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F: Frame Seat Dampers

Steve Morris

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi all, I removed the seat dampers from my bike Sunday, its a 1949 Comet 'C'. I need new damper inserts, the cloth stuff that goes inside the drum. Ive noticed the VOC Spares shop has them, so not an issue to get, but i also noticed they mention they are quite brittle and i guess care is needed to fit them?

Can anyone offer any tips/advice on fitting please? Do they need to be 'oiled' when fitted?

Many thanks,

Steve.
 

Marcus Bowden

VOC Hon. Overseas Representative
VOC Member
This is what I did, in 1988 when using the bike with Christine touring in France. I went from standard to full suspension in 1967 TT week but reverted back to standard 1970. I took the seat struts with me in 88 and after a weeks touring with friends and returning to their farm with a days terrible riding along the Dordogne. Christine was complaining so fitted the struts and she never complained again. In 95 NZ Rally my hydraulic damper failed in North island and managed to buy a Koni and fitted it in the cattle market prior to John Britten giving us his interesting talk. So I used my friction dampers that stopped us bobbing up & down as if riding a Po Go stick.
Don't like to deviate too far from standard.
 

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Peter Holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Marcus, not in anyway wanting to offend, but would it not be easier just to carry a spare Koni shock absorber and then do away with all the additional ironmongery, but I guess from your point of view it would be less challenging and interesting, I don't think having the friction dampers fighting with a fully functioning shock absorber would enhance the comfort or the handling.
 
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Ken Tidswell

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
linear response to movement
Is that right Ken? I think that is only when it has started moving. It is the 'sticktion' before movement which tends to spoil things. PTFE is available with an abraded and acid etched face on one side so that adhesives can be applied. That would be my choice if I was to go down this route.
You are correct the sticktion only sets in when the seat stays move. I think you have an assembly problem with thePTFE. When you fit the friction liner you have to wedge the casting open to apply the tape to the surface so you can get the tape to stick and then fit the drums without disturbing the tape, I still think a polymeric ring is better than the tape,. i think this has been discussed before, anyway it would be interesting to try . i always stuck the friction material to the alloy with rapid setting araldite, wedged the casting open and squeezed in the drums and allowed it to harden.Doing things to Vincents is always an interesting exercise what ever you do. However most of my riding was done with a fully sprung rear end and Pettiford springs with a Koni damper , front and rear.
 

Black Flash

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I using a Thornton setup on my BS rebuilt which is not yet finished. on assembly, I just gave the woven tape sort of thing a good massage with grease, even with the adjuster knobs tightened up a little (so I won't loose them) I can still move the seat stays easily. Having said so, this is without load/ sitting on the bike.

Bernie
 

highbury731

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
In 95 NZ Rally my hydraulic damper failed in North island and managed to buy a Koni and fitted it in the cattle market prior to John Britten giving us his interesting talk.
Don't like to deviate too far from standard.
You have (or rather your bike does ! ) some interesting deviations....

What did John Britten have to say? It's hard to believe that it's 25 years since then, and 25 years since he died.

BTW a New Zealander says 'the North Island', not 'North Island'

Paul
 

Spqreddie

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
As I will use the already damped Thornton coil over suspensions, I had some Teflon bushes turned by my local machine shop to be used instead of the friction material.

They made them a tight fit on the stay and free on the internal small plates diameter, but I asked them to turn the outside a bit more, and now they slide on both side but still a snug fit.

Not sure which exact kind of Teflon they used.
Eddie
Seat Stays.jpeg
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
With that type of bearings there is ALWAYS the trouble of keeping out water or dirt. Most bearings die due to corrosion or dirt, not from overload. For a not very critical place I´d go for some low wearing plastic material. A little bit of friction in there is of no consequence, even with a hydraulic damper - which in almost all type has a LOT of friction anyway so no factor with that tiny amount of friction from modern plastics.

Vic
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
With that type of bearings there is ALWAYS the trouble of keeping out water or dirt. Most bearings die due to corrosion or dirt, not from overload. For a not very critical place I´d go for some low wearing plastic material. A little bit of friction in there is of no consequence, even with a hydraulic damper - which in almost all type has a LOT of friction anyway so no factor with that tiny amount of friction from modern plastics.

Vic
I agree I sometimes think I am the only one who mourned the end of the Friction free Nylon FF6 bushes I thought they were a great improvement -the first batches were great I think somehow perhaps the last batch was in the wrong material ( thats the problem with clever plastic its difficult to quality test the finished item ) and then it was a case of give a dog a bad name...
Someone should try again, Another 20 years of plastic development says it would be worth it
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Not hard to try for those who like to experiment. The firm Igus, whose products Vic recommends, as do I, provide materials just right for that job. They have an agent in the UK for those who like to deal at home.
 

highbury731

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I think that the Thornton is specced for a sprung saddle, so it will be too hard in springing and damping if you keep the semi-sprung standard arrangement.
Paul
As I will use the already damped Thornton coil over suspensions, I had some Teflon bushes turned by my local machine shop to be used instead of the friction material.

They made them a tight fit on the stay and free on the internal small plates diameter, but I asked them to turn the outside a bit more, and now they slide on both side but still a snug fit.

Not sure which exact kind of Teflon they used.
Eddie
View attachment 41259
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
As to Igus plastics, they have sales managers in UK certainly. When looking into Ebay UK their sellers there charge quite a lot for standard bushes so one may like to order from Igus Germany directly. Shipping costs should not be a lot from this side. I had a number of standard bushes from them - in the end I made about all from rounds to the sizes I measured up, easy on the lathe with simple sharp HSS tool bits. Prices for rounds are amazingly low so got a selection of sizes for all sorts of jobs. Below a link to rounds of type J that I´d choose for our uses, you could ask UK sales for their offers - if they do rounds at all.
Certainly there are lots of companies offering dry bearing bushes but I cannot tell what´s practical in your area.

Vic
IGUS rounds
 

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