After successfully driving all over east coast and Appalachians with a standard geared car with original axle, I am now situated out west. The 9% grade in Montana kicked my butt and killed a couple of cars (not mine fortunately, but only because I chose to withdraw after day 1). Similar, looooong grades out here have had me working the car too hard, for too long, in low...
So here's the question for owners who tour out west: I am building a Ruckstell, to go into a '23 runabout. I intend to build the motor with a 250 cam and a "Z" or Prus head. Given these facts, do I want to stay with standard 3.63 gearing, or move up to 3.25 or 3.33?
If you are a Ruckstell owner in MT or WY, I am particularly interested in hearing from you as I do not want to be out of sync with my gearing relative to those who would be around me.
For folks who will undoubtedly tell me to install a Layne Warford, please don't. That won't answer my question regarding rear end gears, and frankly any attempt to do so will fall on deaf ears; I have studied what I want, and am not interested in that route...my plan is to remain as close to period equipment as possible and still have a viable tour vehicle for long hard climbs. Thanks very much in advance for your inputs.
I am not from Montana, but have driven there plenty. My advice is to stay with the 3.63 gears. If you have a heavy closed car, you may even do better with 4 to 1's.
From Washington near Mt Rainier. Standard gears with a Ruckstell serve me well in a Touring (my heaviest car). No "mile long" grades to pull but very hilly.
Go with the Ruckstell and standard ring and pinion.
Gentlemen, thank you for the quick responses
Like the others, my '26 Coupe likes standard rear gears with a Stipe Cam, OF carb and Ruckstell. Higher speed rear gears need more ponies or a real light car out here.
Thank you Walt
I have tow cars with standard ratio and Ruckstell. No problems climbing hills. I have another car with a 3:1 and Ruckstell. It has a low head. That car runs fine on level and downhill. If the hill is even the slightest uphill I need to start in Low Ruckstell. The Ford low is too hard on the low band. The car goes OK uphill in high Ruckstell once I have the car moving. This car is a Runabout so is not heavy. If I ever need to overhaul the rear axle I will replace with standard ratio.
I used the coupe with a 3.63:1 and a Ruckstell on the previous Montana tour and on the first day or so found the hill to the lodge too steep for Ruckstell. On the Wednesday I was more careful on setting and road position and made it on the last three days. I am sure with a Prus head and a better cam, I think standard will be just fine.
Scott I drove my 1925 coupe with Ruckstell with 3.63:1 gear,Z head,Stipe 250 cam many years,hardly used the Ruckstell.
Scott, My close to stock 16' Touring pulls most grades in high gear with standard 3:63 gearing. After trying lots of different options for myself, I think Henry got it exactly right. The Ruckstell giving you another ratio between high and low is perfect for those hills that are just that little bit to steep. With a light runabout and your planned improvements you will have a delightful car to tour in. Good luck.
26 touring, standard T ignition, stipe 280 cam, Z head, standard rear end gearing in the Ruckstell, NH carb, and I have been very happy with drivability in the Pacific Northwest.
Guys, thanks so much. It looks like an overwhelming tilt towards stock gearing. I think I will be very much at ease now with my choice.
No logical reason to re-engineer your rear axle ratio. Henry was nuts on with the 3.63 and with added Ruxsteel you can go anywhere you would like.