I just purchaced a 30 model A can someone tell me what type of oil I can use for the shocks? I need to rebuild them but till I can get the parts in a few weeks would like to try and put new oil in them
I've used 10W motorcycle strut oil on a friend's '31, and also in the '50 Buick we had with good results and a better ride.......... other's input will vary.
You should never use anything but glycerine based oil in Houdaille type lever shocks such as the ones on your Model A. Typical hydraulic jack oil is glycerine based. You can get it at most auto part stores.
If you mix motor oil with glycerine oil you get a clumpy mix sort of like overcooked oatmeal. You don't want to do that. Also, 10W oil would be way too thin, so I can't imagine where Bob got that idea.
so regular hydraulic jack oil should work then. How do I fill the shock when its on the car? Again this is only temp till I get the rebuild parts.
I've seen the oil for sale in Bratton's catalog. Snyders probably has it too.
My A had no shocks when I got it. I bought a few used ones, but none were fit to rebuild. I finally opted for repros. Two of them are leaking now (6-8 years old). I could never tell much difference in the ride, so I just leave them on for looks. Doubt I'll bother to replace them. Should have taken the advice of someone long ago. They told me to just fill the pie shaped chambers of the old ones with foam rubber. At least they wouldn't leak on my garage floor.
ATF is very close to jack oil and is from 8 to 12 weight. The oils will interchange and maybe thats where he got the idea. I have used ATF in hydraulic lifts for 30 years with no side effects. Scott
Properly rebuilt A shocks do work and do help the ride. I don't know how good the repro ones are. There have been different manufacturers of the repros over the years. There are many variations on the A shocks too. Some of the variations are only internal, quite a few of them are external.
I agree, DO NOT use motor oil!
ATF is mineral oil based, similar to motor oil. It cannot be mixed with glyceryn oil.
You have to take them off and lay them flat on the bench to fill them. If they are not full they don't do much. I would say you are wasting your time filling them until they are rebuilt and won't leak.
Jumping on the bandwagon again ?? Love your attacks.
I posted " I've used 10W motorcycle strut oil on a friend's '31, and also in the '50 Buick we had with good results and a better ride.......... other's input will vary.
Motorcycle strut oil IS shock absorber fluid .
The fill plug on an A is at the top. you can use a flexible spout squirt gun to fill them.
Royce & All:
Early senior moment:
Proper shock unit terminology is " Motorcycle Fork Oil" , not strut oil.
My apologies to all.
Still, had good ride with 10W motorcycle fork oil in the shocks, Model A and '50 Buick.
I looked at some MSDS sheets for motorcycle fork oil. It is mineral based, at least the Harley Davidson, Valvoline and Total brands that I looked at. Not compatible with the Houdaille glycerine oil. Bad choice for Model A shocks.
Note that some hydraulic jack oil is indeed red hydraulic fluid similar to Mil - H - 5606, also similar to automotive power steering and Automatic transmission fluid. Again, not suitable for Houdaille shocks.
Read the label, you need glycerine based oil.
If the glycerine based oil seeps out, after a while of use and topping off with mineral oil based fluid, really how much mixing of the two fluids would there be ?????
Ok took shock off and was full of oil but lever went back and forth with no resistance. Any ideas?
This discussion would be better at Fordbarn.com in their Model A section. Reason being, there have been several lively shock absorber discussions there in the last few weeks.
For the last 30-35 years, replacement shocks that looked original were available from M&S. Your car might have a set of those. If this is the case, those shocks are not refillable.
The bast shock out there, the Stipe reproduction, is no longer available. That one is an improved version of the original and it is serviceable.