Putting a Plow on a 2011& up GM, Dodge, or Ford Truck
First and foremost, the F-150 MUST HAVE a factory installed plow prep package. It CANNOT be added at the dealer level. There is a completely different vehicle harness with plow prep. There is a dedicated switch that provides power for the plow controller AND also kills vehicle accessories to free up power to operate the plow without overloading the vehicle electrical system.
Trucks are getting more and more complicated when it comes to installing a snow plow on them, and it is no different with Ford. They "started" the troubles in 2011 when they decided they did not want a plow installed on the F-150. Then some 2013 - 14 trucks could have plows on them. In 2015, they came out with Plow Prep Package 68P which MUST BE ordered from the factory (about a $50 option). You can read the various Ford bulletins at the links below.
●NO PLOW on 2011 - 2012 F-150. READ Q-200R3 Service Bulletin Q-200R3 here.
Q-200R3 Details: F-150 vehicles with 5.0L and 3.7L engines have Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS). EPAS places high transient load on the electric power system which was designed and sized to handle this requirement. Charging system performance may be affected if snow plow equipment is installed on a vehicle with EPAS, resulting in temporary function loss of some electrical features.
F-150 vehicles with 6.2L engine are only available in Crew Cab body configuration and not available with the required Heavy Duty Payload package to support Snow Plow Prep Package.
●Plow on 2013 - 2014 F-150 with 6.2l engine only, Bulletin Q-214R2 here.
●NO DIRECT TO BATTERY CONNECTIONS Service Bulletin Q-231
●The joys of electrical accessories and having to ground them to aluminum Q-222R1
●FULL LIST OF FORD QUALITY BULLETINS here (Ford calls them Quality Bulletins, not Service Bulletins).
●From the 2017 MY Body Builders Layout Book Snowplow Section
F-150 MINIMUM REQUIRED EQUIPMENT – SNOW PLOW PREP PACKAGE (68P)
NOTE: The engine Outside Air Temperature (OAT) sensor is subject to error unless relocated to unblocked airflow.
●Requires 5.0L V8 engine (99F)
●Lariat trim (only) – Electronic Shift-On-The-Fly (ESOF) replaces standard 2-speed automatic 4WD
●Lariat Technology Package (68T) not available with Snowplow Prep Package (68P)
●Available on Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew models (5.5’, 6.5’ and 8.0’ boxes)
●Available with XL, XLT and Lariat Trim
●Both regular and heavy duty payload packages
●“Snow Plow” mode button on instrument panel will disable (load shed) the following features to maintain required electrical charge margins during plow operation / use: 110V inverter, fog lamps, heated steering wheel, heated front/rear seats, and massaging seats. Snow Plow mode button also activates relay to snow plow controls.
WARRANTY NOTE: The F-150 snowplow installation is intended for residential / personal use only.
The Ford New Vehicle Limited Warranty applies to vehicles with snowplows installed in accordance with these guidelines. Consult your Ford dealer or the Owner Guidefor any further questions.
2017 Ford F-250 (Superduty) Trucks -
Some handy info for the 2017 Ford F-250 on the Ford web site:
(MY stands for Model Year)
●2017 & later Upfitter Switches Quality Bulletin: Q-252
●2017 F-Super Duty – 6.2L - Erratic Operation Of Electrical Features When Using Up-fitted Accessories
With High Electrical Load Devices Such As Snow Plow: Q-269R1
●2017 MY Super Duty Customer Access Circuit Schematics Q-259
●2017 MY Body Builder Layout Book - Snowplow Section States:
Superduty Minimum Required Equipment:
●4x4 (all pickups, F-350 chassis cab)
●Snowplow Prep Package (473) which includes:
▬Front spring / GAWR upgrade (refer to the Weight Ratings charts for specific spring / GAWR selection for each model).
▬ 6.2L Gasoline: Extra HD 200 amp alternator. Optional 240 amp Extra Extra HD alternator.
▬ 6.7L Diesel Pickup: Extra HD 220 amp alternator. Optional 332 amp dual alternators.
▬ 6.7L Diesel Chassis Cab: 332 amp dual HD alternators. Optional 377 amp dual Extra HD alternators.
Plow and attaching hardware weight limits as tabled below. (in the 2017 MY Body Builder Layout Book)
●All-terrain tires and roof clearance lights (optional with SRW Pickup models, required with F-350 DRW and F-450)
GM Trucks 2014 & up:
●Radio HVAC IPC Blank Out When Operating A Snow Plow -
A nice 15 page UI Bulletin 124f on how to fix it.
●Snow Plow Lamp Activation - causes vehicle low beams to become inoperable.
The computer (BCM) shuts them off when it sees the current spike switching from truck to plow, and from plow to truck.
UI Bulletin 116b
(UI stands for Upfitter Integration)
●Snowplow Information 2015
Here is a portion of the GM Upfiter Integration chart. You will CLEARLY SEE that you can only get VYU Plow Prep on STANDARD cab STANDARD bed 1500 model trucks. In MY shop, I will NOT install a plow on a 1500 model that does not have VYU Plow Prep. As you can also see, you can put a plow on ANY 2500 model, long bed, short, bed, crew cab, etc.. Note: S = Standard, A = Available. You can see how little you get with the Plow Prep package compared to what is available. The battery is only 600cca with plow prep, but a 730cca is available. I usually recommend over 800cca when installing a plow. You can also see GM thinks a plow on a 1500 will draw less than a plow on a 2500, because the 1500 comes with a 170 amp alternator included with VYU, and the 2500 (gas engine) comes with a 220 amp alternator included with VYU.
I had a customer call last year wanting me to install a plow on his new Chevy Silverdao 1500 4 door truck. I told him no. He said the Chevy dealer told him it is OK to put a plow on it. I explained I will not do it because VYU Plow Prep is not available on a 4 door 1500 truck. He called back and insisted he just spoke to the Chevy dealer again, and that it HAS Plow Prep. I told him it is not an option on a 4 door 1500 truck, and I will not install a plow on it. He hung up on me!
There is no problem putting a plow on 2500 / 2500 model GM trucks.
Dodge / Ram Trucks -
Page 592 of the Owners Manual:
1500 Models Only
NOTE: Do not use this model vehicle for snowplow applications.
Snowplows and other aftermarket equipment should not be added to the front end of your vehicle. The airbag crash sensors may be affected by the change in the front end structure. The airbags could deploy unexpectedly or could fail to deploy during a collision resulting in serious injury or death.
Using this vehicle for snowplow applications can cause damage to the vehicle.
The above WARNING is enough for me to say NO. I will not install a plow on a Ram 1500. In my shop, 2009 is the last year DODGE 1500 I will install a plow on.
The above drawings show a change in the Dodge & (later) Ram 1500 front frame rails. In 2006 a "crumple zone" was added. That is the series of crimps and "dents" in the ends of the front frame rails to allow them to crumple in the event of a front end collision. Plow mount brackets are bolted to this same area, bridging (effectively eliminating) the crumple zone. Additionally, 2014 & up ram 1500 trucks have the same electric power steering Ford debuted in 2011 with their cautioning "Charging system performance may be affected if snow plow equipment is installed on a vehicle with EPAS, resulting in temporary function loss of some electrical features". On top of that, because 2010 & up 1500 models have such a tall front bumper, plow mounts are designed to fit under it. ALL 1500 models need a "leveling kit" installed in the front end to bring it up. Geometry IS important as far as plow operation. IF the mount bolts on, that is not all that has to be right for the plow to work properly. IF the mount is too low, the plow A Frame will not be parallel with the ground, and the plow will not angle properly. One end will come off the ground at full angle.
Back in 2012 I had a good customer that was buying a new Ram 1500, and he came here about a plow for it. I told him no. The truck sits too low, and he would not be happy. He bought the truck, and had the plow installed at the Dodge dealer. He picked the truck up, and brought it home. He could not get up his driveway because the plow was scraping so bad. He took it back to the dealer and had them remove the plow! I knew it was going to be a problem because I got a call in 2011 from another Meyer dealer in Ohio asking about installs on a Ram 1500. The owner was out for a day, and his employees installed (3) plows for a local Dodge dealer there. He came in the next day, saw how low they sat, and had them remove the plows! He could not believe his guys installed the other two after seeign how low the first was. he said they would not even be able to pull out of his driveway and back into the lot, they would get hung up.
Before I wrote this article, I did a quick Goggle search, "Ram 1500 plow", and read a post on a forum site where the owner of a Ram 1500 bottomed out without the plow on, pulling into a driveway, and it bent the truck frame down, behind the bumper, BAD. He said he could not open the drivers door. He took it to a body shop to at least fix the door, and immediately sold the truck with no plow.
Now you can argue to put a leveling kit on it, a 3" will help A LOT, but it does not solve the fact that Ram says NO PLOW on a 1500, with the warning above. Are YOU willing to take the chance with someone's LIFE? I am NOT. Are YOU willing to take a chance with YOUR OWN LIFE just to have a plow on your new truck? I hope not.
IF you want a plow for personal use, on a newer small vehicle, not a 3/4 ton truck, buy a Toyota Tacoma or Jeep Wrangler. They are both hands down the BEST personal use plow vehicles you can buy. They are very expensive to buy used, because they hold their value, but that is a plus for you, because when you want to sell yours, it will still be holding its value. BOTH the Wrangler and Tacoma from 2005 - 2017 it is no problem at all to put a plow on. IF you feel you still need a bigger "truck" get a 2015 & up F-150 with Plow Prep, or buy a Toyota Tundra and install a 3" leveling kit, it needs it.
For any Ram 2500 or 3500 truck, there is no restrictions when it comes to putting a plow on it. AHD Plow Prep package is recommended. As I have said many times before, the vehicle manufacturers consider their 1/2 ton trucks, cars that look like trucks. They lead the public to believe they are buying a truck, but in reality they are not.
●More help - Why do People Buy Plows?
●Buying a used Meyer EZ Plus Mount Plow
●Buying a used Meyer EZ Classic Mount Plow
(Spoiler alert, there is no EZ Classic Mount for any vehicle built after 2010)
Yet another fun fact is the cost of the Meyer Headlight Adapters for the plow lights to interface with the fancy new vehicle headlights. Many Headlight Adapters are around $300 alone! This is when the Headlight Adapters include new Headlight Modules, that are a MUST on most 2017 and some earlier models of Ford, Dodge, and GM trucks. Begining in 2007, GM started using a modular plug that includes the turn signals and marker lights, so there is no splicing for them, the adapters are plug and play. Begining in 2013, Dodge (Ram) Headlight Adapters are also plug and play, no splicing turn signals or marker lights. Ford Superduty, as of 2017 we still have to splice the turn signals and marker lights. Meyer is working on their new SOS (Standard Operating System) which actually uses the trailer plug in the rear for marker and turn signals. I just do not have enough information on it to comment yet. The SOS was a limited release in 2014 - 15 season, then a change was made for 2015 - 16 season, and another change for 2017 - 18 but again, I have no hard info on it.
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