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Rebuild of the K1200GT 2008 steering damper.
Gas Cylinder Wood Trigger Gun accessory

Picture of original parts for the damper​

We have all been told by BMW that the dampers cannot be rebuilt and must be replaced. I found a few YouTubes (YT) where folks had torn the damper apart enough to replace the oil but I could not find any info on rebuilding the dampers on the Ks and R bikes. I did find a YT on rebuilding a KTM damper that looked very similar to the BMW dampers that gave me a little more information to start on.

I removed the damper of course and that is a chore of its own magnitude. Many of the YT said removing could be a chore. I could not get the fasteners off in the sequence that my service DVD showed how it should go, but I eventually did get them off. BMW uses a couple of lockers on the fasteners. Some are red and some are blue locking compounds. I could get the red ones to come loose better than the blue which made no sense unless the German locker colors are different than US colors.

The shaft on the damper has one end that is covered with a small cap and the other has a ball joint that is threaded on to the shaft. I took off the cap with a minimal amount of force. The other end the ball type joint has a locking nut that has to be loosened before you can take the ball joint off. The ball joint was hard to get to get loose, I think there was some thread fretting corrosion that contributed to the difficulty. I do not have a soft vice so I just had to keep tapping the end wrench, 13 mm, with a hammer to shock the joint of the threads on the shaft and ball joint enough to get it to come loose. A soft jaw vice would make this process much easier.
29165


After getting the ball joint off, I came to the conclusion that the process would be to back off the ball joint so it only had a couple of threads left then I could use that to push the seal off of the other end of the damper by tapping on the ball joint. Before tapping on the ball joint you have to take off the internal snap ring and spacer off of the other end of the shaft. With the snap ring and the spacer off a few taps on the ball joint, takes a little force they don’t just fall off, the seal popped off and the spool behind it comes off also. I could not find any info on what the spool was for. I assume that the ring around the spool may be a water absorbing product of some kind.

For the seal on the other end of the damper I removed the shaft from the body of the damper by pulling out by the ball joint end. Then I used a couple of small deep sockets that would fit in the body of the damper to drive out the other seal. The seals were marked 10 20 7/8 on the bottom side of the seals. I went to Kaman bearing (you could go to any good bearing seal house of your choice) to see if they could match the seals. They found them in their books and said they had no stock on them but could have them in a couple of days. The cost was less that $4.00 each. I purchased four of them for good measure.

29166


Seals used to rebuild
I cleaned up the shaft and the body just by wiping them off with a paper towel. I marked the body with the threaded rod end with a piece of tape so I could make sure and keep track of the end that that should have the threaded end of the rod for correct orientation of the damper. I installed the spool and the new seal on the end of the body that would have the threaded end of the rod running through it first. (Note: I did not replace the o-ring on the piston that is in the middle of shaft, probably would be better to replace it.) I greased the piston and the seal with some regular grease to ease the install. Was able to push the seal in with just hand force using a deep socket that would go through the body of the damper. I then installed the spacer and the snap ring and then installed the threaded rod end of the rod through the new seal from the other end of the damper body. I could then use the piston on the rod to seat the new seal against the spacer and snap ring on the damper body (threaded rod end).

With the rod in place in the damper body, you can start the oil fill of the damper. Oil is rider’s choice I guess. You could get too stiff with an oil that is too heavy of viscosity. I used a hydraulic oil used for the aviation industry. The oil is sold. by Phillips 66 X/C. I used it because it is a mineral based hydraulic oil. I also use it in my hydraulic clutch system on the GT.

Fill the damper body with oil and pull the rod back and forth slowly and keep working the oil in the body until it is “full”. I filled the body until I could put the spool and seal on the end of the rod and push it in place. I wanted to make sure that I did not leave too much of a void in the damper body so I pushed the spool in and some oil dust barely covered the top of the spool. I then put the seal on the rod and pushed it into the damper body, (greased lightly). I pushed a very small zip tie (greased lightly) between the shaft and the seal so as I pressed the seal into the damper body, any excess oil would weep out on top of the seal as I pushed it into place so I could install the spacer and the snap ring in place. A little more oil oozed out so I think the damper was as full as I could get it.

29167

Rebuilt damper ready to reinstall​
Reinstall it.
 

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2005 BMW K1200S
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I had to add one in my Bandit 1200 that popped wheelies on its own.
Doest the K1200S already have one?
Its so manageable it would be boring if it wasn't so fast.
 

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Rebuild of the K1200GT 2008 steering damper.
View attachment 29164
Picture of original parts for the damper​

We have all been told by BMW that the dampers cannot be rebuilt and must be replaced. I found a few YouTubes (YT) where folks had torn the damper apart enough to replace the oil but I could not find any info on rebuilding the dampers on the Ks and R bikes. I did find a YT on rebuilding a KTM damper that looked very similar to the BMW dampers that gave me a little more information to start on.

I removed the damper of course and that is a chore of its own magnitude. Many of the YT said removing could be a chore. I could not get the fasteners off in the sequence that my service DVD showed how it should go, but I eventually did get them off. BMW uses a couple of lockers on the fasteners. Some are red and some are blue locking compounds. I could get the red ones to come loose better than the blue which made no sense unless the German locker colors are different than US colors.

The shaft on the damper has one end that is covered with a small cap and the other has a ball joint that is threaded on to the shaft. I took off the cap with a minimal amount of force. The other end the ball type joint has a locking nut that has to be loosened before you can take the ball joint off. The ball joint was hard to get to get loose, I think there was some thread fretting corrosion that contributed to the difficulty. I do not have a soft vice so I just had to keep tapping the end wrench, 13 mm, with a hammer to shock the joint of the threads on the shaft and ball joint enough to get it to come loose. A soft jaw vice would make this process much easier.
View attachment 29165

After getting the ball joint off, I came to the conclusion that the process would be to back off the ball joint so it only had a couple of threads left then I could use that to push the seal off of the other end of the damper by tapping on the ball joint. Before tapping on the ball joint you have to take off the internal snap ring and spacer off of the other end of the shaft. With the snap ring and the spacer off a few taps on the ball joint, takes a little force they don’t just fall off, the seal popped off and the spool behind it comes off also. I could not find any info on what the spool was for. I assume that the ring around the spool may be a water absorbing product of some kind.

For the seal on the other end of the damper I removed the shaft from the body of the damper by pulling out by the ball joint end. Then I used a couple of small deep sockets that would fit in the body of the damper to drive out the other seal. The seals were marked 10 20 7/8 on the bottom side of the seals. I went to Kaman bearing (you could go to any good bearing seal house of your choice) to see if they could match the seals. They found them in their books and said they had no stock on them but could have them in a couple of days. The cost was less that $4.00 each. I purchased four of them for good measure.

View attachment 29166

Seals used to rebuild
I cleaned up the shaft and the body just by wiping them off with a paper towel. I marked the body with the threaded rod end with a piece of tape so I could make sure and keep track of the end that that should have the threaded end of the rod for correct orientation of the damper. I installed the spool and the new seal on the end of the body that would have the threaded end of the rod running through it first. (Note: I did not replace the o-ring on the piston that is in the middle of shaft, probably would be better to replace it.) I greased the piston and the seal with some regular grease to ease the install. Was able to push the seal in with just hand force using a deep socket that would go through the body of the damper. I then installed the spacer and the snap ring and then installed the threaded rod end of the rod through the new seal from the other end of the damper body. I could then use the piston on the rod to seat the new seal against the spacer and snap ring on the damper body (threaded rod end).

With the rod in place in the damper body, you can start the oil fill of the damper. Oil is rider’s choice I guess. You could get too stiff with an oil that is too heavy of viscosity. I used a hydraulic oil used for the aviation industry. The oil is sold. by Phillips 66 X/C. I used it because it is a mineral based hydraulic oil. I also use it in my hydraulic clutch system on the GT.

Fill the damper body with oil and pull the rod back and forth slowly and keep working the oil in the body until it is “full”. I filled the body until I could put the spool and seal on the end of the rod and push it in place. I wanted to make sure that I did not leave too much of a void in the damper body so I pushed the spool in and some oil dust barely covered the top of the spool. I then put the seal on the rod and pushed it into the damper body, (greased lightly). I pushed a very small zip tie (greased lightly) between the shaft and the seal so as I pressed the seal into the damper body, any excess oil would weep out on top of the seal as I pushed it into place so I could install the spacer and the snap ring in place. A little more oil oozed out so I think the damper was as full as I could get it.

View attachment 29167
Rebuilt damper ready to reinstall​
Reinstall it.
Hi... hope all is well with the rebuild til now. Could you kindly update about how those SKF seals are holding up for you?
 

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I did this, and the seals are blown again. Spraying fluid everywhere. Haven't gotten around to inspecting them yet. Not sure what to do. Maybe the fluid I used is too heavy?
 

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Also it might be a good idea to replace the o-ring inside the thing. Perchance anyone have the dimensions?
 
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