Sambuca, Hunter and me with my Ruckstell rearend take on Tenney Hill Road here in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. Tenney Hill Road is a very steep dirt road here in town, that I enjoy using whenever I am in the area. Yesterday was my 1st attempt at shifting the Ruckstell from high to low gear while going up hill. It worked great, but I need more practice with my shifting. I may need to adjust the linkage as well.
You don't need a hill to practice on!
Thank you Larry, can you offer any advice on what speeds to shift at.
Two things to know when shifting a Ruckstell;
1. Shift into the lower gear when the engine is pulling the car. It will not shift when the engine is being pushed by the car.
2. Shift into high when the engine load is at a minimum.
The only time you will have a problem shifting, is when you are going downhill or trying to slow down. Don't try to shift into Ruckstell (low) when your engine isn't pulling. So if you want to descend the hill in Ruckstell, shift before you start down the hill while the engine is still pulling.
The other thing to consider is that shifting a Ruckstell is not the same at shifting a normal manual transmission. There is some drag in the Model T clutch and even with the clutch "released" the Ruckstell knows if the engine pushing or pulling and will act accordingly. The Ruckstell does not know or care if the car is sloping up hill or down hill, just if it is being pushed or pulled by the engine. Just the nature of the beast and something very useful to know if you're trying to slow down or maintain a reasonable speed down a long steep hill.
You see this in action in my video at about 3:30 minutes into it when I was slowing down. It would not shift down till I increased the throttle.
My Ruckstell does not have a spring shifter so I get a direct feel of when it wants to shift and when is does not want to shift. In the same case with a spring shifter, it just would not have shifted down till it felt like it.
Hello Jim, I enjoyed your video. You seem to do a lot of shifting, was that for demonstration or do you need to shift because you need to keep engine rpms up? I have no problem starting with Ruckstell in high and only use Ruckstell low when climbing steep hills.
Great looking 1926/27 Roadster
I made this video while driving my 1917 Model T Ford up a 9 % grade for 1.27 miles in high gear, it took 2 minutes and 45 seconds (this was before I added my Ruckstell).
Yes, most of the time the four speeds that the Ruckstell provides are not required. It is a little cumbersome to go through all four gears on each start and slow down. However that is how they advertised it in the day.
Here is another video of more normal operation (other then the speed). Most of the Ruckstell shifting is in High Ford.
I love the Ruckstell for....
Cruising around the neighborhood slowly.
Steep hills. (Rare in my local area)
Driving up onto a trailer.
Maneuvering in tight places like backing into the barn between other vehicles.
I don't shift much.....
A point to remember, you are either in Ruckstell, or you are not. The best way to get used to one is to drive it and practice. I usually clutch mine, but there are times I don't. Never had an issue.
To me, Ruckstell low is Ruckstell and low pedal, which I seldom need. I was on a tour a few months back, where I had to do that!
Larry, that must have been one steep grade, or the tour was really going slow at the bottom. Our club members who have Ruckstells usually drive at the back on tours. I still need more practice shifting though.