How Fast in Ruckstell High

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: How Fast in Ruckstell High
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 06:17 pm:

Living in a hilly area in East Tennessee it feels comfortable to leave Ruckstell engaged going up and down hills both for power and breaking. At what high speed should you shift out? Seems 25mph is low. Interested in input. Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 06:33 pm:

I guess it would depend on what type of car you have, and how strong the engine is. With a Touring car and standard axle gears, I shift mine from Ruckstell high to Ford high, at around 25. Kind of depends on weight load too. With lots of folks in the car I'll shift a little later to keep the rpm happier. That's assuming I'm driving fairly flat roads.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George n LakeOzark,Missourah on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 09:14 pm:

Is the gearing ratio same as stock or has it been changed ???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 11:22 pm:

Stock ring and pinion with good running stock engine,NH carb and Ford ignition,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 11:36 pm:

I thought Ruckstell high was direct drive. The same as Ford high or Ford low, depending on which you're using. Is that wrong?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Richmond, Texas on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 12:15 am:

Ruckstell high is 1 to 1 direct drive, so as Kevin says above, shifting from Ruckstell low to Ruckstell high would depend on 1. body weight of your car, 2. how strong the engine is, 3. weight load of occupants, 4. ring and pinion ratio, 5. terrain, 6. head or tail wind, and any other factor that I have left out. The speed difference between 3 to 1 gears and 4 to 1 gears, may not be astounding, but surely, it will be different, even if all other things are equal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 10:02 am:

Call it what you may, when must you shift to Ford direct drive? That is the question.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 10:08 am:

There is no such thing as Ruckstell high! You are either in Ruckstell, or you are not!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 11:33 am:

With three to one gears and a "good" carburetor and distributor you can cruise at 60 in direct drive and about 43 in low Ruckstell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 11:37 am:

With three to one gears and a "good" carburetor and distributor you can cruise at 60 in direct drive and about 43 in low Ruckstell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cliff Colee on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 11:57 am:

Bravo Larry! Agree completely!

Ruckstell is an 'underdrive' only.

So when the Ruckstell is engaged you're "In Ruckstell" and taking advantage of reduced gear ratios (idling along in a parade, or climbing a steep hill...).

When Ruckstell is not engaged you are in "Ford Drive".

The High/low pedal works in either mode, but when the Ruckstell is engaged the gear ratios are substantially altered.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 12:28 pm:

It seems some sort of qualifying designation would be helpful in identifying the relative final drive ratio. Using "Ruckstell low"and "Ruckstell high", the progression would then be Ruckstell low, Ford low, Ruckstell high and then Ford high. As I understand it the Ruckstell only changes the rear end ratio so with the pedal up you are in direct drive whether or not the Ruckstell is engaged. As for when to shift, I disregard speed and just listen to my engine. As has been said, there are too many variables to go by speed alone.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 01:36 pm:

I like John and Cliff's answer.

Larry Smith stated it simply: In or Out


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cliff Colee on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 01:53 pm:

John, if the Ruckstell is engaged the gear ratios are altered whether using Low Pedal or High Pedal.

You have to be in 'Ford' (Ruckstell dis-engaged) with High Pedal to get to 1:1.

Some folks will start out 'in' Ruckstell with low pedal, then change to Ford with low pedal, then go back into Ruckstell with high pedal, then to 'Ford" with high pedal. This would imitate a four-speed gearbox - but it takes a lot of coordination to shift into/out of Ruckstell (simultaneously managing throttle/pedals/Ruckstell shifter) and do do all those changes every time you start up would get old quickly.

The Model T runs just fine in 'Ford' low/high. The Ruckstell is most useful only when you need to climb/descend a steep grade.

Too, while the Ruckstell is a great option to have, constant shifting in/out of Ruckstell will cause more-than-normal wear/tear on the unit. Those who want 3 or more speeds might want to consider a Model A......


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood -Long Beach, California on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 01:58 pm:

Listen to your engine. Shift to direct when it needs to be shifted, if it won't pull it, shift it back to Ruckstell. There is no harm in driving in Ruckstell all the time especially in hilly country.

I don't have a speedometer, but I would guess about 25-30MPH is tops in Ruckstell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 03:04 pm:

Should have labeled tread " How Fast in Ruckstell Intermediate High " Sorry for the confusion but thanks for responding to post.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 03:16 pm:

Engauged Ruckstell;
Ford low undedrive (granny) or Ford direct underdrive (2nd)

Disengauged Ruckstell;
Ford low (1st) or Ford direct (3rd)

There is no Ruckstell "high". That term is miss leading and could be why so many people think that the Ruckstell is an overdrive and will make the car go faster.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 03:27 pm:

Look at the Ruckstell Factory literature submitted above. How To Change Speeds. What does Ruckstell call it. So much to do about nothing. Glad when this political season is over.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 03:57 pm:

They call it "Intermediate high" and "Ford high". What does this political season have to do with discussions on this forum? Sure has not prevented us from having fun at other times! :-)LOL


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 03:59 pm:

Best wishes to you Mark. Thanks for your input.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 04:24 pm:

I think all the above can be boiled down thus:

Ruckstell not engaged: Normal Ford high & low.

Ruckstell engaged: Makes high and low both lower.
High is between normal high & low.
Low is below normal low.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cliff Colee on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 04:39 pm:

Steve, nice elegantly simple explanation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 04:40 pm:

Just makes sense to me that if you have a high and low whether the Ruxtell is engaged or not, using Ruxtell or Ford as an adjective for the high or low gear would be an easy way to correctly describe the position of both the pedal and the Ruxtell lever. To each his own!!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 05:03 pm:

By the way your 3:04 posting was not on my screen when I posted my 3:16 comment.

You are not the only one reading and learning from this. This is an open members only forum, so just because you asked a question don't expect >NOT< to have other reply's other then a direct answer's to your question which is what most of the other reply's so far have been.
:-) Have a great day also.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 05:25 pm:

Tom Carnegie posted an item a while back about a "500" car that would only do somewhere in the 40s. It turned out, the fella had it in Ruckstell.

I don't think it really matters what you call it, as long as the people in the particular discussion understand.

I have a Ruckstell in one and a 10 tooth in the other, which kinda helps since I live in the lower Rockies.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood -Long Beach, California on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 06:14 pm:

Lever Back, Pedal Down -Lowest Gear, Lower than Original Low.

Lever Forward, Pedal Down -Original Ford Low Gear.

Lever Back, Pedal Up -Intermediate Gear (Under-drive), Good for Hills.

Lever Forward, Pedal Up -Original Ford High Gear (Direct-Drive)

Approximate speeds with original 3.63:1 rear gears, 5-10-30-45


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 09:29 pm:

In my forty odd years of messing with Model T's, I have almost always heard people describe the two speeds of the Ruckstell as "Ruckstell high", and "Ruckstell low". I don't know what is wrong with this. It makes it clear to me when differentiating it from "Ford high" and "Ford low", also often referred to as "High pedal" and "Low pedal" respectively. E.g. "I made it all of the way up that hill in high pedal!" Or "I had to use low pedal to make it up that hill". Notice, it is not "I had to use THE low pedal to make it up that hill".

I think if you said to someone "I took that hill in Ford high, Ruckstell low." that would be perfectly clear. If you said "I took it in Ruckstell.", it may not be quite so clear.

In other words, When you say "Ruckstell in" or "in Ruckstell" (I don't know how you would phrase it, as I've never heard anyone say it that way) do you mean "in direct", or "in underdrive".

Sorry for the thread drift, but I tend to rebel against pedantry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 10:04 pm:

Tom, I follow and agree with your first paragraph but then you say "Ford high Ruckstell low" and you lose me. How can you be in two different gears at the same time? Don't mean to aggravate anyone, I just don't understand.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 11:14 pm:

Ford high Ruckstell low:

The high speed clutch of the Ford transmission is engaged (low pedal not depressed) and the Ruckstell in is underdrive. Each set of gears is independent of each other.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, October 28, 2016 - 11:55 pm:

At what speed does one shift in or out of Ruckstell ? How the
hell do you know what speed you are going ???

I do it all by engine revs, vibration, and what the road up ahead
looks like. Shifting is a bit of a PITA with 7:1 gears, as I lost all
momentum to get the old dog to an RPM/speed where it will shift.

Maybe it's different for cars ???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 12:26 am:

"How the hell do you know what speed you are going ???"

Available from any bike shop for under $25.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 01:56 am:

I totally agree with Tom. That is the same language that I use when describing the gears of the Ruckstell vs Ford. The manual uses 1,2,3,4 - which also makes sense.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 09:57 am:

Just finished tour in east TN and ran lots of hills and valleys with occasional Ruckstell gear. With speedo found most climbs went good at 20mph. Many were gravel so speed was between 15 and 20. After the crest more road speed was needed so out of Ruckstell and into Ford for speeds over 20.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 10:22 am:

Actually, a T could probably go faster without a Ruckstell! I've never weighed one, but it's got to be at least 50 lbs heavier. I have Ruckstells in all four of my T's.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerome Hoffman, Hays Kansas on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 12:00 pm:

In my tired 24 touring with 3/1's and a Rux I drive it like a 3 speed start out in low Rux and low pedal, go to high pedal wile still in Rux then shift the Rux out of low to direct and drive. This is on mostly flat and level roads.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 02:51 pm:

I just threw a bunch of Ruckstell parts onto a scale. The difference in the housing (with shifter) is about 2 lbs. The front shifter weighs about 3 lbs. The difference in internals is about 15 lbs. for about 20 lbs difference total.

My Montana 500 car has a Ruckstell on it and it goes pretty good. I don't have a shifting lever, so it is only 17 lbs. heavier. It is permanently locked into direct (high).


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