The Houdaille type of shock absorber used on the early Fords were actually the invention of a Frenchman called Maurice Houdaille who invented recoilless artillery during World War I. And He then spent 27 years developing and promoting his design.
The advert below is from the British subsidiary
Houdaille Industries, of the USA, took its name from Houdaille, After the war, a U.S. corporation bought the name and the rights to the shock absorber Houdaille had patented. By the 1930s, the company was one of the largest auto-parts subcontractors in Detroit and the premier U.S. manufacturer of shock absorbers.
Took a couple of days off work and with a huge amount of help from my friend Simon of Simon’s Autos and despite the shocking efforts of Parcelforce and HM Customs (parts held for over 3 weeks despite taking 2 days to get to the UK from Bert’s Model A Center in Colorado) we achieved quite a bit :
Front Tube Shock Absorber Conversion
Fitted the bracket kit from Bert’s and the Gabriel shocks sourced from US Automotive here in the UK. Pretty much a bolt on apart from drilling the front axle in two places. I have a new rear spring and tube shock absorber brackets for the rear to do in the summer.
Rear Brake Grease Boxes
Those of you that read the blog will know that the car had hydraulic brakes when I purchased it, the conversion was quite badly done in parts so it was upgraded to 1948 parts. I was short of a couple of grease boxes for the rears which I got from the States via eBay for a reasonable price. These were nicely fitted by Simon
Engine Oil Leak
After I changed the sump gasket in the process of cleaning out the years of sludge, I ended up with quite a bad oil leak near the timing gear inspection cover using a combination of gaskets and black RTV. Fingers crossed as it’s OK so far.
Clutch Pedal Modification
Due to my height, (6’4″), and the fact that I have a dropped foot it’s difficult to drive a standard Model Coupe. We came up with a few modifications to help me drive, these are working out quite well so far, still have a bit more to do as the clutch is dragging when hot despite slowing the idle as much as possible making the selection of 1st gear difficult. But it’s a great improvement. I think we’ll still need to design a new thinner seat back to give me a few more inches of room. The modification is done with wood so far to see how it goes. Makes life a easier for me!
John Cochran kindly pointed out that my “A” has a “B” carburettor, so I treated it to a K&N filter which I think looks OK, car’s not original anyway so 🙂
Transmission & Rear End Oil Change
Thanks to Simon’s space heater and heavy duty pump we managed to get the Morris Lubricants SAE 250 Golden Film gear oil into the gearbox and axle, no mean feat as this is some seriously thick stuff, I can only imagine how thick the 600W spec oil from back in the day actually is!!
Left hand front tie rod end ball joint is pretty badly worn, so lets get to it 🙂
Managed to break the joint with the trusty fork, but the coupling sleeve & clamps are pretty seized.
You can see the “back in the day modified” shock absorbers in this picture 🙂 You can also see the worn “dog bone” shock absorber link. I have new rubbers for these links but looking at the state of them this may be a bit of as job!!
So as I have to keep the car whole and mobile after each “session” due to a lack of room reassembly and look some parts up is the next move.
I removed the from hubs and drums today to find that I have new front brake shoes and wheel cylinders. What’s not so good is that one of the new cylinders is leaking 🙁 Whilst I was carrying out the inspection I also noticed that the right hand front shocker link was flapping around in the breeze!! So, more things for the ever increasing list…
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