I was advised to always start out in low Ruckstell then go thru low and high trans and then to high Ruckstell as a three speed. Every time. The thought is that this will save wear on the bands but it seems to me that using this method will cause a lot of wear on the Ruckstell. I have always used high Ruckstell all the time and slipped it into low only when I need it. For those of you that have a Ruckstell how do you use it.
With a heavy car or truck, that's a good way to do it. With a light car, like a Runabout, you don't need to do that unless you're starting out going up a hill. After you get pretty good at matching engine speed with forward motion speed, I don't think there's much wear caused by shifting it.
I see people who regularly do the process that you were told to. I never understood it either. I just downshift to low Ruckstell when I need it. Otherwise, I drive it like a regular T.
I have 3:1 gears and I take off in ford low like normal T's. Then, as the clutch pedal is coming back so does the Ruxtell lever giving me basically a second gear. At about 28 mph I push the clutch in slightly and shift the axle into high then letting out the pedal. If you saw how quickly and smooth it's done you would try it.
I figure if I have to one day rebuild the axle due to wear in the Ruxtell unit the rest of it wont be much good either. Thankfully, we have new Ruxtell parts available.
Like Gary I have 3:1 gears in my 1915 runabout and my 1919 touring. However I start in low gear in the low range of the Ruckstell, then shift into the high while still in the low range of the Ruckstell. Then at about 28 mph, I put it in the high range.
With the 3:1 gears, I like the smoother "easier" start of the low+low.
I use all four gears if I am going up a hill starting from a stop at the bottom.
About the only time I use the Ruckstell high range of Ford low is when I am coming up to a red light and about to stop (going 5-7 mph) and it turns green.
On cars with Ruckstells with standard gears, I start in low gear in Ruckstell high range like Gary does.
: ^ )
I drive my standard geared 23 touring with a Ruckstell as if it didn't have it, until I get to a hill and then use Ruckstell high. About the only time I use low Ruckstell is when I'm towing another T or driving into the trailer.
I drive my Touring with a Ruckstel just like it has three gears. Doesn't take much practice to learn to mesh the gears.
Just don't get in a hurry. If you want to go fast, buy a 'Vette. (No... not a CHEVette) ;)
I only use my Ruckstell when it is needed. As far as 3-1 gears, you can use them if you like them, but I just took a set out of my '13 roadster, and replaced them with standard gears.
I have 2 Model T's with Standard Ford ratio and one with 3-1 ratio, so I can compare driving with both ratios.
How you drive depends entirely on the type terrain and the gear ratio of the ring and pinion.
With standard Ford ring and pinion, just drive in high Ruckstell and drive as you would any standard T. However if you are going to start out on a steep hill, use Ruckstell low and Ford low. and depending on how steep the hill you can go to Ford low Ruckstell high or Ruckstell low Ford high.
With a 3-1 ring and pinion, use Low Ruckstell every time you start out unless it is completely level or downhill. Any slight grade and you will burn the low band or kill the engine if starting out in Ford low. In fact I wouldn't recommend a 3-1 unless you live and drive in very flat country such as Kansas or San Jaquin valley.
Another problem with 3-1 is when you are on tour with other T's. You will find that going uphill where the standard gear Fords are at maximum torque about 22 mph, you will need to shift to Ruckstell, because you must keep about 28 mph to stay in high. So unless you lead the pack, you will need to shift down more often.
I use Ruckstell for uphill, parking lots, parades, loading onto trailer, or going on dirt or gravel roads or any time I drive at a constant speed lower than 15 mph.