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Is my truck capable of handling a plow??

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by KSlandscaper, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. KSlandscaper

    KSlandscaper Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 60

    Im new here....read through some threads already about using a truck with a v-6 to plow snow, but still....I don't really have a good answer which would apply towards my truck.

    The truck I have is a 97 Chevy k-1500 with a vortec v6. (98k miles). I recently purchased a used 7.5' classic EZ mount Meyer plow in anticipation for next years snow season.

    Originally I sweared I would never mount a plow onto a truck with only a v6 but a mechanic had told me a couple months ago that the newer Vortec v-6s actually have more horsepower than the older carburated 350's (which is true). Maybe its just my mentality, but the v-6 handling a plow seems akward. I know it'd work...but I wouldn't want my truck to fall apart in the middle of the season.

    Could my current truck handle this plow setup reliably? If so, what modifications should I make to the trucks front end?
  2. Handyman

    Handyman Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I think your truck will work fine is it a 4x4. I have plowed with a 4cyl jeep and a small meyer. The setup is the same for all trucks, firm up the front end for the extra weight. Good luck.
  3. KSlandscaper

    KSlandscaper Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 60

    Forgot to ask...is the transmission (4LE60) trustworthy enough for plowing? When I bought the truck at 58k miles, the dealer had just replaced the transmission because "the overdrive didn't work." (These 4LE60's have some sorta valve problem which is quite common.)

    Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for your input.
  4. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    It's not so much the engine size ( assuming you know that you will not be able to plow large lots efficently or push mounds of snow ). It's the fact that if it has a v6 then the rest of the components probably match in strength/size. The transmission is your first biggie then 4x4 drive then suspension. Maintenance up until now counts too. If you have not been regulary changing the trans fluid, radiator, oil, etc ..... You probably have a tired rig and it will show.
  5. Frozen001

    Frozen001 Senior Member
    from Rome NY
    Messages: 908

    scottL is correct with the smaller v6, you will find that other things will give out before the engine.. the transmission of that vintage are troublesome at best... get an axillary cooler, and a transmission temperature guage before you even start pushing snow. Second realize the the truck is not a 3/4 or 1 ton truck... it is a light duty 1/2 ton so pick your work carefully... not a lot of large commercial work I would say... keep an eye on the transmission and engine temperature guages stop plowing if either start to get too hot... and you might be OK for a while... sooner or later you will start to go through front suspension components though...
  6. Mowerpan

    Mowerpan Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    You will be just fine. I have a 93 s10 blazer which uses basically the same motor except yours is newer and has a few changes. Mine also has the 4l60e and havent plowed much with it but i have a standard duty 7 foot plow on my blazer and we got about 5 inches today and it pushed like a champ. I don't think you'll have nay problems whatsoever. I put an auxillary transmission cooler on mine, and its always a cheap and good idea but otherwise I see no problems.
  7. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    You will be fine.:nod:
  8. KSlandscaper

    KSlandscaper Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 60

    Yeah, I figured I couldn't handle large lots. I'd stick with smaller lots at most.

    Wouldn't a k-1500 chevy have the same components whether it has a v-6 or v-8? I'm a little confused there. The 4L60E transmission is used on the v8 models as well...correct? I see people plow with 1/2 ton trucks all the time....

    http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/chevy_small_block_v6.htm http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/4l60e.htm

    I am hoping this next year I will purchase a 3/4 ton truck more suitable for this line of work.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  9. The 4l60 is an upgraded version of the 700r4. It is run in alot of gm vehicles no matter what the engine is. I have had several of these transmissions and some will last forever and some will give out at a guaranteed 65k. It is just like most other equipment, maintenance is a big issue, but sometimes it just goes out for the hell of it.:realmad: If I were you, I wouldn't be concerned with it at all. It is one of the cheapest transmissions to rebuild in newer vehicles.
  10. frostservices

    frostservices Member
    Messages: 63

    The only negitive I could forsee with the v-6 is lack of torque compared with the bigger engines or diesels . But you always have low range might be a good idea to use it that should keep tranny temp down by eliminating slippage in hard plowing. I know alot of guys have fords with I-6s and some really like them.
  11. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I just looked at a 92 K1500 for sale, 4.3 V6 (pre-vortec if I'm not mistaken) 7 1/2 fisher plow on it. I asked the guy if he had done a lot of plowing with it and he said he did, always had a big driveway route, said he was plenty happy with the V6. BTW, this truck had 226k miles on it and still looked pretty decent.
  12. massbowtie

    massbowtie Member
    Messages: 97

    good plow truck

    that truck will plow fine.use it like its a half ton pick up and not a loader and it will push all day long if you plow with the storm. if it doesnt have a tranny cooler on it i would add that. and if the front end of the truck sinks when you lift the blade,adjust the torsion bars 4-5 turns and or add timbrens so it rides decent with the plow up.other than that go make some money or save your back on your own driveway.as for killing your truck,your working with it so yeah wear an tear is worse but its all in how its been taken care of and used as to how long it will last
  13. Willy-D8

    Willy-D8 Member
    Messages: 47

    We have a 97' c1500 with the 4.3 v6. It would eat a 300 6 ford for breakfast. The motor does have very good torque for its size. It has WAY more power than my 86' carbed 305. It's also awesome on fuel even loaded. Don't hesitate to plow with. Just be easy on it.
  14. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    You'll be fine with power. You don't need power to plow, you need traction.

    You'll be lighter on the front axle, so things should last longer there.

    4L60E is a good trans with a nice low 1st gear.
  15. dubeb31

    dubeb31 Member
    Messages: 68

    hey midwest did you put for truck on ebay?...i'm alost positie i saw your truck on there not to long ago....it's a sweet rig
  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    As mentioned above, the 4L60E is basically a more refined 700R4.

    The difference between the V6 and V8 versions are that the 6 got less clutch plates internally and slightly different calibration.

    Shouldn't be a problem for light-duty plowing. Add the cooler and guage. Plow within light-duty limits. If the tranny does go, have it rebuilt to stock V8 specs and add a shift kit. There are plenty of S trucks, Rangers, Jeeps, etc. that plow too and are light duty equipment. They just stick to smaller lots and driveways. Don't expect to plow out the giant mall or Home Depot with it.

    And don't worry about the power thing, you've got lots. Gotta be up around 200hp in those years... my '90 S15 has 165hp with the old style heads and TBI. I plowed for years with my one-ton powered by a carb'd 305 (150hp new, probably around 90-100 when removed) that at the end still pushed just fine but had a completely dead cylinder. Traction was still the limiting factor. Now, climbing the big hills while loaded.... that was a different story.... :D