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Do friction shocks really work or are they just for looks

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FLATHEAD VICKY, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. FLATHEAD VICKY
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 113

    FLATHEAD VICKY
    Member

    I just bought a t bucket. It has friction shocks on the front and coil overs in the rear. With Firestone Bias ply Tires. On the way to work today the Front axle started bouncing up-and-down really violently. I almost shit my pants!!!! So my question is should I put on regular front shocks or is it from the tires Or both???
     
  2. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    Friction shocks were used on nearly everything that had shocks before modern shocks were available. If they were made right, they are adjustable. Tighten them up about 1/4 turn.
     
  3. fms427
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 864

    fms427
    Member

    Friction shocks work, just use friction damping instead of hydraulic damping. However ,in your case, the damping is clearly inadequate ! Friction shocks can usually be tightened down- try that. But tube shocks are usually a better choice.
     
  4. 21stud
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 281

    21stud
    Member
    from California

    They work if they are set up right and serviceable.
     
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  5. My 10c ....more form than function. If you see inside one you just know that the technology of the day was in it's infancy. Sure look right on a pure trad rod though......
    I'd hazard a guess that you don't have enough damping up front, bucket era rods allow for traditional tube shocks ya know. :D
    You may have too much spring as well.....lots of dynamics to consider with you problem.
     
  6. They work if they are not wore slap out. Most of the stuff that we have used or use works if it is in good shape. they don't work as well as a hydraulic but they work.
     
  7. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    they do work, i've had them on my T since i built it.i replaced the cheapo thin rubber "disks" with 1/8" urethane & they haven't even started to wear & i have almost 68,000 miles on my car.But they do get noisey!!lol( got to loosen them & shot talc in the space) and if they were really that good, they would still have them on cars!
    They're Simple & work ,And they keep the front end from looking "Heavy" or bulky.So use em.
    JimV
     

  8. Had a bucket for years, they didn't work for worth a shit until I did exactly the above also !
     
  9. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,258

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Where did you find 1/8" urethane??

    dave
     
  10. FLATHEAD VICKY
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 113

    FLATHEAD VICKY
    Member

    they are new dont look worn out but ill try to tighten them and try it again thanks
     
  11. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Speedway and others have been offering a cast aluminum type for years now that as shipped are not very functional. Most I have seen have no friction material in them, and no spring to control the tension. Put a longer stud in, grab a valve spring and retainer from what ever engine you have laying around for parts, and use either the urethane suggested above or a fairly thick chunk of leather as a friction medium and things will get lots better.

    Here is a picture of the type I make for customer chassis. Super basic, and with the spring and friction material, quite tunable.

    Might want to check the balance and roundness of those front tires too. I use the balance beads in everything.
     

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  12. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    Short like need louvers ? posted are the way to go. I see many that are 10 inches or more in length, and mounted inboard or back off the wishbone, not the way to do it. If they are long, or mounted as I stated, when the suspension moves, say, 2 inches the shocks have moved maybe 1/4", not much in the way of dampening is done. As with any shock as close to the wheel as you can will help them to better do their job.

    It has been mentioned elsewhere here that clutch disc materal works good too.
     
  13. They were intended to be lubricated with whale oil.
     
  14. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,156

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Was it wheel hop, like out of round? or did you hit a bump and it just continued to bounce, like no damping?
     
  15. DaveyJonez
    Joined: Feb 20, 2006
    Posts: 402

    DaveyJonez
    Member
    from Houston

    Hi Guys:

    I am dealing w/ the same thing- hit a series of bumps and both wheels basketball in unison.

    I had the shock mounted to the shackle plate at the spring side, which I think was the problem. Now I have hooked them up to the bottom of the hairpin/ batwing hole like this:

    shock.jpg

    Any problems you all can see w/ this setup?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  16. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I'm not a huge fan of that long bolt and extension on the lower batwing mount. Too much length to move around and cancel out the movement of the shock itself, not to mention fatigue at a critical suspension connection point. Ideal would be a small mount welded or bolted to the back of the axle itself. That's what you are trying to control and what will have the most range of movement. Just as I was saying in my post above, if you added a second outer friction disc and backer, longer stud and spring you would have a much more control able and tunable friction shock.

    Just a note, My picture above doesn't yet have it's friction materials in place in the photo.
     
  17. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,128

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Yes, they really work, however there has been a plethora of sorta bees, knock offs and home mades utilized that are of questionable value. Rubber discs???? Come on.

    Check out this website and see what is available yet today of the wonderful Hartford shocks. They are spendy.

    http://www.classic-car-accessories.com/andre-hartford-shock-absorber/

    Note the different sizes and number of blades and friction discs for various weight cars. Note the brass discs used in conjunction with the special wood discs.

    The classic 50/50 shock absorbers are a joy and a real eye catcher.

    I wish I had been able to get my attachment point further outboard on the axle.
     

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  18. DaveyJonez
    Joined: Feb 20, 2006
    Posts: 402

    DaveyJonez
    Member
    from Houston

    That's what my gut told me as well, just hate to drill my 32 axle...

    But that's the right way to do it. I'll modify my shocks per your suggestion as well- thanks for the input.

    Dve
     
  19. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I think that hydraulic shocks are simply better, but on some cars things like space limitations force you to have friction shocks. My Son's T Bucket has friction shocks and they were not doing much, but then we torqued the nuts down really tight and they began to work well. Every once in a while we just retorque them and the ride quality improves a lot.

    Don
     
  20. 29sportcoupe
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 350

    29sportcoupe
    Member
    from arizona

    Where are you getting the better material for the friction? Mine came with rubber but was going to make leather but now curious what others have come up with. My front end was bouncing also, I tightened the friction bolt and had my front bias plys balanced again, this time I had them put weights on the both sides of the wheel and its much better but it feels like it has a slight shimmy at 75 or 80 now.

    I started having problems with mine after I drove it in the rain, maybe threw a weight also?
     
  21. I buy teflon sheets and cut the discs out myself. Have for years and the never seem to wear out.

    I get the sheets from MSD Industrial. I'm sure Grainger probably carries them as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  22. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    i worked at a screen printing shop & it was from a squeegie for printing.Try a plastics supply.
    JimV
     
  23. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    Leather would be good to use as a "disk" but i think it would dry out when it got wet.
    jimv
     
  24. Ha ha that's funny
     
  25. 29sportcoupe
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 350

    29sportcoupe
    Member
    from arizona

  26. These are the ones I made for my roadster..This is not a very good view ,but I use two discs of UHMW .. I made up a little bracket and used a roll-pin to keep the outer part from rotating.I use a flat-wound die spring for clamping force... I know friction dampers are not the same as a hydraulic shock absorber, but these seem to control my frt end very well...and they fit the look I was after...
     

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  27. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,925

    Jimv
    Member

    Guess i didn't think this one out too good!!lol Dah!!
    JimV
     
  28. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    They have used leather for years, some use the UHMW, leather, UHMW, repeat. The two textures work good together. The very first ones were made with wood and leather, worked then as well as now.
     
  29. FLATHEAD VICKY
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 113

    FLATHEAD VICKY
    Member

    Thanks I tightened them up and drove it it Didn't do it again lets hope it stays away. Omg. That was very scary I hope you never have it happen to you. But I'm still thinking about installing regular shocks.
     

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