1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

860 Speedwing Issues, Repairs and Modifications

Discussion in 'Blizzard Plows Discussion' started by Alaska Boss, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Well, I've had my 860 SW for about a year and a half now, and the performance in how efficient it moves snow has been everything I hoped it would. However, some of the things I feared most in how the Blizzard plows are designed have also come true, and so I've gathered a few pictures of things that have happened to my plow over the past year or so, and some of the repairs & changes I've made,... with more to come I'm sure. I think the first issue that happened, was that on occasion, the right wing would over-extend and get hooked behind the moldboard and stuck in that position. As a matter of fact, on the day I bought this plow, as the dealer was just about done with the installation, and as he tried everything out, the right wing got hooked behind the moldboard in thin air, as he put the plow thru the motions! He pried & beat on the wing trying to get it back, and finally it went, but when he angled it to the right again, it hooked again,... and as he was beating on it again, I told him to take it off my truck & get me a different plow,... there's obviously something not right with this one, and he did. But after several weeks, I managed to over-extend the right wing on this plow too,... just by pushing into a pile while stacking,... and to this day, it's happened maybe 6-8 times,... and always the right side, never the left. And what a pain it is trying to get the wing back,... and every time it gets harder to pry it back,... I almost can't do it alone, but at this point, both the upper corners of the wing & moldboard are getting so beat up, it's formed a hook and notch, and they just about can't be separated anymore without serious bending issues. I'm still not sure why this is happening, or how to fix it right,.... but for now, I've flared the top edge of the wing forward, and the top edge of the moldboard back, so if/when the wing goes farther than it should, they can't inter-lock. If it does happens again, I'm going to weld an extension onto the top right-hand side of the moldboard an extra inch or two,... to make it impossible for the wing to get behind the main blade. :realmad:

    PICT0003 (Small).JPG

    wing overlap (Small).JPG
     
  2. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Then last winter, as I was just finishing up my biggest commercial lot,... I lifted the plow, and saw that the left wing was just hanging useless off the moldboard,... the main 1" hinge pin had snapped in half,.... that repair was done in a different thread last winter,... I now carry a spare,...

    Speedwing falling off (Custom).JPG

    Wing pin broke on Blizzard (Custom).JPG
     
  3. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Right at the end of last winter,... and early this winter, I had noticed that the plow had started to work more slowly, so I stopped & got out & saw that I was dripping some fluid,..popped the cover off & saw that I had lost the black plug for the reservoir, (twice now), and so the hydraulic fluid was just sloshing out,... the plug doesn't screw in, it just pushes in, so now I wrap duct tape around the whole thing to keep that plug from falling out again,...

    PICT0011 (Small).JPG
     
  4. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Then, in November, just as the plow was about to turn 1-year old, and the warranty about to expire, I decided I needed to give this plow the once-over routine,... and that's when I discovered all sorts of things broken, missing, falling off, etc. First off, I can't keep the black plastic cover on the plow to save my life,.... until I wrapped a bungee cord over it,... but it is tough, because I ran over it twice with the truck after it came off,... with no damage. But my greatest fear, and in my opinion, the worst design "flaw" with Blizzard plows, is mounting the hydraulic unit on the A-frame, rather than on the light bar. The Snow-way plow I had in the early '90's was like this,... and I had non-stop grief that only got worse with age, with brackets, fittings, bolts, hoses, etc constantly coming loose, rattling off, breaking, etc, etc, etc. There is no good reason to subject the entire hydraulic package to all the jarring, vibrations, impacts, etc that will happen to it, riding on the A-frame, as compared to having it mounted on the light bar, and "cushioned" by the truck's suspension. The argument that it helps the plow to scrape better this way is 99% baloney,... the "attack angle" of the cutting edge to the ground is a far bigger influence then just sheer weight,... this Blizzard definitely scrapes better than my Boss, and the Boss out-weighs it by well over 200 lbs,.... so it's not just "the heaviest plow wins" when it comes to scraping. But it is what it is,... and this is what I found,...



    ......the entire hydraulic package had completely broken off of it's mounting brackets,.. and was just "thrashing around" under the cover. I had used red lock-tite on all bolts, because I knew this was bound to happen,... and I think I caught it quite soon after it did,... because the damage could have been alot worse. I also then noticed that the main pivot bolt was sticking up ½" out of the A-frame, and looked under neath, and saw that the nylon locknut was missing,... I thought that the dealer must have just forgotten to put it on,... but have since learned that having these nuts fall off is apparently a rather common thing,..... (I propped the unit up with a stick for the picture,... none of the bolts had come loose from the mounting brackets,... the brackets just all broke off)

    PICT0001 (Small).JPG

    Blizzard bolt (Custom).JPG
     
  5. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    But the biggest issue that happened when the whole unit broke free,.... was it broke & sheared off the back of the plug to the switch that activates the Power Hitch,... so now it was impossible to take the plow off the truck,... (well, maybe not impossible,... a person may be able to take a hose off, then crawl under there & pry the hitch off,.... I'm not sure). There was no way to fix the switch,... and the closest one was about 250 miles away.

    PICT0004 (Small).JPG
     
  6. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    I cleaned the area up of all oil, etc, and after inspecting the mounting brackets, determined that they were about half as thick as they should be,.... they should be thick enough that this sort of thing should NEVER happen, no matter what,... and even tho I beefed them up from what they were,... before next winter I will probably cut these back off & replace them with brackets that will be at least ¼" thick material,... (the 3 brackets are laying here tipped out from their vertical positions)

    PICT0006 (Small).JPG
     
  7. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Next, I noticed that the hole on the left side that is used to pin the wing back straight, was cracked,... have no idea how this came to be,... I think I have only pinned them back once or maybe twice,... in any case, a heavy, wide weld bead across the crack should hold it,... but another spot to keep my eyes on,...

    bz 2 (Small).JPG

    bz 3 (Small).JPG
     
  8. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Next, I noticed that there are pads on the ends of the pivot beam that the back-side of the moldboard rests upon,.... well, for some unknown reason, the left-hand side "pad" was missing,.... (actually, not unknown,... the "tack welds" from the factory had literally missed it,... this is clearly a quality-control issue,...:realmad:) So, I cut a new pad out of ½" steel and welded it in,.... I'm pretty sure this one won't fall out,... (first one is the right-hand side,... 2nd pic is the new pad I made before welding it in on the left side)

    PICT0009 (Small).JPG

    bz 1 (Small).JPG
     
  9. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    After all this,... when I had thawed the whole plow out, I saw that there was a crease in the moldboard on the left side! I have never once hit anything that "stopped the truck", and after hearing that others with Speedwings have had this same issue, it would seem to me that the moldboard on this plow is not as strong as it needs to be :realmad:. Neither wing is bent, nor anything else,... so I don't know when/how this happened. The plow still plows great and cleans as good as ever, so at this point, there's not much I can do about this. The right-hand side has just the slightest little bit of a crease as well,... the light has to be just right to even see it.

    bz 4 (Small).JPG

    bz 5 (Small).JPG
     
  10. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Now, none of these issues are "huge", (unless the moldboard creasing gets worse),... I view these things as "bugs" that have to be worked out of a plow,... even if there is no real reason for some of them to have happened,.... I have fixed them all (to a greater or lesser extent), and if anything good can be said for things like this, is that it gives one a focus on what to watch for, and what to keep your eyes on,... which is the main reason for this thread. One of the best modifications I just did to this plow, is to convert the headlights to HID,.... because everyone who owns a Blizzard, knows that the stock headlights not only leave a lot to be desired, but are a "generation behind the rest",...

    zd24 (Small).JPG

    zd21 (Small).JPG
     
  11. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    But a BIG negative about these bright lights is that it made it almost impossible to drive down the highway with the plow raised all way up,.... it was very distracting even with the stock lights reflecting all that white right back in your face,... but the HID's made it virtually impossible to see the road with those super-bright lights blazing that white plow right in front of your eyes,.... so while I had the plow all warmed up & clean, I painted the back side of it flat-black,... and wow,.... this is soooo much nicer to drive down the road now,... not only is it not distracting, it's almost invisible,... now, any snow stuck to the back side will still be distracting,... but if I were a Blizzard dealer,.. I would offer this as a cheap "recommended option",... much easier & safer driving at night,... (not to mention that I think it doesn't even look half bad,... :cool:),... now,.. I'm ready for the next snowstorm,... :salute::waving:

    bz 7 (Small).JPG

    bz 99 (Small).JPG

    Black blade (Small).JPG
     
  12. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,741

    Nice paint job. I had been thinking of doing the same thing.
     
  13. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Did you add some gussetts to the pump/manifold mounts?
     
  14. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Great review. You want the frame by frame commentary on some of the issues with some suggestions I'd be happy to give it for you.

    BTW. Nice job on the HID's followed that thread before. I have a couple sets of those housings but the glasses are cracked for the HO lights that were in them. Still looking for some more. OH and if you use the Meyer NS2 housings you can keep the LB stock and put the HID in the HB and house everything inside the housing. Just a thought FWIW.

    J
     
  15. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951


    I did,.... I re-welded the stock brackets back on, and added an extra strap to each one,... and chances are these won't break again,... but I'd rather have one thick strap, then 2 thinner ones welded together.

    Thanks Jerre,... I really would like to hear your thoughts and what you know concerning at least 2 of these issues,... the first one is why/what is wrong with the right-hand side wing over-extending & hooking behind the moldboard. (The 2 plows I saw both did it on the RH side only). And have you discovered a way to get it back over, without prying & pounding the snot out of the back side of the wing? And then of course, the creased moldboard. It would appear from how the crease was formed (bent in, and diagonal), that the lower-left corner of the main plow/cutting edge is bent slightly back?? I can't see it with the eye,... but it only makes sense that what would happen when plowing. Have you re-structured or added extra bracing to the moldboard to stop this, or at least keep it from getting worse? Have you seen this enough yourself to think that the moldboard isn't as stout as it should be? (or do you think it is, and this is the result of impact/abuse?) I'd greatly appreciate your input on this,.. :salute:

    Yeah, using the Meyer NS2, or other new light housing, and converting them to HID would probably be a better alternative then doing what I did, except that it would cost a lot more. I had thought about using a set of regular Boss lights, but then I'd lose my turn signals. Living in the back country of Alaska I don't always have too many options when doing stuff like this, but until some new/better technology in lighting comes out, I'm going to run HID in everything,... since the price of these conversion kits are not really much more than buying replacement hi-output halogen bulbs. :waving:
     
  16. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 604

    Well Im glad that my Blizzard plows have not had as many problems as yours. The bent moulboard on your plow is now a weak spot. Another hard hit on that side will make it bend even more.
     
  17. montyluke

    montyluke Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    860 speedwing issues

    i've had many of the same issues . my speedwing is 13monthsold.i work the hell out of it . it is worth putting up with because of the time it saves me. i lost the reservoir cap twice before i taped it on. i lost several bolts before i put loctite on them.my mold board is also bent in the same place(manhole) . three weeks ago i lost a snap ring on the bushing that holds the moldboard to the frame the bushing slid out and the cable that controls the wing was cut ($150.00 ). good review nice to know i 'm not alone .
     
  18. BDEMOTT

    BDEMOTT Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    you are the most patient person i have ever seen in my life.... first you take the time to write up the most informative posts i have ever seen on any site about anything. secondly if all that happened to me i would have lost every hair in my head and probably would have been blizzards worst enemy. I guess all i can take from this is that i shouldnt sweat the small things even tho they seem catistrofic at 4am
     
  19. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,998

    From what I see I am going to stick with my westerns. I was thinking about a blizzard but now I wonder if the headache is worth it.
     
  20. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654


    Yeah, it's worth it.