Would anyone be able to tell me where I might look to try to find a used Ruckstell axle that would fit in my 1926 four door sedan with wire wheels? I've looked at Chaffin's but quite frankly, I was hoping to see if I could find one more in line with my budget. Maybe that's just wishful thinking but I guess I need to try. Dean Yoder gave my wife and I a ride in his T that has the Ruckstell in it and we really liked it compared to mine without the Ruckstell. (He's also rebuilding some coils for me) BTW, I sure was glad to get to meet Dean as he was extremely helpful and patient with my never-ending questions. We really appreciated the time he spent with us and showed us around his hobby. Being 64 and a relative new-comer to the T experience, we really enjoyed ourselves during our visit and it just made me more determined than ever to learn and experience more about these T's. Thanks, Dean!
I saw this one on Craigs List. I have no connection to this ad.
Simply put, there are no cheap Ruckstells. To buy a used one is a risk too. Most dealers sell them as-found and for $750 - $1200 you have no idea what's inside. I'm piecing together a Ruckstell from parts. Not because it's necessarily cheaper but because I get to inspect every single piece that will go into it. If you go this route, arm yourself with Chaffin's catalog of new Ruckstell parts so you don't pay a swap meet dealer more than new for any given part. (It is possible to do that!)
Gary, don't buy that one on Craigslist. It is not a Ruckstell. It is a Perfecto. They are a nice collector item but not for a first time builder or the faint of heart.
At the risk of being arrested by the forum police, you might like to look at my website on Ruckstells. www.modeltruckstell.com I always have some for sale but you probably can find somebody who will sell you one cheaper than I will. I sold about 6 this last year and rebuilt a couple others.
At the very least it will show you what they look like inside. Familiarize yourself with the parts and what they look like before you start looking for what to buy. Virtually any used one unless you are extremely lucky and find one with very minimal use will need triple pins and gears, probably the small drive or "sun" gear and some work on the inner differential carrier or it will need to be replaced. Try to buy one with a long nose shift lock if there is a choice. Any 26/7 big drum setup should have the long nose shiftlock.
All that said, they are actually a pretty simple mechanical device. Unless you are a total neophyte at mechanical things you can rebuild one so it will work. If you aren't careful what you buy you will have as much money in a used one and parts for the used one as you would have in buying a whole new kit. You do, of course, have to have a good differential to put the kit with. That's the rub, because most differentials are worn and need parts and money thrown at them, too.
I had a guy in Utah call me about a dozen times this year, not in tears but frustrated to say the least, about a used one he bought and ended up replacing nearly every part and paying a couple hundred bucks to have the housing straightened and the bearing boss built up and turned.
On the other hand I bought one at the Lethbridge swap meet last year that was like new. I replaced the pinion pins, that was all. I have one in the shop right now that was supposed to have been rebuilt. Taken apart, cleaned up and put back together with the housings still bent and worn parts inside would be a better description.
A longer, sadder tale is the guy who bought one at the Chickasha swap meet that was supposed to be "Just rebuilt." It wasn't. No recourse, of course. I don't know if he even knew who the vendor was. He has about $3000 into now, last I heard and finally has it under his car. From what I could tell from his phone conversations and some pics he sent, it had been assembled from all the worn parts somebody had left over after rebuilding a few of them. Put them all together, painted the housings and took it to a swap meet.
Look around, get advice and buy thoughtfully. If you don't get your medical service on low bid, don't get your rear end rebuilt on low bid. =) Cheapest is not always best.
It is easy to spend more trying to rebuild an original Ruckstell than it is to just buy a new one. We manufacture all of the new Ruckstell parts here in the USA so we can controll quality of the parts. We have also been fortunate to keep the production costs low so that our prices are reasonable with a modest profit. We do everything we can to enhance the hobby and make it affordable. Please let us know if we can help.
We will be publishing a new book on Glover Ruckestell and the Ruckstell Axle soon. It will include all of the info published in the Vintage Ford with larger pictures and many new photos and Ruckstell history not previously published. Ruckstell was truly an amazing man and highly respected by Ford.
Thanks for the post, Bill. I was able to acquire the Perfecto for my next project. It looks like a good one.
Actually I had been in contact with the fellow last summer just after I finished the first Perfecto. But with the divorce and all I put things on hold. In the meantime his first ad expired and I figured he sold it.
Fantastic! Another Perfecto returning to the T world.
Drive safe, W2
Wayne there are a lot more perfecto's under T's and in garages than most would think. I am lucky enough to have one of each. My good friend Terry Loftus rebuilt the ruckstell and now has the perfecto in pieces. Doing a side by side comparison there are several noticeable differences but nothing to suggest that the perfecto is not a dependable unit. I can't wait to put it under my speedster. It might be interesting to see just how many of these old rearends are still out there. Last but not least
I just like to say "perfecto" it sounds very 1920's
A good friend has a large drum ruckstell housing that he is not going to use and may be willing to sell it. He is rebuilding a small drum ruckstell and has only the large drum left side and right side ruckstell housings as extra. Contact me if you are interested and I will put you in touch with the owner.
Gary, my article on Perfecto rebuilds has long been submitted and according to Jay Klehfoth, is going to appear in the next or following edition of the Vintage Ford. If you or your friend are interested in comparing notes on the rebuild give me an email.
I'll say this. Alignment on the Perfecto axel is critical. Much more so that in a Ruckstell. It is importand that the Perfecto axel housing be straight.
BTW if anyone has a Perfecto they either want to sell outright or trade for a good Ruckstell, let me know. I am on a tear (terror?) right now on Perfectos.