I will be putting a Ruckstell in my '14 runabout this winter, and I am wondering about how to jack up the car to remove the existing rear end. One is tempted to use concrete blocks standing up the way you would in building a wall, and put a heavy, flat wood block on them to spread the weight. Maybe I will be lucky enough that the blocks are not necessary(?) I have large jack stands that might be enough by themselves, but I want the supports to be STABLE. It seems to me that you want to get the rear end detached from the spring. This requires a position where there is no tension on the spring. Once detached, the rest of the stuff can be undone and you should be able to roll the rear end out on the existing wheels.
Does this make any sense to those who have done this? Any thoughts or advice appreciated!
Do not use the cement blocks like I did!
Forget about the blocks. That's asking for disaster. Here's a safe way to support the car.
The way to take the tension off the spring so it can be removed easily is to remove the rear wheels and loosen the perch nuts. Leave the perches loose but with the nuts still on. After you reinstall the spring, just tighten the perch nuts and pin them.
Do not use concrete blocks! They have been know to crumble
I used jack stands under my T when I did rear end work
Some people put a wood beam across the frame rails and use jack stands that are outside the the working area so they can roll the rear end in and out easily
Go to Harbor Freight tools and get you some jack stands. They have some good ones for a reasonable price.
Go buy a 6 x 6 x 8 or an 8 x 8 x 8 board and cut it to the length you need. Not only stable, but very strong and can easily support the weight of a Model T. The leftovers can be cut to length for a seat while working on your rear end.
Best to use jack stands, concrete blocks are always a no-no.
My favorite came from Jax Naval Base auction, made to hold 5 ton military vehicles. Position up the frame just in front of the radius rods allows removal of the rear end assembly.
Place the rear end on a roller dolly made for furniture and its easy to roll under and out or in, use the lift jack to place.
2nd set of small jack stands doing stand-by backup if needed.
Dan's method really works well. My son and I removed and replaced the rear axle and driveshaft assembly quickly using that technique. The roller jack under the differential makes it easy to raise or lower, and shift it right, left, forward or backward as needed to get the U-joint tongue lined up. Two of us put it back together in under 15 minutes. Now that we know what we are doing it would be a lot less
Never use that type of concrete or cinder-block under a car. They can suddenly and without warning crack or shatter and drop the car. Also be very certain the car is held very stable and cannot be tipped over much short of a good Califunny earthquake (I was working underneath a mobile home once when a 5.5 hit! Interesting experience).
BE SAFE! I hate to lose friends. Even ones I never met face to face.
Drive (and work) carefully, and enjoy, W2
I have to wonder if concrete blocks got their bad reputation from people using them turned on their side (Like the one just under the muffler in the first photo). When turned with their 'holes' running vertically rather than horizontally, they are very strong. Most mobile homes in my area are supported with stacks of them several courses tall with no mortar. Of course, they need to be loaded evenly, not with a small diameter axle housing resting on just one edge. A block of wood laying across them would spread the load and keep there from being a concentration of load in just one place.
I'm not saying to use them. I don't. I have jack stands, but in a pinch, I wouldn't hesitate. I think they got a bad rap by being misused.
Hal - Please don't take this personally as I know you meant well ref concrete blocks, and your explanation is excellent in regard to "loading evenly", and you are absolutely correct. However, I have to respectfully disagree with your remark about not hesitating to use them in a "pinch". You were doing fine until those last two sentences Hal. It is my contention that most Model T guys are NOT always going to take the time, effort and brain power to analyze a situation to determine if they're using the concrete blocks correctly by "spreading the load" evenly. And I'm no engineer, but I believe that correct "loading" of a concrete block is more involved than just avoiding "a small diameter axle housing resting on just one edge." There are other forces involved. The load MUST be spread evenly and point contact avoided as you say Hal, but also, the force of the weight MUST be exerted upon the concrete blocks ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT DOWNWARD! And the only proper situation to guarantee that is in using the concrete blocks for ONLY the purpose intended, and that is to build a perfectly plum wall, foundation or similar structure.
NEVER, (EVER!!!) USE CONCRETE BLOCKS FOR JACK STANDS, NO MATTER HOW CAREFUL YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING!!! AND YES,.....I AM SHOUTING!!! YOU'RE DAMNED RIGHT I'M SHOUTING, AND SHOUTING SO AS TO HOPEFULLY MAKE MY DEAD AND CRUSHED FRIEND WHO USED CONCRETE BLOCKS AS JACK STANDS DEATH A LESSON THAT MIGHT PREVENT ANOTHER SIMILAR TRAGEDY!!!
For what it's worth,.......harold
OK, guys. I get the message. Concrete blocks used properly (upright) as in a wall with force spread out by a thick piece of wood are the best, but MUCH better yet is NOT to use them at all. I will not use them!
It also seems that it is best to take the wheels off. That way you do not have to jack the car up as high and it will be more stable.
Thanks to all of you for your help and good advice.
I will let you know how it goes - God willin' and the creek don't rise!
Not taken personally, Harold. My post was not intended to be an endorsement of the practice. It was more a pondering of what circumstances have led to their bad reputation.
I wonder why no one, so far, has opined about the sling setup that hooked around the rear of the frame and then was lifted up by a chain hoist. I will have one of those someday. I removed the rear axle from a 23 Centerdoor and replaced it with a Ruckstel. I used heavy duty jackstands and I was still nervous about that setup!
Does that mean you'll have a place to put your rear while your working on your rear?
Michael, I made this one several years ago and used it on a 1914 touring. It worked OK but I wish it had been longer so I would have been further away from the body.
That's funny, Fred.
Thank you Harold S. And no apologies necessary for shouting. I have never lost a "close" friend to concrete blocks, but have known a couple people that lost lives that way some years ago.
Some of the communication contracting we did for many years was in mobile home parks. I have been under many hundreds of mobile homes. And I have been closely involved with several mobile home parks soon after earthquakes. One park, about 250 homes total, had nearly one-third of the homes seriously damaged because most of the homes were on concrete (cinder) blocks. The same earthquake, the park next door had less than one in ten damaged, and they suffered less damage per home. The difference? Proper blocking.
It should be pointed out. These concrete (cinder) blocks are intended to be stacked with the open areas lined up AND FILLED WITH CONCRETE/CEMENT! (Now I am shouting) If they are more than three blocks high (per structural engineers I have talked to on sites), they are also supposed to have re-bar in them. These blocks are meant to be a part of a structure, a building block as it were. It was never intended to be the full support itself.
Yes. IF you were to make certain that the work area is flat enough, and level enough, AND you put a flat enough, smooth enough, and soft enough piece of wood larger than the block under the bottom block, over the top block, and between any blocks, you will probably survive the foolhardiness of using the blocks to support a car.
These blocks are also not made of the right type of concrete. They are made lightweight to be carried and worked with and intended to become the concrete form, which when filled with the real concrete/cement which is what gives it the real strength when you use them to build a wall.
I have been under hundreds of mobile homes? I have probably seen thousands of these blocks broken under mobile homes. Except for earthquakes, they just sit there supporting weight. And they break.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the additional information and explanation (and support) Wayne. I guess by now, it's probably been noticed that I get a bit "obnoxious" in warning about the misuse of concrete blocks, or, cinder blocks, but as you say Wayne, loss of a friend over such an innocent but serious mistake makes quite a lasting impression. If the warnings that you and I and a few others have offered here on the forum saves somebody from injury (or worse) it will have done someone some good,.....thanks again Wayne,.......harold
Cinder blocks or a transmission (or Ruckstell) without aux brakes can't have too many warnings,
You are welcome, Harold. And thank you too.
(Hal, I love my auxiliary brakes!)
Hal - Neat comment much appreciated! A click on my profile shows my '27 depot hack equipped with "R&R"! (Ruckstell & Rockies),....harold
P.S. And a good working hand brake on a large drum rear end, as the Rockies do leave something to be desired while backing up!
I use both, pack stands with a wooden beam ahead of the axles AND taller jack stands under the chassis ahead of the radius rods.
Even then, I'm nervous about getting under the car!
Having "done" the rear end three times I find that, as I am getting older, it is getting heavier but I'm getting better at it!