A draglink, also commonly referred to as a "drag link," is a crucial component of a vehicle's steering system. It is primarily found in automobiles with a conventional steering mechanism, such as a pitman arm and an idler arm or a center link. The draglink connects the pitman arm or the steering gearbox, located at the steering box, to the idler arm or the center link, which is responsible for transferring the steering motion to the vehicle's wheels.
The draglink acts as a pivot point between the steering gearbox and the wheels, allowing for the transmission of steering input from the driver to the wheels. As the driver turns the steering wheel, the pitman arm connected to the draglink rotates, causing the draglink to move and ultimately transmit this rotation to the idler arm or center link. Consequently, the wheels turn accordingly, allowing for proper steering control and maneuverability.
Typically constructed from durable steel or aluminum, draglinks are designed to withstand the forces encountered during steering operations. To ensure optimal functioning, regular maintenance and inspection of the draglink are necessary to avoid excessive play, corrosion, or other damage that could compromise the steering system's performance and ultimately the safety of the vehicle.
The etymology of the word "draglink" can be traced back to the combination of two separate terms: "drag" and "link".
The term "drag" originally derives from the Old English word "dragan", which means "to draw" or "to pull". Over time, it developed into the Middle English term "draggen", which retained a similar meaning. From there, it entered into the English language as "drag".
The term "link" has its origins in the Old English word "hlence", which means "bond" or "fetter". It developed into the Middle English word "linke", which referred to a ringlet or a chain link. Eventually, it became the English term "link".