Getting steering damper off the fork brace? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old May 1st, 2009, 6:51 pm Thread Starter
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Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

I am replacing my damper and I can't free the bolt that attaches it to the fork brace. I have purchased a HyperPro and it seems to have all new bolts and a different mount so I don't need this bolt.

So after reading a few threads I see that there has been some success with slow pressure on the bolt. I did not have success... I have rounded the head. I probably should have at minimum removed the tire and I might have had success. The hex bolt seems to have been a T27 Torx configuration. The T30 would not go in and the T25 got minimal bite. I say 'seems to have been' because I have rounded the edges. This was all feel as I could not see much. The new damper comes with all the necessary hardware so I thought about taking a hack saw to the post so I took off the foam rubber protector and there seems to be a gimbal pressed in the bridge to allow for movement of the damper.

Since the bolt is rounded it looks like I will need to remove the fork bridge. How is that gimbal held into the fork brace. Is it pressed in? When I look up the parts I see something they call a joint link. It appears to be replaceable. I'm assuming that it comes out from the bottom when I remove the bolt but that doesn't seem logical to me. I would like to make sure I understand the makeup of all the parts. I would like not to have to take off the fork bridge. If I remember correctly when I did my Ohlins that bolt on the brace had a big torque and it was above my half inch wrench capability.

Now the question...

I'm assuming that my only have the option of taking off the fork bridge and drilling out the head. Has anyone been able to drill out the bolt from below after just removing the tire? or is there something I can't see.


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Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #2 of 7 Old May 1st, 2009, 8:54 pm
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

You'll find it a lot easier to remove the front tire, then struggle with it. It is a poor excuse for a fastener, strips easily. I don't remember how I got the first one off but it was a bear and I replaced it with a hex head bolt. I think I would've gone to the hacksaw next.
good luck and post how you did it.
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post #3 of 7 Old May 2nd, 2009, 1:10 pm
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

Easiest way to take damper off is to
a) remove wheel
b) remove fork bridge
c) fix damper into a a bench and loose it

This is only 100% sure way to do it so, that you get it off with out problems. And it is easy. Now you have tried to save some time when not removing fork bridge, and you've got same result as I have had in my first LT.

Problem is that steering damper is fixed into fork bridge with a bearing and screw has glue. In work bench you get it well fixed to loose screw. In fork bridge never. Thus some have succeeded to change it without removing fork bridge.

I have done this work few times. And I won't do it without removing fork bridge any more.

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post #4 of 7 Old May 2nd, 2009, 8:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

Yes, I really tried to do it the easy way and now I need to try to fix the quick fix. I did not get a chance to work the problem today so I will try tomorrow. I have given it some thought and if I had removed the wheel and kept the damper attached at the trailing arm I probably would have not stripped the head of the bolt. The damper was wiggling under pressure with my wrench and was very easy in hindsight to see why I failed.

I decided that I will attempt to drill off the head of the bolt while it is mounted in the fork bridge on the bike. I have to do that anyway even if I have the bridge in a vise. The head already has a place to center my drill and it is quite round.

The new damper will be just mounting a sleeve into the gimbal so if I can drill off the head I should be good to go. Once I get my head in there I am hoping that I can in clean look at the bolt and judge my penetration depth.

Hopefully I will be posting my success..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #5 of 7 Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:08 pm
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

Of course it is your bike and you do what you want. But to take of 4 screws to remove fork bridge takes only couple of minutes and then you have whole thing in your hand. How much easier it is to drill in work bench when damper is well fixed during drilling procedure...

And same when you fix it back with new screw. While it is moving in fork bridge, you will get problem to tighten it in bike, but not in work bench...

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post #6 of 7 Old May 3rd, 2009, 7:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

I agree that if there was only 4 bolts I would not have hesitated and removed the fork brace. The torque on the ball joint for the trailing arm is 230 Nm and that is 10% above any torque wrench I have in my tool box. I went through that exercise last season when I changed the front shock and I did not want to disturb that nut. I don't want to over torque that bolt and have it fail. I'm sure I have some safety factor there but I just don't want to deal with a failure.

I have completed the my mission and I included a picture in case someone else had the same questions I did. It would also be good to know the sizes I used. I could not find any reference on this site to any sizes I needed getting that troublesome bolt out.

In my opinion the easiest way to take that bolt out once it is rounded is to drill it out while on the bike. The bolt, as I said in an earlier post, used a T27 tip and you need that to extract the bolt. The bolt is very soft and very easy to round with or without the proper torque bit. I suggest that if you take the wheel off and keep the damper connected to the trailing arm it will stabilize it and allow greater leverage. Also it looks like it might be best to put any heat on the base of the damper. That would have also helped if I had a good heat source.

If you have already rounded the head need to drill use a 9/32 drill, it is perfect. Start very slow to get the center of the bolt and then with light/moderate pressure the on the drill will walk right up the bolt and enter a bushing. it will pop up the damper up from the fork bridge when it enters the bushing. You can see from the picture that the 9/32 drill hit the bolt dead on. It took all of 15 seconds. I spent more time looking for and cleaning my safety glasses so I would not get metal chips in my eyes as I watched the drill process from underneath.

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post #7 of 7 Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:03 pm
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Re: Getting steering damper off the fork brace?

I had to follow the same proceedure to change out my dampner as well but what I did was find a metric allen head bolt to replace it so that next time I can get to it with an allen head and not have to remove the bridge. I don't know why BMW put a torque head in that position with some type of thread lock on the threads.

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