Ruckstell shifter adjustment

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Ruckstell shifter adjustment
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Eddie on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 12:03 pm:

Starter driving my 26 after recently installing a rebuilt Ruckstell axle.
Question,..how much force or effort should it take move the shift lock lever? Should you be able to move the lever by hand? I understand the detent spring tension can increased or decreased.
I'm sure there is a point where too little spring tension will cause issues.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 02:03 pm:

The spring is too tight for me to move without extra leverage on the axle lever. A two foot tube does the trick for me.
Once it’s set up in the car, all mine take a definite effort and the spring seems to be a firm lock. All mine are set up with the neutral position.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Bourgeois on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 02:13 pm:

Dave,
Is this your first Ruckstell?
If so, then please google on how to shift the Ruckstell.
I thought the Ruckstell on my car was bad, then Ross Lilleker drove it and gave me a 5 minute lesson. Made all the difference in the world.
I was doing just about everything wrong that could be done wrong.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 11:50 pm:

Also, there is a difference between the Hall Scott units, and the Eaton units.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Eddie on Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:22 am:

Tony, what do you mean by the neutral position?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 11:05 am:

That was a typo. It should read “without” a neutral.
You can add the neutral, which useful if the clutch drags, by grinding a V in the locking notch.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:35 pm:

Tony,

If you do not have aftermarket brakes, adding a neutral is dangerous and not recommended. Even with aftermarket brakes it is not a good idea.

I shift my Ruckstell to low with a little bit of pull from the engine. To high I have the engine not pulling or dragging. Works best for me.

I just rebuilt my Ruckstell and was surprised how bad the clearances were. One spacer disk had two deformed places where the pins, that normally hold it in position, were trying to push new holes in the disk. The gears and the clutch gear were completely worn out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 01:13 pm:

I agree that the neutral can be dangerous.
That is how the first President of the MTFCA was killed. He got into neutral going down a hill and the transmission brake became ineffective. That’s where the recommendation to have wheel brakes if the car has ANY auxiliary transmission ( or Babbitt spacers) originated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 08:16 pm:

Ruckstell axles, with or without a functional neutral, CAN get stuck into a neutral and leave the driver without a transmission brake. It is a sad fact that Walter Rosenthal was killed when the model T he had been working on stuck into neutral resulting in a loss of brakes.

This is not to scare anyone, just to drive home that fact that SOME effort needs to be made to protect yourself from an unlikely, but possible, set of circumstances.

Good advice includes outside brakes of several types. Whether they are actuated by the brake pedal or the hand brake lever, either way can be good. Methods vary from original stuff, to modern remakes of earlier ideas, to hydraulic and/or disc systems.
Personally, I like systems that at least look like original era stuff. But that is me.

I also don't like the common plan of inter-connecting the brake pedal to both the transmission drum and the rear drums. IF (HUGE big IF) all parts are properly adjusted, and ALWAYS properly maintained and adjusted, that can work. HOWEVER! I have known of three model Ts crashed because the owner/driver was enjoying his false sense of security when something went wrong and only then discovered the adjustments were not where he thought they were.

All CARS! Model T and otherwise, should have two independently operating brake systems. Both the pedal and the hand brake should be able to stop the car independently of the other.
And all model T drivers should practice stopping the car using the hand brake, just so they can know how to use it, and know it will work, when they suddenly discover that they need it.

The '26/'27 large drum rear wheel/emergency brake (just how Ford provided it) is adequate (and actually much better than adequate) if properly maintained.
The '09 through '25 rear wheel PARKING brake is NOT adequate how Ford provided it. They were originally cast iron shoes on steel drums. It would work fine to hold a parked car. But used to stop a moving car? They would only work for a very short while before shoe wear rendered them useless.
The '09 through '25 system CAN be made to be adequate. Two things are required. One, Proper LINED shoes!. These were available back in the days by many after-market suppliers, and are still reproduced today. CAST IRON lined shoes are good. Many other types, mostly from the era, things like steel inner bands, channel steel, a few other odd ideas, are NOT good. SOME steel channel shoes may be okay. ALL simple steel expanding bands are NOT any good. They are way too flimsy, and cannot apply adequate pressure to the drums.
Item number two needed. LINED cast iron shoes can be quite adequate IF they are properly adjusted. I have done this on a couple model Ts (usually brass era) where I did not want the appearance of later style outside brakes. IF they are properly fit and properly adjusted, they can lock both rear wheels. With a little practice, one can learn to control the action for maximum braking, without locking the wheels. The linings, due to small surface area, will wear and require replacement more often than nice outside brakes. However, replacing the shoes is a fairly easy job, and the care and maintenance is simple enough once it is understood.

Properly adjusted, the lined inside iron shoes can do the job quite well, and be a reasonable option.

But with a Ruckstell? DO SOMETHING good.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Friday, June 15, 2018 - 09:28 pm:

Wayne,

Very good suggestions. My dad would not let my buy a Model T in high school (1950's) because they were too dangerous. And in stock form they can be.

I just replaced the cams in my rear parking brakes (1915 touring car). The shoes are lined. I was surprised to find how much better the brakes are with the new cams.

I have disk brakes. Original appearance be damned. I can ride these brakes down a very steep mountain without fade, in high gear. And they work equally well in reverse. Dad was right, but he died before a lot of the improvements to the Model T brakes were available.

BTY, I have my brakes set up so that the transmission brake will be usable if the hydraulic brakes fail. I have new Kevlar linings.
I also just rebuilt my Ruckstell and have no babbitt in there and no neutral.


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