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When your steering damper goes dead, send it to me for service. For just $55, I clean, inspect, drain, flush and replenish the oil. Same day turnaround, with FEDEX two day return shipping included. Don't send it with any hardware attached.
I will also include a new metric stainless SOCKET HEAD bolt to replace the crappy torx T30 bolt that connects the damper to the lower fork bridge.
If I can't fix it, I will ship it back to you at no charge.
PM me for shipping and payment details.
 

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I still need you to do mine... Guess I will pull it this week and I also need to get off the pot and start my clutch job... NOT looking forward to that at all! ;-))
 

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Discussion Starter #4
14wntr said:
do you change the seals? Mine is dead and I am trying to get the T30 bolt out right now. Any hints on how to remove that dam thing?
Kirk
Carefully drill the head off with a 1/4 drill bit and send it to me AS IS. I have a few seals, if needed, and I have the tools to extract that bolt. I include a stainless steel replacement bolt with a socket head so you don't have to deal with that again.
 

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deputy5211 said:
I still need you to do mine... Guess I will pull it this week and I also need to get off the pot and start my clutch job... NOT looking forward to that at all! ;-))
Box up your bike and Coch will replace the clutch for $55! Now THAT would be the deal of the century.

BTW I picked up a front shock from an '09 off eBay last week. It's barely dusty. Paid $55 including shipping. Mine is a leaker and I just plain got lucky finding the ad on eBay.

Loren
 

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What kind of oil goes in the damper ? Would putting a heavier oil help with a slight high speed wobble in corners ?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have Ohlin's front and rear, and in good shape. The local racing guy said I might want to put a little more preload on it and I'm also going to check my steering head to see if it has a little slop in it (over 128,000 mi ).

Thanks for the info.
 

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Cochinosucio, are you still rebuilding steering dampers?

Thanks,
Craig
 

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Cochinosucio, are you still rebuilding steering dampers?

Thanks,
Craig
His last post was in February of 2013. Have not seen him since then.
 

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Have not heard from him by telephone or email in a long time. I know he was going through some things, but her seemed to be doing ok.
 

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If you are mechanically savvy enough to get the damper off the bike you can do the refill yourself. See the excellent video of how to do it on the BMW Motorrad Club of Northern Illinois site. http://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/service/instructional-videos/15-k-bikes .

In most cases I suspect that you do not need to replace the seals unless they are leaking severely. It is so easy that I think you should plan to add this to your annual maintenance schedule (recommendation from Kirk on the video).

Condition Note: before I started, it was obvious that my damper was not doing any actual dampening based on the back and forth handle bar test. It did not seem to affect my riding but I am also blessed with a bike that does not chew up the front tires. When I got the unit off the bike and manually moved the piston it confirmed that there was no dampening action and when disassembled the damper was extremely low on oil compared with what I refilled. My bike is a 2002 with 45K miles.

Hard parts when I did the procedure:
1) First problem encountered when taking off the front tire/wheel assembly so I would have room to fight with the bottom bolt that holds the damper on the bike. My bike has the BMW embossed front brake calipers. Unlike the Brembo embossed calipers, the BMW ones don't have room to just slide off of the rotors. I had to take the extra step of loosening the bolts that hold the front rotors then I had room to remove the calipers which allowed me to get the front wheel and tire off the bike. Yes there is also a video for how to remove the front wheel and tire on the Illinois site if you haven't done this before.

2) That torx bolt on the bottom of the damper is pretty much the worst piece of crap I've ever dealt with. Give it a try but plan to have to drill the head off. Really not that hard since the bolt seems to be made of the cheapest metal available. Once the head is drilled off just wait until you get the whole damper off then grab the remaining threaded shaft with vice grips and twist it right out.

Before you start this process, go to the hardware store and get a good grade (8.8 or better) hex head stainless steel bolt size 8 with a 25mm long threaded shank (from the bottom of the head to the end). I think I paid all of a $1.25 at Ace Hardware.

3) The oil that Kirk uses in the video to refill the damper was unfamiliar to me so I had to do a frame grab to see that he was using a bottle of Honda branded 5W fork oil. Bought a quart bottle off of Amazon for about $10.00 and after the first use I think I can do this process about 5 more times if I'm not totally wasteful. A lot of shops carry fork oil in that weight but wanted more money and they were selling a synthetic brand. I'm cheap, what can I say.

4) When I had the damper disassembled just like in the video I noticed that the end of the piston rod that sticks out forward normally had some built up grunge that I removed with a soak in WD40 and a soft rag. Then I looked inside the forward seal and noticed some crud there as well. I used a dull nylon stick to gently wipe the seal surface until the crud was removed without damaging the seal. I think this build up is probably common and creates the path for the oil to escape, just like in forks.

5) I found that I needed to fill and flush the damper several times to clean out the crud and sludge. Kirk mentions this in the video but I was surprised anyway. I think if I do this annually it won't be nearly as bad.

After: I could immediately tell a difference in the action of the damper on the bench and I could also see the difference once mounted on the bike. I think I can feel a little more stability on the road but not as much as I anticipated. Still, well worth the effort and now that I'm past that torx bolt it should be very simple next time around.
 

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Thanks for the responses and info! I'm fairly mechanically-inclined (changed my clutch slave cylinder and drilled the weep hole), so I may tackle the damper rebuild. Mine was covered with dirt and oil, so I'm assuming the seals are bad.

I'll start searching threads for the specs and supplier for the seals....unless someone chimes in!

Thanks,
Craig
 

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:thumb: Thanks for the mention! I have some seals here for them and am awaiting one to do a full rebuild for a video. The seal size you are looking for is a 10 x20 x 07mm NBR or Viton with Stainless springs.
 

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Out of curiosity where did you find the seals? I found plenty of places that have the correct SIZE seals, but all were for low pressure applications. There is a different seal model that is designed for the higher pressures in hydraulic components and I could not find them anywhere. Many of the seals are only rated to 10ATM which is about 140PSI. They are designed to be rotary shaft seals in engines and I have read reports of them blowing out in higher pressure applications.

I found a lot of places that had these HMSA seals in stock. But they are low pressure.

http://www.skf.com/group/products/seals/industrial-seals/power-transmission-seals/radial-shaft-seals/seals-for-general-industrial-applications/hms5-and-hmsa10-seals/index.html
 

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-----------------SNIPPED-------------

Before you start this process, go to the hardware store and get a good grade (8.8 or better) hex head stainless steel bolt size 8 with a 25mm long threaded shank (from the bottom of the head to the end). I think I paid all of a $1.25 at Ace Hardware.-------------------------------------SNIPPED---------
This is not good information. There is no such thing as a grade 8.8 Stainless steel bolt. The metric designations are different for stainless than they are for steel. in a grade 8.8 steel bolt, the first 8 is multiplied by 100 to obtain the maximum tensile strength of the bolt in MPa (Mega Pascals), thus 800 MPa. The second 8 multiplied by 10 is the yield strength as percentage of tensile strength, thus 8X10=80% X 800= 640 MPa.

Grade 8.8 is the LOW grade of metric steel fasteners, approx equal to grade 5 SAE bolts. The two common higher grades are 10.9 and 12.9

Metric stainless designations are different, the most common grade being A2-70. A2 is austinetic grade 18-8, the 70 designates 700 MPA tensile strength.

A grade A2-70 stainless steel bolt is 15% weaker than the low grade 8.8 steel bolt.

Too many times I see people recommend stainless steel thinking it is strong, which is NOT the case. Stainless steel is for corrosion resistance, NOT STRENGTH!

My recommendation for this damper bolt would be M8X1.25 X 25 grade 10.9 or 12.9 steel, Hex Head or Socket Head, coated or plated.

Here is one source for a 30MM long one which would need 5MM cut off the end. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/DORN/005220BP/N0271.oap?ck=Search_bolts_-1_1324&keyword=bolts
These are probably available at many auto parts stores.
 

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David,

I certainly defer to your knowledge here on the various bolt strengths. I certainly agree that a higher strength is good if you can find it hence my "or better" note. My experience on cutting bolts to length is that unless you have the right dies on hand to clean up the threads you are better off shopping around and getting the right length in the first place.

Steve
 

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David,

I certainly defer to your knowledge here on the various bolt strengths. I certainly agree that a higher strength is good if you can find it hence my "or better" note. My experience on cutting bolts to length is that unless you have the right dies on hand to clean up the threads you are better off shopping around and getting the right length in the first place.

Steve
I have cut lots of bolts in the past. You do not need a die, a few seconds with a file to bevel the end will do the job. I did a quick search trying to find an easy source most people could find locally. There are places to get just what you need, like McMaster Carr, but you have to buy packages of 25-50, not single pieces.
 
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