Read This Before Replacing Your Steering Gearbox!

Read This Before Replacing Your Steering Gearbox!

Contents

 – Steering box: characteristics

 Repairs and maintenance of the steering box

 – Price of a steering box

The steering gear is a crucial safety element for the steering function of vehicles. All the more reason to take a closer look at this component!

Steering box: characteristics

How it works

It transforms the steering wheel rotation movement, initiated by the driver, into a translation movement to generate the wheel steering.

Description

Two systems coexist:

 – The most common is a box that is an integral part, for passenger cars, of the steering rack. The steering wheel imparts its rotational movement to the housing through an axis called the steering column. A pinion at the entrance to the housing meshes with a toothed bar (steering bar) inside the rack; this is when the rotational movement is transformed into translational motion. The steering bar itself, connected to the steering rods, moves and allows the wheels to be turned.

– The other system is mainly used on SUVs and 4×4s and consists only of a steering box operated by the steering wheel and the steering column. The input pinion is a worm screw, which drives a toothed sector through a ball system. This is connected to an outer connecting rod (pendulum rod) which transmits the steering direction to the steering linkage, connected to the wheels.

Please note: whatever the type of steering gear, today it is systematically supported by hydraulic or electric assistance that multiplies the effort.

Repairs and maintenance of the steering box:

– Integrated rack and pinion steering systems

Incidents on the gearboxes are exceptional (shocks due to accidents). Although they can be dismantled, professionals systematically replace the entire steering rack.

– Housings without steering rack

Due to their design, there is always a “functional” play, which must be checked regularly and readjusted with an adjustment screw.

This system is lubricated by oil, which can be replaced (the gearbox has a level plug); in general, it is gearbox oil (80w90 or ATF).

The table below compares the two types of boxes

 

Light vehicle gearbox (for light vehicles)

Heavy-duty gearbox

Advantages

    • Lightweight
    • Maintenance-free
    • Reliable
    • Robustness
    • Reduced gearing
    • Small footprint
    • Shock filtration

Disadvantages

    • Can only be installed on light vehicles
    • Tricky to remove and install
    • Systematic adjustment of the geometry after removal
    • Requires maintenance
    • Less precise steering
    • Often expensive

Symptoms of malfunction are:

– a large amount of play in the steering wheel;
– imprecise steering;
– steering wheel not returning after turning;
– oil leaks from the seals.

Note: Adjustments and dismantling should only be carried out by an experienced technician.

Indicative price of the steering box

 

Type of box

Manufacturer network

OEMs

Automotive websites

Specialized sites

New part

Rack and pinion (light vehicle)

$970

$600

$578

$515 (regular specials up to 50%)

Steering Box (4×4)

$1 200

$900 to $1 200

Not included

$840

Standard exchange

Rack and pinion (light vehicle)

$600

$450

$250 (few choices) + $44 deposit

$240 (+ $150 deposit)

Steering Box (4×4)

$800

$500 to $600

Not included

$450 (not including deposit and return shipping)

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