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Lever Arm Shocks - How to remove air?


Fred Zwicker
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I have a 1954 Buick with lever arm shocks on the rear. They seemed OK when removed, but I decided to change the oil, using shock absorber fluid that I purchased from Kanter or someone (forgot source). After filling they now seem to have no pressure. In other words, they do nothing. Should they be removed and pumped back and forth to work the fluid into the shocks? I read somewhere that there can be air in the shocks. If so, how do you get the air out? I am hoping there is some way to get them working again.

Thanks, Fred

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You could disconnect the link to the axle and pump the lever slowly up and down by hand. Or, jack the car up and down a few times.

It might be easier to let them bleed themselves out. Check them after a few days of driving around, see if the fluid level has dropped.

I am wondering if leaving the shocks to bleed themselves out or pumping up and down, should the filler cap be left tight, slightly loose, or removed? I have left them sit for about a month (car not driven) with filler cap on tight and they seem the same as when first refilled with new fluid.

Thanks, Fred

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Isn't there a little vent in the cap? Put on the cap tight if you want, won't make any difference. I would at least put it on loose before bouncing the car or working the lever just to keep dirt from falling in.

Do not fill the reservoir to the top. Half full is good. There should be an air space.

If the fluid does not run in, working the shock will pump it in.

If you disconnect the link and work it by hand do not go too fast or you might get bubbles in the fluid. Work it up and down all the way slowly. When you feel resistance it means it is filling up or full.

Bubbles are not the end of the world, they will disperse over night.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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