Capri Definitions

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z




A steering mechanism that consists of a gear in mesh with a toothed bar, called a ""rack."" The ends of the rack are linked to the steered wheels with tie rods. When the gear is rotated by the steering shaft, it moves the rack from side to side: turning the wheels.

    Rail Dust

Cars are commonly transported by ship, trains and trucks. When transported by rail, small particles of metal created by railroad cars become airborne and land on the cars. When moisture combines with the rail dust it rusts and damages the paint.

    Radial Ply

A tire in which the fabric cords run radially in a line from the wheel hub or straight out from the bead or around the tubular shape of the tire. Annular belts of fabric or steel mesh add rigidity. Advantages of this design are more flexible side walls with a relatively stiff tread area and a larger and more consistent footprint on the road under all driving conditions.

    Re-Selector Gearbox

An arrangement that enables the driver to select a gear speed before he needs it and then depress the clutch pedal when he desires to use the selected gear.

    Rear Wheel Drive

The rear wheels receive all the engine power. RWD is preferred over front-wheel drive (FWD) for its superior handling and acceleration capabilities. RWD provides less traction than FWD in poor road conditions because less weight is available over the drive wheels.


The motion of a wheel that extends the suspension. The opposite of jounce.

    Reciprocating Motion

An object between two limiting positions. Applied to piston engines because of the limited up and down motion of the pistons.

    Recirculating Ball

A steering mechanism in which the steering shaft turns a worm gear that, in turn, causes a toothed metal block to move back and forth. Ball bearings in a recirculating track reduce friction between the worm gear and the block. As the block moves, its teeth rotate a gear connected to a steering arm, which then moves the steering linkage.


The maximum recommended revolutions per minute for an engine. In cars equipped with a tachometer: an instrument that measures engine rpm: the redline is usually indicated by, surprisingly enough, a red line. Some tachometers mark the redline with a colored sector. Others have two lines: the lower one marking the maximum allowable sustained engine rpm, the higher line indicating the absolute maximum rpm.


Motor vehicle ownership that is filed with the province/state.

    Ride Height

A measurement between the ground and some fixed reference point on a car's body (the reference point varies according to the whims of the particular automaker). This dimension can be used to measure the amount of suspension deflection or the height of the body from the ground.

    Ride Steer

A generally undesirable condition in which a wheel steers slightly as its suspension compresses or extends. Also called "bump steer."

    Rigid Axle

A simple non-independent suspension, consisting of a rigid transverse member with wheel hubs solidly bolted to it. The axle can be attached to the body by leaf springs, or by a combination of suspension arms and links.

    Ring-and-Pinion Gear

Any gearset consisting of a small gear (the pinion gear) which turns a large-diameter annular gear (the ring gear).

    Road-Load Horsepower

The amount of power at the driving wheels needed to move a car down the road at a steady speed. This power varies according to the car's speed, aerodynamic drag, and mechanical friction, as well as the tires' rolling resistance. Road-load horsepower is distinct from engine power because the output of the engine is sapped by various mechanical losses between the engine's output at its flywheel and the driving wheels.


The ability of a car to grip the pavement. Technically described as "lateral acceleration," because cornering is actually a continuous deviation from a straight path. Measured in gs.


A description of a two-seater open car of sporty appearance with side curtains, instead of roll-up windows.

    Rocker Arm

A pivoted lever that transmits the action of the pushrod to the valve stem. (Pushrod upward action is converted to downward push on the valve stem. )


The rotation of a car's body about a longitudinal axis. Also less accurately called "sway" or "lean," it occurs in corners because the car's center of gravity is almost always higher than the axis about which it rotates.

    Rotary Combustion Engine (RCE)

Internal combustion engine with a continuously rotating rotor replacing the piston. When turning, the rotor creates a number of sealed and steadily varying chambers where the fuel is progressively compressed, ignited, allowed to do work and exhausted.


Revolutions per minute. RPM indicates how many times the engine crankshaft rotates per minute.

    Rubber-Isolated Crossmember

A laterally aligned structural member that is attached to the body or the frame via vibration-absorbing rubber isolators. By bolting suspension or driveline components to such crossmembers, automotive engineers can reduce the transmission of noise and/or ride harshness to the body.

    Rubbing Compound

A specially formulated emulsion of materials designed to remove paint surface imperfections such as scratches, oxidation, stains, and acid rain etching. Rubbing compounds are formulated in both liquid and paste form, and generally contain more aggressive abrasives than are found in polishes. The rubbing compound step is usually followed by glazing and/or waxing.


An open sporting-type vehicle, lightweight, with two seats and with simple bodywork.

    Running Board

A long flat board under the car doors that acts as a footstep for the passengers.

Back To Top