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86 1/2 ton truck

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by thartz, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. thartz

    thartz Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I'm looking at buying this model of truck with a 318 and limited slip rear.Any advice or precautions before buying? I don't have any experiences with Dodge so any info is appreciated.Thanks
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Unless you are mechanically inclined, pay a good mechanic have it checked over. Pay particular attention to the transmission. Also, look for rusted out fuel line (I wound up having to have mine fabricated because they couldn't order one). On the engine, check with a dealer as to availability for your particular model. I also had to replace the steering box.

    Mine is a '90 but it's in the same age range.
     
  3. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    I replaced the steering box in my uncles 90' aslo:confused: ,must be a Dodge thing:( I've also heard of steering shaft probs to.
     
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Like Mick said,pay someone to have it checked out well.They were bad for weak frames,so look for body twist and misalignment.

    Steering shafts were a problem,but Borgeson and Flaming river make good replacements which will outlast the truck.

    Parts are real cheap and easy to find for those trucks,os if it's in good shape,go for it.
     
  5. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I put the Borgeson steering shaft on all my Dodges. (3 to date) If the truck has had decent maintenance is should go for quite a while. If I remember right, '86 was still carbureted engine, not EFI. The carb is the weak spot in the engine. The driveline is solid. If auto trans, make sure and check for a tranny cooler. most with trailer package had one. If not, GET ONE !
    Change the fluid, but do not do the fancy, high dollar tranny flush. Just drain, change the filter and re-fill. The A727 automatics respond well to BG tramission treatment when you change.
    I love those trucks. Great workhorses unless abused. Good Luck.
     
  6. thartz

    thartz Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks for the info.This truck is coming from a friend who is a mechanic and it has 78,000 original miles.I'm not too sure about hooking a plow to it ( I have 2 medium sized parking lots and a residential development ) without a lot of problems since it is a 1/2 ton.I used 3/4 tons in the past.It doesn't have EFI
     
  7. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    If the frame is solid, you should have no trouble at all with a plow on that truck. Put a set of 1.5" add-a-leafs in the front to help with the load if it sags too much.

    ~Chuck
     
  8. meyer22288

    meyer22288 Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    The truck should handle a plow with out a problem. Just put timbren boosters in it. 7.5 is the best size for a 1/2 ton.
     
  9. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    "7.5 is the best size for a 1/2 ton"

    Not always. Dodge makes 1/2 ton long bed trucks. An 8' would be a better choice for a long bed.

    ~Chuck
     
  10. meyer22288

    meyer22288 Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    sorry chuck i just thought that 8ft would be to heavy on the front end. 8ft would be a great chioce to:)
     
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Generally, you'd want to stick with a 7.5' plow with a 1/2 ton truck. But if you have a long bed, you might want an 8' like Chuck said. For a Fisher plow, that amounts to about an 80# difference. Being from North Carolina, I wouldn't think you'd get much snow, so you might want to consider a lighter duty plow, which would be less expensive and also save on weight.
     
  12. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I agree Mick, generally you do want to stick with a 7.5 on a 1/2 ton. One exception is vehicles with leaf springs up front, that have the capacity to carry the extra weight, as long as the axle rating is not exceeded. I chimed in here for the future when someone does a search. That person just might have a 1/2 ton long bed.

    One way around the 8' blade if all that is available locally used is 7.5's is to get a set of wings. Then you can have the extra width, without a lot of extra weight.

    ~Chuck
     
  13. thartz

    thartz Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks again for the info.local dealers sells Boss and Myers.Both suggested 7.5's due to weight and wheelbase.We don't get a lot of snow(plowed 15 times last year with a 4x4 tractor) but tons of ice since I'm in the mountains.Thanks again.
     
  14. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Thartz, Chuck hit it on the head with the front leaf springs. Dodge had a solid axle with leafs in the 80's. They were solid units. Steering has been covered but we changed alot of them out. Look at adding a steering box support like the cheve to beef up the frame in that area. Most of the 1/2 tons had heavy rated axles so they load well and handle plows very well. Little tire wear which is appreciated. Good luck on the new ride. Jerre
     
  15. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    thartz, I even have a Western Uni-mount bracket for that truck if you need it. BTW- you have a Dana 44 front axle. Keep it lubed properly and it will last a good long time with either a 7.5 or 8 ft plow. Post a pic when you get it set up.:)
     
  16. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    You plowed 15 times last year and you consider that a light winter? I think most of the midwest guys on here would have loved to get that kind of snow. They had less then five plowable events around Chicago last year.
     
  17. thartz

    thartz Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    szorno;would like to talk to you about your western bracket.CT18fireman.The guys here told me to expect 30 + plows per season.The problem with here is most of the time the snow melts before noon the next day so most potential clients won't call and take a chance they won't need service.The ones that do pay a premium for service !
     
  18. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Interesting. Sounds like with a good contract though you could still make some good money. Businesses and such likely still need snow removal early. Add to that a graduated scale that charges more for heavier snow and you could take advantage of the occassional heavy storm without being accussed of ripping off the customer.
     
  19. thartz

    thartz Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    CT;you're dead on it.I do a large upscale housing development and they want cleared 24/7.I used a tractor but got tired of freezing my booty off at 3:00 am.The winds are blowing fierce that time of the morning through these mountains.Most guys down here said the last couple of years they barely hooked to their plows.Last season we all did pretty good.