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31. Dampers

The Dampers are reputed to be difficult to fit and the advice is to fit the upper bush first and then the lower one. However, when the upper bush was fitted with the required sleeve and offered into the chassis, it became clear that if the lower end of the Damper was inside the chassis rail (as required) the upper bush would not align with the bolt hole in the chassis. If the lower end of the Damper was allowed to stray outside the chassis rail, the alignment of the upper bush was easy. However, the Damper is too long to allow the upper bush to be fitted first and then the lower bush to be moved inside the chassis rail and fitted.

I decided to use a different method of fitting the Dampers - using tie-wraps to slightly compress the Dampers as was done on the Collector Spring. This was done by holding each Damper vertically with the lower bush on the workbench. Shifting bodyweight onto the top of the Damper created several millimetres of compression and the tie-wraps were tightened. the Damper coils seem to be in two parts - the upper area is more tightly coiled than the lower half. It may be an impression, but it seemed as though the upper area compressed slightly more, and so I concentrated my effort with a couple of tie-wraps in that area. The compression of course then allowed the spring platforms to freely rotate - I was careful not to move them from the factory set position, but if I were to do this again I would apply masking tape to hold them.

Making ready the Dampers

Once compressed, the upper bush was fitted into position using the caphead bolt with the lower bush outside the chassis rail. Then the lower bush was moved over the chassis rail and offered up to the DeDion fixing bracket. This bracket was very tight and so a wooden bar was used between them to apply a little force which then allowed the lower Damper bush to slide into position. The upper and lower bolts were then tightened but not fully torqued since the advice is to wait until the suspension is fully loaded with the weight of the car before torquing.

Upper bush fixed with lower bush outside chassis; lower bush moved inside; fixed to DeDion

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