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Steering damper - experience #600690
24/10/19 06:29 AM
24/10/19 06:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 154
Bergen, Norway
R
Robbie Mathisen Offline OP
L - Learner Plates On
Robbie Mathisen  Offline OP
L - Learner Plates On
R

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 154
Bergen, Norway
Thought I would share my experience putting on steering damper (SD). I had a moderate vibration at aprox. 80 km/h, thought to be the infamous St. Malverns dance.I got the wheels balanced which improved the matter to some degree, but it was still there. Next step was putting on a SD. Quite fiddly as my car has overriders with thick metal brackets, but got it done thanks to DaveW's instructions - even without taking the bracket off. However, I was disappointed with the result - the vibration was still there, although once again a little better. So I got the wheels balanced once again. It turned out they were quite off balance, either because the workshop I used last time did a bad job or because the wheels had become of balance with time. Anyway, now they got way better, with the vibration almost gone. And now the SD came to it's right, although different to what I had expected. Due to the excessive feedback from an uneven road and also bump steer I had aquired the habit of clenching the steering wheel with both hands, not driving very relaxed. This liveliness of the steering wheel now disappeared, and little by little I learned to trust the steering, loosing my grip, lowering my shoulders and just let my hands rest relaxed on the wheel. It took some weeks though, untill I got used to the new-gained stability and permitted myself to let go. The steering is not heavier, and the self-righting is unchanged. Two close friends have done the same ting. One is a +8 with rack-and pinion, he reports the same result. The other is a 4/4 with steering box/Pitman arm, and he really is exited - seems like a SD has more effect with a steering box. Recommended!


Robbie the Norseman
2004 V6 Roadster
Sherwood green
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600701
24/10/19 08:07 AM
24/10/19 08:07 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 917
Sumerset
Rog Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
Rog  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 917
Sumerset
That’s interesting Robbie and something that I have been pondering. I don’t have the dance but have just moved from a non-roller bearing damper blade car to a car with roller bearings (and SSL kit). Don’t get me wrong I do like some steering wheel feedback but one of my first impressions whilst driving the car was the increased feedback and how lively the steering wheel was on bad road surfaces.

Which SD did you install?


Roger
Plus 4
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600702
24/10/19 08:07 AM
24/10/19 08:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,098
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Richard Wood Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
Richard Wood  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,098
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Thanks for interesting report Robbie. Although facts cannot be denied I'm still sceptical of the need and use of steering dampers. Off road vehicles including my Land Rover have them for obvious reasons but for road only use I cannot help but imagine they just hide a steering problem, not fix it at source.

You didn't mention in your search for improved steering comfort if you had camber, toe in and maybe castor checked. None should have induced wheel vibrations but may have accounted for tyre wear between the wheel balance sessions.

Modern Classic Morgans don't generally seem to need them, nor do they suffer from bump steer given the long track rods, so I have to wonder at the ones that do benefit from the fitting of steering dampers confused2


Richard

2018 Roadster - Red/Magnolia - "Morton"
1967 Land Rover series 2a SWB
1960 Velocette Venom
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600706
24/10/19 08:24 AM
24/10/19 08:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,463
Yorkshire
CooperMan Offline
Has a lot to Say!
CooperMan  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,463
Yorkshire
Looking at the age of Robbie's Roadster he may have the earlier stub axle / susp geometry which I had on my '04 - I spent years tweaking & trying things like SD, but the feedback & twitch were always there in the background

Glad you have found some improvement Robbie

DW may be along to comment as his S1 did have the stub axles changed early in it's life, due to this issue


Jon M
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600743
24/10/19 12:27 PM
24/10/19 12:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 154
Bergen, Norway
R
Robbie Mathisen Offline OP
L - Learner Plates On
Robbie Mathisen  Offline OP
L - Learner Plates On
R

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 154
Bergen, Norway
Actually I do have the early suspension geometry Cooperman is referring to. So I do not know what difference I would have noticed if I had the later version. I have not checked castor/ camber/toe in, but there are no signs of irregular tyre wear. And as I mentioned, the 80km/h vibrtaion was 95% resolved by a good balance job. I think DaveW fitted a damper not long ago, so changing the stub axels possibly did not lead to full satisfaction? Would be interesting to hear his viewpoints. My damper is the one delivered by MulFab. As for my two fellow Morganeers, I just quote them being very happy. I also enjoy feedback from the road, but it can be too much. As a cruising man who wants relaxed driving, I am now quite content with the result.


Robbie the Norseman
2004 V6 Roadster
Sherwood green
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600751
24/10/19 01:12 PM
24/10/19 01:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 14,299
Suffolk
John V6 Offline
Member of the Inner Circle
John V6  Offline
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 14,299
Suffolk
All I can say is my 06 roadster is far better than my 97 +4 or my 94 4/4 in terms of handling.


JohnV6
2006 Indigo Blue Roadster S1
Being paid to breathe
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600766
24/10/19 02:55 PM
24/10/19 02:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,919
Seattle, USA
B
Button Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast
Button  Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,919
Seattle, USA
I recently installed a SD. This one came from Australia. As I had no damper at all and thrust bearings under the main spring it helped a lot to get the steering to settle down.


Button
Re: Steering damper - experience [Re: Robbie Mathisen] #600769
24/10/19 03:07 PM
24/10/19 03:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 661
UK
BuyBritish Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
BuyBritish  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 661
UK
Our series 1 flat rad 1947 car had terrible handing and we found the car had toe out...this is mainly used for race cars to give flighty handling...adjusted to toe in and the cars a dream to handle ....


Rob Davies
Morgan 3 Wheeler 1934 MX
Morgan Series 1 1947
Morgan +4 1956 TR4
Morgan +4 2000 T16 Rov

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