I bought a used Ruckstell today for my 26 (large drums)
The seller said it had been gone through and is usable. However I noticed to start with both axle keyslots are washed out, so when time permits I will disassemble and check it over.
Never having had one apart, which parts from a standard differential can be used? My diff is rebuilt, so I'm hoping I can use some of the components if required.
Time to buy the Ruckstell rebuild book. All the suppliers carry them.
Don't be afraid, get the book and take it all the way down. If the seller is correct and it has been gone through, then put it back together per the book and you will have learned a lot.
Odds are that once you start checking things you will find problems. Fix the problems, replace the worn out parts, and you will have a great Ruckstell that you will KNOW is built right. You will also learn a lot!
The only thing you need to find is the correct fiber washer that is used inside the differential case.
I will source out a Ruckstell rebuild manual, I'm not too concerned about that part. What I'd like to know is are the axles, particularly the left side interchangeable with my non Ruckstell differential?
My diff was been rebuilt and works great, hoping I can swap most of the components over. I know the one I purchased (complete rear end with a Ruckstell) is in need of a rebuild
The axle shafts interchange with the standard axle, you can swap them over. Might be a good idea to get them magnafluxed to make sure they don't have any cracks.
After just breaking an axle shaft on Betsy, if I had it to do over again I would build my Ruckstell up with the best brand new axles available from the vendors.
Once bitten, twice shy!
Dave Eddie: Get the Ruckstell Book it is a must to have a s a reference.
So how do you identify the "best new axles available from the vendors" from those non-best axles?
Steve, I just sent you a PM. Perhaps Glen Chaffin or one of our other suppliers can comment better than I on the history of replacement rear axle shafts.
In addition to the book, you'll need a dial indicator with a magnetic base to check the axle end-play as you go. You need to maintain .006"-.010" total, cumulative end-play as you reassemble. The center fiber washer is the first place to hold that tolerance, which means a custom thickness. One washer is too little, and two are generally too much.
Also, if you're replacing the axles, you'll need a 20-ton press to get the differential gears off and back on. The 12-ton likely won't cut it.
Glen's book is very detailed. Follow it, and you'll do fine. Your second Ruckstell will take a fraction of the time the first one did.
Be careful on new axle shafts. I understand some of the new ones are 1/16" longer, which is incorrect.
We now make a new bronze 2506 Axle Shaft spacer washer. It is very close to the correct thickness and can easily be fitted. The 1/16" longer axles are very good and pose no problems. They will work with the Rocky mountain brakes or a standard axle. The Mark Auto axles have problems with the keyways being too long. The outer keyway will eat into your outer bearing seals.