Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

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ChrisB
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Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:58 pm

Mounted in front of rear axle spool.

Side view. Piece outlined against muffler is how unit is shifted, not sure which way is which.
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Close up of P in a triangle
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Top view
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:03 pm

Pretty sure it’s a jumbo planatar. It appears that it may have been locked into one position.

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:08 pm

Tim, why do you think it is locked into one position?
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:18 pm

I don’t see the shifter mechanism on it. If it’s a jumbo, I don’t think that flat plate should be there. I have a complete one here. If you need better views to decide what you have there, just ask.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:19 pm

This looks just like what I have.

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/61396.html

Some text from that thread

The unit was invented by Charles E. Starr. Mine is known as the Starr Planator. They were later known as the Jumbo Planator. They were built by the Price-Hollister Company of Rockford, Illinois.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:20 pm

I see it now, Chris. I’ve not seen a shifter mechanism like that before.

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:23 pm

I'm pretty sure it is in direct at the moment as I have been driving the car without a shifter for a couple of years now.

I will fiddle with it tomorrow to see if I can shift it.

I have purchased a left hand Ruckstell shifter from one of the vendors but have not installed it yet.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:24 pm

Think I remember now there was an early version and a later version or company change, or a combination therof. I love mine ! Came to me with a damaged part inside but all fixed now, and was a fun project. I still have mine all apart, if you need to see a close up of the workings. Mine has a pretty positive shifting mech, so maybe it was an improvement.


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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dallas Landers » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:28 pm

Geez, now I want one! :D pretty cool.

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by TonyB » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:49 pm

It preforms a similar function to the Ruckstell but the low ratio is fixed at 50% of the input shaft. The Ruckstell is geared to about 60%. It is remarkable because of its simplicity, it uses mainly Ford gears which of course were quite inexpensive. I think one is a special gear, but similar to the gear on the inner end of the axle shaft. There is one special gear, the sliding gear.
I had one on the Town Car, it worked quite well.
I have repaired several of these auxiliary gear boxes for customers and have both a new and repaired sliding gear available if anyone is interested.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Jeff Hood » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:08 am

Looks like there is a name plate riveted to the cover. Maybe some careful cleaning will reveal a name and some numbers.


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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by StanHowe » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:36 am

It looks to my like a Starr Planator. They later sold out to Jumbo. I have three of them here. They are all slightly different. Two are for Jim Burns in Texas, the third is a parts one for those. The shifter was a problem in the Starr. Jumbo made at least two different designs.

Without looking up some notes and doing some searching, here is how I remember the story behind these.
Starr also invented the basic Ruckstell. He had it at a trade show and Glover Ruckstell saw it. He bought the rights to it, redesigned it and made it into the Ruckstell. A couple years later, Starr came up with this design using mostly Ford gears and a very simple shift mechanism. Ruckstell sued him, dragged it out in court and eventually the court sided with Starr. But Ruckstell had stalled him and kept him out of the business to some extent, the other side of it was Starr got free publicity he could not have bought and made hay with some magazines that did stories on him and his sued with Ruckstell. The Starr was also quite a bit cheaper than the Ruckstell. He sold quite a few but not a lot. He did, I think, get some money from the lawsuit but not much. So he sold his design to Jumbo who fixed the problems with the shifter and put it on the market about the time the Model T was on the way out, roads were getting better and the competition for accessory transmissions was brutal.


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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:14 am

If it is locked into direct drive, that usually means something within is worn out. So before trying to shift into low range, it would be a good idea to take it apart and look inside and if you can find parts to repair fix it first. Unfortunately, if you decide to remove it permanently, you will need to replace the drive shaft and tubing.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:06 pm

How far should the shift rod move from high to low?

I tried moving it by hand today. Out (towards the front of the car) seems to be high which is where it has been for the last couple of years.

It wants to move in (towards the back of the car) but I can't get it to go very far.

I have a left hand shifter but I can't use that until I determine where the arm needs to go and weld it on.
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pictures of innards

Post by Dropacent » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:06 pm

Chris, these are the requested pics of the insides. Keep in mind, these are from a jumbo planatar , and as I’ve never seen inside the version you have, I have no idea if they will be any help. Mine has a heavy spring loaded ball detent that should keep it in one gear or another. I have searched for awhile with no success for what the actual shifter looked like. The early ad copy is sometimes notoriously inaccurate. This unit is either in one gear ratio or another, there is no neutral, unless something is seriously damaged . I was able to find a great early shifter that has a very positive lock in one direction or another. I feel this will be a good insurance instead of just relying on the heavy ball detent. In one picture , I’m pointing to the part that was damaged in mine. The throw is somewhere around 3/4” , from one ratio to the other. Just a guess but likely if the rest of yours is the same, the throw should be about the same. My opinion Is that the planatar was a well built unit, and the big selling point is that it used primarily ford gears, which are easy to find. Also, much less work to install than a Ruckstell is. I’m surprised there are not more around.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by StanHowe » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:28 pm

The Starr Plantor shifter is different. It is a flat piece of steel with two notches in it that moves a shift fork to engage one or the other of the gears. There are at least two and I think three different versions of that shifter, which must have been a weak spot in the design. The ones I have seen have all been brazed at least once to build them up.

Chris, if you are ever coming through Helena, you are welcome to stop and go through all the stuff I have. I have two that I have been going to rebuild for years, one for parts and not much else.

I have never seen the original shift lever and rod setup. As Dan said, the drawings are notoriously unreliable.


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shifter mech

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:17 am

Chris, if you look closely, this is what your unit shifter mech looks like . If you can believe the advert, It was still being offered by jumbo in this earlier shifter version.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:26 pm

Tim, yes the picture above looks like the top of my unit, 8 bolts on mine, only seven show on the picture but I think they just missed one.

I got mine stuck in both gears somehow and it would not move off the hoist. Pulled the shift bar out and got it so it would move.

Now will have to take apart and see what I have.

Thanks for the pictures.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:10 am

It will need to turn up to 180degrees to engage. If you can leave it in gear and revolve one rear wheel, it should change gear ratio. Good luck

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:26 pm

Have come back to this and have removed the rear axle from the car.

It is a Planator mfd by Starr Transmission Co. There was a piece of tape that was painted over covering the data plate!
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:32 pm

There is a detent between the 2 notches, for neutral ????

There is a lot of gunk in there and the shift rod has paint on the inside. Cleaning it up will certainly make it shift better.

Does anyone know if the car needs to be moving to shift?
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dan McEachern » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:03 pm

Chris- hoping you have accessory rear brakes of some sort on the car. I say this regardless if you plan on shifiting it or not! probably goes without saying, but. . . . .

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by DanTreace » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:07 pm

Post from 2008 with view of shift rod attached. Owner claimed his got into neutral unless he held the shift forward. Shift bar in unit in out position is normal gear, in position is low range. At least think so, as the lever in the cab is pulled back the rod would pull the shift bar out, :?


Would think you shift with moving axle parts like a Ruckstell.


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Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Dropacent » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:46 pm

Thanks for the follow up. Keep them coming. From the looks of things, the later redesign ( Jumbo ) eliminated the neutral position.

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:14 pm

Dan, yes put the AC reproduction brakes on before I toured with the car.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by ChrisB » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:09 pm

A little more progress, pictures of the shifter. It was pretty gummed up needs a good greasing, think that was part of the problem with it not shifting.

Does anyone have a picture of the same shifter? Not sure that the brass part should be a half circle?
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission

Post by Liberty Garage » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:06 pm

Chris: Attached are pictures of the Jumbo shift lever at the hogshead. As you can see it has 2 definite notches to keep the transmission in gear. I don't know for sure if the Planator used the same shifter .
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:13 pm

More progress on the disassembly, but problems found (as usual).

The pinion bearing sleeve is a slip fit on the end of the driveshaft and a little piece fell out when I removed the pinion gear.
You can see the damage on the end of the sleeve.

Also I believe someone notched the woodruff key which I believe is incorrect.

... and solid roller bearing.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:38 pm

I believe that "notch" is from movement, Chris.


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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by Russ T Fender » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:14 pm

I have one on my '27. It has neutral. I have been told that it should not but it sure is nice to have a true neutral and since it shifts fine and has never slipped out of gear I have to believe it was intended. Perhaps earlier versions did not. Planetor low is great for loading into the trailer or maneuvering in tight places and Planetor high is great for climbing hills or running down bumpy dirt roads with the throttle closed!


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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:46 pm

Steve

this is well beyond my knowledge/expertise, but long study of that picture leads me to believe you are correct in thinking it does not belong there. I would bet there should be a "pause" there...a flat spot on the shifter for that period of movement. It just doesn't look right...from lack of symetry or anything else.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by Russ T Fender » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:06 pm

It has been a while since I had mine apart but it also has the detent in the middle. I can easily shift mine with the car standing still. In fact that is usually what I do when pulling into the garage or the trailer.

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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:23 pm

I can't see how mine would shift standing still, the 2 dogs in the sliding collar have to fit into the notches in the case.
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Re: Help ID this auxillary transmission - Planator

Post by ChrisB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:29 pm

A few more pics of the guts.
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