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Buying Dakota with Western Unimount advice please!

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by Grandstander, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Grandstander

    Grandstander Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I am going to buy myself a plow truck this year and I found one that looks pretty decent for what I want to do with it.

    1994 dodge dakota v8mag 135k

    western unimount plow and western salt spreader

    I am having a mechanic go over the truck before I purchase it but I have agreed to a price if the truck checks out $4100

    The thing is I don't know jack about the plow part as I have never owned one before.

    The truck and plow are in great cosmetic condition. The mount has virtually no rust on it nor does the truck. There is some rust on the back bumper and a bit here and there but nothing really major. The plow looks to me to be in good shape and doesn't look like it was abused at all.

    The truck and plow were stored in a garage all the time and the owner says he used it only on his property for his driveway, which is quite long.

    He said the plow should be topped off with fluid and that was about it.

    I never tested the plow and just took his word for what he said. Being a local person I don't think he is giving me the run-around.

    If the truck checks out as good with everything tight and right with the frontend,tranny, 4x4 drive I am willing to buy it. I am the one that has to check out the plow part.

    After doing some research and reading up on western plows..particularly the unimount ones these things can be expensive to fix and a pita to maintain.

    What questions should I ask the owner specifically about the plow and what should I exactly be looking for in terms of a plow that either: A. Has a current problem or B. Has a problem waiting to happen.

    Are there any special problems the unimount plows have that are hard to fix? what maintenance has to be done constantly to keep them running correctly?

    Is $4100 a good price if everything is good to go?

    thanks in advance for any help!
  2. RCsLawncare

    RCsLawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    I always make sure the plow is hooked to the truck to check for function of the plow, and all wiring is there and lights and such work as they should. I always take a drive in the truck with the plow on for 20 miles or so. Never know if wheel bearings or front end parts are shot if its in the bed of the truck. Good luck, without pics, I can't say if your getting a deal or not...
  3. Grandstander

    Grandstander Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    thanks here are a few pics

    The mechanic will be checking out the truck in a few days as far as pics go the truck and plow look great.

    Like I said it looks like it was not beat to death but you never can tell
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  4. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Stick your head in the wheel wells and check the upper fenders front and back. Also check the front fender corners as those are the two big rust areas.
  5. randomb0b123

    randomb0b123 PlowSite.com Addict
    from america
    Messages: 1,278

    i would ask him why the fluid needs topped off. did it leak somewhere? ask him if he changed the fluid annualy. also im not quite sure if a plow for a dakota is built the same way as a full size truck plow but check to make sure that the aframe is not sloppy and egged out holes. other than that obviously make sure everything functions and theres no bad sounds. i dont know where you read that unimounts are hard to fix its a very simple set up that i think is easy to work on. theres not a whole lot to go wrong
  6. Andrew010

    Andrew010 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    As long as you have a welder/torch setup and some basic mechanical skills you should be able to fix any problem that comes up on a uni-mount. If everything works as it should now, you should be good to purchase it.

    Having to "top off the fluid" would make me think it it has a leak(s) somewhere. Seals are an easy fix, bent cylinder rams and bad hoses can get a bit pricey. Listen to the electric motor/pump when raising the plow, make sure it doesn't sound weak/bad.

    You definitely have to post pics for anyone to say what kinda deal you're getting.

    Good luck.
  7. Grandstander

    Grandstander Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Pics of the truck

    What do you think? Would you buy this if everything is good? What would you pay for it? I don't think the person is giving me a line as this truck looks like it was hardly used and when it was used it was taken care of. I'm buying this to basically do residential driveways and maybe small commercial lots. This truck is not meant for plowing really so I don't know how long it will hold up. I know people here use tham and they say they work well. The truck has 135k on it. If everything checks out what kind of life could I expect to get out of this thing? I don't have any expierience with dodge trucks so I don't know how they perform or how long I could expect something like this to last. The truck has the v8 mag in it and the tires look like they are almost new as well.




    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  8. Andrew010

    Andrew010 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    It looks to be a pretty good shape considering age. The plow looks to be well cared for as well.

    You should be fine doing residential driveways but that's not the best setup for commercial plowing. Not saying it wouldn't be able to push commercial, just a bit light duty for that kinda plowing.

    Would I buy it? That's a loaded question. Personally I wouldn't buy it. I need/want something much more capable for what I do.

    Is it worth 4k to you is the better question.

    That's a good starter truck and worth the initial investment to get you started pushing residential/getting accounts. After a year or two you can buy a better truck with the money you have made pushing and keep this truck as a backup.

    Whatever you do, just be prepared to spend some money (if needed) to make necessary repairs to the truck/plow now and throughout the season. As long as you have the capability to keep the truck up and running you should fine.
  9. Grandstander

    Grandstander Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the reply. I haven't really seen a lot of plows for sale at a price like this that look this good. Most of the stuff I see is beat up and used that people list for way more. I just wanted some other opinions on it. 10 residential driveways will more than pay for this investment this winter. Everyone tells me this truck is not really meant for plowing and I am wondering if it will hold up if I use it for 2-3 seasons for just doing residential driveways that are 40 x 20 and smaller.

    How much ballast do you think this thing will need to push say 6" of snow or less. I don't plan on even trying to go through more than that with this setup.
  10. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    It will hold up fine mine is going on 5 years plowing a few driveways including my parents rutted and pot holed 1/4 mile gravel drive and a couple small lots when family members trucks were down. Keep the u joints and ball joints greased, service the transmission every fall including band adjustment and let it idle in neutral for about 5 minutes after you're done and it will treat you well.

    I usually run 5-600lbs in the bed.
  11. RCsLawncare

    RCsLawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    It looks like a decent truck. Id go for it if its all you can find at your price range, I got a 1500 and am kind of leery plowing with that, just depends on how hard you work it. Good luck!
  12. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    It'll be fine doing more than a few driveways. It seems like most people have never plowed with smaller trucks, but are quick to judge them. I plowed with F250s for years, then bought a Wrangler to mess around with and haven't looked back. Buy it and enjoy the fact it's the right size.