Caster angle θ indicates kingpinpivot line and gray area indicates vehicle’s tire with the wheel moving from right to left. A positive caster angle aids in directional stability, as the wheel tends to trail, but a large angle makes steering more difficult.
Curves described by the rear wheels of a conventional automobile. While the vehicle moves with a constant speed its inner and outer rear wheels do not.
The basic aim of steering is to ensure that the wheels are pointing in the desired directions. This is typically achieved by a series of linkages, rods, pivots and gears. One of the fundamental concepts is that of caster angle – each wheel is steered with a pivot point ahead of the wheel; this makes the steering tend to be self-centering towards the direction of travel.
The steering linkages connecting the steering box and the wheels usually conforms to a variation of Ackermann steering geometry, to account for the fact that in a turn, the inner wheel is actually travelling a path of smaller radius than the outer wheel, so that the degree of toe suitable for driving in a straight path is not suitable for turns. The angle the wheels make with the vertical plane also influences steering dynamics as do the tires
Rack and pinion steering mechanism:
- Steering wheel;
- Steering column;
- Rack and pinion;
- Tie rod;