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Vehicle/Plow Prep Prioritization

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by olesnowpatrol, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. olesnowpatrol

    olesnowpatrol Member
    Messages: 35

    Hi All,
    Just bought the unit described in my signature and am wanting to do as much as I can to get it ready for the season without putting a ton of money (less than $300) into a 25 year old truck. So, here is my thinking right now of "must dos" along with maintenance I am deferring(plus reasons for each. Feedback/advice appreciated:

    Truck Must Do (or cheap to do)
    New Spark Plugs – missing on one cyclinder
    Oil Change/Filter - black oil
    Fuel Filter - just in case this thing has been sitting.
    Air filter - dirty
    Reattach parking brake release - brake light on; but doesn't release.
    Cover holes in tub/caulk to keep out exhaust - carbon monoxide bad
    Grind/Prime rust spots on truck - brown rust on white truck ain't pretty.
    Grind/Prime rust spots on rims - see previous

    Deferred Maint.
    Tranny fluid/filter - dipstick full with red not burned fluid; no leaks underneath; shifts nice.
    Coolant Flush - Very normal temps for the one hour run back to my house.
    Front Brakes - Pedal is soft; but still stops. Maybe a must do?
    New Exhaust - Loud and gassy. (kinda like me)
    Unfreeze Rear Hatch - It would be nice to access the back.
    New Alternator – keep old as spare

    Plow Must Do:
    Grind rust/paint

    Get extra spare parts...don't even know what types of parts I should get.

    Thanks for the advice, veterans.
  2. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Dont worry how it looks till spring, just wait till that soft pedal turns into NO pedal at 55.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I take alot of pride in the way my trucks and equipment look. If you are only doing your own drive with it then you will be fine, but if you expect a customer to pay you for your services, then at least make the truck and blade look like you care about them before you pull on to a lot. As far as the breaks, I would definatley fix them, also replace the spark plug wires as well as the plugs, I would tend to bet that most misses are due to faulty wires.
  4. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    very true! I take a lot of pride in what i drive myself. Thats why my 98 is one of the cleaner ones on the road! sometimes you have to make some sacrafices. If you can afford both brakes and paint, do it! if you can only afford one.... well you heard my choice! good luck!
  5. rick502

    rick502 Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 54

    Often a soft pedal (long travel) is due to rear brakes out of adjustment - common on vehicles that have sat around. Maybe a cheap fix, good place to start. With any new rig I'd definitely give the brakes a good look over to ensure no safety issues.
  6. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    Know your truck inside and out, I would fix the exhaust usually you dont need to fix the whole system, charging system is a must your plow and other electrical things will draw power. Brakes are very important too. As for spares things to roll around with, hoses, pins, light, flashlight, silenoid, bolts with nuts as spares, tools. If your farther from your shop on your runs add a it more.
  7. olesnowpatrol

    olesnowpatrol Member
    Messages: 35

    Great info....keep'em coming.

    How do I check the rear brakes? I know how to pull front pads, but clueless on rear brakes. Thanks again!
  8. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,160

    Pull the rear tires and check the shoes, when you spin the drum you should be able fell the shoes just dragging on the drums.

    Also if it hasn't been mentioned, change the plow fluid. If this has been a plow truck for awhile take a very close look at all the brakes lines. They tend to get very rusty and break at the worst time.
  9. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    I would worry about having spare parts and/or cash to fix something if you have a breakdown before paint, a customer is going to care a lot more about if their lot/drive gets plowed when its snowing than if your truck has a few rust spots, trust me, I have ran old trucks for years and you have to be ready to drop a grand if you need to into it, if you want to keep your accounts.