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Old 04-15-2019, 09:09 PM   #1
whirnot
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Default A shocking Saga....

My Roadster had no shocks for years and frankly, unless I hit some washboard I didn't miss them. But in order to make them right, I decided to buy some.


I found a set of shocks and the two front arms here on Fordbarn, being sold by a very well known and respected Model A restorer that is no longer with us. He told me they were good, but needed rebuilt. So I had him send them directly to a very well known and respected Shock rebuilder in Colorado.


I was in no hurry and told him so, but because of some problems he had with his shop, I didn't get them back for well over a year. He is also no longer with us.


So, then I moved to Oregon, and was busy, so they sat on the shelf for about 2 more years. Last summer I decided it was time to get them on. There was a Model A parts supplier at an event so I bought the needed two rear arms, and link sets from them. I am ready! I thought.....


When I got home and unwrapped my parts, I realized the arms didn't match. Dimensionally they appeared to be the same, but it was obvious they were from different manufacturers. And all of the link kits were missing their spacers. I called the supplier several times and got no answer, as well as sending a message through their website.


After a few days I called Bert's and got them sent out that day, Lesson learned. The other supplier didn't respond by email for over a month!


So Finally I am ready...... During the winter, while doing a complete Brake job, I finally got those little suckers on. Spring comes slowly in Central Oregon and I live on a dirt road, so they only have about 3 miles on them so far.
And three out of four are leaking like crazy!!!!! Leaving little puddles.


I would like to just chuck them in the trash and start over but I have quite a bit of money in them. Is there something that would cause this leak that a good rebuilder would miss 3 out of 4 times? Is there anything I can do short of sending them to another rebuilder? I do all my own work and am not afraid of digging in but if there isn't going to be anything a normal mechanic can find I don't want to waste my time............
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:43 PM   #2
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

The rotor seal is probably the source of the leak, or the threads of the cover.
Should be a thread covering this problem. I recall a discussion on what can be used to refill a shock recently.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:31 PM   #3
J Franklin
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

Clean them up well and watch them to see where the leak originates. give us that info and maybe there is a fix.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:39 AM   #4
whirnot
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

No cleaning necessary as I said, they have only gone a few miles. One, I can't tell, it may be empty by now. The other two appear to be leaking around the shaft. The cover had oil on the outboard side.
It just seems strange that this happens with a fresh rebuild. I thought maybe there was something I should have done at installation.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:27 PM   #5
art ebeling
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

I also had the same shock rebuilder with the same year wait only to have all four leak out before the car was rolled out of the garage.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

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Wonder what the other rebuilder uses.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

If going to have them rebuilt/repaired John Holland is the man, guarantees his work.
Willing to talk with you, and talk about rebuilding. Had him do mine, work perfect, no regrets.


John Holland (330-483-3896) (Ohio), no email or text
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

Quote:
Originally Posted by art ebeling View Post
I also had the same shock rebuilder with the same year wait only to have all four leak out before the car was rolled out of the garage.

Well, maybe that explains it. He did have a good reputation though......
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

I'm keen to see what the inside of one of these looks like.

That is, what does a well known and respected shock rebuilder do?
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

Quote:
Originally Posted by whirnot View Post
..... When I got home and unwrapped my parts, I realized the arms didn't match. Dimensionally they appeared to be the same, but it was obvious they were from different manufacturers. ............
Just wondering if the 28/29 and 30/31 shock arms differ? Might that be an issue?

Sorry for your disappointment.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

The shock arms 28 through 31 are pretty much the as much as off set and length. their appearance is the only different s. one thing to watch out for is the AA front shock arms they are longer then the A fronts and shorter then the A rears,
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:04 AM   #12
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

If shocks have even minimal shaft wear, they will leak even with new seals. Reading articles of "back when", I had read that new shocks even leaked on the dealer floor.
What a lot of builders do is clean up, clean pressure holes, new seals and then use a very high viscosity jack oil (or similar) to gain pressure. Builders have pretty much passed thru this earth and gone to Greater Reward. John Holland does a great job.


As I recall (used to build shocks), there are 13 wear surfaces inside a shock body. If one surface has wear, all surfaces have wear as the unit is inter-dependent as a working unit.

I quit building shocks because only about one in a dozen had a fighting chance of being even decent. That was probably 15 years ago. Now since they've all been culled thru, it's likely one in fifty....if any!
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

Some of the (repro) shocks had only the inner chambers filled/ sealed , so topping up at the plug hole would cause leaks. Check with Berts or your vendor if they are this type. Some housings are difficult to distinguish from originals.

Last edited by duke36; 04-18-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

Quote:
Originally Posted by updraught View Post
I'm keen to see what the inside of one of these looks like.

That is, what does a well known and respected shock rebuilder do?
I have "rebuilt " my own, for what the rebuilders charge I don't think that much more than tightening the shaft with a bushing and making the check valves and adjuster work ---to rebuild and return to original operating specifications would require working for a very low wage and more than 10,000$ in used machines--- or starting with cores that don't have wear

A shaft leak can be almost done on the car, unless the sealing surface on the shaft is rough, then it will eat the new seal too
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: A shocking Saga....

DITTO #7 & #12, John Holland rebuilt my shocks several years ago and they are still working just fine....
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