Join Date: Sep 2003
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Re: Power steering hose connections.
The return is usually larger than the supply to avoid "choking" the system. Consider this, if you were to eat two pizzas a day but could only "discharge" one per day sooner or later you would back up and shut down. To have the capacity to process food the passage must be clear.
Hydraulic systems are no different; they use fluid to aid in the actuation of a device. Since it is a closed system the discharge is sent to a sump for reuse. The supply side of the system relies on pressure were the return side must move the fluid as fast as possible so velocity is paramount, hence the larger diameter; it is more important that fluid is available.
Once the fliud has completed its task (steering the vehicle) the fluid must be recycled as quickly as possible. The larger the diameter the larger the flow rate and the quicker it can by reused.