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Ron Perkins
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:23 pm    Post subject: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Can't find a new steering dampener for my 74 412...any ideas? Looking at selling it, yes it runs and drives great other than a slight shimmy.
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Here is one

https://www.ebay.com/itm/254443085067

The part # for this one is correct.....but its suspicious that they block the picture of the most important end....and list other cars tjat do not use this part #.

https://m.eeuroparts.com/Parts/528589/Steering-Damper-Front-313712/

But....looking up one of my threads....the sachs number above is probably type 3.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=660563&highlight=steering+damper

The correct part # is 411 425 021 or 411 425 021A

Also.....
Cofap 22005
International parts of Mexico #22005
Boge: 1-0031-22-748-0

They are out there.....but the steering damper is rarely the cause of the "shimmy" on 411 and 412. A combination of the idler arm bushing and the centerlink are the problem.

Other partial issues that are common are upper strut bushing and bearing assemblies.....and the radius arm centering rings worn out or missing.

Its been my experience that on about,100% of vehicles....all of these parts are either shot or worn enough that they leverage each other and cause tbe shimmy. Ray
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Yes, the damper can mask a shimmy, but the root cause is elsewhere.

I think it's real purpose is to absorb the shock when you hit a pothole, so it doesn't jump out of your grip.
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

KTPhil wrote:
Yes, the damper can mask a shimmy, but the root cause is elsewhere.

I think it's real purpose is to absorb the shock when you hit a pothole, so it doesn't jump out of your grip.


Yes. On the type 4.....the damper's main purpose is to cut down on "bump steer"......which its not great at.....because the main cause of wind wandering and bunp steer in the 411 and 412.....is the lack of acceptable castor angle.

Factory castor is about 1.5 maximum.....and it needs about 2.5 minimum and 3.0 ideal. The cars are set up with adjustment to allow splitting the difference drom side to side.....to make both sides equal.....but not any greater than 1.5 castor.

The puzzling part is that the mounting point of the subframe.....is set up.....to allow forward shifting of the subframe to add castor.....but the front two mounting points are not clearanced to allow it. Its an easy mod to do and is one of just a couple of mods that REALLY improve handling and steering.

The other is to install the bronze idler bushing. Another is to clean up the struts (see my audi front suspension mod thread). Another huge one is to rebuild the center link.

The type 4 steering damper is also kind of week. I have a simple mod to make a pair of brackets from angle iron that bolts two stock ateering dampeners together end to end spoon style. It really helps.

If you are in a pinch.....you can buy a type 1 or 3 steering dampener.....and install the type 4 end on it with a little work.

Ray
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:
KTPhil wrote:
Yes, the damper can mask a shimmy, but the root cause is elsewhere.

I think it's real purpose is to absorb the shock when you hit a pothole, so it doesn't jump out of your grip.


Yes. On the type 4.....the damper's main purpose is to cut down on "bump steer"......which its not great at.....because the main cause of wind wandering and bunp steer in the 411 and 412.....is the lack of acceptable castor angle.

Factory castor is about 1.5 maximum.....and it needs about 2.5 minimum and 3.0 ideal. The cars are set up with adjustment to allow splitting the difference drom side to side.....to make both sides equal.....but not any greater than 1.5 castor.

The puzzling part is that the mounting point of the subframe.....is set up.....to allow forward shifting of the subframe to add castor.....but the front two mounting points are not clearanced to allow it. Its an easy mod to do and is one of just a couple of mods that REALLY improve handling and steering.

The other is to install the bronze idler bushing. Another is to clean up the struts (see my audi front suspension mod thread). Another huge one is to rebuild the center link.

The type 4 steering damper is also kind of week. I have a simple mod to make a pair of brackets from angle iron that bolts two stock ateering dampeners together end to end spoon style. It really helps.

If you are in a pinch.....you can buy a type 1 or 3 steering dampener.....and install the type 4 end on it with a little work.

Ray
WOW, I had no idea the stock spec was so low for Castor. As you noted, you'd need more for higher speed driving. That spec is almost a norm for Off-Road vehicles, which often have very low castor specs compared to a high speed car.
I can remember aligning Porsches and Mercedes that were close to 9.0 degrees in Castor back when I started in the Auto Industry in the late 80's.
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

jlrftype7 wrote:
raygreenwood wrote:
KTPhil wrote:
Yes, the damper can mask a shimmy, but the root cause is elsewhere.

I think it's real purpose is to absorb the shock when you hit a pothole, so it doesn't jump out of your grip.


Yes. On the type 4.....the damper's main purpose is to cut down on "bump steer"......which its not great at.....because the main cause of wind wandering and bunp steer in the 411 and 412.....is the lack of acceptable castor angle.

Factory castor is about 1.5 maximum.....and it needs about 2.5 minimum and 3.0 ideal. The cars are set up with adjustment to allow splitting the difference drom side to side.....to make both sides equal.....but not any greater than 1.5 castor.

The puzzling part is that the mounting point of the subframe.....is set up.....to allow forward shifting of the subframe to add castor.....but the front two mounting points are not clearanced to allow it. Its an easy mod to do and is one of just a couple of mods that REALLY improve handling and steering.

The other is to install the bronze idler bushing. Another is to clean up the struts (see my audi front suspension mod thread). Another huge one is to rebuild the center link.

The type 4 steering damper is also kind of week. I have a simple mod to make a pair of brackets from angle iron that bolts two stock ateering dampeners together end to end spoon style. It really helps.

If you are in a pinch.....you can buy a type 1 or 3 steering dampener.....and install the type 4 end on it with a little work.

Ray
WOW, I had no idea the stock spec was so low for Castor. As you noted, you'd need more for higher speed driving. That spec is almost a norm for Off-Road vehicles, which often have very low castor specs compared to a high speed car.
I can remember aligning Porsches and Mercedes that were close to 9.0 degrees in Castor back when I started in the Auto Industry in the late 80's.



Yes. Here is a nice thread with a chart of all of the VW alignment specs

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=206764

The 411 and 412 it lists castor as 1.75 +/-~0.6.

Its interesting.....that this "low castor" appears to be a habit of "early" McPherson strut suspensions. Look in the first chart at the early Mk 1 and early Mk2 Sirocco's and Rabbit pickups....they have even less on pickups and barely more on Rabbits and Sirocco.

But by the time strut type super beetle came out....they were running 2.0+. Sounds like they were learning.

Most beam type suspension had 3.3 (type 3) to upwards to 4.0+ for bus.

Ray
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Lars S
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Regarding the steering damper I have had some success with thee Mercedes W123 damper, pls see this thread:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=710036&highlight=w123
/Larrs S
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hulken
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Lars S wrote:
Regarding the steering damper I have had some success with thee Mercedes W123 damper, pls see this thread:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=710036&highlight=w123
/Larrs S


Do you think this is stiffer than the original? Ref. Ray's tip about twin steering dampers.
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Lars S
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:49 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Yes I would guess it is stiffer than the original ( the W123 is a lot heavier car than the 412) especially if you buy a well known brand such as Bilstein instead of the cheaper ones.

/Lars S
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Thanks again Lars!

The W123 is probably just as well known outside of Germany as the chassis series that included the 240D.

In Germany and central Europe it was known as 280E.....E meaning "executive car" and W=four door. There was a 280C and C= two-door coupe.....which might take the same damper.....and a 280S and S= five door estate/wagon.

Also in the 123 series in North America.....were the 230C, 300CD and 300TD

So all of these designations may help those on this side of the pond look for dampers for these Mercedes vehicles.

Pretty much in North America.....it was the 240D...sedans and wagons......the whole series was the most produced Mercedes.

So.....for example I can go to Rockauto Right now......go to Mercedes-Benz......just pick a date in the mid 80s.....I chose 1984......great music that year....lots of Mercedes in this class around.....I was in college and worked evenings in that year as a Valet so I parked a zill8on of them Laughing .......click on 300D .....3.5L five cylinder.......and they have the Bilstein part #18002461.....for $28.79

Ray
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:29 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:
Thanks again Lars!

The W123 is probably just as well known outside of Germany as the chassis series that included the 240D.

In Germany and central Europe it was known as 280E.....E meaning "executive car" and W=four door. There was a 280C and C= two-door coupe.....which might take the same damper.....and a 280S and S= five door estate/wagon.

Also in the 123 series in North America.....were the 230C, 300CD and 300TD

So all of these designations may help those on this side of the pond look for dampers for these Mercedes vehicles.

Pretty much in North America.....it was the 240D...sedans and wagons......the whole series was the most produced Mercedes.

So.....for example I can go to Rockauto Right now......go to Mercedes-Benz......just pick a date in the mid 80s.....I chose 1984......great music that year....lots of Mercedes in this class around.....I was in college and worked evenings in that year as a Valet so I parked a zill8on of them Laughing .......click on 300D .....3.5L five cylinder.......and they have the Bilstein part #18002461.....for $28.79

Ray
Is that Bilstein going to be Gas or plain Hydraulic?
The only reason I ask is that switching to a low pressure gas steering dampener often surprises owners as they can feel the new shock just fighting them a tiny touch on manual or lighter assisted power str systems from my experience with the Bilsteins
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Lars S
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Im no expert on this but wouldnt a gas steering damper like to push thee steering to one side due to the constant gas pressure on the damper piston?

The 411/412 is VERY easy to steer as we alll know...

/Larrs S
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Lars S wrote:
Im no expert on this but wouldnt a gas steering damper like to push thee steering to one side due to the constant gas pressure on the damper piston?

The 411/412 is VERY easy to steer as we alll know...

/Larrs S
I haven't seen them actually move the steering rack due to the wheels being on the ground and resisting that gas shock, but, while driving you could feel a bias in turns when moving the steering wheel.
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'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

jlrftype7 wrote:


I haven't seen them actually move the steering rack due to the wheels being on the ground and resisting that gas shock, but, while driving you could feel a bias in turns when moving the steering wheel.


I would guess staight line highway driving being where a sideway drift could appear...but dont know if the force from the gas damper is enough...but again these cars are extremely easy to steer so I would avoid a gas typre steering damper until I know for sure.....

/Lars S
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering dampener Reply with quote

Well a gas damper...just like a gas shock is typically ....and internal secondary chamber that is "supposed" to keep a uniform pressure on the oil chamber which should be the main operator. This is mainly to keep the oil fill in the horizontal damper tube...full at all times with no air bubbles....and also to prevent foaming.

BUT....The problem I see with this theory for a steering damper is that since it is a "bi-directional" operating cylinder....it would need to have a gas chamber on both sides of the oil chamber to keep things equal....unless its a well designed one. Bilstein and Rancho does make some nice gas assisted ones. The main issue is that when gas assisted dampers (and even shocks) get enough age that teh rod wiper seals starts leaking...and you lose fluid volume.....the gas piston or gas foam has to expand too far and it causes differences in stroke pressure.

While a gas shock absorber also has bi-directional valving rates.....they are rarely the same valving rate in both directions.

I have found that the type 4 damper....does benefit from being stronger. Thats why I rigged up a dual damper bracket to use two stock units loaded in spoon style so its "exactly" 2X factory.


The usefulness of the steering damper...becomes less useful....the tighter and better controlled your suspension is. In our cars...its two main functions are:

1. On rough roads at moderate to high speed.....think like chip and seal asphalt where there are embedded pebbles or gravel like 1/2" diameter. Rough noisy road.

It may even be relatively smooth with no real bumps just small ripples or oscillations. But the tire hitting thousands of small 1/2" bumps per minute ...especially at the edges of the tread.....sets up oscillations from side to side. The steering damper helps cut down that oscillation because there is return pressure against those micro bumps.

2. Here is the real thing its needed for. There is slack in your suspension from the factory.

Any rotating joint that rides on a bolt or pin without spring loading....has tolerance in it. So.....

The large bolt in the idler arm. Bolt to bushing tolerance may be as big as .003" to .005"

The control arm bushings to bolts...the same .003" to .005" or greater tolerance.

The strut cartridges.....there is about .020"...about .010" on each side of the top thread pin where it goes through the spring top plate....and about .005" of tolerance where the threaded stud goes through the bearing in the strut mount.....and as much as +/- 1/32" or 1/16" total of oscillation of the bottom of the strut cartridge in the strut tube.

Then you have about .005" of possible movement in the radius arms if they are in perfect shape.

All of this assumes your tie rod ends, ball joints and center link are in proper shape.

But that rough road vibration mentioned in point #1.....will get this while pile of tolerances or sections of them...."oscillating" or "jangling".....and the steering damper keeps lateral tension on this pile of tolerances in both directions.

The object....for much better handling and less load on the steering damper.....is to get rid of as many of these small tolerances as you can.

As a matter of fact.....and I am months behind....I am just finishing a strut build for a 1974 this weekend to get shipped Monday (fingers crossed)......with the Audi strut mode.....and some improvements on my original...mainly in materials, new part numbers and simplification..

I will post that as an update to the original thread.....and also will be finally getting that whole modification thread updated to the Samba so you do not have to go to my Dropbox to download it.


Oh....here is the double steering damper modification thread

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=656691&highlight


Lastly....these are interesting. The "Toby steering damper".

The internal valving and fluid flow mechanism described in this article are almost identical to the wet strut cartridges of the 411/412 and early super beetle.

And...they are small and skinny because they are designed for large motorcycles and racing bikes....so probably could be made to fit our cars. And...they are rebuildable and refillable with oil! Wink

http://gpzweb.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/TobyDamper/GPZtobyDamper.html

Their main website

https://toby.be/

Ray
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