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Taylormade

Delco-Lovejoy Shock Assistance

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I have disassembled my Delco-Lovejoy shocks off my 1932 Dodge Brothers DL. Actually, a very easy job - up until now. My problem is how do I remove the metal cap that covers the shaft arm seal? You can see the metal dome that covers and protects the seal in the following photographs. Is there a way to get the metal dome off the shock body without destroying it? Any real world experience would be greatly appreciated.

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The shaft is a bit pitted. The arrows show where the seal contacts the shaft. I was thinking a Speedi-Sleeve might be the solution here.

shockarm_zpsa4026ab6.jpg

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No help for the cap. But a speedy sleeve can be your friend. I just installed some for a friend. Whoever invented them should get very rich, they work great.

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No help for the cap. But a speedy sleeve can be your friend. I just installed some for a friend. Whoever invented them should get very rich, they work great.

Did you order them or were you able to get them locally?

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I usually buy them at a local bearing house. These last ones were bought from McMaster-Carr. THINK they were called something like shaft repair sleeves.

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Just my thought, would a little heat on the dome cap help to free it up

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Just my thought, would a little heat on the dome cap help to free it up

I thought about that, but I worry I might fry the old seal and not be able to ID it to get a replacement. People rebuild these things, so there has to be a solution. I doubt Apple Hydraulics would let me in on their methods. :)

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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google S. G. Leslie and Sons in Heidelberg West, shoot them an email and pics and they should get back to you with an answer. These guys have been rebuilding old shocks etc for years.

Cheers

Ian

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Googled Delco Lovejoy patrs and up came Classic And Exotic Services .Try to save your dome retainers they are $25 each Hope this helps

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Googled Delco Lovejoy patrs and up came Classic And Exotic Services .Try to save your dome retainers they are $25 each Hope this helps

Thanks Ron, I, too, Googled and found them. They look the same, but their measurements are confusing. The outside diameter on my covers is 1.625. In their catalog they first give an outside diameter of 1.750, then give a outside diameter (at the bottom) of 1.625, so I'm totally confused. I sent them an email and we'll see where that goes. 25 bucks each is a lot better than the $165 to $250 each to rebuild the shock.

I spent some time wrapping the cover with a rubber sheet and trying to remove it with a big pair of pliers, but it wouldn't budge. I'm afraid if I went with metal on metal with the pliers, it would tear up the cover and ruin it. I have a really bad feeling that the only way to get these off is to cut them and I really hesitate to do that before I get a definite source for new covers. As a last resort, I guess I could turn some on my lathe, but that is truly a last resort, as my machining skills are negligible at best!

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google S. G. Leslie and Sons in Heidelberg West, shoot them an email and pics and they should get back to you with an answer. These guys have been rebuilding old shocks etc for years.

Cheers

Ian

Thanks, Ian. I couldn't find a website for them, just an address and phone number. I would prefer to email them if possible, as I can send pix and other information. Anyone have an email address for them?

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Dick...I don't know if this will solve your immediate problem but for general information you might want to check out this link: http://forums.aaca.org/f165/lever-shock-leak-cure-268664.html

Scroll down to the 9/18/09 post by Nickelroadster in which he includes scans of a Skinned Knuckles article on rebuilding Lovejoy shocks.

Edited by Phil 32DL6 (see edit history)

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Bill Engle, just below that Nickelroadster post referred to above, did this:

"I just finished fixing leaks on my 32 Buick shocks. I disassmbled the shocks, remove cover, remove square head nut, pull out shaft. The tough part is the seal cover, a domed sheet metal piece pressfit on the shock casting. I used a pick to dig out the old seals. They are made of a compressed cork piece and a thin rubber piece. After the seal is removed, I attached an inner race bearing puller and heated the cover with an acetylene torch and popped the cover off.

"I found an SKF seal #8702 1.5" o.d. .875" i.d. .260" thick. It fits the shaft and press fits into the cover. Because of the dome on the cover, the seal will not fit in far enough to completely seat on the shock casting. I Milled .035" off the face of the casting and then pressed the cover on the shock. After cleaning and reassembly, the shocks worked fine. I used motorcycle shock oil in my shocks. You can get it in different weights to adjust the shock rate.

"Hope this helps."

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Phil and Spinneyhill,

This really helps. I have the Skinned Knuckles article -the actual magazine copies - but they say to cut the "metal ring" to remove the seal, which appears to be a different setup than on mine. It looks like Bill Engle's solution is the way to go, although I wonder if a less thick seal would work and alleviate the need to mill the shock housing. As I said before, my machinist abilities are not all that great.

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If it is under operating oil pressure thicker seals with more lips is better! I would machine the housing to fit a contemporary seal. I would also need to learn how to do it!

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Success! I got the little sucker off thanks to Phil, Spinneyhill and Bill Engle. I used Bill's method of picking out the seal and then using heat and a puller to get the cap off.

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The only downsize is you have to destroy the existing seal to get the cap off, so I don't really know what the original looked like. It was rubber and some sort of felt-like material, but there wasn't enough left to determine the actual construction. I can see the problem with the modern 8702 seal - its outer metal construction makes it a bit too thick to fit inside the dome cover. If you look at the area on the shock casting where the seal used to fit, you can see that it is dished, almost like the original seal was designed to be thicker in the center and taper off to a thinner cross-section at the edges.

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I'm going down to my local bearing shop tomorrow to see if I can find something that would work a little better than the 8702.

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I ordered a rebuild kit from The Filling Station after a suggestion from Binger, a fellow forum member who replied in the General Discussion section. The kit does all four shocks. I talked to them over the phone and they graciously measured the seals and other items for me.

It looks like everything will fit my shocks. The seals are rubber impregnated cork.

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They are nicely cut and fit the shaft tightly.

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The kit also comes with cork gaskets for the end covers...

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...and new, correct thick-headed screws for the covers.

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They also carry new shock links that match the size on my front shocks. The original is on top in the photo below.

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I ordered two as the holes on my originals are oblong from use.

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Finally, the kit comes with four rubber mounts for the shock arms, plus the pins and cotter pins. The rubber is nicely molded and has a brass insert inside. I was going to attempt to reproduce these, but this solves the problem.

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I now have the front shocks disassembled, cleaned and ready for painting.

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Which brings me to a question. I could find no trace of paint on the shocks when I cleaned them. I'm going to paint them black, but I wonder if they were left in bare metal when originally installed on the car. They are quite pitted, more than the frame, but they are cast iron and may have rusted faster. I have decided to paint them, pits and all. I know I could spend the time filling everything with body filler and high build primer, but I really want to drive this car before I take the big dirt nap. so it's going to be semi-gloss black, pits and all.

I also ordered four Speedi-Sleeves for the worn shafts. If all goes well, looks like this will solve my shock rebuilding project.

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