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Rear Hitch Turned into Front Hitch for Snow Plow

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  • Rear Hitch Turned into Front Hitch for Snow Plow

    I want to see if anyone has any good ideas to attach a REAR hitch receiver to the FRONT of my 1997 Isuzu Rodeo V6? I just barely got my welding bead looking okay, I'm still bad at it.

    I took the REAR hitch off a 1996(?) Isuzu and I plan to attach it to the FRONT of my 1997 Isuzu Rodeo to turn it into a snow plow. The snow plow is a Meyer Plow 24000 which uses a class III hitch receiver. I'm not sure what it weighs...maybe 150 lbs. I will plow a small 10 car concrete parking lot space, 4-5 times a year, maximum of 4" of snow. Also a small driveway about 90' long.

    I was thinking of cutting the REAR hitch along the blue lines and move the flanges (highlighted in green) to the newly cut ends. Basically, I'm shortening the width so they will line up nicely with the frame of the car highlighted in yellow. I don't want to attach to the side pieces the front bumper was attached to (highlighted in red); it doesn't look like it's rated for direct impact for a plow or something heavy and continuous pressure. Right now, the yellow bumper impact stops are removed (not updated in the photo). So I have a hollow tube (the car frame highlighted in yellow) that runs all the way back. So I want to put in 1-1/2"W x 2-1/2"H solid steel stock that will go INSIDE the car frame about 7"-9". The solid steel will have one big bolt holding it in and they will be shimmed into the frame so it doesn't wiggle around too much. Then that same solid steel will stick out about 4" from the car frame. This way, I can attach the new hitch to the 4" material with big bolts. This 4" stock and adjustable, will allow me to attach ANYTHING to the car by sliding the solid steel in or out, or attach other flanges, in case I end up using another type of plow down the road that needs special attachments.

    The hitch has to be somewhere between the tow hook on the left and the highlighted yellow care frame (12" - 18" off the ground). Really, I'm trying to avoid a $120 charge for welding services for the flanges to be moved inward. I wanted to bevel the edges, and put about a 3/16" weld bead. I believe the hitch is 1/4" steel. I have a cheap Harbor Freight/Chicago Electric 125 mig welder. Should I just go for it, preheat the metal, and try to weld it? Maybe I can change the configuration so there's no welding and somehow use bolts?

    CHICAGO ELECTRIC
    Flux 125 Welder
    Description says it can do up to 3/16" steel.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/flux-1...SABEgKP6PD_BwE
    Last edited by Lightboxes; 12-16-2019, 03:33 PM.

  • #2
    This is a project that when complete will be under tremendous stress when used. All welds will be under great stress so I strongly recommend a larger welder and someone who knows how to use it.

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    • #3
      I'll try to get the cost under $50 for the welding. $120 doesn't sound right. Otherwise...I might as well as buy a NEW hitch that has a similar width that will fit my solid steel protrusions. I can then, just bolt it on. Those new hitches are only around $115 and are class III.

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      • #4
        The bits that appear yellow in the pic, are those bumper mounts? Are they solid to the frame or are they shock-absorbing?

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        • #5
          I removed those yellow parts (Cut them off), they are just an end cap. The bumper mounts are not in the photo, they screw onto, the yellow parts.
          Hmmm...The frame portion, right behind the yellow part, is hard to explain because even I can't tell EXACTLY how it's all attached in there, even with a flashlight.
          It's tied into the Main part of the car frame, either welded, bolts, not sure. I'll take some pictures. and post a little later.

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          • #6
            The bumper mounts are welded...like an extension to the frame. It looks like I can use two holes in the front of those bumper mounts to put a bolt through, then another bolt in far back...that is part of the main frame. This seems like this would be enough to absorb the snow plow pushing force.

            Yellow flange that was removed.
            1. Extension that looks welded onto MAIN body frame.
            2. Main frame in the back area.
            3. Front bumper flange that is attached in the photo, but is now removed.
            4. Opening after flange was removed. The solid steel will slide all the way back. I should be able to put one bolt through the main frame into the solid steel in the back and one in the front through existing holes.
            5. Bolt will go through the side holes.
            6. Side mount where the front bumper USED to be attached.
            7. Bumper flange attached in photo, but is now removed.
            8. Hole in main frame where I can put a bolt to go through the solid steel.
            9. Looks like that bumper extension is welded to the main frame and goes toward the front of the car #4 and #5, not seen in this photo.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Lightboxes; 12-17-2019, 01:18 AM.

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            • #7
              Pushing forces is one of the easy things to deal with. One of the many big issues remaining is the cantilevered weight of the plow. Those extensions were never intended to support the cantilevered weight of anything more than a light bumper.

              Did the bumper have shock absorbers in it? Some of those frames are not intended to receive direct pushing forces.
              Last edited by MAC702; 12-17-2019, 08:50 AM.

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              • #8
                No shock absorbers. That's the weird part. The bumper was right up against some metal end pieces. I can always add a small gusset or piece on there....hmmm...I might just go for it without adding reinforcement, with the understanding, that I shouldn't plow a huge snow load all at once. I found someone that will charge $40 for welding which is a much fair price.
                I'll put a large 3' pry bar that I have, in that hole, bend it and see if the metal deflects up or down.
                I could try other testing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lightboxes View Post
                  .... I found someone that will charge $40 for welding which is a much fair price....
                  No, it's not. It's insanely cheap, and shouldn't be trusted. The good news is that it will probably only fall off in an empty parking lot, or in front of your own vehicle on the road.

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                  • #10
                    Alright, thanks for all the input and risks. The car will only drive down a residential road that is 1 mile. No further than that with the plow. So yeah, that's the idea, even if it all goes to h377, I'd only be going like, 15-20 mph on the road and just the parking lot area.
                    Last edited by Lightboxes; 12-17-2019, 11:06 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I wouldn't expect your front wheel alignment to hold up well....The frames aren't really made to be pushed on, which is what you are going to be doing with a load of snow. Could hold up or could start ripping or collapsing some of the front frame work. Time will tell.
                      fence and gate shop worker
                      At home...
                      Lincoln Power MIG 180....
                      Winco 6000 watt generator (13 hp Honda) "Big Jake"

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                      • #12
                        UPDATE
                        Just wanted to say, I was able to weld the hitch back together pretty good with my cheap mig welder. I used it to plow a lot of snow in the winter (SLC Utah area). On concrete the plow is smooth, but on asphalt it's more bumpy because it's a home plow and not a commercial plow. So on concrete I can go normal plow speed and get the job done really fast. On asphalt, I don't abuse the plow, and I'm much slower and careful. So I haven't tested the welding job with abuse of the plow, but with normal use (and careful use when needed) it's worked great! Especially because I tied the hitch and framing directly into the main frame of the car. I think this was a good project for me to work on my welding skills and metal work skills.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the update! Pics of the completed work?

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