Tucker Sno-Cat Project
This is the story of my 1954 model 442 Tucker Sno-Cat restoration
along with my rare Tucker Sno-Cat Trailer.

(You can enlarge most any photo by clicking on it)

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The stories and information provided on my web pages is there for anyone to use without charge. However there are costs involved with maintaining the website. If you found any info especially useful or entertaining and would like to donate any amount at all to the cause, I certainly appreciate it. Donations are accepted through the PayPal button below. However this is not required by any means! Enjoy!

Custom exhaust and gas tank
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Cab interior
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The flathead six engine
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Replacable bearing roller
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My first test ride
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Just getting out of the driveway
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Rebuilt steering cylinder
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I purchased this Sno-Cat early in 2001. I haven't done much with it yet. I first have to clean up some of my other projects before tearing into this one for earnest. I'm looking forward to this one though. As you can see its in need of a lot of TLC. However I do have it running fairly well and have driven around my fields a bit.

When I first brought it home it was running off a little lawn mower gas tank setting on the hood. The customized exhaust left something to be desired too. It would run but only if the choke was all the way out. I decided I would fix these things first just because we had a lot of snow this winter and I wanted to try it out. I replace the exhaust with something closer to the original look. I also cleaned out the original gas tank, replaced the fuel pump and rebuilt the carburetor. This got it running a lot more reliably and quieter.

I next noticed the oil filter was no longer connected. These engines had a bypass type filter system and someone had long since abandoned it. The canister was still there but all the connections had been removed and plugged. After some research I finally figured out the correct ports to connect to and reinstalled the filter.

The biggest problem now was the tracks. Tuckers design was a lightweight steel pontoon to provide flotation over snow. Around this pontoon is a ladder type track which runs on rollers and rails. A system that works very well but is high on maintenance. The main problem with mine is the condition of the pontoons, especially two of them. The bottom of them is badly rotted. You will notice that the left front one is now bright orange. That is because I remove it and rebuilt the bottom of that one. I just gave it a quick coat of paint as long as it was apart to see what the color looked like. Now all I have to do is the other three. Actually I will sandblast the one I painted too and give it a more permanent paint job when the time comes. This one does not exactly match the other three either. It is an older version without the tension adjustment.

There are 62 rollers on each track and all have to be greased periodically. Replacement rollers are hard to come by. I am fortunate as about half of mine are a type that has replaceable bearings. The rest do not. I also have a bucket of old ones and have been able to get a number of them freed up. Hopefully I will have enough to get them all functioning with a few spares.

Before the tension adjustments were added to the pontoons, the procedure to tighten the tracks was to bend or bow each individual link. They had a special tool to accomplish this but it was still a tedious job. I also found one of the tools in my bucket of spare parts but it was badly bent. It took me some time to realize this and determine how it worked.

Well the time has come now for a test drive. Ignoring the other bad pontoon, I decided to give it a spin around the field. We received lots of snow this year, in fact set a record. Unfortunately my digital camera batteries were dead and I was unable to get pictures of the good stuff. I was impress with its performance even in its current state. It climbed some very steep and deep drifts with little difficulty. Much better than any of my twin tracked ATV's. E.M. Tucker had a great idea with the four-track system. It performs much better in turns as you don't have to brake the inside track to turn thus loosing traction. Check out my Tucker History Page for more info on the older Tuckers.

I did notice that the steering wasn't up to specs though. It neither turned as sharp as advertised nor equal in both directions. I decided to remove the steering cylinder and tie rods and rebuild them. I found that the frame mount for the cylinder had been modified and was not exactly in the same location as original. Since the rod in the cylinder was in poor shape, I decided to replace it and adjust the length to compensate for the changed bracket. I put new seals in it also and straightened and reinforced the tie rods. This greatly improved the steering.

I made a trip to Cooks Equipment in Vermont that was worth the 14 hour round trip drive. I spent about 4 hours or better there and found the Cook family most hospitable. They have been selling Tuckers since sometime in the 70's I believe, and have been to the factory in Oregon numerous times. They had a good assortment of parts for the older steel tracked models. Unfortunately no pontoons that would match my current ones though. I did pick up a number of track parts and sprocket teeth along with a door off a junker that I hope to salvage the latch from.

Along with the parts I also picked up a number of copies of some old Tucker brochures, which they had acquired. I have just added them to My New Tucker History Page. Also check out some other details of my trip on the Classic Sno-Cat discussion board. As an added treat, I was also granted a ride in a $118,000 Tucker Terra. A far cry from my old Cat of yesteryear!

That's about all I've done up to this point. As soon as I catch up on the other projects I will delve into this one for real. I am searching for parts and info on them in the meantime. I plan on a complete teardown and restoration so check back for updates.

Tucker Model 926 Sno-Cat Trailer

442 pulling trailer
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Rare Tucker trailer
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Folding trailer wheel
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March 23, 2002
Here is my recently acquired model 926 Tucker Sno-Cat Trailer. This seems to be a fairly rare item and I know of only one other specimen still surviving. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows of any others. I bought mine in Grants Pass, Oregon and had it shipped here to Central New York State. The other one is located at Cooks Equipment in Vermont. I believe it to be an earlier model than mine dating to the late 40's.

Mine seems to be a little more sophisticated and has wheels that can fold up out of the way when conditions permit. It also has "Tucker Sno-Cat Trailer" embossed into the steel sides. Its in pretty decent shape considering its age and still has the original wooden skis. The skis are coated on the bottom with what appears to be roofing type tar to me. I am curious whether or not this was original. It hopefully will be an easy restoration.

Link to Tucker History
Gordon's Classic Sno-Cat site
Visit the Classic Sno-Cat discussion board
Visit Sean's Allis-Chalmers M7 Page


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