I n the year 1817 a man called Rudolph Ackermann worked on creating the first stub axle steering system at which each of the front wheel was fixed to the front axle by a joint, and that made it possible to cover a larger curve radius with the wheel on the outside of the curve than the wheel on the inside of the curve “as in when you turn round on the round about the wheel inside turns less than the wheel on the outside”.

Rack and Pinion

Developed very early in the history of a car the Rack and Pinion steering became very popular when the front-wheel drive was most, since it requires little space and less production costs are very low. The first hydraulic power steering was introduced in 1928, but they was no real demand until in the 1950’s but since then the power steering is being used in most cars we drive these days.
Most cars manufacturers have increased the standards of comfort making the demand of power steering systems more and more popular. Speed sensitive or variable assistant power steering (VAPS) systems which were developed using electronic controls to stabilizer the steering control system. The demand of the safety and comfort will later lead to improvements in the steering systems.
Motor vehicles are steered through the front wheels, and the rear wheels following the front wheels on a smaller radius with cars they are factors which need to be taken to account the most common one being dead weight or axle loading and the contact area of the steered wheels. To overcome the friction forces more easily they are many different types of steering gear which have been developed with one of them being the power steering which reduces and increases safety and comfort of the steering system to its capability.

Steering and suspension should be always regarded as a unit because if the suspension system is not working correctly, that will take weight of the vehicle’s steering characteristics. To check are the absorbers or dampers for they reduce the wheel contact with the road for that limiting the ability to steer the vehicle. The driving safety of a motor vehicle depends mostly on the steering for without steering they is no drive.
In order to transmit the steering movements of the driver to the wheels they are components which are required. The steering movement is transmitted by a way of using the Steering wheel, Shaft, Gear and Linkages to the front wheels. The rotation movement of the steering wheel is transmitted through the steering shaft to the steering pinion in the steering gear. The steering shaft shaft is supported in the steering column tube which is fixed to the vehicle body.

Steering Geometry

The wheel of a vehicle cover different distances when turning on a corner. At low speed the optimum rolling of the wheels is only possible if the centre lines of the stub axles, with the front wheels turned as they meet at the extended centre line of the rear axle. In this case the paths covered by the front and rear wheels have a common centre. The inside front wheel must be turned more than the outside front wheel and this is achieved by the Ackermann trapezium system of which the name ‘Trapezium’ comes from the geometrical shape that the two steering arms and the track rod form with the front axle.

Key Facts

  • The effort required to steer the front wheels depends primary on the axle load.
  • A steering rack is described as being direct because they are fewer joints than in the other types of steering box, and hence there is reduced free play.
  • The steering gear translates (reduces) the steering force applied by the driver.
  • Suspension faults will influence the vehicle characteristics.
  • Active suspension works by sending changes in conditions and feeding that information to the ECU.
  • On the early cars the entire front axle was steered by the way of a pivot like a horse and cart.
  • Conventional suspension systems are a compromise between soft spring for comfort and hard springs for performance.
  • Dampers or shock absorbers prevent the springs oscillating.
  • An anti-roll bar is fitted to reduce body roll on corners.
  • The curve of leaf springs straightens out when a load is applied to it, and its length changes.
  • A torsion bar can be round or square section, solid or hollow.
  • Air springs are like a strong balloon or football on which the car is supported.

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