Faculty Advisor

Brown, Christopher A.


The objective is to design three methods for reducing free play in an automotive steering system. Existing mechanical steering systems are flawed because they attempt to use interference to make up for the gradual onset of free play. The current system combines an increase in steering torque and a reduction in free play in a give-and-take fashion. This project attempts to work around that problem by coming up with several design solutions that should reduce the risk of free play. One design involves a pinion that uses rollers instead of gear teeth, in order to decrease friction. Another design eliminates the mechanical gearbox and uses hydraulics to steer the vehicle. A third design is similar to the previous one, but instead employs an electromechanical servo to operate the system.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering