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Old 07-20-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
Terry,NJ
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Default Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

We've probably been over this many times before, but here goes anyway!
I took the coupe up to Jacktown yesterday. (about 45 miles each way) and I was ready to sell it when I got back. It was horrible! Longer rides give you more of an idea what's wrong than just running around town. I noticed that the car was "bouncing" or occillating up and down on areas of pavment I knew to be smooth. What Gives? So when I got home, I ripped it down and checked the balance of the front wheels. OK. No problems! Checked the wheel Bearings, again, OK. Found some looseness in the left King Pin, locking or wedge bolt. Homemade wheel indicator gave a reading of about 1/16" to 3/32" of runout it the tire's tread and 1/16" at the rims edge. Then I spied the shocks! The original Houdaille shocks! They didn't leak anything! How could they? All along, I've been telling myself , ahh they're OK, They don't leak! So I decided to Find out just how good they were. They were dry! I filled them up and took a ride. Much improved! But now they leak! Any tips or pointers for fixing these would be appreciated. BTW, They leak out the bottom, not the shaft.
Terry
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

If it is leaking between the cover and the body there is a o-ring, perhaps the locking ring isn't tight enough to compress the ring ---perhaps the oring is damaged, or to hard to conform to the threads ---if you clean all the oil off there is a sealer called "the right stuff" it will form a seal ---the key is NO oil
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
Terry,NJ
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

Thanks Kurt! Would it be necessary to take the shock apart? Or just drip the "Right stuff" into the threads? Or would Braton's kit #24910 do it? Gee I hate this! Another problem, At Jacktown, some of the gawkers had owned mod. A s and one pointed out that the spring shackle was touching the axle. What's the cure for this? A new spring?
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

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Originally Posted by Terry,NJ View Post
Thanks Kurt! Would it be necessary to take the shock apart? Or just drip the "Right stuff" into the threads? Or would Braton's kit #24910 do it? Gee I hate this! Another problem, At Jacktown, some of the gawkers had owned mod. A s and one pointed out that the spring shackle was touching the axle. What's the cure for this? A new spring?
Terry
when the spring touches the axle the shackle bushing or the shackles themselves are worn out. new shackles and bushings would cure it.

it can get extremely worn and wear right thru the spring eye, then of course a new spring is in order.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:34 PM   #5
Terry,NJ
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

Yeah S.S., I went out and cleaned the grease and crud off the spring knuckle/eye and the off center sag became visible. I'm ordering new bushings and other stuff from Bratton's tomorrow. If it hadn't been for that guy up at Jacktown yesterday, I wouldn't have caught this. I can see how this condition could affect the ride.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding,

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Originally Posted by SeaSlugs View Post
when the spring touches the axle the shackle bushing or the shackles themselves are worn out. new shackles and bushings would cure it.

it can get extremely worn and wear right thru the spring eye, then of course a new spring is in order.
This is not correct or accurate . The most probable cause is that the front spring is worn. Yes, the shackle bushings may be worn as well but most of the time when the spring is on the axle it is because of the spring itself.
If you have a good front spring, the front axle should be partially to almost ( and sometimes ) fully visible underneath the radiator apron visibly from the front of the car. I would never waste the time of replacing front spring shackles without replacing the spring, as it is most likely fatigued as well .

Do yourself a favor and pull the front axle and do the necessary service to it all
. Check spring perch to axle nuts/tightness, spring service , radius cap service , backing plate and brake attention if required. Also an excellent time to tend to the shocks if need be. Front axle out in 30 minutes or less and your on you way to a better driving car .
Larry Shepard

Last edited by larrys40; 07-21-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

When I bought my Model A, the front spring was touching the axle. I replaced the shackles and bushings and every thing looks right now. It did have aftermarket rubber insert shackles.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

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Originally Posted by Terry,NJ View Post
I filled them up and took a ride. Much improved! But now they leak! Any tips or pointers for fixing these would be appreciated. BTW, They leak out the bottom, not the shaft.
Terry
As Kurt mentioned, the locking ring may have come loose and the o-ring is not compressed.

Here is some info on shocks, by the way Les Pearson has a book out on the shocks,
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Rebuilding Houdaille Shocks.pdf (300.0 KB, 79 views)
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:56 AM   #9
Terry,NJ
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Default Re: Shocks, Rebuilding, how?

Thanks to you all for your help! An up date! It seems that the leaks were not as bad as first assumed. I put a clean paper towel under each shock when I went for supper and yesterday morning, there was a spot about the size of a silver dollar. I estimate about5-10 drops in about 15 hours. Not acceptable but not the flash flood that I first perceived. I have ordered the shock kit from Brattons and we'll see how that works out.
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