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Plow blocks air flow...temps rise!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yardatwork, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. yardatwork

    yardatwork Member
    Messages: 64

    I know this is an ongoing issue for most of us plowers. When the blade is on the temperature rise on warmer days...days above freezing. I'm constantly trying to find the right spot to have my plow while driving. Has anyone ever tried drilling holes across the center of the blade where the radiator would be to increase the air flow? I don't think a few 3/4" holes would interfere with the integrity of the plows strength. Could I be on to something? Is it worth the try? Would a few holes even make a difference. I'm running a 2006 Chevy 2500HD with a 7.5' Western UniMount. Since I have the UniMount I have the extra length from blade to truck frame...UltraMount to UniMount adapter...maybe this extra distance is a slight issue? Thanks guy...stay warm and be safe out there.
  2. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    Do you have the upgraded fan clutch? Holes in the blade is a bad idea as it gives surfaces for rust and rot to start and you'll be losing snow through the blade and you'll never really be able to clean it up.
  3. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I would have to say that you have a problem with your truck. Mine do not overheat I never even think about that.
    I like the Clutch Fan Idea, I replaced the fan clutch on my trucks with HD units when I got them.
  4. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    Its actually a Chevy problem too...the 6.0s without plow prep generally need an upgraded clutch.
  5. golfcar

    golfcar Member
    Messages: 35

    I had a 2004 Chevy 3500 with 6.0 and never could keep it cool with blade up even at outside temps below 20 degrees.
  6. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    My 04 6.0 has plow prep and an upgraded fan clutch and has no problem keeping cool.
  7. golfcar

    golfcar Member
    Messages: 35

    I knew another guy that never had a problem with his either, but the one I had would not stay cool with the plow on it and up. It had plow prep and the dealer changed the fan clutch put a larger fan and changed the plastic shroud [under warrenty] so the larger fan wouldn't rub. Shipped that truck with 29000 miles on it.
  8. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Its a GM problem and been that way since my 1981 Chevy

    I run Fords now never had a problem
  9. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Get the new fan clutch and your problem will go away. East fix .
  10. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    I dont have a gm truck but I did have overheat issues untill I found out that I didnt have the plow prep package. Once I installed the plow prep fan clutch, all is well with the temps. Due to disturbed airflow, some fans could possibly rotate backwards. The upgraded clutch keeps the fan engaged more at lower rpm. As a fix temporarily you could run the blade straight and drop it down as much as possible. Thumbs Up
  11. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    Thats how I run it on the 06...no plow prep with a 7'6'' HD. Run it straight and about halfway up and it stays cool too.

    GARRETTWOOD Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Fan clutch, had same problem on 2 GMC trucks. Replaced clutch and all is good.
  13. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    Mine likes to get warm too. I never knew that a heavy duty fan clutch would fix this.
  14. the05goat

    the05goat Member
    Messages: 58

    I have a 03 2500hd 6.0 while driving with blade up my temp usually hovers just under the 200 mark how high are the temps your seeing?
  15. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    hd fan clutch, and maybe a switched electric fan in front of the radiator like the camper special pkgs
  16. MikeJee

    MikeJee Member
    Messages: 33

    How hot is too hot? Yes I know if you pull the dipstick and it smells burnt, duh, definitely not good. What would you say, about 240-250?

    To anyone: What does your tranny gauge read at it's peak temp when pushing snow?

    No problems with my 1500, it gets up to 215 when it's plowing hard for an extended period, when I take a spin or idle for 10 mins it cools right down to the 170-190 range, depending how cold it is outside...etc.
  17. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    240-250 is too hot. 215 is okay as long as its cooling right down when not working hard...coolant wise. Most engines have a 185-195 thermostat.

    Transmission, I'd try to stay under 200. Mine runs 150-170 on my ford. I know... Apples an oranges...
    Over 200 though, you are getting close to its boiling point and the system is not under pressure.
  18. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    So the problem here has to do with physics/aerodynamics, its not a "GM" thing really, its a PLOW thing.

    If you take an airplane wing, it doesn't wedge up against the air to ride up like a boat planes out on water. Rather the surface area on the top of the wing is longer than on the bottom, causing the air to move a greater distance. In aerodynamics, high velocity = low pressure, highER velocity = lowER pressure.

    In a normal vehicle, the front is open for air to ram straight into, so just by moving forward, you get air flow across the radiator and the engine will cool. Past the grill on the front, a car comes much closer to resembling an airplane wing. Or at least a cross section of one, air flows a greater distance on the top compared to the bottom, and you end up with a small amount of lift.

    With a plow on however, the plow BLOCKS the radiator, so the airplane wing cross section starts way up there, about 4 feet ahead of the radiator. The interesting thing, is because the air flows outward -- FAST -- it actually creates a vacuum in the area between the plow and the radiator. Sometimes, you can actually get air sucking out the radiator BACKWARDS.

    The problem with this, is that the fan clutch locks up when it gets HOT. Because the air is flowing in the wrong direction across the radiator, it is actually getting COOLED by the cold air under the truck. That cold air gets drawn across the fan clutch, then the radiator, then out and UP over the hood. The fan clutch never engages.

    Now the fan clutch has another source of heat -- the engine itself, because it is bolted onto the water pump. Now you are battling to see which dominates -- the heat from the water pump, or the cold from the air.

    A simple trick you can use to adjust this in favor of the heat from the water pump is this; INSULATE the clutch and the shaft running from it to the water pump. Just stop (as much) cold air from cooling off the fan clutch, and it will help lock it up.
  19. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Back when I had overheating issues on the 77 F250, I was planning to cut flip up doors in the plow. It would have required me getting in and out to open or close and pin them, but that was better than killing the 351M.
    I even had a plan to make the thing a hydraulic activated sliding door system. Would have been a series of 2" wide by 12" tall slits in between the braces of the Fisher speedcast...a hole drilled through them for the rod that was moved by the hydraulic piston..think of a stove's draft that slides open or shut...if that makes any sense. Piston would have had a 2" stroke...if I could have found one that small. Never occured to my 20 year old mind that a $50 electric fan would have fixed it..

    Anyway, my F250 has the plow prep, like all Superdutys. Needle on the guage never moves after it is warmed up.

    If the HD fan does not help you, then I would remove it and install an electric fan that attaches to the radiator and runs off a thermostat in the hose. That would cure the issue for good.
  20. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    It was ok until the last two paragraphs. And the vacuum you claim in between the plow and the front of the truck isn't as significant as you think. The fan can overcome it easily.

    Insulate the clutch? Really? :help:

    For people with overheating issues, run the plow lower. Never had a problem with my unimount, but my meyer V2 sometimes warms up the truck on the highway, because it's so tall. I run it a few inches off the ground and I'm fine, even on warm days.