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Gary_Ash

WTB: Houdaille shocks for 1929-33 President

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I'm still looking for 4 large Houdaille shocks from a 1929-33 President to use for my Indy car project. These are 4" diameter, 2-5/8" high. Fronts and back are different, as are lefts and rights, but I think it's only the arms that are different and these could be changed. The Houdaille shocks used on Fords and later Studebakers were smaller in diameter, different shape body. I'd really like to find some correct ones.

I'll be at the meet in Dover, Delaware in a few weeks, if anyone can bring one or more shocks. Thanks!

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Bump.

I'm still looking for some large Houdaille shocks from 1929-33 Presidents, maybe even 1934 President/Commander. It's possible that Model 62 Dictators (1932) and 1932-1933 Commanders also used these. I just need some rebuildable bodies. Someone must have a barn full of parts like these. I'd be ever so grateful!

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A pair of 32 commander ones just ended on ebay. Didn't sell. Do a search.

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Sometimes Ebay searches yield strange results - like this one that "fits" 1932 Studebaker:

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I did find the shocks you mentioned, Rex, but they were for a Model 55 Dictator, slightly different style. I need those big ones lurking in your garage, LOL!

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Yes, it appears that L29 cords did use the big Houdaille shocks. Those front-drive Cords had very strange suspensions! Do you have some L29 shocks sitting around? I was hoping to find some from cars in higher volume production and in less demand than L29 Cords and 1932 Studebaker Presidents.

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Gary, I currently don't have any, but I see them occasionally while attending flea markets. The going price for a core (no arm) seems to be one hundred and up. Also there were other make vehicles besides Studebaker and Cord that used this size. Good luck on your search--Bob

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Gary,

Do you know that the arms are different? The early ones, through 1930 I believe, are bent while the later type are straight like the ones you pictured.-Bill

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I'm not worried about the arms. I need to replace/modify them anyway for the Indy car. Note how short the front arms are on Bob Valpey's Indy car in the photo at the top of the thread. I think they are 5.5" center-to-center. Apple Hydraulics and Five Points Classic Shocks have lots of arms; Five Points will bend them if needed. It's the 4" diameter shock bodies with rounded tops that I need and whatever arm comes with them.

In fact, the image above is from a 1929 President that my front axle came out of. Here's how they looked when I dragged them home a few years ago:

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Here's from last night:

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Bump.

I bought the two that George offered, still need a couple more. I'm not picky about the arm length, but shorter arms are better. Ultimately, I need a pair of 5-1/2" arms, but I may need to cut and weld to get them.

If if anyone sees some at Hershey, let me know who to contact.

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I just sent 4 off to Apple for rebuild.  Went through my stash to pick the best 4.  I still have about a dozen left.

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Actually, I did finally acquire the four I needed.  I had two rebuilt at Five Points but I think I'm going to send the other pair to Apple Hydraulics.  The guys at Apple can practice on Rex's parts, LOL!  But, thanks for keeping me in mind.

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Just curious, when these get rebuilt do they refill them with the glycerin/alcohol mix like the originals or do they use regular hydraulic fluid?  Many of the old Ford Houdaille shocks survived because they used hydraulic fluid instead of the hygroscopic glycerin based fluid.

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The problem with alternate fluids is getting the viscosity high enough so that the shock has the right stiffness.  Straight glycerin has a viscosity in the range of 1000-1200 (in units of centipoise, cP, or centiStokes, cSt), somewhat less when diluted 10% with alcohol.  Lard, Crisco, and honey have about the same viscosity.  In comparison, SAE 40 weight motor oil is about 310 cP at room temperature and water is 1.0 cP.  The stuff called "90 weight gear oil" has a viscosity between SAE 40 and SAE 50 wt motor oil.  Modern seals will probably stand up to mineral and synthetic oils but the old ones won't.  There are silicone fluids that are in the right range to replace glycerin/alcohol but it's not easy to buy them in small quantities. 

 

Having said that, I see that you can buy 1000 cSt silicone fluid on Ebay for about $23/quart.  The old shock would have to be flushed well with denatured alcohol (ethanol) before replacing the fluid.

See http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicone-Oil-Fluid-1000-CST-/261450421647

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Actually, I did finally acquire the four I needed.  I had two rebuilt at Five Points but I think I'm going to send the other pair to Apple Hydraulics.  The guys at Apple can practice on Rex's parts, LOL!  But, thanks for keeping me in mind.

Twice I had leakers from five points.  Never a problem with Apple. Still hard to pay the price.  But that said, it it a real pain to rebuild them myself.

Edited by studerex (see edit history)

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