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One season's experience plowing with S10 Blazer/ S15 Jimmy

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by stanz, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Looks like the plowing season is over, one of our top five winters in western Mass. Here's what I learned from plowing with a series one Jimmy/Blazer:

    I started the season with a 1991 S15 Jimmy with 180k miles and ended it with a loaded 1994 S10 Blazer Tahoe. I used a Western 6.5' plow setup I pulled off an S10 pickup, old cable controlled unit.

    I tweaked the torsion bars 1.5 turns in the Jimmy, the Blazer didn't need any change. Now that I have the plow off I see the Blazer rear sags a bit.

    I kept 300-400 pounds of salt/sand in the rear to level the truck out.

    Both plowed just fine except for one 11.5" wet snowfall, then it struggled on a long plow run.

    Fuel consumption was GREAT, my best plow vehicle ever. I've run 1986 Dodge, 1993 F150, and 1991 Explorers before, none got anything near the mpg of the S15/S10 rigs.

    It's the smaller 2-door version so it turns on a dime. Plowing was a dream in close corners on small driveways. I plowed stuff I couldn't have dreamed of doing with any of my other rigs.

    The flex plate broke on the S15, I don't know if it was due to the high miles or if I was too rough on the truck when I plowed. I'm taking it easier on the Blazer, not slamming into banks to stack snow higher like I did on the Jimmy.

    :bluebounc Overall I'm really pleased with the little rig and look forward to using it again next year.

    I really like the fact that the old Blazer doesn't have a load of new technology crap to break and that it's a lot lighter than the new Blazers so it gets better mileage.

    Anyone looking to do a similar rig can send me a PM.
     
  2. cameo89

    cameo89 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    Years ago I had a 89 blazer 4.3 V6 2door and I had a old working conventional western 7'6" that I had 6" cut off both ends, had it welded on permently. It seemed to hold up well for being such a heavy plow, the only thing I didnt like was all the blind spots, I own a truck cap for my current truck and it is removed before winter, every year.
     
  3. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    I have a friend who plows his yard with a 94 blazer with a fisher MM1. It does quite well considering. I have to help him out on the really heavy stuff or moving banks but overall its worked great for him.
     
  4. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I have used both the 4 and 2 dr models. I have used manual and auto. Clutches in the manual every 2 years. The 2 dr was nicer I thought because you can turn on a dime like you said. Western made a Uni-mount 6.5' for the S-10 / S-15. Heavy snow was a Bi!ch tho. I have had over 20 Blazers and worked them all hard.
     
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I've been plowing driveways for years with a ex cab longbed dually and a Blizzard 810. It is way too big and awkward. I have long wanted to get a little beater s-10 or even a jeep. I bet a short wheelbase Wrangler would be so much fun. Friend of mine plowed in a s-10, I always wondered how it could get anything to move with such a tiny truck and plow, but he said it plowed good, because it wasn't taking as big of a bite.

    Next winter it looks like I'll be plowing with a newer 810 on my Suburban 2500, and an 8 foot Fisher conventional on my 82 crewcab longbed. The crewcab will probably be the backup truck and sander, the Suburban should seem small after what I'm accustomed to.
     
  6. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Pics of your rig please.
     
  7. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Okay, I just put the plow back on since we have ANOTHER snowfall predicted.

    Right Side View

    [​IMG]

    Right Front View

    [​IMG]

    Plow Controls

    [​IMG]
     
  8. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I should note that there is no salt in the back of the truck since I had unloaded it when I removed the plow last week. With 300 pounds of salt it rides level.
     
  9. CJ918

    CJ918 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    i am doing a similar set up with my 93 s15 jimmy. just getting it back from the shop today and going to start putting on my 7' sport duty.
     
  10. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Check the front end before you plow. The ball joints are a know issue with these vehicles.

    Don't worry when the window motors die, they will, it takes about 30 minutes to replace them. One died on my S15 and one died on the S10. Like I said, it's a common issue.

    Oh, and don't slam into snow banks under power. I think that's how I broke the flex plate in my '91.
     
  11. CJ918

    CJ918 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    my mechanic said my wheel bearings are bad. so i am going to replace those.. im trying to do everything i can to get the truck running in its best condition before winter. ill check the ball joints.
     
  12. 97S104x4

    97S104x4 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    has anyone with an s10 or sonoma or blazer replace the torsion bars with thicker ones from a chevy 1500?? ive plowed 2 seasons with my s10 and my torsion bars are pretty much shot, and i was figuring put chevy 1500 ones in because they have a higher spring rate and should be able to handle a plow a little better.

    so just wondering if anyone has done it
     
  13. CJ918

    CJ918 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    finally install my boss plow on my jimmy. everything works great. doesnt even squat the front end
     
  14. ramp

    ramp Member
    Messages: 37

    I'm a newbe to this. Just picked up a 2003 S10, automatic. This will replace my 94 Chevy plow rig. Looking for a used setup after I go through the truck: it needs tires, brakes, fluid change, etc. Good read.
     
  15. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    The S series are great plow rig's I love mine. I plow alot of residential and a few commercial lots. I can push up to 6 inches of wet snow. I love the short wheel base. Tuens on a dime. I can stack snow just as high as the bigger trucks. As for the Tbar swap.
    go on some web sites for s10's and they will tell you what you need. All I can say is DO NOT crank the tbars all the way up.
    Bad thing's will happen. One turn is .25" on s10. And for hubs go to napa a better quality hub. Not a cheep one. From autozone.
    as for balljoints you will eat them up. Just rember to plow in 4L it is eazer on your tranny. If you do get a new on have them put.
    in a 5" band not 2" you will see a difference on your power.

    I love my Z
     
  16. ramp

    ramp Member
    Messages: 37

    Chevy S10 4X4 extended cab. 2003

    Just picked this up a couple of weeks ago. It shall replace my trusty Suburban. It needs a head job and a front end rebuild. I found a used SnoWay from a Blazer and just took off the mount and harness. The fella I purchased it from had Timbren Lower control arm Bushings. Any one else use these. Are they recommended? I got a lot of work to do to get this ready.

    Pleasant Valley, CT
     
  17. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Timbrens were my best friend when I had the 720 blizzard on my Jimmy. It was a great plow truck and after I installed the timbrens, I never had tire rubbing issues again (even with 31X10.50s and no lift. GET THE TIMBRENS, YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED
     
  18. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Well, I'm on my fourth season with the 94 Blazer and it still works great. I had neglected to change the fluid in the old Isarmatic unit and it stopped working so I pickup up another at the boneyard for $200. I hooked it up and it worked fine until a twenty degree storm and it stopped too. Both units had the same issue ... water contamination. There must have been water in the angle cylinders when I hooked up the second unit.

    I had taken the original unit apart and changed the fluid in it. I used the failure to prompt me to replace all the hydraulic lines and fittings. I forced all the old fluid from the cylinders as I installed the new hoses. The old unit is back on the truck and it works fine in single digits.

    I also found a way to deal with deep snow on the long driveway of the church. I ran two passes with my snow blower when we got two feet in one storm. Then I was able to plow out the rest.

    I'm looking to get a new pickup in a year or so, but I can't see anything that will match the Blazer's agility and MPG. That is, unless Toyota decides to bring their 4 cylinder turbo diesels to the US. I understand they're good for around 30MPG in 4x4 crew cab form!
     
  19. ramp

    ramp Member
    Messages: 37

    Cevy S10

    The truck has performed perfectly so far this year. We've had a lot snow in the NW corner of CT. It's not a big Suburban but I've adjusted my plowing to fit this rig.
     
  20. stanz

    stanz Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    How well does the Sno-way handle scraping to a clean surface? I understand that some are available with down pressure. My old Meyer does a great job getting down to bare pavement. It's especially handy when I do the sidewalks. Yes, the church sidewalk is 6' wide, the 6.5' Meyer angled fits great.

    How does it handle back-dragging in front of garage doors?