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Triumph TR3 - Lever Shock Check

Shock Jocks,

What's the right way to check the fluid level in the lever shocks on the rear of the TR3A? Should the car be jacked up? Left down? Wheel removed? Shock removed?

What's the best way to check proper functioning of the shock? What are the good and bad signs to observe?

Lastly, has anyone ever rebuilt a lever shock? How did it go? Any tips?

Many thanks for any 'shocking news' you can reveal...

Bill Stagg
1961 TR3A
Bill Stagg

Bill - Both Apple and also White Post can re-do rear shocks. The best test is the old test. With it on the floor or road, use two hands and lots of bouncy rhythm to get your TR going up and down, one corner at a time. Then let go. If it stops on the first re-bound - it's OK. If it keeps on bouncing, it may need shock oil. To fill it, lift the TR, remove the wheel, remove the fill plug up in the top corner and fill till what you put in comes out that same hole again. Then it's full. Use the shock oil that is for these. It costs about $10.00 a quart from all the major suppliers. Then test the bouncy treatment again. If it still bounces, it probably needs a re-build.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott


Thanks for the reply. When I first checked one of the rear shocks, I had the car jacked up and the wheel off. Removing the fill screw resulting in shock oil squirting out the hole, indicating it might have been under some pressure at that moment. Is that possible? It was definitely full by the test you suggest. I thought maybe there was still some tension on the shock even with the wheel off.

I'm replacing the bushings in the rear suspension this winter, so the shocks are coming off. I'll have a closer look at them. Meanwhile, I'll try the bounce test you suggest.


Bill Stagg

Maybe the previous owner had over-filled it (or them). When I had mine off, I poured out all the old oil and put in new oil. The units were laying flat on their backs on my work bench. Needless to say, I had overfilled them. But after they were back on, I opened the fill plug and let the excess flow out.

I never got a squirting "burp" or slug of shock oil spitting out. But then I only checked it once in almost 46 years.

Before you put them back on, have the four tubular spacers made (trhat I believe I wrote about on an earlier thread) so the nut and bolt will both be easily accessible for really torqing to the required spec.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

This thread was discussed on 02/12/2003

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