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Steering Dampers

Steering Dampers (?)

It happened two or three times last summer with my 120: When driving slowly (15-20 mph) and hit a bump, the front-suspension and steering-wheel began juddering, and I had to stop the car for a moment, to calm the vehicle down. All the rubbers and the suspension seems to be OK; new Koni shock-absorbers. Is it a common problem? Is it possible to use a steering-damper? Appreciate any comments. Regards, Martin Jacobsen XK 120 DHC 1953

Martin - I had the same problem years ago, also on a 53 120 DHC. I think the solution was the shock absorbers - but I see you have fitted new Konis. How recently? Worth checking the fitting and correct parts etc? Mmmm ... I'll be interested to see what other responses you get. Regards, John Elmgreen

At the Ontario Jaguar Owners Association Concours in 1993 there was a 1950 OTS fitted with a steering damper. I talked to the owner about it, and I believe he told me it was from an Audi. If you were to contact the OJOA, you might be able to track this fellow down. His name, I believe, was Jim Balaczar (my memory is going) and his license plate had the letters LRD JIM. Nick Saltarelli 1954 XK120SE OTS, 1968 E-type 1.5 OTS

NOT a common problem, Martin! I'd suspect that your wheel balance is slightly off, possibly with a cumulative error on the two wheels that line up after a turn or two and cause sympathetic vibration. First, check all bushings and ball joints for excessive play. Then, check all spokes for both presdence and tightness (if you have wire wheels, and ensure that the spinners/knockoffs are tight). Lastly, try to have the wheels spin-balanced on the car. A steering damper could be fabricated and added, buit it should not be necessary; something else's wrong. Good hunting! Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.

I agree with Larry's conclusion that a steering damper should not be required. These cars properly set up do not have this problem, so you would be treating the symptom rather than curing the disease by fitting a steering damper. Same goes for almost all other XK problems (except the fuel pumps, of course - and maybe some overheating, and maybe a few other things now that I come to think of it!). Regards, John Elmgreen.

It is not a common problem and a damper would only hide a serious problem. Find the problem and fix it. You'll be much happier overall. - George Badger

Thanks to all who responded my question reg. steering damper. I agree that a damper can just hide the problem, but I looked to my Landrover Defender - with a steering damper. Next week I'll store the car, waiting for a new summer. Approximately 7 months in garage (may be my car had a better life in Florida than close up to the artic circle?!) - I do hope the problem is solved during the winter. I'll send you a note when finished. Martin Jacobsen

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