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Homemade Airfoil

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by hudie3, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. hudie3

    hudie3 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I have a 1990 K-5 blazer that has always ran very hot with the plow on it. I like the idea of blizzard's airfoil but i didnt want to spend the money. I got to looking at my truck, and noticed it had a spoiler on the rear of the roof. i came up with the idea to mount it to the top of the plow in order to divert some air into the radiator. I mounted it using the existing brackets from the spoiler and some steel i had.

    Since i mounted the airfoil the truck does not reach temperatures anywhere near as they were. Just wanted to pass this info along for anyone else considering an airfoil.

    i have some pics of it




  2. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Great idea and glad it made an improvement for you. I am having trouble with a 96 blazer and 6'6" western, I found some air cleaner intakes out of 90's Chevy vans that I am mounting on each side of my lift arm to direct air down towards the radiator.
  3. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    Air foil

    That's a great idea!

    I used to own an 88 2500 and it had great difficulty staying cool with the plow mounted. My first attempt was to remove the fan clutch and use a hard coupler. This is problematic for two reasons; the stock fan can only take something like 4500 rpm max and it robbed a significant amount of power from the engine turning that fan all the time, especially at higher rpms. A flex fan helped some but the issues remained.

    I sold the truck before I could install an electric fan in front of the rad. The other thought I had was to mount an air dam under the vehicle to direct air up into the engine compartment like they have on the Camaro for example.

    I never thought of putting an air foil atop the blade. Very ingenious!
  4. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Great idea. Looks great and like it will work out well. I'll be interested to know how well it holds up through the conditions!
  5. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I have found that a properly working fan clutch, along with the factory fan blade and shroud fixes all overheating problems..
    Note: Fan clutches do wear out and need replaced. Most manufacturers recommend every 60000 miles under normal use(not plowing).
  6. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    The problem is not always the clutch fan, depending on the truck and plow combination a vacuum can be created between the blade and grill. My 96 S10 blazer has an outside temp sensor in the grill, even through the outside air temp is 20F on a highway doing 60 MPH I can watch that outside gauge rise up to 65F. The air swirls between the balde and grill and actually pulls heat out of the grill and reciculates it with the fan, it has more to do with aero dynamics. By having a defelector or spoiler it "spoils" that areodynaic vacuum and lets the air enter the grill properly.
  7. Lundman

    Lundman Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    scholzee - I have 2500HD Dmax/Allison with the same symptoms that your s-10 exhibited. The outside temp gage would read bogus readings, ie: much higher than actual outside temperatures. It would read as high as 95 deg F. When I would move my plow the temp would immediately jump 20 deg. Did you also have the temp gage jump based upon voltage drops issues when the plow was moved? I figured that the temp was reading higher from bad airflow conditions, but I also think the bogus readings could also be from electrical issues.
  8. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    My outside air temp gauge ( digital in overhead console ) and engine temp gauge analog in dash, do not jump or react very quickly to movements of my plow. I have a nice strectch of 55 mph highway close to my house and have tested there many times. I have tried moving the plow while driving up, down,left, right and the guages do not jump with plow movement.

    What I may have seen that you describe is driving along from my starting point for about 5-10 miles and outside temp gauge is pretty close to actual outside temp say 20 F, then the next minute I look at it is 45 F. I did not move or touch the plow so I do not think it is electrical. I do not know how quickly the readout updates from the sensor, maybe I will test that. Say the readout updates every 2 minutes then maybe the truck came up to temp and the hot air started swirling then the temp actually rose in 2 minutes time from 20 to 45 and the next time the readout updated it looked like a jump ??

    Ironically if it is 36 F and raining the truck (engine temp & outside temp ) will run cooler on the same stretch of higway then when 20 F and dry out. I think its a combination of the rain distrubing the air vacuum between the plow and grille, and the wet water hitting the radiator and helping to cool it.

    I will try to get some pictures of my "ducts" mounted on the plow which improved the situation greatly. The air from mid 80's to early 90's Chevy vans. They are the front part of the air duct for the air cleaner snorkel that brings air in to the vans motor. The opening is oval about 2" high and 6" inch wide and then turn down 90 degrees. The to of my Western unimount is flat on each side of the lift arm, I bolted one on each side so air comes in and then is directed down behind the rack, I then used another set to hook to the bottom so now it takes another 90 degree turn rigth into the radiator.
  9. Hiwire

    Hiwire Member
    Messages: 76

    Great thinking and good way to solve a nagging problem BUT whats going to happen the first time that Meyer blade trips forward into a bank? I guess I would be concerned about wadding up the foil durring a heavy snow. Keep us posted as to how that works out
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Very interesting idea, do keep us informed how it holds up.

    My ram has the outside temp probe in the front bumper, drivers side. I have seen it reading as much as 85* while plowing with the engine temp behaving normally.

    The guages,scholzee Are electric and are relativly quick acting in all vehicles. Remember the conditions the probe see have to change before the reading will change. Odds are you're not seeing the guage change as quick as moving the blade because the change in blade angle is not having an immediate effect.

    Angling the blade from one direction to the other will change air flow, but where the sensor is mounted may not react as fast as you think it should. If I am moving at 45 angling the blade makes a difference from straight in under a minute to my outside air temp, but right versus left has no effect. The engine temp guage will not change instantly for the blade moving because of thermal mass in the engine and the engine is still generating heat. It should take a few minutes to see a change, and the change should be relativly stable in the new position.

    My cooling system does what it's supposed to no matter what the blade is doing.
  11. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    My engine temp and outside temp gauge will read fine plowing for 1 hour straight or when traveling 35 mph and below. My cooling system and clutch fan are operating properly. My only problem shows up when transporting at highway speeds anything above 60 mph really raises the temp. 55 mph works good with only a slight raise in temp. My truck is a 96 s10 2dr Blazer with a 96 Western 6'6" Unimount plow. The pump and rack are the same for a full size truck only the blade is smaller, the pump sits right in front of the grill and literally blocks 70 % of it.

    Again never a temp problem while plowing, on one very snowy day on the highway I could actually watch the snowflakes swirl in a circle between the blade and grille. Thats when I did some research and verified a vacuum could occur and suck air out the front of the grille and swirl it back in thus raising the outside air temp. Now that I duct air down to the front of the grille the temp is normal and on I snowy day I no longer see the swirling effect. Now I know its alot of plow for that truck and there is not a need to go over 55 on the highway but sometimes people ride my tail and now I can do 60-65 blending with traffic better and the truck stays cool.

    My only long transport is 25 miles oneway to plow my 70 yearold Dad & Mom's house and now I can do that comfortably.
  12. hudie3

    hudie3 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    i will let you know how the airfoil holds up as soon as WE GET SOME SNOW!!!! as for it holding up when the plow trips, i mounted it back just beyond the face of the plow hoping that is far enough not to get hit when tripped. it may not look it, but it is mounted quite solid to the plow. i can shake the whole plow with it. time will tell i guess. just have not had the chance to use it with the weather and all.
  13. RolyF

    RolyF Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Hudie3 (there's two other Hudie's???) Just want to say that it's a great idea for those trucks which do seem to overheat on the highway no matter what else has been tried. Maybe one of the big plow mfrs. might be interested in testing your air foil.
    And even if it doesn't work, it looks cool. But at the speeds I have seen some guys plowing it might actually pick the plow up off the ground.:)
  14. hudie3

    hudie3 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Well its been 2 years that I have had this airfoil on. It has held up very well and it works very well. It has taken care of all my overheating problems while traveling on the highway. Just to find out if it really makes a diffence, I took the airfoil off the other day and was on the highway doing about 65-70. The temp went up to 220 degrees and no matter what I did, I couldnt get it cool off. Put the airfoil back on, and the truck holds steady at about 190-195. Just perfect! Its mounted very solid (stronger than it looks) and does not hit anything when the plow trips.
  15. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Nice job. I always thought about making one. My idea was to use a couple of pieces of flat stock, maybe 3/16 to 1/4" thick by about an inch or so wide, and heat them and twist them 90 degrees. fabricate a "hood" type foil with 3 very slight lengthwise bends, and tabs at the end that I would fold down as the ends. This way, with bolts going through the ends, it would be adjustable to dial it in.I've said before, I can't believe someone doesn't mass produce these things to sell in the industry market.