Oil in steering damper

#1
Can anyone tell me what oil should be in the hydraulic steering damper that doubles as the steering idler (1972 2000 TC)? Mine has no leakage but I filled it to the top with EP90. The manual says that no maintenance is required so I should probably have left it alone. Have I done something daft, and should I suck out all the oil that's in it and replenish it with the right stuff? Unless EP90 is the right stuff, of course.

Should it perhaps be the sort of oil used in lever-arm dampers? I believe it contains an anti-foaming agent. The reason I'm investigating this is that my car's steering damper doesn't seem very effective, allowing too much kickback to come through the steering. I've also read that hydraulic jack oil can be used in lever-arm dampers. Might that work for the steering damper?

All advice gratefully received.

John
 
#3
Excellent, thank you. I have syringed out what I can, which was not very much, and it was grey and thin. In its place is some new Duckhams EP85W/140, as used in my diff. I'm sure the steering now feels smoother over ripply surfaces, but it could be my optimistic imagination.
 

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#4
Excellent, thank you. I have syringed out what I can, which was not very much, and it was grey and thin. In its place is some new Duckhams EP85W/140, as used in my diff. I'm sure the steering now feels smoother over ripply surfaces, but it could be my optimistic imagination.
While you have it apart you might want to sluice out the ball valves in the metal disc at the top of the assembly. I used brake cleaner. On the spare unit I worked on it had no damping for the first 5 degrees of movement in each direction. I found the balls in the check valves were partially stuck with gunk and I reckon that was the cause of the odd feel.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#5
Great tip ^^
I have an idler on the bench that moves freely for the first few degrees, I removed the plate and cleaned the balls, it now has damping from the get go in both directions, such an easy fix.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#7
Yes, I have just checked the replacement idler on the car. Be aware of the way up the disc goes, and also look for the notch on the underside that has to line up with the pip on the idler casting.
 
#9
Now done, finally. All internals cleaned, spring-loaded ball bearings moving freely, fresh gear oil. Big improvement in steering smoothness. Many thanks for everyone's advice.
 

sdibbers

Well-Known Member
#10
Now done, finally. All internals cleaned, spring-loaded ball bearings moving freely, fresh gear oil. Big improvement in steering smoothness. Many thanks for everyone's advice.
I left it for ages too. I was amazed the difference it made for ten minutes of work and a couple of quids worth of materials.
 

quattro

Administrator
Staff member
#11
I've been driving P6s for more than 40 years and have never even taken the filler plug out of one of those, not once, not ever.

Probably believed the HBOL and thought the word would end if I did, so that's a little job for the weekend :)

Like to have a delve
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#12
I've been driving P6s for more than 40 years and have never even taken the filler plug out of one of those, not once, not ever.

Probably believed the HBOL and thought the word would end if I did, so that's a little job for the weekend :)

Like to have a delve
After 40 years it's gotta be worth seeing if your balls are all sticky !
 

harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#13
I've been driving P6s for more than 40 years and have never even taken the filler plug out of one of those, not once, not ever.
I used to top them up on a service when required. The worst bit about it was the time it takes to dribble the oil into that tiny filler hole.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#15
Top off has to be the way surely, I brimmed the unit then took the fill plug out the cap, wrapped a rag round the body and fitted the cap, the excess comes out the fill hole. I tried filling through the hole and nearly lost the will to live.
 
Top