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Central hydraulics: moving from 1-ton flatbed to 1-ton regular bed

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Call Mr. Plow.., Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Call Mr. Plow..

    Call Mr. Plow.. Junior Member
    from vermont
    Messages: 3

    Hello all,

    Does anybody out there know if central hydraulics can be installed on a pickup with a regular walled/box bed (i.e. non-flatbed/dumpbed)? I guess I just don't know where the fluid reservoir would go, although I've heard of them being mounted in the front of the bed, or on the spreader, either the front or the rear where a gas engine would go.

    I have a 98 Chevy 3500 flatbed with central hydraulics running a 9' plow and a 2.5yd spreader (see photo), and I would like to move this system to another pickup, which has a regular bed. How difficult and expensive should this be,

    a) if the other truck is also a 98 Chevy/GMC 3500 with the same (454) engine, or

    b) if the other truck is a Ford or Dodge with room in the engine bay for the pump?

    Shouldn't this be substantially cheaper than an entirely new system, especially in case a), which would just involve _moving_ everything and installing a new reservoir?

    Thanks for any guidance whatsoever,

  2. Call Mr. Plow..

    Call Mr. Plow.. Junior Member
    from vermont
    Messages: 3

    By the way: why I want to move the hydraulics...

    BTW, in case anyone's curious about WHY I want to do this, it's because I'd get better use out of a truck as a personal vehicle, year-round, if it had an extended cab and a regular bed. This current truck's cab is also a bit rougher than I'd like for personal use - here's another photo, which also shows the controls. The spreader is engaged via one of the levers, but it's conveyor and spinner speeds are controlled via 2 knobs on the floorboard below the driver's seat.

    As soon as somebody tells me I can do this, and how much it will cost, I can start shopping for another truck...

  3. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    I think a little more information is necessary at this point. Is the Central Hydraulic system belt driven or PTO driven? If it is PTO driven you should be able to move it (relatively simply) to any truck with a PTO opening on the transmission. Usually this restricts you to a manually tranny the exception being the Allison behind the newer GM 8.1 gas and D-max. If it is belt a belt drive system the manufacturer probably makes brackets/pulleys to mount the pump to most popular engines. Depending on the size of the tank needed for your system you shoule be able to mount it in the bed or under the bed between the frame rail and qaurter panel.
  4. Call Mr. Plow..

    Call Mr. Plow.. Junior Member
    from vermont
    Messages: 3

    Hello wfd44,

    Thanks for your reply, which I'll consider encouraging, especially if the reservoir can be mounted under the regular bed.

    Sorry I forgot to mention that my system is belt-driven. I don't have a picture of the pump under the hood, but it is driven by a matched pair of belts, and engaged by the rocker switch on the bottom of the dash, above the gear shift, visible in the second photo.

    In addition to the new reservoir, which as an unusual(?) item may be tough to find and/or a little expensive, how much work do you think it would take to move the hydraulics alone? (i.e. not including the plow and, of course, the spreader)

    Thanks again for your advice - this forum is great.
  5. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    When I worked in the local Chevy Dealership they billed 8-10 hours to install a belt drive Fisher Plow. That was all new parts on a clean new truck. Now some of the techs could do 3 of them in a 12 hour shift but then if that was all they were going to do they could have evrything they needed out and on the bench ready to go too.

    Its awfully hard to guesstimate sitting here what it would take to R+R the central hydros from one truck to another. I would figure at least a full day (8-12hrs) maybe more if all went well. But, as soon as the bolts start breaking all bets are off. And that doesn't include figuring out the reservoir situation or any fabrication - strictly bolt on stuff.
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    These lift kits are available NEW for around $800 from Northern..... how much effort do you want to do to save the cost of buying a new lift. Plus think of the resale value of the Chevy with the dump kit in it.....

    There's alot of if's. A Dodge Diesel will not have much room in the engine compartment for anything. Not sure about the other makes or gas versions, the fluid res would have to be reduced in size or in shape to fin in a standard pickup bed fender. They make specific kits for pickups that are different from the flatbed kits.

    Personally, unles you have alot of free time on your hands I would suggest simply buying a new one for pickups and installing it from scratch.