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Lifting and Loading

Towmotor Model 462 Steering


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  #1  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:27:12 AM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Towmotor Model 462 Steering

hi all, first post here... hoping maybe someone in here familiar with old Towmotor lift trucks steering details.
looking at trying to redo a scrapyard truck to a local museum- whether it gets restored or sent down the road to become a refrigerator will kinda hinge on whether or not I can fix the steering- its incredibly hard to steer, I dug it out of the scrap pile again, picked up the tail end everything moves free, but with weight on it, steering wheel needs king kong effort to turn it- and once turned if you try to let go of it, it unwinds near a full rev of the steering wheel.
I was told that it had manual steering... but then told (rumors only) it originally had power steering, but our old towmotor 'mechanic' removed the power assist- and that was why they put it out to pasture 5 years ago... I pulled the tin off it yesterday, the steering box is definitely manual, so if it had power, it must be like a old ford where the steering box shifts a sprung valve in the drag link to provide assist from external cylinder.
a local airplane museum has a similar truck at their shop, i called them 2 years ago to see if interested, they came, looked, wanted it, but never called back- guessing no time to fix a old truck with all their other projects... our scrap storage area is all going out next week, the old towmotor was still buried out there...asked the boss again, said sure... if I can fix the steering(have machine tools to make repair parts), I'm willing to buy/provide the tires/paint/elbow grease to save the poor thing to donate a working piece to the museum- that is thinking i can do everything for maybe 400-ish... but the steering might be a big deal.
anyone know if a 462s(G or LP)4024 forklift ever came with manual steering, or any pics of the power assist setup? I cant see anything on the draglink, but its caked in inches of grease/dirt...will have to get it home and pressure washed/counterweight off to even get a good view...
I redid a clark I felt sorry for last year, it needed a lot too, but had good tires- think i had about 800 in it all up, and it turned out a REALLY nice truck...i'm getting older, figured it could be handy out in the garage, but its big...and too new(1993) to fit in with the local air museum's motif, so decided to keep it- but the poor old towmotor was such a good running thing...needs brakes now from sitting, but it starts/runs great still, believe motor was rebuilt not many hours ago...just seems a shame to scrap it.
I understand the shop's thinking, with the hours i had in the clark, had it been billed, it woulda cost more than a used truck for sure...the old towmotor is worse looking, but in better shape actually than the clark was when scrapped- not 'worth' fixing- but as a sick hobby, I'd fix it just to both save it from its demise and to give the museum something fitting but still useable. biggest cost will be tires, but have found some pretty cheap/brand new... the steering needs sorted first though- if unsaveable, afraid its done- the gearbox output is a little loose, sure I can rebush that, but the high effort? rebushing the steer axle might be needed, but really dont think its bad- think the hydraulic assist is just physically gone... need a pic of what it should look like down there...
heres a pic of the old thing, what I'd like for it to look like when done, and a collage of the old clark i saved last year.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2019, 06:09:55 PM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

well, found a manual, should be here tomorrow...last week, did pull the tin and counterweight off to get a better look, and it never had power steering that I can tell...

think just soft/worn tires, dry kingpin thrust bearings, 2 loose tie rod ends, one badly bent tie rod sleeve, and a dry steering box are why so freaking hard to steer...
got a inch of grease to scrape off to find bolts/drop the steer axle out to rebuild, will decide from there if to continue with power conversion, or just leave it original...was surprised to see these old trucks had leaf springs on the steer axle...

shes a ugly duckling, but think with a little work can be brought back...
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:36:42 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

Got an old Clark in the barn, 3000# lift. 4 Cyl Cont., I think. so worn out, it won't hardly pull itself.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:21:10 PM
Heins Heins is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

You need to take the weight off the steering axle and get grease in the king pins, gear box, and everything in the steering that moves and get the steering axle moving back and forth.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:57:35 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

I wish I had a way to pull out the motor on this one and build it. These things are worth their weight in gold when you need them, other wise no one wants them. It's kinda like the little red hen when she ask "Who wants to help me eat my bread"
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:36:00 PM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Barrett View Post
I wish I had a way to pull out the motor on this one and build it. These things are worth their weight in gold when you need them, other wise no one wants them. It's kinda like the little red hen when she ask "Who wants to help me eat my bread"
you mentioned low power- while it wont help with oil consumption/smoke, might suggest adjusting tappets and ignition timing just to see...lot of times even a low compression leaker can still make decent power-long as it can get a full breath of air and proper advance... we had two at the shop with weak starters(thin old calbes mostly), someone had backed timing off so theyd crank, but sheesh, theyd barely move on level ground...even just a couple degrees makes a huge difference...if propane running really stinky rich kills power too
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:09:01 PM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

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Originally Posted by Heins View Post
You need to take the weight off the steering axle and get grease in the king pins, gear box, and everything in the steering that moves and get the steering axle moving back and forth.
weights off, pulled the forks so it can be safely carried from the front if needed(pin had been welded in, fun grinding that off enough to pull it) dragged the steer axle home and pressure washed it a couple nights ago...
everything was surprisingly good- nothing galled/seized or anything- both tie rod sleeves were badly bent, and the center link was very slightly bent downward, rubbing on the axle...betting it got driven off a dock at some time in its history...
that said, i really think the whole kingkong effort to steer was mostly: tires... they were wore past the 'tread' and the cores are spongelike, think the squishy rubber was 90% of the crazy springback(let go of steering wheel after turning while stationary, it would unwind near a full turn) with counterweight off, of course it steered a lot easier, but was still springy

new tie rod sleeves will be here tomorrow, pressed the tires off last night( that was a workout...our big hydraulic press is manual pumped...) new rear tires will be here end of next week.
holding off on ordering fronts as dont want to throw much money at it till i am comfortable that the steering issues are doable- else its back in the scrap bin.
Im gonna mill a tiny bit off the parting line of the center ink where it was rubbing axle, and repack everything after painting, then axle can be tossed back under it, and will do some limited driving(hopefully- no brakes) just to decide if the hydro conversion will really be necessary, or not...

really think tires were the biggest thing though- they are the softest tires ive ever seen on a lift truck, probably 30-40 yrs old - heck, maybe original? was happy to see how easy to service the steer axle is- two bolts, loosen draglink socket and it slides right out...small as it is, bet it still weighs near 400 pounds though
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:01:33 AM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

funny...this truck sat out in the dirt for 5-6 years, I last started it with jumper wires 3 yrs ago to see if it ran...hooked a bottle up on the floor tonight(trucks pretty disassembled at the moment), put a near dead battery in it from another truck scrapped, touched the jumper wires (someone stole the ignition switch years ago) it cranked maybe 2 revolutions and fired right up...no smoke, no noises, just a slight miss(spark plugs/wires weathered pretty bad) that smoothed out as it warmed up..gage showed no oil pressure, checked, line was cut/plugged off, thought i'd crack loose the remote filter line just to make sure it was pushing oil...broke off instead- yeah, it had pressure alright the lowly old flathead was rebuilt not long before they mothballed it, and it still runs great.
got the rear tires in tonight, taking them to the press tomorrow night, hoping to have the steer axle back under it by the weekend, wanna drive it around a bit to make sure how the steering improves- if it does
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:42:35 AM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

got the steer axle finished up tonight...pressing tires off/on was a chore thrust bearings and kingpin needle rollers were ALL stuck solid- grease was like asphalt...disassembled/straightened tie rods, flushed/relubed everything, all looks good... dint bother painting though... hoping to pop it back in the truck tomorrow and test drive
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:05:40 PM
tc429 tc429 is offline
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Default Re: Towmotor Model 462 Steering

well, drove the old truck around after popping the steer axle back in- was still a little hard stopped, but way improved...moving, could steer with a finger, stopped could still turn one handed, but hard...saturday put the counterweight back on though...eew... probably half what was needed before the axle/tires, but still ridiculous steering effort. definitely going to need to put power steering on it if the museum is ever to get any real use out of it- most the guys there are older than me, the steering would wear out a 19 yr old...
will see where it goes from here. will prob hold off on paint/front tires till steering is truly OK, else it might just be time to let it go...darn thing runs so good. drove a few laps around the shop saturday, prob put a mile on it, brakes are working, drug the park brake to rub all the rust off, its smooth, the clutch freed up smooth as silk...but the steering will relegate it as useless the way it still is.
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