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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking into adding a snow plow to my D this winter. Does anybody else actively use their D to run a snow plow? And if so, how does the D handle the duty?

If I were to do this I plan on doing a 2" lift to the rear leaf springs and cranking up the torsion bars in the front for at least a 2" lift to handle the additional weight.

Any comments on this would be appreciated.
 

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Don't do it. The front end of the D isn't built to handle a snow plow - the frame rails are unsupported at the front. Any unusual torque will bend the frame. You'd really need to beef up the front end if you wanted to attach a plow blade.

I've heard of people who wanted to plow with their D and attached a plow to the rear hitch receiver. I seem to recall some earlier discussion. You might want to do a search here or in the Forum II archives.

Joe
 

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Many moons ago I contacted two of the major plow makers about plowing with a D and both told me that no reputable plow dealer would sell a plow for a D given their construction. Having said that, there are lightweight plastic-bladed plows that might work but, given their cost and the fact they're only for light occasional plowing duties, the money you might spend to rig a plow could better be spent paying a guy with the proper set-up IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is the front end of the Dakota constructed the same as well?
 

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This makes little to no sense. I have a hard time believing that a Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is more of a brute than a Dakota or Durango. They don't even have a frame! They're unibody ("uniframe" as Jeep likes to call it) construction, but Western makes a 6.5' Pro Plow for them. The dealer down the road from me is a big Jeep nut and uses one to plow his lot.

If memory serves me correctly, I think I've seen at least one Dakota (earlier gen) with a plow hanging off the front of it.
 

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I Built my own. I don't do a lot of other people's driveways, don't beat on it, and it works fine. If anyone's interested I'll post a picture of my mounting system? I'd have to hit a tree at about 40 to hurt it I think! I recall reading somewhere that the D was built with a 30% heavier frame than other trucks in its size. I just don't get where they get the notion that it can't plow.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's what I found with some Googling?:?

From an Edmunds review of the 1999 Durango:

?Based on the Dakota platform, the Durango is Dodge's best-ever attack on the booming sport-utility segment. And from the looks of things, the Dodge boys have done their homework. Though 80 percent of its parts are shared, the Durango's frame is actually three times stiffer than its Dakota sibling.?

From another review I found on-line:

Frame Design: Maximum Stiffness, Minimum Weight:

Starting with frame design, Durango engineers stiffened it to handle the greater - and higher - mass of an SUV. By making it more than three times stiffer than the Dakota 4x4, a framework was established to tune steering,suspension and body mounting. It's fully boxed almost all the way to the rear, and utilizes two hydroformed crossmembers welded to the side rails for maximum torsional stiffness.

Maximized stiffness wasn't done at the compromise of weight, as Durango's frame weighs only slightly more than a Dakota at the same wheelbase. This was accomplished by doing extensive computer modeling of the frame and using newly-developed gage (thickness) optimization programs. The Durango frame is splayed outboard at the rear and the section height provides increased room for the interior package. The stiffness was returned to the frame by boxing the rails.
 

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While that may be all fine, the Engineers at the plant said not to plow with it.

It's your D man, do with it as you please. Skitzo above provided a link that says it's specifically for the D (1st I've ever seen, but I wasn't looking.)

Let us know how it turns out. Good luck!

IndyD
 

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I brought this discussion to a friend of mine who's in the snowplow business. He said that a Sno-Way plow with the power down option will work perfect on a Durango or Dakota. They're a lightweight clear polycarbonate blade, but can really take the abuse. The blade is even guaranteed for life!

He even said he saw no reason why a small metal blade like a Western or Meyer couldn't work on one of these vehicles. Heck, they have them for Explorers and S-10 Blazers, and those vehicles are definitely weak by comparison.
 

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It doesn't matter how rigid the frame is, the point is there's no cross-brace across the front end of the D. From behind the radiator forward, the frame is open-ended. That's why you can't add tow hooks to the D either without adding a front cross-brace.
If your kit includes a front end cross-brace, you may be OK. But, if you're just going to hang it off the front of the frame, then you're asking for trouble.
Most of the local plows here in the GreatNorthEast are on the front of full-size pick-ups (RAM, Silverado, F-Series.) I don't ever recall seeing one on the front of a D or Dak.

Joe
 

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Here's a scanned image of the D's frame from my Durango Dimensions Joints and Seams manual that illustrates exactly what Joe's talking about.

You'll notice the rear frame arms have a cross-brace directly between them that "boxes" that end of the frame. However, the front frame arms just stick out with no support between them at all. Note, that front brace back a ways from the arms hangs "below" the main frame and wouldn't provide the sort of support needed for heavy loads to hang off the arms.

At one time Dodge sold a front tow hook "kit" for the D that included a cross-brace for the front arms but, as far as anyone knows, they don't offer it anymore.
 

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Big Al said:
At one time Dodge sold a front tow hook "kit" for the D that included a cross-brace for the front arms but, as far as anyone knows, they don't offer it anymore.
Getting one of those would be one of those rare "diamond in the rough" finds.

Kind of like the guy on another forum I'm a member of for lawn mowers, etc?Found a nearly mint condition 1951 Lawn-Boy in the basement of his friend's grandmother's house. She said he could have it.
That mower even in unrestored condition could fetch a grand or better on eBay.
 

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The bracket I built for my plow also works for tow hooks? looks like it's time for a paint job! 2" receivers in front 3" x 3" angle on the front side "tying" the front supports together.
 

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In case someone is still interested in installing a snow plow on a Durango. I have a 2003 Dodge Durango SLT with close to 96,xxx miles on it.

2003 Dodge Durango SLT with a Western 6.5 Standard

Well ... finally got the snow plow installed by Van Dine's up in Hackensack. I was hoping he would have put on a Midweight or the HTS but he put the truck side Ultramount 2 and the blade is a Unimount Western Standard 6.5 which they don't seem to make anymore. The weight is very close to 560 lbs with the 11 gauge blade.

IMG_20150207_121956.jpg IMG_20150207_101250.jpg IMG_20150207_113517.jpg IMG_20150207_121121.jpg IMG_20150207_121135.jpg IMG_20150207_121956.jpg IMG_20150209_094529.jpg IMG_20150209_094543.jpg
 

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I had two 96 Dakota's that I plowed with for years. I than put the plow on a 4.7 03 Durango. Plowed like a beast.
The frame rotted out so I found a 03 Durango with the 5.7 and swapped the plow over. With the 5.7 I'm having an issue with the truck over heating when I'm over 40 MPH. Stay under and I'm fine.
 
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