So, I finally finished my Bolens snow plow rebuild.
Using a phrase that my wife says is my unofficial motto, it took longer than I thought it would. This rebuild was necessary because I broke (tore) the mounting brackets when I hit a piece of sidewalk concrete that had been heaved up by a tree. There was a lot of rust and the metal just ripped away.
My repairs have more than doubled the weight of the plow blade going from 37 lbs. to 79 lbs. It is harder to pick up and move around than it was before, but it doesn’t bounce like it used to when plowing, it really sticks to the ground.
First, I pried and used the angle grinder to remove the original mounting brackets, which wasn’t hard because they were rusty and most of the welds were already broken.
Then I had to fix the bottom of the blade itself. It had gotten very rusty behind the scraper and behind the mounting bracket. I used the oxy-acetylene torch, arc welder and angle grinder to build up the metal and fill in the holes where it had been eaten away by rust. This process took far more time than I thought it would (motto again), and certainly it doesn’t look like a brand new piece of sheet metal, but it is strong and doesn’t have any holes in it.
I took the angle iron, drilled holes and welded in 3/8 bolts for the feet mounts. (I still need to fabricate some feet, but they aren’t essential, and I will get to them eventually.) I took the old scraper blade, the new scraper blade and a piece of ¼ x 1 ¼ plate steel, clamped them together and and drilled mounting holes. I drilled holes in the top piece(3/16 x ¾ plate) for doing plug welds. I also drilled ½ inch holes in four pieces of 2” long ¼ x 1 ¼ plate steel for the pieces that attach the plow to the mounting bracket.
Then I took the larger piece of plate steel and the angle iron, clamped them to the plow blade and tacked welded it in place, took them off and then welded both sides, and then did the same thing to the top with the smaller piece. Now I had a really solid base to attach the plow blade and the tractor mounting bracket, so next was to attach the mounts for the spring trip bracket to the plow.
The holes in the mounting bracket where it mounts to the plow blade had worn, and were much larger than the ½ inch pins that went through them, so I welded up the edges of the holes and re-drilled them so they were ½ inch holes again. Then I clamped my new piece to the plow blade, set the mounting bracket on there, bolted two of the new 2 inch pieces to the bracket and tacked them in place. I welded them up, and then did the same thing with the inside brackets.
I painted everything, including the back side of the mounting brackets and the plow blade where it was covered by the mounting bracket, except for behind the holes in the top where the plug welds hold the bracket to the plow blade. (Paint can really mess up a good weld) I have a wood burning stove in my garage, and for all the pieces that I painted , I first set them above the stove to warm them up to a temperature that would take the paint, and then put them back over the heat to cook the paint so it would dry quick and hard. Then I would leave for a while, because standing in a enclosed space that smells like drying paint is a bit to much for me.
Now it was time to put everything together. I clamped everything in place, bolted the bolted the brace to the blade. I had to re-drill the two end holes in the blade, the original ones didn’t line up with the new bracket, welded the plug holes, and then painted the back bracket and the front of the plow and the scraper blade.
Sometime during the welding, the piece of angle iron warped, so that when I went to mount the scraper blade, there was an almost 1 inch gap between the blade and the plow in the middle. It didn’t warp vertically, so all the holes still lined up. I just ended up using longer bolts in the middle. The plow now has a very slight bow or cupping to it. I tell myself that it will hold the snow better.
I am very happy with the way it turned out, and had a good time doing the work, but on a time spent basis, I should have just bought a new plow.
Next on my list of things to do is fabricating mounts for the hard top/ vinyl side cab I picked up.