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Dead VBox Salter

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Blown motor on the vbox salter and looking for some advice on what would work best as a replacement. We currently have use a small T Tag dump for salting only. I have no experience with under tailgate spreaders but it seems to me that is the way to go as I wouldn't have to load and unload the spreader. Just unsure. And would it be best to get an electric or hydraulic setup? Any suggestions?
     
  2. bigal426

    bigal426 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Since you already have the V box spreader, why not replace the engine? You can buy a Briggs for about $600 and a Honda for about $700 with fuel tanks, and electric starter. Should take about 3-4 hours even if bolts are rusty. I would recommend putting anti-seize on all bolts though,so you can remove them at a later date. Put a new chain or belt on at the same time.
     
  3. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I was quoted about 900 bucks for all parts involved. This particular salter has seemed to give me non stop problems and never seems to work when I need it to. Just not sure if I want to put the money into it. But then again, if I put a new motor and clutch and all that goes with it, it should run the way it's suppose to. It's kind of like a bad employee that I just want to get rid of and try another.
     
  4. bigal426

    bigal426 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I hear you loud and clear. V box spreader require more maintence than a lot of spreaders. I always start the season installing a new clutch, and a new spinner drive chaine, along with a new engine driven belt, that way I usually never have a mid season breakdown. Its cheap insurance, as I elect NOT to be out there at this time of the year, freezing my butt off taking a clutch or engine off. I sand blast all parts that I can, and put never seize grease on all bolts and nuts. That way they WILL be able to come loose when remove them next year. I am not saying my way is the best or cheapest, but it works the best for me in michigan. I spread about 250 ton of salt a winter thru the V box, so it must be able to start up and run and salt for me all the time.
     
  5. greggwim

    greggwim Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    why not convert to an electric motor you can buy them at northern tool
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Ditto.

    I have an under tailgate system with my central Hydro system. You could go that route as they are dependable and will chew up chunks of frozen salt.

    But, to build your system around that will require a lot of plumbing new lines and mounting the controller in the cab. The cost factor might not be worth it. If my truck wasn't already set up that way, I would have looked at an alternative.

    Snow Ex is making an electric Under/Replacement system now, and one guy around here I know likes it a lot as he didn't want to spend 6k to have a hydraulic system installed when he had already been using an electric pump to run his dump bed.
     
  7. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    I was just telling one of my guys about how I am trying to get the figures togther to figure out how to compare HP and engine RPM into what size eletric motor I need as for next season I am planning on convering a V-box to a eletric. I have had good luck with the pony motors, but that is me. I could rebuild a transmission with a stick of gum, a 9 iron, a jug of anit-freeze and a leatherman. Some of my guys are not that lucky. It leads to alot of phone calls where I am on the other end walking them through what I think is common knowledge in the middle of a snow storm.
     
  8. road runner 270

    road runner 270 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I have two swenson ss spreaders that I just converted to electric. My first motor came from northern tool, the last from Surplus center. I was able to order all the parts I needed excluding wires all in one shot from them. I'm very happy with the electric! It's actually hard to say what the best part is, no gas, no oil, or no clutch and belt to fail! I can't speak for longevity, because one was done at the end of last year, and the other was done right after Christmas. So far this year, the spreaders have gone through about 125 tons of material (cinder salt mix). The motors are pretty cheap, $240 or so, I am likely going to get another soon to keep as a spare. I probably have less than $600 in materials. I made the switch after losing a motor I bought from small engine warehouse. They wouldn't honor the warranty and I had put less than 50 hours on the motor. I've been in business for 25 years, I know how to check oil, thanks anyhow. I've probably saved half that in gas and oil changes already this year.

    If you can weld and cut, this project is pretty easy, only took 4 or 5 hours to do the last one. I wired in a solenoid so I could just use the existing spreader controls in the cab. The spreader has an extra battery tied into the truck system with 4guage wire with quick disconnects. I did have to use a 1/4" plate to adapt the 3/4'hp motor to the slotted pattern on the spreader. That is the only fab work. I don't know what your spreader is pulley-wise, I just measured my pulleys, got the reduction ratio, then used the dc motor rpm and used 2500 rpm on the gas motor to figure out what sprockets I needed use to replace the belt and pulley set up. Mine is using a 5/8 bore X 13 tooth #50 sprocket on the motor, and a 60 tooth # 50 sprocket. If you already have chain drive, the swap may be even easier. I got the idea from a thread on here some where, just do a search.
     
  9. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    Wow! It is nice when somone gives you a little help!

    I have a chain driven clutch on my the spreader that I would be converting, so I was thinking of leaving the clutch in place and just mounting the eletric motor where the gas motor was... with a little bit a fab work of course. On the other hand, not having a clutch to deal with could be good and bad. Guess I have a few more pros and cons to weigh.
     
  10. road runner 270

    road runner 270 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    It may save you some money using the clutch instead of replacing with a sprocket, but I didn't want anything else to break. I put a 80 amp circuit breaker between the solenoid and the motor to take care of overloads or stalling. I figured that would be better than having to keep a clutch on hand. The motor has a pretty small face, so I opted for a plate to bolt on the face of the motor. I then laid out where the slots would be, and welded the bolts to the bottom of the adapter plate. This means you only have to have one wrench to loosen or tighten bolts when adjusting the chain tension. I used the Clutch button in the cab for the solenoid I wired up, my controller has a light that lights up when it is in. It helps me remember the spreader is on. When I am plowing and spreading at the same time, I can't hear the spreader at all, which was never the case with the gasser.

    I also wired up a vibrator that is controlled by the throttle button on the controller. With no motor to control, I wasn't using that button. I can kick on the vibrator for a few moments while I am spreading. It makes a big difference not having to get out of the truck every few jobs to shovel stuff around. I don't think the gas motor set up gave me this much trouble with bridging, because I think It vibrated a good bit more. It definitely keeps me cleaner having a vibrator, the cinders are possibly the dirtiest thing I have ever worked with. It's like powdered tar that mixes with water.
     
  11. road runner 270

    road runner 270 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Oh yeah, you could probably use a really heavy set of jumper cables for your supply wire, but be careful how you route them, I had a melt down with the set I used, because I didn't protect them. They were routed in a triangular gap between the v-box and the support legs of the spreader, and the vibration made the wire arc out and glow red hot! I replaced them, and ran them in conduit along the spreader, and made sure they were routed along the truck frame so they couldn't rub. ( I was thinking they would be better there, so when you took the spreader off and on, you couldn't pinch them under the spreader). Buying jumper cables (really good ones) will likely be cheaper than buying wire at Lowe's, which isn't flexible at all.
    I used some old ones that the ends were bad on. Another option is welding lead from tractor supply. Hopefully my mistakes can be avoided by others.
     
  12. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    We are on the same page.

    I was thinking the same thing with the clutch just wondering how you kept the motor from overloading when the spreader jams. The circuit breaker is a good idea.

    As for the wire, my trucks have a 12v connection in the bed or at the bumper that is run in 2 gauge wire that is for fuel tanks, power invertors, and the starter on the v-box now. I gave up the battery on the v-box because if the motor was not running, the motor was not charging. I had one night that it was about 15 below and I was out salting and had to run jumpers from under the hood back the the v-box. The next day, the v-box's starter ran off of the trucks batterys. Thumbs Up
     
  13. road runner 270

    road runner 270 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    You are already set then running the wire is half the work.
     
  14. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    That was kinda what I thought. The spreader that I want to convert already has the solinoid and all on it, so I figured it would be an easy swap, I just needed to figure the math on the size of the eletric motor and the size of the sprockets.
     
  15. road runner 270

    road runner 270 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Don't use a solenoid off a starter. they aren't rated for continuous duty. I got mine from my boss dealer. Same one I use on my plows, so I always have a spare. the starter solenoid will fry in a couple of days using it in this application. I wouldn't throw it away, put it on the shelf, you might need it in a pinch if the correct one goes caput.
     
  16. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Sounds like you guys have a great knowlege in this department. Unfortunately, I'm much better at swining a hammer and building stuff on the end of the spectrum. Not so much mechanical background. And unfortunately, it seems I can't find anybody close that knows how to convert to electric. I've been through more mechanics this year then I care to talk about. My most recent guy said if he had a list of parts and schematics on how to do it, he would hook me up. But he's never done one before. Anybody have the link on this site that did this process in detail?
     
  17. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    Right... sorry didn't say that. It has a plow solinoid on it for the starter. (my install)
     
  18. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588


    Sorry man, I just kinda relized that we totally jacked your thread.

    Depending on how long you can wait, I will do a full write up on when I do it. I am picking up another spreader this weekend and will start the conversion.
     
  19. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    That would be great to have. I think it would not only help me, but a lot of guys considering doing it. I talked to an electrical / mechanical shop guy today when I had a starter repaired and they might be willing to take it on the conversion. I will find out next Tuesday when his boss comes back to town.
     
  20. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,588

    OK, now that we got through that blizzard, and my life is starting to go back to normal, let me get going on this thing again.

    Hey RoadRunner:

    What eletric motor are you using? I have looked at Granger and through the Northern Tool website and figured out that I don't know what type of HP motor I should be looking for.