Explaining Steering

By Geoff Kremer

When you have a motor vehicle or more properly, a Hotrod you will need to steer it!
There is more to this than meets the eye as I will try to explain.

There are a few things to know about steering a car as follows:

1 Ackerman angle.
2 Caster.
3 Bump steer
4 Wheel alignment.
All these things, if you get them right, will help to give you a responsive, easily controlled and a good handling Rod.

There are two accepted ways of steering a car. 1 Worm and nut steering box. 2 Rack and pinion. Personally I am very biased and would choose rack and pinion any time but then perhaps you haven't any option but to use a box either way I’ll try and sort things out for you.

1 Ackerman angle. This the angle the front wheels adopt when turning. It is the angle that takes into account the fact that one front wheel is going to describe a different angle to the other front wheel when going around corners. Get this wrong and you will wear out a set of tyres in no time flat.

2 Caster. This is the steering angle the “king pin” is set at. Get this wrong and you could end up out of control.

3 Bump steer. This is what happens when the wheels alter their steering angle as the suspension moves, like above get it wrong and you could end up out of control.

4 Wheel alignment. Often called “Toe-in or Toe- out”, this can make a big difference to how the car steers, tyre wear and steering weight.

All will be revealed below.


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