaft's. That being said I would recommend checking your U-joints EVERY time after you finish plowing. Unless you buy expensive aftermarket ones(which might be worth it), they are non greaseable. You'll be able to see when they've gone bad because the caps will pop off and if you drive it after that you will damage the axle shaft and they are $3-500 each if you have to buy them locally, I found them on the internet for $210.

    Good luck with it. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
     
  9. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Just get some spacers rather than timbrens to hold the front up higher. Looks like a nice truck to have that many miles.
     
  10. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    The thermostat housings are noted for leaks, check the intake gaskets for leaks too. As said above they use vacuum to engage/disengage 4X4 so a vacuum leak would make this take longer to do. Check that the serpentine belt tensioner is not seized too, if so just spray the back of it and work it back and forth. Check that the coil wire and #8 plug wire are not showing any carbon tracing where they may be arcing to the valve cover and intake. Also check the coil itself for corrosion, the coil will begin to swell and split from corrosion giving you an intermitten mis-fire or it may even quit on you. It sits right in the path of the fan so you may not see any problems until a heavy snow and wet conditions.
     
  11. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    The best thing about those Dodge's (even the current ones) is the aftermarket support for the 4wd parts. They are MUCH better than stock, and most are a one and done deal. There is a kit to remove that vacuum actuator and replaces it with a cable. You can even disconnet the front axle when in 4Low so you can have just the rear wheels pulling in that low range (pulling a boat up a boat ramp or whatever). You can easily swap the front axle (and rear axle) with a set from the 2500/3500's and the list goes on.

    check out pavementsucks.com , there is tons of info on Ram trucks, mostly off roading but the info will only help in longetivity and plowing.
     
  12. Eggie329

    Eggie329 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    My 1500 burns coolant too. I haven't figured it out yet... My front end got trashed with the 1/2 ton suspension. This year I fixed the front axle up and installed 3/4 ton suspension. The front rides higher than the back with the plow on since I haven't installed my helper springs on the rear yet. I would say go on ebay and get a set of 3/4 ton coils. They are an exact replacement. The repair manuals say to remove the control arms and all, but I found it's easier to jack it up to the sky and just use a spring compressor and pull the shocks to get the springs out and in. Might as well replace the shocks too. Nice looking truck by the way... I love the second generation Dodges!
     
  13. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    well it has started. the repairs. about a week ish ago i hada replace the front pads and disks. this week i had to replace the front u-joints on both side for the 4x4 along with the lower rear drive shaft u-joint. then upon that being fixed found out the differental has alotttttttttt of play in it. so i had to get a differnt rear end. not in yet. paid $450 + $50 in fuel to get it. hope it lastes another week. wonder whats next. so the question i have is being a plow truck really gona be fix plow fix plow etc.....??? i have a route of between 75 and 85ish homes to plow rangeing from $35-$75 per house at 2"s. 99% of them are for foreclosed homes. i put on about 500miles or so per snow fall and make about $3000 +/- a few hundred depending upon adding and removal of houses and or someone else got to it before me. i spend about $200 in fuel. also since mn has more snow this yr i get new homes added that havent been plowed out this yr yet. so it could be 2' deep. but iv been getting the same amount for the new ones. i did ask for more pay for the new homes added that havent been plowed yet this season. so far the guy i work though said "well we havent gotten any compaints from any of the other plowers." but i dont think there driving as much as me, or there getting more pay. the driveways are about 100ft long. and now there talking $5 gas. just wonder if its worth it? this is my first yr for this. im also wondering about how much im gona have to pay for taxes also............................................ input would be awsome......
     
  14. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Like I said I went through all that same stuff with my half ton and now it is retired from plowing service. I use it as my daily driver and as a back up. I only plow with my 3/4 ton and would never go back to the half ton. You can definitely plow with it but plan on re placing ujoints in the front end every year. That won't be the only problem but that's a necessity in my eyes. It sounds like you're making good money with the truck. I'd just recommend investing in a 3/4 ton and keep the half ton as a back up. Especially considering the number of accounts you're doing.

    Good luck and feel free to pm me with any questions.
     
  15. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    alright. i was looking for a 3/4 ton. but havent had any luck as of right now. save my money for now maybe this summer ill find one then come next winter ill sell the 1/2ton... oh well gota start somewhere.
     
  16. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Back ups are priceless. Don't sell it unless you have to. 2 weeks ago the coil in my 3/4 ton took a crap in the middle of the night during a snow storm. I pulled it home swapped the plow to my half ton and kept on plowing. Had I not had the second truck I would have been up a creek without a paddle. Better safe than sorry.
     
  17. MrSnow

    MrSnow Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 23

    Sorry to hear your having problems with your 1500. I have a 94 that I have used for several years, (since new). I updated it this year to the 3500 suspension since I upgraded to an 8'6 Boss SD. No real major problems, just the usual wear on ball joints, tie rods/ends, and RUST. 204,531 miles going,, Hope I get another 200,000 + out of her. If you don't really know who owned the truck before you, then the truck could have been rode hard and put away wet. Then again, one person might think their style is good, while the next says it's terrible. Only opinion I can suggest would be, Lucas Oil Products, since you have the rebuilt transmission. But your right, you gotta start somewhere, we all started out somewhere... Have a safe season!
     
  18. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    the crap just got deeper!!! broke a hydro line. waited at the local ford/plow dealer for a 1/2. got pissed off and left drove 45min one direction to the dassel place to get the line and fluid.......

    then upon getting there the truck is now missing on cyl 3 and 4. whent got cap, rotor, plugs and wires..... never ends. when it rains it poors.........
     
  19. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Sorry to hear all that. I hope it gets better just remember every new part yoh put on it is one less part that will break.

    I can't stress enough the necessity of a back up truck. It's just a must in this business. Especially if you are going to run older trucks like we do.
     
  20. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    hopefully thats true. but i can just see it now. buy diffent truck. brake that truck use the backup then that brakes.... plus i really have no place to keep the second one.