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ZR2 with new MD68 snow plow

Discussion in 'SnowDogg Snow Plows' started by ppap, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. ppap

    ppap Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I wanted to share my experience with others that are interested in mounting a snow plow on a ZR2 Chevy S10. While I had researched the internet and spoke with local plow distributors, I wasn't able to find much information regarding this configuration. The internet had a few examples of ZR2 trucks that were outfitted with a plow but most if not all had some sort of fabrication that was performed on older style mounts. All the dealers I visited, told me there was an application for the S10 but NOT the ZR2. Nobody could give me any specifics as to why this was the case (i.e. frame mounts, GVW, height, etc.). About a month ago, I went to a dealer that offered the Snowdogg products who told me the same thing as everyone else - NO ZR2 applications. Unlike the other dealers, he spent about an hour calling and emailing the folks at Snowdogg to get me some specifics. Bottom line was the MD68 for the S10 WILL fit although the GVW will be exceeded with the suggested ballast. I bought and installed the MD68 - only modification was the frame needed two 1/2" holes drilled and the loss of the front skid plate. The harnesses took a little time to install as there isn't much space in the engine compartment. Total time was close to 8hrs - even with access to a lift. The plow and frame are heavy duty for my application which is 2 residential driveways and NO commercial work. Since the plow weighs around 400lbs, I had to install Timbrens on the front and crank the torsion bars 1 turn - very easy. The MD68 website had great information in their TSB's, one of which applied to my problem with the flashing controller light. Some negatives: 1. The engagement of the plow is a bit tricky (not sure if its my inexperience or just the way its designed) and takes longer than I would prefer 2. The position of the crank lift is awkward. Other than that, Snowdogg makes a great product at an unbelievable price with exceptional support. The MD68 is an easy installation with great documentation. A couple disclaimers: 1. The vehicle GVW is exceeded with the 400lbs up front and the ~400lbs of ballast in the rear. 2. This vehicle is not made for plowing so commercial use will destroy it. I am only using it for my personal driveways.

    Here are the pics. I have others showing the frame and mount that I can post later if anyone wants more information.

    zr2 plow1.jpg

    zr2 plow2.jpg
     
  2. doo-man

    doo-man Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Congrats Looks Good !!! Will def. do the job for ya !
     
  3. RangerDogg

    RangerDogg Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 201

    Always love the zr2.I had a 99 s10 ex cab and 4.3 litter loved mine but always wanted a zr2.I have a ranger with a md 68 .It will push some snow nice pict good luck.
     
  4. Steve'sZr2

    Steve'sZr2 Member
    Messages: 86

    what a tease! haha. I honestly don't know if I should save for a new snow dogg or fix my rusty fisher that doesn't even have functioning lights. That set up looks absolutely awesome. I don't know if you read it or not but I had asked about snow dogg and the regular s10 mounts working with the zr2 in a thread here and the response and help was great. I for one would like to see the other pictures you have just to see for my own benefit.
    Have you by any chance checked out www.zr2usa.com ? By the custom zr2 bowtie Im thinking you might have? Im sure everyone there including myself would enjoy seeing more of your truck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  5. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    looks great, I am looking to get the same set up, we have the same truck. Can you take a picture of the mount with out the plow on

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  6. ppap

    ppap Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Here are a couple pics of the undercarriage. One has a side view of the brackets that bolt to the tow hook frame tubes and the other pic shows the bracket that bolts to the crossmember. Everything bolted up perfectly. On the sideview, there is a bolt missing at the top. This is where I drilled a 1/2" hole in the frame - the only modification needed besides the Timbrens. I know this plow configuration doesn't seem like a big deal to most of the people on this board but for anyone with a ZR2, its huge. Thanks to Snowdogg for making a decent product at a fair price and for providing incredible support to the end user. Although I have yet to use it, I have heard very positive things about the MD plow.

    I also included a pic of the plow with the mountings and harnesses in the bed of my truck on the day I picked it up. Everything fit in my 6' bed.

    Regarding ZR2USA, I used to post a lot on its predecessor - ZR2.com. I'm a member there but haven't posted anything since it was started. I guess you can link this post if there is any interest. I hope this helps ZR2 owners in the future.

    zr2 plow 3.jpg

    zr2 plow 4.jpg

    zr2 plow 5.jpg
     
  7. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    great! thanks for the pics, now I think I am going to attempt to install the plow my self, I am an experienced mechanic and have plenty of tools. I am confident that it is a straightforward install.

    Do you notice any difference in engine temp driving without the skid plate? I notice that on the stick skid plate it says that the skid plate is important for engine cooling. Have you had any issues so far?

    do you think there is a way or even a reason to modify the skid plate to fit with the plow frame?

    also how was the wiring for the plow? is there a junction box for this plow set up or is it a straightforward wiring set up?

    Do you also think that the frame must be mounted in the lowest position? Do you think there would be enough clearance to mount the frame in the second position up on the mounting points?

    Thanks again for your help, it is much appreciated

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  8. ppap

    ppap Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    The front skid plate had to come off. There is no way an OEM skid plate will fit as the brackets take up a lot of real estate. As far as temperature, I have driven with the skid plate off many times and there is no impact on engine temperature. Its only purpose is to keep debris from hitting the undercarriage. That being said, I wouldn't bother fabricating a new one although its possible.

    The wiring was straight forward. There are two separate wiring harnesses, one for the hydraulics and one for the lighting. The supplied instructions are clear and the connections are easy. My only issue was that the S10 engine compartment is small so there isn't a lot of places to mount the solenoid. I ended up placing it next to the battery.

    The contact bracket on the frame can be adjusted. I currently have it 1 position higher than what's in the picture. The instructions say to mount it 9.5" to 10" from the ground to the center of the rod. The frame hangs low so don't plan on going off road, EVER!

    Overall the installation process was time consuming but not difficult. If you have access to a lift, it will simplify things but you can still do the installation in your driveway.

    I think I've beaten this dead horse long enough...
     
  9. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    lol Thanks for the info, ordering mine tomorrow

    ill keep you guys updated
     
  10. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    I am in the Middle of installing my mounts, did you have to modify your driver side mounts at all besides adding the one hole? My mounting plate is not lining up with the holes, the passenger side fit perfect with the addition of the one hole


    Thanks

    Andy
     
  11. doggmountrep

    doggmountrep Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    see pics

    This should help. Blazer are not all lined up with the holes.

    DSCN2130.jpg

    DSCN2130.jpg
     
  12. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    did you leave it with just the two bolts on the bottom? or did you try to modify it?
     
  13. doggmountrep

    doggmountrep Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Modify it to mount all four holes.
     
  14. ppap

    ppap Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    On my truck (not Blazer), everything lined up perfectly. While Snowdogg didn't supply washers and nuts for all the threaded bolt holes, I installed them anyway (cheap insurance) even though some of the frame bolts were tricky to access. After everything was installed, I spray painted all the bolts, nuts and brackets that weren't painted from the factory.
     
  15. F-SERIES BEAST

    F-SERIES BEAST Member
    Messages: 88

    congrats looks great!
     
  16. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    So now that youve hopefully used it, hows it working?? Im looking for a ZR2 reg cab right now, to set up with a plow.
     
  17. Andy64

    Andy64 Junior Member
    from NNJ
    Messages: 18

    I have my 98 zr2 ext cab set up with a MD75 I used it all last season and two storms this season and I have had no problems so far. It is a great plow set up and the zr2 plows with out a problem. I thought the 7.5 would be too big but we just had 24 inchs last week and it plowed great for 40 hours straight through. It's a great truck and the plow is awesome. I did pit the HD cutting edge on which is a little thicker and heavier. I got a better scrape and a better back drag.

    Overall I am happy with the combo
     
  18. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    Glad to hear! There is a guy around here, that does an entire hoa with a ext cab s10. But it's not a Z, and I wondered if the mount issues some are experiencing, were only fab issues, that could easliy be worked around.
     
  19. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    Im gonna have to go visit the zr2 sites and read some more feedback. Looks like a snowdogg 7.5 is in my future.

    I wanna upfit a reg cab though. Its a driveway rig, not a lawn crew truck. Keep it short. I shouldn't expect a reg cab to carry the plow any worse.
     
  20. ppap

    ppap Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    This is my second season with the MD68 on my ZR2 and its worked well for me. The installation was time consuming but straight forward. The frame mount fit perfectly. As I recall, I only had to drill a couple holes. The plow is heavy, maybe too heavy for the ZR2 as the GVW is exceeded when you factor in the ballast. Although its recommended for 400lbs ballast, I'm only running 200lbs. My only complaint is the cheap jack design and somewhat difficulty in hooking it up. Sometimes it takes me 30 seconds and sometimes it take 20 minutes.

    There is very little information about plows on ZR2's and just about all the manufacturers strongly discourage putting a plow on them. These trucks have soft suspensions for off-roading and are not made to carry weight. As long as you use it for personal use, I'm sure it will be fine. If you plan to use it for commercial applications, best of luck to you. Before you buy the ZR2, check the front frame area for cracks. This will be a serious problem if you plan to carry a plow. ZR2USA.com has some good write ups about this issue.

    Just a final note: I change all the fluids every spring (diffs, transfer case and trans). The transmission takes a horrible beating with the plowing.