A Few Essentials to Mind When Buying Rack and Pinion Kits
Quick Rack and pinion steering systems are popular sights in modern vehicles. Most car owners may not be familiar with the type of steering system in their machines. In a rack and pinion setup, at the end of the steering wheel column is a pinion gear that is attached to a rack, which activates when the driver turns the wheel. The flat-toothed rack rod on the system determines if the wheels go right or left, depending on the driver's inputs. Each side of the rack has tie rods that link directly to the front wheel of the vehicle.
This entire assembly is found inside a tube-shaped housing. A steering rack reduces the sensitivity of the steering wheel to smoothen the inputs. Quick Rack and pinion kits are sold to give vehicle owners the opportunity to adjust their steering systems to suit various performance requirements. Finding the right Quick rack, however, requires a basic comprehension of the system.
The Benefits of Quick Rack and Pinion Steering Systems
This type of steering has fewer parts compared to the recirculating ball, which is the other common set up. With fewer components moving around in the vehicle, friction is minimised, which reduces the wear that the steering suffers. This particular setup is also simple and lighter. Fewer parts mean less weight, and that votes well for the whole car. A rack and pinion system is space efficient, which is another reason it is preferred in racing vehicles. It leaves room to include upgrades such as engine swaps. Getting a rack and pinion kit will allows a driver to enjoy these benefits and more by upgrading from a recirculating ball system. Kits for enhancing the functionality of an existing steering rack system are also available.
Picking a Kit
When looking to buy a rack and pinion kit, various considerations will determine what works for your vehicle and what doesn't.
A critical metric that will influence your decision is the steering ratio. When you search the term quick steering racks, you will see different steering ratios for products. What does this ratio mean? This performance metric refers to the degree that the steering rack turns in relation to the angle of the steering wheel. For example, a kit with a ratio of 15:1 means that with every 18° of the turn of the steering wheel, the rack moves 1 degree, which forces the inner wheel to turn at the same angle.
The first number in the ratio dictates the responsiveness of the steering wheel. If the ratio is 17:1, the steering wheel has to turn 17 degrees. The lower the first number, the more responsive the wheel. Essentially, a higher ratio translates to quicker turning. Your specific upgrade requirements will determine what ratio to get. If you are switching out the steering system in a muscle car, for instance, you will want a higher ratio that offers better management of oversteer.
Type of Steering
Steering racks are designed to work with different kinds of vehicle mechanisms, and you must factor this when picking a kit. Manual steering systems require the driver to do all the work, which can be tedious when navigating tight turns. However, they are favourites for track racing because they allow responsive handling. A manual system is lightweight and is mostly used in older models.
A power steering rack has the power assist component, which is an addition to the traditional system. The setup includes a pump that produces high-pressure fluid, which flows to the rack and builds up hydraulic energy. This power boost means that the driver doesn't have to put a lot of effort into steering the rack.
Then, there is the electric steering rack, which has a similar layout but rather than a power pump, it’s an electric motor controlled by a computer. The driver receives the same assistance but electronically powered. An advantage of electric steering systems is that they don't have the pump, and so, save on fuel usage.
Manufacturers now have steering conversion kits that allow car owners to turn one system into another. For example, if you prefer a power rack instead of a manual one, you can convert it, or vice versa.
Design Specifications and Features
Other elements of a steering rack to consider are the specifications. You can find quick steering racks that are vehicle specific, meaning that they can only be installed in certain makes and models. A Quick rack can come with the tie rods included or not. The requirements of a vehicle will determine if you should buy the steering rack with tie rods. A car owner should check if a rack and pinion kit can be fitted with existing exhaust headers. Some brands require you to get unique headers that are compatible with the steering rack.
When you want to change the handling of your vehicle's steering, a rack and pinion kit will simplify the process. Be careful to find the correct kit for your car.