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Steering Dampers


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Hi all,

I'm running 31" muds and still have a std-type steering damper that's done quite a few years of service. It felt OK last time I pulled it out and compressed/extended it by hand, but I'm thinking that a new one might be a good investment, esp with the new bigger, heavier tyres fitted. The vehicle does an increasing amount of heavy off-road work, the majority of the rest at highway speeds. It's got power steering fitted. I do get some minor shimmy and shake through the wheel on-road, and more kick-back off-road than I expected in an otherwise comfortable vehicle. I don't want to waste my money on the wrong choice and risk turning my daily drive into a dog.

Am I better off with a decent Heavy-Duty (big-bore) type of damper than a standard duty? Pros and Cons?

Has anyone had experience with RTC (return-to-centre, coil-over) steering dampers? Pros and Cons? Does it really help, or is it snake-oil?

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if you use your truck for "heavy off-road work"

then unless you relocate your damper to the drag link (the front bar) then dont change it for any thing bigger/more £££ cos you will just squesh it :huh:

I fitted a nice 30 quid damper and filled it fill of mud and flattened it on the first outing offroad.

now got solid bars and the damper relocated to the drag link then its behind the bash plate.


see :D

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Thanks all for your feedback. Good advice. I must admit that I was concerned that the RTC dampers were a bit of a band-aid. I'm looking at sourcing a decent drag link at the moment and will look into relocating the damper as suggested behind my steering protector. A decent damper out here is north of AU$120 (call it £50), so not something I'd like to be replacing too often... :(

Are the bigger-bore, heavy-duty ones worthwhile in a relatively mild, daily-driven rig like mine, or are they overkill designed for competition trucks? Are there down-sides to fitting them? Slow steering response, lack of feel, high efforts, etc?

BTW, I notice that you UK-lot seem to avoid extensive bar-work on your rigs from what I've seen. Is that due to legislation, are panels cheap and plentiful, or are your trees/wildlife that much softer than ours :P

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after looking at the link, you dont need to weld a bracket to chassis the like Mark did on his Disco.

I just made a quick bracket out of plate which then blots to the chassis using the holes that are already there for the steering box if my truck was a a left hooker.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all,

Just a quick update. I ended up fitting a Tough Dog HD Steering Damper (in std location... for now). 35mm bore, foam cell, for about AUD120. 10,000kms later and it's made a world of difference off-road and the minor steering kick-back on-road has been toned down, too. Thanks to all for their input. :) And I'll definitely be looking at re-locating it when I change the links.

P.S. The front end "shimmy" I was talking about earlier was more of a vehicle response to road shocks than a regular vibration. Hubs and wheel balance/run-out/etc all in really good nick... Thankfully.


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