I was having a friendly debate with my friend regarding a Ruxtell, he claims the Ruxtell offers two additional speeds and I claim it offers one additional speed between low and high. He also claims some Ruxtells offer two speeds and some offer one. I understand the differential will act as two speeds but top gear is straight through and if the Ruxtell is engaged it will offer a single lower range only. I further understand that top range and Ruxtell range can be operated alternately. He further claims that the Ruxtell range can be an overdrive??? Comments.
the Ruckstell rear axle is a planetary geared two speed axle. Nothing more, nothing less. It has a direct (ungeared) position, and a gear-reduced low range. It's direct or gear-reduced ranges can be used with either Ford low or Ford High. This is likely the genesis of your friends mistaken belief that the axle has "two additional speeds".
They sometimes are incorrectly referred to or understood as being an "overdrive" if the standard ring gear is replaced with a high speed ring gear, giving a higher road speed with fewer engine RPMs. Under this scenario the low range will now be required to pull hills that the car will no longer be able to normally pull. This is most often done in very light cars such as speedsters, as the resultant loss of torque is death to heavier cars.
The Ruckstell axle for Model T and TT was advertised as "The Ruckstell 2 speed axle" and claimed "Four Speeds for Fords!" It was and is perhaps the single best thing to accessorize your Model T or TT.
In the spirit of pedantry, let's break each statement down and see if they can be made to be a true statement.
1.) "he claims the Ruxtell offers two additional speeds"
Technically true. Both Ford high and Ford low are under-driven with the Ruckstell engaged.
2.) "I claim it offers one additional speed between low and high."
Technically true too. It also offers one additional speed below low. I think better wording would have been that it offers AN additional speed between low and high.
3.) "He also claims some Ruxtells offer two speeds and some offer one."
Perhaps if a certain Ruckstell is malfunctioning it could offer only one speed, otherwise this statement is false.
4.) "I understand the differential will act as two speeds"
In regard to the differential itself, correct.
5.)"top gear is straight through"
6.) "if the Ruxtell is engaged it will offer a single lower range only."
Yes, the differential itself has a single lower range only. The car however has two lower ranges.
7.)"I further understand that top range and Ruxtell range can be operated alternately."
Can be and must be. Since there are only two, one necessarily follows the other.
8.) "He further claims that the Ruxtell range can be an overdrive"
Not technically true, but one could possibly say that use of taller gears (3.08 gears e.g.) are an overdrive from the usual 3.63 gears.
So, all of the statements might be considered true to some degree, but two of them are kind of iffy in my book.
First of all, lets get the spelling correct.
No matter the rear end ratio, it's still an under drive unit that give a choice or 4 gear ratios going forward and 2 in reverse.
Some early advertising claimed the Ruckstell offered 6 additional speeds counting reverse. Whereas the unit it self is only a single intermediate gear. When combined with other gears it gives the illusion of multiple speeds.
On the west coast many (hundreds) of fish boats that were originally built by the government and offered to the early immigrants for fishing, all were equipped with Ruckstells to operate the net drums. When the boats were scrapped so were the Ruckstells. Few found their way back in to a model T. There are still some of these old abandon boats on the shoreline and overgrown in the brush.
David the advertisements that offered 6 speeds were probably for the iron Warford.
4 and 2 = 6
Easy to understand adv. from Ruckstell.
I have never owned a Ruckstell unit, but to satisfy my simple brain, is the following correct:
A, If the Ruckstell is engaged and you depress low gear pedal your forward speed will be lesser than if not engaged?
B, With the Ruckstell not engaged and you depress the low range pedal then let it out you will go from conventional low to conventional high (straight through),while moving in conventional high(straight through) and the Ruckstall is engaged the speed will be substantially lower and the engine rpm faster?
C, In reverse with the Ruckstell engaged, the speed would be substantially slower?
D, With Ruckstell engaged while negotiating a steep down grade and depressing the low range pedal will work as a grade retarder?
E, With the car on blocks and a drive belt attached to the rear axle assembly with the Ruckstell engaged the attached drive, buzz saw, grinder, pump etc. would operate at a lesser speed than in top gear (straight through)?.
The engine speed would be greater therefore offering more power, (at additional cost).
Along the same manner of thinking a conventional three speed transmission is in reality only two speeds as it only offers two under drives and third is straight through.
Therefore if a Ruckstell assembly is alone on the floor it is designed to offer one single lower speed. With what ever transmission it is coupled with it would give the ability to split all the forward and reverse gears giving the illusion of multiple speeds, whereas the unit only offers one single speed ratio.
A through E -- Yes.
"Along the same manner of thinking a conventional three speed transmission is in reality only two speeds as it only offers two under drives and third is straight through. " That is correct if the highest gear is the straight-thru one. Some auxiliary trannies have the middle gear as the straight-thru one and the highest gear is an overdrive.
"Therefore if a Ruckstell assembly is alone on the floor it is designed to offer one single lower speed." If a Ruckstell is alone on the floor, it won't do you any good. It needs to be installed in a car.
The Ruckstell acts similar to a 2-speed transfer case in a 4wd vehicle. It has two ranges, both of which work with all the gears in the other transmission.
Let's put this in really simple terms:
The Ruxtell offered any gear ratio a person might want, based on the math
that 0 x 0 = 0. Say anything you like, there is/was no Ruxtell.
The Ruckstell was less of an imaginary concept and offered a straight-through
gearing of the Ford high and low, AND a gear-reduction ratio (underdrive) that
could be compounded by either Ford high or low.
Easier simple terms for me.
As opposed to the selective shift 3-speed car, the Ruckstell.....
"Gives the Ford a much needed '2nd gear'.
As for 'D' above in the list, engaging low pedal in Ruckstell going down a hill will screech the tires! That low pedal in Ruckstell gearing is really really low.
Much better to 'tap' the brake pedal to check speed, and / or close the throttle to use the engine as a brake.
Not that I have that much experience with mine yet, but engaging
the Ruckstell seems to require bringing speed down to match engine
speed. I have to slow down quite a bit to get it into Ruckstell low ....
no slamming it down and screeching of tires possible.
From what I have gathered low (first) with Ruckstell engaged would probably not be used and top gear with Ruckstell engaged would be the drive of choice. So where does the 4, 5, and 6 speeds come from??? I would therefore determine the sequence would be conventional low, Ruckstell second and conventional high (straight through)
The assembly from engine to rear wheels would offer two practical under drives and a straight through.
Reading a 1926 Model "T" sales and service manual reproduced by Floyd Clymer.
"FORD PASSENGER CARS WITH 4 SPEEDS" (Ruckstell equipped)
"The Ruckstell equipped Ford is provided with a total of 6 speed changes: four forward including TWO NOISELESS HIGH SPEEDS and two reverse"
The foregoing statements are when installed into a Model "T" with no other auxiliary transmission.
I realize this is sales hype but it is somewhat misleading.