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After last winter, we needed to find a better way to handle snow on 4 miles of private dirt road. I did it all last year with an open station tractor that I put together a cheap cover for and a manual rear blade. No heat, no wind protection, and using the tractor and blade on that much road was very time consuming. We talked about a plow for the pickup we own, but the plan is to replace it as soon as we can. No sense spending the money to add a plow at this point. Not ready to replace it right now though, and even if we did do I really want to hang a heavy plow on the front of a newer, nicer truck? Probably not.

I've been occasionally checking Craigslist for a used plow truck. One turned up down in Colorado, and I went to see it today. It's a 1997 F-250, 351 gas engine and an automatic transmission. Current owner bought it to plow snow with a couple of months ago, but it's been sitting and they decided to sell it. The ad stated that it wouldn't start, electrical problem. I did enough internet digging to find the maker of the plow has gone out of business and parts are unavailable, but standard enough that other brands can be modified to work.

It seems to have a battery or maybe starter problem. I tried to charge the battery with my red pickup for about 10 minutes, that didn't get it to turn over. I strongly suspect the battery in the truck is junk and a new one will fix it. It was live enough to operate the plow hydraulics, and I was able to verify that it lifts. Couldn't test angle since the plow was in the bed, but the motor ran when I moved the controls. After some brief negotiations, a little truck pushing and some maneuvering, it was winch time.

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I really like my little winch. It's set up to slide into the receiver hitch on either end of the truck, and I used Anderson SB connectors for power. There's a 500 amp solenoid under the hood, when I flip the switch on the dash it sends power to the plugs on the front and rear through 1/0 cable. Used it for the winch, and the jumper cables today. :good2: I have a wireless control for it but the batteries died and they're small, difficult to locate ones.

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For the folks who are wondering, yes the winch is below the trailer floor level there. Once the front end of the truck came up the ramps though, the attaching point on the white pickup was high enough that the cable didn't drag across the trailer. :good2:


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I haven't measure it, but from the way the plow fits in the bed I'm guessing it's 7-8'. Little bend in the center and it needs skid shoes, but overall it looks pretty solid.
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This photo was not faked, staged, or modified in any way. When I opened the hood, this is what I found. :nunu:

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It needs work. Battery, maybe a starter, brake reservoir cap, tires and full service on the plow setup. Overall, I think it's a solid truck that will do what we need to do. Yup. I bought a 20 year old plow truck that I haven't heard run, has four bald tires, that comes with a discontinued and unsupported plow and family of rodents under the hood and I still think it was a good idea. Maybe I've been in Colorado too much lately, got a contact high...:lolol:
 

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A few months ago, I rigged up a 12,000# winch like you did. It plugs into my hitch receiver on the rear with heavy duty extension cables to connect to the battery in front. I have not yet done anything about putting a hitch receiver on the front and probably will not as I think my use will be confined to the rear of the pickup. To use it in conjunction with my gooseneck flatbed, I hang a snatch block from the gooseneck frame with a chain. That keeps the winch cable from dragging on the front of the bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To use it in conjunction with my gooseneck flatbed, I hang a snatch block from the gooseneck frame with a chain. That keeps the winch cable from dragging on the front of the bed.
That's an excellent idea. I had a snatch block with me today, but doing that never crossed my mind. I'll have to remember that, I got lucky that I could hook onto the white truck high enough, but that may not always be the case. :good2:
 

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After last winter, we needed to find a better way to handle snow on 4 miles of private dirt road. I did it all last year with an open station tractor that I put together a cheap cover for and a manual rear blade. No heat, no wind protection, and using the tractor and blade on that much road was very time consuming. We talked about a plow for the pickup we own, but the plan is to replace it as soon as we can. No sense spending the money to add a plow at this point. Not ready to replace it right now though, and even if we did do I really want to hang a heavy plow on the front of a newer, nicer truck? Probably not.
Could not agree more.
Nice find..... I think, so far. :lol:
 

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Blake are the "hard to find" batteries MN21B2? 12 volt. My tilt trailer came with a wireless remote that only worked about one year. I tried new battery for the remote, still did not work, so I removed it and tossed it. :laugh: :nunu: I still have some new batteries, if they are what you need.
 

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I was 1/2 right, you bought something 4x4 with a cab to plow snow. And you tried to throw us off track with "I am taking a winch" :nunu: When truck and tractor were guessed
 

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That is an odd looking lawn mower.....:laugh:
 

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Nice find, just wondering are you going to keep your pet (PETS) under the hood. :laugh:

Main thing it should keep you warm this winter plowing snow.:bigthumb:
 

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Blake,

Looks like you've solved your snowplowing requirements. Hopefully it won't take much to get it back into reliable condition.

Almost the last year for the E4OD transmission. Once you get it going it might be worthwhile to drain and refill the transmission. Possibly put some Trans Medic in the old fluid and run it a bit before draining and refilling with new. The torque converter should have a drain plug on it. Accessed by removing the lower shield.

I've got a couple of new, old stock, matching aluminum wheels if you need them. Still in the box. You can have them if you need them. Would be happy to ship them. Just cover the shipping.
 

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That is an odd looking lawn mower.....:laugh:
I am still waiting to make him a deal on that Murray mower

Seriously, nice find on the truck Blake. With your skills, you will have it up and going in no time.

Did the rodent make the trip home?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Blake are the "hard to find" batteries MN21B2? 12 volt. My tilt trailer came with a wireless remote that only worked about one year. I tried new battery for the remote, still did not work, so I removed it and tossed it. :laugh: :nunu: I still have some new batteries, if they are what you need.
I'll have to check. Thanks!


Very nice Blake! That should serve you well as a plow truck. And it's a white Ford - awesome!
So far, the only thing about this truck that I might wish was different is it's a 250 vs a 350. I'm not worried about hauling anything with it, but the 350 had a traditional solid front axle while the 250 had twin traction beam front suspension. It was an early attempt at a pseudo IFS. Should be fine for my purposes either way, but the straight axle would be a tougher choice for plowing.

Nice find, just wondering are you going to keep your pet (PETS) under the hood. :laugh:

Main thing it should keep you warm this winter plowing snow.:bigthumb:
Keeping one in the bucket of water it fell into last night, hoping to keep the rest there as well. :nunu:



Blake,

Looks like you've solved your snowplowing requirements. Hopefully it won't take much to get it back into reliable condition.

Almost the last year for the E4OD transmission. Once you get it going it might be worthwhile to drain and refill the transmission. Possibly put some Trans Medic in the old fluid and run it a bit before draining and refilling with new. The torque converter should have a drain plug on it. Accessed by removing the lower shield.

I've got a couple of new, old stock, matching aluminum wheels if you need them. Still in the box. You can have them if you need them. Would be happy to ship them. Just cover the shipping.
Once I get it started I plan to give it a good once over. If the odometer works, it has 180,000 miles on it. The transmission is my biggest potential breakdown concern, because it's been pushing snow for 20 years. Part of me says change the fluid, filter, etc and part of me wants to leave it alone if it works for fear of dislodging built up gunk and creating a bigger problem.

I might take you up on the wheels once I get a little further along with the rest of the truck. Thanks! :thumbup1gif:
 

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I am still waiting to make him a deal on that Murray mower

Seriously, nice find on the truck Blake. With your skills, you will have it up and going in no time.

Did the rodent make the trip home?
I could take the Murray, but you'd have to deliver. We have two pickups now and I don't trust either one to make it all the way to NY and back. :laugh::flag_of_truce:

The rodent photo was at my house, with the truck on the trailer. It was hiding somewhere else when I was poking around under the hood before buying it. I set up a bucket trap under the truck last night and got one, but it's not the big one in the picture. Hopefully it'll get caught soon, on I can knock it out when I pressure wash everything.
 

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Originally Posted by Superglidesport
========
Blake,

Looks like you've solved your snowplowing requirements. Hopefully it won't take much to get it back into reliable condition.

Almost the last year for the E4OD transmission. Once you get it going it might be worthwhile to drain and refill the transmission. Possibly put some Trans Medic in the old fluid and run it a bit before draining and refilling with new. The torque converter should have a drain plug on it. Accessed by removing the lower shield.
========

Once I get it started I plan to give it a good once over. If the odometer works, it has 180,000 miles on it. The transmission is my biggest potential breakdown concern, because it's been pushing snow for 20 years. Part of me says change the fluid, filter, etc and part of me wants to leave it alone if it works for fear of dislodging built up gunk and creating a bigger problem.

:thumbup1gif:
Blake,

I would change the fluid and filter rather than leaving it in and hoping. The problem with old fluid is the friction modifiers get consumed with use, altering the band and clutch pack engagement events, allowing more slippage during engagement, causing more wear. Also, the viscosity thickens, causing slower fluid flow through passages and gates, further slowing clutch and band engagement times leading to more wear. Additionally, the trans filters are normally 20 to 30 micron elements, as it's a sealed system, the particles are mainly wear products of hardened gears and shafts, nice hard bits of steel, perfect for abrading surfaces and increasing clearances.

The E40D's are brutes, basically the same as the older C6's Ford stuck behind 390's, 428 Cobra Jets and 429/460's with an overdrive housing bolted to the rear. The same trans was used up until 2003 on the Powerstrokes with minor mods and renamed the 4r100.

Tom
 

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Another good idea for E4OD's is to install a shift kit to speed up shifts. Stock programming it can take as long as six seconds for an E4OD to complete a shift. SON had a '93 Lightning that he bought around 60,000 miles and it had right at 200,000 when he retired it, only thing done to the trans was fluid/filter change and shift kit installed around 65,000.

351W is a good engine for a snow plow truck. The diesel was not recommended for pushing snow, too heavy when combined with the weight of plow & mounts. 460 is also heavy and not that much more power than the 351W.

The Dana 50 on the front of F-250's has the same size bearings, shafts, etc at the wheels & hubs as the Dana 60 in F-350's. An F-350 with Dana 60 was rated 5000# and the Dana 50 was rated 4600# +/-. The weak spot is the differential and gears in the center section are Dana 44-sized. I wouldn't beat on it too hard. Or..... Maybe beat on it and put a D-60 in when it breaks!
 

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Blake, ya got some work to do on the "old fixer-upper", but a closed cab truck with a heater has got to be 1000% better than an
open station tractor when the north wind is howling. :good2:
 

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I know you saved a ton of cash buying this but you really should not worry about carrying a blade on a new truck. I have owned many and only rock 8 footers. You spec the truck in anticipation of plowing although many 3/4 tons have the heaviest springs already.
After commercial plowing for 15 years I have determined that the greatest damage that occurs is from the carrying of the blade over salty or brined roads. The blade creates a vacuum that pulls salty mist up off the road and the engine manifold bolts and underside can rust like crazy. I have not experienced any trans problems and only slightly accelerated steering wear.
 
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