CSA develops workshop-friendly diagnostic tool for steering gears and pumps

Complete Steering Australia (CSA) has developed and manufactured – in conjunction with Stauff Germany (the supplier of the integral components) – a diagnostic tool for steering gears and pumps fitted to all types of trucks and heavy machinery.

CSA’s head office is in Melbourne, with another branch in Stapylton, Brisbane. Big Rigs had the chance to meet with their Australia-wide business development manager Peter Elliott recently.

CSA’s Pressure and Flow Mobile Diagnostics Unit is a very portable, workshop friendly tool.

Over the past years, CSA has appointed diagnostic centres in city and regional locations which have been trained in all facets of diagnosing faults with power steering systems. Diagnostic centre locations can be found at csa-trw.com.au.

It can accurately measure and record steering system pressure, flow and temperature and is a fast and efficient diagnostic tool that can also be used for preventative maintenance.

The information it gathers is measured and stored and can be downloaded into the supplied proprietary software so it can be interpreted and any issues identified and diagnosed. The recorded information can also be easily forwarded to CSA’s Melbourne office for an initial diagnosis, for a ‘second opinion’, or for further analysis.

Outwardly it is a simple process to watch in action. Two hydraulic oil hoses are permanently fitted to the diagnostic unit, and the other ends are fitted to the inlet and outlet points of the steering pump being tested.

A hand-held digital read-out device, similar to a large remote control, also runs off the machine. This device is the data logger and records sets of data as the steering pump is tested.

An adjustable hydraulic oil pressure valve is also fitted into the diagnostic unit with the adjustment knob mounted on the unit’s top exterior panel.

The steering gear and pump on the truck being tested is attached to the supply and return hoses of the diagnostic unit. Several different sets of end couplings are provided to allow for the differences in steering pump hose fittings, particularly between American, European and Japanese truck makers.

Once connected, the truck is set to idle and the engine is brought up to operating temperature. This ensures the power steering oil is at its optimum operating state.

The truck engine is first run at a low rev range and the data recorded. The engine rev range and hydraulic oil pressure are then increased and a range of diagnostic tests run and the data recorded. This is repeated through a range of engine revs and oil pressure settings before a full suite of data is recorded.

With the hydraulic hoses connected to the steering pump, the testing routine generally only takes 30 to 45 minutes. Detaching and re-attaching hydraulic hoses on the steering pump can add to that time of course.

The data is downloaded into a computer program provided as part of the CSA Pressure and Flow Mobile Diagnostics Unit package and the results displayed on the computer screen in a visual graph form.

A second diagnostic opinion of the graphical output is available from CSA’s Melbourne head office on a very efficient turn-around so a sound interpretation of the downloaded data from the testing of the steering pump can be presented.

This diagnostic service does not preclude there being issues with the steering geometry such in the tie rod ends, idler arm, pitman arm or in the kingpins etc. But it’s the best diagnosis you can get in respect to your steering gear and pump and what may or may not be causing steering issues such as a certain vagueness in steering response or a “dose of the wanders”, or worse.

CSA has developed a testing procedure for both hydraulics and mechanical steering systems. This procedure is used and documented for every vehicle brought to CSA for testing or fault rectification.

Pressure and flow testing is an integral part of diagnostics of steering condition in heavy vehicles and the specialist equipment used by CSA enables them to diagnose steering issues in a timely and efficient way that serves the interests of the customer.

The electronic equipment records and downloads graphs for systems pressure settings, flow rates and temperatures. All tests are documented and recorded to a computer for diagnosis and for future test comparison, service history and reference.

Complete Steering Australia represents ZF-TRW commercial truck and bus steering division in Australia and New Zealand. They proudly support all of ZF-TRW’s commercial steering products, offer technical product support and factory endorsed engineering advice.

CSA has new and remanufactured steering gear for all US, Australian, European, Japanese Trucks and their product range includes new steering pumps, tie rod ends, drag link ends and pitman arms to suit all makes. They also design, develop and manufacture drag links in-house to suit various truck models and brands.

They also stock an extensive range of truck steering wheels, suitable for all American, European and Japanese trucks.

CSA is your complete truck and bus steering solution specialist. They and their authorised diagnostic centres will carry out power steering tests and repairs to all makes in modern workshop facilities and supply truck and bus steering parts to original equipment manufacturers right through to retail outlets. They also have remanufactured steering gear to suit US, European and Japanese heavy vehicle makers and cater to all facets of the industry.

For more information, visit csa-trw.com.au.

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