Merry Christmas and welcome to Packard Motor Car Information! If you're new here, please register for a free account.  
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
FAQ's
Main Menu
Recent Forum Topics
Who is Online
29 user(s) are online (25 user(s) are browsing Forums)

Members: 0
Guests: 29

more...
Helping out...
PackardInfo is a free resource for Packard Owners that is completely supported by user donations. If you can help out, that would be great!

Donate via PayPal
Video Content
Visit PackardInfo.com YouTube Playlist

Donate via PayPal



(1) 2 3 4 5 »

Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home

Daniel Leininger
See User information
Shocking Discovery from a new Packard Geek!

As a new immigrant to Packard land, I have made a discovery that most of you will laugh at!

Having ZERO experience with knee action shock absorbers, I thought the front shocks on my 41 Clipper were, well, SHOT! Since the car had not been driven for 20 years, I figured that was the way it was till I got new ones.

So I bounced down the road (literally) for almost 1000 miles, looking at parts suppliers and expecting to spend $300 to $500 on replace/rebuilt front shocks.

My Packard Shop Manual said to service the front shocks with 'shock absorber fluid' (a magic potion of mineral oils that no one will divulge the formula for). I have seen quarts of it on eBay for $30 plus s&h. ugh!

Anyhow, I read an old MoToRs Repair Manual from 1950 and it described a half dozen or more types of knee action shocks. A Delco double-acting model looked like my Clipper setup. The manual showed where the filler plug was. Such basic Packard Info is very useful to us inexperienced Packard Geeks on the desolate Northern Great Plains of the Dakotas.

After Googling several "shock-absorber-fluid,-what-is-it" discussions on various Old Car sites, Dick Benjamin recommended 'hydralic jack oil' as a modern day substitute. So I took a quart of it that had been on my garage shelf for the last 1000 miles of my Clipper bouncin' down the road AND I proceeded to fill the shocks with hyrdalic oil.

I took off the filler plug, put a 2 ft piece of clear aquarium air tubing on the filler tip of my oil can, and started working the fluid in. At first the car would bounce as I rocked it up and down and the new fluid worked its way into the reservior and into the piston, valves of the shock. As the reservior would empty it would make that satisfing sound of sucking the bottom of your chocolate malt cup with a straw. Then I would start fillin and rockin again several times until the shock came back to life.

As I continued filling, the car go harder and harder to bounce up and down, till I was putting most of my body weight on the fender (fender pad in place). When I filled the reservior the last two times, the 'malt cup' sounds had stopped (I think It got enuf). The shock actually worked as over-designed by those wonderful old engineers of which we all are the proud beneficiaries.

CONCLUSION: KNEE-ACTION SHOCK ABSORBERS WORK BETTER WITH FLUID THAN WITHOUT FLUID.

Now as I glide down the road (including the roughest stretch of local street construction I could find) I am experiencing that great Packard Ride I heard so much about from others. I think it is one of those "Ask the man who owns one" moments.

Total Cost:
Enjoyable Time (minus dropping the filler plug in the frame)
Plus 79 cents of fluid.

ANY OTHER SHOCKING EXPERIENCES OUT THERE?

Dan'L

Posted on: 2008/6/16 6:27
[i][size=small][color=000066]Dan'L in SD
41ParPack
First of the Clippers
[
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#2
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

Dave Kenney
See User information
Dan'l, Well I am glad that you discovered that those Delco shocks need fluid. The ones on mine were empty when I got my '47 about 6 years ago but they also leaked when I added fluid. I have since had them rebuilt. The rear "fifth" stabilizer shock was stuck in the extended position and the car leaned about 1" on the left side until I figured out that this shock was not working right. Now that I have all 5 new or rebuilt with new springs the car rides like a dream as a Packard should.

Posted on: 2008/6/16 8:08
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#3
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

Owen_Dyneto
See User information
Let's hope the 1000 miles of driving them empty didn't do too much internal damage. Hydraulic jack oil is fine to use, and Mobil markets two hydraulic oils, DTE-24 (SAE 10) and DTE 25 (SAE 20) which are excellent for this purpose as well. If your old shocks leak (which they probably will), the SAE 20 may minimize it a bit.

Posted on: 2008/6/16 8:23
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home

JD in KC
See User information
They were dry on my '50 also. Based on an e-mail conversation with Dick Benjamin I also filled 'em up with hydraulic jack fluid. They worked beautifully... except... the following day most of the fluid was on the garage floor. They really leaked. So, I sent them off to Apple Hydraulics and got them back last week. They look spectacular and I'll be re-installing them when I get back home from this hideously expensive driving trip I'm on. Just drove past the Dakotas through Nebraska yesterday. Currently in a crummy motel room (but with WIFI) in Ely, Nevada on my way to CA. Wish I was back home slapping Por-15 on the newly prepped splash panels.

Posted on: 2008/6/16 20:54
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#5
Home away from home
Home away from home

David Baird
See User information
Must be something about the shocks that people didn't service them regularly. The ones on my '47 were almost dry when I got the car. It felt like a small boat on a big lake. I filled mine with jack oil about three years ago and it still rides like it should. That means that the new shocks I bought are still sitting on a shelf with my other spare parts.
These cars do ride nice when all the parts work like they should don't they. They make great road cars.

Posted on: 2008/6/16 21:56
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home

Daniel Leininger
See User information
Thanks for all the comments.
Sounds like I am not the only one needing to learn shock absorber maintenance.

I have driven 50 miles and the shocks are leaking. Don't know how long they will go. (The oil does enhance the old Clipper frame. Really shines. Hasn't covered the floor yet like JD in KC, but It probably will. I had Johnson's Hydraulic Jack Oil -no SAE Rating on the quart.)

Next I will try Owen_D's suggestion of Mobile DTE SAE 20W Hydraulic Oil. After that "Apple Hydraulics, here I come."

Thanks for the input. I definitely prefer Shocks to NO shocks after this brief experiment.

Will keep you all updated.

DanL

Posted on: 2008/6/16 23:27
[i][size=small][color=000066]Dan'L in SD
41ParPack
First of the Clippers
[
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home

Rusty O\'Toole
See User information
Here is an old trick that may help those of you with leaky shocks. Wrap string tightly around the shaft between the shock and the lever. Really pack it in there. It will absorb the leak and act as a primitive seal.

I'm not recommending this as a permanent repair but it will stanch the oil leak to a point.

This is an old trick that might have been done on a used Packard in the 30s or 40s.

Posted on: 2008/6/17 1:50
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#8
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

Dave Kenney
See User information
Dan'l, I had my shocks rebuilt by a small company in California called Five Points. I also had them replace the small shock on the rear stabilizer.
http://www.classicautoshocks.com/

Posted on: 2008/6/17 7:46
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home

Daniel Leininger
See User information
Clipper47,

Thanks for the recommended vendor. Good to have quality options.

My shocks are leaking but working. I got some heavier viscosity hydraulic oil to replace what leaks out. At least they are working for a while.

If I can find an old-fashioned Service Station, I will just pull up and say, "Fill the shock-absorbers and check the gas." (Hope they don't leak that bad!)

Dan'L

Posted on: 2008/6/17 23:06
[i][size=small][color=000066]Dan'L in SD
41ParPack
First of the Clippers
[
 Top  Print 
 


Re: Knee-Action Shocks- Work Best with Fluid!
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home

Daniel Leininger
See User information
Rusty

Thanks for the 'old trick'
The cheaper the better.
It is kind-like 'packing the seal' from the outside.
Sure worth a try.

Dan'L

Posted on: 2008/6/17 23:10
[i][size=small][color=000066]Dan'L in SD
41ParPack
First of the Clippers
[
 Top  Print 
 




(1) 2 3 4 5 »




Search
Recent Photos
Boneyard 400 close up (11/30/2022)
Boneyard 400 close up
Boneyard 400 (11/30/2022)
Boneyard 400
1937 115c Touring (11/27/2022)
1937 115c Touring
Photo of the Day
Electrical Switches
Recent Registry
Website Comments or Questions?? Click Here Copyright 2006-2021, PackardInfo.com All Rights Reserved