I am thinking about buying my first model T. I am leaning more toward a pickup or maybe a TT. I have a couple questions though. What would be a comfortable road speed for both the pickup and the TT with and without a Ruxtel rear end? I live in rural northern Idaho where most of the roads are crooked and hilly. I just want to make sure that I would not be a nuisance on the road. Thanks
Steve, I've never really driven a TT so I can't comment on how fast they can go but, a ruckstell will not increase a TT's top speed. A ruckstell is an under drive and direct speed unit. It has no overdrive. Model T's are slow and TT's are much slower so really no matter what you do you're going to slow down the flow of traffic. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
The pickup will be faster than the TT. With a stock Model T, like a pickup, a comfortable cruising speed is 30-35 MPH. A stock T will run faster, up to 45 MPH, but it's working harder and won't last as long. Depending on the condition of its steering and suspension, it may also be too scary at speeds over 40 MPH.
A stock TT is geared lower, and rumbles along in the 18-25 MPH range. For some TT's even 25 MPH is fast.
With either vehicle, a Ruckstell is a downshift. It gives the vehicle more climbing power, but at a slower speed. It just isn't as low and slow as Ford low. I haven't driven with one, so somebody else will have to tell you about climbing speeds.
A model T is happy to roll along at 35-45 mph. It will go faster, but doesn't like to for long stretches. A TT truck can have one of two rear end ratios. The slower one will top out at less than 25 mph. The faster ratio is good for 35 or a little more. A Ruckstell in a T or TT is a plus in hill country as it provides in intermediate gear choice, but will not increase top speed. For that you need an overdrive such as a Warford or Muncie. Modifications to the engine also will give better high speed performance.
A stock TT with the more common low ratio rear end will cruise around 18 MPH. With high ratio rear end gears you'll see about 25 MPH. There are auxiliary transmissions available that will provide both under drive and overdrive. As you can see, choices of rear end gears, Ruckstell and auxiliary transmission can produce very different characteristics.
My TT has low ratio rear end gears and a 3 speed Muncie. I can squeeze about 34 MPH out of it in high/high on flat ground with a tail wind.
Once you decide what drive train is best for you, and if it includes a Ruckstell or auxiliary transmission be SURE to consider auxiliary outside brakes too. I won't go into details now, but come back to this forum for detailed information.
Interesting comments about a car that was designed when the roads were unpaved and rutted. On a hard smooth surface - not brick or cobble - 20 to 25 mph is comfortable. Why someone would want to travel at 40 to 50 mph in a stock T is the reason for undertakers. But if you are so inclined to go fast enjoy the ride.
I agree with you completely. On the other hand, a stock TT with low ratio rear end gears stands a good chance of being run over in modern traffic. It's just to slow to be safe on most roads and streets in 2016.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Steve, my TT has a Ruckstell and the high speed differential. It will run down the road at 33 mph. I live in the mountains in western Montana and the Ruckstell is real handy. You will be standing on your low pedal quite a bit with out one. I like my TT but for driving or touring the pick up would be more fun. I have a '27 roadster for that. PK
This may be of interest to the how fast will it go group - http://www.advanced-ev.com/Calculators/TireSize/
I thought I was really flying! It felt like 100 MPH in a modern car, but passed one of those signs by the side of the road which said I was doing 42 MPH. I actually prefer about 35. You only feel like you are going slow when someone else passes you. A TT is even slower. It was made to haul heavy loads around, but not for speed. It was faster than a horse and wagon but much slower than modern trucks. I would only use a TT for short trips without much traffic and or car shows. A T with good brakes and tight steering is comfortable for touring all day long. It will go over 100 miles in one day.
I'm about a mile from a National Park, so, that gives me an opportunity to drive my TT. When I had it in Florida, it only traveled mostly on the trailer, to places like Petit Jean, where it could be driven around some. It has the standard 7 1/4 to one gears and cruises comfortably around 17mph. If you want to tour, go for the pickup.
Thanks fellas, your comments were a big help. I believe I will be looking for a pickup. Thanks again.
My TT seems happy enough between 20 and 25. And it has the 7-1/4:1 rear end. No, a TT is generally not for long distance touring, but of all the guys on here that own them, I think every one of them is happy enough with their TT's. It's a strange thing that's hard to explain, but you get used to going slow and it doesn't bother you. Not once, have I ever been sorry I bought the TT and I've never seen anyone else say they were sorry either. As a matter of fact, when I first got it, I had plans of upgrading to the 5-1/6:1 rear end or adding an overdrive auxiliary tranny, but it wasn't long before I totally gave up on those ideas. Now, I wouldn't even think of adding the second tranny, and the high speed rear end? Only if one fell in my lap.
A T pickup is essentially a T Roadster with a pickup bed on it.
If you want to be 'correct' buy a 19-25 Roadster and buy a pickup bed kit from one of the vendors.
They look really neat. I have a 1919 Roadster and have been considering doing the same thing.
Ford did make a pickup bed beginning in 25 I believe. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong about when they started doing this!)
People would remove the rear trunk and make their own in the T era. Sometimes they would remove the back half of a Touring car and add a pickup box.
I live in the city and drive my T a lot. I tend to pick streets that will tolerate a slower vehicle but sometimes I find myself on a faster street,45 or 50 mph, so I try to bump it up some. I found that, as some of you have mentioned, no matter how fast you can make your car go it still has 20 mph brakes.
I have a 1923 roadster pickup that I've had up to 43 mph. I don't usually cruise at that speed, but it's nice to have a little extra if I need it. I'd rather cruise around 35 out in the country, but if there was a sudden rainstorm popping up it's nice to have some extra oomph in the old girl to get us home before it hits.
I guess if you were looking at a closed cab TT you could weather a storm better than I can in my open car, so being able to outrun the weather probably isn't as important to you. Just something to keep in mind as you are shopping for a truck. I'd love to own a TT someday, but for now I don't have the time or the space for yet another project.
We are all drawn to certain vehicles for different reasons. I am drawn to TT's for the iconic
"Americana" look of Dust Bowl days. It is more about the aesthetics and representing that
transitional period before cars and trucks became more sophisticated and "stylish" that really
turns my crank. Hard to put words to it, but to me, the Improved Cars are too new looking,
and the cars (in general) lack the "down on the farm" rural appeal that piques my "inner weird guy".
So, I am cursed with slow speeds .... kind of ....
My 26 is a 7:1 gear slo-dog with a Ruckstell, allowing me to go even slower, if so desired.
My evil plan, facilitated by curious hobbyist onlookers and those looking to part this fool from
his money, is to build a well-balanced go-fast engine, and raise my gear ratios to match, allowing
a cruising speed closer to that of regular T cars.
I have no use for contrived car shows and ice cream tours, per se. I just like to drive my truck
and see what kind of crazies come out of the woodwork to tell me their stories or reveal what
lies hidden in their Grandpa's shed. I want a farther reach than what my current cruising speed
of 20 really allows, so I need to be able to cover more ground in less time to get there, so the
performance upgrades are necessary.
~ Full and thorough balance of engine and transmission
~ Scat crank
~ Z head
~ OF carb
~ 5:1 "hi-speed" gears
~ Lincoln 3-speed aux. trans.
Once these pieces of the puzzle are in place, we'll see where I want to take it, in terms of further
performance mods. Driving a T is not far off of driving a Radio Flyer red wagon, in terms of handling
and braking. Making your red wagon go 35 or 40 might sound like a good idea, but it opens up other
issues like steering and braking that are not really possible to do performance upgrades on, so those
potential risks go up as speed increases. That goes for pretty much ALL T's.
I plan to use my swifter TT to make cross-state back road trips and use the higher speed potential
in open areas where stunt drivers and small children darting in to the road are not a concern.
Another consideration is aerodynamics. TT's have all the wind resistance of a parachute, and pushing
them through the atmosphere becomes exponentially more energy consuming as speeds increase. That
20hp monster engine will only do so much against the inherent design, which brings us back around to
aesthetics and the whole point for me owning this truck. If I really want to go fast, a different kind of truck
is probably a better plan. So, I accept certain limitations of the design and try and make the best of what
Sounds like you are relatively close to me. If you's like to give my TT a test drive, drop me a line.
Burger - Your "TT" is always one of those that I admire, and the great picture of it that you just posted reminds me of one neat and interesting detail of your truck that is probably lost on 99 of a hundred folks,....those beautiful headlight lenses! Took a lotta' years and a lotta' sun to do that! And, God forbid, if you ever broke one of them, you'd have to replace both to make the loss less obvious to that one guy out of a hundred to which it would stand out "like a sore thumb"!
And by the way, if I were you, I'd leave the ol' girl just the way she is and find a nice little "T" to drive when you want to keep up with other "T" nuts! After all, your "TT" is a perfect example of what the Model "TT" truck is all about, and as long as you're not in a hurry, what 20 horsepower can do! It might be called a "Ton-Truck", but as we all know, it will (and probably HAS) hauled well over a 2-ton load more than once in it's lifetime!
Oh, and if "lack of storage space" for a Model T car besides your "TT" is a problem, heck,....it wouldn't be too hard to just load it up on the back of that "TT" and store 'em together! (I've seen it done more than once!)
All kidding aside Burger, several of the guys in our club have "acquired" rust-bucket grade "T's that they've just left with the "barn find" appearance and restored them mechanically for a bit more speed than the "TT" has,.....FWIW,......harold
Isn't it refreshing to find a new T driver that cares a flip about being a nuisance in traffic?
Most of us know we have the privilege of being a nuisance by grace of age. ( car and driver in most cases ).
I collect and surround myself in all things "steam age". The TT included. I like the aesthetics of
the truck and while the cars are "cute", they lack "the look" that turns my crank.
The whole point of T ownership for me is chasing the old and rusty, and that means ranging far
and wide. 20mph just doesn't cut it when you have a real job and you need to be back at work
on Monday. I cannot haul large, rusty objects home with a regular T.
The modifications I am doing are all period accessory or modern, beefier versions of stock gear.
A TT is little different than a rotary wing aircraft in its self-destructive habit of shaking itself apart.
Henry never meant for his TT's to leave the potato patch, but many period owners built their trucks
to go faster. I don't think ol' Henry would disapprove of some fool trying to hone his rough-edge
machine into a swiss watch.
Burger, great truck. Looks really really nice. Tim
Alan, in my opinion the people who drive around all day long with their cell phone in their hands are much more of a nuisance then we'll ever be.
Burger, your TT set up with your list of mods will easily make 50 mph, more if you ask it. You will find it moves along real comfortably at 40. Fast enough to stay out of trouble on most roads. My dump truck has a model A crank built long before the Scat was available. I have a Reeder flathead, high speed ring& worm gears, Warford, and Ruckstell. I am using a Kingston L4 carb and stock buzz coil ignition on 12 volts. This truck has beaten some stock model T cars at hill climbs. I toured it in 2008 at the centennial party and it did not hold anybody up. You can tour with a TT on club events or by yourself without being a nuisance if you have it set up right.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. That is roughly how we worked the math, but no
one in this AO has ever taken this route with their TT to have hard knowledge of how
it will work out. Everyone takes the easy route and gets a T car or truck. So this is a
As I wrote above, the idea is to have a longer reach and road trip the old dog. Something
like this opens a lot of gates and doors that are slammed in the faces of those who show
up in modern iron or something too "cutesy". Whether it is getting the tour invite of Farmer
Brown's barn stash of old cars, or getting permission to pilfer his scrap pile for cool old metal,
when you show up in something like a TT, it often warms the skeptic rancher or property
owner and gives them the idea we're not just there to scam them. Plus, if you make a score,
you gotta have something that can haul it off, right ? And nothing looks better going down
the old winding, twisting like a TT buried in old rusty metal !
The TT that is on my profile picture has the high speed rearend, three speed Chicago auxiliary transmission with overdrive, 32x4 1/2 rear wheels and a VERY tired stock '26 engine. It is just a running chassis, as pictured. It ran just a tad over 42 MPH wide open(by GPS) and scared the crap out of my now deceased buddy.(he didn't have much to hang on to ) It would cruise very nicely at 30-35 MPH on the highway. I think it would do about the same with a cab and bed with a strong engine. I also have a Rocky Mountain Six Speed (actually, just a three speed trans with low, direct and high)that mounts in front of the rearend that I was going to install also, just for the heck of it. Kind of a TT version of an over the road "Two Sticker" trans. (I'm sure you old truckers know what I mean ). That would make an interesting combination. Dave