Automotive Technical Terms: Understeer to Zone Toughened Windscreen

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Automotive Technical Terms: Understeer to Zone Toughened Windscreen


Throughout this site we use many technical terms, and given the breadth of readership our site enjoys, sometimes we are remiss and incorrectly what we are referring to. For those that do not, here are some explanations of the technical terms use.
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Understeer


A handling attitude adopted by most passenger cars, where on entering a corner the front wheels tend to steer straight speed increases, more and more steering lock to satisfactorily negotiate the bend.
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Unitary Construction


A method of fabricating vehicles where the body, floor pan and chassis are built as one unit. The main advantage over the seperate body-chassis construction method is in the torsional rigidity achieved.
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Universal Joint


A component that is used on driveshafts that allows a rotational movement but can move up and down to allow for suspension travel.
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Ventilated Discs


Disc brakes that have radial slots cast between their two contact surfaces. In addition, some are drilled between their two surfaces. Typically found in high performance cars where the extra cooling is required to negate any possible fade brought about by high operational temperatures.
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Warren Synchroniser


The Warren synchroniser was a device fitted between the gearbox and the propeller shaft and was operated by the clutch pedal. When the driver disconnected the gearbox from the engine, the Warren synchroniser disconnected the gearbox from the propeller shaft and the driving wheels. This allowed the gears to stop rotating completely and the gear change could be made quickly and easily.
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Watts Linkage


Used to laterally locate live axles suspended on coil springs. Alternate method of location is by Panhard rod.
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Wheelbase


Distance between the road wheels, measured longitudinally. Should be equal on both sides, except in some vehicles like the Renault 16 that, due to its torsion bar rear suspension, has a shorter wheelbase on one side than on the other.
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Wind Tunnel


A structure that is used for simulating air flow over a vehicle as if it were on the road at speed. By studying the effects created, the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle can be improved.
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Wing


An aerodynamic aid used with racing cars that produces a downforce that aids traction and thus increases cornering potential.
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Wishbones


Upper and lower front suspension brackets; also referred to as "A-Frames". Used in conjunction with coil springs as a front suspension arrangement.
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Worm and Nut Steering


Worm and Nut Steering
The end portion of the steering column is threaded and fitted with a nut that moves up and down the thread as the steering wheel is turned, and thus operates a spindle that rotates the drop arm.
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Zone Toughened Windscreen


A special windscreen in which the area immediately in the line of the driver's vision is treated to resist fragmentation upon impact. Was popular during the transition from safety glass to laminated windscreens.
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