Page 1 of 1

Luvax Vane Type Dampers

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:19 pm
by Frost015
My 1936 Rover 12 has Luvax Vane type dampers front and rear.

The front ones were empty, the rear were full of VERY thick treacly oil (thicker than Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup !). Rubber (or whatever) bushes on the dampers themselves were dry and giving huge amount of friction.

Having emptied the rear ones, I then removed the filler and adjustment screw from each unit, filled all with sewing machine / fork oil, oiled the exposed shaft / seal, and did as much manipulation as possible to clean out the internals.

The shaft / seal eventually freed off, and once emptied I filled all 4 with SAE 80/90 gearbox oil (as per the linked internet sourced document), and replaced the adjusting screws (backing each off by 1 turn). “Thick oil for Vane dampers, thin oil for piston dampers seems to be the rule”.

It took a couple of nights of settling, and more manipulation to clear all air from the internals, but finally all squish about and give immediate resistance as intended.

Front units have a definite feel of “damping” rear ones not so much, and are completely unresponsive to adjustment screw fully in or several turns out.

My gut feeling is that I should drain and refill the rear units with a thicker grade oil (on the basis that they may well be badly worn internally). Not really up to ripping them apart at this stage !

Not much that I can find online or in the forums, so am looking for guidance, links to Vane damper rebuild sites, or redirection to existing RSR forum / Freewheel articles. It would also be interesting to have confirmation on whether those used on Rover cars have internal “thermostatic control” ...

Finally, am I generally correct in choice of oil grade for these dampers ??

Here are links to pics and the article on the Luvax Vane dampers, and an extract (showing internals) from the 1937 ‘New Motoring Encyclopedia’:

Any and all comments / advice appreciated.

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:01 pm
by GOY189
Do you have the latest edition of the RSR Workshop manual? That has the information on the shockers, reconditioning them and oil to be used. Its important not to fall into the trap of equating higher SAE numbers to necessarily thicker oils. as the ranges for engine oils and gear oils are different. An SAE 90 gear oil has a similar viscosity to an SAE 40 engine oil. The data sheets for the recommended vane type shock absorber oils give a viscosity value of around 217cst @ 40 degrees celsius. Penrite make an oil specially for vane shockers or try SAE140 gear oil. You may find repeating the clean out exercise with kerosene shifts more muck out of the dampers.

Hope this helps


Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:28 am
by Frost015

Aaahhh ... I have a pristine but 8 year old (I guess) workshop manual, and I was hoping to avoid spending on the new one ... however, it’s clearly time to bite the bullet and upgrade to the current version.

Your comments on oil SAE and viscocity are helpful, as I have definitely fallen into the trap, and will rectify !

Thanks for the post.


Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:15 pm
by GOY189
Hi Ian,

The updated version was published in 2016 and the last line on the front cover states "Third Edition 2015"