I am wanting to converse offline with someone that has a Ruckstell either installed now or yet to be installed. I have some questions with regard to its installation using the standard P189A mounting which fastens the shifter to the back end of the transmission. Please contact me via email or PM through the MTFCA forum if you have a P189A either original or repro. Thanks.
I have 3 of them. All are in running vehicles
The P189A mounted on hogshead
This is the original on my '17 Torpedo Runabout.
Looking at Dan's picture, his is mounted on the forward side of the hogshead. Mine is mounted on the rear of the ball cap. The end result is that mine has the shifter further forward when it is in direct drive and has clearance for legs when in Ruckstell.
I bet Dan's lever is very close to the seat when in Ruckstell.
I see the difference but wasn't the original setup by Ruckstell done as Dan's picture shows? To mount it as yours is would require the Ruckstell bracket threaded holes to be reamed out - yes? I am not being critical here of your method since I have never mounted one of these things in my life. I am just sorting out the different ways they are mounted. The question for me is not about any advantage of mounting any particular way but rather just this - was the shifter mounting plate designed originally by Ruckstell to mount on EITHER side of the hogshead flange or was it designed to mount on the most forward side of the hogshead rear flange with its bracket being threaded to replace the original top bolt installation nuts? I do see how your method can change things but that is not what I am concerned with. I am simply trying to see how it was originally designed by Ruckstell to be mounted.
I have four Ruckstells up and running. All are using original shifters and they were originally mounted as Dan has pictured. The bracket is threaded to replace the nuts that went onto the two top bolts. I have a couple of the original shifter brackets (maybe '26-'27) that have splined shafts so one can adjust the shifter lever to the most desireable position and avoid Royce's summation regarding hitting the seat (or dash) with the lever.
I bet mine is stronger
That shifter casting has threaded bosses for the long bolts needed. The casting is nicely machined at the boss to be attach to the hogshead, not the thin cover.
With bolts thru the cover and then threaded into the shifter casting, the unit is secure. Add lock washers and nuts to the backside of the shifter bracket.
The lever can be placed where you want it, mine is just shy of the dash, when engaged, just center. Easy for me to enter and exit, if I choose the passenger side....ha ha... I'm in an Improved Car with the door for the driver.
And the shifter arm is mounted to the shaft with a 'toothed' lock washer and the lever arm is toothed, so you index the shift lever to what vertical position you wish. I have lots of leg clearance.
Mine is installed to the rear, just like in Royce's. TT does not cross over the drive shaft so goes down the side with the bracket reversed:
I am just curious - why is the design different for the TT? Is there some reason Ford would have done it different since while the driveshaft/rear end are worm gear - the linkage locations don't seem to need to be relocated? Just wondering.
The TT has a battery by the runningboard so the rod doesn't need to dog leg around the battery like on the passenger cars.
: ^ )
I guess the linkage is longer and heavier, so a thin one with a dog leg may tend to flex and bend when used? A direct path would give best control of the change?
My 3 Ruckstells are all mounted forward of the ballcap like Dan's. If there is any issue with the lever positioning, the "New" 2-piece un-assembled linkage tube is adjustable. It can be set to length according to the operator's shifting lever "throw" preference and riveted in place very easily.
Thanks guys for all your input. I see what you are talking about with the TT.
Mine came on a '26 roadster that was in an Oklahoma barn for many decades. It was mounted like you see it on that car, so it ended up that way on the '17. With it in direct drive the shift knob is about 6" from the windshield. In Ruckstell about 12" from the windshield. It is thus very much out of the way.
I am not sure it can be mounted forward like Dan's unit. It could be the later shift levers are made differently, notice mine has an oiler cup that Dan's unit is lacking?
Is the bracket itself the same shape and type of casting as Dan's unit with simply no threads in it? From the vertical picture angle it sure looks like a very tight fit around the large grease cup when mounted to the rear but the photo angle may be deceiving with regard to the actual clearance there. I would think if the bracket were threaded and only designed to mount as Dan's unit is mounted then the most forward surface of that bracket (back side of Dan's bracket itself) would likely not be a machined or cast flat surface since there would be no reason for that. If both surfaces were flat then it would seem to indicate that it was meant to go either way (T or TT). Two parallel flat surfaces won't come out of a casting mold so probably one of them would be machined flat if both are flat. Just my speculation here. You might very well be correct that yours could be a later version but then sometimes people added oilers and grease cups where none existed. We see that even today.
Just adding the instructions in the Club's booklet, "Repairing and Restoring The Model T Ford Ruckstell Axle", c. 2002
"The original Ruckstell (P189A) hand shifter assembly is mounted on the forward side of the boss at the rear of the transmission cover."
Seems correct when fitting it up, and the experts booklet states so.
All my T's have Ruckstells. Three of them have the installation that Dan posted. I drill the heads of the two bolts, and safety wire them like the bottom two. I also have a T, with the earlier design shifter, which mounts on the right side of the hogshead, and is much sturdier. It also gives my right leg more room when driving.
I have a Ruckstell yet to be installed under my 1922 Runabout and I have what I beleve is an orginial shifter. The bolt bosses are not threaded and has two parallel sides that are flat and looked to be machined. I assumed that it was to be installed forward on the hogshead. I am not sure there is enough room for a washer and nut. If mounted to rear, how are you able to miss the grease cup?
Here are pics of two original P-189A shifters I have. Both are very similar, one has the lever with a more square lower boss, the other of course was modified by someone sometime to place a bend in the upper shaft.
View of 'front' side
view of 'backside'
close up of square boss on lever
When mount attempted on univ bell cap, interference with grease cup
When placed on the forward side of transmission cover (hogshead) all seems well
What about the left side shift lever design? Can some one give us some information on that, I am one of the newer members learning from the information posted.The left side for a lefty or some one with a bad right shoulder may have some advantage.Are there some pros and cons on the left side shifter?
Though not related to John's original question, I have a drivers side Ruxstell shifter on my 1926 Roadster pickup. It was made by modifying Model T emergency brake control rod/lever. The car has the late 1927 running board spare tire mount and the drivers side door is more useless then normal. You would have always had to crawl over the shift lever when getting in and out of the car. I could take a few photos of the implementation if you like and post them in a new thread?
Ron the Coilman
I would appreciate the photos and a new posting of your Ruckstell set-up. I have the left side shifter set-up sold by the "suppliers" and don't like it too much. Maybe yours will shed some light on a better way.
Couple of observations. There were at least 3 different shifters. Two styles, the later of which is illustrated in photos and another, should be mounted ahead of the ball cap ring for all the reasons already stated. One point I haven't seen addressed is that the later style shifter will not fit in the recesses of the early hogsheads. That is so because the scalloped areas in the cover are simply not large enough to accept the legs of the shifter. If you have an early hogshead (aluminum) you must use one of the two other styles. The first of the two looks similar to the later one illustrated except the legs are rounded at the bold holes. Some of these also have a sheet metal backing plate and are used with TTs. The other of the two is the same type used on Perfectos. It attaches to three of the four ball cap ring bolts. It is the one Larry "Original" Smith discusses. In my opinion, this is the best of the lot, although I have seen a couple of broken ones.
All the shifters I have ever seen were mounted on the front side. MANY also had a steel double clip that mounted on the back side so that it made like a clip that meant that you had the main cast part on the front and the steel on the back. In other words there were brackets front and back. I will see if I can find some in my ruckstell parts. If I can I will post a picture.
Richard or Dave
Did the steel backing plate you describe take the place of nuts when the shifter bolt bosses were not threaded?
Is this what your looking for?
Another original one on my 26 roadster.
WOW! Great photo Dale! Certainly shows how the Ruckstell shifter was mounted on that one a long, long time ago!
Can't help but notice a few things that might need attention pretty soon; maybe like right away! (That is if this is a running car)
I'll probably use improper names, but there's at least one very loose bolt on the u-joint ball cap, there'll soon be no "neutral" as the lever on the cam is bent and the bolt nearly ready to slip off to the side of the cam, and one nut is missing from the driver's side radius rod, and appears that it has been missing for a long time! (....that's why I said "if this is a running car")
For what it's worth,........harold
Actually, in looking at that photo again, I probably just showed my own ignorance as it is obvious that that car has not run for a very long time, judging from the lack of any evidence of movement of that cam. Anyway, a very nice photo showing lots of detail Dale; especially the Ruckstell shifter,.........harold
On the ones that I have had the two 3/8" bolts went through the back of the steel backing plate, through the rim on the hogs head and then threaded into the cast boss on the shifter. I quit using the steel clamp on the back side because I could not see any practical use for them.
Thats the steel plate that I find on the back of some of the shifters. On the picture above this steel plate goes directly under the head of the two bolts.
Harold,I almost didn't post the photo because of those issues.
However the car is a good example of "barn fresh" as it has not been driven since 1958.
Look at the photos that Dan posted. In one of them, you will notice an "E". That is an Eaton shifter, that was made after Ruckstell sold out to Eaton. I like them the best, because they have splines. That way, as previously mentioned, you can adjust the shift lever any way you want.
Mostly correct, the E is Eaton mfg, but both of these shifters have the E embossed.
The shifter that is nice is the round boss end, that has the splined lever end gives you unlimited positioning.
The other lever with the square, has square boss on shaft for only limited positioning.
"E" mark on the round lever boss with the splined shaft.
Here's a closer view. No clearance problem on the grease cup.
Royce, does your grease cup have an extension added to it?
I like that oiler. Too bad Ruckstell didn't think of that!
It looks as though Royce's gease fitting may be cocked ie cross threaded into the cap. Also looks like he cant turn the grease cap down since it will catch on the shifter.
You can mount it anyway you like, but I think its designed to be mounted in front.
Cocked? Cross threaded? No.
Actually the grease fitting is in straight. It is screwed down all the way in the picture, I had just finished filling the cup several times and screwing it all the way down until grease came out of the U joint housing.
Actually, when you put grease in that kind of fitting, the final time putting grease in whatever you are greasing the cap shouldn't be turned all the way down. That way the next time it needs to be greaseed, all you have to do is turn the cap.
I'm with Royce's experience, screw those grease cups all the way down when done. Otherwise they will rattle off and you'll lose 'em
The only grease cups you can leave in the start position are the accessory ones with the security peg and spring on the inside....
Wow, talk about a home work assignement, after glancing at this thresd I took my floorboards out and have spent the past four hours getting familiar with the area....Have already come up with three items to adjust or correct...Thanks guys for the in depth Ruckstel talk....Jack '25 Rosdater Pick-up