I'm going to be installing a Ruckstell in Betsy soon. My unit came with the stock center shifter, rod, and rod guide.
Should I buy and install the LH shifter unit that puts the shifter handle in the parking brake slot instead?
Hi Mark, I have two Ruckstells with the shift levers both on the left side. Even on my '26 Roadster Pickup that has a door on the left side, I prefer the left side shifter. When shifting, I have my right hand on the throttle and my left hand on the Ruckstell shifter & it works really good that way.
On all of my T's, I get in on the right side and the center shift lever would be in the way. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Left side is the only way to go
It looks like the LH shifter crossbar has U-bolts to fit around the parking brake crossbar. Will it be trying to occupy the same space as my brake equalizer?
Can someone show a picture of their LH shifter setup? Thanks!
I make mine out of a spare emergency brake cross shaft. Comes up the same hole in the floorboards as the brake lever and looks right at home. Remove the ratchet parts and weld a lever on the bottom. Use a piece of 1/4" pipe and some rod ends available at auto parts stores for the linkage.
Mark, if you go RHD, you can have both centre and left hand shift on the one lever. Or a foot throttle will free up your right hand for shifting a centre lever.
Not really trying to be helpful.
Allan from down under.
I found some pictures elsewhere on the forum that show that the LH shifter cross shaft U-bolts attach to the top of the frame, not the emergency brake cross shaft, so I'm assuming they don't interfere with each other.
Guess maybe the few that like original shift lever, in the center. Lots of folks when looking in think its a gears shifter too!
But easy for me to slap up or pull back when going in and out of Ruckstell using the right hand.
...but that's cause the Nifty brand throttle lever accessory extension makes it east to reach with the left hand and feather the throttle for shifting.
The Ruckstell way!
there seem to be two versions of the LH shifter...one with U-bolts and one with a more refined pivot setup. I have installed the U-bolt version for a friend and while it works, it isn't too satisfying of an installation in my opinion. Check pix and prices in various vendor's catalogues and come to your own conclusion.
BTW, the picture you found and posted is the more refined version of the mount I mentioned. Look more closely and you'll see it is NOT a U-bolt.
Thanks Scott. Snyder's picture on their web page shows the fancier pivots, but their instruction sheet talks about U-bolts.
I ended up ordering a LH shifter setup from Lang's - their picture shows it comes with U-bolts. One of the U-bolts fits over a groove in the cross shaft, locating it left-right.
I'm not a very good welder, but I can tack the arm onto the cross shaft with my Mig, then take the assembly to a professional welder nearby.
So soon I'll have setups for both, allowing me the option of deciding at the last minute.
Something forgotten is the ruxtel foot shifter. 2 buttons in the flore and you step on one or the other to shift.
Chadwick, never heard of it, can you post pictures?
Chadwick, is it like this one?
Actually I can't, I helped my Grandfather install one in the '14 that he got from my Mom when she sold/gave it to him.
Basically imangine a standard ruxtel shift mount (forward end of the torque tube) and instead of a single bar (shifter) going verticle there is a bar horizontal balanced like a teeter totter. On each end of the bar is a threaded hole that a verticle rod with pad screws into thru the floorboards.
This was in a touring with no foot throttle, the upright seating assisted in stepping on it. I would not see this working well on a speedster with a foot throttle.
Interesting! I'll have to sketch it up and ponder the possibilities.
Does anyone have an AA truck foot shifter like the one in the link I posted above that they would be willing to sell?
Same principal, the T had a greater space between the two buttons. I'm guessing 16 inches.
Obviously the bracket mounts to the 4th main as well.
Im sorry but I can't see doing anything but the original style. To me Model Ts have charm because of their awkward authenticity. Same with Ruckstells. Is there a real issue with the lever being in the middle. Never has been for me.
I believe the step shifter my grandfather installed was an original.
LH easier to shift for me.
I have driven a car with a left hand shifter and liked it very much. That being said, all my cars have original shifters. Although I really liked the left hand shifter, I prefer that all my cars have a similar set up. The left hand shifter set up is easy, but I am proficient at right hand shifting and happy to not have to think about which car I am driving.
: ^ )
With a foot throttle it's easy either way. Lots of original T's had foot throttles installed (at least I find lots of original pieces of them at swap meets)
Do you really want to drill four unauthorized holes in you frame????
Our left hand shifter uses pillow blocks not U-Bolts.
I have a left hand shifter on my '14 and a center shifter on my '23. I prefer the center shift and would like to have both cars the same, so if you decide on LH and want to trade, let's talk.
Mark, I have the center shifter in my coupe and never have a problem shifting. I use only my right hand to work the throttle and shift. I usually take off in Ford low and shift into Ford high and only use the Ruckstell when climbing or taking off on a steep hill. To downshift into Ruckstell high I simply tap the clutch pedal into neutral while quickly pulling the shifter back and release the pedal. To shift into Ford high I speed up to about 22 mph, close the throttle, push the clutch into neutral, and shove the shift lever forward. It's very easy to do with just one hand.
I prefer the LH shifter. The problem I have with the middle shifter is that it is in the way. Never so with the LH shifter. I can't abide drilling extra holes into the frame. This is how I did my LH shifter.
chad, your Grandfather told me the foot shiver in his 14 touring was a model AA truck dual high shifter.
It sure worked slick.
For whatever it is worth. I do not like foot throttles on a model T, never really did. I know a lot of them were made, I have had a few NOS in boxes over the years, and half a dozen at least used originals. And, I have driven a couple Ts with foot throttles. Just don't like them.
As I think back, I did have one speedster that had a left side shift lever, outside the body. I liked it, mostly because I liked the look of the outside shift lever. However, mostly, I prefer the lever in the center of the car. I never seem to have trouble getting in or out around it. While driving, I do the "bear hug" on the steering wheel to work the hand throttle with my left hand, and shift the Ruckstell/Warford/Muncie with my right hand. I like it that way. All about what you are used to.
The early Ruckstell shifter is further off to the right than the later ones, and I prefer that design. HOWEVER, as many of you know, I use original Rocky Mountain brakes, and both are required to use the same mounting holes, so for that reason I have to use the late style shifter.
BTW, Ruckstell never made a shift knob with Ruckstell it. We make the originals, and they are available from the parts dealers except Bob's.
Thanks, Larry. In the interests of originality and quirkyness, I've decided to go with my original center shifter. It has an original ribbed knob, no script. It also has the stamped sheet metal backing plate with the word "passenger" stamped on it, I assume to help the installer get the correct orienation during installation.
If for some reason I just can't get used to the center shifter location, I can always switch to an alternate in the future.
Mark, that self locking nut isn't correct! How could you? Also, it appears you may have an Eaton shifter. If you do, you are lucky, because you can place the shift lever almost anywhere you want. Beautiful original knob you have too.
The end of the shift arm is square, not splined, so there aren't many options regarding shifter angular placement. I bought the shift rod with the threaded clevis on one end, so that will allow some adjustment.
The end of the shift arm wasn't drilled for a cotter pin, what is the correct nut setup? A pair of jam nuts?
With the shifter casting being threaded to receive the upper bolts, I'm going to have to either find bolts already drilled for safety wire, or drill the grade 5 bolts I have.
More heresy, but I'm tempted to take the shifter back apart and drill it for a zerk fitting so I can keep it well greased.
If anyone happens to have a spare Ruckstell shifter reinforcement plate, like the one shown in the photo above marked "PASSENGER", I would be more than happy to take it off your hands.
I have one car in the middle and one car with it on the left. The one on the left is never in the way when I get in and out of the car.
I had to heat the lever and put some offset bends in it so it did not keep hitting my knee. It is installed in a 1917 Runabout which is a small car.
Soon Ill be fabricating a RH Hall Scott shifter
Have had both, and the splined is really nice.
Have eye-balled the location in the floorboards for drilling my holes, before this sketch was posted, has best location.
Thanks Dan, that sketch on how to cut the floor board will come in handy!
I didn't realize that the throw of the handle is angled 8 degrees from the centerline of the car.
One more silly question - I have the shift rod with the threaded clevis on one end. My gut tells me the threaded clevis goes towards the front end of the car so that you can adjust it from the cab, is that right, or do I have it backwards?