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junkpile

AC trailer?

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junkpile

I was browsing CL last week and found an ad for a small tilt trailer, thinking it would be good for moving my 916 around on I took the ride and bought it.

Its marked Allis Chalmers on the side, its yellow with white fenders and wheels. A few people told me not to touch it and to find out more about it before doing anything to it.
They seem to think its for an AC Tiger 6 wheel atv.

The deck is surface rusted but other than that its all there minus the lights. I actually don't see any sign of it ever having lights.

It tows great, I couldn't even feel it behind my car during the hour ride home. The back of the right fender has a Snowco decal.

Its a bit small for the tractor if I have any attachments mounted but would do the job. The tires are new.

Can anyone tell me what this is for certain and whether I should just pass it along to someone who needs it for what it was meant to be or should I just make the mods I was thinking about doing and use it?

If I keep it, what is the closest color I can buy to the original? I see Tractor Supply has Cat yellow, Cub yellow, School bus yellow, and JD yellow, I'm thinking that Cat yellow would be the closest but its still a lot darker or more orange than the original color.

0803171745-02.jpg

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ShaunE

I think it's a "Tow-B".

Not the easiest to find in surviving condition.  It was meant for towing the older B-series A.C. garden tractors.  Bowhunt-for-life had one that he sold a while back & it recently resurfaced on C.L. asking a lot more than the he sold it for.  He or Josh can verify or correct me.

Not sure if it had lights or not.

Nice find.  It's a trailer & meant to haul things so whatever you do with it, you won't offend anyone here.

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MikeES

I don't think it is a Tow-Bee.  They are shaped much different.  But it could be for the Terra Tiger which would match the deck size and cut outs on the deck for traction.

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MikeES
4 hours ago, B-16_IC said:

The original TowBees had a rounded front and a sort of wind break, making them look like a modern Roman chariot of sorts. 

Great description!

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bowhunt4life

Not a Tow-Bee but a Snowco made trailer. It does appear to be correct for the Terra Tiger, scarce trailer and highly sought after by the Terra Tiger owners. Ryan Franzen in Iowa has a Terra Tiger Trailer. I also believe the Terra Tiger trailers pivoted where the deck meets the tongue.

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gwiseman
1 hour ago, bowhunt4life said:

Not a Tow-Bee but a Snowco made trailer. It does appear to be correct for the Terra Tiger, scarce trailer and highly sought after by the Terra Tiger owners. Ryan Franzen in Iowa has a Terra Tiger Trailer. I also believe the Terra Tiger trailers pivoted where the deck meets the tongue.

Chris is correct. There are pictures archived here of various Snoco and Allis branded Snoco trailers.  A pretty good brochure picture of a tow bee can be accessed through tabs at top of Home Page:  Research,  Allis-Chalmers,  Miscellaneous Attachments  https://simpletractors.com/research/allis-chalmers/b-attachments/misc-attachments/__tow-bee/

Nonetheless,  Snoco (built in Nebraska I think) trailers pull really easily and were well built heavy for the cargo intended. Story is that Snoco bought military surplus materials to use for the trailer decks; hence the difference in some decks over the years. 

 

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junkpile

The story I was told by the seller is that this was bought to carry a GPU behind a golf cart at a small airport. Its surface rusted but not rusted through, most of the trailer still has original paint.

I looked today at Tractor supply but didn't see a yellow paint even close to what I think this used to be. Its more orange than NH or JD yellow, and more yellow than Cub yellow.

I've got something that looks similar to that Tow Bee shown above but the front isn't rounded, it came with an old B110 I bought years ago. The tractor got sold a long time ago but the trailer stayed. I was using it to haul my 3410 around but the plan was to use this AC trailer instead since its wider and should fit the deck without hitting the fenders. The smaller trailer is sprung much lighter,  I don't think I'd load a later model tractor on it. The B110 with a tiller and myself on it would bottom the springs.

I had a guy offer to trade me a newer landscape trailer for this thing, I'd probably have taken the deal but the trailer he had was too big to pull behind my car and too small to require the 1 ton truck.  I used the AC to take my 3410 over to my shop the other day and it works great, its easy to load and it tows like its not even back there. Its sprung a lot better than the old trailer.

Judging by the pics I've found, its for a Terra Tiger. Until I found this trailer I never even heard of a Terra Tiger. I've owned a few Argos before, all early models but never knew AC had one.

About 30 years ago I bought a clean running 6 wheeler, it wasn't an Argo, but didn't look like the Terra Tiger either. It ran but the 2 stoke Kohler and chain drive gave me fits. Not to mention it was impossible to keep sealed. The one I had looked like a Terra Tiger but with two headlights instead of the one on the AC. It used a mile of #41 chain and if one section of chain came off, the remaining sections would try to real in the rest of the works bending the sprocket frame assembly. I don't think I ever got it to run for more than a half hour at a time. The thing I had was a two seater with a flat molded in bed or tray in the back. It sat two side by side, the footwell was open to the chain mech and frame. It steered with one lever with an L shape handle and pull lever. It had no transmission, just a centrifugal clutch and sliding pulleys or sprockets. Pulling or pushing on the handle tightened or loosened different belts, pushing left or right controlled left or right wheel speed.
The body was formed much like the Terra Tiger but with two places for headlights, one on each side vs. the mono light on the TT. Mine had no headlights installed, the fiberglass or plastic was never cut out. It was made from some sort of fiber reinforced plastic, not regular rigid fiberglass but not like a 55 gallon barrel or trash can either.

Did AC make the Terra Tiger or was it built for them by someone?

Does anyone have an inside pic of a Terra Tiger? 

 

 

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MikeES

I have seen the 6x6 with the "T' handle but can't remember the brand.

  My grandfather had an Amphicat that had a Sachs engine and steered with two handles like a Caterpiller.

And he used a Snowco trailer like the one posted above, to haul it around.

 

Image result for amphicat 6 wheeler

 

 

Edited by MikeES

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DaveBsACs

Terra Tigers were built for AC by a company named Feldman. The very first Feldmans were red in color. About that time AC contracted them and they were changed to a yellow as the picture above shows, the most popular and most seen today went to the green color. As far as I know they all had the Rockwell two stroke engine in all Tigers. The later green ones had an 18hp verses all earlier models came with the 10hp.Electric start came standard on the TT18s as well. The whole production was short lived, 1969 through about 1971-1972. That looks like a terra tiger trailer to me but I have only seen one other so a cant verify for sure. I'm thinkin it is and you should keep it as original and sheltered as possible. If you were closer to me it would sure look great under my Tiger!

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junkpile

The six wheeler I had back in the day had only one stick to steer and throttle with. There was one pedal, but you had to step down on the pedal to start it. The pedal disengaged the drive somehow. The engine didn't have electric start, there was a cutout on the one side where you reached in to pull start the motor.

The thing was wide, too wide to fit in a pickup truck, not to mention too heavy to lift. I remember when I first brought it home it snapped a pair of 2x10 wood ramps I had. The rear 'deck' area was about 6" deep, there was a cutout on one side where the fuel neck sat. The body was hinged but not well, lifting it was a chore, it had some thin cheap metal props that weren't heavy enough to hold up a tool box lid let alone the upper half of that six wheeler. I remember it did have wiring molded right into the upper half for the lights, which were never cut out or installed. The dash also had wiring but no gauges or cutouts. I sort of got the impression that it may have been a kit that wasn't fully completed.  There was no transmission of any sort, just a variator type belt/clutch set up and some sliding shafts that changed sprocket sizes and direction. There was a parking brake that never worked right, and it had a bunch of oddball rubber seals around each axle shaft that never sealed right, they were not much more than two layers of inner tube rubber with a hole in them that were clamped between two rings. Replacing them meant tearing the whole thing apart as the hubs didn't come off the axles. The drive was a mess, it was inside the lower half and very sloppy, every so often it would get caught between gears somehow and the middle set of wheels would turn slower than the fore and aft wheels.  After a year or so with it I got tired of having to work on it for a week just to ride it for 15 minutes only to have something else fail.
In the water, if you managed to keep the water out long enough to get it afloat, steering was impossible and it floated nose down in the water because all the weight was over or ahead of the front axle. The motor didn't weigh enough to counter weight even a single person up front. Of course, if you tried to float it alone, the thing would list so far to the right where the driver sat it felt like it was going to capsize. There also was no sort of seal where the upper body met the lower body. The upper body overlapped the lower about an inch with a strip of metal all around the inner edge with about 40 screws. When the screws were tightened, it would clamp the top to the bottom, sort of.  I think I tried it in the water maybe 5 or 6 times, the first two times were without a bilge pump and it took on about 5" of water in 5 minutes, completely tearing up the drive chains and variator clutch. Once the belt got wet on the clutch, it slipped and you were dead in the water in a leaking tub. Steering was only ever accomplished by using a paddle as a rudder. You could also paddle it with one paddle faster than it would move on its own in the water. Another issue we had was that it wouldn't climb out of the water unless it was basically a boat ramp or very smooth beach. The bottom of the body would sag and almost drag the ground when on land,  We eventually gave up and drilled holes and used zip ties to secure the lower belly of the thing to the frame inside. The bottom had a star shaped formation with a big drain plug in the middle. When I got it, the drain plug insert was loose and wouldn't seal. It was attached to a 6" flat piece of fiberglass on the inside that had come unglued from the lower hull.
I don't think I paid anything for it, but owning that one six wheeler gave me such a bad impression of the whole style of vehicle I never looked at any others.

Until I bought this trailer and really started looking around online I had no idea there were so many different companies that built these. I had sort of just thought of them all as Argo's even though I don't think the one I had was a real Argo. I did a few Google searches and can't find anything that matches the one I had. At the time, someone told me it was one of the one's that were advertised in the back of Popular Mechanic's magazine in the 70's.
 

None of this however had much to do with the trailer I have here.

Any idea as to what color it should be painted?
I need to put something on it to prevent any further rust.

I don't have indoor storage for it here, its going to have to spend the winter outdoors.

 

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MikeES

Junkpile, I enjoy the story of your 6 wheeler, a reminder of how crude some of the first of anything (snowmobiles, atvs, etc) were. 

The Amphicat was much more developed.  Electric start, lights, never leaked, went good in water (the lug style tires were on backwards for going in water), good in the swamp, climb anything, even not bad in quicksand, but it was a workout when I broke through the ice in the middle of a large pond (got out, but took awhile).

The Amphicat even had a transom in the back (never used it though).

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junkpile

I seem to recall the thing I had had sort of a transom or raised area at the back of the rear tray or bed, as if you could put an outboard on it. There was a short piece of wood glued up inside that area as well.  The few times we tried it in the water we took an electric trolling motor in case it didn't move in the water on its own. It was too unstable while afloat to turn around and try to hang the trolling motor. It was taking on water around the body seam and over the sides into the cut outs where the gas fill and recoil access where. The first time I put in in to water was only a deep puddle after a storm, not more than 3 foot deep, but I made the mistake of not crawling into the water, more water came over the front than went under the hull. I got soaked, the motor got swamped and lost spark, and it took on about 6" of water in the bottom in seconds.

Because you had to access the lower half so often, you couldn't really seal up the seam between the top and bottom halves. The chains had to be lubed, the motor could only be accessed by tilting the top up. I got to talking to a buddy about that thing the other day, he reminded me of a few more features that thing had. The one thing I had forgot about was that the top half tilted to one side, I believe it was to the left. I do remember that when putting the top down you had to fuss with the scissor hinge and make sure it didn't bend vs. fold and you had to align the control lever with the body just right. It had several rubber hold downs around the front, rear, and left side, like those used on an old Jeep hood. It really took two people to guide thing closed each time. It had a cheesy piece of 1" steel tubing that held the top up but the side of the lower body would flex and let the thing fold down and fall out of place every time. I used to park it next to a tree and tie the top to the tree rather than having the thing fall on me. I had to be one of the most frustrating things I ever owned. The guy I got it from hated it too, but we didn't find that out till years later. 

I was looking around in the garage early today and found the remains of one of its old recoil assemblies and some odd ignition parts. The coil looked like a car coil but was 6 volt. I had thought it was odd that they would put a battery in the thing for the ignition but not give it electric start. I had looked into putting a four stroke motor in it but there wasn't enough width where the motor sat to put a large enough motor.  The Kohler two stroke was a finicky mess, when I got it the motor was supposedly just rebuilt, it had great compression but it sounded loose to me. I had bought another motor from a mower salvage yard in Delaware back then, I ended up using that on an antique golf cart instead.

I don't recall ever seeing a brand on it, but always just assumed it was an Argo, but after looking at all the pics online, I doubt it was.
The front was like the AC but wider with two headlight sockets and formations in the body and you sat much closer to the front. The footwell was ahead of the front wheels, when sitting in the thing the wheels were completely under the body, you couldn't see the wheels or even reach them with your hand to see if they were turning or not.

I remember driving it onto a pond after replacing all the axle seals and it not wanting to move on the water very well, full speed ahead barely got it back to the shore and I couldn't steer it well enough to hit the ramp area where I entered the water and it bottomed out trying to climb out along the bank about 20' away. We ended up having to climb out, get wet and drag the thing up on shore and through a patch of trees back to the trailer, it had filled with water and kicked a chain off again.

The axle seals were rope type, the main frame had a 1 3/4" tube extensions that went from the angle iron frame out through the lower body, there was a two bolt metal flange on both sides that sandwiched a wax coated rope type seal which tightened on the outside of the tube as you tightened the two bolts up. Inside the tube was another seal, sort of a series of stacked rubber washers and spacers that were pinched in place by three set screws around the outer tube. Both the inner and outer seals leaked no matter what. The one thing they did seem to do well is hold water in. Once out of the water the water wouldn't run back out, but it sure poured in fast while it was floating. Getting the water out was a chore, removing the drain plug was pain, so we usually just tipped it up on one side or vacuumed out the water. Either way every time it got wet, the chain would get washed clean of all its grease, and all the tensioners would get stuck. It wasn't new when I got it,  and that was 25- 30 years ago, so I couldn't say how old it really was but I do keep thinking that it looked like the ones in some old Popular Mechanics ads in the back pages. The drive system looked more like an erector set than a functional atv drive. It was crude, with springs, pulleys, sprockets, all custom made or welded up to fit. The control stick had some oddball U joint in the linkage that was pretty loose and we couldn't ever find anything like it to replace it with. There were several cables as well, basically just bicycle cables connected to the control handle. Moving the stick left or right would direct power to the right or left wheels. I also remember it had some sort of crude caliper that grabbed two forward sprockets, but the chain lube on the sprockets would keep the calipers from locking up that side for a proper turn. Also, once water got in, the calipers wouldn't work at all. It was just a bad design on so many levels, I can't think of any part of that thing that I thought was built right.

Another feature that may tell what it was is that the wheels had no lug nuts, the rims were part of the hub, to remove a wheel you had to go inside and remove the axle tube from the frame, then slide the tube outward, then you disconnected the axle shaft by removing a 'C' clip inside the frame that held a sprocket as well. Doing so meant losing the chain tension and having to reroute the entire drive chain once you put it back together. (I remember now that when I got the thing one wheel and axle was off, this let the chain get all wrapped up around the other sprockets and it had doubled around itself jamming it up. The chain was rusted stiff in this wrapped up position from being full of water so many times).
Also, if the chain came loose, it would drag the bottom of the hull, when I got it the lower hull had been worn pretty thin and was leaking. The last owner had tried to fix this with fiberglass mat and resin but the hull was some sort of plastic so this did nothing but make a mess. I didn't keep it long enough to make a permanent fix to that issue, but I did use some black butyl roofing strips to seal the hull. There were reinforcement areas in a radial pattern around the drain plug towards the outer edges of the lower body, it was the inside of these raised areas that were cut through by the chain. Running over anything that pressed up against the body would also flex the body up into the sprockets and chain cutting through it every time. The chain rode less than 1/4" above the bottom of the inside. I think the whole frame was made from 1 1/2" thin angle iron, (think old bed frame metal). Each side rail was made up with two back to back angle iron frame rails, these were spaced apart and those spacers made room for the tension arms and spring bolts. The axles passed though this and the chain ran inside the inner frame rail up front, and outside it toward the rear. There were two jack shafts which had sliding mounts that allowed you to engage either a large or small drive sprocket off the snow mobile type belt drive. Turning left or right by pulling the lever to one side or the other meant that several things all had to happen at the same time, the opposite side caliper had to hold, the inner wheels were shifted to run off the slower or smaller drive sprocket, and the outer wheels had to connect to the larger sprocket. This difference in wheel speed made it turn. If the calipers would lock up, it was supposed to be able to turn around in its own space, but I never was able to achieve this. The slop in the linkage and crude frame and sprocket mess made getting it all adjusted right so it worked right and left, as well as still being able to move forward seemed impossible. I gave up on it after a season or two of never really being able to enjoy day or even a single long ride on it. It got sold or traded for something, I can't remember what it was but I do remember being glad to see it go away. I was especially glad to have never seen it again back then.

I have a of land where a good functional 6 wheeler would come in handy, especially in the fall. The pond and lake on the lower part of the property are well over their banks after all the rain we've had over the past few weeks. The trail between the upper and lower part of the property is blocked by several feet of water.

 

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