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Old western on newer truck

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by pmitch82, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. pmitch82

    pmitch82 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I've got access to a complete western snow plow 7'6" mounted on a completely worn out 78f250. It's the old style that is cable operated and only the plow comes off easy. Lights and pump stay with truck. The question is I have a 99 superduty and was curious if anybody has mounted something that old to something newer? I wouldn't really be using commercially just my drive a a few friends. Any advice. FYI I already have the 99f20 and I can get the complete plow set up free
     
  2. antbarbato

    antbarbato Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I just mounted a western unimount to my 2012 GMC Sierra. I had to buy the Ultra mount frame for my truck and then the ultra to unimount conversion plate. Im not sure if it would work for the cable operated plow.
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    I wouldn't. How long is the fab work going to take? Liabilities as well..
     
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    He's talking about a conventional mount. The pump, and light frame stay on the truck. The frame was bolted in the trucks frame behind the bumper
     
  5. antbarbato

    antbarbato Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I see. Yeah wasnt sure if maybe there would be a way to work the head gear (that was bolted to the truck) into the conversion plate. I understand now and I would say its not worth it
     
  6. pmitch82

    pmitch82 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Yes it must be a conventional mount. The old mount seems simple enough just angle iron. Has anyone done before?
     
  7. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    im sure its been done. but why put in all that work?
     
  8. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    Wouldnt that require cutting holes all over the new bumper :(
     
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    A conventional cable operated plow is thirty year old technology. There is a reason they don't make them any more..... After conventional came uni, after that came ultra-mount, four and three port isolation modules and now all the new units have ultra-mount II and multiplex electrical controls. Do you really want to butcher a late model truck to install such an old unit? Seems to me this idea is like restoring a steam engine to run a thrasher. If it's the act of bringing an antique back to life then go for it; but if you want a usable plow for plowing real snow then look online for a good used ultra-mount. That's my two cents worth....
     
  10. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    At the end of the day, you can make anything work. I've fabbed up a couple snow mounts to vehicles which are completely custom made. Couple thoughts:

    1) What's the condition of the old plow? In other words, is it pretty worn out, loose pins, severely pitted or rusted through moldboard, pitted rams and so on, where it really needs (or will need) a lot of attention? You might be better off selling it for $600 and put the money into a Unimount/Ultramount system.

    2) I've used cable-operated plows (have one on a truck I don't use that much), on the one hand, the T-handle, if that's what yours is, is kind of fun to use. But at the end of the day, they aren't nearly as user-friendly to use as an electric actuated pump, nor as precise. In addition, the outside part on the pump seems to freeze up pretty easy and just a little moisture and you can't move the T-handle. On the westerns, they have a dendency to leak water where the cables enter the pump, and after the pump/motor warm up from use, ....and melt the snow/ice on the pump, a little water or condensation gets in there, cools down tend to freeze and you can't move the lever to turn the rams. It doesn't take much water for this due to the tight tolerances in the cable hook-up area on the side of the pump. When this happens you got to get a pail of warm water out and in below zero temps, unfreeze the system. For me, this was the biggest hassle with the system I have. I tried a lot of things to prevent water intrusion and it was just a pain. Never had a problem with any electric pump of mine. At the very BARE MINIMUM, even if you do end up installing the conventional mount to your truck, I would look for a newer-style used hydraulic pump/ram with electric hydraulics. They are out there and you should be able to pick one up pretty cheap.

    3) Invest in a newer plow - I follow plows on Craigslist quite a bit. I've seen Ultra-mount plows, the whole plow-side with hydraulics, a 7.5' system for as low as $1000. There is one locally right now for $1k all the plow-side stuff. But you can almost always find them for $1,500 - $2,200 up to $3k depending on how cmplete they are. Ford mounts are easy to find if you initially bought the plow-side (only). I would say, ultra-mount over Unimount just because the Unimount stuf is getting harder to find and won't be (or already isn't ) available in the near future. Plus the Unimount hardware which stays on the truck is quite heavy actually, and it still hangs down pretty low to the ground unlike the Ultramount. Either way, having a detatchable system, you can take the whole thing off and park it in a shed or cover it up to preserve it for the 3/4 of the year you aren't using it. There were a couple years (2003??) where the Unimount system used solenoids and didn't require a control module. That would be Unimount, but could be converted to Ultramount. If you started looking aggressively, you could also probably find used wiring too. New wiring and a controller can cost a pretty penny. The sooner you start looking, the more time you have to shop for the parts you need. The new controllers are easy and convenient to use.

    4) Fab up your own quick-removal system with the system you have: Meyer used to have a slick system in the old days which was basically an early detatchable system. It used two round tube receivers which were mounted below the bumper that would receive the frame which held the pump assembly. The plow was conventional and would unhook like the Western you have. At the end of the season, you'd just remove the whole pump assembly and only the receivers remained. It was a nice compromise between the two systems. Nowadays you can buy these for not a lot of money. They have electric controls too. See links:
    http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/5291379317.html
    http://madison.craigslist.org/pts/5269912477.html
    http://rockford.craigslist.org/pts/5304497436.html
    Even if you found a good system but the plow was rusty, any conventional Meyer plow would fit and you can buy those cheap. You could probably sell your system and end up with an electric plow which could be also removed. The reason someone mentioned liability, is with a conventional plow mount on, your airbags won't deploy properly and should someone get hurt, the potential for legal action (even if unlikely in your setting) still exists.

    5) Make the existing plow work on your 99. It's not all that hard to fabricate up a system to mount your plow. If you can do all the work yourself, and you look at it as a 'fun' project, it has merits. It's going to take a LOT longer than you initially anticipate ...that's what I've always found. Just recently I adapted a plow to my conventional mount and even with all the right metal-working tools at hand, it still took me a LOT longer than I anticipated. If you have to pay someone to do the work, I would DEFINITELY put that money into getting a newer system with electrics. But it can be done, and it's a fun project. You can remove the system in the fall and just leave the control cables in place, but it's a lot more work.

    Hey, good luck. Let us know how it goes...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  11. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    Actually, I came up with a couple other thoughts to add to my post above:

    - Piecing together a plow from used parts - This is very doable and guys do it when they just buy the plow-side system. I did this with a uni-mount v-plow I have. But I bought the plow-side stuff in the spring from a Craigslist ad (when it's cheapest to buy ANY plow items), and had all summer/fall to look for the rest of the parts on a casual basis. I was able to put together a fairly inexpensive, nice, system. Some of the wiring I just was not able to find used (that was any good -- pins become corroded over time), and had to buy new from Western. Wiring from Western isn't cheap. SO, when I consider the time I spent researching what part numbers I needed and time on Craigslist or Ebay (which for me was casual fun surfing), that has a cost too. In retrospect, I would have been way better to buy a complete system for $2,500 - $3k or in that neighborhood. But I'm not that smart...

    - Consider a different truck - I see a lot of really great truck and plow deals on Craigslist all the time, which I've considered buying one for my dad (he has old-school equipment). If you are looking for a part-time dedicated plow rig, you might be able to get into something newer/better for less than you thought with a plow already mounted. Now, your 99 Ford truck may be in mint condition, and may be worth hanging onto for plowing, but don't close yourself off to the idea of looking at what's out there already set up. Bargains do exist. Expect some steering component repair, but those are generally not difficult to fix. Front end U-joints are another story (unless you can do it yourself).
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I guess if you enjoy spending your time fabricating and searching for used parts this would be great fun. I build plows from a more practical angle. At my shop we have people come in all the time with what we call "bucket plows." They buy a plow at auction and come to me with the plow and a bucket of parts. Conventional and unis are the most common. People who know better take them off their trucks and send them to auction to sell them to unwary people who think they are getting a deal. What people don't realize is that the plow and mounts don't necessarily fit the truck they plan to put them on..... "but they said it was operational and complete" at the auction. It probably was on the original truck! Now you are faced with either finding the (like hen's teeth) original parts for that old plow to fit a late model truck, which by the way didn't even exist when that plow was manufactured so there are often no mounts available... or upgrading the plow to three port isolation module. If you go the, more likely to see method, and upgrade you now have to buy three cables for the plow and ALL the cables for the truck. For around a thousand dollars you have your electrical covered but still have to resolve the mounting issue. With a conventional you are pretty much condemned to fabrication. if you can do that yourself and are actually good with metal and welding it's not a problem but if you have to pay a welder to do it add on another $1000 at least and hope that they do a good job. With a uni you can either go the same way and fabricate or you can buy the ultra-mount truck side mount and then the ultra to uni adapter for another $400. They work but extend the weight of the plow about a foot further out in front of the truck. If you want to understand the down side of that take a 10 lb sledge hammer and hold it just under the head with the your arm extended, then slide your hand down about a foot from the head and try the same again..... get the picture? The strain on your front end is increased and the stress on your mount too. The adapter is a short term solution for a person who has a functional uni but just needs to make it work for another season or two until they have the money to buy an ultra.
    It still comes down to the original question, do you want to restore an old plow, fabricate your own parts and have a 30 year old plow that is virtually impossible to get parts for that is going to cost you a couple thousand dollars or do you want to actually plow snow and be able to get parts to fix your plow in short order when it breaks down? The people I work for call me at 02:00 AM telling me they need their plow fixed RIGHT NOW because they need to plow their driveway so their wife can get out to get to work or they are getting paid to do other people's drives and they risk loosing their contracts if they don't meet their deadlines. Think carefully about what money you want to spend, how much time you have, how good you are at metal fabrication and how tolerant your are when your family or clients are calling you because your plow is busted and you can't fix it.