I picked up a Ruckstell SN 88191. What year was it manufactured and will it work in a '26? Thanks PK
As long as it is a large drum Ruckstell, it should work just fine.
: ^ )
Thanks Keith. I need to tear into it now and see if the thing is usable/rebuildable. PK
You've got a pretty early one. I'd guess it was probably made in 1922 or 3. You will have to find some '26-7 housings for the guts. If you live in Southern California, I have a pair to sell, but I don't feel like shipping them.
Thanks for the reply Larry. I live up in Montana so yes any kind of shipping would be high. Question, what parts need to be changed? Can I assemble it using parts from my '26 axle? PK
Is it a small drum Ruckstell you've got as the serial number indicates, then you need to change the LH side axle housing to a big drum Ruckstell housing. The right hand axle housing is std Ford, so you can use the 26/27 housing you've already got. Buy a manual for Ruckstells like the one MTFCA sells written by Glen Chaffin and measure everything carefully for wear. Some parts from the original Ford axle can be used, it's always good to have parts from a few axles to pick from - they're rarely in pristine condition inside
Fortunately the special Ruckstell parts are all available new from Chaffin's.
A small drum housing can be changed into a large drum, but it's a lot of job for little reward - you can likely find someone to change housings with, or find a buyer for your housing if you buy Larry's.
Contact Stan Howe, I believe in Helena. He is an expert on Ruckstells. It is nice to have some special tools for changing backing plates but can be done if you can not find a 26. Be sure you change out the babbit thrust washer on the right side. Babbit washers can destroy and through you in to neutral.
The number sounds like an early Ruckstell and it probably for the small drum brakes. As such it will not fit on your 26 without major changes. This mean that both axle halves will need to be replaced. You can use your existing right hand side with your existing part but the left side is special.
My suggestion is to look for a Ruckstell with the big drums and sell the small drum. Expect to pay a little more for the large drum.
Another solution is to convert the small drum to a large drum by mating the two sections(half standard big drum, half Ruckstell) together. Cut the Ruckstell and the standard Ford housings in half using a pipe cutter and weld them together. This requires some careful measuring and alignment during welding, but is quite doable. I have done this several times with success. I have also done this with a TT Ruckstell where someone narrowed the axle to make a garden tractor. I mated a standard housing section to the Ruckstell, restoring it to correct TT width.