VW steering damper question

The "Pimp my Ride" section for Soviet bloc bikes. Everybody seems to have their own custom add-ons, modifications & accessories. Share your tips and post pictures of them here.
Forum rules
This is the place for topics concerining modifying and accessorizing your Ural or Denpr.
Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:03 pm

Hello Folks. I plan to add a VW steering damper to my Ural, like I have done to some of my previous sidecar builds. My question is can someone who has one on their rig please tell me the what the diameter of the shaft is at the end that slips into the heim joint? I want to make sure and order the proper sized heim joint. I believe the choices are 3/8", 7/16", and in metric 8mm, 10 mm, etc. I will make the two "L" brackets that hold it in place out of flat steel strap.I know I could buy a fine kit from "sean", but I am retired, and have time on my hands to build stuff. I like to make stuff! :D
thanks alot
Rick.
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

User avatar
chaos2
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Posts: 5779
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:58 am
Location: sw ohio

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by chaos2 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:49 pm

FWIW, this is the heim joint I used, https://www.ebay.com/itm/271508221403. Dampener was for a 64 bug.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Past afflictions include limey cars and motorbikes, an R60/2, R65ls, & a Citroen.
Now a couple of bicycles, a worn out '87 K75s,
and a rusty 2012 GU bought new
Dual K&N cones on homemade PVC intake, 40/137.5
Raceway needles, Modtop pipes, E starter delete
$29 VW Hydraulic steering dampener

jeffsaline
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:04 am
Location: Rapid City, South Dakota

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by jeffsaline » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:57 pm

I don't have the size handy for the one by Sean but... I remember looking at my local ACE Hardware store and they had them in stock in the nuts and bolts area. I think the cost was about $16.

Might be worth getting the shock on hand to see what it requires.

Best,

Jeff
Jeff Saline
2010 Gear Up
-Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick Two
-Just because something isn't true, no reason you can't believe it. Hub McCann Second Hand Lions
-Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:02 pm

Thanks alot, Chaos,and Jeff, thats exactly what info I am looking for. I didnt know ACE carried stuff like that. A Ural ride to the ACE hardware in the eclectic , neighboring town of Bisbee is in order!
Rick.
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

stagewex
Order of Victory
Order of Victory
Posts: 9034
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:45 pm
Location: New Rochelle, New York

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by stagewex » Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:58 am

Was/is it a Gabriel Shock? That comes to mind but it’s been a long time since I installed mine.
Good choice, stupid reliable.
Stagewex

2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only)

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:04 pm

I have used different brands of aftermarket VW steering dampers on previous builds.For sure,Gabriel makes decent quality shocks , I think the one I bought is a valtek or something like that. I have used them with great success in a Guzzi 1100/ California sidecars friendship II, and a Guzzi 1000 convert/ Texas Ranger rig.
They work a treat on heavier outfits, and are very easy to rig up. I didnt even need to use a heim joint on my last one.
Rick Duarte
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

User avatar
Snakeoil
Order of Victory
Order of Victory
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:45 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Snakeoil » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:10 pm

Got my Heim from Summit racing. Gabriel damper off flyaway.
Regards,
Rob
Proud member of the Peanut Gallery
Certified Blatherer
2000 Ural Tourist
40 Pilots, 122 Mains
Before you say something stupid, always ask yourself, "What would Harpo say?".

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:53 pm

Thanks, Rob. :)
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:45 pm

Hey Guys, I got my VW steering damper in, made the brackets to mount , complete with heim joint, and everything bolted up great, but man, is that sucker stiff! I like to experiment, :wink: so I thought "what the heck", and drlled , and threaded a small hole, in the "fat" end of the damper, and pumped out all the original oil. What came out was very strange... whitish / opaque ,like skimmed milk in color, about 3 oz pumped out. I tapped the hole for a small bolt, and O ring to seal it up. I use a 10 cc medical syringe/ needle to refill with oil.My question, is I want to add the thinnest in viscosity oil I can find to reduce the damping. What is the thinnest oil you folks know of? ATF, Marvel mystery oil, oW-20 motor oil, hydraulic jack oil, aviation hydraulic fluid, extra virgin olive oil, :D ? any other suggestions?
Thanks alot,
Rick Duarte
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

User avatar
Tomcatfixer
Commissar
Commissar
Posts: 8979
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:10 am
Location: Gordonsville, VA

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:10 pm

I would find the smallest quantity of 2.5W, 5W, and 7W fork oil to experiment with a viscosity that you find appealing. BelRay and Maxima make fine products, and there are other fork oil manufacturers available.

Screenshot_20210927-130339_DuckDuckGo.jpg

I know these things are subjective, but I find the Gabriel damper on my cT unobtrusive, despite the fact that I have less leverage than the typical Uralista, because my handlebar is considerably less wide. I would argue that the massive "guns" protruding from my shoulders compensate for the lack of leverage, except for the fact that no sane person would describe my scrawny arms as "massive" or "guns".

I'm interested to learn how your damper project turns out. Post pics!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", Mid-Nineties Ural Tourist "The Heap", 1994 Honda VFR750F, 2007 BMW K1200GT

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:13 pm

Thanks, Chad, I appreciate the info. I am going to order a quart of the 2.5 bell ray, and in the mean time experiment with oils I have on hand. I will take a few pics today also. I think you got me beat hands down in the "Guns dept!" I really need to hit the dumbells, my arms have skin that flaps like hound dogs ears in the wind, where muscle should be! :D
Rick
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

User avatar
chaos2
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Posts: 5779
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:58 am
Location: sw ohio

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by chaos2 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:13 pm

If you were just turning the handlebars with the rig static, stiffness might not be an issue. Mine is quite stiff sitting in the garage but I really don't notice it on the road.
Past afflictions include limey cars and motorbikes, an R60/2, R65ls, & a Citroen.
Now a couple of bicycles, a worn out '87 K75s,
and a rusty 2012 GU bought new
Dual K&N cones on homemade PVC intake, 40/137.5
Raceway needles, Modtop pipes, E starter delete
$29 VW Hydraulic steering dampener

jeffsaline
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2021
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:04 am
Location: Rapid City, South Dakota

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by jeffsaline » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:40 pm

3 in 1 and sewing machine oil are very close to the same viscosity. WD-40 might be another contender.

Best,

Jeff
Jeff Saline
2010 Gear Up
-Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick Two
-Just because something isn't true, no reason you can't believe it. Hub McCann Second Hand Lions
-Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

User avatar
Snakeoil
Order of Victory
Order of Victory
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:45 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Snakeoil » Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:37 pm

Damper performance while standing still is not an indication of how it will perform when the rig is in motion. Some have complained about difficulty with slow speed parking lot type turns. That has not been my experience.
Regards,
Rob
Proud member of the Peanut Gallery
Certified Blatherer
2000 Ural Tourist
40 Pilots, 122 Mains
Before you say something stupid, always ask yourself, "What would Harpo say?".

Bigbikerrick
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:18 pm

Re: VW steering damper question

Post by Bigbikerrick » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:13 am

I tried some bel ray 5 wt fork oil, in the damper today,and it seems to work the best so far. I had filled it with Marvel mystery oil first, since it is supposed to be between 2.5-3.o wt. well, I guess it would foam up with air bubbles when worked hard back and forth, as it would develop "dead spots" in different parts of the stroke , even though I carefully filled the shock,and bled out all the air I could. These VW dampers hold about 100 ml of fluid. I was going to also try some aviation hydraulic fluid I have on hand, but the 5 wt bel ray is working so good, I may just leave well enough alone. I would say the damper is currently 50% as stiff as compared to the way it came. Thanks for the suggestions , Jeff. I am now thinking that in this application, its also,important to have an oil that does not "foam up" easily, and cause dead spots in the damper stroke.
Rick.
2012 Ural Gear Up / Forest Frog color. 2008 Goldwing Champion Trike, 73 Guzzi Eldorado, 17 Guzzi Griso

Post Reply