How to shift a Hall Scott/Ruckstell

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: How to shift a Hall Scott/Ruckstell
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul baresel on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 08:19 pm:

Ok, I am a newbie with a Hall Scott transmission on a 26 TT truck. I have been trying to read how to shift the transmission and I am confused when to shift the Ruckstell
First, what is meant by a large drum or small drum Ruckstell?
Why is there no neutral in a Ruckstell? If the Ruckstell transmission is engaged in one of two speeds, will the truck start to move while starting it? Yes, I understand you are either in Ford or Ruckstell, but if the handbrake is at 90 degrees in Ford neutral, will not the engaged Ruckstell try to drive the truck while starting it?
If the clutch is used for the low speed pedal engagement, how is the low pedal and clutch used to shift the Ruckstell?
I do understand that the Ruckstell in my truck is for very low speeds only for climbing hills, parades, or chasing down snails.
Also, reading some of the reproduction Ruckstell sales literature has confused me because I do not think that I have wrapped old technology from a 4-on-the-floor.
Any feedback will be appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 08:52 pm:

I'll try -

1. Large drum - small drum refers to regular Model Ts. It does not apply to a TT.

2. The Ruckstell doesn't need a neutral any more than a stock rear end does. It's in either direct drive or under drive at all times.

3. Handbrake position and the use of the planetary transmission are not effected by the Ruckstell. They work the same as they would without the Ruckstell.

4. The procedure for starting your engine is the same with or without the Ruckstell. Be sure you have a good "free neutral" adjustment and start it like any other T or TT.

5. I'm not very knowledgeable on Ruckstell shifting techniques. Hopefully someone else will chime in.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John T. Tannehill III, Hot Coffee, MS on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 08:57 pm:

If you don't have auxiliary brakes with your TT and are planning on driving it you will need to be very careful that you don't get it in some type of neutral


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 09:38 pm:

The TT Ruckstell is like the car version, except runs with the Ford worm drive axle.

For shifting the two speed rear axle, the truck should be moving. Takes a bit of getting used to the shift on the move, and its makes a 'clunk' sound when the gears align, but that is normal.

More important, the Ruckstell should not have a neutral, but if parts worn, it could get hung between shifts, and that's where outside drum accessory brakes are needed.

And don't shift while going downhill and the truck is pushing the engine, hard or maybe no shift and that's bad. Always shift when the engine is pulling the truck.

Original instructions on this site:

http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/1926/1926ruckstellmay.pdf



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Plank - Three Way, TN on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 09:49 pm:

The Ruckstell is a two speed axle, not a transmission. Most of your driving is done with the Ruckstell in direct drive. When you come to a steep hill, just quickly jab the clutch pedal in an inch or so and jerk the shifter back into underdrive. Just as you crest the hill and reach about 20 mph or a little more, jab the clutch again and push the shifter forward into direct drive. Quick, firm shifts work best. Do not try to shift when you are coasting against engine compression. Shifts are made while the engine is pulling. With some practice, you can use it to shift like a three speed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 10:11 pm:

Dennis,

In a TT with no auxiliary transmission and low speed rear end gears in Ruckstell low he will NOT be doing 20 MPH. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Plank - Three Way, TN on Monday, May 08, 2017 - 10:55 pm:

Sorry. My TT has high speed gears and easily runs 38 mph. I was thinking of my coupe when I wrote that.

This is the reason I rarely post. There is always somebody to find something wrong.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 05:37 am:

Dennis, you shouldn't feel others input as criticism - they're trying to help just like you, Noone can be correct always or remember everything, but in the end most of the useful info the initial poster wanted is here in the thread and all is well - thanks to the your and others input :-)

There are also often several ways to do something - then the readers can evaluate and choose whatever they want to believe. But all camps will be happy with their way :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Blake, Kansas City on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 08:36 am:

Roger. Well said.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 10:00 am:

Haven't seen or even heard of a Hall Scott transmission, or a Ruckstell transmission either!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul baresel on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 03:29 pm:

Thank you all for giving me some insight especially on jabbing the clutch pedal and not shifting on the down hill. Dennis, I was afraid to post as well, but, I told myself what the heck we are trying to help each other in the long run.
Thanks Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 07:26 pm:

I know exactly how you both feel! :-) I've so many questions and seek opinions on a range of T topics. Can be a tough crowd.
This tough crowd IS the most helpful crowd on the planet for a range of subjects. :-) It blows me away.
Shoot. Dennis, I think your shifting info was spot on. OK, your TT does 38 miles per hour! That's cool!
I cannot imagine going that fast in mine. Yikes! I prob'ly have the standard gears in mine so it'd be 28 miles per hour or so in Warford over-drive. Yikes!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 08:47 pm:

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 10:18 am:

I havnt driven mine yet but the Chicago transmission and high speed gears in rear axle should be quite fun. Dave said without a body it would run about 42mph. Wood cab and 8in1 bed should slow her down a bit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard J. Davis on Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 03:48 pm:

Mark - I will experiment with four-speed operation this afternoon. Thank you for posting the actual directions. Proper use of the Ruckstell has been a bit mysterious for me. I have had my '26 Fordor for 2 months.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 06:19 pm:

One important thing about shifting the Ruckstell is to synchronize the engine speed with the speed of the car. That is the engine speed would be after the shift. So when shifting down to the lower range you leave the throttle down and when you shift the engine will speed up. And when you shift up to the standard T range you want the engine to slow down so you push the gas up. After the shift has been made, you adjust the gas according to the speed you want to drive.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 09:25 pm:

I wouldn't own a T without a Ruckstell or REAL Rocky Mountain Brakes! And btw, I have a very slight groove machined in all of them for a neutral. I know some of you experts are going to give me crap for this statement, but it is true. I've never ever missed a shift, or got stuck in neutral, in fact in my opinion it's impossible! Ruckstells are almost impossible to destroy, and I drive the crap out of my cars!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 10:34 pm:

My dad pulled off the impossible on a steep hill in TN. Not an opinion; a fact.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Hoffer on Monday, December 25, 2017 - 08:38 am:

Hello, I have a "new" T with a Ruckstell that I am getting ready for touring in 2018. It appears to be in excellent condition but I have not yet started or driven it. This thread is very interesting, especially the comments about needing auxiliary brakes, and about the machined groove. I will start a new thread about the brakes, but can you please elaborate about getting stuck in Ruckstell "neutral" and how to prevent it?

Thanks to the group, and Merry Christmas! Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adrian Whiteman, New Zealand on Monday, December 25, 2017 - 11:32 pm:

Had my Ruckstell go "BANG" right at an intersection. No gears = no brakes = I now have white hair. (TT with std ratio rear)

I would not believe any story that they are indestructible. 100yrs or nearly old components build up brittleness and fractures, and any of them could go "BANG". So drive confidently, but with care,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Bergmann Sydney - Australia on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 01:36 am:

It is impossible to get neutral in a Ruckstell until it happens to you! Therefore it is MANDATORY as a minimum, to have working 1926 big drum or better hand brakes. my 2 cents. Usually neutral appears going down a hill, but I found it in my garage once. Not so likely in a freshly rebuilt unit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Hoffer on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 06:50 am:

So what is actually happening inside the axle to get "neutral" when it happens? And what is Larry talking about when he says he machines a "very slight groove in all of them for a neutral"? I'm lost. Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 07:45 am:

There is a sliding clutch gear that shifts between direct and under drive in the axle. When you shift into under drive the clutch gear locks the sun gear in the planetary gear set to the inside of the axle tube so that it cannot rotate then the planet gears are forced to climb around the outside of the sun gear and pull the differential along at about half the speed the ring gear is turning. In direct drive the clutch gear locks the sun gear to the differential so everything spins together with no additional gear reduction. When a Ruckstell gets badly worn the teeth on the clutch gear can get so short that they do not full engage with the splines in the notch or thrust plates in the unit which causes a neutral condition and loss of the transmission brake. Essentially the ring gear becomes disconnected from the differential so the ring gear stops but everything else inside the unit is still free to rotate. Also excessive wear can cause the splines to not line up and the clutch gear will get stuck inbetween the direct and under drive positions. If a Ruckstell is in good condition it will not have a neutral but some people modify their shift locks so it will hold the clutch gear between the direct and under drive positions instead of the shift lock trying to push it into gear which effectively gives the unit a neutral position. I've driven my 26 over three thousand miles since I installed my Ruckstell and it shifts right into gear every time. Right Now I'm using only the stock brakes but my hand brake is more than capable of stopping the car and I will be installing period aftermarket brakes soon.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 09:47 am:

Stephen, Please don't drive your car on any hills and stay out of traffic! You might get by with your Ford brakes for a long time, but just when you need them most you could have no brakes. Please install Auxiliary brakes before you do more driving. It's kind of like an insurance policy, you might never need it, but insurance will be there when you do need it.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 10:16 am:

I'm fully aware of what can happen and often warn new t owners their rear axles need to be rebuilt to help prevent brake failure. I'm all for accessory brakes and in fact don't have anything at all against disc brakes. I know a lot of people are angry with me now. :-) I also have a complete set of cleaveland aftermarket brakes I'm going to install on my car when I get some better linings on them. Until then I'm going to keep driving my car and enjoying it. Like I said my hand brake, which I use more than the foot brake, works perfectly and is more than powerful enough to stop the car on the steep hills that I often drive the car on.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Hoffer on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 12:37 pm:

The haze is clearing, thank you for the explanation! Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 01:13 pm:

William, to your question about machining a groove for neutral. That may be fine for the owner to do, but no responsible repairman would ever do it for a customer. It is ABSOLUTELY an unsafe thing to do and you will never see printed material from the period that says anything other than to NEVER do such a thing.

Furthermore, it is not "impossible" to get hung up in neutral. It is exceedingly rare with a fresh axle, only becoming an issue with a really worn axle. Someone struggling with the shift as a new user, forcing it to do something it doesn't want to do CAN in some rare instances find a neutral that doesn't theoretically exist. Again, it is rare, but not impossible.

A Ruckstell has "X" number of shifts until wear creeps in. That wear can manifest itself by jumping out of "high" or direct drive, or inadvertently finding the dreaded "neutral". I would say that if you experience either of these two things once, then you're being warned; a second time, then a teardown and inspection is in order.

They are a great addition to a "T". But like all things, they wear and can have issues.

An upgrade from the short nosed shifter to a '26-27 long nosed spring assisted shifter is a really good upgrade for an easier and positive shift.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 02:31 pm:

I don't know. Half of the Perfectos out there have a neutral notch in the shifting fork from the factory. It takes a bit of practice to shift into neutral but can be done pretty easily once you have the hang of it. The shifter wants to go either into Ford or Perfecto gearing and you need a sensitive touch to get it into neutral. The shifter throw is shorter than a Ruckstell and the sliding clutch is captured so it enters and exits the gearing very smoothly. I do not believe it would slip into neutral unexpectedly. But that's a Perfecto. I also have had numerous Ruckstells and only once did one get into neutral. My fault. I was on hill and tried to force a shift before starting the car.
My take is that if the parts are new or good used I think you're OK.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 10:28 pm:

I'm not 100% on this, but I'm sure Glen would know. I think Ruckstell sold out to Eaton in 1925 or 1926. After that I don't think Hall Scott had anything to do with Ruckstell. The Eaton units all had the clipped corner patent plates, and the still made they small drum versions too. For your information, Glenn now carries the Eaton plates.
I like the Eaton units better, because Eaton had an arrangement with Ford where they could buy the backing plates directly from Ford. Why, because you can replace the brake cam bushing on them, and you can't on a Hall Scott unit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 09:50 am:

My ebay Ruckstell is an earlier small drum version with no provision for brake cam bushings. Since the holes in the backing plates were worn out, I ended up drilling the holes larger to accept the later brake cam bushings (there was plenty of meat in the backing plates to allow this). :-)


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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Warren on Friday, December 29, 2017 - 03:56 pm:

Thanks Dan T for the link to the book and Mark for the booklet. Also a brief experience with a unwanted neutral and improperly adjusted rocky mountains brakes, My friend attempted a shift going down hill and came up with neutral. His first reaction was to step on the brakes which killed the engine. The rocky mountains brakes were not adjusted properly and guess what, NO BRAKES going down hill and approaching an intersection. Absolutely nothing to be done except drive. May be if there was more time he could have tried restarting the engine and then may be he could have gotten it to shift in if engine speed could have be matched with ground speed. He coasted through traffic somehow with out getting killed. We all got a few more gray hairs that day. Phewwwww


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Friday, December 29, 2017 - 04:18 pm:

It won't shift going downhill because when you shift down you need to get the engine going faster than it would be in high. unfortunately the gears would not mesh. Always shift before you get to the hill. And slow down first then as you shift down pull down on the throttle. The parking brake might have helped.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Warren on Friday, December 29, 2017 - 06:32 pm:

In this case the original parking brake was removed and was tied into the rocky mountains. Again no brakes Woe you so&**%# Woe


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Friday, December 29, 2017 - 07:47 pm:

John

My dad had the same set-up done by the local experts when they installed his modern Rockies for him. They pitched out his parking brake drum and shoes and installed the new Rocky drum only, along with a parking brake equalizer. Also left the transmission brake lining slack as "he no longer needed it". All done by folks who should have known better.

First time he backed out of the garage (slight incline), he ended up just short of going off the gravel into a small drainage ditch behind his garage.

Until I got there to help, he had to stop in reverse by slipping low. I was some kind of unhappy when I checked the transmission and found the brake adjust nut about to fall off the end of the threads from lack of engagement to the dimpled washer...that's how loose everything was. Installer should have known better.


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