The manual steering rack and pinion system consists of two main parts. The first of these is the pinion. This is a toothed, circular “gear” that connects to the steering column of the vehicle. The pinion rests on a linear “gear” known as the rack. When the steering wheel turns it causes the pinion to rotate. This rotation translates to linear movement of the rack.
The ends of the manual steering rack connect to rods, which are known as tie rods. These, in turn, are connected to spindles located on the vehicle’s wheels. When the rack moves from side to side, when prompted by the rotation of the pinion, the wheels are caused to move, thus translating the driver’s operation of the steering wheel to the directional movement of the vehicle.
To keep the mechanism of the manual steering rack in good working order it is essential to keep the ends clean and dry and also to ensure that they are adequately lubricated. This is achieved by encasing the steering rack within a set of rubber boots or gaiters.
If there are any problems with the manual steering rack as a result of wear and tear caused by water or dirt or lack of effective lubrication it is likely to require replacement if the steering system of the vehicle is to be restored.