Is your vehicle giving you a hard time steering? Do you feel any vibrations when you turn left or right? You most probably need to replace the steering damper in your ride. The steering damper is located between the center link and the chassis of a car. It allays the pressure from the straight axle, making driving lifted trucks a lot easier for you. Below is a guide to teach you how to replace a steering damper by yourself.
Required skill level: Advanced
Needed tools and materials
- Wheel chocks
- 1/2-inch Ratchet and Socket Set
- Steering damper kit
Preparing your vehicle
Park your car and place the wheel chocks behind the rear wheels to prevent the car from rolling in any direction. Remove the stabilizer bracket underneath the vehicle using a 1/2-inch ratchet. It is attached to an axle bracket in front of the front axle.
Inserting the new steering damper
After you have taken out the old unit, install the new one by extending the stabilizer shock halfway of its total length. Insert the unit into the new axle bracket provided in the kit. The bushing sleeve should go inside the rubber bushing at the top of the shock. Insert the bolt and washer through the bracket and tighten in with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.
Installing everything into place
Attach the steering damper to the tie rod bracket by bolting the threaded studs with a nut and washer. Secure the bottom bolt of the axle bracket with another washer and nut. Make sure that the U-bolts that surround the tie rod is tight enough but would still allow some elbow space for the shock to work.
Turn on the vehicle and move the steering wheel from side to side. If you feel even the slightest hindrance to its movement, unfasten the axle bracket a bit. This difficulty is most probably because the unit is installed too tight.
Elevating the car with jack stands is the best way to go when working on this project. It provides more room to work around, and gives you a better visual of your car's underside. Also, a front axle is not a standard on all vehicles. If you don't have one, don't panic-it only means that it will save you one step from the installation process.