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A little help

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Tonyatlantic, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Tonyatlantic

    Tonyatlantic Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I was tired of paying someone to plow the lot at my business so I have purchased a 1997 Chevy 2500 (Long bed) with a Fisher 8 ft plow.
    The truck did not plow previously.
    What else do I need to do to this truck to get it ready for plowing?
    It has a place for a second battery (but does not have one). Is this important/ Necessary?
    Do I need to do anything to the front suspension to handle the weight of the plow?
  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Do a few searches here in the Chevy truck section Tony. Use "T-bars" "Timbrens" and "fan clutch" as your search words. You'll find hours and likely a hundred threads on trucks such as yours and what upgrades are a good inverstment.
  3. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    If its just going to be a yard truck you don't need to do much at all. if you are going to be driving it on the road then maybe a little work. If you want to prep it a little better for carrying the plow (makes no difference plowing, only when transporting) 4-5 turns on the torsion bars, and maybe Timbrens in front will make the front end a little happier. But won't be absolutely necessary. Another issue encountered when driving with a plow blocking all your airflow is overheating. Be sure your cooling system is up to snuff, that's probably the first weak link you will encounter, because it can burn your motor up in no time. At the very least have the system flushed and install new a thermostat. check you belts and listen to the water pump for noise. Fan clutch is obviously a huge thing. Make sure it works right, or replace it with an upgrade.

    A tranny service is probably due, I do mine at least once a year. Overheating tranny fluid is a big killer with plowtrucks, so an auxiliary cooler would be a great upgrade over the factory in the radiator style. I always put an auxiliary cooler in line with my factory cooler, then add a temp gauge and a electric fan on the cooler. You would be amazed at how fast the tranny temps skyrocket as soon as you start pushing snow with very little airflow.

    All of these is just basic plow truck prep, but a lot depends on what you are going to do. If the truck goes out on the highway with the blade on then the cooling system has to be perfect. Few miles on back roads to the shop, not so desperate. If the truck is going to plow and sit parked like a yard truck, you will have problems with brake lines and fuel lines rotting off, as well as charging system problems. Worst thing for a truck is to sit, especially after being worked hard. If it will sit rinse the salt off the underside whenever you can, even oil it if thats an option, and run it frequently to maintain the charging system.
  4. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    BTW, welcome to Plowsite!

    Couple more things I thought of. (I could go on all day) Is it a 6 lug or 8 lug 2500? 8 lug is obviously more HD, but the 6 lug will do fine as well. I think the 6 lug might benefit more from cranked torsion bars and/or timbrens than the heavier truck.

    Have you ever plowed before? How you plow has a lot to do with how your truck holds up. I would estimate that half of the operators I have watched plow use a method I call "plowing like an animal". This involves driving as fast as possible at all times, hitting snowbanks and piles (and anything else) at full speed, transmitting huge shockloads through the truck. The other method I call "drive it like you own it" or "imagine your grandmother is sitting in the passenger seat". This is a low impact workout for the truck. Use the truck intelligently to move snow through momentum, rather than brute force and violence. It may not be as much fun, but the truck will thank you by lasting longer and not breaking down so much. I actually bring my dog with me sometimes, and it helps keep me from beating the truck because I don't want to throw her through the windshield.

    Start out the season by making your first piles far back, to leave room for future snow piles. Less banging and beating when you have a place to put the snow.

    Lastly (for now) never underestimate the value of ballast. If you have enough ballast it will make the truck much more driveable on the road, or anytime the blade is up. When the blade is down the additional weight helps the truck keep it's momentum and traction as the weight in front of the blade increases. With that truck I'd use 500-600 lbs, make sure it's secure and not going to fly around when you do pound a snowbank too hard. Place it over the rear axle or behind the rear axle for full effect. I see lots of guys using brand new trucks with no ballast, you can always tell because the plow barely clears the ground and the rear wheels are barely touching. Invariably they think they don't need ballast because they have 4wd, if they even know what ballast is. That is very hard on the front end of the truck and makes it harder to plow. Trust me, ballast is more important than 4wd.

    Any other question feel free to let me know, I'm not all that far away from you. There is elsewhere on here an emergency list for NH plowers, there's guys right in your area if you need help in a pinch.

  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    To answer your question about the second battery, I'd try it with one big strong fresh one at first, if it gives you trouble you can always upgrade, but one should be enough for a gas engine with the usual accessories.
  6. Tonyatlantic

    Tonyatlantic Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    It is an 8 lug 2500. I have a 75 space lot at one of my gyms. (I own Atlantic Gymnastics) and my driveway at my house. The drive between my gym and house is about 12 miles. Other than plowing and the occasional trip to Home Depot I probably wont drive it too much.
    The Transfer case was just replaced. I am putting in front brakes and will flush the cooling system on Sunday or Monday.
    I haven't plowed in about 20 years but I remember the basics. Start the piles as far back as possible, not too fast, not too much. I will get some sandbags for the back as ballasts.
    Thanks for all the advice. Send me anything else too!
  7. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    mainly just read overheating threads for the between drive