Q&A with Kit Foster: December 11, 2014

Publish date:

Q. This axle had a Ford hubcap on it. The width from axle end to axle end is 53 inches and springs run perpendicular to it. The front end of the driveshaft is square. Can you tell me what it fits?

— Bob Farrell, Newport Center, Vt.

A. It looks like a Ruckstell two-speed axle, in the worm-gear configuration that was frequently fitted to Model TT trucks. The Model T track dimension, however, is 56 inches, so this unit may have been manufactured or modified for another application. That would also explain the longitudinal springs, as even TT trucks had a transverse rear spring. The other brackets I believe are torque arms, to limit axle twist under load.


Q. I also wanted a 6-volt jump starter (Les Warner question, July 3) and had a dead 12-volt jump starter, so I bought a 6-volt sealed lead acid (SLA) battery online and replaced the 12-volt with the 6-volt. The terminals on the 6-volt aren’t as substantial as those on the 12-volt so it may not be able to be hooked up too long before the terminals get hot.

— Ed Smith, via e-mail

A. That’s an interesting adaptation. I’m interested to know how well it works and wonder how you went about selecting the SLA battery you used. Based on a quick survey I’ve learned that many 12-volt jumper packs have batteries rated for about 18 ampere-hours, and weigh about 18 lbs. Since a 6-volt starter draws more current than a 12-volt unit, I would look for an SLA battery with about twice that capacity. From a bit of online “window shopping” I found a 36-ah SLA that weighs 15 lbs. and at 3-1/2 x 6-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches looks like it might fit in a standard jumper pack. A 58-ah model weighs some 22 lbs., and is only slightly larger. For the really cautious experimenter there’s a 200-ah SLA that weighs 68 lbs. and is the size of a car battery with automotive-size terminals. That pretty well negates the advantages of the jumper pack: portability and lightness. If that’s your preference, maybe you should heed the advice of reader Duane Hayes, who says you should just keep a heavy duty 6-volt battery and some jumper cables in your car.

I wonder, too, if you had to make any modifications to the charging circuit, or whether the 12-volt charger works well enough. Several other readers would like to have a 6-volt jumper, so it appears there’s at least a niche market, but such a device does need to be engineered to be safe and reliable.


Q. In response to Mark Axen’s question in the Oct. 30 edition regarding a one-barrel carburetor for his Chevy 216 engine, he need look no further than the pages of your publication for one of your long-running advertisers, Daytona Parts Company, page 25 of that very same issue. I own a 1964 Chevy G-10 Van with a 194-cid inline six-cylinder engine, similar to his 216 engine. After trying to salvage several old Carter YF carbs, which, unless you find a low mileage or new old stock core to work with, do not perform well even after rebuilding. A 50-year-old carb is a 50-year-old carb! I purchased the only newly made one-barrel carburetor I could find on the market today from Daytona. It’s cast from modified Holley molds and is updated with an adjustable main jet feature. It fits any single-barrel carb application and is resistant to modern ethanol fuels. I highly recommend that he and any others needing single-barrel carbs look into this company’s products. It seems all the major manufacturers have discontinued making one-barrel carbs these days.

— Jeff Taylor, Scotch Plains, N.J.

A. Thank you for this bit of wisdom. Another reader cautioned Mr. Axen about hopping up his Chevy with a new carburetor. It’s good to know, however, that a modern equivalent is available for those who simply want a carburetor that works better.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

Got Old Cars?

If you don't subscribe to Old Cars Weekly magazine, you're missing out on the only weekly magazine in the car hobby. And we'll deliver 50 issues a year right to your mailbox every week for less than the price of a oil change! Click here to see what you're missing with Old Cars Weekly!

More Resources for Car Collectors:

Where to Bid