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Seminar Report

Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the award of degree of

Bachelor of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering.

Submitted by,


Mukka, Mangalore -

Certified that the Seminar on topic FOUR WHEEL STEERING
SYSTEM has been successfully presented at SRINIVAS SCHOOL OF
ENGINEERING by SREYASRAJ P K, bearing USN: 4ES13ME097, in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the VIII Semester degree of Bachelor of Engineering
in Mechanical Engineering of Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum during
academic year 2016-2017. It is certified that all corrections/suggestions indicated for
Internal Assessment have been incorporated in the report deposited in the departmental
library. The Seminar report has been approved as it satisfies the academic requirements in
respect of Seminar work for the said degree.

Mr. Pavan Dr. Sudheendra P Hebbar Dr. Suma bhat (Seminar

guide) (Seminar coordinator) (HOD)
Assistant Professor, Assistant professor, Associate professor,
Department of mechanical Department of mechanical Department of mechanical

I thank my guide Mr. Pavan, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical
Engineering, who has been our source of inspiration. He has been especially enthusiastic
in giving his opinions and critical reviews.

The selection of seminar topic as well as the timely completion is mainly due to
the interest and persuasion of our seminar coordinator Dr.Sudheendra P.Hebbar,
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering. I like to thank him as well.

I like to thank Dr. Suma Bhat, Head of the Mechanical Department, who has
been the constant driving force behind the completion of the seminar.

Also I like to thank our beloved Principal Dr. Shreeprakash B for his constant
help and support throughout.

Finally I thank all my teaching and non-teaching staff of Mechanical Engineering

Department for the help rendered.

This paper deals with the details of four wheel steering (4WS) system.With the help of
this system all the four wheels can be turned to any direction using the steering. Thus the
vehicle can be controlled more effectively especially during cornering and parking. Also
the speed of the vehicle can be increased or decreased.

There are three types of production of four-wheel steering systems:

1. Mechanical 4WS
2. Hydraulic 4WS
3. Electro-hydraulic 4WS

The mechanical 4WS uses two separate steering gears to control the front and rear
wheels. The hydraulic 4WS uses a two-way hydraulic cylinder to turn both the wheels in
the same direction. It is not possible to turn them in the opposite direction. The electro-
hydraulic 4WS combine computer electronic controls with hydraulics to make the system
sensitive to both steering angle and road speeds.

This system finds application in off-highway vehicles such as fork lifts, agricultural and
construction equipment and mining machinery. It is also useful in passenger cars, mainly

Production cars are designed to understeer and rarely do they oversteer. If a car could
automatically compensate for an understeer/oversteer problem, the driver would enjoy
nearly neutral steering under varying operating conditions.Four-wheel steering is a
serious effort on like low speed cornering, vehicle parking and driving in city conditions
with heavy traffic in tight spaces,driving would be very difficult due to vehicles larger
wheelbase and track width. Hence there is a requirement of a mechanism which result in
less turning radius and it can be achieved by implementing four wheel steering
mechanism instead of regular two wheel steering.

Four wheel steering, 4WS, also called rear-wheel steering or all-wheel steering, provides
a means to actively steer the rear wheels during turning maneuvers. It should not be
confused with four-wheel drive in which all four wheels of a vehicle are powered. It
improves handling and help the vehicle make tighter turns.

Production-built cars tend to understeer or, in few instances, oversteer. If a car

could automatically compensate for an understeer/oversteer problem, the driver would
enjoy nearly neutral steering under varying conditions.4WS is a serious effort on the part
of automotive design engineers to provide near-neutral steering.

The front wheels do most of the steering. Rear wheel turning is generally limited
to 5-6 degree during an opposite direction turn. During a same direction turn, rear wheel
steering is limited to about 1-1.5 degree.

When both the front and rear wheels steer toward the same direction, they are said
to be in-phase and this produces a kind of sideways movement of the car at low speeds.
When the front and rear wheels are steered in opposite direction, this is called anti-phase,
counter phase or opposite phase and it produces a sharper, tighter turn.

Four wheel steering is a method developed in automobile industry for the

effective turning of the vehicle and to increase the maneuverbility. In a typical front
wheel steering system the rear wheels do not turn in the direction of the curve and thus
curb on the efficiency of the steering. In four wheel steering the rear wheels turn with the
front wheels thus increasing the efficiency of the vehicle. The direction of steering the
rear wheels relative to the front wheels depends on the operating conditions. At low speed
wheel movement is pronounced, so that rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction
to that of front wheels. At high speed, when steering adjustments are subtle, the front
wheels and the rear wheels turn in the same direction.

By changing the direction of the rear wheels there is reduction in turning radius of
the vehicle which is efficient in parking, low speed cornering and high speed lane change.
The steering system allows the driver to guide the moving vehicle on the road and turn it
right or left as desired. The main aim is that turning of the vehicle should not require
greater efforts on the part of the driver. The Quadra steer steering system offers a 21%
reduction in turning radius. So if a vehicle is capable of making a U-turn in a 25- foot
space, Quadra steer allows the driver to do it in about 20 feet.


To understand the advantages of four wheel steering, it is wise to review the
dynamics of typical steering maneuvers with a conventional front-steered vehicle. The
tires are subject to the forces of grip, momentum, and steering input when making a
movement other than straight-ahead driving. These forces compete with each other
during steering maneuvers. With a front-steered vehicle, the rear end is always trying to
catch up to the directional changes of the front wheels. This causes the vehicle to sway.
As a normal part of operating a vehicle, the driver learns to adjust to these forces without
thinking about them.

When turning, the driver is putting into motion a complex series of forces. Each
of these must be balanced against the others. The tires are subjected to road grip and slip
angle. Grip holds the cars wheels to the road, and momentum moves the car straight
ahead. Steering input causes the front wheels to turn. The car momentarily resists the
turning motion, causing a tire slip angle to form. Once the vehicle begins to respond to
the steering input, cornering forces are generated. The vehicle sways as the rear wheels
attempt to keep up with the cornering forces already generated by the front tires. This is
referred to as rear-end lag, because there is a time delay between steering input and
vehicle reaction. When the front wheels are turned back to a straight-ahead position, the
vehicle must again try to adjust by reversing the same forces developed by the turn. As
the steering is turned, the vehicle body sways as the rear wheels again try to keep up with
the cornering forces generated by the front wheels.

The idea behind four wheel steering system is that a vehicle requires less driver
input for any steering maneuver if all four wheels are steering the vehicle. As with two-
wheel steer vehicles, tire grip holds the four wheels on the road. However, when the
driver turns the wheels slightly, all four wheels react to the steering input, causing slip
angles to form at all four wheels. The entire vehicle moves in one direction rather than
the rear half attempting to catch up to the front. The vehicle responds more quickly to
steering input because rear wheel lag is eliminated.

In city driving conditions the vehicle with higher wheelbase and track width face
problems of turning as the space is confined, the same problem is faced in low speed
cornering. Usually customers pick the vehicle with higher wheelbase and track width for their
comfort and face these problems, so to overcome this problem a concept of four wheel
steering can be adopted in the vehicle. Four wheel steering reduces the turning radius of the
vehicle which is effective in confined space, in this project four wheel steering is adopted for
the existing vehicle and turning radius is reduced without changing the dimension of the

There are three types of production of four wheel steering systems:

1. Mechanical 4WS

2. Hydraulic 4WS

3. Electro-hydraulic 4WS

1) Mechanical 4WS

In a straight-mechanical type 4WS, two steering gears are used, one for the
front and other for the rear wheels. A steel shaft connects the two steering gearboxes and
terminates at an eccentric shaft that is fitted with an offset pin. This pin is engaged a
second offset pin that fits into a planetary gear.

The planetary gear meshes with the matching teeth of an internal gear that is
secured in a fixed position to the gearbox housing. This means that the planetary gear can
rotate but the internal gear cannot. The eccentric pin of the planetary gear fits into a hole
in a slider for the steering gear. Mechanical 4WS is steering angle sensitive. It is not
sensitive to vehicle road speed.

A 120-degree turn of the steering wheel rotates the planetary gear to move to
the slider in the same direction that the front wheels are headed. Proportionately, the rear
wheels turn the steering wheel about 1.5 to 10 degrees. Further rotation of the steering
wheel, past the 120 degree point, causes the rear wheels to start straightening out due to
the double-crank action and rotation of the planetary gear. Turning the steering wheel to a
greater angle, about 230 degrees, finds the rear wheels in a neutral position regarding the
front wheels. Further rotation of the steering wheel results in the rear wheels going
counter phase with regard to the front wheels. About 5.3 degrees maximum counter phase
rear steering is possible.

2) Hydraulic 4WS

The hydraulically operated four wheel steering system is a simple design, both in
components and operation. The rear wheels turn only in the same direction as the front
wheels. They also turn not more than 11/2 degrees. The system only activates at speeds
above 30 mph (50 km/h) and does not operate when the vehicle moves in reverse.

A two way hydraulic cylinder mounted on the rear sub frame turn the wheels.
Fluid for this cylinder is supplied by a rear steering pump that is driven by the
differential. The pump only operates when the front wheels are turning. A tank in the
engine compartment supplies the rear steering pump with fluid.

When the steering wheel is turned, the front steering pump sends fluid under
pressure to the rotary valve in the front rack and pinion unit. This forces fluid into the
front power cylinder, and the front wheels turn in the direction steered. The fluid pressure
varies with the turning of the steering wheel. The faster and farther the steering wheel is
turned, the greater the fluid pressure.

The fluid is also fed under the same pressure to the control valve where it opens a
spool valve in the control valve housing. As the spool valve moves, it allows fluid from
the rear steering pump to move through and operate the rear power cylinder. The higher
the pressure on the spool, the farther it moves. The farther it moves, the more fluid it
allows through to move the rear wheels. As mentioned earlier, this system limits rear
wheel movement to 11/2 degrees in either the left or right direction.

3) Electro-hydraulic 4WS

Several 4WS systems combine computer electronic controls with hydraulics to make the
system sensitive to both steering angle and road speeds. In this design, a speed sensor and
steering wheel angle sensor feed information to the electronic control unit (ECU). By
processing the information received, the ECU commands the hydraulics system steer the
rear wheels. At low road speeds, the rear wheels of the system are not considered a
dynamic factor in the steering process.
At moderate road speeds, the rear wheels are steered, momentarily counter phase,
through neutral, then in phase with the front wheels.

At high road speeds, the rear wheels turns only in phase with the front wheels. The ECU
must know not only road speed, but also how much and quickly the steering wheel is
turned. These three factors - road speed, amount of steering wheel turn, and the quickness
of the steering wheel turn - are interpreted by the ECU to maintain continuous and
desired steer angle of the rear wheels.

The basic working elements of the design of an electro- hydraulic 4WS are control
unit, a stepper motor, a swing arm, a set of beveled gears, a control rod, and a control
valve with an output rod. Two electronic sensors tell the ECU how fast the car is going.

The yoke is a major mechanical component of this electro- hydraulic design. The
position of the control yoke varies with vehicle road speed. For example, at speeds below
33 mph (53 km/h), the yoke is in its downward position, which results in the rear wheels
steering in the counter phase (opposite front wheels) direction. As road speeds approach
and exceed 33 mph (53 km/h), the control yoke swings up through a neutral (horizontal)
position to an up position. In the neutral position, the rear wheels steer in phase with the
front wheels.
The stepper motor moves the control yoke. A swing arm is attached to the control
yoke. The position of the yoke determines the arc of the swing rod. The arc of the swing
arm is transmitted through a control arm that passes through a large bevel gear. Stepper
motor action eventually causes a push-or-pull movement of its output shaft to steer the
rear wheels up to a maximum of 5 degrees in either direction.

The electronically controlled, 4WS system regulates the angle and direction of the
rear wheels in response to speed and driver's steering. This speed-sensing system
optimizes the vehicle's dynamic characteristics at any speed, thereby producing enhanced
stability and, within certain parameters, agility.


The actual 4WS system consists of a rack and pinion front steering that is hydraulically
powered by a main twin-tandem pump. The system also has a rear-steering mechanism,
hydraulically powered by the main pump. The rear-steering shaft extends from the rack
bar of the front steering assembly to the rear-steering-phase control unit.

The rear steering is comprised of the input end of the rear steering shaft, vehicle speed
sensors, and steering-phase control unit (deciding direction and degree), a power
cylinder, and an output rod. A centering lock spring is incorporated that locks the rear
system in a neutral (straight-ahead) position in the event of hydraulic failure.
Additionally, a solenoid valve that disengages the hydraulic boost (thereby activating the
centering lock spring in case of an electrical failure) is included.