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8. Dampers

This is where the trouble started!

Both ends of the damper are fitted with bushes. At first, there are a bewildering array of different aluminium bushes in the pack - but only two will fit in the dampers and allow the fixing bolts to pass through. Once copper slip was applied, I offered the damper up through the lower wishbone and it's an easy job to get the damper into the correct position.

After fitting the bolt through the lower fixing and tightening loosely, the main problem was sliding the bolt through the upper fixing point. When removing the bolt from the chassis (it was shipped with both the bolts in place) it was clear that it was very close to the side skin. There are two main issues here - first, the rear side of the IVA trim wants to push the bolt off axis. Second, a washer is required, which if next to the caphead, wants to either damage the side skin, or push the bolt off axis. These two points are easy to address (lift the IVA trim out of the way, and slide the washer down the bolt until it is clear of the side skin.

However, even after taking care of those areas, I found it a considerable challenge to slide the bolt through the chassis hole and through the bush in the top of the damper. I tried using a spanner of the hex section at the top of the damper to tweak the angle; I tried lifting the lower wishbone to try to adjust the height of the bush relative to the chassis hole; I tried removing the bolt and aligning the bush using a small Allen key; I tried using a jewellers screwdriver to feel the concentricity of the bush relative to the chassis hole. None of these attempts yielded any success. Another key issue is that the cap head is inaccessible making it very difficult to manipulate the bolt.

It was a very long and strenuous process of encouraging the bolt into position thread by thread, taking over an hour on each side. I can't imaging the factory takes this long, but I'm not sure what I was doing wrong either. Eventually I got the bolt home and was able to tighten it. The video below has several minutes of frustration edited out!

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