Bilstein Steering Dampner - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 20th, 2009, 09:25 PM
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Eric
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Question Bilstein Steering Dampner

Are these adjustable to length before installation?

The damper wants to extend to a length greater than the mounting points on the frame and the drag link.
It seems as if this will push the steering but I'm afraid to turn the dampner without knowing what I'm doing.

Of course the dampner comes with warnings in every known language but no installation instructions.

Thanks!
Eric
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  #2  
Old June 20th, 2009, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE
Are these adjustable to length before installation?

The damper wants to extend to a length greater than the mounting points on the frame and the drag link.
It seems as if this will push the steering but I'm afraid to turn the dampner without knowing what I'm doing.

Of course the dampner comes with warnings in every known language but no installation instructions.

Thanks!
Eric
Turn the steering wheel to match. Or muscle it. The shock is charged with Nitrogen. It's going to want to push out.
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  #3  
Old June 21st, 2009, 08:23 AM
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I know my OME damper doesnt extend on its own, I didnt think steering dampers were supposed to do this?
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  #4  
Old June 21st, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Just install one end into the frame tab, compress it, then install the other end into the steering link...it's easy
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  #5  
Old June 21st, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Simple to install yes but now causes bump-steer.
This cannot be correct.

Oh, it did get rid of 100% the wobbles.
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  #6  
Old June 21st, 2009, 05:09 PM
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I've read here and on other forums that the bilstein dampener is 'too strong' for the power steering setup on a D-90, and people have switched it out with OME with good results. Not sure of the validity of that though.
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  #7  
Old June 21st, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Yes, bilstein damper is bad for a rover. I said this first back in 1999 and have been fighting it ever since.
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  #8  
Old June 21st, 2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE
Simple to install yes but now causes bump-steer.
This cannot be correct.

Oh, it did get rid of 100% the wobbles.

band-aid ask me how I know.
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  #9  
Old June 21st, 2009, 09:25 PM
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If you have wobbles, the damper is masking the real problem.

Bilstein dampers are stupid. It is a bad idea to be nitrogen charged and there is no purpose.
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  #10  
Old June 21st, 2009, 09:43 PM
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My shop won't use the bilstein one. Everything posted above they agree with. Anytime oine goes in it ends up coming out
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  #11  
Old June 21st, 2009, 10:10 PM
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Ron,

Why are the Bilsteins bad for Rovers?
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  #12  
Old June 21st, 2009, 10:23 PM
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They tend to cause the truck to pull to one side.
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  #13  
Old June 21st, 2009, 10:56 PM
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It pulls to the left.

I will try to call them tomorrow.
If there is no way to adjust it then the sucker is going back to where it came from.
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  #14  
Old June 21st, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE
It pulls to the left.

I will try to call them tomorrow.
If there is no way to adjust it then the sucker is going back to where it came from.
There is no way to adjust. Buy an Old Man Emu or stock one.

Ron
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  #15  
Old June 21st, 2009, 11:22 PM
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Ron,

Thanks. I recently installed a Bilstein on my D-90 SW. I also changed the down arm ball joint and three of the four ball joints on the front end. Then I had a front end alignment done. Since I did everything over about two months I kept seeing incremental improvements. The down arm ball joint was actually slightly bent -- that caused the steering clunk to go away. The Bilstein did away with the shimmy between 60-70 mph. Four weeks ago I drove it from AZ to MASS and it never handled better.
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  #16  
Old June 21st, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Scott,

Good for you. If the front end is tight the force is not enough to cause them to pull to one side, but they end up causing issues for a lot of people.

I need to do Chicky's front end at some point. Her ball joints and drop arm are good, but she need the steering box tightened and may need the wheel bearings and/or swivel preload adjusted. She has a bilstein damper and does not pull (but she has some steering slop which I have isolated to the box -- I think -- as it is not leaking, I am hoping adjusting it will fix the issue).

Ron
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  #17  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 05:46 PM
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It is still a stupid design. Nitrogen charged shocks are to prevent fade. Fade is not possible on a steering damper. Having a constant force in one direction due to the charging is just plain dumb.
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  #18  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
It is still a stupid design. Nitrogen charged shocks are to prevent fade. Fade is not possible on a steering damper. Having a constant force in one direction due to the charging is just plain dumb.
Well,

If you wanted to get really technical, putting a damper on the steering system is stupid. It is a practice that should have stopped in the 80's, but like the mullet, it continues. But hey, it serves a purpose, to mask a less than awesome steering system.

All that said, yes, you are right, a damper should be nuetral.
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  #19  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
It is still a stupid design. Nitrogen charged shocks are to prevent fade. Fade is not possible on a steering damper. Having a constant force in one direction due to the charging is just plain dumb.

I thought the gas (nitrogen) was there to allow for the increased fluid displaced by the shaft as it moves into the cylinder? Bathtub overflowing when you get in kind-of-thing. I'm sure it helps reduce aeration as well. I think the problem with the Bilstein is maybe it's over-charged like a suspension shock.

http://www.blackartdesigns.com/BAD-H...t%20works.html
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  #20  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Thumbs down Major thumbs down- shame on Bilstein.

Live and learn.

Bilstein says the dampner is not adjustable to length but you can drill and install a schrader valve to lessen the pressure. Apparently in the past they used to use more pressure but lower it due to complaints.

My truck has about 30K original miles so it does not have a lot of slop in the front end. The tires are original and have never been rebalanced, bushings are original, etc. which no doubt could be part of the issue

This totally sux do now I need to return the dampner.

I will go with OEM or more likely OME.
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