Hello all, I recently purchased that "rebuilt" Ruckstell rear axle that was on T-bay a few weeks ago. I am slowly going through it, starting with the drive shaft, and I have a couple of questions.
1) The pinion nut is not cotter pinned and looks taller than the nut I see in the vendor catalogs (probably why the cotter pin wouldn't fit). I have the shorter nut on order, but I wonder which would hold better, the shorter nut with a cotter pin, or this taller nut with Loctite? This taller nut will have more thread engagement than the shorter nut, of course.
2) There appears to be an extra washer (looks precision ground, not a typical hardware store washer) between the back of the pinion gear and the Hyatt bearing cage. Should that washer be there? If I leave it there, will it hurt anything?
I inspected the driveshaft tube and it has a new bushing in the front. When I turn the assembled shaft vertical, with the weight on the end of the pinion, I can slide a new U-joint into place and the pin holes line up perfectly with essentially near-zero end play.
Here are a couple of pictures:
Use the cotter pin. Always.
I don't believe the washer belongs there. It maybe there to keep the Hyatt rollers from hitting the end of the woodruff key. I would tend to not want it there.
Whats with the slots cut in the spool ring that protrudes into the rear end? Do Ruckstell axles use a different or modified spool in that regard?
Beats me, John, this is the first rear axle I've had apart. Looking at the Ruckstell axle housing, I don't see anything protruding that would require slots in the spool ring. I won't be using this setup, since I just ordered one of your non-adjustable setups based on Stan Howe's recommendation and my earlier conversation with you.
Jerry, I'll install the correct nut and install the cotter pin. I'll also remove the spurious washer when I install John's bearing setup.
I will be keeping and bagging all the old parts, so they will not be for sale.
Please keep the comments and recommendations coming!
I wondered about the same thing. Also, doesn't the pilot diameter look a little extra long?
The washer does not belong there.
Somebody cut 3 slots for an idea of more oil.
A large nut can't be used with out more room moving backwards that I think is because of worn pinion, or drive shaft, or both.
The washer is typically used on the other end of the roller bearing to keep the bearing from chewing up the retaining ring on the earlier style DS thrust bearing. Someone placed it between the pinion and bearing in the photos on the later assembly just because. Not a bad idea really. Keeps the back of the pinion from rubbing against the bearing cage. Don't know if it creates a distance problem, probably not.
Actually after looking at the photos again, I take my hat off to the guy that rebuilt that rear end. The cut slot for oil and the added washer to keep the pinion from rubbing the roller bearing cage is inventive and productive. That's my take after a glass of wine.
I read on another post that some of the woodruff keys being sold today are too high and that the gear does not go all the way onto the driveshaft. I would pull off the gear and install it without the woodruff key and without the washer and see if it goes farther on the driveshaft. Also if the U joint fits in that configuration. If so, you need to grind the woodruff key or replace it with another one which fits correctly. The gear should go on the end of the driveshaft far enough that the woodruff key will not interfere with the bearing. It is also possible that the nut will go on far enough to install the cotter pin.
Mark, here is my take on it. FWIW. If the guy didn't put the end of the pinion together correctly and put a cotter pin in it I would be concerned about the rest of the work done. Are they true Ruckstell bolts on the ring gear or just 5/16 ths bolts that will snap under load? What are the internal clearances? What kind of off-thrust side washer is in there? Etc., etc. I would not run it or trust it without tearing it completely down and checking every thing. Every thing!! EVERY thing!!
In a 1926 Dykes encyclopedia it shows the washer and in Glen Chaffins rear axle booklet also shows the washer.
I hear you, Stan, will check absolutely everything, this will be a good winter project.
A Ruckstell drive shaft is a standard Ford, no difference. In your photo you have a roller bearing distance plate in there, which should not be there.
The sleeve transfers the thrust from the pinion gear to the thrust bearing. Since Hyatt bearings are hollow and made of strap steel rolled up, I wonder about the wisdom of cutting notches where at least the ends of the Hyatt rollers will come in contact and roll over the notches. What problem is being solved that the original setup didn't have? Many people are running around without those notches in there and I have never seen a posting about Hyatt bearing failure due to lack of lubrication. Perhaps it is a known problem that I am not aware of. The thicker nut on a standard rear end can get the edges of the nut really close to the differential housing since there isn't a lot of room in that location but I don't know about a Ruckstell so maybe it has more room.
Is the proper pinion nut hardened? I would suspect that they are and that replacement thicker nut isn't.
Ford had two designs of pinion nuts, early and late. Don't know about the hardness, and don't need to since I only use originals!
Great discussion, thanks guys, I will post pictures occasionally during the teardown. Since the current plan is to make this a winter project, it will be slow going, thanks in advance everyone for your patience!
One question - this unit has the earlier, short shift lock. Is the later, longer nose one enough of an improvement that I should switch?
I believe my short shift assy. was in good condition... and I could put it in neutral. I replaced it with a new long style shifter and it seems impossible to get neutral now.
"Neutral"? From what I've read & been told in the past, "neutral" with a Ruckstell usually indicates a problem!
I guess I should add that by "problem" I mean a mechanical problem with the Ruckstell, and a problem in that "neutral" can mean a very serious "out of control" problem while driving your "T"!
Some idiots modify the mechanism to get a neutral. I suppose the same idiots do not install external brakes when using ANY auxiliary transmission, either Ruckstell, Warford or Planitor..
A properly assembled Ruckstell theoretically has no neutral unless the parts are worn. It is possible to attain a neutral but it is not designed into the Ruckstell and requires the clutch gear to almost engage high and low speed. There is a point while it is shifting that is is between high and low, just as every gear type transmission is. You cannot be in two gears at once, even in a constant mesh transmission like motorcycles use. By modifying the short nose shift lock it is possible to hold it in the neutral position. I would think part of the reason for the redesign of shift lock was to eliminate that possibility as much as possible.
Yes, problems. The problem with the shifter was that it could get stuck on center, between high & low. As to problems with the Ruckstell, when the splines on the sliding clutch gear, P146, get worn short, (from eons of shifting), it creates an ever wider neutral zone. A "no man's land" between high & low. Still, even with an excellent example, there must be a neutral for a very narrow range of the sliding gear motion. To have absolutely no neutral, would mean an instantaneous shift between low/high, or high/low. Since the sliding gear has to disengage with one speed before engaging with the other, (or there would be clashing), there has to be a momentary range of neutral. I won't say my sliding gear is perfect, but it's pretty darned good with very little wear. So, I blamed the shift body. The new shift body, with its spring loaded shift arm, pops the sliding gear from one side to the next without the chance, (or very little chance), to stop at neutral.
Winter came early today, I decided to disassemble the driveshaft the rest of the way. I did try re-installing the pinion gear without the key and it did not appear to go any further onto the shaft.
Getting the inner bearing sleave off was a bear! I ended up propping my hydraulic press up in the air on a couple of chairs to get enough height to press the shaft off of the sleeve. In retrospect, I probably should have just laid the press on its side on the floor.
Anyway, it's apart, here are some more pictures.
You beat me by 5 minutes!
In three different parts books they show a distance plate(washer) part #2588. Is there some other reason why it shouldn't be there?
Quick update - I got the correct pinion nut today from Lang's and it fits perfectly, plenty of room to install the cotter pin. I don't know what the other nut was from, but it's going into my spare fastener bucket.
I also received the non-adjustable pinion bearing kit from Fun Projects and looked it and the directions over, installation looks to be very straightforward.
Now I need to fabricate a support stand so that I can support the main assembly vertically and take the RH housing off to start checking more things.
David, you need to look at the years the parts book specifies the distance plate for.
Looks in good shape.
Some ruckstells may have been modified to have neutral for hand cranking on a cold morning.
Another minor update - I removed the outer grease seals and the outer axle Hyatt bearings today. I'm waiting on the tool from Lang's before I remove the outer axle bearing sleeves, then I'll examine the bearings and sleeves for wear.
Everything so far is bone dry, no grease or lube of any kind. I'm convinced now that the unit was assembled dry by an earlier owner just to keep all the parts together, with the eventual intent to disassemble it again for setup and final assembly.
That's fine with me, since I plan to go through the whole thing anyway before I use it.
I just found out I'm an idiot! I've got neutrals in all three of my Ruckstells, and NEVER had a problem, and never missed a shift either. Oh well, lets hear it for the idiots!