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Our 2nd and hopefully last hitch damper

Nick
Nick
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Post by Nick on Mon 15 Aug 2011, 10:06 pm

well finally we have our new replacement damper for the faulty new damper.The damper that came out of the dandy compressed smoothly and pushed back out with smooth action,its strange as it seemed no different to the one fitted today,but obviously something was not right with it.So hopefully this one will last more than a 100 miles. Smile
Eilis
Eilis
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Post by Eilis on Tue 16 Aug 2011, 6:30 am

that took a while to sort out, i'm quite surprised that they have only just fitted it for you

fingers crossed this one lasts xx
Nick
Nick
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Post by Nick on Tue 16 Aug 2011, 2:30 pm

thanks eilis to be fair the mechanic did phone me the day we went to Woodhall Spa but i then left it at least 4 weeks before chasing him up.Hopefully i wont see him again till the end of year for a service.
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Wed 14 Mar 2012, 5:28 pm

So you should be able to push something and it should come back out slowly..... have I got it right or wrong scratch Exactly what bit do you push in affraid Embarassed
mike
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Post by mike on Wed 14 Mar 2012, 5:40 pm

According to the way it was explained to me you should be able to compress the damper by reasonable pushing on the towing coupling,it then should slowly come back out when released
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Wed 14 Mar 2012, 8:55 pm

When I was getting the sticky residue of my front box today - and it did come off eventually, I used all Johns lighter fluid for his Zippo What a Face I decided to try to push on the tow coupling just to watch it come back slowly and nothing, I mean nothing .......... it wouldn't push in at all never mind come back slowly. John says he will take a look tomorrow as it may just be me being a weakling Evil or Very Mad I think I was pushing it quite hard but it wouldn't budge.
Kimmie
Kimmie

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Post by Kimmie on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 6:36 am

Helen wrote:When I was getting the sticky residue of my front box today - and it did come off eventually, I used all Johns lighter fluid for his Zippo What a Face I decided to try to push on the tow coupling just to watch it come back slowly and nothing, I mean nothing .......... it wouldn't push in at all never mind come back slowly. John says he will take a look tomorrow as it may just be me being a weakling Evil or Very Mad I think I was pushing it quite hard but it wouldn't budge.

Maybe too much lighter fluid Our 2nd and hopefully last hitch damper 1049241286
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 7:02 am

The lighter fluid was the only thing that shifted those sticky marks, tried everything else and nothing was budging it. I only wanted to play with the damper because I was sat cleaning the sticky stuff off the box and near it Sad

Kimmie
Kimmie

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Post by Kimmie on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 7:39 am

Helen wrote:The lighter fluid was the only thing that shifted those sticky marks, tried everything else and nothing was budging it. I only wanted to play with the damper because I was sat cleaning the sticky stuff off the box and near it Sad


I got some sticky stuff remover that's quite good stuff. Think I'd be floating with the clouds if I used lighter fluid lol!
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 12:55 pm

If you have a grease gun try pumping grease through the nipples first.
Then if no change try shocking the "set" grease by hitting the end of the hitch inwards using a "lump" or other heavy hammer.

N.B. Using a stout piece of 3" X2" as a drift to prevent damage.

Also see more detailed description sent as PM.

I don't have time to write out so article sent privately so as not to breach copyright.


Last edited by Tow Itch on Wed 04 Jun 2014, 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 4:07 pm

Thank you Kevin, we do go round with a grease gun regularly but are going to try to push it in with a bit of force as John and Adam can't budge it either. Will let you know what happens, if we have to get a ratchet strap out we will try that too.

Good article ....... Our 2nd and hopefully last hitch damper 115684958
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 5:38 pm

John gave it a tap with a piece of wood and lump hammer, it did free it ....... we can push it in with resistance all the way but it doesn't appear to be coming back out on it's own. Evil or Very Mad
Kimmie
Kimmie

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Post by Kimmie on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 5:48 pm

Think I'll wait to try this little experiment! Our 2nd and hopefully last hitch damper 2829330259
mike
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Post by mike on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 5:53 pm

Helen wrote:John gave it a tap with a piece of wood and lump hammer, it did free it ....... we can push it in with resistance all the way but it doesn't appear to be coming back out on it's own. Evil or Very Mad

Sounds like lack of lubrication as if it resists pushing in then there should be some tension to push it out.
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 6:41 pm

It's all fine now cheers we went back out 10 minutes later to have another look at it and it had come back out all the way on it's own, we were just being impatient. Laughing
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 6:47 pm

Another good greasing is the first idea.
If Helen has been regularly greasing I might try a bit of jerking forward and breaking hard.
Use the cars strength not your own.
If it will not at any point push itself out then your looking at damper renewal.
I'd probably pull it as far as Indespension in Bolton to get their opinion.

I'd give it a few more trys now it's freeing off but it should be a bit more rapid than 10 mins.
Everything above holding true.
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 7:18 pm

Johns already had the grease gun out, he is going to keep pushing it in over the next few days and waiting to see how long it takes to come back, it may have come back out in a few minutes but we thought it had failed until we went to have another look and it had come back out on it's own. We will find out over the next few days, It was stuck though and did need a knock to get it to free up, we didn't use the Dandy much at all last year so it could be because it hadn't been used for so long. We will take it a run at the weekend and do as you suggest.
Nick
Nick
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Post by Nick on Fri 16 Mar 2012, 10:01 pm

If i push the hitch in it,it still doesn't come back out on its own also it pushes back with ease.This is the 3rd damper we have had and they all seem the same.
I would have thought the pressure required to push hitch back would be a lot more than it is.The caravan mechanic said they should be fairly easy to push back as its a fairly light trailer so the damper is pretty small.
The dampers are also not custom tuned so are rated between 450-750kg trailer weight which is a big difference when it comes to force applied under braking.
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Sat 17 Mar 2012, 6:00 am

Ours seemed to have locked up, it's now released and we can push it in not easily though it has quite a bit of resistance but it takes it's time to come back, we can pull the damper back out far quicker than it returns itself. We're going to hitch it to the car later today and see what happens when he pulls forward, the weight of trailer and car pulling forward against it would pull the damper back out to it's full extent anyway so I don't understand why it has to come back out any faster than it is doing.

After reading it says that if it goes in easily when you push and returns rapidly or does not return at all it's faulty and needs replacing, it doesn't say anything about it returning very slowly and ours is returning to its full extent but takes it's time doing it. I think it just locked up with not being used for so long. It took a piece of wood and lump hammer to get it moving but it only took two small knocks of the hammer and it released.

As it controls the rate of application of the brakes would there be a problem with it going in without too much resistance if you decided to reverse? When we try push ours in without the handbrake on it just moves the trailer backwards and the damper doesn't move in at all, so we should be fine reversing ......... test run later on.
Helen
Helen
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Post by Helen on Sat 17 Mar 2012, 8:57 pm

Dandy towed like a dream as usual, no problems at all and reverses fine too. Thanks for the giving it a tap tip, worked a treat and freed it. Our 2nd and hopefully last hitch damper 184121345
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 12:30 am

Sorry Helen thought I'd posted this first thing this morning but must have done my favourite trick and logged off after just previewing the post.

As it controls the rate of application of the brakes would there be a problem with it going in without too much resistance if you decided to reverse? When we try push ours in without the handbrake on it just moves the trailer backwards and the damper doesn't move in at all, so we should be fine reversing ......... test run later on.


No. When reversing the bar is meant to push all the way in.
The brakes apply then the sliding brake shoe through a combination of friction and the wheel revolving in the "wrong" direction causes this sliding shoe to slip out of place.
N.B. This is why we only set brake adjustment revolving the wheel in the forward road direction.

I know Mike has posted this at some point in the past but couldn't find it this morning, still can't find it now.
If you find the internal link please substitute that.

Read the piece on auto reverse.

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navver

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Post by navver on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:36 pm

I've sorted my wheel bearings but the brakes are the thing which is overheating. The bearings are warm but the drums get hot enough to burn your hand. It is also an intermittent problem. I've slackened them off so much, I am now convinced it's the hitch and/or damper causing the trouble. With the hitch pulled out there is nothing touching the drum, the linings are well clear.

Initially when I towed it back from Riva at Wigan, there were no problems and I think this is because the hitch just didn't go in so the brakes didn't work at all. But 500kg on a Mondeo is not a problem; very few trailers that size are braked.

Since then I have pushed the head in and greased it but it has never come back out without pulling it out. So I think it has since been going in when braking and been slow to come back out to release the brakes. hence the overheating.

Tonight I removed the damper strut and it pushes in with some effort and comes back out slowly but without any real conviction. Trouble is I don't know how much force it should exert when coming out.

Also, the draw tube is quite sticky and catchy in the plastic bush. I have greased it and rubbed it and worked it in and out and got it reasonable, but again I'm not sure how easily it should move. It doesn't feel as if the damper pushes enough to overcome it.

I also can't remember how the damper attaches at the back, dandy end. The coupling only has a top for the bolt to go through. There is no bottom plate for the bolt to come out of. I was able to get a socket with extension on the nut from below.

There is an offset tube on the end of the damper. That can be up or down.
There is a square spacer with a hole in it through which the bolt passes. I think this goes above the damper.
There is a bolt with a thread which doesn't go all the way, about half way.
There are 2 nuts.
The damper has to be lower down than the top of the coupling so as to move freely within the draw tube.

I could do with knowing how this assembles.

So to sum up.
Not sure how much push the damper should make to come out
Not sure how easily the hitch should push in.
Not sure how to fit the damper at the back end.
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Post by Tow Itch on Mon 27 May 2013, 11:44 pm

For most of this Caz 1960 might be the Lady to ask as she replaced her damper just before she went away.
I seem to remember something about the plastic bush expanding and being sanded or shaved down.
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Eh looking at the replacement sent by AL-KO I might be inclined to send the damper off to one of the gas strut suppliers.
Just stuff it back up together and grease the damper for this weekend and back the brakes right off.

Any thoughts on the castle nut depth yet?
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navver

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Post by navver on Tue 28 May 2013, 12:10 am

Thanks, I had a look at that. Hers was a 90S head, I think mine is a 60S which is slightly smaller I guess. My damper looks very similar though.

Have been looking on net and a photo shows the nut on top of the coupling. I originally thought it must be the bolt on top as it looks neater, but I did eventually try it with the bolt head down. At least that is a good starting point which narrows down the options.

I now think it must be bolt through damper from below, then a nut, then the spacer, then bolt through coupling and a nut on top. The two nuts must tighten around the coupling & spacer, leaving the bolt floating through the damper. The non threaded portion must go through the damper bush.

That makes sense because when I took it apart, the spacer was not fixed but the bolt and a nut were still through the damper.

It's awkward though because the damper comes out through the back of the coupling tube and the gas box is in the way. You have to unbolt the whole coupling allowing it to tilt so the damper can pass below the gas box.

But still not sure whether it's the damper too weak or the coupling tube too sticky through the plastic bushes, causing the problem.

Not done anything on the castle nut depth yet. Moved my attention to the brakes.

If I back the adjusters right off, I guess the head will just go in further until the brakes operate and will stick there instead.
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navver

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Post by navver on Wed 29 May 2013, 9:13 pm

I've spoken to Ian about the dampers. He says some come out on their own and some don't. He doesn't think it matters.

The correct assembly at the rear of the damper of the designer is the bolt passses up through the damper bush with offset pointing up. Then a nut is put on, then the spacer plate. The bolt then goes through the coupling body and a nut put on top. So the tightening sandwiches the spacer and coupling body between the two nuts.

Mine now works fine and comes part way out on its own and pushes in smoothly with quite a bit of pressure.

I cleaned the hitch sleeve/tube (shiny bit under the bellows) with fine emery as it was badly pitted.

The bellows don't have clips but simply push on at both ends. You can secure with a cable tie if you wish.

I haven't road tested it yet, but will do on Saturday when we go down to Devon for our first week away.

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