You are on page 1of 133

Chassis Technology 1


Automotive Engineering Section

Course works distribution
Test 1 (20%)
Test 2 (20%)
Test 3 (20%)
FINAL (40%)

Functions of a steering system
Basic steering systems
Steering column assembly
Steering gear principles
Steering linkage (worm-type gearbox)
Manual rack-and-pinion steering

• Integral-piston power steering system (linkage type) • External cylinder power steering (linkage type) • Power rack-and-pinion steering • Electronic steering assist • Four-wheel steering systems .

• Provide precise control of the wheel direction • Maintain correct steering effort • Transmit road feel to the driver’s hands • Absorb most of the road shock going to the steering wheel • Allow for suspension action .

• Two basic kinds of steering systems are in use today: – linkage (worm gear) steering systems – rack-and-pinion steering systems • Each may be operated manually or with power assist .

Steering Basic linkage steering Basic rack-andpinion steering .

ignition key mechanism. a flexible coupling and universal joint • Bolts to the underside of the dash • Sticks through the firewall and fastens to the steering gear .• Consists of the steering wheel. and sometimes. column. steering shaft.

Steering Column Components .

preventing the steering wheel from being turned . the steering wheel cannot be turned • A rack and sector slide a steel pin into mesh with a slotted disc that is splined to the steering shaft • The pin locks the steering shaft to the column.Locking Steering Wheel • When the ignition is off.

Locking Steering Wheel .

Collapsible Steering Column
• Helps prevent driver chest and face injury
during an auto accident
• The column will crumple or slide together
when forced forward during a collision
• Several types are used:
– steel mesh (crushing)
– tube-and-ball (sliding)
– shear capsule (break and slide)

Collapsible Column Operation

Tilt Steering Columns
• A flex joint, or U-joint, allows the top half of
the column and the steering wheel to be
positioned at different angles
• Manual tilt column
– uses a lever on the steering column to unlock
the flex joint so the wheel can be moved up
and down

Power Tilt Column • Uses a small electric motor. current to the motor spins the small gears to move the steering column’s upper tube . and a gear mechanism to change the steering wheel angle or height • When the tilt switch is activated. a control switch.

the control module energizes the power tilt motor until the wheel has moved to the preprogrammed position .Memory Tilt Wheels • Use a tilt control module to “remember” more than one steering wheel position • A steering column sensor provides feedback so the module knows where the wheel is located • When the driver selects a switch position.

Memory Tilt Wheel .

Power Tilt Gear Mechanism .

• Two basic types of gear mechanisms are found in steering gearboxes: – worm gears – rack-and-pinion gears .

Gear Mechanisms .

Steering Gears Rack-and-pinion gear Worm steering gear .

Recirculating-Ball Gearbox • Normally used with a linkage steering system • Small steel balls circulate between the gear members to reduce friction .

Recirculating-Ball Gearbox .

Gearbox Components • Worm shaft – the input gear connected to the steering shaft • Sector shaft – the output gear from the steering gearbox • Ball nut – rides on the ball bearings and the worm gear .

Gearbox Components • Ball guides – route extra balls in and out from between the worm and ball nut • Adjusting nut – used to set worm shaft bearing preload • Adjusting screw – used to set the sector shaft clearance .

Gearbox Components .

Gearbox Ratio • Comparison between steering wheel rotation and sector shaft rotation • Ratios range from 15:1 to 24:1 • Variable-ratio gearbox – changes the internal gear ratio as the wheels are turned away from center • Constant-ratio gearbox – has the same gear reduction from full left to full right .

Worm-and-Roller Steering Gearbox • Contains a roller that is mounted on the pinion shaft and meshes with the worm gear • The roller replaces the ball bearings and the ball nut used in the recirculating-ball gearbox .

• Series of arms. rods. and ball sockets that connect the steering gearbox to the steering knuckles • Commonly called a parallelogram steering linkage .

Steering Linkage .

Steering Linkage • Pitman arm – transfers gearbox motion to the steering linkage • Center link (relay rod) – a steel bar that connects the right and left sides of the steering linkage .

Steering Linkage • Idler arm – supports the end of the center link on the passenger side • Tie-rod assemblies – fasten the center link to the steering knuckles – ball sockets are used on both ends – a toe adjustment sleeve allows length change for alignment .

allowing lubrication • Others are sealed units • Used in pitman arms. idler arms. and tierods .Ball Sockets • Provide for motion in all directions between two connected parts • Some have a grease fitting.

Tie-rod inner end D. Tie-rod (rackand-pinion) .Ball Sockets A. Idler arm B. Tie-rod end C.


Rack-and-Pinion Steering .

Steering Gear
• Consists of a pinion shaft, rack, thrust spring,
bearings, seals, and a gear housing
• Bolts to the frame or unibody structure
• Rubber bushing mounts help absorb road

Steering Gear

Steering Gear
• When the pinion shaft turns, the pinion gear acts
on the rack gear
• The rack slides sideways, moving the tie-rods and
the front wheels

Tie-Rod Assemblies • Connect the ends of the rack with the steering knuckles • Rubber dust boots fit over the inner ball sockets to keep out road dirt and water .

Power Steering Systems • Most systems use an engine-driven pump and a hydraulic system to assist steering action • An electric motor in the rack may be used to provide power assist .

Basic Power Steering .



Basic Operation • Pressure from the oil pump is used to operate a piston-and-cylinder assembly • When the control valve routes oil pressure into one end of the piston. the piston slides in its cylinder • Piston movement helps move steering system components .

Types of Power Steering • There are three main types of power steering systems: – integral-piston linkage system – rack-and-pinion system – external cylinder power steering system .

Integral-Piston Linkage .

Rack-and-Pinion .

External Cylinder .

Power Rack-and-Pinion .

Power Steering Pump • Engine-driven pump that produces the hydraulic pressure for steering system operation • Driven by a belt or directly off the back of the camshaft • The power steering fluid reservoir may be formed as part of the body or as a separate container .

Pump and System .

Pump Types .

Slipper-Type Pump .

Vane-Type Pump Operation .

Pressure-Relief Valve • Used in a power steering system to control the maximum oil pressure • Prevents system damage by limiting pressure • A relief valve opens when the steering wheel is turned to the full-left or full-right position .

Pressure-Relief Valve .

Power Steering Hoses • High-pressure. hydraulic. rubber hoses that connect the power steering pump and the gearbox or power cylinder • One line serves as the pressure feed line • One line serves as a return line to the reservoir • Metal lines may be used where vibration or movement is not a problem .

• The hydraulic piston is mounted in the steering gearbox housing • System components: – power steering pump – hydraulic lines – integral power-assist gearbox .

Integral Power Steering Gearbox
• Contains a conventional worm-and-sector
gear, a hydraulic piston, and a flow-direction
• Two valve designs are commonly used:
– spool valve
– rotary valve

Spool Valve-Type Gear

Spool Valve Operation
• When the steering wheel is turned, the
pivot lever moves the spool valve so
pressure enters a power chamber
• Pressure forces the power piston left or
right, helping to turn the sector shaft
• As the power piston strokes, oil from the
other power chamber is vented through
the spool valve back to the reservoir

the torsion bar twists and turns the rotary valve • Rotary valve directs pressure to the correct side of the power piston .Rotary Valve Operation • Rotary valve-type steering boxes have a small torsion bar to detect steering wheel turning direction and turning effort • When the steering wheel is turned.

Integral Gear Operation Driving straight ahead .

Integral Gear Operation Right turn .

Integral Gear Operation Left turn .

• The power cylinder is commonly bolted to the frame and the center link • The control valve may be located in the gearbox or on the steering linkage .

External Cylinder Power Steering .

Uses hydraulic pressure to assist the driver in moving the rack and the front wheels .

Power Rack-and-Pinion Steering .

Power Rack-and-Pinion Steering .

Power Cylinder and Piston • Power cylinder – precisely machined tube that accepts the power piston • Power piston – formed by attaching a hydraulic piston to the center of the rack • Routing oil pressure into either end of the power cylinder causes piston movement .

Power Rack-and-Pinion (Rotary Control Valve) .

Control Valves • Rotary control valve – operated by a torsion shaft connected to the pinion gear • Spool control valve – operated by the thrust action of the pinion shaft that occurs when the pinion gear is rotated against the rack gear .

Power Rack-and-Pinion (Spool Control Valve) .

vehicle weight causes the front tires to resist turning. pushing the rack and the front wheels .System Operation • When the steering wheel is turned. moving the control valve • Movement of the control valve aligns specific oil passages internally • Pump pressure forces oil through the control valve to the power cylinder • Pressure acts on the power piston.

low power assist .High Speed Operation Little valve movement.

high power assist .Low Speed Operation More valve movement.

• Uses a small electric motor to help move the rack-and-pinion gearbox • The motor is mounted inside the rack housing and acts on the steering rack .

Electronic Assist Rack-and-Pinion Lighter and more compact than a hydraulic system .

Electronic Assist Operation • A steering control module (computer) electronically reacts to steering pressure • The module operates the electric motor in the rack assembly to help the driver steer the wheels • The module can reverse motor rotation and alter motor speed as needed .

Proportional Power Steering • Senses vehicle speed and steering load to ensure adequate road feel • Increases steering effort at higher speeds for more road feel • Lowers steering effort at lower speeds to ease maneuvering .

and rotary control valve • At low speeds. increasing valve output pressure . the computer sends current through the electromagnet in one direction to help attract and pull on the stub shaft and torsion bar.Low Speed Operation • A computer-controlled electromagnet is used to alter the operation of the stub shaft. torsion bar.

and increasing steering effort for better road feel . reducing assist.High Speed Operation • At high speeds. the computer reverses electrical flow through the electromagnet • The valve output pressure decreases.

Proportional Steering In this system. a computer. a vehicle speed sensor. and a solenoid control hydraulic pressure .

In a four-wheel steering system. feel. stability. all four wheels change direction to improve handling. and maneuverability .

Four-Wheel Steering System .

the wheels pivot in the same direction .Four-Wheel Steering In a gentle turn.

the wheels pivot back and then turn in opposite directions .Four-Wheel Steering In a sharp turn.

the shaft rotates to turn the rear wheels .Mechanical System • Uses a special front rack-and-pinion gearbox with a transfer box • The transfer box operates a long shaft that extends back to the rear rack • When the front wheels are turned.

which is driven by the differential • Depending on vehicle speed. the rear pump forces fluid under pressure into a control valve .Hydraulic System • Uses a conventional power rack-and-pinion steering system up front • Hydraulic lines extend back to a rear power steering pump.

the rear rack shifts the trailing arms to steer the rear wheels .Hydraulic System • When a specific road speed is reached. the control valve can then operate the rear steering system • The rear rack is connected by tie-rods to the rear suspension trailing arms • When activated.

Electronic System • An electronic system is speed-sensitive • An electric-motor-driven power rack (rear actuator) acts on the rear wheels using a recirculating-ball drive and mechanical links • The rear-wheel steering angles are computer controlled .

Electronic System .

Electronic System Operation • The computer analyzes signals from angle sensors in the front steering and signals from wheel speed sensors in the anti-lock brake system • The rear actuator is energized by the computer to move the rear wheels as needed .

Rear Actuator .

Chassis .

sections. and assemblies of body-over-frame vehicles .Objectives • Define the most important parts of a vehicle • Explain body design and frame variations • Compare unibody and body-over-frame construction • Identify the major structural parts.

Objectives (continued) • Identify the major structural parts. sections and assemblies of unibody vehicles • Summarize how to classify vehicles by body. engine. and drivetrain configurations .

Introduction • Vehicle construction refers to how a vehicle is made • Vehicles are a maze of interacting mechanicalelectrical systems • Over 15.000 parts are used in a typical vehicle • Damage to one part can affect the operation of another seemingly unrelated part • Different types of construction require different methods repair frame/unibody damage .

and yet strong and safe • Computer-simulated crash testing is used before building a prototype to find weak structural areas • Critical that passenger compartment is strong enough to prevent injury • Certified crash tests are done with a real vehicle and sensor equipped-dummies • Crush zones are built into the frame or body to absorb some of the energy of a collision . aerodynamic.Crash Testing • Vehicles must be light.

Vehicle Classifications • Vehicle classification relates to the construction. size. you must understand these basic terms . type of roof. number of doors. and other criteria of a motor vehicle • To communicate properly in collision repair. shape.

Vehicle Construction • Part or component refers to the smallest units on a vehicle • An assembly is several parts that fit together • Panel refers to a large removable body part • Pan refers to a floor-related component • Chassis includes everything under the body. consisting of the mechanical systems that support and power the car .

This type of construction is commonly used on large trucks and SUVs. drivetrain.(A) Unibody construction welds major body panels together to form the frame for attaching the engine. (B) With body-over-frame construction. This type of construction is commonly used on cars. and other parts. Figure 9-4. Two very different methods used to construct modern vehicles: unibody and body-overframe construction . a thick gauge steel frame provides the foundation for holding other parts. suspension.

high amounts of energy are absorbed by the frame in a collision • Torque boxes allow some twisting to absorb road shock and collision impact • Crossmembers extend sideways across frame rails to support the engine.or partial-frame construction is used on most full-size and some small pickup trucks .Full Frames • Body-over-frame vehicles have separate body and chassis parts bolted to the frame • Full frame vehicle is heavier . suspension. chassis • Full.

Full Frames (continued) • Frame is an independent separate part • Perimeter frame has a frame rail near the outside of the vehicle. and is the most common • Ladder frame has long frame rails with a series of straight crossmembers. and is seldom used • Partial frame is a cross between a solid frame and a unibody – Sub-frame assemblies are used at the front and rear while the unibody supports the middle area .

Unibody Construction • Unibody construction uses body parts welded and bolted together – Uses lighter.or egg-like configuration – Strength is achieved through shape and design instead of mass and weight • Stressed hull structure disperses force over the entire body shell . high-strength steel alloys • Body shell is formed by welding sheet metal into a box. thinner.

or hidden corrosion • Support members are bolted to unibody bottom – Needed in high-stress areas to reduce body flex .Space Frame • Space frame vehicle has a metal body structure covered with an outer skin of plastic or composite panels • Roof and quarter panels may be attached with mechanical fasteners or adhesives • After a collision a space frame is more likely to have hidden damage.

The suspension and braking systems bolt directly to the body on a vehicle with unitized construction.Figure 9-7. .

Joining Parts • Fastened parts are held together with fasteners • Welded parts are permanently joined by welding • Press-fit or snap-fit parts use clips or an interface to fit parts together • Adhesive-bonded parts use high-strength epoxy or special glue to hold parts together • Composite unibody is made of plastics and other materials – Keeping metal parts to a minimum cuts weight while increasing strength and performance .

Figure 9-8. . Composite (plastic) panels fasten to a metal inner body structure. Composite panels can be made flexible to resist door dings and small dents. Note the space frame construction.

front clip.Major Body Sections • Vehicle is divided into three sections – Front. “cathouse” . rear clip. “doghouse” • Center section or midsection includes body parts that form passenger compartment – Also called a “greenhouse” • Rear section also called tail section. center and rear • Front section includes everything between front bumper and fire wall – Also called nose section.

the result is an assembly • Vehicles built for (example for American) roads – Left side is steering wheel side – Right side is passenger side .Panel and Assembly Nomenclature • Panel is a stamped steel or molded plastic sheet that forms a body part • When panels are joined with other components.

firewall.Front Section Parts • Cowl is near rear of front section. right in front of the windshield • Shock towers or strut towers are reinforced body areas for holding upper parts of suspension • Dash panel. or front bulkhead is panel dividing front and center sections • Bumper assembly bolts to front frame horns or rails to absorb minor impacts .

This top view of unibody construction shows how structural members are added to support the engine suspension and other mechanical systems. .Figure 9-12.


also called A-pillars • Center pillars or B-pillars. are roof supports between front and rear doors .Center Section Parts • Floor pan is main structural section in bottom of passenger compartment • Tunnel is formed in floor pan for transmission and drive shaft • Pillars are vertical body members that hold roof panel in place and protect in case of rollover • Front pillars extend next to windshield edges – Must be strong.


or C-pillars. is a thin panel behind rear seat in front of back glass • Window regulator is a gear mechanism that allows you to raise and lower door glass • Side impact beams are metal bars or corrugated panels that bolt or weld inside door assemblies .Center Section Parts (continued) • Rear pillars. or package tray. extend up from quarter panels to hold rear of roof • Rocker panels or door sills are strong beams that fit at bottom of door openings • Rear shelf.

Figure 9-15. Doors normally have strong steel beams under the door skin to protect people during side impact collisions. .

Rear Section Parts • Rear hatch is a larger panel and glass assembly hinged for more access to the rear • Quarter panels are large side body sections that extend from side doors back to rear bumper • Lower rear panel fits between trunk compartment and rear bumper • Rear shock towers hold rear suspension • Inner wheel housings surround rear wheels .

Gaskets and Seals • Various gaskets and rubber seals prevent air and water leakage between body parts • Seals or weatherstripping are often used around doors and the rear deck lid • Rubber seal is partially compressed when door or lid is closed to form a leakproof connection • Rubber gasket often seals stationary glass where it fits into body .

you must restore all corrosion protection .Anticorrosion Materials • Anticorrosion materials prevent rusting of metal parts • Undercoating is often a thick tar or synthetic rubber-based material sprayed onto underbody • After performing repairs.

Sound-Deadening Materials • Sound-deadening materials help quiet passenger compartment – Insulation that prevents engine and road noise from entering passenger area .

front-wheel drive (FWD) has both engine and transaxle in front – Constant velocity (CV) axles extend out from transaxle to power front wheels . its crankshaft centerline extends toward right and left • Front-engine. Drivelines • Longitudinal engine mounts to crankshaft centerline front-to-rear – Used by front-engine RWD vehicles • Transverse engine mounts sideways in engine compartment.Engine Locations.

rear-wheel drive (MRD) has engine behind front seat • All-wheel drive uses two differentials for all wheels • Four-wheel drive uses a transfer case to send power to two differentials and all wheels . rear-wheel drive (RRD) has engine in back – Transaxle transfers power to rear drive wheels • Mid-engine. Drivelines (continued) • Front-engine. rear-wheel drive (RWD) has engine in front and drive axel in rear • Rear-engine.Engine Locations.


6.or 8-cylinder engine – Usually has a unibody construction • Full-size car is large. heavy and often has a high performance V8 engine – Either unibody or body-over-frame construction . gets the highest gas mileage • Intermediate car is medium in size – Uses a 4-.Vehicle Sizes • Compact car is smallest body classification – Normally uses a 4-cynlinder engine – Lightweight.

commonly found on small compact cars • Convertible has a retractable canvas roof with a steel tube framework. or a removable hardtop • Station wagon extends roof straight back to rear of body with a rear hatch or tailgate .Roof Designs • Sedan is a body design with a center pillar that supports roof • Hardtop does not have a center pillar to support roof • Hatchback has a large third door at back.

RWD • Minivan is smaller and often uses front-engine FWD with unibody construction • Pickup truck normally has a separate cab and bed.Vans and Trucks • Van has a large box-shaped body to increase interior volume or space • Full-size van normally is front-engine. typically with front-engine. RWD .

Summary • Vehicle classification relates to construction. and space frame • Vehicle commonly divided into 3 body sections – Front section. size. • Three main types of frame construction – Body-over-frame. etc. tail section. type of roof. or midsection – Rear section. intermediate. or rear clip • Vehicle sizes: compact. full size . or nose section – Center section. unibody. number of doors. shape.

… .

Inc.Reference: Publisher The Goodheart-Willcox Co. Tinley Park.. Illinois .