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The original Houdaille shocks from the '30s used a mixture of glycerin and alcohol.  The shocks would usually seize up if the car sat for a few years because the mixture was hygroscopic and would absorb water and rust the internal components.  Ford used hydraulic fluid so they lasted a lot longer and usually didn't seize up.  If yours have the glycerin mixture, try to get it all out before you replace the fluid or they can still rust up inside.

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