A friend just got a 1916 with a Ruckstell. When up on a jack, pulling/pushing the wheel will move everything including the internal Ruckstell gear assembly back and forth about 1/8". What's worn? PK
In a Ruckstell there is a large Ball Bearing on the left side. That bearing is usually in good condition. There is a babbit thrust washer and two steel spacer washers on the right side. Most of the thrust is against the ball bearing, but over the years the babbit can deteriorate. The Babbit washer should be replaced by bronze, which will last much longer.
There also could be wear in the fiber spacer between the two axle ends, however that would not cause the gear carrier to move, just the axles themselves.
In order to determine for sure what is causing the play you would need to pull the entire rear axle and driveshaft assembly and open it up. While open, replace all worn parts and make adjustments. The club has published a booklet on the Ruckstell Axle which has step by step instructions for rebuilding. You can do this with simple tools.
Thanks Norm, we're on it. PK
Pulled my Ruckstell apart a couple of week ago. No Babbit. Just a chunk of it in the goo in the bottom.
Scott, Just one of a few of Ford's follies in design of the Model T. You should never run a model t rear end with the old Babbitt thrust washers. You are just asking for trouble The bronze washers will outlast you.
Here's a picture of an intact Babbitt thrust washer. Note the cracking around the perimeter. Note also the color due to oxidation, the underlying metal is silver if you scrape the oxidation off. It went into the trash and was replaced by a bronze washer.
There is also a fiber type thrust washer inside the bell. Sometimes it gets replaced with a steel thrust washer (same as the outer type). If it's still the fiber type and in good shape you should be ok.
The steel thrust washer commonly used in T rear ends is much too thin for inside the bell. I prefer to use the fiber washer that Ruckstell originally used, which is typically .105" thick.
To my knowledge, no one is making that washer. I had to have mine specially made. It's a shame that they are not available.
Larry, Our original Fibre washer measures 0.089-0.090 just like the steel washer. Our new Ruckstell parts are machined to the same dimensions as the original Ruckstell parts. We provide a new steel washer with every new kit and they fit perfectly with the proper clearances. Steel to cast iron is a better bearing surface than fibre to cast iron. Fibre will tend to slough away. We have had no failures or excessive wear from using the steel washer. I feel it is a better choice.