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post #1 of 13 Old Sep 1st, 2008, 8:14 pm Thread Starter
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steering dampener

Is there an adjustment that can be made to the dampener? The thing looks like there is as there is a slot in the end of the rod coming out of the front of the unit. I thought it might help control the "headshake".
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post #2 of 13 Old Sep 1st, 2008, 8:24 pm
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Re: steering dampener

I don't know about the adjustment, but the headshake may be due to cupping of the front tire. Damping of the headshake may also indicate a failed damper.

Find it on-line; normal cost new is $300.00 plus. Used are about 50% of that.

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post #3 of 13 Old Sep 1st, 2008, 9:23 pm
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Re: steering dampener

The stock steering dampener is not adjustable. Only aftermarket ones are. That said, after I had my aftermarket steering dampener installed on my LT I never changed it, so the adjustment is kind of a moot point.
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post #4 of 13 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 3:00 am
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Re: steering dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcalli
Is there an adjustment that can be made to the dampener? The thing looks like there is as there is a slot in the end of the rod coming out of the front of the unit. I thought it might help control the "headshake".
Stock model is not adjustable, as written above. The slot in it is only for assembly. When installing seals into damper which is full of oil, it creates over pressure and this is coming out through rod hole. When damper is completed, that hole will be closed by seal and slot screw.

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post #5 of 13 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 4:35 am
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Re: steering dampener

What would then be an indication of a dampner that needs replacing. (other age or milage)?
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post #6 of 13 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 6:43 am
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Re: steering dampener

Oil residue on the damper and headshake in a curve during acceleration was my experience. The headshake was enough to flare my nostrils; didn't stiffen my arms, sloooooowly rolled off the throttle, didn't accelerate in curves, as I had done, until the damper was changed.

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post #7 of 13 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 7:16 am
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Re: steering dampener

It's also worth getting the wheel balancing checked. I was getting headshake which I initially though was steering damper but the garage balanced the front wheel and it went away. It wasn't a heavy wobble when upright but became disconcerting on corners at 'high' speed.
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post #8 of 13 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 9:04 am
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Re: steering dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by STYLNLT
What would then be an indication of a dampner that needs replacing. (other age or milage)?
Put your bike on the center stand, have your wife sit on the REAR seat so that the front wheel is in the air. Then move the handlebars quickly from one side to the other. You will either feel the steering dampener, or not. It is quite pronounced. When mine was up for replacement it took almost 5 inches of movement before it kicked it. As I said, it is quite pronounced.
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post #9 of 13 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:49 am
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Re: steering dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Put your bike on the center stand, have your wife sit on the REAR seat so that the front wheel is in the air. Then move the handlebars quickly from one side to the other. You will either feel the steering dampener, or not. It is quite pronounced. When mine was up for replacement it took almost 5 inches of movement before it kicked it. As I said, it is quite pronounced.
Thanks. When I was coming through Herber last week during the wee hours of the morning, streets quite, and my hands were light on the bars, at about 30mph or so, I noticed the front would begin to wobble.

I tried what your describing the week before 08CCR, and mines at around 3 inches before I begin to get that pronounced buffed stop. No leaks, just the distance.

I'm coming close to replacing the front tire, so I'll wait to do that knowing all will be balanced, etc. then if I continue to experience the problem, then I'll lean towards replacement of the dampner.
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post #10 of 13 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 12:32 pm
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Re: steering dampener

Hi,
My 2005 LT has never suffered from tank slappers until a recent trip loaded up with luggage, which incidentally caused the bike to just sit down on the back wheel when on the centrestand.
The wobble wasn;t too bad and only at around 30mph and not under acceleration.
If your problem occurs during normal loading, other replies have prob ably covered the issue.
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post #11 of 13 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 1:13 pm
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Re: steering dampener

I searched for the post on the steering dampener re-build some time back but I could not locate it. Does anyone have the link to that post? Has anyone actually tried it and had it work?

Thanks

Lee Nowell
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post #12 of 13 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 2:48 pm
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Re: steering dampener

hi
I have resealed my dampner and went with a little heaver oil(never did find spec for oil weight) . It works better than ever now.
I got the seals from my local NAPA DEALER the freight was more than the seals but BMW told me the dont sell seals sepratley. Sorry dont remember number.If needed i can find it.
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post #13 of 13 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 3:34 pm
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Re: steering dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by lnowell
I searched for the post on the steering dampener re-build some time back but I could not locate it. Does anyone have the link to that post? Has anyone actually tried it and had it work?

Thanks
Hi!

I have done it twice, for two different LT's. 2000 and 2004 models.

Both purchased used. First one had oil leakage second one had some free gap, as Andy described it.

Both cases I removed dampener from bike. This requires front wheel removal and front fender removal.

I opened a small all slot screw in dampener rod, took eye screw away from from rod, took circlips off from damper body ends and pushed entire rod with piston out from dampener. This push seal out. This has to be done to both directions while there are similar seals on both ends.

Then I took that seal with me and I went to hydraulic spare part shop and purchased two new seals according to sample. Price was 1,5 Euro (about 2 USD) each.

Next phase is to clean all parts well.

Assembly. Take seal and put some oil into it's outer surface and into it's hole. Oil should be same as you are going to use in dampener. I am not hundred percent sure what oil is best/correct, but I have used automatic gearbox oil. Front fork oil should be ok as well, I think. In any case both oil types are used in hydraulic's.

Push now one seal into its place, install circlip. Keep dampener so, that it is open end upwards. Pour some oil into dampener. Put piston rod into it (blind end first) and push it to the end, against seal. Now pour oil inside so that it is full of oil. Put seal into its seat and push it inside to end of it's seat. A small seal part inside rod is coming out with some oil. Install circlip to secure end seal. Now pull rod out, fill rod hole with oil, if it is not full. Push it down and pull it up couple of times to see if air bubbles ore coming out from dampener. Make sure that rod hole is full of oil whole time when you do this to avoid any air to go into dampener. Put small seal part into rod hole back and install that slot screw into it. Tighten it well (no torque info available). Install eye screw to the end (correct one, as it was in the beginning). Now it it is ready to be assembled back into your bike.

You have to clean both, dampener thread and dampener bolt well with solvent and then use thread locking glue to lock fixing screw when installing dampener into the bike. Install fender and wheel.

So, this was how I have done it.

Whole work takes maybe 2 hours altogether. And total costs are two seals and oil. Few bucks. But your dealer won't tell that to you. He will sell you new dampener with several hundred bucks and installation work additionally! Attn! Seals are not awailable by BMW, only complete damper.

So, it is not big job, if you know what to do and how to do it. And if you are interested to do it.

I know that many of you are afraid of this job because of insurance or warranty issues. Well, then it is better to let your dealer to do it.

What is interesting is that these seals used by BMW are seals for rotating shafts, not for shafts making stroke thus this rod is only for stroke movement, thus quite slow one. Maybe it is used because of seal lip. I think that it is keeping shaft cleaner and I think it keeps dirt better out from dampener.

Sorry, I do not have any pictures done of that work. That is why I tried to desribe as well as I could.


Regards
Leiboshi

Last edited by leiboshi; Sep 4th, 2008 at 3:40 pm.
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