Hello all, I am new here on this forum and living in Holland.
I have in my Model T 1927 Pick-up a Rockstell rear-end.
There is no drainplug in this axle, as far i think the oil (now black grease) is aprox 90 years old...
To clean it I have to dismantle the whole axle i suppose.
Till now the axle doesnt make strange noice, so its is better not to drive with it till all is cleaned.
Can i find something, somewere how to do that safely without dammage things in the axle.
(sorry for my bad Englisch)
If that axle has not been taken apart in that many years than I canít imagine the Babbitt thrust washer has ever been replaced. I just pulled one apart I got from Montana that still had a Babbitt bearing and it was starting to come apart. Sounds to me itís time for a tear down.
Hi Bert, I am dealing with exactly the same thing now. On my axle, which has small drums, there is a place at the very bottom that looks like a plug should be there, but no plug. I pulled out the outer wheel bearings and used a shotgun cleaning rod and rag strip dipped in kerosene to clean the axle tube up to the inside bearings. Next I took out the fill plug which is on the lower right side of the differential case and used a hand pump suction device, a "Mighty Vac", to suck out all the old oil and goo. Then I over-filled the axle with kerosene, took out the sparkplugs, and crank the engine for a minute or two every time I walk by. I left it alone over night, and today will repeat the drain, fill, and crank routine.
It was remarkable how much easier the engine turned as the goo was dissolved by the kerosene. Also, the goo was like brown mud, so a rebuild is on my list for next year. I hope Glen keeps that part of his business at least to give himself something to do!
PS. Your English is my home better than my Dutch!
Bert...you need to correspond with Glen Chaffin at this web address http://chaffinsgarage.com/ (quickly before he sells the damn business).
He manufactures Ruckstell rear axles. Talk to him or Dan Little as to what would be the best way and what you might need.
Oke thanks all,
drain out the old oil will not be possible because in the meantime it is hard grease, I can feel it when i put my finger in the fill plug, it is black paste...
as far I think the only way will be taking it apart.
I read something regarding the babit thrust washer (richard), where is that lokaded, in the front part of the axle?, there where the shaft to the engine is connected?
does someone has a exploding drawing so it is easy to see witch parts al where? It will help me to understand, I found some videos and pictures on internet, but not clear enough for me.
Any way, it is a nice hobby, tomorrow trying to get a title for this pickup.. after that fist move is the rear-end.
even so i will contact Glen Chaffin and ask him also what to do.
Bert -- A good place to start is to buy the book on the Ruckstell axle from the MTFCA.
It guides you through the entire process of rebuilding the Ruckstell. Along the way, it explains how to assess the condition of each part and determine whether you need to replace it. If you do need to replace some parts, they are available new from Chaffin's Garage in California.
The original thrust washer (only one in a Ruckstell) was made of babbit, which has by now become brittle and is on the verge of failure. It should be replaced with a bronze one. All of the Model T vendors carry those. Lang's Old Car Parts in Massachusetts is the most comprehensive T parts vendor, their service is second to none, and they do ship overseas. You will find a link to them in the "Parts Suppliers" section of the MTFCA home page.
Disassembling a Model T rear end is a nasty job, because of all that old black grease inside. But once you have it all apart and cleaned up, rebuilding it is not difficult if you have the book to guide you.
(Message edited by coupelet on March 20, 2018)
I understand some of the Canadian built Ruckstells did have a drain plug. Ford didn't have one, and neither did Ruckstell (usa).
thanks Mike and Larry,
it helps me, i will getting the book and do the job.
will keep you all informed how it is gooing
as I saw now I already ordered this book by Modelt.com with some other parts
Now i know i ordered the correct one
here a small move i made from my tin lizzie
if someone likes it..
If your rear axle fluid hasn't congealed to pudding, you can suck the old fluid out using the brake bleeder attachment on a Mityvac. The Mityvac jar is pretty small, you will have to empty it several times to get all of the fluid out.
You can have the Ruckstell unit out in half an hour. Jack up the left side on the frame, right side on the axle, pull the wheel and hub on both sides, pull the left spring hanger out of the plate, pull the radius rod bolts, the seven center bolts and three of the pinion carrier bolts and pull the left side housing and Ruckstell unit. Clean it up, put it back. Quicker and easier. While you have the housing off add a drain plug.
The thrust washer is on the axle side.
If Thea axle has a Babbitt thrust washer and it fails and it will you will lose your brakes and tear up the gears. I personally would replace both axles with new longer ones. I could go on and on but youíll find out and Iíll be told Iím giving sketchy abvice. Not my first rodeo. Seals. Mic the axle brgs. Same with the bronze thrust hub and spider housing.
not possible with a vacum pump, its realy hard grease, harder as in a grease pump.
Maybe a good idea what Stan says, and if there are babbitts i can replace it?.
my englisch is bad so i still dont understand where i should find the babbitt.
its a language problem, sorry, but do my very best
Right side between internal differential case and inside housing. There are three washer plates and between them is where the bronze plate is placed. It replaces the babbitt plate. Hope this helps.
The original Ford installation flat rate for installing a Ruckstell was one hour. Most shops could do one in less time than that.
If you are going to rebuild your Ruckstell you need to pull the entire differential and go through it from U joint to axle nuts, straighten the housings, replace every worn part, etc.
If you just want to clean the old hard grease out of it and replace the babbitt washer with a bronze one, it is a couple hour job to pull the Ruckstell housing with the unit in it, clean it up and replace the thrust washer and put it back together.
I thought that was the original quest??
I rebuilt about 70 Ruckstells over the years and sold them, had a full web site and several pages of photos and "how to" tips along with a video of how to measure the ring pinion clearances, etc.
Took it all down so I wouldn't have to waste time arguing with the people who called me to get advice on how to do it and then argued with how I did it or told me how somebody else did it.
The first one I ever had apart was with Lewis Rector, restorer with the Towe Ford Museum -- who started working in a Ford garage in Talequah, Oklahoma in 1915 when he was 12 -- we pulled the left side housing, cleaned out the old grease, checked the bearing and ring/pinion and put it back together with a bronze washer and took it for a drive to make sure it shifted OK. That was about 45 years ago, it was a car Lewis was working on for someone who had bought it and was concerned about the Ruckstell. As far as I know that car is still running around in Montana, I doubt it has ever been apart again.
Your mileage may vary. No animals were mistreated during this procedure. All advice, experience and expertise is offered free of charge. Its value depends on you and your perception of it.
I'm 50 carburetors behind. Off to the shop.
I have a Stan Howe rebuilt Ruckstell and have had NO problems in the last couple of years. I am confident it will out last me...and probably Stan too.
Now if we could just get Dr. Stan Howe to rebuild hearts as well has he does carburetors and ruckstells, we would be on to something great.
So I'm wondering...with Mr. Chaffin's impending sale/closing of his business....
I'm wanting a Ruckstell, but it's not in the budget for this year.
What's the supply of used, rebuildable Ruckstells like? Are they scarce?
Not rare, but scarce. Typically priced from $700 up to twice that. If you find one for much less it's probably wise to grab it even if it needs work.
So here is a question, if Glen is going to close, what parts would be a good idea to buy now for a future rebuild? Say, for a Ruckstell that was rebuilt decades ago and driven without regular (or any) maintenance?
Thanks Stan for your input, I will take it apart and will inspect the inside, depending how it looks all take apart the rest or not.
also thanks for the drawing Mark, now i know where to find the babbit Washer
I will inform you all the results
today to the goverment control station in Amsterdam to get a dutch Tittle (its here now 7.54 am)
So starting with the job, disided to take out the whole axle, make a nice table where i can work on.
take out the wooden floor of the pickup and lift the truck on the back spring connection.
In that position I can take out the rear axle easaly.
Make a small video of the recedu in the axle.
it likes as raw oil, just pumped out of the ground
Sorry,Video is to heavy
put it on you tube
see here: https://youtu.be/Y0ToD_ceKDM
Wow. Nice video. Thank you.
Goop/raw oil. :-)
Yuck! Looks like congealed 600 weight. The vendors sell a lighter weight lube for the Ruckstell, this is what I have in mine:
Not supposed to use 600 w oil.
Find a lot of wrong things in this ruckstell
right bearing sleef the put left and the left the put right, so the grease ports where closed by the sleef..
inside the put the locking trustplate upside down
the bronze trustplate is totally damaged, the main bearing is at his end.... so the man who put it together was drunk or do not have any idea.
ModelTford.com is happy with me, make a nice order to restore all and put it in good shape.
All is on his way to Holland right now
Other point is the plate who i found on this axle
as far i know now this axle is older than the car, who is from 1927.
the plate has no cutting edges so is an early type.
can somebody tell me something regarding this type of axle?
is this the big or small plate...
That is the large-drum 1926 and 1927 rear end. The earlier small drum type is very different on the ends where the brakes are to be installed.
The timelines for changes on model T Fords were not always very easy to follow. The name-plate you show is an earlier type, but they did continue into the 1926 year, and can be found on 1927 cars as well. Ruckstell also continued to supply two speed rear end kits for earlier cars. So sometimes early cars will have the later "clipped corner" Ruckstell plate.
Welcome to the hobby!
When you say right side or left side. If you stand in front of the car the right is on the driver side, if you stand behind the car the right side is on the passenger side. So lets say is the washers on the shifter side or on the other side of the differential?
Right side and left side of any vehicle (auto, aircraft, watercraft) is determined by sitting in the vehicle. This standard of nomenclature is vital when vehicles may be left or right hand drive.
When I worked for an auto parts vendor with international customers it was of paramount importance to correctly identify which side of the vehicle the customer was ordering parts for.
Here a video for the result.
Ruckstell rearend is again 100% good for another 100 years...
thanks all for the input
see video https://youtu.be/IbOIl8dHq4k
Eugene, where you stand makes no difference to Left or Right side. If this was the case, your USA made cars would alternate between left and right hand drive, depending on where the viewer stands. Clearly, this is not the case. LHD cars have the steering wheel on the left. It does not become a RHD just because you look at it from the front!!!!
Allan from down under.
Bert, that is one fine video. Outstanding! Cheers, Bill
Real nice video, great work, and sure good attention to details in your video.
As for the backing plate on your large drum Improved Car rear axle housing. Your's is the later style backing plate for model year 1927.
The 1. in photos is the early, Aug '25 style with riveted tabs to hold the parking brake shoe.
The 2. is next design with formed or punched tabs in the plate, with added formed drain trough likely for water to drain, or maybe leaking seals for oil to drain away from the shoes , typical 1926.
The 3. is last, typical mid 1926 to end of production May 1927, the tabs are formed on a 'disc' of metal to the backing plate, probably added to prevent water ingress too.
Have a Canadian production "C.P." in the name plate Ruckstell on my '27 and it has a drain plug in the Ruckstell housing. Fill with the Ford side housing, drain on the Ruckstell side. Change oil every 5000 miles.
Pretty sure that "Made in USA" on the bottom of the Ruckstell Canada produced axle is only for the brass tag, the Canada Ruckstell was assembled with likely some Canada sourced parts to meet tariff requirements. Same as today, countries use tariffs for helping their own industries create jobs.
Hele mooie video Bert !!!!
Bert, Nice job with the Ruckstell rebuild and the video production.
Thanks for the picture of the Canadian oval plate. Next time I see one I'll have to look for the Made in USA stamping.
Here is another C.P. plate, about 40,000 units earlier than that one with the 'Made in USA' on the rim of the brass tag, this one does not have that USA stamping! Guess the Canadian govt. made for that change after thousands were built in Canada!