When I took apart my Truckstell rear end for rebuilding, the idea was to
put it right back together. Then I tossed rod bearings 1 & 2, and things
went sideways for a stretch.
Now, I am ready to put it together again and am confused (more than
normal) in my memory that this thing had inner seals on both sides of
the axle housings. Looking at the pretty, clean pieces now, it appears
I've lost my mind. The no shifter side has a nice machined boss for a
seal, but the shifter side has no provision for such a critter. The axle
shows no machined surface for one on that side either. As I would like
to keep that 600wt. oil from leaking out and eroding the grease at the
outer bearings, I am posting this to further confirm that the shifter side
did not get an inner seal and that I am simply delusional in thinking it
Confused in Corndogtown
Burger, do you mean Ruckstell? You don't want to use 600w in a Ruckstell. Something like 140w. My TT has a Ruckstell but I've never had it apart. I'll look in my Ruckstell book. PK
The TT Ruckstell is often referred to as a "Truckstell" to differentiate from the
unit used in cars. They are not the same.
Since this is a question about seals, I did not want to further any confusion on
the subject. I own no T's. Only TT's. Thusly, the question is directed specifically
at the TT "Truckstell".
I've never worked on a Truckstell so I don't have a definitive answer for you. However, as far as I'm concerned your thinking is correct. Separation of the gear oil and the outer bearing grease is critical for long term proper operation. Considering that Henry (the other one) used inner felts for this purpose on the stock TT rear end it makes no sense that Ruckstell would have overlooked it.
Seems like we should be able to find an exploded view drawing.......
Burger, there is no inner seal on the Ruckstell side.
I don't doubt your answer, but why isn't there one? It seems counter-intuitive.
I'm really not sure why but I believe that the shifter slide is the reason that a seal wasn't put in. By design I don't think that a lot of lube gets over that far. I was sure to put new style neoprene seals on the outers.
Burger, In 1949 a company in Cleveland, Ohio produced an overdrive rear axle for the 1948 and earlier Chevrolet. It was called the Truckstell Axle but it was for cars. The original broschure and story is in our book, Glover E. Ruckstell and the Ruckstell Axle.
Is that C cab on your profile picture in use yet? It's beautiful!
Henry, it isn't in use yet but I hope to have it up and running by fall. I'm getting the other sheet metal spruced up and getting the mechanicals in shape. I'll post a picture when I get the cab up on the frame.
Please do. I'd love to see it!
It was the opinion of all the gurus present that the shifter side did not have a seal.
I had all the parts there for inspection and all clues suggested the same. It is just
my own foggy memory that one was there that has me second guessing this.
It has been a while since I did a Truck Ruckstell but as I remember there are no seals on the inner sides of the Axles, next to the differential. There are felt seals on the inner side of both outer Axle bearings and Felt seals in the outer Axle seal cups. That's it.
There is an inner seal on the non-shifter side. Not only did mine have one,
but an example off the parts pile also had one that I punched out to get
measurements off to get a replacement. The housing has a machined boss
to hold it and the axle is milled smooth for the seal to do it's magic. I will
take/post some photos for posterity.
Yes, there is a seal on the "Ford" side. The seal goes into a case that is forced into the rear end housing. I used a regular felt seal that can be purchased for a TT. First, put the felt into the case and then grease it up and force it over one of your axles to get the hole in the felt opened up. Next, install the case into the rear until it is seated. The axle will slide into it upon assembly.
i don't remember a seal there but you must be right. In fact, I don't remember a lot of things these days including what I had for breakfast. However, it makes no sense to put a seal on one side and not the other. The passenger car axle has no inner seals and doesn't need them if you have good outer seals.
I'm learning as I read this, but it sounds to me like the right side (non-shifter side) is simply the Ford stock TT assembly, which uses an inner felt seal. The left side (shifter side) does not have an inner seal because Ruckstell didn't allow for one.
I'm still curious as to why Ruckstell didn't use an inner felt seal on their unit. It seems it would be no less important just because the gears are different. I guess this really emphasizes the importance of good outer seals!
The issue of seals and lubrication in T rear ends has been discussed many times over. I am not specifically familiar with TT differentials. Car differentials had no seals of any form, the bearings were grease packed when assembled and the housing had 1.5 pounds of #2 grease inserted.
The outer bearing was protected from dust migration with a felt washer held in place with a metal cap.
The felt washers frequently found stuffed well inside the axle housings was an after market quick fix for leaking rear engine seal whereas the engine oil would travel down the drive shaft tube and fill the differential housing and continue out the ends of the housing. To prevent this oil from destroying the brakes a method of daming the oil was introduced with the installation of said felts, they were only a quick fix. Ruckstells were originally designed to operate with the grease in the housing, the shifting component was required to be grease packed prior to installation. They then advertised trouble free life expectancy of 5 years. T differentials were not designed for longevity. Grease for lubrication and no seals was adequate for the life expectancy. To-day we try to design them to last hundreds of thousands of miles which was never the intent. The only way that could be achieved would be to install a modern differential designed for liquid lubrication and oil seals. Putting oil in a T differential and trying to seal it in seems to create countless problems. There are many that have "never had a problem" and there just as many that have. I feel like a broken record on this subject but it never seems to go away.
WE now have good neoprene inner seals for the outer bearings. That is all you need to keep the axle oil where it belongs. There is no need for inner seals on either side.
Ford did provide an inner seal on the car for outer bearings after 25, the spring loaded leather cup type and the felts were sold for in service repair.
RE; "Ruckstells were originally designed to operate with the grease in the housing," I would be interested to know where that information came from. Kinda make sense as I have thought there were not enough openings for lube to get in the bell.
Dykes Automobile Encyclopedia has several paragraphs about "T" differential lubrication and states that 1.5 pounds of #2 grease it further references Mobilubricant and Koaga #2 grease.
Further reading in a 1926 Ford sales manual about Ruckstell Axle installations it states "the installation necessitates no additional care nor expence". This would infer that if grease was the lubrication of choice in the Ford differential and no additional care nor expence is to be incurred with the installation of a Ruckstell that grease would therefore suffice. There is further reference that the shifting mechanism should be well packed prior to installation.
David, Never use 600W oil or Grease in a Ruckstell unless you want to ruin it. Mark, The original Ruckstell P139 Bronze plate had 10 wide openings to allow good oil flow into the Ruckstell Differential. But this made the part weak so Ruckstell changed it and filled in the 10 holes and replaced them with a few small round holes for oil. This was a mistake because then no oil could get inside the differential. Our new P139's have 5 large holes which provide plenty of oil and the 5 filled in holes provide good strength to the part.
After looking over the parts really well, Rick and Tyler and I put the beast together tonight, short of a
few bolt-on, later-install items. It is now pre-lubed and sealed up, bearings in, etc. Next week I'll
breakdown the Lincoln 3-speed aux. trans and see what attention it needs. From there, the two will
be married and preparations to put the assembly under the truck will be considered. With the new
Montana 500 Winston Cup TT series race class, I want to be ready.