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HD 7.5' review

Discussion in 'SnowDogg Snow Plows' started by vonkentreker, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. vonkentreker

    vonkentreker Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    Picked up a new HD 7.5 last week, put it on an 01 Ram 1500 quad cab long box.
    Put 1770 lb. springs on the front before hand, good choice.
    The mechanical parts of the plow all look well thought out and built strong, it's a beast as far as weight goes, but I couldn't justify going with an MD for no more money than the HD cost, certainly will be worth more when it goes away.

    Mechanical went together with no issues other than the pump valve body had a leak at the SA valve that could not be cured by new a new Oring, my guess was the capture area was not machined correctly, that was a Monarch issue, not Snow Dogg, had to replace the pump assembly.

    The only issue I have with the plow, and it's a pretty big one, the lighting package is deplorable, I've had bigger and better lights on the front of my toy trains, very lame. With that said, I saw them before I bought it so that part I have to own. The really dissapointing part is how they came up with the wiring harness and "automatic switchover". The lighting harness includes a relay block that has enough relays in it to launch a Titan missle, it has to mount in the engine compartment amongst all the dirt, oil, snow etc. the wires leading into the relay block are totally open to the elements, no thought to protecting the integrity of all those contacts or open wire terminations, oh, and did I mention, it doesn't work, not well at least.

    Wired according to their incredibly poorly written installation manual with virtually no schematic other than a hastily drawn line depiction, the plow lights come on OK, but if you don't turn off the vehicle light switch before you turn off the ignition switch, you get to hear all the noises you can imagine from feedback from the relay pack not switching properly.

    Enough about the lighting madness, all of that is coming off and a couple of Hella's will take their place with oh, let's see, a five dollar switch in the cab.

    The plow looks nice so far, just be aware that the lighting part is a disaster, maybe next one (if there is one) I'll try to negotiate a price without the light package.
  2. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Good to know, I'm hoping to install my VX95 sometime this weekend and was wondering about the light/wiring harness.
  3. Jim@esitrucks

    Jim@esitrucks Inactive
    Messages: 1,124

    It is my understanding they are working on better lights, even as we speak
  4. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Ain't that a kick in the nuts. I wait nearly 4 years to buy a new plow and when I do, they go and put better lights on it.

    Kidding for the most part :nod:
  5. vonkentreker

    vonkentreker Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    The problem with the lights is not just the lights themselves, they are obviously weak, the problem is the lack of documentation.
    We are for the most part reasonably intelligent people. We know how to put things together and make them work. Why on earth would this manufacturer not supply a schematic for this mess so people could troubleshoot problems themselves either during installation or down the road?

    The installation manual must have been scribbled down on a restaurant napkin by someone on his way to an airport. Come on guys, a little more specificity might be nice, why would you want to overburden your tech support people with questions that could easily be answered with a little additional documentation?

    You've got a nice product here, try to do yourself a favor and help your customers help themselves.
  6. Plowfixguys

    Plowfixguys Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    You can get the diagrams from the website. We printed them and keep them in a binder for quick access when needed. As for the relays I agree they leave a lot to be desired, so in the mean time we pack them with silicon dielectric to keep them from corroding. The lights also need work but you can help the situation by playing around with the aiming of the lights. Give them time and I am sure they will come up with a better lighting and wiring system.
  7. HEMIGUY09

    HEMIGUY09 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    7'6" HD blade

    I am hoping I have made the right decision, I have a 2009 Ram 1500 5.7L crew cab. I just had a Boss sport poly 7"6" blade put on. I just plowed the storm we got here in the northeast and the blade just felt to small and light for truck. I have bilstein 5100 shocks front and rear, front set to max height. When boss blade is raised does not even drop front end down at all. The blade kept tripping with the heavy snow even with springs tightened up. I saw a guy with same truck with snow dogg HD 7'6" set up and he loved it. So the dealer who put on boss also is snow dogg dealer, he said would change out for HD snow dogg 7"6" blade but said he has seen lots of issues with wiring? any input would be greatly helpfull, he is suppose to change out on monday the 14th. should I do. I have 45 accounts, some small commercial and lots of residentials.
  8. smoorman

    smoorman Sponsor
    Messages: 447

    I appreciate your feedback on the manuals - we do have full service manuals/schematics on the website, and the manuals do give you everything you need to install the plow both mechanically and electrically. I reviewed our owner's manual as a result of your comments - and discovered the HD/EX manual does NOT have some of the new information (some basic schematics and a link to the service manuals) that was added to the other manuals (MD/VX,etc.).

    In training we reiterate to our dealers that if there is a lighting issue, that they need to first double check all of the components selected, check the installation against the instructions, and then contact tech support (or in your case, contact your dealer). 99% of problems with most trucks go back to the wrong headlight adapter or hooking up a truck using the wrong configuration (switched ground vs. standard). That's why our plow selector and application guide make it as CLEAR as possible.

    Clearly there is something wrong with your lighting that needs to be fixed - that is NOT how they should act. The 99-02 Dodges have specific requirements and a seperate relay kit to address the ground loop present in some of them. They are the ONLY truck prone to this problem (that requires a seperate relay kit).

    That truck should be set up as switched ground with a 16071210 aux. relay kit. Without the relay kit everything should work properly, but when the truck is turned off the relay module will buzz, the parking lights on the plow will be half-lit, and the highbeam indicator on the dash will be on. The relay kit eliminates this. Most dealers who have done these 99-02 Dodges are aware of this kit, but as it's a pretty limited range of years, some dealers have never actually done one.

    As far as the lights go, I'll take it under advisement. Based on our testing, it's clear that the size of the lights doesn't necessary correlate to brightness. The relay module as it stands contains 6 relays, which are required by GM/FORD/Chrysler and uses automotive rated relays and bases, very similar to what you'll find under the hood of any truck. The key with any installation is locating it properly - which I realize is a hard variable to control.

    I really can't speak to any ongoing development projects - but any and all feedback is taken seriously. I appreciate you taking the time to give your opinions.
  9. vonkentreker

    vonkentreker Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    Added the SEVENTH relay today after getting tech support to cough up the information, yes, it took care of the problem they have known about for years. Why not add a note about the need for the SEVENTH realy in the installation manual, or at least the truck kit? Printer toner getting too expensive? One shouldn't have to pry that kind of information out of a manufacturer, the schematic of the SEVENTH relay installation is not in your manual/schematic section of your website, unless it was added last night, might want to look into that as well.

    SD might also want to look into that new high tech substance they've had a lot of luck with lately, it's called Silicon, I think they use it in transistors, SCR's real space age stuff...

    As far as light brilliance, yes, size indeed makes a huge difference, the reflector and lense are everything to a proper light, federal law restricts the wattage of the lamps that can be used on road going vehicles so the only option for better illumination and coverage is to use bigger and better relector/lense combinations sans going to HID or devine intervention.

    The plow like I said earlier is a nice piece but pay attention to the weight because it really hangs out there. Good luck with the lighting.
  10. smoorman

    smoorman Sponsor
    Messages: 447

    Your points are well taken, the Dodge relay kit is no secret to SnowDogg installers, and if you had called tech support it would have been explained to you originally (it certainly should have been anyway). BUT YOU ARE RIGHT - and I will get it added to the 16071120 and 16071130 adapter instructions. Our documentation continues to expand every year, and you are correct that there is no reason to make an installer call us - it just wastes your time and ours.

    For automotive applications electromechanical relays are superior to solid state transistors and SCR'S. No voltage drop, better reliability, etc. There is a reason your truck is still full of relays. Even if we were to go to a more sealed design, it would likely still use electromechanical relays. I think a lot of very knowledgeable dealers would agree that a tightly sealed black box can have it's own share of problems. A lot of what drives the complexity of EVERYBODY's light kits is truck manufacturer requirements and customer demand to have a single truck side harness.

    With the online chat, email support, and our ongoing presence on this forum, we work hard to be easy to contact (the forum is not a formal channel - I can't afford to spend a lot of time monitoring it). However, we continue to improve and the more information we can get out there prior to an install, the easier it will be for everybody.

    I'm sorry for your frustration and I'm glad that your issue has been resolved. I'd be interested in any other specific feedback you have on your install. Feedback from existing dealers is less valuable because they've already learned all the quirks and often don't even complain. The "missing" information doesn't stick out to them, because they have it in their TSB binder. Feel free to contact us any time.