Understanding things



JB - Julian wrote...
Not seen that, I would only replace it if it was leaking or no longer working,
but difficult to tell if worn unless you drive it and compare with another
Quite right JB, it is difficult to determine when its knackered, when
its main purpose is to soften kickback through the wheel on rough
terrain. However, it does a good job of damping highway corrugations
too. The big heavy front axle of your 80 together with a somewhat
less than precise steering system is not the best for high speed use
on tarmac - hence the use of rack and pinion on even the modern Prado.
If you have no visible leak of damper fluid but have your suspicions,
then take it onto one of those nice motorways near Dublin where you
can travel at high speed for a few minutes, a concrete surface would
be preferable. Once you have wound it up to speed, take note if you
have any shimmy coming through the steering wheel. The damper should
eliminate this if it is in good nick. You need to have a run of say 5
miles at 70 mph - ish.
I thought mine was OK until I got my 80 onto the supreme
Zagreb/Belgrade motorway last year and its imminent failure soon
showed-up. Fitting a damper from Milner made a huge difference, in
fact by the time I got the damper the old one had started to leak
within 3 weeks, so the shimmy was very obviously the first symptom. I
would have likely not have noticed it when driving on my usual rocky
tracks away from high speed highways.
Its an easy 15 minute fix but you need a balljoint splitter to get
the tapered spindle fittings to part, and the Milner damper I bought
did not come with split pins for the nuts, even though the spindles
were drilled for them. Draper make a range of splitters, don't buy
the tuning fork type that you have to hammer in-between the parts -
you will likely bend the track rod and skin your knuckles. They make
a nice mid-range one with a screwed stud to force out the spindle;
cost is about 12 euros.
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus