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Damper Replacement

on Wed, 24/03/2010 - 17:00

During my recent exhaust upgrade the mechanic working on the Elise pointed out that the right rear damper felt damp to the touch and might have a slow leak. I had a service coming up in just over a month so decided to leave it and have it checked again then.

Unfortunately when the service came round it turned out that the damper did indeed need replacing. The general advice seems to be to replace dampers in pairs with some people even suggesting all 4 corners are done together to maintain the balance of the car. There is plenty of debate online, with some seeing it as a waste of money and others seeing it as a wise approach.

As luck would have it the week prior to my service a factory fresh Elise R was to be prepared for the upcoming Elise Trophy race series. The standard Bilstein dampers on the car were being swapped out for some more race orientated parts and were resultantly up for grabs. I took advantage and opted to do all 4 dampers at a bargain price.

Bilstein Dampers
I did briefly research alternatives to Bilstein and there are a few out there. Nitron and Ohlins seem to be fairly well respected but opinions are slightly divided and no one was really knocking the standard set-up for quick road use. Bilstein are a well known and credible manufacturer of sports suspension so with a good deal lined up it was an easy decision.

If I am honest I can't really tell any difference with the new dampers fitted, although having caught the small leak early I wouldn't really have expected to. It is reassuring to know they have been refreshed and should last me a good number of years to come.