If you are not the original owner of your classic Ferrari or Maserati then do you know how many shops may have had their hands on your car? I ask this question because over the last 25 years of restoring Houdaille shocks I have seen much mishandling of these shocks. Because of the universal design of the Houdaille shock, a non-expert can easily re-assemble the shock like they would any other shock. This is not any old shock. It’s a whole different animal. It must be done according to a method. Case in point, although these shocks were never meant to be rebuilt, many adventurous people have dissembled these shocks only to not have taken proper notes beforehand. The internal valving must be placed in a proper position for correct function. These shocks were meant to only be positioned in one place on the frame. The arm is mounted on a square post and the cover is a press fit on the body. Many times I find the shock to have been mounted incorrectly on the frame which means it was not functioning correctly. The cover acts as a reservoir for the oil to expand and contract due to temperature changes. On the inside there is an air vent at the top and at the bottom there are oil intake holes so proper radial alignment is essential for function. This is not easy and like I have said in previous posts, not cookie cutter.
During the restoration process it is easy for a generalist to overlook your shock. They are looking at the big picture and if the shock isn’t leaking most restorers move on. So many owners have complete confidence in their repair shop as they should, but even the repair shop could use some education from time to time. As a shop owner I realize the importance of keeping all repair work in house. At times though, it can be difficult to keep work in house and there comes a time when we have to recognize that a task is out of our league. Thus I take on jobs from other restorers who want perfection for their clients.