The Ruckstell Two Speed Axle Part 1

 

The Ruckstell Axle was one of the few Ford factory approved accessories for the Model T. Indeed, it is every bit as useful today as it was when introduced in the time just after WWI by Hall Scott. Without a doubt it is the single most useful accessory ever devised for the Model T Ford. Many books and magazine articles have been written about the Ruckstell Axle. No question the best of these books is the one written by Glen Chaffin of Corona, California. It is the “bible” of Ruckstell repair.

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Installing A Replacement Top On Your Model T

The old top on our 1915 touring had seen better days. Installed around 1970, it was made using Colonial Grain material, which is correct for a Model A Ford, but not a Model T. Whoever installed it was none too careful setting the bows up properly. The #2 bows leaned to the rear, yet didn’t match each other. Because the #2 bows were leaning to the rear the forward bow barely came forward of the windshield, giving an awkward appearance. The top leaned to one side in the front for some reason. Many of the tacks would not stay in place.

When Classtique had a replacement 1915 – 1916 top kit on special for 1/2 price we pounced on it. That was in 2012.  We got the new top out of the box when it came, checked that it was all there, and packed it away carefully for the day when we had time to install it.

The new top was made from proper Model T material, and it had a really important although non – original feature. The rear curtain rolls up, which is a blessing well appreciated on 100 + degree days here in Texas. With cold fall and winter weather we are not driving the T’s as much so we have time to do a big project or two. This month is the time for the new top on the ’15.

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Repairing the T932B Steering Bracket – How to Replace Bushings

Our 1917 torpedo has developed a bad habit. It likes to shimmy, especially while slowing to a stop for a stop sign. Once it is above 10 MPH, no problem, but every time we slow down it happens, the dreaded death wobble. It begins about 10 MPH, the steering wheel flopping back and forth slowly and gets worse as you slow down. This happened only occasionally until the recent 2017 Texas T Party, where it began to do it nearly every time we slowed down. Not good!

One night at the YO Ranch Hotel a friend helped us inspect the steering components to look for looseness caused by wear. While Tim rocked the steering wheel left to right without moving the front wheels, I was under the car looking to see what moved.  The only place that was moving was the bottom of the steering column where it goes through the frame bracket. Apparently the bushings in the steering bracket are completely worn out. We finished the tour carefully, slowing down well before stop signs, and never close to another car.

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Front Wheel Hubs and Removing a Stuck Wheel Bearing Race

Restoring a Model T Ford often is an exercise in determining what parts are correct for a certain year, locating those correct parts, and then restoring said part so that it can become part of the finished product. Wheel hubs are on display right in the center of each wheel. Anyone who has knowledge of what is correct will notice a glaring error in this immediately. It is embarrassing to see a restored “Stynoski winning” 1909 two lever with 1918 or later wheel hubs. It’s scary that a big error like that would elude the judges eyes. Note – the car above has the correct hubs. Owner: Milt Roorda

Above, the earliest Model T’s from 1909 – June 1910 had  small 5 1/2″ diameter hubs. Note the short area inboard of the hubcap which is typical of 1909 – 1917.

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