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1950 Old 88 Shocks fluid?

I am restoring a 1950 Olds 88. The fluid in the shocks needs filled. Is there special fluid for this? I’ve been told that motor oil will work, but wanted to get a “second opinion” Thank you

Have you checked on classic car forums? Somebody there might know exactly what to use.

But I’d bet that 30-weight oil wouldn’t hurt.

Vintage British lever action shocks used 30w motor oil. I would still recommend being certain regarding what fluid the Oldsmobile requires.

Thank you!

I just googled ‘lever action shock oil’ and got lots of links. Give that a try.

What kind of a shock is it?

Lever action. search on ‘lever action shock oil’ did the trick…thank you!

I would think ATF or jack oil would be a better choice than motor oil, especially #30

You probably need non- detergent 30 weight.

I wonder how many are reading this thread thinking:
“Having to refill the shocks with fluid??? What the #%&* are you talking about?”

I suspect ATF or jack (hydraulic) oil. But, as mentioned, would be worth checking the classic car forums.

Why not use motorcycle fork oil?? Available in various weights, designed AS damper oil and available from any motorcycle shop.

Here’s what they look like.


This begs the question, did you drain the fluid to R&R them? Have the seals been replaced? Because if not, I have a prediction for you…

yes. Thanks to all y’all that provided help. I used hydraulic jack oil and that did the trick.


Sincere thanks for taking the time to write back. Not only is it nice to hear of a success, but the information just might help others. We get questions here about cars and trucks of all vintages.

Happy motoring. :grin: