TUCKER - TRACK TIGHTENING TOOL

GYPSY

Member
Does anybody have such a tool or pictures of the tool? Seems it would be a better way of bowing the links to tighten the tracks than using a hammer.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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Is this what you are looking for?

It looks to me to be identical to a cabinet maker's "pipe clamp" that is used for holding large cabinets together during the assembly/glue process of building custom furniture.
 

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GYPSY

Member
No - that is just a "pipe" clamp used to draw the ends of the track together so it can be pinned with a connecting link. The tool I am looking for bends the links to take up the slack in the track. To keep weight down and I am sure cost down also, there was no provision to adjust the front idler in or out to tighten the track. I currently hit the connecting links with a hammer to bend them. I figure Tucker's tool had to be a better way to get the same result.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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How about this?

Unfortunately it doesn't show the detail of the tool.
 

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GYPSY

Member
Don't think that is the tool either. I think they are just trying to show you to bar up on the track to check it for the proper tightness. I had a photo of a homemade tool but can't find it. I was thinking that it was used perpendicular to the track.
 

GYPSY

Member
Just noticed that the above picture shows an adjustable track. The "nose pieces" are slotted for adjustment of the track tension using that jack screw on the pontoon centerline. There is no need for the bending tool on this arrangement. Sure wish mine had that but don't know if it was ever used on a 222 Kitten.
 

GYPSY

Member
Found the picture - lets see if I can post it.

The tool needs to be rotated 90 degrees and slid under the two pins. The handle is pushed down so the bolt head contacts the center of the link. There are two bolts on this tool so you can bend the inside and outside links,
 

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dseymour

New member
A track adjusting tool may be necessary on pontoons with adjustable ends. Track pitch can be adjusted by bending the links. As the links wear, the pitch of the drive rollers will not mesh with the sprocket teeth. Measurements should be taken at a distance of 7 or 8 track bar spacing. Inside and outside of the track should measure the same. If not, bend the links on the long side to match the short side. This will make the track adjusting easier and the rollers will run more true and will not wear the roller flanges or rails as much.
 

mtncrawler

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A buddy of mine has one of these mechanical marvels and has "half links" that get the track lenght pretty close. What does track pitch mean and what is this about the drive rollers not meshing correctly with the sprocket teeth?
 

dseymour

New member
see attached photo. Track pitch is the measurement between A & B or C & D. These measurements should be the same on each side. If a worn track link was replaced on one side and not the other, the track measurement (or pitch) would be different from one side to the other. If this happens, the drive rollers (figure E) may not drop to the bottom of each sprocket tooth. If the measurements between F & G are not the same as the measurements between H & I, bend the links on the long side to make them the same as the short side. If one side is longer than the other, the track will not run straight and will wear the roller flanges or derail the track. After this adjustment use a half link if necessary and then adjust your end adjusters for proper track tension
 

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mtncrawler

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So the bend point would be on the flat steel part of the link that connects the A and B grouser bars, as an example? Thanks for showing this, I've never heard of this procedure before.
 

Lyndon

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Somewhere in the old literature there is a picture of the Linc Bending tool. It's just a piece of flat bar stock with a slot cut in it that is the thickness of the linc. This is made out of standard plate, a piece about 3/8 of an inch thick by 3 inch by 4 inch(approx) and welded on to a piece of 3/4 or 1 inch pipe. I had another tool for lining up the ears that the rollers bolt to. Gave them both to Bill Guthrie when I sold My 443. Don't think I have any pictures, but I could draw something up... or just call Bill, 208-549-2501 he might still have them. He is certainly the most knolegable about Tucker's of anyone I've met.
 

GYPSY

Member
I have never seen a Tucker half link. The drive sproket would need to be pitched at 1/2 the track pitch to run a 1/2 link. This means that only every other sproket tooth is engaged. Not the case on mine. Anybody have info on the link bending tool?
 

dseymour

New member
I have a link bending tool like the one in post #7 and it is used as explained to bend the links down to shorten the track.
 

GYPSY

Member
Is it "home made" or from Tucker? Is it easier or better than using a hammer to bend the links? Can you post a picture?
Also refering to post #7, how would a 1/2 link fit and still engage the drive sproket?
 

mtncrawler

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On my buddys 442A every tooth on the drive sproket has the widened wear flange. Every rotation of the track changes which teeth engage the track. I have seen drive sprokets that only have this on evey other tooth and the half links will not work with these. I think the early Tuckers were going through a development stage while they were being manufactured. I've seen differences in pontoon width and grouser bar width (like about 1.5" wider), adjustable nosings or not, different track bearing width (about 1/4"), and of course sprokets(width and drive teeth) on machines that looked identical and were made only a few years apart. If you ever go to buy a parts machine be aware that in some cases all the parts you really need may not fit.
 

Polar

New member
Here's a couple of photos of my track link bending tool. Basically it uses a 1/2 inch drive socket breaker bar (18" long) with a 1" custom-made slotted socket that has been tapped-out for an 2" long piece of treaded adjustment 3/8" rod (has allen key hex in end) with lock nut.
 

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Polar

New member
One places the notched socket over the top of a link (link into slot), screws tight the side bolt of the tool head and then twists the breaker bar sideways to tighten or loosen (ie. shortens or lengthens the distances between the adjoining rollers) as desired. It would most likely require doing this to several links to lake up much slack in the track system.

Tucker probably should have designed an adjustment in the total track roller length distance (circumference) to acount for such tightening needs and parallel roller track adjustment needs. A typical motorcycle has this as an adjustment screw to the rear axles on both sides.
 

GYPSY

Member
So, if you look at the picture in post #7 above, you would be bending the link sideways (horizontally, left or right)? The tool in that picture needs to be turned 90 degrees and the "plate" is slid under the two adjacent track pins. The handle is either raised or pushed down to bend the link vertically with the appropriate bolt head for either inside or outside links. If you are bending the links sideways I would be worried about getting the track rollers out of alignment and not following the rails. Maybe I misunderstood the direction you are bending the link.

Some Tuckers had an adjustable "nose" as seen in the picture in post #4 above.
 

Polar

New member
The tool I have was not made by me or came with any instructions from the seller so I am guessing about how to use it. I think it is just for bending the links sideways only.

Also I hadn't noticed the adjustable "nose" before on a pontoon; that's what I was thinking of for tightening overall track tension. I guess Tucker did eventually figure it out!
 

mtntopper

Back On Track
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Polar said:
Also I hadn't noticed the adjustable "nose" before on a pontoon; that's what I was thinking of for tightening overall track tension. I guess Tucker did eventually figure it out!

My 1960 Kitten has the adjustable nose on the pontoon. I would guess that between late 1958 and 1960 the change was made to the pontoon to allow track adjustment.

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GYPSY

Member
MTNTOPPER - Have you tried the Kitten out yet? Trying to get mine ready incase it ever snows. I need to get some details on how the adjustable nose is made and may try to add that feature to my Kitten. Would sure beat trying to bend all the links to adjust a track!
 

mtntopper

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The Tucker Kitten will probably stay in storage in Buffalo until next fall. It will be next winters project I hope. I know it runs and operates well, I just don't have the time this winter with the lack of an early snow cover.

We finally have snow and I have been working on the VMC and Bombardier to get them back to original. Some of the work done in the past on these two machines needs to be completed or redone to make them perform and operate properly as originally designed.
 

offgridsteve

New member
Do you have a better picture of that adjustable nose? I'm redoing some 1956 pontoons right now and would love to upgrade them to an adjustable nose
 

Pontoon Princess

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Do you have a better picture of that adjustable nose? I'm redoing some 1956 pontoons right now and would love to upgrade them to an adjustable nose
you would be better off to have an adjustable nose pontoon in your possession that you can take apart to copy and build what you need correctly, not as simple as a picture makes it look, you will need to cut open your pontoon to do it right, kinda a big job,
 
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Mill666er

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I just had my notorious grouser skipping pontoon off of the cat and have a few photos. The pontoon Is factory built with adjuster but I made all new adjusters because the original ones were trashed as well as the lower fronts of the pontoon. I extended the support on the bottom of the adjuster to make up for missing rail on bottom.

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Here is what happens when some one keeps pushing the adjuster out beyond the length of the rail overlap and the pontoon starts eating rollers.
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sno-drifter

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My 1960 Kitten has the adjustable nose on the pontoon. I would guess that between late 1958 and 1960 the change was made to the pontoon to allow track adjustment.

View attachment 10039
The adjustable Kitten nose was done to accommodate roller/track wear for the Mud Kitten. There are no links to bend on the mud track machines. A great benefit to the later kittens with snow grousers.
 

DAVENET

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Working in Nature's Garage with heat so close. :)

Rob, what is the welded on 'side plate' on the nose of the pontoon? Was that added to keep the adjuster from getting wonky from being maxed out on it's adjustment? Seems like the east coast solution (dropping a grouser) would have been a much easier option.

Dave, Vice-President of the one grouser short club.
 

Mill666er

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Didn’t mean to hijack this thread. I should probably start one with my ‘problematic pontoon’.

And you thought that someone went through the trouble to just weld a piece of plate to extend the pontoon. The shop that did the maintenance must have had a nice set of angle rolls and bent up some 1/4” angle to cap the front of the pontoon. Dropping a grouser would have saved everyone time, grief, and severe damage on all 4 pontoons. I thought about joining the ‘one grouser short club‘ but would have had to trim the angle iron to get the grousers to clear.

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