• How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?
    We are looking for feedback from our membership to see how/what the weather has been like in your area. Please Click here to take our Winter Weather Survey, we would appreciate it.

Salt spray


LawnSite Member
Yesterday I plowed about 2-3" with a '98 Dodge p/u equiped with the 360 engine. After I had finished my route, I opened the hood just to give everything a quick look over and was really surprised how much salt spray had collected inside the engine compartment. Underside of the hood and engine had turned white. I typically angle the plow while traveling from job to job. Would it be better to keep the blade straight? Is it something unique to this truck - I know that some of the diesel's don't have much extra room under the hood possibly preventing the spray from splashing in. I'm actually not sure if the salt spray is coming from underneath the truck or in through the front grill. Since I don't have a heated garage, I'm a bit afraid to wash the engine this time of year. By the looks of my crusty manifolds, I know salt is busy working. Just seeking advise from other fellow plowers to see what should be done to keep the truck from deteriorating too much. Thanks for your advise. Steve.


LawnSite Senior Member
wel the best would be to presure wash after every storm in a nice garage that is warm salt is a big killer of trucks.


LawnSite Bronze Member
And I thought ford was the only maker to do a poor job with the rubber flaps to prevent this. My GM looks like new under the hood, GM does a very good job keeping the salt out.
Get some conveyor material, and make some rubber flaps to hang down from the inner wheel well, over the frame. That should help.


Don't worry much about salt rusting your manifolds. Salt is hygroscopic (attracts water) and there is the real problem with salt. Manifolds are so ho that there is little water going to stay in contact with them. I'd be a lot more concerend with the innder fenders, which get it form both sides, and wiring, were salt water in the connections makes a fine electrolyte as well as corroding the metal of the contact itself.

Chuck Smith

LawnSite Senior Member
Nutley, NJ
Wanna laugh? I bought a beater 79 Chevy with a plow for $1000, to sell for $1500 (needed the $500 at the time ASAP) I had the truck for one day. The guy that bought it, test drove it before buying. It ran great, but the body was shot from salt. When he got it to his place, and took it off the flatbed truck, it was spewing oil out by the filter. He called me and told me that the filter gasket must have been bad. The next day he called again to tell me the block had a pinhole in it. It seems it rusted through to the point that the oil pressure popped a pinhole in the block!
He tried to weld it, and it just made the hole bigger! Then he tried to get me to pay for a used motor. Naturally the truck was sold "as is" and I didn't give him a dime.

The moral is, worry about your block and other important parts. A rusty fender isn't going to take you out of action.

When I bought my 80 GMC it had a pinhole in the oil pan. I replaced it, and in the process found 2 other holes rusted through from salt.

Last year I changed my plugs, and one of them just twisted off leaving the threads and electrode in the head. This was after one winter, and about 3,000 miles. I was changing them because they were rusty and I was afraid that this would happen.

When I bought the truck, it had oil leaks, so much of the block and rest of the motor was rust free. After dropping in a new motor, and having no leaks, rust is starting on the valve covers, oil pan, and the block. <B>That</B> has me worried. I douse the motor regularly during the winter with Castrol Super Clean, or Simple Green, and give it a good rinse. I even scrub it with a cheap toilet bowl brush to loosen salt and grime. It sounds funny, but it gets in places that are hard to reach. Even doing this, rust rears it's ugly head.

Like Dino said, make flaps wherever you can! It will cut down on alot, but salt will still find its way under your hood, and when salty water hits the radiator fan, it gets sprayed all over under the hood.



LawnSite Member
Thanks for your inputs. I guess it is time to get the shrub brush out when it warms up and try to wash it up. I though that by having the plow on it would help prevent salt spray from coming in but the tires must splash the slush all over. Would it be a good idea to sprays such as WD40 to coat the fenders? I'd plan to keep them away from the engine / hot areas.