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Wrangler plow truck advice?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snow Assassin, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. Snow Assassin

    Snow Assassin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    I am considering an older wrangler for my residencial accounts. I don't know jack about how the wranglers differ as far as engines, quality, and features that would be conducive to plowing. I would appreciate any pointers on what to look for when finding a wranger to plow with. Also, how do they do for transport with highway driving with the plow? I wonder how they will perform with the short wheelbase. I have to drive about an hour to where I will be plowing, and would like to avoid ending up in a ditch.

    Thanks a bunch
    Jay
     
  2. h_riderca

    h_riderca Member
    Messages: 68

    wranglers are great for plowing residential drives being they are small in size. I would look for one with a v6 and auto. This will save on clutch repairs. But one thing would bother me, having to drive 1 hour before even dropping the plow. Is that one hour in good weather? in bad weather that would probably be longer. I would get someone to plow the accounts for you. Maybe sub it out to someone
     
  3. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Make sure you go with the Fuel Injected 6cyl. It is far superior and peppier than the emissions/carbed versions.
     
  4. Snow Assassin

    Snow Assassin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    My one hour drive will be in snow, or imediately after snowing. I have done it the past couple years with my F250 without problems. It is not fun, but I have managed. I just wonder if it will be alot worse with a jeep.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  5. EXPGMEDIC

    EXPGMEDIC Junior Member
    from INDIANA
    Messages: 16

    wrangler

    One of my plows is on a 92 tj 6'6 western. It is great in tight spaces easy too handle, light enough to travel but i dont know about an hour in snow storm. As mentioned above see if you can sub it out and make a few bucks without leaving the house.




    Mavericks All Seasons
    -----------------------
    03 superduty 8'6 western
    92 tj 6'6 western
    90 f150 7'0 fisher
     
  6. Snow Assassin

    Snow Assassin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    Thanks for the reply, and I can appreciate the idea of staying at home nice and cosy. How does it handle in deep snow? Will it likely have trouble in deeper snow? Will it have trouble moving around in drives with alot of snow? One of my workers says it will loose traction in deeper snow, and have trouble moving a substancial amount without momentum?

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  7. EXPGMEDIC

    EXPGMEDIC Junior Member
    from INDIANA
    Messages: 16

    Jay,
    To answer your questions:
    1) deep snow depends on your clearance, I have a 4" suspension lift and use thinner tires during winter time and I have been in 12" snow without plow and it handled bad loosing traction. Remember the wider the tire the harder the push.
    In normal snow fall 0-6" it is the best thing for small drives and uses a lot less fuel than superduty.
    2 and 3 ) Put some wieght in the rear compartment (I use 2-3 bags of icemelt if you get stuck just open a bag) and as far as losing momentum try to keep continueous momentum lower speeds and lower 4wd if needed you just have to practice and get the feel of equipment.
    Basically I love my tj for what I use it for my wife feels more comfortable in the tj than in ether of the trucks.
    Hope this answers your questions
    :drinkup:








    Thanks for the reply, and I can appreciate the idea of staying at home nice and cosy. How does it handle in deep snow? Will it likely have trouble in deeper snow? Will it have trouble moving around in drives with alot of snow? One of my workers says it will loose traction in deeper snow, and have trouble moving a substancial amount without momentum?

    Thanks
    Jay






    Mavericks All Seasons
    -----------------------
    03 superduty 8'6 western
    92 tj 6'6 western
    90 f150 7'0 fisher
     
  8. EXPGMEDIC

    EXPGMEDIC Junior Member
    from INDIANA
    Messages: 16

    also

    also when looking for wrangler make sure you test drive it and not just around the block. Take it to highway speeds see how hard it is too keep on the road. Have a shop check the frame and suspension. Wranglers are notorious for frame rust and ball joints, tie rods.

    Mavericks All Seasons
    -----------------------
    03 superduty 8'6 western
    92 tj 6'6 western
    90 f150 7'0 fisher
     
  9. Snow Assassin

    Snow Assassin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    Great posts!

    Thanks so much.

    Are suspension parts fairly inexpensive as far as suspension parts go? My F250 seems to be big bucks for any suspension work. Actually it is big bucks for anything because it is a diesel. I think I would be overjoyed in a tight driveway with a wrangler and it's turning radius compared to the Ford that needs a quarter of a mile to turn around. Any suggestions on good years for a wrangler? Sorry to bother you with so many questions. If you get time to answer that would be great, but don't go to any bother.

    Thanks again
    Jay
     
  10. EXPGMEDIC

    EXPGMEDIC Junior Member
    from INDIANA
    Messages: 16

    Stay in the 90's. Jeep wrangler changed frame design after 96 so check with plow manufacturer before buying used plow and make sure the year plow came from. Yes suspension parts are much cheaper than f250. Whole rebuild every 2 years doing it my self and sending out for alignment cost me under 250. You will enjoy.
    Ask any questions you need to, i dont mind just make sure it is what you want. Try to get a hard top because it is soo much cheaper to add a soft top and make sure you actually see and drive before buying. I have some friend that bought off ebay and were not very happy due to floating across the road because of suspension problems.
    Jim

    Mavericks All Seasons
    -----------------------
    03 superduty 8'6 western
    92 tj 6'6 western
    90 f150 7'0 fisher
     
  11. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Fuel injection was introduced in '91. '96 was the first year for coil springs. The 6 cyl. is definately the power plant to have. I know nothing about the auto trannies. Check out www.jeepsunlimited.com for more general Jeep info.

    I plow with a CJ-7, and it is great. These trucks don't weigh a lot, so adding some ballast -- as suggested earlier -- helps.

    Is there any way you can leave the plow at your first client's property -- you could cut them a deal on your fee. (or maybe even at a self-storage facility) That way, you're not barreling down the highway with 500 lbs hanging off your front bumper. Just a thought.

    Good luck.

    Jeff Pierce
     
  12. Snow Assassin

    Snow Assassin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 15

    tv

    Thanks for the info. It may be an option to leave the plow at one of the first accounts. You really think the Jeep would handle bad with the plow on a long drive? I don't have any problem with the F250, but I realize it is a way different vehicle.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  13. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I don't think it would be too terrible, but you've got to remember it's a real short wheelbase vehicle, on a slippery road with a ton of weight on the front axle and not so much on the rear. I think it would be an interesting drive especially if its windy.

    Also for the different years of Wrangler here's a list:

    First Jeep - 1986 = CJ

    '87 - '95 = YJ

    '97 - present = TJ
     
  14. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    I dont know much about plowing yet, but, I do know Jeeps pretty well. I just started plowing last season after buying a F350 dually with 9ft Boss V.
    I did figure out that the F350 is darn big for driveways. So, this year I hope to be plowing with my 95 YJ with 2.5. I havent decided what plow to buy yet though.
    Back to jeeps. 87 to 95 (YJ) have leaf springs just like the CJs up to 86. Stay with a 91 or newer for the fuel injection. Between 91 and 95 there were few changes. The only changes I can think of off hand are the rollbar and clutch slave cylinder. They went to an external slave cylinder in 94 I believe. The late 95s have larger front axle u-joints. That may be the only upgrade within those years that will effect how suitable it is for plowing. Rust isnt any more of an issue with early to mid 90s Wranglers than any other vehicle. The CJs give the Wranglers a bad rep in that dept (sorry tvpierce, it had to be said ;) ). As far as the 4.0 inline 6 or the 2.5 inline 4. They are both reliable, trustwothy and torquey engines. Obviously the 4.0 has quite a bit more punch to it. As far as which is the better for plowing. I cant say because I havent tried either. I will give you some facts to help you decide. The 4.0 with 5 speed comes with 3.07 or 3.55 gears. The 2.5 with 5 speed comes with 4.10 gears. With the auto you get either the 3.07s or 3.73 depending on engine. I have to think (based on my off roading experiences) that the lower gearing of the 4 cyl would be a big equalizer for plowing. With either setup in a light vehicle you will lose traction before power. The auto (TF904, little brother of the TF727) is a good auto tranny but Im not sure how well it will hold up to long term plowing. The transfer cases in both the 4 and 6 cyl are basically the same and will hold up to plowing wonderfully. The axles will probably end up being the weak link. The front is a Dana 30. Its been around a long time in different forms and holds up well to a vehicle the weight of a Jeep but I think that plowing may be a test for it. The rear Dana 35, well what can I say about it. Its a piece of crap. Its a light weight for sure. It doesnt hold up to large tires or lots of torque. In stock form, its not bad, but it is generally the limiting factor when you start adding weight, tires and power. If you can deal with a stickshift, youre probably best going with a stick. The AX5 (4 cyl), AX15(6 cyl) are fairly light weight manual trannys but for plowing all you would really have to worry about, as with any plow rig, is the clutch and the Jeep clutches are really inexpensive and easily changed compared to most. Wranglers with the 2.5, 5 speed are a dime a dozen, simple, easy to work on and reliable. Put an add a leaf kit in, run 30" tires and it should be good with the weight of a small plow. I own a 2.5 and its been a good vehicle, even after the abuse Ive put it through. My YJ runs down the interstate at 70 (just barely) with 32" Super Swampers and has been great offroad for several years now. I guess Ill see how it does when it starts its third life as a plow machine. I'll second what tv said, visit (www.jeepsunlimited.com) for more info before and after you buy. Ive been there since some time in 2000.
     
  15. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Bnrhuffman,

    You couldn't be more right about rust on a CJ -- In fact I think they came pre-rusted from the factory. I've heard tell of people who swear that when it's real quiet, they can actually HEAR their CJs rusting!

    Fortunately, I have the best of both worlds: The medium/heavy duty drivetrain of a CJ (258, T-176, Dana 300, Dana 35/20 axles) and an aftermarket full fiberglass body. Plus Howell throttle body injection, and Chevy HEI ignition.

    Good point about the 4 banger and gearing though. My only concern would be that the clutch is likely to be lighter duty in the 2.5 than the 4.0 litre. (I certainly don't know this to be true... I'm just guessing.) Another note about gearing though; I always plow in 4-low. I think most guys here would recommend that for a lighter-duty truck like a Jeep. In 4 low, rear-end gearing is less of an issue.

    Jeff Pierce
     
  16. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    Yes, I think the clutch will be the weak link, especially in the 4 cyl. Ive replaced mine and its a little tiny thing. Good thing is that Centerforce makes a nice one and they arent near as expensive as say, an F250 clutch, or as hard to replace. Itll be like rotating the tires-rotate tires, change clutch, rotate tires, change clutch, etc. I know the 4 cyl isnt ideal. My 4 banger has been a good recreational vehicle for me and has done the job fine but there are many, many times I wished for a 6 cyl. Im sure plowing will be the same way once I start with it. Low range is a certainty as is being aware that its not my F350 Powerstroke. After all, Ive also got a 32HP Kubota that will push and stack the he!! out of snow and our fathers and grandfathers pushed snow just fine with the old Willys or CJs equipt with the venerable iron duke. Im even thinking of putting a SnowBear, of all things (booo,hiiissss) on my little 4 cyl. Jeep.

    EDIT: Thats funny, I just noticed that you had a Willys. Does that mean youre old enough to be my grandfather? :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2004
  17. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    No, I'm not old enough to be your grandfather... I'm 36. I bought the Willys because it was VERY cool, but it had some sentimental value. It looked exactly like the one my grandfather had when I was a kid. Mine was a '52 -- the first year for the 4 cylinder overhead valve engine. It was no speed merchant, but in 4-low, with chains on the front wheels, it would push literally anything. There was never I time when it was bogged down. My dad actually started plowing with a 2WD Model-T pushing a home-made plow! (he's 80 years old). When they finally got their first 4WD (a Willys CJ) they thought they'd died and gone to heaven.
    I would think if you were easy on the Jeep, that the clutch would last a good long time -- just don't be in a hurry.

    Good luck.

    Jeff Pierce
     
  18. westbrooklawn

    westbrooklawn Member
    Messages: 49

    I will add my 2 cents to this thread. I purchased a used '97 TJ last year and equipped it with a blizzard 680 plow. I have the 2.5 liter and manual 5 speed. The jeep handles the Blizzard 680 very well, and the 4 cyl has all the power you need. I plowed three storms last year, and one of them was wet heavy snow that turned into ice overnight. The Wrangler handled it well wet, and then performed great the next day breaking up the frozen mess.

    As someone else mentioned it will break traction before it will break any of the components in the drivetrain. As with anything, you don't need to abuse it...e.g. running starts into deep snowbanks to stack deeper, etc.
    If you excersize common sense, use low range when needed, and don't try to plow the Walmart Parking lot with it, it will do fine. it is the IDEAL vehicle for residential drives, and handles small parking lots just fine also.
     
  19. Boutallnite

    Boutallnite Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I got a 2000 TJ w/Snoway. I had to drive a few times to do some accounts for about an hour on the Turnpike. At that point I was out of salt that was keeping the back grounded. Lets just say me and my jeep came very close to calling it a season in the first week of January. Make sure you got something in the rear to even out the weight, cuz if you don't and you hit a patch of ice or something your front is gona spin you. And get one with automatic!

    Other than that, I love plowing with my TJ.