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Steering

Fundamentals

Objectives
List the parts of steering systems
Describe the principles of operation of steering systems

Compare linkage systems to rack and pinion


Describe how power steering systems operate

Steering Systems
Steering system works with the suspension
system
Components

Steering gear
Steering linkage
Steering wheel
Steering column

Styles of steering
Gear box and parallelogram linkage
Long rack with linkage extending from ends

Steering Gears
Common types
Recirculating ball and nut steering gear
Rack and pinion steering gear

Steering ratio
Amount of steering wheel rotation
Steering wheel turned all the way in one direction: stops against a lock

Turning radius
Amount of space required for a vehicle to turn around

Recirculating Ball and Nut


Steering Gear
Sector gear meshes with ball nut
Ball nut rides on bearings on the worm shaft
Provides smooth steering feel

Ball nut has curved channels


Steering shaft has bearing channels
Balls rotate and recirculate through tubes

Rack-and-Pinion Steering
Characteristics
End of steering shaft has a pinion gear
Meshes with the rack gear

Lighter and easier to install than standard steering gears


Often has a faster ratio
More easily damaged when front wheels hit a curb or
rock
Transmit more road shock

Steering Linkage
Steering gear is connected to wheels by steering
linkage

Parts vary depending on design


Tie-rods
Steering arms
Steering-knuckle

Parallelogram steering design


Most popular
Used with long and short arm suspension

Parallelogram Steering
Linkage
Recirculating ball gear uses parallelogram steering
Name comes from parallelogram shape made by steering
linkage during a turn

Characteristics
Tie-rods on each side connected by center link
Pitman arm connects steering box to center link
Idler arm supports center link on passenger side

Ball Sockets
Ball sockets connect steering linkage parts
Allow parts to rotate during a turn
Pivot as the steering deflects during a bump

Tie Rods
Tie-rod ends attached to pivot points at front
wheels
Transmit motion from steering wheel to front wheels
Maintain correct front wheel toe

Threaded adjusting sleeve connects inner and


outer tie-rods
Right-hand thread on one end
Left-hand on other

Steering Arm
Tie-rods attach to front wheels at steering arms
Steering arm is attached to steering knuckle
Includes spindle

During a turn
Inside wheel must turn sharper than outside wheel

Steering arms angled inward


Ackerman angle
Toe-out-on-turns

Rack-and-Pinion Steering
Linkage
Rack and pinion: less complicated
Two tie-rods come out of steering rack
Conventional tie-rod end ball sockets on outer ends
Inner tie-rod ends are ball sockets enclosed in rubber bellows or boots

Steering damper
Minimizes effect of road shocks to steering wheel

Steering Column
Steering wheel splined to steering shaft located in center of
steering column
Locknut retains steering wheel to shaft
Shaft supported by bearings at top and bottom of column

Tilt columns allow driver to adjust steering wheel angle


Air bags are installed on steering wheel
There is flexible coupling between steering shaft and splined input
shaft of steering gear

Power Steering
Steering systems on most cars today are power assisted
Some manual units are still made

Most power steering is hydraulic


Pressure supplied from crankshaft by belt-driven pump

Power Steering Pump


Steering pump driven by crankshaft belt supplies hydraulic
pressure to assist steering
Power steering pump types: roller, vane, and slipper

Operation
Pump develops more flow at higher speeds
Flow control valve is almost always working
Requires considerable horsepower to operate

Types of Power Steering


Power steering is either rack-and-pinion or conventional
recirculating ball and nut units
Most power steering systems are integral

Recirculating ball power steering


Gear boxes use pivot lever or torsion bar acting on spool valve

Rack-and-pinion systems
Fluid is directed to a chamber on either side of the rack

Electronically Controlled
Variable Effort Power Steering
Reasonable speed: fixed power assist not necessary

Late-model vehicles: vehicle speed determines amount of power assist


Pump-controlled units: actuator solenoid changes fluid flow
Steering gearcontrolled steering assist: boost is sensed by module
Four-wheel steering systems: improve handling

Electronically Controlled
Steering Systems
Can be steering-by-wire or mechanically connected using electrohydraulic steering gear
AFS system changes between low and high speed steering assist

Electric motorpowered steering systems use a rack-and-pinion


steering gear
Electric power steering improves fuel economy
Controls amount of assist by regulating current

Planetary gear active steering


Input is sun gear and output is planetary carrier