Ruckstell Model A Ford Overdrive Transmission

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2011: Ruckstell Model A Ford Overdrive Transmission
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 11:52 pm:

On e-bay, there is a Model A Ford Overdrive transmission. Can anyone provide details on these units? Could the overdrive be shifted in and out?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RUCKSTELL-MODEL-FORD-TRANSMISSION-OVERDRIVE-3-SPEED-EXTR EMELY-RARE-/330650403152?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=ite m4cfc4cc150


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 12:32 am:

Interesting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Clipner on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 01:48 am:

Is it poss. that Ruckstell made a replacement with diff. gearing ?? Or did this guy think 3rd gear is the overdrive. I don't know A's that well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Nicholson on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 03:18 am:

I see on the tag it says "dual high" for Model A cars. HHMMMMM Very Interesting! I wonder how well it worked?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" Harold Tucker on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 07:33 am:

Yes, it was produced by Ruckstell. There is a copy of a Sep 1930 advertisement on page 90 of “Those Wonderful Unauthorized Accessories for Model A Ford.” It is basically a three speed transmission with reverse. I would guess but I do NOT know that second as well as the documented third gear both appear to higher (more speed for the same engine speed than the stock transmission).

The ad claims:

“More Speed at same motor revolution on the open road.”

“In the Ruckstell-Ford you make 2 to 55 miles in second – as smoothly as as silently as in ordinary high. You shift form second to high at any speed, and from high back to second quickly, surely, and easily, without any gear clash.”

From that and the E-bay listing I would “assume” [no test data to consult] that it would work poorly in a heavy stock Fordor and probably ok in a light roadster touring. And of course minor modifications to the Model A engine would allow it to work well with the Fordor. Note the advertisement also said “More Speed and Flexibility on the Hills”. Which could be true – as my own then totally stock engine 1931 Model A Town Sedan when crossing mountain passes (when I lived in California in the previous century) I used to have to shift down to second. That gear was “too low” as I could easily pull the hill but I could not pull the hill in the original 3rd gear – just not enough power/torque even when I hit the hill at 45 at the bottom. So that second gear in the Ruckstell transmission will probably give you lower RPM for the same speed as the standard second gear. And the stock A engine might just be able to pull the mountain pass in second at a more reasonable speed than the standard Model A in second. Note switching to a higher compression head [Model B but a Brumfield etc will accomplish the same thing] on the Model A now allows the Town Sedan to pull the hills in high – basically going form a 40 hp engine to a 50 hp engine.

And that is the only one of those I have ever seen for sale. But I suspect it might be difficult to find repair parts for it.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eubanks, Powell, TN on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 09:00 am:

Looks like it is missing the connection needed for a u joint. Model As thru v8s all hada splined shaft the ujoint slid on and was attached with a bolt in the center of the shaft.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom J. Miller, mostly in Dearborn on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 09:49 am:

Jim,

I looked closely at the photo of the rear flange. I looks like theres a bolt and a washer with a notch on the end that effectively conceals the splined output shaft from view.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Chaffin on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 10:31 am:

There are seven pages devoted to the Ruckstell Model A Transmission in my new book, Glover E. Ruckstell and the Ruckstell Axle, including operational details and specs. Everything you everwanted to know about Ruckstell and many things you didn't know. He was truly an amazing man.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 11:11 am:

They do exist! I've seen one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Conwill on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 11:56 am:

On page 29 of the book “Dry Lakes and Drag Strips: The American Hot Rod” by Dean Batchelor (which, incidentally, devotes a lengthy chapter to early, T-powered cars), there is a photograph of Regg and Dolores Schlemmer in a ‘31 roadster with Chevrolet-type hood sides, Packard wire wheels, and one of these transmissions.

Originally hearing the phrase “dual-high”, I wondered if it wasn’t a four-speed with fourth as an overdrive. Someone else explained to me that it was actually in the vein of a ‘39 box with synchros on 2nd and 3rd. This discussion has been very illuminating to me, as I was unaware that they had actually changed the ratios on 2nd and 3rd, and I thank you fellows for hashing it out. Seems odd to have a trans without 1:1 somewhere, but I guess it’s not much different from changing the ring-and-pinion in the axle.

I’ll bet these are rare not only because of only 4 million As versus 15 million Ts, but because of the Depression curbing the market for auto accessories.

Regards,

Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil McKay on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 01:19 pm:

In the eBay listing, the gear ratios for this Ruckstell Model A transmission are stated as follows:

"Ratios are as follows:

REV. -1 turn on input = 1/4 turn on output

1st - 1 turn on input = +/-1/2 turn on output

2nd - 1 turn on input = +/- 3/4 turn on output

3rd/Overdrive - 1 turn on input = +/- 1 1/4 turn on output"


What is the data for the stock Ford Model A transmission stated in the comparable "input/output" turns?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 02:33 pm:

3rd in a stock Model A is a direct gear - 1 turn on input = 1 turn on output.
If I had an A it would follow modern traffic with this gearbox and a 60 hp "Koelner" engine and still look almost like stock A :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil McKay on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 02:45 pm:

What about 1st and 2nd gears?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 09:59 pm:

ALL model AA trucks of 1928 were "dual high".
They used the 3 speed car transmission with the Ruckstell Dual High a few inches behind it.
It was basically used as an overdrive because the worm gear rear ends were very slow. Too slow.
There was a rocker pedal on the floor to the left of the regular transmission shift lever to shift the Dual High with your foot.
I have worked on the trucks and just did a lot of work on one 2 years ago. I have some pictures of it.
When the AA went to four speeds and stopped using the worm gear rear end they stopped using the Dual High.
The one on Ebay is not the Dual High that came on those trucks. The Dual High used the same planetary gears inside that a model T Ruckstell rear end used. And it was just 2 speeds. No reverse.
There was a Ruckstell kit for a model A car that consisted of a freewheeling device in the bell housing along with a high compression head and a downdraft intake manifold and carb.
There was also a Warford 3 speed for a model AA truck that was similar to the T warfords.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 10:07 pm:

That Ebay transmission is not to go behind the model A transmission, notice it has a sleeve for the throw-out bearing.
It is similar to an A transmission except that it has an overdrive. high gear.
Now my take is that it is really a model A transmission with a Dual High Ruckstell tag rivited on it.
The Dual Highs that I spoke of earlier had a dip stick on top to check the gear oil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Or on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 11:36 pm:

If you look at the photos in the ad and compare it to a Model A gear case there are a number of casting and machining differences. Unlike the modern Mitchel which make use of an A case this is case looks to be made for Ruckstell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Nicholson on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 11:56 pm:

Here is a link to an add in a 1931 Popular Science Magazine about this transmission. It says ruckstell second is the same as Ford High with the Ruckstell third being a 25% overdrive. So they did exist and I could see why the truck one would be different and be an add on to the regular trans, so it wouldn't be too high geared for hauling loads.

http://books.google.com/books?id=9CcDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA124&dq=Ruckstell+overdrive&hl =en&ei=jn3ZTrvhOObg0QGmr_n3DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDsQ6A EwAQ#v=onepage&q=Ruckstell%20overdrive&f=false


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 12:46 am:

Mark is right, it does not look like a model A case.
So it must be like driving a model A without a 2nd gear-you just go from 1st to high and then have one higher gear to go.
That would be OK for a lot of highway driving but it seems to me it would not be the ideal gearbox for driving around in a crowded city or on thw farm.
Hard to beat a five speed transmission. Easy to see why so many model A Fords now have a 5 speed in them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Worthington on Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 03:09 pm:

Thought I would "Chime in" on this discussion. I have the Ruckstell transmission on Ebay for sale right now. This has been looked at by a few Ford enthusiasts and authorities, they all agree, this is one of the real Ruckstell transmissions. Saturday a Ford historian came down to my location from Detroit to inspect and photograph this item. He was in agreement, it's the real deal. This trans. is one that you remove your existing trans. and replace this with yours. The meaning of "Dual High" refers to this. 2nd gear in the Ruckstell is higher than the stock 2nd in a Ford Trans. and then 3rd in the Ruckstell is 25% overdrive which in the stock Ford Trans 3rd would be direct. This would be the "Dual High" meaning that both top gears in the Ruckstell are higher than the top two of the std. Ford. Again, this is a great item, great find and all looks to be in original and in very good condition.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Worthington on Friday, December 09, 2011 - 10:15 pm:

Ruckstell Model A transmission sells on Ebay for $5,232.99. Thanks for all the help and communication about the history and use.


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