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Which will be a better plow truck?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ktraver97ss, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. ktraver97ss

    ktraver97ss Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Hello everyone, newb here!

    I have an auto detailing business in the chicago suburbs and we get really slow in the winter. I wanted to buy a plow for my truck last year but put it off and then kicked myself for it all winter. My question is, should I get a plow for my truck or buy an older truck like the one for sale by my house.

    My truck: 2002 Silverado Z71 5.3L, ec/sb, 98k miles, 4L60E (weaksauce), 10bolt w/G80lsd (garbage). I think I would need to get HD torsion bars, add-a-leafs for the rear or airbags and hope I dont smoke the trans or transfercase.

    Local offroad truck for sale: 1985 GMC K10- 130k miles - 4in lift,recently rebuilt 350 bored .60 over, cams, heads, etc. 700R trans (fresh rebuild), 14boltrear, 10bolt front, 4.10 gear ratios, custom tube bed and bumpers, everything linexed inc interior. Asking $2500

    Also, if I put a plow on the old GMC, are the brackets fairly easy to remove to allow for better ground clearance when I take it wheelin in the summer?
  2. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    the 4:10s drink gas at highway speed
  3. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I plowed commercially last winter with my 98 chevy k1500 running a 7.6 western and it commonly had wings on it (9.7ft) and it did fine. I'd put the plow on your current truck.

    KGR, if the tire size is right 4.10s won't matter. It will balance out to being back to stock tire size vs gearing.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i think my 96 dodge came with a 4.13 if i remember right , truck doent go much past 70 mph
  5. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    What size and brand of plow would you be purchasing and what type of plowing do you want to do? Thats the determining factor as to whether your existing trucks is capable or not. If the truck is good mechanically there's no reason you can't run a 7.5 straight blade on it with a few upgrades first.

    The '85 could make a fine plow truck as well but it would also need a few additional upgrades as well... probably more than think once you begin to run it. :eek:

    4:10's would be fine depending on what size tire is on it (as Mark mentioned). With a 4" lift I'd have to assume it has at least 33's. 4.10's work great with 33's on a plow truck. If the fenders are cut or it has a body lift too with much larger tires then the 4.10's aren't enough.

    The 700R4 will be the weak link on the '85...so that may be on your list of later upgrades AFTER you install the biggest cooler on it you can find.

    More details on both trucks will result in more info. :)
  6. ktraver97ss

    ktraver97ss Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I will be doing some residential, but mostly strip mall parking lots and other businesses. I have a friend who has been plowing for a while and has a few accounts for me, so if I pick up those and a few additional on my own I should stay pretty busy. I have not decided on a plow yet, still researching what will work best for me. Any recommendations?

    The 85 has a 4in suspension lift with 35in BFG all-terrains. Should be good in the snow, I have the same tire in 285/75/16 on my trk and they did fine the last couple winters. Im also keeping them rotated and getting a shitton of miles out of them!
  7. ktraver97ss

    ktraver97ss Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    also, one other thing, can I get one plow that can work on both trucks? with like 2 different bracket sets, just in case one takes a crap on me I wont have any down time for repairs.
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    A 7.5 ft straight is about all your going to want to use on the '02 so that somewhat limits your choices. But I'd definitely want more than a 7.5 for strip mall's.

    The solid axle truck could theoretically support a heavier plow but you'd need to consider the extra cost involved with purchasing/running/maintaining a second truck to see if it's cost effective for your amount of work. And I doubt the '85 will be ready to go "as is" so be sure to take that into account.

    No reason you can't equip both trucks for the same brand of plow and do the switch-a-roo if necessary.
  9. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

  10. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Good idea for an initial upgrade...as well as a large cooler...unfortunately neither will fix the weak sun shells and low clutch apply pressure they're well known for. Gotta break it open for those. :cry:
  11. ktraver97ss

    ktraver97ss Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I actually did the vette servo last year along with a custom tune that ups the line pressure for quicker shifts and decreases the torque management. The servo was pretty easy actually, did it myself, and im no mechanic. It shifts pretty quick now so that should be fine. I have been meaning to upgrade to a bigger b&m cooler, just havent gotten around to it. That, and e-fans and a dual battery and bigger alternator setup to run some more lighting,winch, etc.

    I guess I really want the 85 for offroading, but need to use the plowing as justification for the wife!! I think Ill just offer the guy $1500 and see if he bites, but plow with my 02.

    Was I correct that HD t-bars and add-a-leafs would be good suspension upgrades for plowing? What other things can be done to beef up the suspension?
  12. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    My 98 1500 has some suspension from a heavier duty gm truck. I'm going to guess 2500hd leaves in the rear and I'm unsure about my torsion bars but I'm going to say after hanging my plow last year those are heavier duty also. They have the code GH on them but I no longer have my door sticker that gives the front and rear weight ratings or overall gvwr. I know my overall is 6200 from gm. In the winter I add over 1600lbs to my truck between ballast and the plow and it sits 1.5" or so lower then it does in the summer.
  13. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Sure you can swap in a higher rated set of T-bars and/or add a set of Timbrens in the front. Add-a-leaf, airbags, or Timbrens for the rear would be fine too.

    Not much else you can do to the stock 1500's except install the best wear parts (ball joints, Pitman/Idler arms) you can find when they need replaced. Proper ballast is the key to making it all work...but often forgotten.
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    The GH code is a fairly heavy set of bars Mark, in fact forth down from the heaviest that GM has, having a max torque rating of 7161.

    Just for comparison, the heaviest bars are 9054 and the lightest ones are 1933 torque rated.
  15. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Yeah put it on the 2002 silverado, and crank the t-bars! Also make sure you put some weight in the back!:salute: Good luck!
  16. ktraver97ss

    ktraver97ss Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Yeah, Im leaning towards that. Get the airbags and t-bars and get ready to break some half shaft u-joints!! Yay!

    Thanks for the input and opinions.
    Heres some pics of her-