Well, The installation of Betsy's Ruckstell is nearly complete. A friend of mine came over yesterday evening to help with the heavy work of getting the unit onto my jack and dolly, sliding it under the car, and getting it bolted into place.
The U-joint slipped into the transmission with a little jiggling from my home-made tool:
I spent today hooking up the parking and AC brakes, torqueing and cotter pinning all of the bolts and nuts, and filling the unit with Lubriplate 90 available from the vendors.
All that is left is to install and rig the shifter, modify the floorboard, and install and torque the wheels. Then Betsy will be ready for a test drive.
The remaining work will have to wait for a day or two, tomorrow is a bike riding day.
OK, I pretty much wrapped things up today. I Installed the shifter and linkage (threaded clevis towards the front of the car), and cut the floorboard and floor mat for the shifter. I adjusted the clevis to put the shift handle as far forward when out of Ruckstell as possible without risking banging my knuckles on the dash.
I had to notch the side of the floorboard to allow for installation with my bent brake handle (I bent it towards the outside of the car for more legroom). Per Mark Gregush's recommendation, I used the cut-out piece of floorbard and a little sheet metal and screws to make a filler for the notch.
I also installed one of the vendor reproduction Ruckstell data plate with some sealer on its spiral rivets to prevent leaks. The leather belts between the axle and frame are rebound straps, they help prevent the "ejection seat" effect when going over big bumps. I have them on the front too, they do help!
All that is left to do is to install the rear wheels, lower the car down, check all the fluids, and take her for a test drive.
LOL, I guess I'd better paint that metal floorboard patch plate black, even though it is hidden by the floor mat!
Mark, if you can fix that piece in place on the body rails, it will serve the same purpose, but it will enable you to remove the floorboards without taking out any screws. I mounted my foot feed this way, and can fit the boards in around it with no tools needed.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Mark, you made great progress in a very short period of time. Can't wait to hear how you like the new Ruckstell.
You will really like that Ruckstell, and, it appears you have a nice original gearshift ball too.
I should have check this on the bench, but there seems to be some wear in the shift lever arm that is causing more slop than I'm comfortable with. So, tonight or tomorrow I'm going to disassemble the front linkage and see if I can install a larger pin or a bushing to take up the wear.
I stopped at Home Depot on my way home from today's bike ride and bought an assortment of pins and bushings to try.
Thanks for the comment on the gearshift ball, Larry. Royce also gave it a thumbs up on Facebook.
OK, I had some energy left this evening after my bike ride, so I went ahead and installed the rear wheels and fixed the slop issue with the shifter.
One of the bushings I bought at Home Depot was a perfect fit between the hole in the lower shifter arm and the clevis pin, so perfect that it makes me wonder if the original period clevis pin was really 7/16 instead of the 5/16 that the vendor supplied with the shift rod.
Anyway, no excuses, Betsy is ready for her test run tomorrow!
I'm jealous....a Ruxtell is on the definite to-do list for my 24 Touring one day.
Success! This morning, I decided to take the floorboards back out and do a garage test run with the rear axle up on jack stands. Two pulls to prime, turn on the key, and got a free start!
Everything seemed to work as advertised, so I shut her down, set Betsy back down on her wheels, put the floorbards back in, and went for a 5 mile drive around town. This axle has a slight periodic rurring sound to it, probably due to a little ring gear runout, not objectionable. My standard axle was dead quiet, so maybe I was spoiled. Hopefully it will quiet down more once it gets broken in.
The Ruckstell works great, less shifting effort and travel than I expected. It got a baptism of fire on the last steep hill heading to my house. I was going up with a good head of steam in Ford high, when one of the folks in front of me slowed down to turn into McDonald's. I popped the clutch, shifted into Ruckstell, and Betsy charged up the rest of the hill in fine fashion.
Now I can take Betsy to the car show at the Hillsboro fair this coming weekend.
what are the leather straps used for around the rear end ? thanks. Ken
The leather straps are called "rebound straps", they help reduce the "ejection seat" effect on big bumps. I have them on the front also, they do help. Just some heavy duty leather belts that I bought at Walmart and cut to fit.
I think i'll put belts on the rear of my 24 tudor. sometimes it wants to lean and pick up the opposite side when i enter and exit a sharp turn. my tudor is a little top heavy . do you think it might help? Ken
Worth a try, although you may just need to take it a little more easy in the corners.
I think i'll put a set on the rear and see how it feels. if it does ok then i can go back to beating it like a rented mule. just kidding, got too much time and money in it to do that. Ken
Mark - you mentioned using the wood block method for installing the Ruckstell. For the benefit of those of us (well me at least) who have never replaced a rear end, could you explain how that is done? I assume you don't need a spring spreader tool? BTW, I really appreciate all the great photos you've posted of the process. Thanks.
You don't need a spring spreader. Loosen the perch bolts as much as you can while still having good thread engagement on the nut, then stuff wood blocks (pieces of 2x4 will do) between the end of the spring and the rear axle housing.
Then, lower the car down towards the rear axle. As the car lowers, the ends of the spring will slide along the wood blocks within reach of the spring perches.
Once the shackles have been installed, tighten the perch nuts back up and install the cotter pins.
Thanks Mark, that good to know. Seems pretty easy.
Mark and others...
loosening the perches is only necessary on a light vehicle such as Mark's PU Truck or a Roadster. Any other T is heavy enough to spread the springs to meet the perches, and then some.
Just hoping to save someone from a little extra work that may not be needed.
Mark, am enjoying following your project
Mark, Could you take a picture of the front rebound straps?
I think it's something I might try on my touring.
Steve, here is a link to an older thread I started when I first installed my rebound straps, it has pics:
It's a good idea to loosen up the perches anyway, so the angle of the rear axle will be ok after installation. As far as the rebound straps, go for it. I have a 9 leaf rear spring in my pickup, as it is supposed to have, and when I go over railroad tracks it nearly throws me off the seat. That's just the way it is. I like the wood blocks too, I've used them many times when I couldn't get the use of a spring spreader. Your u-joint tool looks like it would be a nice tool. I have at least three old time U-Joint entering tools, as Ford calls them, and the standard Ford design works good, but is still to thick.