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  #1  
Old 02-03-2011, 09:22 PM
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Steering damper rebuild

Tried everywhere for a step by step on a rebuild. Found replacing oil etc, but not a rebuild. Let's see if I can make my second post count... here goes...

Removal
I removed the left and right fairing pannels, the tank covers and the right air filter snorkel. You will find a silver bracket with a torx bolt, to the right hand side of the left air filter snorkel, remove it. If I can remember correctly, it's a T45. Then, using the same bit, you must loosen the steering damper body. This bolt is under a plastic grommet (that you must remove) just below the BMW badge on the triple clamp. Pic: Frame. You can then slide the damper out the right side.

Strip
The first thing is to take the banjo off. Release the lock nut with a 13mm spanner while holding the banjo with a 14mm. Remove the banjo and nut. I then used 2 X 8mm nuts, and locked them together. (you can leave the orignal nut and add another, but I prefer to use other nuts and not bruise the original) Pic: Damp1. Now hold one of the nuts with a spanner, and lossen the screw on the other side of the shaft. Leaving the screw in (so that you dont bend the hollow shaft oval, which I did), wrap the shaft with a cloth and grip it with waterpump pliers. While holding one of the nuts with a spanner, start unscrewing the shaft at the pliers end. Start with little force on the pliers. The shaft will spin in the cloth, then add more force until the shaft stops slipping and starts rotating. Pic: Damp1. It looks like it's one shaft, but it's 2 shafts that screw together in the middle. Carry on unscrewing the shaft, and remove it. Remove the screw on that shaft, and push out the small grommet thingy with the "o" ring on it. Pic: Damp2.Then remove the 2 lock nuts. Remove the circlips and washers from both sides. I used a screw driver to remove the seal from the side that the shaft came out of. Pic: Damp3. Be carefull not to push the screwdriver in too deep, and scratch the housing of the damper (where the seal seats), or the oil will leak out between the new seal and the housing. Turn the damper over, and a bush will fall out. Now push the shaft that had the banjo thread, into the damper and the whole unit will come out the side that you removed the seal and bush. Now remove the seal and bush that's left in the damper. You have now stripped the damper and it looks like this. Pic: Damp4. My bush was a bit worn, so I removed it from it's carrier Pic: Bush1 & Bush2 and got someone to turn out new ones for me.

Assembly
At this point, you will realise that the mounting point (where it mounts to the bike frame) on the damper body, is not in the center Pic: Damp4. You will also see that the bushes have a thin and thick side to them Pic: Bush3. If fitted the wrong way, they will not go deep enough. Right... Starting at the shorter side of the deamper housing, fit the bush first, thinner side goes in first (faces the inside of the damper), then fit the seal, then the washer and finaly the circlip. Now install the shaft, that has the piston, from the other side Pic: Damp5. Now fit the other side's bush, seal, washer and circlip. With the open end up, fill the damper with oil and move the shaft up and down to bleed the bottom chamber of air. Once satisfied all the air is out, submerge the unit in a bowl of oil and continue to purge more air out of it, as there is air trapped under the seal on the open end Pic: Damp6. Take the other shaft, and insert the grommet with the "O" ring. Push it to the middle of the shaft and submerge it in the oil to remove the air. Take note that the shaft has a groove around it on the one end, that's the outside side of the shaft. Staying submerged, push the shaft with the piston thats in the damper, all the way in. With everything still submerged, fit the loose shaft (smooth side in) through the seal and start screwing it into the other shaft. Once it's hand tight, you can remove the whole unit, pour the excess oil out the hollow shaft and give it a wipe down. Fit the lock nuts to the banjo side and fit the screw to the hollow side. Now tighten the 2 shafts using the spanner and pliers system that was used earlier. Test the unit for smoothness and see if there is no air in the unit. You will hear the bubbling as you move it back and forth if there is air. DONE

Notes:
  • Reading on other forums and about other dampers: people have fitted a seal to one side, filled it with oil and then fitted the other seal. This could have 2 effects. 1) if the shaft is assembled, or never stripped, pushing in the seal while full of oil, will raise the pressure in the unit. 2) there will be air trapped under that seal.
  • Some people have the whole unit assmbled, except for the hollow shaft, grommet with "O" rind and screw. They then fill it with oil, bleed all the air out and then fit the hollow shaft. Top up the shaft to a point and then push the grommet in. The problem with this, is that the grommet's "O" ring will trap the air underneath it. This shaft seems as if it's a reservoir for the oil. When it gets hot, the oil can expand into the hollow shaft, pushing the grommet outwards. As the unit cools down the grommet will lower again due to the lower pressure of the unit and the compressed air on the other side of it. This is the reason I push the grommet to the middle, it'll allow travel in both directions.
  • I used a 2.5wt oil. Steering feels a little lighter than before, but the resistance is good if you move the bars back and forth vigorously. Went out on a test ride and it feels good. If I do get a slapper, i will try the 5 wt.
  • Remember that these seal take quite a bit of pressure. Some people have complained about the seal lip "rolling" outwards under pressure, and losing their oil. The seal is a high pressure seal made by Kaco. I couldn't get that one, and none of our suppliers were sure whether their 10X20X7 seals where high pressure . I ended up buying a hydraulic seal in 10X20X8 and took 1 mm off the one side.
  • Once complete, I pour the remaining oil back into it's container, filtering it through a spraypaint filter.
  • I wrote this to the best of my ability, trying to describe things the best I can. I'm a better lecturer than a writer . If there's anything that needs clearing up, give a shout.
  • In other forums, I can put my pics in between the paragraghs, but can't hear. If anyone wants to re-edit this post with the pics in a better way, be my guest.
Hope this helps you out with your damper rebuild .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Frame.jpg (71.5 KB, 636 views)
File Type: jpg Damp1.jpg (129.1 KB, 580 views)
File Type: jpg Damp2.jpg (96.3 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg Damp3.jpg (138.3 KB, 344 views)
File Type: jpg Damp4.jpg (118.8 KB, 456 views)
File Type: jpg Bush1.jpg (131.4 KB, 368 views)
File Type: jpg Bush2.jpg (146.6 KB, 296 views)
File Type: jpg Bush3.jpg (82.4 KB, 271 views)
File Type: jpg Damp5.jpg (129.8 KB, 332 views)
File Type: jpg Damp6.jpg (141.9 KB, 347 views)
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Fantastic!


I'll make this Thread a Sticky
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:30 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

GREAT second post!
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:37 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Htheater
GREAT second post!

+1
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:21 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

I've done that few times, for KS and LT . Simple and easy job.
It has been easy to find seal here in Finland.
There are two different types of seal to be found with correct measurements.
One is for sealing stroking shaft, one is for a rotating shaft.
Lip is different.

First time i have chosen wrong seal and it worked for a while until I have lost oil. After replacing seal, worth of 2 USD, damper worked perfectly. Even after years.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:45 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Good job! Did you rebuild it because it was leaking or because you thought it was not working properly or just because you could do it?
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:36 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe
Good job! Did you rebuild it because it was leaking or because you thought it was not working properly or just because you could do it?

It was leaking.

I've purchased my first LT with fault damper and I found out how simple job it was to repair. After asking first parts from BMW: not available, only complete expensive damper to be purchased.

Regards
Jukka
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:47 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

The best description of a job. Excellant!!
Where can I get the mounting rubbers ( 3 off) in the UK Please??
I have a slight leak on the Timing cover.
How do I stop it please?
Thank you
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:27 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb
I have a slight leak on the Timing cover.
How do I stop it please?
Thank you
Check it out.

http://home.comcast.net/~msbohn/bike...eak_Repair.pdf

A good source for RS repair procedures, look at the "Sticky" threads.

http://www.i-bmw.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:19 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

2002 LT here, rebuild for me is going to be a challenge but what di I have to lose,
Question is once removed is the Bike still ride-able ?
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:06 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltlfeat
2002 LT here, rebuild for me is going to be a challenge but what di I have to lose,
Question is once removed is the Bike still ride-able ?

I would not try to ride without steering damper. Bike is too heavy and point of gravity is at high level. If it starts to wobble, you will get your pants dirty. Maybe some more damages as well.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:15 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Thanks very much sticky this information has been very helpful keep on riding!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:29 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Im not saying you should do the same but I've been riding mine for a couple yrs maybe more with a stearing damper that does not work , have experienced tank slappers, many times in the 8 yrs i've had my 02 and never noticed anything different or more sever
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:29 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Found these online in eBay. Did a rebuild and they're a perfect fit. Can't attest to durability but as of yet no leaks. And as a pack of 10, I've got several for additional rebuilds on down the road.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-U-ring-1...item416da3e23a
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:00 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Finally finished the rebuild would not have been possible without this info great job sticky I personally approve of these instructions Nice one, keep on riding
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:05 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

2008 K12S with 40,000miles here - can anybody tell me how much force is normally needed to move the steering damper?

With the front wheel jacked-up off the ground, my steering seems very stiff so I took the damper off, held the damper body and pushed the rod end-down onto a set of kitchen scales. The absolute minimum force to make the rod move through the body is about 1.5lbs, but it needs about 5lbs to move it at anything like the sort of speed it would normally move at. Is this normal?

Thanks

Matt
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:27 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Normal I don't know, what I do know is that leverage produced by turning the handle bars is greater than the pressure you can exert on a pair of weighing scales.there is no signs of leaking or corrosion? Hope this helps regards ed, keep on riding....
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:28 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Thanks, I'll just put it back on and forget about it!
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:05 PM
steve.c.hardy steve.c.hardy is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Hi does anyone have an old steering damper rod to sell for aK1200RS 1999? I had a bad time unscrewing the 2 half’s on my damper andscratched one end of the shaft! The annoying thing was I put a load of tape onit to protect it but the vice cut through the tape. The two half’s are threadlocked on this model and were locked solid. The scratch is at the top of theshaft so it may be out of the range of the seal but just to be on the safe sideI would like to replace it.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:25 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Hi,

On my K1200s there was definately a leak, which was confirmed thx to your detailed breakdown of the re-seal.

However, looking for alternatives to the seal I found that the seal design I removed was a radial lip seal design?
The steering damper is axial movement, but Axial Hydraulic seals are much much different in design.

I found some in an SKF catalog and will source next week.

Not sure why BMW used these radial ones tho. To my knowledge radial seals actually are designed to leak a few micron's of oil to have a lubricant film and as such allow the seal to
not wear excessively due to rotating piston.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:29 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leiboshi
I've done that few times, for KS and LT . Simple and easy job.
It has been easy to find seal here in Finland.
There are two different types of seal to be found with correct measurements.
One is for sealing stroking shaft, one is for a rotating shaft.
Lip is different.

First time i have chosen wrong seal and it worked for a while until I have lost oil. After replacing seal, worth of 2 USD, damper worked perfectly. Even after years.

Terve Leiboshi,

Can you give the seals spec so I can take a look at that?
Your seals are indeed correct for axial piston. But why did BMW originally use seal design traditionally for radial piston sealing?
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:26 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

I have the seals and must say they look very similar in dim's

Will assemble tomorrow and advise.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:34 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Thanks,Need to order seals and rebuild myself.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:27 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Apologies for not feeding the thread, but wanted to make sure I had no leaks.
I'm gonna buy some more to keep spare and will feed pic's asap.
I can however say that you really need thin oil; normal fork oil will not work...too heavy steering
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:51 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

This is a fantastic post. Several of you have successfully rebuilt your dampers.

Can someone post up a list of recommended repair parts and O rings that you have found to work properly? What is a good source for the purchase of the parts?

Where do you get the recommended replacement oil and can you use oil a little heavier to increase dampening?

Thanks

Bill
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:10 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

I've rebuild mine a while back. It's on the table for winter clean & service and still no leaks.
The seals I've bought locally. No P/N avail but I'll double check.
Any lipseal will do provided the material is resistant to (potentially corrosive) oil and the chrome on the damper slider is smooth & straight.
I actually used thinner oil(fork oil).
Belgian roads are horrible and I do work the front hard but no issues there.
More importantly_put some locktite on the attachment bolts.
If they manage to come off you WILL go down
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:15 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Does anyone know if the R1100 steering damper uses the same size seal? Pre-ride inspection this morning found my steering damper is leaking and a quick search found this thread so I know it can be done.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:49 PM
Katsumoto Katsumoto is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Phlazm,

Look at it this way...you have a leak so must replace or overhaul anyway_
get it out and dismantled and measure the tube & rod diameters_only then will you know for sure what seal you need and if they are same.
...unless you can magically find a component maintenance manual online somewhere.

K
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:01 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

I continued googling (love how that is a verb now) and bought some that were linked in a different post on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/281012331066). Couldn't find anything priced right in the US or with the correct pressure. Now to wait for the parts.

I've read differing opinions on how the damper with some saying it is critical and others saying it is useless and they've ridden without it. Without implying any liability on anyone, do you think it would be safe to ride it while waiting for the parts?

Worst case, I'll just have to buy and Ohlins or Hyper-whatever one. And then cry at the expense.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:01 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Accidental repeat post. How do you delete these anyway?
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:03 PM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

its to the rider to take that decision really, but consider following:
Would bmw have engineered the damper in there boosting sales price and then hide it alltogether? Riding without would be fine if you adjust your riding style to 'sensible' mode.
I'm sure the more you take the bike to its limit the more it is justified to have it.
Unfortunately the road quality or lack thereof take the bike to its limit...
I'd rather have it and not need it.

K
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:01 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Excellent set of instructions. BMW R850R & (probably) R1100R owners please note that the banjo nut side of shaft is towards the long side and not the short one. Rest of the procedure is the same.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:16 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Tried and failed on my end. Everything came off fine, but I didn't use thick enough leather to protect the piston and ended up scoring the rod. Too bad because I thought the hard part was done. After that I ended up getting an adjustable damper from Ted's Beemer Shop. Its nice and I like the adjustability, but I still wish I couldn't made the rebuild work for a heck of a lot less money.

I did ride without a damper for about a month while I waited for the right bracket to come in. Overall observation is that the damper does a great job of smoothing out the ride. This morning I had a bus decide I wasn't there when making a *very* wide left turn and I ended up going over the curve. I credit the damper with helping me stay in control so I'm a firm believer.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:29 AM
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

The best tool to hold the shaft is drill chuck. Just tighten enough like a drill bit so that it does not rotate. You can then hold the chuck in a vise-grip and unscrew the shaft from the other end (use another 13mm nut to lock them together).
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  #35  
Old 10-02-2015, 04:21 AM
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slipprymongoose slipprymongoose is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Just used this method to rebuild my damper and it worked a treat. Also used 5w fork oil for the job. Stuff spending $600 on a unit from Bmw
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  #36  
Old 11-02-2015, 04:36 PM
dr8531 dr8531 is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

when searching for the seals to buy, what is the description you use? Thanks for your time!
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  #37  
Old 11-02-2015, 04:55 PM
Katsumoto Katsumoto is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Try keyword "lipseal"

K
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:21 AM
asiahm asiahm is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

You need 2 lip seals: 10X20X7/8.5 (inner dia x outer dia x height/height + lid). Made by KACO, order No. 73839099. I could not find lip seals and used regular 10X20X7 seals which are working fine.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:11 AM
Katsumoto Katsumoto is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

http://www.partool.be/nl/articles/aa...cle-29129.html
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  #40  
Old 11-26-2015, 11:32 AM
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Pocketbikes Pocketbikes is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlazm
I continued googling (love how that is a verb now) and bought some that were linked in a different post on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/281012331066). Couldn't find anything priced right in the US or with the correct pressure. Now to wait for the parts.

I've read differing opinions on how the damper with some saying it is critical and others saying it is useless and they've ridden without it. Without implying any liability on anyone, do you think it would be safe to ride it while waiting for the parts?

Worst case, I'll just have to buy and Ohlins or Hyper-whatever one. And then cry at the expense.

If been having a few tank slappers when climbing on the gas on an undulated road. Checked for worn "steering neck" ball joints, but they're fine. Checked my steering damper and it's leaking again. It lasted 4.5 years. The funny part is that I've already forgotten how I did it, so I'm back to reading how I did it...
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  #41  
Old 06-11-2016, 03:24 PM
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fabiuscny fabiuscny is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Great post, thanks!

This BMW club has a good video also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Llj1rsUJd04
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  #42  
Old 07-18-2016, 01:22 PM
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Bill Curlee Bill Curlee is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Has anyone found a good supplier for the software = 2 lip seals: 10X20X7/8.5 (inner dia x outer dia x height/height + lid). Made by KACO, order No. 73839099.

I googled and didn't find the correct stuff.

How much different can the seals be "inside dia wise" before they wont work???

BC
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:06 AM
asiahm asiahm is offline
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Re: Steering damper rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by asiahm
You need 2 lip seals: 10X20X7/8.5 (inner dia x outer dia x height/height + lid). Made by KACO, order No. 73839099. I could not find lip seals and used regular 10X20X7 seals which are working fine.
Update: The lip-less seals lasted one year. It has started to drip oil
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