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Word Description
Idler Arm On an automobile or truck with conventional parallelogram steering, the Idler Arm or idler arm assembly is a pivoting support for the steering linkage. The idler arm consists of a rod which pivots on a bracket attached to the frame of the vehicle on one end and supports a ball joint on the other end. Generally, an idler arm is attached between the opposite side of the center link from the Pitman arm and the vehicle's frame to hold the center link at the proper height. Idler arms are generally more vulnerable to wear than Pitman arms because of the pivot function built into them. If the idler arm is fitted with grease fittings, these should be lubricated with a grease gun at each oil change.
Instant Center (IC) Due to the fact that the wheel and tire's motion is constrained by the suspension links on the vehicle, the motion of the wheel package in the front view will scribe an imaginary arc in space with an “instantaneous center" of rotation at any given point along its path. The instant center for any wheel package can be found by following imaginary lines drawn through the suspension links to their intersection point. A component of the tire's force vector points from the contact patch of the tire through instant center. The larger this component is, the less suspension motion will occur. Theoretically, if the resultant of the vertical load on the tire and the lateral force generated by it points directly into the instant center, the suspension links will not move. In this case, all weight transfer at that end of the vehicle will be geometric in nature. This is key information used in finding the force-based roll center as well. In this respect the instant centers are more important to the handling of the vehicle than the kinematic roll center alone, in that the ratio of geometric to elastic weight transfer is determined by the forces at the tires and their directions in relation to the position of their respective instant centers.