Luvax Vane Type Dampers

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Frost015
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:48 pm
Location: Stamford (Lincs)

Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by Frost015 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:19 pm

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’:

https://imgur.com/a/hHwkHCc

https://imgur.com/a/xHZrxYZ

Any and all comments / advice appreciated.
1936 Rover 12 Saloon

GOY189
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by GOY189 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:01 pm

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

MIke

Frost015
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:48 pm
Location: Stamford (Lincs)

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by Frost015 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:28 am

Mike,

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.

Ian
1936 Rover 12 Saloon

GOY189
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by GOY189 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:15 pm

Hi Ian,

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

Mike

Willem
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:32 am

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by Willem » Sat May 07, 2022 12:08 pm

To resurrect this thread, Can anyone tell me how to check the level of the vane type suspension, having removed the filler cap I am greeted by the adjustment screw but no oil. In the maintenance section of the workshop manual it states to fill the oil to within 3/4" of the top, how is this measured?
There does seem to be a tiny hole behind the screw and inserting a fine punch does show oil, is this the place to measure the oil level?
I assume the suspension rubbers in the dumb bell link are still available trough Meteor spares or Viking.

Regards, Willem
Rover 12 Tourer, 1936
Range rover L322, 2009

SHyslop
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:17 pm

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by SHyslop » Sun May 08, 2022 10:04 am

I've had a lot of these on different cars over the years, particularly Austins and a Triumph Dolomite. I had a look at the Austin 10 Drivers Club Technical Manuals and they also say 3/4" from the top. To be honest, it's not , if I remember correctly, a particularly critical measurement and if you can't see into the shock absorber top then filling it full and then using a suitably shaped piece of wood to go into the filler hole and avoid the adjusting screw mechanism but expelling about 1/2" - 3/4" of oil should be close enough.

Yes, D140 is the stuff to use. The thin oil is for the generally post war Armstrong piston type shock absorbers.

Willem
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:32 am

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by Willem » Sun May 08, 2022 7:37 pm

I have made a few photo's of both suspension units with a pin showing the depth available, to go any deeper one has to go at an acute angle and sort of guess the oil level, certainly not an exact science.
first the N/Side, the maximum depth possible is about 1/2",

the O/side is different, the depth available is 1/8" and the screw on to is more a small bolt with a screw slot , flanked by to wires under tension effectively creating a locking mechanism, I have put about 40cc of oil in as I couldn't get any on my pin at an angle.

I think I will have to take the units off at some point this summer and check that the drop speed is the same, I can then also empty the oil out and re-fill with new 140.

not quite sure how to get the photo's in the correct order, might work it out one day..

Willem
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NS depth.jpg
NS depth.jpg (60.73 KiB) Viewed 169 times
NS pin.jpg
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Rover 12 Tourer, 1936
Range rover L322, 2009

TonyG
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by TonyG » Tue May 10, 2022 8:19 am

Hi Willem,

Reading this thread reminded me of something David Moseley had said on the same subject so I searched the archive and found an entry from him dated Dec 4th 2014. This was in relation to a 1935 Rover 14 Sports Saloon.

“My experience with Luvax shocks on my 1936 12 Tourer has been entirely positive over more than 20k miles. Over filling them (higher than 3/4 inch below the filler plug) can lead to a cracked casting. Derek Stevenson of Stevenson Motors reckons more than half he sees are damaged this way.......”

With that in mind, this is particularly good advice for your car.

Tony.
Tony Gilbert

P1 12 Tourer
P2 12 6 Light Saloon
Discovery 3
Discovery Sport

Willem
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:32 am

Re: Luvax Vane Type Dampers

Post by Willem » Tue May 10, 2022 10:46 am

Thank you Tony for that bit of information, I didn't fill the unit to the top that's for sure, by my reckoning it is good 1/2" below the top. It is such a shame that al the knowledge left about the car is what is written on the forum, I will search out all of David's posts, print them off and keep them in the file.
Willem
Rover 12 Tourer, 1936
Range rover L322, 2009

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