Hemmings Motor News January 2012 : Page 78

INTERCHANGE EXCHANGE Houdaille Lever-Action Shocks French-designed shocks for classic Fords and Studebakers BY JIM O’CLAIR IMAGE COURTESY GTOENGINEERING.COM L ever-action shock absorbers were designed in France by Maurice Hou-daille to replace the standard fric-tion shocks on pre-World War I vehicles. The friction shocks worked like a clutch assembly , but they wore out quickly and needed constant adjustment. Some of the earliest Houdaille shocks were used in very heavy , high-performance road rally cars; however, several manufacturers, such as Stearns-Knight, Jordan, Pierce-Arrow and Lincoln, selected Houdaille shocks as original equipment in the mid-1920s. The American manufactur-ing company Houde Engineering had contracted to build Houdaille-designed shocks in the U.S. during the late Teens, and the company became highly suc-cessful when, in 1927, Ford selected Hou-daille lever-action shocks for use on their new Model A cars. That fi rst Ford order eventually reached over 23 million units. Other manufacturers soon followed: Studebaker, Chrysler, Nash, Hudson and Graham-Paige all used these shocks in the early 1930s. Many later changed to Delco-Lovejoy shocks; however, Ford and Studebaker did not. Ferrari and MG also used Houdaille shocks on their post-World War II autos, some models as recent as the early-1960s. Lever-action shocks are still very popular with street rodders on many custom designs. Listed here are some of the original-equipment applications for Studebaker, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury that show the interchangeability of OE Houdaille units. Although left and right units are different because of the placement of the levers, we have only listed the pairs in our interchange; you will also fi nd on some models (such as the 1928-’32 Fords) that the left front/right rear and right front/left rear units will also inter-change. Studebaker • 1935 President and Dictator only • 1935 Commander • 1936 President, Dictator with inde-pendent springs (President rears same as 1935) • 1936 Dictator w/conventional springs • 1937 used Delco-Lovejoy shocks • 1938 all models used the same front and rear • 1939-’40 all except Champion (1939 rears same as ’38, 1940 rears unique) • 1939-’46 Champions • 1941-’42 President, Commander and some light-duty trucks • Most 1941 and ’42 pickups and all 1946-’51 pickups used Delco-Lovejoy shocks Ford and Mercury • 1928-’32 all passenger cars and trucks (front to rear units also interchange) • 1933-’34 all passenger cars and trucks • 1935 all models used the same shocks. • 1936 fronts are different from 1935; however, 1935 and 1936 rears are the same • 1937-’38 fronts interchange • 1937-’40 rears are the same • 1939-’40 fronts (including Mercury) used the same unit • 1941-’48 Ford and Mercury passenger cars, front and rear units interchange • 1942-’48 commercial trucks, wagons and sedan deliveries used the same front shocks; however, rear units were different for the trucks. Sta-tion wagon and sedan delivery rear shocks do interchange Lincoln Zephyr • 1936 units for only 1936, 1935 Ford F&R units can be fi tted to Lincoln • 1937-’40 units interchange and 1936 Ford F&R units can be adapted to fi t • 1941 units fi t only 1941 models • 1942-’48 units are the same Two Hemmings Motor News adver-tisers listed in the “Services Offered” section of the magazine offer a rebuild-ing service for Houdaille shocks: Five Points Classic Auto Shocks and Apple Hydraulics can provide many already-refurbished units or can rebuild your existing shocks. 78 HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS • JANUARY 2012

Interchange Exchange

Jim O

Houdaille Lever-Action Shocks <br /> <br /> French-designed shocks for classic Fords and Studebakers<br /> <br /> Lever-action shock absorbers were designed in France by Maurice Houdaille to replace the standard friction shocks on pre-World War I vehicles. The friction shocks worked like a clutch assembly, but they wore out quickly and needed constant adjustment. Some of the earliest Houdaille shocks were used in very heavy, high-performance road rally cars; however, several manufacturers, such as Stearns-Knight, Jordan, Pierce- Arrow and Lincoln, selected Houdaille shocks as original equipment in the mid-1920s. The American manufacturing company Houde Engineering had contracted to build Houdaille-designed shocks in the U.S. during the late Teens, and the company became highly successful when, in 1927, Ford selected Houdaille lever-action shocks for use on their new Model A cars. That first Ford order eventually reached over 23 million units. Other manufacturers soon followed: Studebaker, Chrysler, Nash, Hudson and Graham-Paige all used these shocks in the early 1930s. Many later changed to Delco-Lovejoy shocks; however, Ford and Studebaker did not. Ferrari and MG also used Houdaille shocks on their post-World War II autos, some models as recent as the early-1960s. Lever-action shocks are still very popular with street rodders on many custom designs.<br /> <br /> Listed here are some of the original equipment applications for Studebaker, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury that show the interchangeability of OE Houdaille units. Although left and right units are different because of the placement of the levers, we have only listed the pairs in our interchange; you will also find on some models (such as the 1928-’32 Fords) that the left front/right rear and right front/left rear units will also interchange.<br /> <br /> Studebaker<br /> <br /> • 1935 President and Dictator only<br /> <br /> • 1935 Commander<br /> <br /> • 1936 President, Dictator with independent springs (President rears same as 1935)<br /> <br /> • 1936 Dictator w/conventional springs<br /> <br /> • 1937 used Delco-Lovejoy shocks<br /> <br /> • 1938 all models used the same front and rear<br /> <br /> • 1939-’40 all except Champion (1939 rears same as ’38, 1940 rears unique)<br /> <br /> • 1939-’46 Champions<br /> <br /> • 1941-’42 President, Commander and some light-duty trucks<br /> <br /> • Most 1941 and ’42 pickups and all 1946-’51 pickups used Delco-Lovejoy shocks<br /> <br /> Ford and Mercury<br /> <br /> • 1928-’32 all passenger cars and trucks (front to rear units also interchange)<br /> <br /> • 1933-’34 all passenger cars and trucks<br /> <br /> • 1935 all models used the same shocks.<br /> <br /> • 1 936 fronts are different from 1935; however, 1935 and 1936 rears are the same<br /> <br /> • 1937-’38 fronts interchange<br /> <br /> • 1937-’40 rears are the same<br /> <br /> • 1939-’40 fronts (including Mercury) used the same unit<br /> <br /> • 1941-’48 Ford and Mercury passenger<br /> <br /> cars, front and rear units interchange<br /> <br /> • 1942-’48 commercial trucks, wagons and sedan deliveries used the same front shocks; however, rear units were different for the trucks. Station wagon and sedan delivery rear shocks do interchange <br /> <br /> Lincoln Zephyr<br /> <br /> • 1936 units for only 1936, 1935 Ford F&R units can be fitted to Lincoln<br /> <br /> • 1937-’40 units interchange and 1936 Ford F&R units can be adapted to fit<br /> <br /> • 1941 units fit only 1941 models<br /> <br /> • 1942-’48 units are the same <br /> <br /> Two Hemmings Motor News advertisers listed in the “Services Offered” section of the magazine offer a rebuilding service for Houdaille shocks: Five Points Classic Auto Shocks and Apple Hydraulics can provide many already refurbished units or can rebuild your existing shocks.

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