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Broken damper or needs greasing?

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Posted

Hi All,

We have a Elddis Typhoon ex 2000, which has been as good as gold to tow (with 3 different cars and a Sorento)

But have noticed that after heavy braking when we pull off there is a bang/jolt as the draw bar extends fully,

I know how it activates the brakes as it pushes the draw bar in (as weight of caravan pushes against car) but wondered if this was a sign of needing a new damper?

Have read about pushing the damper in using your hands and it should fully extend back under its own steam, and it does, but should it also damp on been pulled back out?

If the caravans brakes are on after a stop, it wont roll back to take the brakes off (or will it?)

I have been braking then just backing off before fully stopping allowing the car to roll to try and release the brakes before we set off again.(to stop clutch wear)

I have greased the two nipples on top of the draw bar enclosure but I haven't had chance to tow since,

Any advice on the subject would be appreciated.

White Van Man

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10 answers to this question

Posted

Firstly, ensure that the brakes are correctly adjusted - there's three adjustment points (four if you count both wheels) and they need to be done in sequence - too much play can give this symptom but usually with a jolt at start of braking and when accelerating.

Grease the hitch nipples, as you've done, but check for a third one under the hitch - they can each take several pumps of a grease gun.

If the hitch comes out again after being pushed in, I'd suspect brake adjustment and/or hitch greasing rather than failed damper.

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Posted

Hi All,

But have noticed that after heavy braking when we pull off there is a bang/jolt as the draw bar extends fully,

White Van Man

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Posted

Hi,

Thanks for your replies,

I have heard there is a third nipple to grease but for the life of me I can't find it!! I have been under the A frame and looked all round? I assume it would be on the part that the draw bar slides in and out?

Plus Roger

"Firstly, ensure that the brakes are correctly adjusted - there's three adjustment points (four if you count both wheels) and they need to be done in sequence"

Could you tell me the sequence?

I had adjusted the handbrake, as it wasn't fully holding the van on the hill outside my house, using the first long bar with the threaded ends, so it may have been that? Although that was quite a while before noticing the jolt/bang?

I took the hitch off completely yesterday and checked that the draw bar slid smoothly without the damper, and it did, and pushed/ pulled the damper on its own and it felt very strong both ways (although a 1300kg van pushing/pulling may be a different story?)

We are off to France next month with a 1500 mile round trip, so all help/advice much appreciated.

Thanks

White Van Man

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Posted

The damper is, almost certainly, faulty. It should compress slowly under heavy pressure and extend outwards slowly to absorb the load.

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Posted

This covers maintenance for Al-Ko chassis 1994-on http://www.al-ko.co.uk/Downloads/CaravanChassisBook.pdf with the handbrake off the wheels should spin by hand - with handbrake up two notches the wheels shouldn't move by hand (but will with caravan load). If your Elddis is on a BPW chassis there's probably something similar on their website. The brake shoe freeplay needs adjusting first, both sides, then the linkage.

There may not be a third grease nipple underneath - some just have two on top.

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Posted

Some hitches have a grease nipple at the bottom of the handbrake for the pivot pin. There will only be two on the drawbar housing over the bearing sleeves at front and rear.

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Posted

I've just (today) replaced our damper, after the banging on coming to a stop to and from our last trip out (T&T Ladies driving experience) became too much to bear,

There was a fair bit of cursing at times, but it's far from a killer of a job. YMMV, but here's my experience on doing a mid to late 90s Bailey.

Firstly, a seized bolt to deal with. As luck would have it, it was 19mm at both ends - the same as the corner steady brace, so the usual problem of not having two sockets the same size wasn't an issue. Secondly, I'd lost the hex key to undo the bolts in the AKS3004 and had to buy a new one from Halfords. It's an 8mm for anyone who needs to know.

The damper wouldn't come out through the front (the rear mounting won't physically fit through the drawbar.) A-Frame fairing off, and a lot of jiggling, and it just about came out from the back after removing the metal tube that sits through the front of the damper. In future, I'd take the fairing off from the start. It makes the job a whole lot easer.

78 quid (including VAT) for the replacement part. Ouch! I took the part to Salop Caravans in Cosford, and they matched it on dimensions rather than part number there and then.

Refitting was much easier than removal. I've tightened up everything hand-tight, but I'd be grateful if anyone has the correct torque setting for the AKS3004 coupling bolts and the damper bolt. I'll torque them up properly before we next go touring.

As for testing the damper: Push the coupling in (this takes a fair degree of grunt.) It should slowly comply. Release it, and it should take several seconds to return to its original position. With a failed damper, all that remains is a spring. When you push it in and let go, it'll spring straight back out again.

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Posted

Googling around for the torque settings, I found this page

http://www.bailey94.co.uk/overrun-damper.htm

I wish I'd found it before starting the job :yes:

I didn't realise that the nut was a 'one shot' type. Looks like I need to add a 19mm nylock to the shopping list.

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Posted

I've tightened up everything hand-tight, but I'd be grateful if anyone has the correct torque setting for the AKS3004 coupling bolts and the damper bolt. I'll torque them up properly before we next go touring.

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Posted

Depends on bolt used. ALKO used to be 12.9 but I believe they are now 8.8 If yours are Torx head they may be 10.9 or 12.9

bolt torque table

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