Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

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Original Smith
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Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Original Smith » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:20 am

Wanted: NOS Ruckstell fiber thrust spacers. These look like the steel Ford spacers, but are .105" thick, and are slightly a larger diameter.


rgould1910
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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by rgould1910 » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:27 am

Larry, I suspect Ruckstell used fibre washers of varying thicknesses to account for manufacturing tolerances. Or perhaps the washers were not made to exacting standards.. The one I provided you with the Ruckstell years ago was .010 thinner.
Last edited by rgould1910 on Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by rgould1910 » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:31 am

If you're considering making some consider using the red fibre used in the 2 cylinder Ford transmissions.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Dropacent » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:01 pm

I agree with Richard. I’ve got some red fiber left, Larry. Just yell. IMHO , that is a MAJOR error in the ruckstell rebuilding manual to use a steel washer there , of the wrong size to boot.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by It's Bill » Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:10 pm

WHAT??? Elaborate please! Recently rebuilt, Bill

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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Mark Chaffin » Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:17 pm

I've done many that way over the years and all are still going strong. Kinda like replacing the babbit thrust washer and using a bronze instead. How many fiber thrust washers have you found intacked when disassembling an original Ruckstell? To date, I've only found three and they were all well worn. To each his own.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Dropacent » Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:42 pm

Mark, my feeling is with a well rebuilt axle, it’ll never likely be a problem. There is the rub, though. It takes a big effort to properly set up an axle. Good old fiber washer of the right size for me.

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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Mark Chaffin » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:04 pm

I'm sure the fiber will give good service. Either practice will likely give many years of service. I was taught to use the metal spacer and it has proven to work well.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Allan » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:45 pm

With wear on the diff housings, wear on the axle gear thrust faces and on the ends of the axles, can a new fibre washer of standard dimensions ever achieve the best result? I replace all the worn fibre washers with a custom made brass/bronze one made from a AU$1.00 coin. There's enough thickness in these to be able to dress them down to the optimal thickness required to make an assembly where axle end float is history.

Allan from down under.

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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by RajoRacer » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:24 pm

I believe the above discussion is in regards to the large O.D. washer inside the Ruckstell bell housing - not between the axles.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Original Smith » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:12 am

Correct Steve: My belief is Mr. Ruckstell knew what he was doing, and had a reason for doing it! I'm not trying to rewrite the book. I just want the correct parts! I have the fiber washers in two of my cars, and haven't had a problem.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Original Smith » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:16 am

Richard: What is the thickness of the material you have? I believe .105" to be correct. The O.D is slightly larger than the Ford Steel washers. The I.D. is the same.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by rgould1910 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:47 am

Larry I sold most of my red fibre material to the 2 cylinder Ford guys. It came from a stash found in Australia by an early Ford guy some years ago. Tim got some as did others that frequent this forum. If you're interested contact me by phone and I'll investigate further. You probably have my phone number. If not Kim surely does.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Allan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:43 am

Thanks Steve, I went back and re-read the original post and found I was at cross purposes.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Dropacent » Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:09 am

Larry, I have a bit of Richard’s stuff still here. I believe that’s .250. I also bought a huge sheet of .125 from Eugene Krystoffy, the alphabet transmission guy. I still have a lot of that, and believe that’s what I used on my rebuild.

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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by CudaMan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:46 am

If someone decides to make a run of Ruckstell fiber spacers, I would like to get on the list for a couple, thanks! :)
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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by rgould1910 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:09 pm

Larry there were two thicknesses of the red fiber I had. The stuff I had saved for myself I gave away for the most part when I unloaded my early Ford stuff. I measured the pieces I still have and they are .060 and .110 inches thick respectively. Thanks for catching the decimal point error, Allan. 😀
Last edited by rgould1910 on Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by It's Bill » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:22 pm

Still confused, where does fiber outperform the specified materials in the Chaffin book? Puzzled, Bill

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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by RajoRacer » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:32 pm

I don't believe one outperforms the other - the steel washer is readily available & the fiber one is not.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Allan » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:08 pm

Rihard, you might like to move one of your decimal points.
Allan from down under.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Original Smith » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:56 am

It's not a matter of one out performing the other! The original design used a fiber thrust washer for a reason. It's not up to us to re engineer the part!

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Mark Chaffin
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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Mark Chaffin » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:31 pm

Kinda like replacing the babbit thrust washers with bronze eh!


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Dropacent » Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:01 pm

I have enough I can share. Cut your own circles. Let me know size, as I forget. Tmorsher@icloud.com .
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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by henryford2 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:31 pm

Mark-touche!
Always looking for vintage Whizzer engines, bikes & parts. What do you have?


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by rgould1910 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:11 pm

An interesting note/question. Didnt Ford use bronze thrust washers in early 1916 cars? I had an original 16 with them. Also had an original 1917 car that used babbitt and an original 1919 car that used babbitt. None appeared to have been molested.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Allan » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:39 am

Larry, have you a handle on the reason fibre was used in the design. Enquiring minds wold like to know the benefits.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Ruckstell Fiber Spacers

Post by Original Smith » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:57 pm

I just measured the only original I have, which is used. It is 3 7/8" O.D. The steel Ford washers are 3 3/4". There is a slight ring around the edge, which shows no wear, and that's where I come up with the .105" measurement. I don't know what they allowed for clearance originally. I have a couple of original Ruckstell installation pamphlets, but don't care to go looking for them! Something in my mind tells me they originally allowed .005".

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