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Blower Blazer Build

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Maverick4x4, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    I'm building a blazer to blow snow at our cabin. I've used a '91 yj to plow the driveway with varying results the last few years with lots of stucks and dig-outs (the jeep has chained 33's and rear locker). Approx 20' of snow falls per winter. I gave up on the jeep last winter and used a big walk behind snowblower with better results, though it was a workout. Thought about getting one with tracks.

    Owners in the area pay in to keep the main road cleared, then the side roads are extra. I decided to spend my money on equipment rather than pay this extra amount year after year. Plus, it can be used to earn money clearing other side roads for the weekenders (we're just not there to plow early in the morning for the 'rounders).

    Additional bonus...if done right, the blazer can be a great 4-wheeling rig, and/or a rig for my 15yo to wheel in over the late spring/summer/fall. We'll see how this whole thing works this winter and what he wants to do when he turns 16 next summer.

    Blower: I started with a killer deal on a Hanson blower with Western Ultramount, then needed to find something to mount it to. They are heavy and the literature "requires" a 3/4ton truck. However, the front ends on 1/2ton and 3/4ton chevy's are the same when it comes to the axle housings. The springs are different. I figured a blazer gives better maneuverability and will be easier to fit in the garage with the blower still attached. If it doesn't work, I'll get a 3/4ton.

    Rig: I found a sweet '90 Coca-cola white and red blazer with mismatched axles (3.42 front and 3.73 rear) and also found set of '90 3/4 axles (10bolt, sf14). I toyed with picking up a FF14 I saw with 4.56 and Detroit to match my (forsale) D44 w/ 4.56 and lockright. However, I can see the front axle firmly planted with the weight of the blower and snapping the axle shafts/u-joints. The 10bolt/SF14 will be adequate.

    The blazer was super clean inside and out, had a new engine and tranny, and tons of power. No wonder it blew the stock 3.42 10bolt. I was also happy to see the blazer already had the 3 leaf front springs. I spent a morning test driving another lifted blazer, then stopped by and picked up the axles and the Coca-cola Blaze and headed back to the office.

    Blower, check. Rig, check.

    Now for the gizmos to turn these doodads into assets.

    Mount: The blower side is a Western Ultramount. The truck has a universal mount with bolt on pockets that accept the stingers on the blower side. Western #63900. Just missed the truck side mount on ebay. Gotta keep looking. Cool - went to get the pic of the one I missed, and it was listed again. Click!

    Wiring and controls: blower controls will come with the blower, need to get ultramount controls. $$

    TAD: I was wanting a locker and hoping for a gov-lock. When I was buying the axles we noticed some old pitting/chips on the spider gears, but the ring/pinion looked great. I figured I'd buy a lockright...and ended up as the only bidder on one on ebay. Check.

    Tires: I'm told skinny snow tires do better than flotation. I believe this advice is based on plowing parking lots and paved surfaces. My mountain snow experience is that there is no bottom, only gravel then muddy clay. The plow jeep would get into crusted snow and bury itself in seconds. So skinny or fat, tall is best...but depends on how much lift I can put on the blazer. Opinions?

    Lift: It can't be too high for the mount. Measured the truck last night. 13-15" to where the mount would be. Measured the blower stingers this morning, they could be up to 20" high (super cool adjustable system). So I've got 5-7" to work with. That means 4" of lift and 35-37" tires. Q78-16LT might fit without lift? 315's? I'll be looking for used tires since it will be running chains anyway - but that means no rubbing will be allowed. Looks like up to 4" will work, but stock would work too, if the tires will fit. Rear shackle flip best?

    Shocks: who knows...ya, it will need some. Front has double set up...necessary?

    U-bolts: ya, I need those.

    U-joints: special adapter ones to fit rear SF14 to stock driveshaft. Unknown - is the SF14 pinion longer, requiring the driveshaft to be shortened? Maybe the lift will help? Does the shackle flip move the axle forward a little vs a block?

    Stereo: Every rig needs tunes. Thinking ipod based system. An 800w amp, a 10" speaker box in the back, speakers in the dash, and 1/8" jack or ipod dock.

    Counterweight: Yes, some kind of way to hang a few hundred pounds off the back, or maybe some concrete buckets inside the back.

    Strobe: yup. I use a green one out on the mines, is there a better color to see in a blizzard? Don't need a snowmobile running into me.

    Brett

    2011-10-20_16.38.57.jpg

    2011-10-16_10.26.33.jpg

    Cabin 2010-12-31.jpg

    lockright 1950 openbox.jpg

    Western ultramount 63900.jpg
     
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,988

    Looks like a cool project... How many HP is the blower?
     
  3. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Good question.

    I think it's the 27hp; I hope it's the 35hp. I should be able to check on it tomorrow. Either should work...albeit slow and slower. If it's the 27hp then I'll try it before upgrading to the 35hp.

    I know from the seller that it's too gutless to use for the main road. It's just too slow for how long the sections of road are (each owner takes a section of the main road). Hopefully it will be adequate for my driveway and access road, and perhaps some of the other side roads.

    It would be cool to mount a hydraulic pump on the 350 and have it drive the blower through quick disconnects. It would have to be a 40-50hp pump that could run at lower engine rpms and not blow up at freeway speeds.
     
  4. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    nice build project.

    if you want some specific blazer info look at www.ck5.com. tons of info there. and i am there a lot same screen name. Thumbs Up
     
  5. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I would set up some sort of electronically switched PTO so when your going down the highway the pump isn't spinning at all. You will also need to add some sort of a hand throttle to hold the engine at a given RPM as your not going to get 40 HP at idle My guess would be more like 2,000 to 2,500 RPMS. lots of old power line trucks from that vintage had them installed. All in all it sounds like a pretty cool project you have going there.
     
  6. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,988

    Sounds like it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to swap out that kids size 26hp motor for a 40hp kohler command and be done with it...
     
  7. DareDog

    DareDog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,438

    for light get orange one, people can see you easier.
     
  8. DareDog

    DareDog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,438

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  9. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Thanks!

    That's a great site! I think I'm Maverick over there, I haven't logged in for a while. Was gonna browse around a little today. First day to just hang out in several weeks.

    ck5 has become my goto place for chevy tech. I used to have all that stuff in my head from decades reading 4x4 magazines, but now I can pop over there when I get CRS Syndrome.

    I've wanted to do a mild blazer build for a few years, had a beat up '74 with a 396 in it. Parted it out many years ago (parts still live in my '81 scrambler and the 396 is stored for a future hotrod project). Then in recent years it's been hard to justify (said scrambler and other vehicles) So this is a nice excuse. :D
     
  10. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Absolutely! Easy is good, leaves more time for ridin' the sleds!

    If the 27hp doesn't cut it I'll go with a bigger engine like the 35hp on the website or this 40hp kohler that you mention. Heading over in a few minutes to look at it.

    Where would I source the 40hp Kohler from?

    Thanks,
    Brett
     
  11. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Here's a couple pics of the road that I'll be blowing. Part of the driveway is shown above. There's a couple other side roads that are like this one.

    2011-04-30 17.51.16.jpg

    2011-03-30 17.05.43.jpg
     
  12. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    If you do have any issues with the front axle, a 1 ton dana 60 will bolt in.

    You may also need to upgrade the front spring, rear mount, as many use only a 7/16ths bolt, and I have broken my fair share.
     
  13. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    D60's are kewl, got one in the jeep. There were a couple in the ads I looked at, hoping it's not necessary. But definitely an option.

    Thanks for the heads up on the front spring rear mount, I had no idea. Is that the spring side or the frame side of the shackle?

    The goal of the project is to be able to continue to use the cabin in the winter without going broke, and to balance budget, effort and time. A walk-behind with tracks will do a great job of clearing the driveway and $2000-$3000/season will clear the road. This is sometimes shared with neighbors, sometimes not. Spending that money over the next few years (not to mention the last few) will just piss me off when I look back on it. Spending that money on something like this will actually put me in a position to make some money back over time is much better.

    So as part of that balance, my self-imposed (ok, wallet imposed) criteria of doing this build is to size the components to be adequate, no more, no less: Goldilocks, if you will. Not too big, not too small. Big enough to do the job, small enough to not break the bank. The killer deal on the blower is what kicked this whole project off, the usual price was too much, as was the entry fee to a skid steer and blower setup. Those are the bomb up here.
     
  14. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    88-91 blazer/suburban/crew cab went to the bigger bolts and bushings on the front spring rear shackles in the spring and frame hanger.

    visit www.offroaddesign.com for a nice hd shackle kit and new bushings for both the frame and lift springs. thay also are a vendor for tuff country lift kit springs. if 4" is wanted thay offer a hd version for just the thing you need. the hd version is for heavy bumpers / plows / winches.

    anything you need fast info wise just ask me . i got most in my head or know were to find it fast for the 73-87-91 style gm solid axles.
     
  15. pmorrissette

    pmorrissette Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    You got a nice big hitch on the back of the blazer...I would fab up a box to put a few hundred pounds of counter weight in it, or you can always install a sander/spreader.
     
  16. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Score! It actually is the 35hp engine.

    Holy cow, more wires than the space shuttle! Can't wait to get all this figured out and hooked up.

    2011-10-23_15.02.00 blower engine.jpg

    2011-10-23_15.03.00 blower gas.jpg

    2011-10-23_15.08.51 blower wires.jpg
     
  17. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    Couple trailer plugs, couple plow plugs, and a welding lead lol nice...
     
  18. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Ok these are my guesses based on what I saw
    (left side)
    1- The big 2 prong is the power to the hydraulic pump.
    2- The one below that goes to the lights, and appears to be able to mate to the one next to it. (#4)
    (middle)
    3- 7-pin appears to go to the blower engine box. Dunno what it does.
    4- The one below goes to a box next to the pump - controls the pump?
    (right side)
    5- "welding lead" goes to the blower engine box
    6 & 7: 4-pins go to chute control and engine control

    We'll hook it up next weekend and figure it all out. Also find out what comes with the system and what I need to buy.
     
  19. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Hooked it up on the current owner's truck today to check it out and make it run. Didn't wanna run very well. Gotta clean some electrical connections and get good gas.

    Follow up to above:
    #1, Need to buy, part of ultramount. Best source?
    #2 Need to buy, part of ultramount. Best source?
    #3 Comes with blower
    #4 Need to buy, part of ultramount. Best source?
    #5 Comes with blower, for motor starter
    #6&7 Comes with blower, controls chute and engine.

    Also: Lockright came, installing in axle tomorrow, along with new brakes and wheel cylinders (cheap and easier to do now with the axle sitting on the trailer)

    Still waiting for the Western truckside mount to arrive...maybe tomorrow?

    Debating on lift for blazer. Want enough to clear 35's, but don't want front too high for Ultramount. The mount seems to have quite a bit of adjustability, but less than I thought when it came to connecting and disconnecting from the truck. The truck is a lowrider ('08 chev dmax dually with dinky tires).

    Oh ya, scored a set of H2 rims, tranny cooler and tranny gauge today. Traded a D50 with blown spider gears.
     
  20. Maverick4x4

    Maverick4x4 Member
    from 84017
    Messages: 59

    Spent some time this afternoon cleaning off the axles and installing the lockright. Stupid passenger side c-clip gave me a fit. Got it installed...we'll have to wait until the axles are in to see if I got it right.

    Still waiting for the plow mount to arrive.

    Also pondering suspension choices. I've had a few people recommend the Tuff Country HD 4" springs. That seems like a good approach for the front. The rear is another issue. The stupid slip-yoke on the transfer case becomes a vibration source with any more than a couple inches of lift. Blocks are the cheap and easy lift, but then the driveline angles are all wrong and hard to recover from on a short wheelbase like a blazer. Shackle flip to the rescue...along with a custom CV style shaft. The budget is groaning on that one.

    2011-10-29 13.20.33.jpg

    2011-10-29 13.39.43.jpg

    2011-10-29 14.18.19.jpg

    2011-10-29 14.18.28.jpg

    2011-10-29 16.42.01.jpg