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Steering Linkage

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system   must   perform   several   important   functions, pitman  arm  normally  uses  a  ball-and-socket  joint  to which are as follows: connect to the center link. Provide  precise  control  of  front-wheel  direction. Maintain the correct amount of effort needed to turn the front wheels. Center Link Transmit  road  feel  (slight  steering  wheel  pull caused  by  road  surface)  to  the  operator’s  hands. Absorb most of the shock going to the steering wheel,  as  the  tires  hit  bumps  and  holes  in  the road. The parallelogram steering linkage (fig. 8-19) uses a center link, otherwise known as an intermediate rod, track rod, or relay rod, which is simply a steel bar that connects the steering arms (pitman arm, tie-rod ends, and  idler  arm)  together.  The  turning  action  of  the steering  mechanism  is  transmitted  to  the  center  link through the pitman arm. Allow for suspension action. Idler  Arm STEERING  LINKAGE Steering linkage is a series or arms, rods, and ball sockets  that  connect  the  steering  mechanism  to  the steering knuckles. The steering linkage used with most manual  and  power  steering  mechanisms  typically includes a pitman arm, center link, idler arm, and two tie-rod  assemblies.  This  configuration  of  linkage  is known  as  parallelogram  steering  linkage  (fig.  8-19) and is used on many passenger vehicles. The center link is hinged on the opposite end of the pitman arm by means of an idler arm (fig. 8-19). The idler arm supports the free end of the center link and allows it to move left and right with ease. The idler arm bolts to the frame or subframe. Ball Sockets Pitman Arm The  pitman  arm  transfers  steering  mechanism motion to the steering linkage (fig. 8-19). The pitman arm is splined to the steering mechanisms output shaft (pitman arm shaft). A large nut and lock washer secure the pitman arm to the output shaft. The outer end of the Ball  sockets  (fig.  8-19)  are  like  small  ball  joints; they provide for motion in all directions between two connected components. Ball sockets are needed so the steering  linkage  is  NOT  damaged  or  bent  when  the wheels turn or move up and down over rough roads. Ball  sockets  are  filled  with  grease  to  reduce  friction and   wear.   Some   have   a   grease   fitting   that   allows chassis grease to be inserted with a grease gun. Others are sealed by the manufacturer and cannot be serviced. Figure 8-19.—Parallelogram steering linkage. 8-17



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