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Houdaille shock links ca 1930 - how to dis-assemble? Aha!


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I'm trying to dis-assemble some Houdaille shock links from circa 1929-30 Studebaker Presidents.  Other large cars from the early 1930s also used these.  I can't figure out the correct, i.e. easy, way to get the ball studs out of the housing.  When I remove the top plug and the outer bronze seat, there is a very stiff spring in the housing that pushes the inner bronze seat hard against the ball so it doesn't want to come out of the side hole.  I've rebuilt a couple of these before, struggled mightily to get the ball studs out and jam them back in.  Surely there is way to do this with an appropriate method, rather than brute force.  Any suggestions?


Also, can anyone suggest a source for new bronze seats to fit the 13/16" diameter ball stud?



Shock link dis-assembled, a previous one that I pried apart.

Edited by Gary_Ash (see edit history)
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  • Gary_Ash changed the title to Houdaille shock links ca 1930 - how to dis-assemble? Aha!

At a certain point I decided the ball studs were going to come out now!  It shouldn't be that hard - and, in the end, it wasn't.  Here's the process:


1.  Remove the lock wire or tab securing the outer plug.

2.  Unscrew the plug with a 2-pin spanner or the tips of needle-nose pliers.

3.  Remove the outer bronze seat.

4.  Stick a sturdy screw driver shaft in behind the flat end of the ball stud, opposite the side opening of the housing, as far down as you can easily reach.

5.  Apply some side leverage on the screwdriver handle to force the ball out of the side hole.  Done!


Now I just have to clean off the 90 year old solidified grease that coats all the parts, re-grease, and re-assemble.

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Pierce used the same brand of link. It's just nuts and bolts. Chuck the ball up in your lathe and use valve lapping compound on the bronze cups.......works like a charm. Been there, done that!

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