I just finished going thru a small drum Ruckstell, checking all the gears, pins, plates, clearances, and ring and pinion mesh tolerances, put it all together and installed it in my car. When I try to deliver power to the rear, the ring and pinion turn but there is NO transmission of power to the both rear axles. I have insured that the shifter is properly engaged (both in HI or LOW range and not stuck between gears in an unintentional neutral) but still no power is getting to the axles. If I jack up both rear wheels and turn the wheels in the same direction, they DO turn, (I know they are not supposed to) but with NO force again being transmitted to the driveshaft.
It's out of the car now for a complete teardown (again) and I would solicit any opinions as to what to look for that I may have assembled incorrectly. I have rebuilt several Ruckstells and many Model-T rears before, but have never encountered such a problem. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and to all, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hopefully Stan will respond but being Christmas eve, your answer may end up waiting.
Did you leave out the pinion key?
Were the set screws installed that hold the locking plate? Did they shear off? Have you tried both Ruckstell and Ford gearing for operation?
Assuming the set screws that hold the notch plate were installed, did they slip or shear off?
Have you tried power in both Ruckstell and Ford gearing?
Sorry for the double post. The first didn't take until after I wrote the second.
U-joint? Broken drive shaft or Axle? Spider gears? Missing pinon key? If you jack up both wheels and turn one clockwise the other should turn in the other direction.
Willard, How do you know that the ring gear and pinion are turning? If you forgot to put in the pinion key they will not turn. If they do turn you have a neutral problem. Neutral can be caused be several problems. the most common is misaligned shifting gears. If you followed the instructions in my Ruckstell book this is not the problem. If the locking bolts for P145 are missing or sheared as suggested by Richard or you did not install the P144 sun gear this may be the problem. Are you sure that you installed the spider gears? To check this jack up the rear end and turn the right wheel forward. The left wheel should turn backward. If it does not you left out the spider gears. lastly, I assume you installed the two axle keys?
If the pin is not in place, I think it would still work in direct but fail when in Ruckstell low as the plate holds the sliding gear in place and this causes the gear reduction. This can be fixed (with care) by carefully turning the plate until the slot is visible through the screw hole.
With both wheels jacked off the ground, turning one wheel should make the other turn in the opposite direction. If it does not, then there is a problem in the differential and it all must be disassembled.
It is unlikely that the selector has failed as one of the gears should be engaged. Of course an axle shaft could be broken, but unlikely.
The most likely failure would seem to be brain-fade, missing gears in the differential!!
Sort of sounds like the spider gears were left out.
Thanks to all for your suggestions as to what might be wrong. All the common issues have been addressed, externally, (pins, keys, locking plate screws) and are OK. I hate to think that I have left out the spider gears or the sun gear (shame on me), but will soon find out. Glenn, I have your excellent Ruckstell book and have used it in all the assembly and spec checking aspects. I will post my findings when I get the darn thing apart, again.
Don't feel lonely, many, many years ago on one of the first Ruckstells that I did, I used an original T spider gear and carrier. I didn't know that you need to grind off the end of the carrier to use it in a Ruckstell. Of coarse as soon as I went to turn the drive shaft after every thing was installed it was locked tighter than a drum, and I had to tear the Ruckstell down.
When I am doing a ruckstell now, I install the carrier in the inside housing and mark the end of the carrier with a felt tip pen. Then when I take the carrier out I know exactly how much to cut off with a disk grinder.
When I am doing a ruckstell now, If the Ruckstell Carrier is bad I install a T carrier in the inside housing and mark the end of the carrier with a felt tip pen. Then when I take the carrier out I know exactly how much to cut off with a disk grinder.
Dave, it must be true that "a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush".
Noel D. Chicoine:
I am always amazed how wild birds will land in your hand and stay there as long as you feed them.
Well guys, I tore the entire assembly apart and found the problem. Here is what it looked like in an exploded view. At first I didn't see anything wrong; axle gears tight, no missing keys, and no badly worn parts.
At first, the only thing I found missing was the fiber thrust washer which goes between the axles. Somewhat disgusted, I went back to the manual and studied what I saw in actuality and what the manual showed in exploded view. Sure enough, the SUN GEAR (P-144) was not there!!
I bought this Ruckstell from the estate of a 92 year old club member who I knew for many years. I had seen the unit at the back of his garage many times and he never spoke of its condition. The axles are as perfect as can be, the P-87 gears and pins show NO wear and the same goes for the other moving parts. I now wonder if he gave the Ruckstell a cursory inspection, hung it under a car, and when it didn't GO, kind of gave up on it. He was the kind of guy who would rather figure out something for himself rather than buy some operations manual. Myself, in turn, didn't immediately see the missing sun gear, only after going back to the book. Its absence was staring me in the face for some time, as Glen Chaffin alluded to early in this thread. I believe the old timer is looking down at me and either laughing his a** off at me or glad that I got the problem solved. Thanks to all, and to all a Good Night!
Great you found the problem. Sounds like a case of"missing in action". :-) I once took apart a regular T rear end that had the driveshaft opening sealed with a metal plate (had been under a trailer). Wheels turned easily but only one at a time. NO spider gears. Guess it worked OK under a trailer. By the way your 15 T is gorgeous. Hope to put mine together sometime in the future.
Thanks for the info Willard. It's nice to be right once in a while.
Thank you for the update! He may also be looking down saying "Oops! I hope I don't burn for that one?" Glad you found it!
That will be a story you will tell and laugh about around the evening parking lot BS sessions.
Do drive carefully, and have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! W2