any old towmotor techs in here?
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  1. #1
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    Default any old towmotor techs in here?

    question on power steering on a 1963 462s(g or lp)4024- any pictures/diagrams of steering control valve/draglink? looking at restoring one scheduled for scrap-if i can fix the steering- to donate to a local airplane museum both display AND use for their restoration shop... I think our last 'mechanic' may have removed the assist setup effectively making it near impossible to steer unless rolling.
    it isnt in bad shape, just old/ugly- but has a low hour rebuilt flathead, good hydraulics/drives good other than king kong steering effort required.I can get it for free if i want it, and willing to throw a few bucks and hours at it for new tires and a full strip/repaint just to save it from demise- hate seeing old stuff neglected and discarded, and really like the old museum, thought this could be a pretty easy project to both save a functional old tool and do something nice for the museum.
    last year saved a 1993 clark from same scrapyard, it turned out beautiful- really think this old towmotor is in better condition than it was, can just picture it in OD green/white star motif... i'm a sucker for old junk, a sick hobby bringing things back from the brink... concern here is I cant find any info on how the steering is even supposed to look, let alone able to find whatever got pulled out, if anything. have lathe/cnc bridgeport/etc out in the garage to make stuff, worst case might adapt a car power steering box, but appears a lefthand worm will be needed, kinda rare today...would rather replace control valve- maybe something like a early Ford Mustang control valve and 'any' suitable boost cylinder?
    just need to decide take home/restore or let them 'put it down'... heres a link with pics of the old thing, and the before/after clark from last year- towmotor forklift clark saving from scrapyard | Flickr

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    I have seen some lifts converted to full hydraulic steering.
    It needs to be sized correctly, not too quick.
    Or it becomes a hazard.

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    That looks exactly like my old towmotor. The only difference is mine didn't have the little side "bumpers" between the wheels. Other than that though- identical, but mine still ran on gasoline.

    Mine never had power steering.

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    thanks - I found a Yale and Mitsubishi out there with steering pretty intact- the Mits looks about same size/shape column with power box...the yale is just a control valve(had the double end cylinder with tie rod links like most newer ones)
    appreciate hearing some didnt have power assist- what little i could find all showed power- perhaps it IS just manual and needs rebuilt- the draglink has a heck of a arch to it, mighta been bent, and bowing might explain the springback.
    I think I'll pop the counterweight off the old towmotor tomorrow for a better look- and think I might pull the Mits column too. love the Mits, we had two in Machine rebuilding area, production 'borrowed' one about 5 yrs ago and it returned to go to scrap... the cracked a hole in the axle, smokes like crazy, engine pretty shot...told the boss if scrapping, we need to pull a few parts as spare for the other, but they dont want to mess with it...gave me the ok to pull whatever i want for the old towmotor if i want, but the yale and mits carcasses are going...the mits column at a glance appears very similar in size/geometry, believe it would almost drop in and be in line with that bowed drag link...heck, the mits draglink might be useable too...

    anyways, thanks for the comments

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    That looks exactly like my old towmotor. The only difference is mine didn't have the little side "bumpers" between the wheels. Other than that though- identical, but mine still ran on gasoline.

    Mine never had power steering.
    looking thru pics, never seen any others with them- suspect they were added to keep from hitting front tires- they stick out flush to the bumpers...didnt know any came without power- good to know, might just need repaired/lubed...

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    Hi, That sure brings back old memories from my younger days working for a Tomotor Factory dealership in the late 50's. That truck used
    a Monroe system that had a piggyback pump very similsr to the mid 50's Chevy which was a Hyd. pump mounted on the back of the generator with a small hyd.reservoir and the drag link had a ball socket that moved the sleeve in the draglink which was mounted to the steer cyl. and controlled the direction of travel. Now that I've said all that, it would still be easier to put in a Char-lynn unit and go from there. As the Towmotor unit was a built in leaker being down in the dirt all the time. Bigais

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    All I know is when you restore it you have to keep the bench seat. You just don't see forklifts made for 2 riders these days.

    I always wanted to put an "I Like Ike" bumper sticker on mine.

    I Like Ike Bumper Sticker

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    thanks for the info- sounds like what it likely was... did pull the sideshifter and cage off the scrapped Mits, closer look at its steering, it's box was pretty shot...
    the scrapped yale control valve(took the whole tilt column) setup was in good shape looks like a smaller diameter char-lynn setup (our mower has that) just has the P-T-A-B ports... will need to look at fabbing a cyl mount/linkage (assume will require double rod for left/right volume matching- or a dual cyl push/push setup like the supersteer axle setup on our mower?)
    didnt get the old towmotor counterweight off, too much going on today...

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    I have that exact Towmotor. We picked it up as a basket case back in the early 90’s for short money cuz the engine and counterweight was off. Still gets used every day.

    Ours has power steering and can be steered with one finger. The power steering setup is the old Hydrapower HPS Steering gear with a power steering pump/reservoir and steering cylinder underneath. (https://www.midweststeering.com/wp-c...PSService2.pdf ). It works on the principle of any slight movement of the worm shaft moves a tang from the hydraulic valve that is piggybacked on the gear housing assy. It’s a pretty simple setup. I’ll get some pics tomorrow at work.

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    b148ed53-54de-4d83-9e1b-cef53b6e00f0.jpgNot sure if any of the old Hydrapower components are still avail, but retrofitting a properly sized 4port steering valve, cylinder and matching steering column would probably be more cost efficient and do the same job.

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    The easiest thing to do is convert to hydrostatic steering, and parts for the Towmotor steering gear have been obsolete for years. We have converted several old Towmotors and Cats to hydrostatic. Lots of forklifts, tractors, and just about any other mobile industrial equipment will have the parts you need to convert, you just might have to fab some brackets for your hand pump and steering cylinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-fishin-c View Post
    I have that exact Towmotor. We picked it up as a basket case back in the early 90’s for short money cuz the engine and counterweight was off. Still gets used every day.

    Ours has power steering and can be steered with one finger. The power steering setup is the old Hydrapower HPS Steering gear with a power steering pump/reservoir and steering cylinder underneath. (https://www.midweststeering.com/wp-c...PSService2.pdf ). It works on the principle of any slight movement of the worm shaft moves a tang from the hydraulic valve that is piggybacked on the gear housing assy. It’s a pretty simple setup. I’ll get some pics tomorrow at work.
    thanks for the link! appreciate any pics, glad to know of someone familiar with same model from sound of it, unless a easy fix, kinda sounds like hydro conversion may be only direction. theres no lines to the steering box, i'll have to look closer to see if the control valve is there... thanks again

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    Full hydro steering is the only way to go. Use common parts to keep it serviceable. Lots of info on what size parts to use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    That looks exactly like my old towmotor. The only difference is mine didn't have the little side "bumpers" between the wheels. Other than that though- identical, but mine still ran on gasoline.

    Mine never had power steering.
    jancollc- silly question, how hard is yours to steer? ridiculous, or just a bit tiring when not moving like a old manual steer car?

    I pulled the counterweight to get a better look, and near as I can tell it was never power assist...but it has a dry steering box, two loose rod ends a severely bent tie rod sleeve, dry thrust bearings over the kingpins, and soft/wore out tires- think with some TLC it can be back to what it was... but if too ridiculous, maybe the power setup is the way to go...
    found a 1963 manual on ebay, ironically from a local place should be here tomorrow, hoping it might shed some light on what power assist mounting looked like.
    was really surprised to find leaf springs under there for the steer axle...

    oh, by the way, on vacation, stopped at the Eisenhower museum and picked up some "I Like Ike" stickers- thanks for the idea- perfect

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    FYI, if you need a clutch disk we matched up a generic one from a 1966-68 vintage Chevrolet car, can’t remember which model. It all matched with the exception of the hub width, a slight alteration on a lathe and it fit like new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-fishin-c View Post
    FYI, if you need a clutch disk we matched up a generic one from a 1966-68 vintage Chevrolet car, can’t remember which model. It all matched with the exception of the hub width, a slight alteration on a lathe and it fit like new.
    thanks for the tip- figure they shared off the shelf parts for the most part- decided to tear into it after work today- they'd welded the fork pin in, had to grind that out to remove the forks(so easy to carry from front if i drag it home- my Clark has short forks) that took near 2 hours just to get it rigged to haul into the shop and ground out...the steer axle was so simple to remove its silly- loosed the draglink socket, take out two spring bolts and its out- other end of springs are slippers...only hard part was getting the bolts out, as one was bent pretty bad, and rusted 1/8" deep on one side...wrapped it to a skid and put the greasy mess in my truck...might get the tarps/pressure washer out tomorrow and see what we got under the inch of grease and dirt- power steer or not, the axle needs TLC, so will redo it first, plop it back in, see how she steers and drive it around a bit...if the clutch is weak, might pull the engine out while its apart and just toss a disk in it- i recall it pulled ok, but pedal was really engaging high, so the friction disk is likely pretty thin...towmotor guy wow...the drag link adjuster is worn, was bottomed out, still loose, so he had wrapped 1/4" rubber around it and wire tied it on, as a shim so it wouldnt catch on the center link- think i see one more reason she was so hard to steer, turning, the ball tried to center in the worn out link, compressing the rubber as it did...crazy. the kingpins/wheels are free/no wobble, so that was nice to find...looks like it had never been greased except crap caking the entire underside.
    in the steer axle pic, you can see the bent tie rod sleeve- way its bent, bet someone had pulled on it with a chain or something...jeez...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails kimg5603.jpg   kimg5602.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by tc429 View Post
    jancollc- silly question, how hard is yours to steer? ridiculous, or just a bit tiring when not moving like a old manual steer car?
    It was hard to steer until you got it going. That was the main reason I bought a modern Toyota- it's just so much easier to maneuver inside the shop with power steering and automatic trans.

    Quote Originally Posted by tc429 View Post
    oh, by the way, on vacation, stopped at the Eisenhower museum and picked up some "I Like Ike" stickers- thanks for the idea- perfect

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    pressure washed/disassembled the steer axle last night, both tie rod sleeves were bent, and the center link was riding hard on the axle...hoping that was a lot of it- also, pressed the tires off, noticed they were extremely soft- almost spongelike- betting that was a lot of the difficulty too. found tie rod sleeves thru a hotrod shop, and pretty cheap, 3/4-16 thread, 8" long...ordered the rear tires tonight too, hope to have the axle all redone and ready to pop back in early next week, so I can testdrive and make final decision on going power steer or not...


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