Charlynn steering???

atomicjoe23

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Anyone care to explain what Charlynn steering is??? I know it's VW based, but I have no experience with VW's at all. . .I can't even find one around locally in a junkyard to crawl under and look at. . .

. . .I am looking at building a small 2 seat buggy and one of the buggies that I was looking at (on paper) just to get an idea of what I wanted said it had Charlynn steering. . .I've seen a few posts on here that talked about Charlynn steering, but none seemed to explain them. . .

. . .how different are they from a normal rack & pinion or steering box???

Thanks!!!
 

redmist

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It's not a VW part at all. It's an aftermarket PS unit that runs inline with the steering column.
There are some issues with the system. It does tend to disguise any self centering, so you'll have to run large amounts of castor. It's also got small amounts of play in the unit, which really show up on hard packed surfaces at high speed.
 

atomicjoe23

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OK. . .thanks for the quick education. . .

. . .feel kinda dumb thinking it was a VW thing now. . .sounds like I'd rather stick with a R&P or steering box. . .

. . .is the main advantage packaging since it runs inline with the steering column?

Was this ever OEM on anything???

Thanks!!!
 

Wilson

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OK. . .thanks for the quick education. . .

. . .feel kinda dumb thinking it was a VW thing now. . .sounds like I'd rather stick with a R&P or steering box. . .

. . .is the main advantage packaging since it runs inline with the steering column?

Was this ever OEM on anything???

Thanks!!!
The Charlynn is just a "torque generator", it helps turn the steering column input to the rack - you still need a conventional rack or other type of steering "box". The difference is that it doesn't use a "hydraulic ram" to drive the rack on the "output" side (all the assist happens at the input to the rack). The packaging lends itself to VW installations because most don't have room for a power steering ram installation (unless the frame head has been cut way beyond what's allowed in the SCORE rule book).
 

atomicjoe23

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A fork lift. . .yeah that's exactly what I want on my desert rig!!!

Sounds like I don't need to dig into this anymore than I already have. . .especially since I'm not planning on running a VW based vehicle. . .

Thanks guys greatly appreciated!
 

Kbach66

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A fork lift. . .yeah that's exactly what I want on my desert rig!!!

Thanks guys greatly appreciated!
Sounds like you are on the right track then. I know you're being sarcastic, but the charlynn system is probably the most widely used power steering system in smaller offroad cars (not just VW based, but all types). There's a reason it's so popular. Simplicity.
 

atomicjoe23

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I'm not bagging on it (too much). . .it's just another thing to get familiar with though. . .I'm already familiar with the other steering type so that's one less thing to learn. . .plus the chassis design I have is already set-up for a centermounted R&P so I think that's the direction I'll stay with. . .

. . .always trying to learn more though. . .
 

1450-ranger

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I'm not bagging on it (too much). . .it's just another thing to get familiar with though. . .I'm already familiar with the other steering type so that's one less thing to learn. . .plus the chassis design I have is already set-up for a centermounted R&P so I think that's the direction I'll stay with. . .

. . .always trying to learn more though. . .
Go read Wilson's post again.
 

atomicjoe23

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Yeah. . .I know it still uses a R&P. . .my fingers typed R&P and my mind was thinking something different. . .
 

punchdrunk monkey

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The charlynn works with a center mount R&P. Here's a picture of mine. I still need to run the PS lines back the pump.

 

atomicjoe23

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Might not be as bad as I thought though. . .just looked at Howe's website and it looks pretty compact and straightforward. . .

. . .how reliable are this vs. "standard" steering???
 

partybarge_pilot

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The charlynn works with a center mount R&P. Here's a picture of mine. I still need to run the PS lines back the pump.

Mounting it right there is about the worst place to mount them. Either mount it next to the wheel or next to the rack without any U-joints in between.
 

standfast

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I think it's just laying there BDKW1. Not mounted yet but yeah I agree, minimize the UJ angles as much as possible and use a good rack because they are hard on them. A charlyn can get the job done but it leaves a lot to be desired, like feedback. There is absolutely not feed back in the wheel and they are real sensitive. Kinda scary to drive at highspeed, esp on tarmac.
 

Perfect Race

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I have used them for many years and like the set up. I have never had problems with mine personally. They are harder on u joints unless you drive direct to the rack. I have seen more problems with the ram setups and loose parts causing wheel shake.
 

EL Diablo

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There is still an unanswered question. I was wondering if anyone has used the Howe servo. It is more compact. Does anyone have any feed back of how well it works compared to the Charlynn. I have only used the Charlynn.
 

partybarge_pilot

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The Howe servo is used to run a ram. Totally different set-up than the charlynn. They work very well.
 

punchdrunk monkey

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I think it's just laying there BDKW1. Not mounted yet but yeah I agree, minimize the UJ angles as much as possible and use a good rack because they are hard on them. A charlyn can get the job done but it leaves a lot to be desired, like feedback. There is absolutely not feed back in the wheel and they are real sensitive. Kinda scary to drive at highspeed, esp on tarmac.

You are right, the charlynn is not mounted in the picture. But it is mounted almost in the same location now (not quite as much angle on UJ). I was going to mount it directly to the rack but everything I read on Charlynn's said to use a UJ on both sides of the charlynn. I had to angle the charlynn or the top to UJ's would of had way to much angle.
 

redmist

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________________________________________
In terms of reliability they are extremely sensitive to rubbish in the fluid. However other than that they are pretty much indestructible.
They are a torque generator, torque in and it amplifies the torque output. There has to be some slop in the unit in order to cater to this amplification. It's very little, but it's bloody annoying at high speeds on packed surfaces. (I'm talking about 100mph here).
The talk on UJ's and angles is very important for the Charlynn. Any slop in a UJ between the steering and the Charlynn is amplified. Any UJ between the Charlynn and the box takes the fully amplified torque, so will wear at a phenomenal rate (especially if it's on an angle).
It's not all bad. I actually like the isolation from road feel. You don't get any impact transferred to the wheel and it's natively a very powerful PS so little steering input is required.
 

EL Diablo

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The Howe servo is used to run a ram. Totally different set-up than the charlynn. They work very well.[/QUOTE]

So with the Howe you have to have the servo, ram and pump?
 
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