P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

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Dan B
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P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Sat May 09, 2020 8:58 pm

I am following the MTFCA Ruckstell book. It stops short of providing the recommended wear limits for the P146 sliding clutch gear, P145 locking thrust plate and P147 locking notch plate. The functional shift lock test seems straight forward but I do not want to reinstall marginal parts.

What should I look for to determine whether these parts are reusable?
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Mark Gregush
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun May 10, 2020 11:49 am

While I think the book is great, I however do think it lacks on somethings, wear is one. I does show some extrema wear but no real specks on what is allowable.
I too ran into this problem as a novice trying to figure if the parts I was working with were past service or ok to use. It became a judgement call on my part. I know the book can't cover every example, but sometimes it leaves a novice mechanic scratching their head not knowing for sure.
In this case, the sliding clutch looks to have the tooths hardened surface breaking down were it slides into the plate. Without seeing the teeth on the plate don't know how worn it is. While the plate can be turned around, how much play between the teeth in both parts is ok, sorry don't know.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by TonyB » Sun May 10, 2020 12:09 pm

I make a judgement based on the damage to the teeth and how much marking there is on the teeth. If there is minor marking then I reuse. If the marking is severe and the tooth width is reduced, then I replace.
On a customers car I would replace the gear shown in the picture.
Tony Bowker
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Sun May 10, 2020 4:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I've attached some clearer pictures. I already plan to replace the P139 bronze thrust plate. I think I've read every post that talks about it and from what I can gather, this is the most important piece for properly setting up the pinion/ring gear mesh and they are nearly always bent. I do not have a dial indicator to measure run out so I put my plate bearing side down on a flat surface and slid a socket underneath it at the lowest point. I shimmed up the socket until it was just barely scraping the underside when I rotated the plate. When I did this the gap went from nothing to more than 1/16". I understand that you can try to straighten them but I think I'll be just chasing my tail to get it perfectly flat again. Plus the underside looks fairly worn. So I think I’ll buy a new one. The sliding clutch gear and locking plate pictured, I wasn’t so sure about. Its easy just to replace everything but I do not like giving up on good used parts.

This Ruckstell came out of a running driving car. It always shifted nice and gave no problems. This tear down all started because of a driveshaft bearing failure.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Sun May 10, 2020 4:19 pm

TonyB wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:09 pm
I make a judgement based on the damage to the teeth and how much marking there is on the teeth. If there is minor marking then I reuse. If the marking is severe and the tooth width is reduced, then I replace.
On a customers car I would replace the gear shown in the picture.

Thank you Sir.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Mon May 11, 2020 10:25 am

I just realized that I have the 1988 1st edition of the Ruckstell book and see that it was revised in 2002.

I have the newer book on order, but can anyone verify whether this graphic below, which shows up in multiple Ruckstell threads on this forum, is from the new edition? If so this might fill in some of gaps and questions I have.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon May 11, 2020 2:58 pm

Dan, that’s the same picture in my 2010 version.
I honestly believe your sliding gear is usable.
However the bronze plate and the P-145 plate is not....
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon May 11, 2020 3:39 pm

Ruckstells are not my forte and I have little experience with them. I do, however have experience with gears and wear patterns and meshing.

Looking at the sliding gear, it appears to me that the face of the teeth are worn unevenly, in what can be described, or as I will describe "a curve". I'm sure there is a proper term for it, but I don't know...As it meshed, the more robust portion of the tooth profile it was meshing with held up longer, and the less robust tip, yielded first during wear. As it wore unevenly, it imparted an uneven wear pattern on the sliding gear.

I agree for longevity, that the gears deemed by others to be replaced, should be replaced. Having said that, since $$ will have been spent on those gears, now the sliding gear will immediately try to engage at it's root, first, where the gear wear is the least, immediately wiping out the tip or addendum, of it's matching gear, during it's movement to coupling up. I would not personally want that to be happening to my $$ new gear, so would spend the extra $$ on the sliding gear, too.

Now you can recoupe some of your $$ by selling all of the old parts to folks who only take the grandkids to ice cream once a gear and have a steep driveway and a car trailer that they need Ruckstell for. My time has value. Others just like a project (and I do too, but still place a value on my time). To take the time to rebuild this thing and not replace worn parts is not part of my psyche. So, now you know where the advice and opinion comes from.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by StanHowe » Mon May 11, 2020 4:44 pm

Here is my take on it, take it for what it's worth.

I've rebuilt or assembled new about 70 Ruckstells. I used to have a web site dedicated to them but I took it down because I was spending too much time on the phone. That said, here is my take.

Replace the bronze thrust plate and the thrust washer. Put in a new bearing. That will make sure everything is in place correctly as the bearing and the bronze plate locate every other piece either directly or indirectly. Nothing is more important than that Bronze plate being correct. Yes, they do bend and are hard to get straight. The bearing is a 7212 bcby angular thrust. They are on ebay all the time for $25 - $100. Do it. A thrust plate with the wear yours has will ruin a new bronze thrust plate in a short time.

If you have the money, replace the sliding gear. I would probably use it in an "OK" rebuild, not if I was doing a premium. If I was building one for myself, I'd replace it just because.

Your shift lock probably has more to do with it staying in gear than the sliding clutch gear does.

If you use it, take your flap disk in your angle grinder and chamfer the end of the gear where it slides into the planetary drive gear behind the bronze plate so that it shifts more easily. If after you get it together you don't think it shifts like it should it is a half hour job to change it. Just pop the right side housing off, pull that with the lock plate, put a new one on and go drive it.

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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Tue May 12, 2020 5:34 pm

Stan,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. Most of what I know (as little as that may be) comes from reading old forum posts by you and Glen over the years helping out others. I think I’ve read them all and there’s A LOT. So you continue to help people like me even if it’s not in the ways you used to.

Based on the great points raised above by you and others, I’ll be adding the sliding clutch gear, thrust plate and locking plate to my growing parts order which already includes the bronze plate and bearing. Thanks to the helpful advice from Scott Conger, who has been putting up with my indecision over replacing other parts, I’ve already invested in a new set of gears, axles, etc. I’m in my mid-30’s and I want this rebuild to be right so that I have years of enjoyment and reliability.

The best part about this whole thing has been learning how it actually works which gives a whole different perspective I didn’t have before when driving and shifting it. Really ingenious and amazing that the design will put up with as much wear as it does.





Dan
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by StanHowe » Wed May 13, 2020 1:43 pm

Thanks. There is a lot of expertise out there. I tore my first Ruckstell down close to 45 years ago under the tutelage of Lewis Rector -- the chief restorer and mechanic for the Towe Ford Collection -- who had gone to work in a Ford garage as a mechanic when he was 12 years old in 1915. He showed me how it worked, talked about Glover Ruckstell, picked out the best parts and showed me why he didn't like others. It was a pretty good education on them. Later I started buying, rebuilding and selling them and did for probably 15 or more years. There were a lot of them in Montana at that time and not too expensive. Also not much demand until the Internet came along. Chaffin's did a real service to the hobby by re-popping parts for them. Not many cars this old where you can buy accurately made reasonably priced parts.

I am rebuilding one for my 27 coupe right now. It is laying on a table getting rusty since I spent a Sunday tearing it down, washing it all up nice and clean and leaving it there to dry and get rained on that night. It's just surface rust. BTW, I bead blast parts. It shows up the cracks and chips you might not notice otherwise. I can't see that it destroys the surface enough to bother anything.

I was going to post a couple more pics but I'm out of time and can't get it to work --- like usual.
File0009821.JPG
File0009731.JPG
File0007366.JPG


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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by StanHowe » Wed May 13, 2020 1:47 pm

I always replace the bolts, too. All of them. The ring gear bolts are only about fifty bucks. Be SURE to chase the threads in the ring gear with a good tap before you install the bolts. I also replace the center differential bolts with grade 8 just because I'm fussy about things. New castle nuts are cheap. Buy a box from MSC, they are only 20@ apiece or something like that. Don't buy the cheap crap ones from ebay or wherever, they will strip.

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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Dan B » Thu May 14, 2020 2:10 pm

Looks good! Your point about being able to purchase excellent reproduction parts at a reasonable price is something I thought about as I was taking this axle apart. It could very easily be the opposite situation save for a few individuals.

Speaking of new parts, unfortunately I am out of luck on getting a new sliding clutch gear. I called around to all the suppliers and apparently this part has been in short supply for a while with no guesses as to when new ones will be coming in from the manufacturer. I’m not complaining! I still consider myself lucky that I was able to get all of the other aforementioned parts and that I have an original one that is serviceable. I need to move on with life so the “OK” P146 will be going back in and I’ll buy a new one to keep in stock once they are available again.

I also bought new ring gear bolts as I figure it’s cheap insurance. I replaced them about 20 years ago when we took apart the axle to replace the one babbit thrust washer. But I know we didn’t torque use a torque wrench (just made them tight) so I have no idea how much the threads were stretched beyond the elastic region. I play guitar but am not able to tune ring gear bolts by ear (grin).
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by StanHowe » Thu May 14, 2020 3:22 pm

Sure you are.
Get a good American made 1/2 wrench. I have a 9 inch one I've had for 50 years or more.

Open end - box end. Tighten the bolts tight and then go around them with the "hammer," a good piece of strap iron about 3/8 x 2 x 12.
Hit the edge of the wrench open end with the strap iron until they all sing the same song.
Wire em up, you're done.
That's the way the old guys did it.


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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Norman Kling » Thu May 14, 2020 4:31 pm

I know that some are on a budget and want to spend the least on parts, however, while the parts are available, it never hurts to replace any which show wear. Then it will last a lot longer and you will not need to pull down again for a long time, maybe last as long as you or I do. I take this same course when working on an engine or transmission.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu May 14, 2020 5:30 pm

Stan

I'm betting that Lewis would approve.
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Re: P146 Ruckstell Wear Criteria

Post by StanHowe » Fri May 15, 2020 12:42 am

I wish I had Lewis's 1/2 wrench. He gave me a lot of things when he moved to Sacramento and I bought his Pasco wheels
He was a grand guy.

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