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Lifted Jeep Wrangler TJ Snowplow Installation

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by daaboss, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. daaboss

    daaboss Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    They said it couldn't be done! I have been snow plowing for over 13 years and I am hear to tell you that you can put a snowplow on lifted Jeeps and any other truck with a lift !!! As the story goes... it was time to retire my old pick-up truck and I really wanted to make better use of my 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Rubicon (with 6,000 miles). I am not a commercial snow plower as I usually only plow my own Fast Food store's parking lot w/drive thru, my own home along with several friends and neighbors and the occasional person that asks me for help. Well have I got a set-up for you! I am proud of my black 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. It is an automatic and is lifted 4 inches. I started the conversion to make it a snow plow this last July! I made many, many phone calls trying to find a really good snow plow and I was amazed how most manufacturers do not understand the need to have a snow plow that can hop on the sidewalks (6' or wider) and clear the snow and slush that the big highway rigs throw on my property from the main roads that borders mine. Also my drive-thru lane cannot be negotiated with a full size plow. I will list the modifications it took to do this job right and if I get enough response I will even post pictures to illustrate the modifications and show off my ideas and my great looking rig. Two things were done to make this all happen. First thing I did was choose a Sno-way 'MT' with the 6'8" blade and all of the goodies which includes a wireless remote control, rubber curb bumpers and the plastic sheath that hangs over the top of the blade to prevent blow over at higher speeds. The Sno-way 'MT' weighs over 420 lbs. so as you can imagine I was not comfortable with all of the weight out front while traveling at higher speeds. So I came up with this idea to find some tractor 'suitcase' weights and have a bracket made that mounts in my Rear trailer hitch. I found Five 60# 'suitcase' tractor weights that you grab by their handle and drop each weight onto the bracket and lock in place with a 3/4" rod that slides through the middle. The Total weight with the bracket is about 320 lbs which happens to be the tongue load limit of the trailer hitch. Just to make this set-up really neat I had all of the pieces coated with the same rubber armour material that is sprayed onto pick-up beds. It looks great and makes it so I can easily install and remove the set-up in just one minute. >>> Now for the most important modification! The frame of the Sno-way plow must remain very close to level in order for the Snow blade to maintain its correct operating angles. But when the frame is level the three mounting points were 6" below the mounting bracket (from Sno-way) that was mounted on my Jeep's frame! So: (1) the two mounting points were removed from the frame of the plow. (2) three 2" square heavy gauge tubes of 4", 6" and 8" lengths were stacked on top of each other and welded in place on top of the sno-way frame. (3) The two mounting points were now placed and welded on top of the square tubing that was just welded in place. Now the mounting points are six inches higher than stock. (4) The center lift/pivot arm was also lengthened by 4 1/2" to accommodate the change. Because lift/pivot arm is at an angle it was NOT lengthened by the same 6" the mounting points were raised. That is the whole job... all done... works fantasic! So why did I choose the Sno-way? Four main reasons: (a) The Snoway is the only fully hydraulic plow that has 'downward pressure'. This is big as when you are pulling snow away from garage doors and other tight areas.... this feature is huge! (b) the Snoway 'MT' series is a very, very heavy weight plow and I know that after 10 years this plow is still going to be in great shape. (c) the mounting bracket is rather simple to modify (d) Most important is the fact that I did NOT create an engineering nightmare with this modification. The extra 'stress' for plowing should transfer mainly onto the Snoway frame and should NOT overstress the integrity of my Jeep Rubicon. Keep in mind that the axles on a Rubicon are rated much higher than a standard Wrangler. I am not an expert but I am very comfortable that the axles can and will handle the extra 420 lbs. on the front axle and the extra 320 lbs. I put on the rear axle. I do not have any airbags or any other suspension modification as a result of this snowplow installation. I have already plowed here, in Colorado, several times with this rig and I smile every time. I travel up to 60 MPH without any concern at all and I can tell you this rig moves a lot of snow and moves it fast! Would I recommend that you take a great Jeep like mine and plow for hours and hours? No. I wouldn't do that to any great rig. But I only do my own plowing and I take great care in not abusing my equipment. My last truck was an S-15/GMC Sonoma (S-10 chevy) and I plowed with it for 13 years, put on 150,000 miles and I was proud to tell the new owner that the truck will not use a drop of oil, get him 20 MPG and plow snow like no tomorrow. My fast food store was the first store to open in the Blizzards of 2006 and 2002. I know what I am talking about. One more piece of advice... I will only use an automatic transmission for snow plowing. An automatic transmission has a lot of give and keep in mind that you are moving back and forth all of the time. Hitting snow banks at just 2 of 3 MPH can be jarring and stressful on a drive train with a manual transmission. An automatic transmission allows you to 'feather' into your work. I never 'lock' my axles nor do I plow in 'low' range. I can move mountains of snow with very little gas pedal in the normal 'drive' mode and with 4WD engaged. This 'blog' is only my opinion and my experiences. I wouldn't do anything to 'hurt' my Jeep. I hope I could be of some help. Keep an eye out as I may posting pictures of my 'set-up'. I am not familiar with the new lighter weight snow plows that Snoway has introduced for 2008. All I know is that they are not as tall, are lighter weight and as a result are not as 'heavy duty' as the 'MT' model. If they mount the same as my setup I would imagine my modification will work just as well. But like I said... I have now seen one in person. I have the setup I want as I know it is built to take the work it needs to do here in Colorado. One last thing I want to make clear is how I am convinced my modifications do NOT allow extra 'torque' or 'leverage' to the frame of the Jeep. It is my opinion that the frame of the snowplow itself will absorb the extra leverage. To me this is crucial as I see other manufactures 'hang' their mounting bracket 'below' the frame of the vehicle and in my opinion that is something I would not do to my Jeep.... or any other vehicle. Good Luck!
     
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    Do you have Pictures?
     
  3. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

    Welcome to plowsite.

    There are many Jeep owners out there running our plows. Yes pictures please.......

    We at Sno-Way appreciate your business. :waving:
     
  4. CJPlow

    CJPlow Member
    Messages: 54

    Who will the first company be to be smart and make a frame bracket for lifted vehicles? I see an easy gold mine. Jeeps are THE MOST COMMON lifted vehicle for plowing. I can tell you right now if sno-way had a frame for a lifted jeep id be rolling around with one of them right now. The western i have is not what i was wishing for but its workable with a lift. Please, someone out there do it so we dont have to be engineers to mount a plow. BTW good write up pics would be awesome!!
     
  5. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    "" One more piece of advice... I will only use an automatic transmission for snow plowing. An automatic transmission has a lot of give and keep in mind that you are moving back and forth all of the time. Hitting snow banks at just 2 of 3 MPH can be jarring and stressful on a drive train with a manual transmission. An automatic transmission allows you to 'feather' into your work. I never 'lock' my axles nor do I plow in 'low' range. I can move mountains of snow with very little gas pedal in the normal 'drive' mode and with 4WD engaged.""



    That is your opinion. You do a flat parking lot, don't you? You plow with the storm so your store customers can get in to the store. Some time in the future you will blow out your automatic trans and then wonder why the manufacturer built a bad transmission. You don't lock your axles yet because you have not come across storm conditions that call for locking your axles.

    I started plowing with jeeps over 35 years ago. I never plowed with an automatic, and neither me nor my guys ever burned out a clutch plowing. It all goes to the driver's skill. We do the steepest residential driveways in town, chain all four wheels if we have to, plow going down hill with the trans in reverse with the clutch disengaged, ready to load it if we start to slide, and never worry about heat in an auto trans. A manual trans is a far more effective engine brake than an automatic can ever be.

    The purpose of low range in plowing is to select the right RPM speed for your engine, vehicle ground speed and the load in front of the plow. You count on your torque convertor to give you the same advantage of torque and RPM's. A manual is far more precise means of governing ground speed and engine RPM. For example, if the load is intense, my shift pattern is like this:

    start off in 1st gear low range, do not slip the clutch, let your foot off and go,
    shift to 2nd gear low range,
    double clutch and shift transfer case to high range, (try that with your Rubicon) while staying in 2nd gear, or staying in low range and upshifting to third gear at the height of my run,
    push clutch in at end of run then glide into the snow pile.
    Reverse in four wheel high, back up, then start with the same gear choice as above.

    Real jeeps have leaf springs on all four corners. The leaf spring mounts allocate the weight load throughout the entire frame length. With your coil springs you loaded your rear bumper with weight to offset your plow weight. That works in the static mode,just carrying the weight of the plow, when you are not pushing snow, or just stopped at the traffic lights. It may give you some comfort, but does little to enhance your vehicle traction. With a correctly engineered frame mount, under load when the plow is dropped and you are pushing, the weight of the snow load is transferred back on the vehicle frame to a mid point. That is why when you start to push the vehicle nose rises slightly on a properly set up plow mount. You spaced up your plow mount to accomodate the frame height, but you did not consider the weight transfer. That is also why wheel barrows have long handles, to effect a weight transfer for the guy moving the load. The longer the handles, the lighter the wheel barrow load is for the guy moving the load. Same is true for class 3 and 4 load equalizing trailer hitches.


    "One last thing I want to make clear is how I am convinced my modifications do NOT allow extra 'torque' or 'leverage' to the frame of the Jeep. It is my opinion that the frame of the snowplow itself will absorb the extra leverage. To me this is crucial as I see other manufactures 'hang' their mounting bracket 'below' the frame of the vehicle and in my opinion that is something I would not do to my Jeep.... or any other vehicle."


    If you were a real serious plower with this truck, you shouldn't be surprised if your 4, 6, 8 square stock material welds start to tear and your mount goes out of square, especially if you hit something that you didn't know was buried under snow. What do you think happens with that leveraged weight, it doesn't dead end at your mount, it goes to the weakest link in your set up and starts to bend or fail at your welds, just like those engineered "crush zones" in today's automobiles. The load has to be distributed somewhere, and exits through the weakest link.

    Downward pressure is a nice feature but the shift of weight lightens the static load on your source of traction and braking, your tires. Same effect as a front end loader with the bucket all the way down and the front wheels off the ground. Correct frame geometry can work for you in plowing. Back blading with a Jeep is easy enough that you don't need downward pressure, just an evenly worn, or new cutting edge on your plow.

    Tommy
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  6. daaboss

    daaboss Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Manual vs. Automatic

    "double clutch and shift transfer case to high range, (try that with your Rubicon) while staying in 2nd gear, or staying in low range and upshifting to third gear at the height of my run, push clutch in at end of run then glide into the snow pile."

    With your 35 years of snow plowing with Jeeps it would be foolish of me to not to appreciate your expert opinion. One key to your advice is the fact that you, unlike the average person, understands the mechanics and you show your intelligence in your reply to my opinion. I wonder how many people, when they read how you shift and double clutch, whether they have a clue what you are talking about. I certainly do as I grew up in Wisconsin over fifty years ago driving all kinds of manual transmissions. I never owned a 4-WD till I moved out to Colorado 30 years ago. I would never let a 'rookie' operate my snow plow rig whether it was a manual or an auto transmission.

    "That is why when you start to push the vehicle nose rises slightly on a properly set up plow mount."

    I have already stacked snow well over 7 feet high with my 'coil spring' Jeep. This setup appears to 'load up' just fine and as you state... the nose rises slightly when I gather snow. Yes it appears you plow in different conditions than I do. But I can tell you this, in 2002 we had a Blizzard that shut our city (over 60,000 pop.) down. After two days there were only two gas stations, one grocery store and one fast food store open. That fast food store was me and I was open by Noon on the day of the Blizzard... the only business in town that opened that day! Yes... it was funny... because my store is a Dairy Queen and the city looked just like the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'. I had every four wheel truck in town come in to order ice cream just to say "honey... guess what I did today". We had over 36" of heavy wet snow overnight with wind and drifts over six feet. You may recall hearing about the collapsed roofs of brand new commercial buildings in Fort Collins. So if you think I was "ahead of the storm" you are terribly mistaken. But for sure that was a day to 'lock my hubs' and take a deep breath!

    "Back blading with a Jeep is easy enough that you don't need downward pressure, just an evenly worn, or new cutting edge on your plow."

    I don't know how in the world you can "back-blade" a three foot drift that is piled up against a garage without your blade 'floating' after you have moves a few feet backwards without having the 'hydraulic downward pressure" feature that my Sno-way has or the Hiniker model 3800-C. What ever you do, you certainly have a technique that I have never figured out.

    "We do the steepest residential driveways in town, chain all four wheels if we have to."

    Well here in Colorado we call your mountains 'bunny hills'. :dizzy: And in my neighborhood most of the driveways and sidewalks are 'stamped' and finished concrete. Put 'tire chains' on those driveways and the owner's will hang you up by your ying-yangs :eek:

    "you shouldn't be surprised if your 4, 6, 8 square stock material welds start to tear and your mount goes out of square"

    Only time will tell. As I stated in my 'blog'.... it is my opinion that the stress will be applied to the snow plow's 'A' frame. The 'MT' (medium truck) model is built very rugged and the 'trip springs are not set very high so I expect everything will do just fine. More important to me is that the extra 'stress' that will be applied as a result of the 6" modification should go to the snow plow frame and not my Jeep. I can fix the snow plow frame a whole lot easier and a whole lot cheaper than my Jeep frame. As far as the welds breaking loose.... well all of my expert welding friends tell me "a proper weld never fails... period. Only improper welds fail. Welds are inherently stronger than the material they bond together".

    So I will trade you your 'weld' comment for your 'real Jeep' comment and call it a 'draw'? :confused:

    "Some time in the future you will blow out your automatic trans and then wonder why the manufacturer built a bad transmission"

    As I stated in my 'blog'.... I had an S-15 GMC (Chevy S-10) that I plowed with for over 13 years. It had over 150,000 miles on its automatic tranny and engine. All I ever replaced on that vehilcle were the ball joints at 88k and the universals at 110k. The vehicle ran great! That tranny does not have the reputation that my Jeep's tranny has.... so I am not at all concerned.

    It was fun hearing from you and I hope that others will read everything and maybe reach their own conclusions. I know there are a lot of manual transmission Jeeps out there and your input should prove to be very valuable.

    Best to Ya!

    Craig
     
  7. baltz526

    baltz526 Member
    Messages: 32

    i have a lift in my w350 with a stock hiniker and the mount is set in the top holes. it can be droped 4" by setting the bolts in lower holes. so it would work on a 6" lift no problem. but it would pull the rear wheels off the ground of a jeep
     
  8. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    For only having three posts, you sure came out of the gate strong....

    Post a few pictures of your handy work. Would love to see it.
     
  9. daaboss

    daaboss Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Pictures of Lifted Jeep Wrangler installation

    Finally... I figured out how to show pictures of the Sno-way 'MT' plow mounted on my 2005 TJ Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that has a 'Lift'. Also take a look at the counter weights and the custom weight bracket I had made. It mounts in the receiver of my trailer hitch. Enjoy! :cool:

    Refer to my post written on Dec. 26th, 2007 labeled "Lifted Jeep Wrangler TJ Snowplow Installation" for further information.

    Snow Plow 10.jpg

    Snow Plow 6.jpg

    Snow Plow 7.jpg

    Snow Plow 2.jpg

    Snow Plow 3.jpg
     
  10. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Ok, now I understand what you did. A picture is worth a thousand words.



    On a different subject, what products sell well at the Dairy Queen in the winter? As compared to summer? Is there any one product that is a top seller year round?



    Happy New Year to you and your family. Whether it is your town or my town, there is nothing more beautiful than a town under a blanket of snow.
     
  11. daaboss

    daaboss Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Ice Cream?

    [QUOTE from Tommy10plows;471964]Ok, now I understand what you did. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    But I did... I did have thousands of word !!! :) How right you are... pictures are great!



    On a different subject, what products sell well at the Dairy Queen in the winter? As compared to summer? Is there any one product that is a top seller year round?

    Blizzards... Blizzards... and more Blizzards. Whatever flavor Blizzard I put up on the message board... that becomes the most popular. Right now it is Pepperment Flip.... last month... Pumpkin Pie... overall? Oreo #1, Reeses Pnut Butter Cup #2, Cookie Dough #3. My favorite? Pecan Cluster (Turtle) :drinkup:

    I am reported as having the busiest DQ West of the Mississippi ! payup


    Happy New Year to you and your family. Whether it is your town or my town, there is nothing more beautiful than a town under a blanket of snow.[/QUOTE]
     
  12. V10F250SD

    V10F250SD Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    this post helped me alot, im in a predicament because i just bought a new JEEP rubicon , i am putting a 3 inch lift onnit with 35s as i type this and was worried about putting a plow onnit.......... i def. have read so many good things about SNO-WAY plows ....... im just worried with the see thru plasticy plow , plowing in the city (hitting curbs & potholes) might be alittle to rough for it...... i see this is the 26 series instead of the 22 , should be alil stronger........ how much was the whole settup if you dont mind me asking??? dealers in NYC are very expensive .
     
  13. punisher2010

    punisher2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    very helpfull post..;ots of good info...going to all jeeps for my buisness this year...one for plowing already have a 97 tj sport i have owned for 11 yrs...only 75000 miles on her....i just do driveways and only two medium size lots.looking at an older scrambler to use for hauling my lawn equipment i think an all jeep fleet would be very handy.oh and the scrambler will haull a trailer very well talked to some people who have hauled boats with theirs....they love it
     
  14. punisher2010

    punisher2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    oh and as far as the weight for the back....have a snow ex salt spreader and will have bags of salt in the back so it shouldnt be a problem
     
  15. daaboss

    daaboss Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I happen to be vacationing in Hawaii at the moment. Timing is everything :) I don't remember the total cost for my MT 26inch. SnoWay setup but it was probably in the $3,600.00 range. The driving factor for me was the 420 some pounds for the SnoWay otherwise my 1st choice would have been an adjustable V plow for sidewalks alongside the two highways/streets that I currently plow. But those V plows weigh over 700 pounds. Too much for a Rubicon... in my opinion. Don't worry about potholes... the springs on the plow release the plow when you hit objects. Just drive at a managable speed. I am extrememly happy with my setup. Good luck to you!.
     
  16. tmcmurran

    tmcmurran Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 15

    Ok, look great. But how would one fabricate a strong bracket based on (yes I know) the Snowbear peg mount on a 5.5" lifted Jeep Cherokee to hold a Frontline plow? the mount I had made up has now bent the pegs due to the additional weight and this needs to be repaired in the next 24/48 hours.

    HELP!!!!