Dampers convert energy stored In the shaft by forcing oil through a narrow opening. Three main features of the damper define how much force is required to move oil through the damper:

  • Size of the shaft – smaller passages will create more resistance & slower movement
  • Oil viscosity – thicker oils result in slower movement
  • Velocity of the shaft – as the shaft speed is accelerated, the damper generates more force & resists the acceleration

There are two broad categories of steering dampers

Cavitating-Standard Dampers

The tube is filled with a mixture of oil and air. This design works well in vertical or near vertical applications where the oil and air stay separated due to gravity. If these dampers are used horizontally the air and oil mix causing irregular dampening forces. This would present as a jerky movement of the shaft as it’s moved in and out.

Non-Cavitating Dampers

A Non-Cavitating damper uses floating pistons, air bags & foam to prevent the oil & air from mixing. This allows for a consistent force and smooth operation regardless of its mounting orientation.

Llifts carries a wide range of ZTR steering dampers to fit several mowers, including Bobcat, Cub Cadet, Exmark, Hustler, John Deere, Scag and more. See them all at https://www.llifts.com/steering-dampers/