How hard should it be to shift Ruckstell? Mine seems a little tight. It has long nose shifter.
Did you pack the shifter end inside with gun grease, we used to drive to all the tours, about 200 miles from Madison Wisc from Fulton Mo, mine got where it would not shift, when we got to where we were going, we took off the shifter, it was dry, dirty, rusty, as the oil did not get up to that portion, so we cleaned it Kroiled it, and packed it full of gun grease, might have been wheel bearing grease, shifter excellent from then on.
I've got similar stiff shift with the Ruckstell too. Read the club repair manual, but not much there on adj of the shifter.
The P189 long handle shift assembly is smooth, greased and works ok, I checked the shift rod, no hang ups there. The Long nose shifter assembly has a screw slotted plug on the end, is there a spring inside that needs adjustment? Do you adjust by threading that plug in or out?
Will anything fall out of place if I unbolt the whole long nose shifter and see if grease is needed?
Once shifted, the unit runs quiet and well, so I don't want to mess anything up.
Any experts chiming in would help too, Thanks.
I'm not an expert but I'll chime in. I'm working on #31, 32, 33 to go to Chickasha.
There is a plug on the end of the long nose shifter that has a spring and a plunger behind it. To do it right, you should remove the entire shift lock assembly and all the parts, clean and restore it like any other part of the Ruckstell. I find that most of them are pretty worn. At the very least you should remove the plunger and the spring, clean them up and make sure the roller in the end of the plunger turns -- most of them are frozen solid or badly worn -- and pack the interior with good gun grease before putting the plunger and spring back in. On most of the ones I rebuild and on all the new shift locks I install, I put a grease zerk on the upper surface about an inch down from where the round part turns to the square part. There is no other way for the shift lock to get grease. Ruckstell's instruction was that you remove the shift lock "occasionally" and "pack it with grease." The zerk makes it a lot easier. You need to give it a good bunch of grease when you install it and a few pumps of the gun when ever you give the bearings a squirt or two.
The bearing and lock plate keep the differential grease from getting out into the shift clutch area so you should make sure that the sliding clutch has plenty of grease when it is first assembled. After that the regular greasing of the shift lock will provide enough grease in that area.
In rebuilding shift locks I find that there are three things that are almost always worn to the point of needing work or replacement. The shaft, which has just two flats milled on the sides to hold the shifting fork, the roller on the plunger and the leaf springs. Almost always a leaf or two is broken.
If you remove the shift fork assembly you will see how it all works and what needs rebuilding pretty readily. A new shifting arm (shaft) is about 30 bucks, the leaf spring set is about 35 and the plunger with the roller is about the same. If you have some shop tools and skills, you can replace the plunger roller pretty easily without buying a new plunger. The temptation when replacing the roller is to put the shifter arm up to the grinder and put a good sharp point on the end of the arm where the plunger roller runs. Don't do it. Too sharp a point and it will be too hard to shift. The point should be more rounded than pointed. Just grind it so it is smooth. I could take a picture and post it if you need to see what a new one or good original looks like.
Now to the original question. No, it should not shift hard. It should take a fair push or pull since you are moving the plunger and spring and all that but if you are having to REALLY pull or push you either have problems with the shift lock or internally in the Ruckstell unit. The bearing being worn or too much clearance between the axle bearing surfaces and the differential carrier will cause the unit to not line up correctly for the shift clutch gear to move easily. They will tolerate a lot but at a certain point will quit shifting. A new or correctly rebuilt unit will not have a neutral but with a bunch of wear they can develop a neutral. That's no good.
Here is how I set the plunger on the shift lock after it is rebuilt, greased and ready to install except for the adjustment. Holding it in the vise, I put a 12 inch cheater pipe on the shift arm. I tighten the plunger screw to the place where the cotter pin will just fit through the holes and try to shift it. It should shift easily. I give it a full turn and try again. It should shift noticeably harder and "snap" when it over centers. One more turn. It should be almost too hard to shift "easily." If it takes more than that I start over with a different spring, etc. I have had to add a washer behind the spring to get it to adjust right.
With the long nose shift lock there is not much danger of it not staying in gear once it is shifter so you don't need to have it really tight. I won't use the short nose shift locks if I can help it. They are a different deal.
This was not my question but the answer is just what I was looking for. I started taking my Ruckstell apart last night and I was wondering about the shift lock.
My question is - to separate the halves of the axel do I just pull on the two ends ?
Dennis - it was only 80 degrees today!
The housings or the axles after you get the housings off?
Just keep taking bolts out until you get it all apart.
A few things to check on the Ruckstell.
Check the ball bearing for wear and make sure it is an angular thrust bearing. The correct number at a bearing shop is 7212 or you can order one from the vendors. It is a 60 x 110 x 22 mm bearing. I prefer SKF but they are very expensive. Check to make sure it is tight where it fits in the housing. In many of the old housings the bearing is loose from a bearing seizing and turning in the housing. Check to make sure it is a press fit on the bronze plate. Anything less than a press fit it will slip and not hold the unit where it needs to be to shift correctly.
Check the fit of the differential halves on the axles. There should not be more than .005 clearance between the axles and the diff.
The axles control the position of the unit in Ruckstell and standard gearing and the inner differential housing being worn is usually the reason they don't want to shift into Ruckstell. Or "Ruckstell Low," depending on how you look at it. Check the fit of the axle through the end of the "Bell" carefully and replace it or bush the hole so it fits if it is worn very much at all. I prefer to bush old ones since I have a lathe and can do it for about two bucks and a half an hour's work instead of a hundred and wait for the parts to come. That hole being worn will keep them from shifting right, too.
I could write a book or two on different things to do when overhauling Ruckstells but most of them are pretty obvious. Check for worn parts, replace or repair as necessary, reassemble carefully and it should work.
If you have specific questions you can ask here or check with Glenn Chaffin, who is the real expert.
Thank you - I meant separate the halves of the housing.
Hello Stan, have you got a picture of the zerk on the shift lock assembly? As they say a picture is worth a 1000 words. Jerry
I did have in all the pictures I lost in the computer crash last summer. I had them backed up but haven't reloaded the puter with them. It's pretty simple, just drill a hole and tap it with a 1/8 inch pipe thread or 1/4 x 28, depending on the zerk you're adding, screw in a zerk and grease away. If I can get time and remember tomorrow I'll set a zerk on a shift lock and snap a pic and post it.
Not to hijack this thread, but, are the long nose and short nose shifters interchangeable? I have an example of each. I completely rebuilt a short nose and intended to use it. What should I fear from a short nose style in excellent condition?
Yes, they are interchangeable. The short nose shift lock works fine and was used on the first 5 or 6 hundred thousand Ruckstells. They tend to not have as positive a shift as the long nose. The big advantage of the long nose is the spring setup inside. There are two leaf springs, one on either side of the actual shifting fork. This is the mechanism that is in the "long nose." When the shift lever is moved, the point of the shifting fork actuator rolls over underneath the plunger and puts pressure on the leaf spring to move the shift fork in the direction of the desired gear change (ie: move the clutch gear). The spring holds that pressure against the shift fork and clutch gear until it shifts. As there is not a direct link between the shift arm and the shifting fork, the operator moves the shift lever and the spring does the actual shift. When everything is working properly this eliminates the jamming of the clutch gear into or out of the bronze plate and sun gear before the splines are lined up and ready to shift as it holds it in place with tension on the clutch gear to move into position for the gear change when the splines do line up. Much better system. Eliminates a lot of bent shift rods, broken shift locks and internal damage and makes for a more positive shift. It does NOT eliminate the "neutral" that a worn Ruckstell can find and it is true that a strong arm yanking on a short nose shifter can jam one into gear although you can do the same with the long nose shifter, too. If you are having problems with a neutral you need to get that puppy rebuilt before you have a disaster but this was a question about the shift locks. If it were me and I had a long nose and a short nose, I would rebuild the long nose and use it.
I'll try to get time later today to take some pictures and post them of a long nose all apart.
Thank you Stan. I look forward to the photos as I have not disassembled my long nose shifter as yet.
Got back last night from working over the weekend. Here are some pics showing where I put the zerk and some more of the internals of the shift lock.
There is supposed to be an assembled view here but the picture file was too large so it is going to end up at the bottom.
This is an exploded view of how the internal parts go together. You can see how the shifter pushes the leaf spring to make it shift but there is not direct contact like there is in the short nose shift lock.
This is the profile you want when resurfacing the point on the shift arm.
This is how the plunger looks with a useable roller.
Typical leaf spring damage
Bell that has been repaired to useable condition by pressing in a bronze bushing instead of buying a new bell.
Typical repair of shaft in "as-found" Ruckstell. Brazed up and trimmed with a file.
Cute girl I was talking to at the bar while the guys were setting up sound equipment. I offered to buy her a Sasparilla, which she accepted. She came to hear me play fiddle.
We were comparing bellies.
Good to see you haven't lost your eye yet ole -timer.
I hope you got her number... Looks like a keeper!
I notice the "NO SMOKING" sign on the bar. PC silliness is alive and well at the "Wise River Club". And, and thanks for the pictures and advice. I am going to tear mine down next week. Look for my "SOS".
Very nice. (I like the Ruckstell pics too!)
So Stan, who won?
Ivan, the law in Montana is that there is no smoking in any bar that allows anyone under 18. So for the day of the fiddlers playing or a deal like this that is open to all ages, they put up the no smoking sign.
Incidentally, I have breathed all the second hand smoke I ever need to, having played music in the bars for about 55 years now. As far as I'm concerned, somebody's right to sit and blow smoke all over me ends right where my air begins. I'm tired of stinking cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke all over my clothes, my hair, my guitars, my lungs just because somebody believes it is their right to stink up the area because they are buying a cheap beer and sitting there listening to the music. Try breathing through your mouth and singing for five or six hours when you are inhaling somebody else's cigarette smoke or a stinking damn pipe.
In Wyoming, you can still smoke anywhere you want and after I played down there over New Year's I had to let my fiddle case air out -- out on the porch -- for a week to get the stink out of it just from it being open on the stage at the place we played. Yuck!!!
Fred, I won because she's going to lose hers next month.
Ivan, the other people to consider is the employees in the bar who must breath the smoke or find employment elsewhere. Yes, I've cared for numerous people with lung disease, including lung cancer, who never smoked themselves.
In San Diego you can't smoke within 20' of a commercial doorway. I smoke, Pipes & Cigars, always in a controlled atmosphere (got a room in the house) & very cognizant of other people. I have no problem, not smoking, fact is it's probably helping me. Strange thing is if I'm in a room where people are smoking cigarettes I have to leave, narrow nasal passages & I feel like I'm suffocating.
Stan, Late 60's I was in a jug band, it would take a week to get the smell out of my Mandolin case, that plush is like a sponge for odors.
Thanks for the information on the placement of the Zerk fitting. I'm going to add one to mine this weekend.