Originally Posted by XJMark
If what everyone was saying in this thread was true then you wouldn't be able to safely operate a winch on the vehicle or pull anyone out of a ditch for that matter without "bending the unibody". Remember this is "snow" we're talking about not boulders, you let the weight of the truck do the work you don't need to jam the gas pedal, and you don't need to crash it into snowbanks when "pushing" snow either (pushing explained below).
Snow plow blades have springs on the back of them that cause the plow blade to bend forward and unload itself when the snow creates too much drag, this is by design to prevent damage to your vehicle. Even the highway department trucks have these springs on their plows (albeit much larger) and I've seen those flex down pretty good when they snag potholes.
Besides you have to mount a plow receiver frame to the front before a plow blade even goes on, this further reinforces the front of the truck. Heavy duty coil springs in the front wouldn't hurt either to help carry the extra weight of the plow/frame.
You also never "push" more than a couple inch thickness snow with a straight blade, you always tilt the blade to the left or right so that the snow will unload and pack to the left or right of you. You only push with a flat blade to re-arrange a small bit of snow to where you need it.
As for the transmission and drive train.... What do we always tell everyone? Come on you ALL should know this one! Easy on the skinny pedal! A well installed plow and some common sense and you're on your way. I lived in Chicago all my life before I moved to FL. and I've used a friends XJ plow to clear out my driveway before. It was like nothing to move 8+" of snow with the blade angled. Remember if your XJ can't handle the plowing you're doing, then you got there when the snow got too deep for your setup, time to call in a bigger truck/plow.
I agree with Mark. You can do anything if its done correctly. Furthermore, if the XJ couldn't handle a plow, why would there be several manufacturers making plows for the XJ? Wouldn't that open them up to lawsuits? Meyer, Western, Blizzard, Snoway, etc....
I have a 6.5' Meyer on my 2000 XJ, and it easily pushes the snow. But like Mark said, you should plow with the storm, not after its over and you have a foot on the ground. You should plow every couple of inches. This ideology is used even with 3/4 ton trucks, etc.
I hang out over at www.plowsite.com
and there is always discussions on plowing with Jeeps. This one guy wanted to put a plow on a Grand Cherokee. No manufacturer makes a plow for the ZJ/WJ because they have unibodys. SO I asked the obvious question as to why an XJ can take a plow when it also is unibody? They said that the XJ unibody is a lot strong than the grands, hence the reason manufacturers make a plow application.
Like anything, if you plow the correct way (with the storm) and take care of your equipment and vehicle, it will work fine. The manual with the plow explains how to maintain it, how to use it, etc. If you beat on your truck and run into curbs, or are plowing too fast, I don't care what you are using as your plow truck, it isn't going to hold up.
Good things to have when plowing with an XJ:
-Automatic tranny cooler
-timbren load boosters to ease the weight of the plow on the front end
do regular tranny fluid flushes, etc.
I hope all of this helps.