542 Cab Forward Restoration

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Then the bearings were drilled and tapped for the grease zerks, and a new bottom shield plate identical to the original one was attached.

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Jphoenix

Member
The 90 degree grease zerk is an excellent idea. I usually think of that after I put everything else on and discover it's impossible to get a gun fitting on the zerk.
 

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Built the new thrust washer this weekend for the front of the trunion pin. Also built a thin washer for the aft end of the pin to take up axial slop and give a better thrust area than the back side of the trunion hold down clamp was doing.

Here is the pin before the washer was installed, I had to machine the fillet weld down a bit so I could get a good perpendicular thrust face on the angle head of the trunion pin.

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Here is the new thrust washer:

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Here it is installed:

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Here is the thin washer on the aft end, just next to the roller bearing, everything is tight now, but not to tight, slop is gone and good thrust faces are now in play:

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GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Cleaned up and repaired the seat mounting hardware and built a few new fasteners to mount the seats to the frame. They sit about an inch or so higher than the previous seats, I think I am going to cut the frame seat legs down and reweld them to the frame so I have a little more head room.

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DAVENET

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
as much as I like to restore to original specs, I would not put the box back on, but rather create a storage area in the coffin and have a hinged door in the floor of the flatbed, the coffin area is just wasted space, unless you take the fuel tanks out of the cab and built a custom tank in the coffin area, thus giving you more room in the cab, that would be the best choice IMHO.

thank you for posting the photos of the restoration.....

Agreed on this. That is a massive amount of Sno-Cat to only be able to carry two people inside. This is 'coffin' option:
 

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Track Addict

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My recommendation would be to use a wear metal for the thrust washer surfaces for long term service.

That current setup if all the same material will wear your fine work over time causing you to redo it all. Although maybe not until the next lifetime.

McMaster Carr should have what you need like a bronze or hardened bronze.

Check out my 1443 thread for what I used.
 

sno-drifter

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
Built the new thrust washer this weekend for the front of the trunion pin. Also built a thin washer for the aft end of the pin to take up axial slop and give a better thrust area than the back side of the trunion hold down clamp was doing.

Here is the pin before the washer was installed, I had to machine the fillet weld down a bit so I could get a good perpendicular thrust face on the angle head of the trunion pin.

View attachment 118711

Here is the new thrust washer:

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Here it is installed:

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Here is the thin washer on the aft end, just next to the roller bearing, everything is tight now, but not to tight, slop is gone and good thrust faces are now in play:

View attachment 118714

If you are looking for bomb proof, here is another idea to beef up the trunnion cross member. Also, turn another trunnion roller to decrease the wear on the fifth wheel. Better to have two rollers, as shown, as they will revolve at different speeds. One long one works too. Splitting of the hair.
 

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Track Addict

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Maybe a nice sacrificial wear plate under the split roller setup to protect the table for the ultimate heirloom tucker?
 

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
My recommendation would be to use a wear metal for the thrust washer surfaces for long term service.

That current setup if all the same material will wear your fine work over time causing you to redo it all. Although maybe not until the next lifetime.

McMaster Carr should have what you need like a bronze or hardened bronze.

Check out my 1443 thread for what I used.

I like this idea, did think about it a little but all I had on a rainy Saturday was a piece of carbon steel. I now have a good pattern to go with, I will round up a piece of bronze and make another one. Appreciate the help and good ideas, keep them coming.

Actually I was surprised that this pin was so sloppy in the trunion, I looked at the frame I have for the 1969 543 and it is all tight and better machined. I guess they were learning as they went along, much like I am.
 

GMoose

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GOLD Site Supporter
If you are looking for bomb proof, here is another idea to beef up the trunnion cross member. Also, turn another trunnion roller to decrease the wear on the fifth wheel. Better to have two rollers, as shown, as they will revolve at different speeds. One long one works too. Splitting of the hair.

That is a great idea, I will look into it. No guarantees I will do it but you never know. Thanks for the help and ideas. Please keep them coming.
 

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Agreed on this. That is a massive amount of Sno-Cat to only be able to carry two people inside. This is 'coffin' option:

That "coffin" option is way cool, I now understand. This one I am going to have to think about. One issue I have is this is where the exhaust pipe and muffler were located, if I go with this option I will have to figure out a new path for them. Now for my personal dilema: I want to keep this unit close to original, that is what I did with the Frandee. After 8 years of working on the Frandee to keep it original (as well as I could) it has tainted me. I don't want to ruin this machine by making significant modifications. When I get in it to drive I want to feel like I am still driving the same unit they made back in 1966. Sappy, ya, but that is the way I am. Also, this may sound crazy, but eventually I want to make a camper I can place on the bed. I think that would make for a great adventure rig. Take the Tucker and the Frandee, leave the Tucker as base and drive the Frandee around, or whatever. Dreams dreams dreams.

Now for these great ideas that have been coming my way like the "coffin" and the improved trunion, and whatever else may pop up, well I bought the Tucker frame from the 543 this spring up in Washington, then I bought the 500 series pontoons from the Tucker factory. Now it looks like I may not be using many of the parts from either of these purchases on the 543CF. So what does this leave but the makings for a custom Tucker like snowcat from these extra parts, hmmm the ideas, I need to get retired so I have time for all of this.
 

Pontoon Princess

Cattitute
GOLD Site Supporter
That "coffin" option is way cool, I now understand. This one I am going to have to think about. One issue I have is this is where the exhaust pipe and muffler were located, if I go with this option I will have to figure out a new path for them. Now for my personal dilema: I want to keep this unit close to original, that is what I did with the Frandee. After 8 years of working on the Frandee to keep it original (as well as I could) it has tainted me. I don't want to ruin this machine by making significant modifications. When I get in it to drive I want to feel like I am still driving the same unit they made back in 1966. Sappy, ya, but that is the way I am. Also, this may sound crazy, but eventually I want to make a camper I can place on the bed. I think that would make for a great adventure rig. Take the Tucker and the Frandee, leave the Tucker as base and drive the Frandee around, or whatever. Dreams dreams dreams.

Now for these great ideas that have been coming my way like the "coffin" and the improved trunion, and whatever else may pop up, well I bought the Tucker frame from the 543 this spring up in Washington, then I bought the 500 series pontoons from the Tucker factory. Now it looks like I may not be using many of the parts from either of these purchases on the 543CF. So what does this leave but the makings for a custom Tucker like snowcat from these extra parts, hmmm the ideas, I need to get retired so I have time for all of this.

nice progress and willingness to consider thinking outside the pontoon

first, Tucker Never Built 2 Machines the same,

as for original, from my perspective, originally is the holy grail, but when it comes to tucker, the company left so many ideas on the table, and the vast majority would have made the snow cat so much better.....

so, any bolt on item is good way to go, in creating a better function, like more room the in the cab and removing a gas tank from the passenger compartment is a good thing, as for exhaust pipes, the factory ran them every which way, preferred, is to go up above the cab, and out of the way, with much reduced exhausted getting into the cab, neither of these changes would in any way affect the vintage driving feel...

do not let the love of originally get in the way of good ideas that the factory should have done in the first place.

stay orange and tucker on
 

GMoose

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GOLD Site Supporter
Cut out the rear center supports of the bed, the bottom side of both had spots where they had rusted through (they were full of "dirt" from where I have no idea, there was not that much internal corrosion). Also cut out the angle iron cross braces that support the plywood deck, they had bad pitting on the top surfaces where they were in contact with the wood.

Old one:

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New one: This one also shows where I replaced the cross member where the transmission sits. The previous cross member had been cut out, presumably to support clutch replacement. The replacement was in very poor condition where they attempted to weld it back in. I also welded a "T" section back in just above the cross member, they had also cut it out, but never welded it back in.

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Then welded in new members plus added a center cross brace with two legs which went down to the lower frame work. There was about a 5 foot span with very little support, thought this might help. The original did not have this support, however at one time someone had added a very crude one.

Old one:

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New one:

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GMoose

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As discussed previously, the new seats are a little taller than the old ones, 1-1/2 inches taller. Shortened all seat mounts accordingly. Also repaired a bunch of other little issues, like one missed factory weld, a few small broken welds, broken screws removed, etc.

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GMoose

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The brackets which hold the top half of the front fifth wheel (rear fifth wheel on standard Tuckers) were in very very poor shape, bent with cracked welds. Cut old ones out, fabricated new ones, drilled out the egg shaped holes in the fifth wheel plate, fabricated new bushing inserts and bolted it all together for reinsertion. Here it is with the new supports ready to be welded in. Could not weld yet because it was windy all day Sunday (blows the cover gas away). I will show more of the fifth wheel repair later when I do all of the fifth wheel repairs.

Old ones:

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New ones, ready to weld in.

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GMoose

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The frame work around the perimeter of the bed had heavy pitting on the top surface, otherwise they were structurally sound. Decided to replace the entire section. Here it is cut away, forgot to get a picture of it all re-fabricated and tacked in, still need to weld it all together (wind issue). It is currently all covered up to keep it dry so I do not have to do to much cleanup prior to welding. It is currently getting covered by snow as I write this, got about an inch so far this evening. Will post pictures of the finished section of frame once I get it welded in, hopefully next weekend (running out of dry weather here in Idaho).

Pitting on surface:

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Cut away frame:

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GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
What is coming up? We are working on drive lines and the transfer case in the shop. Stay tuned for more exciting (maybe boring) Tucker rebuild.

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mikemikelle

Member
In the vintage car world, that is the equivalent of "Unobtainium" on the patina scale.
Whats the stone sub-surface building with a chimney...back entrance to the bat cave or a speak easy?
 
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