Rack And Pinion Vs Steering Box

Rack And Pinion Vs Steering Box: Explained Pros & Cons

In recent years, the steering system has been upgraded and developed significantly compared to the first generation. When we buy a car, most of you will not pay attention to the version of the steering system.

Therefore, sometimes you will not be able to optimize the steering system to be perfect. To upgrade and improve, you first need to know what the steering system consists of. The following article will introduce you to 3 main details in the leaf system: Rack And Pinion Vs Steering box.

Steering Box

The steering box is the oldest existing steering system you can easily find in heavy vehicles. To better understand this system’s structure and operating principle, you need to understand what a steering mechanism is.

The steering mechanism is the mechanical part that affects the rotation of the steering wheel into a uniform rectilinear motion of the steering link.

How does the steering box work? The gear in the steering box is a metal block gear with a threaded hole. In the genes, there will be many ball bearings to reduce friction in the gears.

At the same time, the threaded hole is where the threaded rod is connected to the handwheel by the steering wheel. This threaded rod is fixed so that it rotates when the steering wheel is in motion.

# Advantages

The advantage of the steering box is that you can change the steering stroke easily by adjusting the length of the handlebars.

Usually, the steering box will have a tremendous mechanical advantage because it is suitable for almost all large vehicles and heavy vehicles.

In addition, the ability to operate the steering box is relatively stable, thanks to the solid design from the manufacturer. It is suitable for long roads, with few branches during travel.

# Disadvantages

A little steering box does not have many disadvantages.

The first limitation comes from some moving parts. The friction force will appear when these parts are in motion; when the friction force is large, it will create detailed wear and affect the details.

The second limitation is that due to the size of the details in the steering box being quite large, it can lead to inefficiencies of the system. Due to the significant difference in the steering ratio, it requires a lot of effort during control. At that time, your car may make a noise when the driver changes direction.

The third drawback is that the cost to buy a steering box is quite significant. You will need to think carefully before ordering this steering system.

Rack and Pinion

Currently, most modern vehicles use rack and Pinion: cars, buses, trucks. Why has this system become so popular? Because Rack and Pinion allow efficient use on vehicles where the front wheel and steering system work in tandem.

In terms of rack and pinion design, they are to be simple. It won’t take you long to understand it. Everything: structure, principles are in the book (Chilton or Haynes auto manual). Basically, Rack and Pinion is a gear attached to rod teeth connected to a group of braces. This system can be manual or variable power steering.

# Advantages

The Rack and Pinion system has a compact design and possesses efficient power transmission. It has fewer steering box parts, so there are fewer points of wear and less friction.

At the same time, the price of the rack and Pinion is relatively low because it has fewer details. In addition, the ability to save fuel will be maximized when you use this system.

In addition, the low rack and pinion ratio provides great vehicle control as you will need less effort to control the vehicle.

# Disadvantages

The disadvantage of rack and Pinion is less travel because the number of teeth cut into the rack is limited. In addition, for some old models, the replacement of this new steering system will need careful consideration. Because the system incompatibility can cause the engine to operate less efficiently.

The Difference Between Rack And Pinion Vs Steering Box

# Number of steering parts

The steering box has more steering components than rack and Pinion:

  • Center links
  • Idler’s arms
  • Tie rod sleeves
  • Pitman’s arms

Therefore, the steering box will have a larger and heavier weight than the rack and Pinion many times. Its consequence is to create a sizable frictional force that may cause some parts to wear out during operation.

# Connection

The two systems will have different linkages between the details. With a steering box, the bolt will connect to the steering wheel with the effect of rotating when the steering wheel is in motion.

At the same time, the steering wheel will rotate the gear, causing the rack to move from left to right. With rack and Pinion, the link and operating principle will be different.

# Steering ratio

The steering box steering ratio will be higher than the rack and Pinion. That difference will lead to the steering effort of the two systems being different.

Specifically, the Steering box will require a higher steering effort; it is suitable for heavy vehicles and has less turning. Rack and Pinion will require less driving effort, is ideal for modern cars, and can move flexibly on all roads.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Steering box with Rack and Pinion the same?

The answer is NO. Each system will have specific differences in terms of several steering components, steering ratio, or linkage. The steering box will fit heavy vehicles. Rack and Pinion will be suitable for cars, buses, SUVs,…

Can you use the car when the rack and rack are of poor quality?

The answer is NO. Because when you drive with a poor quality rack and pinion set, you will not control the vehicle in a straight line. It will be dangerous to both people and cars.

The steering gearbox has 2 classifications: true or false?

Yes, the Steering box includes 2 categories:

  • Worms and Sectors
  • Worm and Roller


Hopefully through the article will help you be able to distinguish the difference between Steering box with Rack and Pinion.

There are three main differences that you cannot ignore when comparing the two systems above: alignment, steering ratio, and many steering components. When you intend to replace the system, you need to carefully consider the compatibility of the steering system with your vehicle.

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