What would one expect to pay for a Ruckstell axle.
Are there model changes, I need one to fit a 26
$500 to $4000, depending on condition or quality of rebuilding. Yes, there are both large and small drum versions available. Some of the early ones are labeled "Hall-Scott."
Also earlier ones are "Perfecto". I believe a good start would be Glen Chaffen's book.
You would need one for 1926-27. Price depends on what you are looking for and location. New, well used, nice used, used but taken apart so you can inspect, rebuilt by someone that knows what they are doing, rebuilt by cleaning and painting, crusty rusty piece drug out of the barn or pasture rebuild it yourself.
Dave, I'm in the middle of rebuilding a Ruckstell for my '26 roadster. The cost keeps going up as I dig deeper. Call Chaffen's and buy a kit. It won't be that much more than a maybe unit and it will be perfect. Just a thought, PK.
While you might be able to buy a good original Ruckstell for a few hundred dollars and rebuild it yourself, thence driving along a month later for under a grand? Glen Chaffin's new parts are so good, and so correctly made, that if you can afford to do so? You are probably better off to buy the whole kit and either yourself or or your preferred model T mechanic put it all together.
While I would probably buy an old one, it would be because I am too broke to justify the new kit for me. And I have been lucky with Ruckstells a few times. You could just as easily wind up buying an old one, then spending a bit more for parts, then needing something else. Then finding a few things you intended to use were damaged somehow. A Ruckstell is one of those things that one can often spend more by trying to save a few bucks.
But Ruckstells are great to have and use!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Ruckstells can get pricey. If you buy Chaffin's kit, be sure to include the cost of new axle shafts, a new driveshaft, bearing sleeves and the numerous small items that go into a rebuild.
If I needed another Ruckstell, I would find one with internals in reasonably good shape and restore it. The clearances don't need to be as precise as stated in Chaffin's book.
Your decision depends, at least in part, on your mechanical capabilities and access to machine tools.
I just finished mine! A good friend gave it to me, but it needed almost all new parts, ended up with about a $1200 in it. My time and the housing were free.
The only problem with the one for sale posted by Steve above is that it has 3:1 gears in it. Dave's profile says he has a Tudor, so stock ratio gears would need to be put back in it for use in that car.
Buy a new Chaffin unless you have the skills to do it yourself. You may not end up saving a lot of money by buying an old one and paying someone to rebuild it...not to mention the time and hassle in doing so.
from previous 2013 post by Michael Pawelek:
Model T Speeds With Ruckstell At 1,000 RPM’s
Model T with standard gearing. (No Ruckstell)
Ford High - 25 mph / 1000 RPM
Model T With Ruckstell And 3.63:1 Standard Rear End…
Ruckstell High/Ford High - 24.6 mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell Low/Ford High - 16.2 mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell High/Ford Low - 8.9 mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell Low/Ford Low - 5.8 mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell High/Ford Reverse - 6.2 mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell Low/Ford Reverse - 4.0 mph/1000 RPM
Model T With Ruckstell And 3.0:1 Rear End
Ruckstell High/Ford High - 29.8mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell Low/ Ford High - 19.7mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell High/ Ford Low - 10.8mph/1000 RPM
Ruckstell High/Ford Low - 7.0mph/1000 RPM
Rux High/Reverse - 7.5mph/1000 RPM
Rux Low /Reverse - 4.8mph/1000 RPM
I bought the Chaffin's Ruckstell kit a couple years ago and never looked back. Working with CNC machined components is worth the little extra you may spend over cobbing together a used unit. I figure the time and aggravation it saved me was well worth any extra I spent on it over refurbishing a used unit. And Glenn was even nice enough to include the manual in the kit.
Here's a link to THE BEST book on restoring a Ruckstell. it's written by a master mechanic, Milt Webb.
I own or have owned 5 passenger Ruckstells and 2 TTs...and never rebuilt any of them. I continue to wonder what all the problems are that require expensive parts and rebuilds. Perhaps someone can provide some photos of failure modes or significant wearout areas. I think it like the rest of the rear end...tendency to worry everything to death.
Thank you John! I've seen them run smooth with a loose fit on the ball bearing to thrust plate, a lot of slop in the pin holes and gear axle holes and wear on the gear teeth.
Here is the story in photos of my rebuild of the stock 26 rear end with a new Chaffins Ruckstell kit. I had the money at the time so I ordered the parts set from Glenn. All excellent quality. So glad I did this.
A lot depends on the condition of the rest of the differential when you install the kit. If you already have straight housings, good axles, etc, it is an easy build and pretty idiot proof. If you are going to build up an old one and try to refit worn parts to other worn parts it can be pretty frustrating. I don't do them any more. I did about 70 or so. Can't make any money on them and in Montana I can't find any laying around like they used to be. Can't pay big bucks for them, gather up all the other parts and spend a bunch of time working on one and then sell it for less than you have in it.
Just adding. Stan Howe did a great one for me. Think I may have bought his last one...works great. A little expensive, but well done! Thank you Stan