542 Cab Forward Restoration

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Need some help from anyone that may be into boating out there. The rear fifth wheel has a rudder angle gauge since the front and rear turn independently of one another. I have the gauge, but the sending unit is missing. I know I can get a newer one, however if at all possible I would like to find one like the original. The brand is Crowell Designs, here is an image of the gauge and sending unit (upper left corner of brochure). If not able to find a sender, just the technical information, such as what ohm range and angle it sweeps through, would be helpful.

If you have any suggestions on a brand and/or model for replacement sending unit that I can use with this gauge, that would also be helpful.

Also, in the next couple of weeks I will get this thread caught up, have made a lot of progress (meaning have spent a ton of time and $$$) lately.

Rudder Gauge.jpg
 

Track Addict

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
VDO makes a sending unit that should would.

Faria makes a gauge that is close.

Check with vetus also.
 

sno-drifter

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
Need some help from anyone that may be into boating out there. The rear fifth wheel has a rudder angle gauge since the front and rear turn independently of one another. I have the gauge, but the sending unit is missing. I know I can get a newer one, however if at all possible I would like to find one like the original. The brand is Crowell Designs, here is an image of the gauge and sending unit (upper left corner of brochure). If not able to find a sender, just the technical information, such as what ohm range and angle it sweeps through, would be helpful.

If you have any suggestions on a brand and/or model for replacement sending unit that I can use with this gauge, that would also be helpful.

Also, in the next couple of weeks I will get this thread caught up, have made a lot of progress (meaning have spent a ton of time and $$$) lately.

View attachment 120488

Here is a gauge factory installed in Tucker.
 

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  • Rudder angle gauge.jpg
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Mill666er

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
My 542 has ‘side companion steering’ but did not come with a rudder gauge. I picked up a cheap one from eBay not knowing if I could make it work. It was a challenge to figure out how to mount the sending unit and had to mount the gauge upside down for it to correct. The range is 0-190 ohm

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GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Thank you very very much for all the help and info from everyone, especially mill666er, for the photos of the sender unit attached. Here is what my 542 came with, a guage, a bracket, a wire, and a hole in the top of the 5th wheel. I should be able to get this feature working with the information and contacts everyone has provided. If anyone else has photos of the sender unit attachment that would be great.

Thanks again, your help is much appreciated!!!


Here is my gauge, obviously.

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If you look close you can see the small hole in the top of the 5th wheel next to the trunion pin, where I believe the original sender unit arm was attached.

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Here is the bracket and wire. On the bracket you can see the outline (missing paint) of the original sending unit. It was mounted the same as Mill666er's is, facing down.

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Backyardski

BackyardskiLima
GOLD Site Supporter
The rear fifth wheel has a rudder angle gauge since the front and rear turn independently of one another.

I’m not familiar with how they operate independently. Does the orbital valve not control front and rear cylinders together? Or does it just end up getting a little out of wack because they aren’t mechanically tied together? How do you make the adjustments to correct? Are you able to crab steer? That could help walk it out of a trouble spot if so. Hmmmmm.
 

Track Addict

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
Also curious as to why the rear would be independent of the front. Trail packing is all that comes to mind. One pass 4 track widths.
 

Pontoon Princess

Cattitute
GOLD Site Supporter
I’m not familiar with how they operate independently. Does the orbital valve not control front and rear cylinders together? Or does it just end up getting a little out of wack because they aren’t mechanically tied together? How do you make the adjustments to correct? Are you able to crab steer? That could help walk it out of a trouble spot if so. Hmmmmm.

Steering wheel operated only the front pontoons, while a lever between the front seats controlled the rear pontoons, and let your imagination run wild with all the moves like Jaeger you can do.

merry christmas
 

GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
I’m not familiar with how they operate independently. Does the orbital valve not control front and rear cylinders together? Or does it just end up getting a little out of wack because they aren’t mechanically tied together? How do you make the adjustments to correct? Are you able to crab steer? That could help walk it out of a trouble spot if so. Hmmmmm.

I have found two different steering setups for the snow compactor configuration. There is a patent for the steering configuration. I don't have the number with me right now, I will post later. However, my understanding of how this configuration works is when the manual valve is activated both front and rear pontoons steer by use of the orbital valve (steering wheel). This system uses 1 orbital valve, 2 flow diverters, 1 hydraulic lock, and 2 Rams. My 542SC has one less flow diverter and is plumbed differently. The rear ram for the rear pontoons will not steer with the steering wheel, they only steer by activating the rear valve one direction or the other. I will draw up a schematic of both systems and post it in the near future.
 

sno-drifter

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
Here is the factory installed rudder indicator Mr. Moose. The fun part of driving one of these SC machines is that the hyd. lever for steering the rear axle is mounted with the lever moving fore and aft. Why not have it move right and left? Another Sno-Cat mystery.
 

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Backyardski

BackyardskiLima
GOLD Site Supporter
I have found two different steering setups for the snow compactor configuration. There is a patent for the steering configuration. I don't have the number with me right now, I will post later. However, my understanding of how this configuration works is when the manual valve is activated both front and rear pontoons steer by use of the orbital valve (steering wheel). This system uses 1 orbital valve, 2 flow diverters, 1 hydraulic lock, and 2 Rams. My 542SC has one less flow diverter and is plumbed differently. The rear ram for the rear pontoons will not steer with the steering wheel, they only steer by activating the rear valve one direction or the other. I will draw up a schematic of both systems and post it in the near future.

I’m interested in seeing how that is set up. I have a skytrak rough terrain forklift that has selectable steering- front wheel, four wheel and crab, and I never gave much thought as to how this was accomplished. Maybe they borrowed tucker technology.Thanks for sharing the info!
 

Cidertom

Chionophile
GOLD Site Supporter
If you want difficult to troubleshoot steering, Pierce Fire Apparatus had the patent (I think). High speed rear axle is locked strait. at low speed between certain steering angles it steers in direction of turn and at really low speeds and large angles it counter steers. I think they finally took out the auto counter steering.
 

Logger1965

Active member
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Sounds like steering a log trailer. Try explaining that to someone who doesn't understand a pole steered trailer.
 

GMoose

Well-known member
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Off work for 2 weeks, will try to get the thread up to date.

Back to the rams, all rebuilt now.

Here are the before pictures, top ram is the rear, bottom ram is the front:

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GMoose

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Here they are disassembled:

This photo is of the bottom ram. Both the rear and front rams are the same model, however the rear one has a travel limiter sleeve (bottom right) installed in the barrel, about 2 inches long.

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Front ram disassembled:

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You can also see that the ball joint springs are broken, had to replace all four (2 per ram, 1 per end). Pricey little things, $15 each.

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GMoose

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
One of the cones which sit in the base of the ball joint housing had been cut down about an 1/8", this required the adjusting screw on the end to travel to deep into the thread. This set the cotter pin to high to lock into the slot of the plug. So, I build a new plug, hopefully this does not screw up some alignment when I assemble back onto the frame.

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