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Old 01-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No steering damper on my 86 Samurai ???

I was thumbing through the FSM and noticed that there is a steering damper that connects to the pitman arm. Mine doesn't have a steering damper. My Samurai was lifted 6" by the prior owner. Is the damper removed when the Sammie is lifted? I don't trust anything the prior owner did. Everything he touched seems to be done wrong. I'm guessing I need to buy and instal an steering damper?
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Look what I found in a bag of crap that was inside the Sammy when I got it... At least now I know I have the bracket to mount a steering damper. I think I better look through that stuff and see what other parts or bolts are in there!
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Gee, it must have drove like a model t in a rut without that damper.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gee, it must have drove like a model t in a rut without that damper.
Have not driven it much at all since buying it. But it did feel a bit squirrelly on the drive home when we bought it.

I also just noticed today that normally there is an anti-sway bar on the Sammy and that is missing too...
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Highly recommend a steering stabilizer as it will make a big difference in the handling, especially at speeds over 45mph. Just replaced the original damper on my stock '91 last Saturday. Before the change, I dreaded getting on the interstate and having to go 60mph just to keep from getting run over. Passing cars and trucks would blow me all over the road. After putting the new damper on, it was rock solid running 60mph and would have gone faster except that it was 18 degrees outdoors. I got a Monroe SC2941 that is a direct replacement of the stock damper and uses that pittman arm bracket that you posted an image of.

Also put the stock sway bar back on Monday as it had been removed by a previous owner. There was an improvement in the handling as it seems to be even tighter and less sway when cornering. The ride does seem to be a little stiffer though. Since the truck is mainly a DD, the sway bar will stay as it is easy to undo the 2 bolts that connect the sway bar to the leaf spring plate.

With new shocks, damper, and the sway bar back on, I was amazed at well it handles now. Not a sports car, but closer than I ever imagined before I made the changes.

Is your 6" lift a SPOA or just lifted springs? If lifted springs, you will need to obtain or make some brackets to connect the sway bar to the spring plates.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Guy we bought it from said it was a 6" RockyRoad SPOA kit. I need to check if the brackets are there to mount the sway bar. What about a rear sway bar? Are those used on the Sammy?

Just ordered the Monroe Sc2941 for $25.79 with free shipping and no tax from Amazon. Hopefully that will do the trick.

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There were two different aftermarket dropped pitman arms that were available. If your lift included the one that does not have the bolt holes for that bracket then it may be why it was removed. If you are still running the stock pitman arm or the dropped version WITH the bolt holes, I would suggest getting an aftermarket steering stab to help the parts live longer. OME (Old Man Emu) makes one for the Sammy.



Check out:
OME Steering Stabilizer
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Haptown View Post
Also put the stock sway bar back on Monday as it had been removed by a previous owner. There was an improvement in the handling as it seems to be even tighter and less sway when cornering. The ride does seem to be a little stiffer though. Since the truck is mainly a DD, the sway bar will stay as it is easy to undo the 2 bolts that connect the sway bar to the leaf spring plate.
The sway bar is frequently removed because it limits the "articulation" which is not going to be an issue on an "on road" vehicle.

Discussions on it's removal can border on near religious fanaticism - some folks feel it's perfectly safe, others feel it shouldn't be done - I lean towards this second group - leaving it off can make for a very unstable vehicle - you've experienced the difference for yourself.

If you're going have your fitted and disconnect it when you go offroad, make sure you find a way to secure it so that it does not get entangled in the suspension.

By the way - the sway bar will not "stiffen the ride" - it's actually designed to reduce sway without stiffening the ride, as would happen if you used stiffer springs (to reduce sway).
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The stiffer or more firmer ride may be the result of using new polyurethane bushings on the frame mounted brackets. The bushings were the Energy Suspension 9.5127R (bushings and brackets only, no end link bushings).

The polyurethane bushings do seem to increase the transfer of noise and vibrations to the driver. Makes me a little concerned about my next upgrade to OME springs. Sure hold rubber bushings are available for them.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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on the samurai the sway bar WILL stiffen the ride. It helps keep the body from leaning in turns, but it also serves to keep the front axel located in the center of the vehicles chassis. Think about it, there is nothing to prevent the whole axel from shifting sideways under your rig other than that sway bar. Some people that remove it have benefited from a panhard bar to keep the axel centered. Others have just tightened up the bolts and replaced the bushings in their suspension and it provides enough stability for them. I daily drive mine on the freeway and I drive it a little faster than I should around corners and such. If I didn't have my shackle reverse system I'd definitely be running a sway bar.
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