Car No.


Union College SAE Baja Vehicle Design Report
Matthew Beenen, Jon Wilson and Ned Lincoln Union College Dutchmen Racing
Union College, Schenectady NY

An SAE Baja vehicle is a single-seat, all-terrain vehicle powered by a ten horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. Undergraduate students at Union College from multiple academic fields collaborated to design and manufacture a safe, high-performance, cost-efficient Baja vehicle to serve as a prototype for mass production. The students utilized and refined both financial procedures and engineering analyses to complete this objective while conforming to the prescribed SAE rules.

F.O.S.  FEA  ft  g  HDPE  ksi  L  lb  Mpa  MPH  N  RPM  SAE  TIG 

factor of safety  finite element analysis  feet  2 acceleration due to gravity, m/s   high density polyethylene  1000 pounds per square inch, ksi  length, m (ft)  pound  mega pascal  miles per hour  newton  rotations per minute  society of automotive engineering  tungston inert gas [welding] 

The Union College SAE Baja vehicle was designed as a prototype for manufacture by an outdoor recreation firm. The ideal vehicle is safe, simple and inexpensive: safe for its occupant to be protected during use, simple for a novice rider to operate and maintain, and inexpensive to allow for general production and purchase. Additionally, the vehicle should be attractive to potential buyers in both its visual appearance and performance. These characteristics were considered in design of the following major vehicle systems: frame, drivetrain, flotation, suspension, steering, and braking.

FRAME – Objective - The purpose of the frame is to provide a safe environment for the occupant while supporting other vehicle systems. Several steps were taken to ensure this objective was met. Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) electric arc welding was used to guarantee solid joints and a rigid foundation to support the main components of the vehicle. In addition, extensive finite element stress analysis proved the car would remain intact and protect the driver under the most strenuous of crashes. The frame was designed to comfortably accommodate a sixfoot, three-inch tall driver. Overview of the Design – In order to conform to the SAE frame requirements, major redesign was decided upon rather than alteration of the existing frame. For the 2008 season, several positive modifications were made to the frame, including a shortened wheelbase, a seven-inch front-end rake, and new cockpit layout. The front wheels were moved six inches back, reducing the carʼs turning radius and improving the weight distribution, which had previously been heavily rear biased. In the 2009 season, the team has redesigned the rear section of the frame to accommodate new rear suspension and drivetrain components. Figures 1 and 2 display the frame schematics from 2008 and 2009, respectively. The changes to the rear half of the frame can be seen. The elimination of the solid 1”x1” steel slugs in the rear greatly reduces frame weight. 1

Figure  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Description  2008 Frame Schematic    2009 Frame Schematic    Drivetrain Components    Foam Model    Front Suspension    Trailing Link Cosmos   Trailing Link Assembly    Rear Suspension Analysis    Tire Selection    Page  2  2  4  6  7  8  8  8  10 

Table  1  2  Description  Gearbox Specifications    Floatation Calculations    Page  3  5 

Symbol  A  %  C.G.  CV  CVT  Definition  2 area m   percent  center of gravity  constant velocity [axel]  continuously variable transmission 

Figure 2: 2009 rear frame schematic The decision to increase driver safety resulted in several frame improvements. a Finite Element Analysis package. openchain designs. Renderings of these data can be found in Appendix A. the steering frame was rebuilt to accommodate a new steering layout and driver position. this provided for a 10. The frame was TIG welded using Certanium 72 as filler rod. Several alternatives were evaluated against the following design requirements: Figure 1: 2008 frame schematic.25 inch 4130 Chrome Moly round tubing with 0. See appendix A for figures. There were three impact scenarios analyzed each with a 3g impact with a car weight estimation of 600lb. At the front of the car. The impacts were front. Supports on the roof of the car and vertical reinforcements in the cockpit made the new frame safer in a rollover situation. These characteristics maintain the equivalent area moment of inertia and provide a reduction in weight. st lubricated subsystem to take the place of the 1 stage open-chain reduction. it also allows the driver to egress more quickly should he or she need to. The frame is made of 1. and a new chain tensioning system was designed to reduce misalignment. worst case scenario type situation was also analyzed with a 10g force of over 20. sprockets and a jackshaft mounted in an open sub-frame. and confirm that the driver compartment would remain safe in the event of an accident. The new design also includes bracing that was not present in the previous frame design. The max stress of any member was 18 ksi. The car still operates with a final st drive chain connecting the 1 stage system to the CV drive axles. a sub-frame that had supported the pedals. and the rear lateral cross member. chains. the overall drivetrain ratio was re-examined to optimize top speed and acceleration. and rear. thereby increasing frame weight. A more serious. Past drivetrain designs have been double-reduction. while the yield strength of the steel is 80-90 ksi resulting in a factor of safety between four and five.065 inch wall thickness which 2 . In addition to preventing visual obstruction. based around a CVT. placing the driverʼs seat farther forward and improving the use of space in the car. and suspension was eliminated. brake master cylinder. Reducing the number of chains in the transmission was a logical choice to simultaneously address issues of reliability. Discussion of Alternatives – Reducing the number of exposed chains required some form of self-contained.700N force. performance and size. was used to ensure the frame could withstand a significant impact. DRIVETRAIN Objective – The drivetrain for this yearʼs car has been radically overhauled to improve overall car performance and correct vulnerabilities of previous designs.has a higher strength to weight ratio than the required material. applied to the front lateral cross member. Lastly. side. at the risk of premature failure due to misalignment and direct exposure to water and dirt. This bracing in the rear eliminates the need for triangulation in the front. the side impact member. Additionally. The system benefited from simplicity and low cost. respectively.000N and resulted in a maximum stress of 62 ksi or 323Mpa. The rear frame section is made of the same material. This is lower than the yield strength of 435Mpa. The side impact members were widened and located higher from the bottom of the frame to better protect the driver from side impacts and ensure that taller drivers remain enclosed by the roll cage at all times. Adhering to recommended wrap angles and center distances for chain drives requires the system to occupy a large volume. CosmosWorks.

3/16” keyed sprocket. Bending  Minimum Factor of Safety. Alternatives: 1) Sealed. Shafts and bearings must be robust enough to handle the power and torque delivered by the engine-CVT combination. Wear  12°  20°  15°  16 teeth  64 teeth  4340 Ht Trtd Stl  50 ft‐lb  7000 RPM  2. 40° angular contact bearings handle the thrust loads generated by helical gears. The new system must isolate the st components of the 1 reduction stage from the off-road environment. Kamar Industries in Buffalo.54:1 (High) between its two st pulleys. giving a F. Based on the heat treatment performed on the gears. however. Based on the Briggs & Stratton specifications for their Intek 305 engine. The major tradeoffs are increased cost and manufacturing time. Toothed belts were not given serious consideration due to reported issues with slipping / skipping from other teams.1) Increased Reliability Over Open Chains: Protecting the first reduction stage from water and dirt is critical to decreasing wear. gear drives would not be out of the question and in fact. and reduces the chance of misalignment. but weight may not improve. Additionally. The software references ISO 6336 and AGMA standards to calculate gear strength and wear characteristics. designed in-house at Union th College. High gear speeds and the compact case make splash lubrication a sufficient mechanism for getting oil to the meshing teeth and open angular bearings. Overview of the Design – A Comet 790 CVT transmits power from the Briggs & Stratton Intek 305 engine to a custom helical reduction gearbox. Component volume is reduced over chain drives. was selected for gear cutting. An MITCalc design suite was used to aid gear design and analysis. 2) Decreased Component Volume: Reducing the space requirements for drivetrain components allows the frame to be smaller. and maximum CVT speed is 7000 RPM. A helical gear train was ultimately chosen as the st new 1 reduction stage. low and high. Sealing is assured with a nitrile gasket between the two case halves and double-lipped shaft seals at the input and output.5  1. The gains in drivetrain durability and efficiency are significant. chains and bearings dramatically decreases component life. an integral 16T pinion-shaft engages a 64T gearwheel. and features grade 8 fasteners and an integral mounting bolt pattern. Shaft machining was done in-house. Gear  Material  Max Input Torque  Max Input Speed  Minimum Factor of Safety. 1 stage drivetrain components must be able to handle both the maximum input torque and RPMʼs of the secondary CVT pulley. maximum CVT torque is approximately 47 ft-lb. The output shaft was designed to carry a ¾” bore. The CVT is capable of ratios from 3. in table 2 Table 1: Shows basic gearbox and drive specifications Diametric Pitch        Pressure Angle  Helix Angle  N. appear to be the teamʼs best option. These occur at opposite ends of the CVT engagement range.5 or greater. mounted to a 5-bolt hub on the output shaft. expected yield strength is at least 150 ksi. COSMOS FEA was also run on both pinion and gear to check tooth strength. as the gears must be custom fabricated.3 during maximum drivetrain torque.2 (1000 hrs)  Inside the gearbox. The gearbox output and rear driven sprockets are connected with 420 RK Gold Racing chain. The CVT secondary drives the integrated pinion-shaft of the custom helical gearset. All gearbox shafts are supported with precision ball bearings. Oil addition is done via a side-mounted plug.5 . the overall size of the drivetrain would not improve due to required sprocket center distances and diameters. rated at 3300lb. and a breather valve allows for thermal expansion of the air inside the gearbox. and sealed radial bearings support the shafts on the zero thrust-load ends.O. Chain load and 3 .38:1 (Low) to 0. a 4 Axis indexer was not available in Unionʼs CNC mill in time for in-house production of the gearset. 3) Precise Component Alignment: Misalignment in sprockets. Unfortunately. Pinion   N. giving a factor of safety of 2. load capacity and reliability compared to chains.S of 2. so in terms of mass-production of a Baja vehicle. The gear housing consists of two symmetrical halves machined from 6061 aluminum. 2) Enclosed Gears – Gears are capable of higher operating speeds. New York. respectively. It is also important to keep in mind that gear manufacturing costs drop rapidly with quantity. Chain tensioning would remain an issue. The basic specifications of the gearbox are found below. Enclosing components in a machined case reduces the number of components that must be checked for proper alignment. lighter and more resistant to buckling. however. The potential for car performance improvement outweighed the increase in cost. Lubricated Chain Box – Enclosing the existing first stage reduction components would eliminate the potential for wear due to exposure to dirt and water.

approximately 15. This system is designed for at least 1000 hours of operation before the gears should be inspected for wear. Driven sprockets from 40 to 54 teeth can be mounted on the shaft hub. This system utilizes two large bearings with the drive axle built inside of a cast aluminum housing. The drivetrain is easier to work on.The flotation system must first and foremost support the weight of the car and driver when in the water. While the car is floating. FLOTATION AND PROPULSION– Objective . and a wide selection of chain ratios is available. it was believed that fenders close to the tires were necessary for propulsion.F. the new rear frame is smaller and more compact than any previous Union College Baja car. offering a wide range of ratios. the drivetrain offers a continous range of overall ratios from 57. Bolt patterns and major weight removal patterns were cut using Unionʼs abrasive waterjet. COSMOS analysis of the sprockets showed that by using these patterns. The sprockets are mounted to the final drive system using the integrated bolt pattern and tapped holes. There should be easy access to all the kill switches and there should not be sharp edges. but harmful to the drivetrain. adjust and protect compared to previous years. Lastly.O. This is covered more carefully in the flotation section. The shafts were lengthened by 3” to accommodate the wider track of the baja car. We learned last year that thick mud can easily render these fenders not only useless. and the risk of chain failure has been more than halved by replacing previously used #40 chain with a 420 racing chain. . one system can provide both a 30MPH top speed and over 800 ft-lb of axle torque at takeoff. This system integrates the CV shafts with the drive shaft to produce a single.The goal of the flotation system is to provide the buoyant force necessary to keep the vehicle and driver afloat in an aquatic environment. range slightly depending on rear sprocket diameter. Second. This allows up to 1. Since only one chain is present in the new drivetrain. The final drive shaft is mounted rearward of the gearbox. and more effective against the water intrusion that can cause CVT belt slippage. The flotation and body should not impede a driverʼs ability to exit the cockpit in fewer than five seconds. easily serviceable and replaceable alternative to a custom setup. Design Advantages – Starting with a race-proven drivetrain from last season. but will also ensure that if a part of the system fails replacement parts will be readily available. Such a wide range makes the drivetrain well-suited to off-road driving. sprocket weight was almost halved with no significant loss in strength. but were irreplaceable. Chain tensioning is much more robust than in previous years. Cantilevered CVT and sprocket shafts in the gearbox make safety guards easier to construct. Safety was considered the first priority over all other design requirements. the rear wheels function as the means of propulsion. This integrated sprocket mount on the hub eliminates any trouble with alignment and any issues with slippage and the previous need for a custom axle. A 10T/48T sprocket combination is shown. is easily tensioned using the upper mounting points.5:1 to 9. This must hold true at both a horizontal orientation and up to at least a 30-degree roll situation.2:1.5” center-to-center from the gearbox output. this yearʼs improvements focus mainly on maintainability and integrating more modern systems. New for this season is the Polaris Outlaw final drive system. The chain side gearbox case has been hidden to show internal detail. 4 Figure 3: All major drivetrain components are present except for the engine.25” of forward/rearward travel. In the past. This housing. This will not only offer better performance and efficiency.S. Driven sprockets were purchased as blanks from Martin Sprocket. mounted on the bottom with a single pivot axle. Figure 3 shows the assembly fitted to the frame with a tensioning mechanism very similar to the factory Polaris design. Design Requirements . Higher speed and acceleration is expected due to higher transmission efficiency. it is important that the flotation system keep the rear wheels at an optimum height in the water without sacrificing ground clearance on land. Previous designs used outdated Arctic Cat CV axles that were not only very worn. We have therefore decided against fabricating fenders tight to the tire. with the treads of the tires acting as paddle wheels. Tensioning is accomplished using a large bracket and bolt between the axle case and the rear of the frame. The inboard female splines on those units are nearly obsolete now and needed to be replaced.

the flotation system must be integrated into the body of the car to produce a professional look to the vehicle. The flotation system should be easily removable for repair and maintenance. calculations were performed to place the car slightly lower in the water.24     44  56     0. Durable. The tireʼs buoyant force will be considered a factor of safety incorporated into the design. The side pods not only provide a majority of the buoyant force but also provide transverse stability.667  11. The nature of the Polystyrene material caused the foam to hold water and weigh down the car. The foam planks used for the vehicle are particularly suitable for flotation. unforgiving conditions of off-road terrain.  Surface Area behind C. Previous designs performed exceptionally in the water. its physical characteristics proved ineffective over extended testing and abuse.00  59.  Foam to be below waterline (ft^3)  58  13  7. This is the point of pivot when the vehicle heels to one side or the other. The flotation material on the bottom of the car should not interfere with the full travel of the suspension. This is accomplished by keeping the buoyant force as close to vertical with the center of gravity even in a rolling situation. Overview of the Design . and the front and rear approach angles should be kept as high as possible. keeping in mind that the bottom should be streamlined to reduce drag in the water. which has been designed with the center of buoyancy directly under the center of gravity of the car. which attaches to the frame. In addition.056  6.5 ft of foam is incorporated into the flotation system. Finally. great emphasis was placed on optimal ground clearance. Figure 4 shows a SolidWorks model of the undercarriage foam section. Polyethylene is a closed cell.443     220.The final design was evaluated with safety being the most important factor followed by performance and styling.G. Foam  Bouyancy of foam (lb/sqft)  Center of Gravity (in from firewall)  Surface Area forward of C. water resistant Polyethylene foam was chosen. its fragile makeup did not withstand the rocky. All figures from calculations are shown to the left. As a result. Two inch planks were heat treated together to form larger thicknesses.00  260. rigid structure foam product. 5 . at a level where it propels efficiently and safely. The metacenter is found directly above both the center of mass of the car and the center of buoyancy. A total of 11. under the engine compartment and rear suspension components.63  380.  Total Surface Area  Distribution  Front (%)  Back (%)  Volume  Depth Below Frame (ft)  Volume of Foam below waterline (ft^2)  Distribution (ft^3)  Front  Back  Weight Distribution  Maximum Driver Weight (lb)  Front (lb)  Front (%)  Back (lb)  Back (%)  Results  Foam to be placed behind C. This yearʼs system is comprised of foam side pods and a block underneath the car. The side pods allow the car to easily recover from a 30 degree induced tilt from either side.58  9. but does not sacrifice clearance on land. While this foam was successful in floating the vehicle for a short period of time. One cubic foot of foam will provide 60 pounds of buoyant force before considering the foamʼs own weight.499  Buoyancy foam is located under the driverʼs compartment.499     5. Submerging 3 the side pods in a roll will help do this. The foam in the side pods is the most essential part of the flotation system.00  40. use of one solid piece makes installation and removal easy. The foam is also resistant to chemicals and heat.66  17. but lacked the necessary ride height to excel on land. During the analysis it was discovered that the tires also provide a buoyant force. The system is comprised of Polyethylene foam commonly used in industrial applications.38  10. behind the engine compartment similar to a rear bumper.24  11. and on the sides of the driverʼs compartment.The foam must be durable and protected from debris the car may encounter during routine use. The car is designed to float in both calm water and adverse conditions with a driver having a maximum weight of 220 lbs.G. For these reasons air filled pontoons were decided against. Table 2: Shows calculations and figures for flotation design. as a puncture would render the system useless. See Appendix B for calculations and analysis. It will not hold water and will not lose its buoyant characteristics if punctured. Discussion of Alternatives – Previous designs employed a flotation system involving Polystyrene billets. in table 2. In addition. A foam piece underneath the drivetrain and behind the car adds additional support.G. Rather than using three separate blocks.

Using fenders mounted above the rear wheels. A rear swing arm consists of a solid axle which is connected to the wheel at either end. This simple design is comprised of a pair of arms (trailing links) which are connected to the chassis just behind the driver on the lower part of the rear roll hoop. and better access to drivetrain area. unruly camber change and high unsprung mass. it will greatly reduce drag caused by the un-sealed foam cells on the surface of a cut. The shifting of the driverʼs weight can also be used to aid in cornering. flotation and water maneuverability are very important to performing well not only in a competition setting. an individual is able to stand on the flotation pods with no risk of harm to the vehicle. un-parallel a-arms. but in a recreational setting as well. but being smooth as it is. SUSPENSION – Objective – The objective of the suspension system is to provide the vehicle with the means to keep all four wheels planted on the ground with the maximum tire . The dampers are connected to the arm and mounted to the roll cage above. and swing arm designs. The suspension type chosen for this vehicle is a trailing link with locating links. This design is strong and simple but yields a combination of poor ground clearance. simplicity. Propulsion is a key part of this vehicles design. trailing link with locators. it has been fitted with an HDPE (high density polyethylene) shell. This frame makes the system both structurally sound and easy to remove should repairs or modifications need to be made. Sometimes overlooked by previous teams. This provides better transmission of shock forces when the vehicle lands after jumps and when approaching steep inclines. These links can be adjusted so that the system acts similarly to a double aarm system. the car is able to convert the energy created by the water being kicked up by the tires into a useable amount of thrust. These extend outward and back to the position of the output shaft where it connects to the drive axle. The front and rear suspension must work as a unit to keep the tires on the ground as well as possible so that the drivetrain can continue moving the car with maximum efficiency and the driver can comfortably control the car. This accommodates the use of the Outlaw final drive as well as more standard wheel sizes. The main goal is to keep the tires planted firmly on the ground in all driving conditions. there are two locating links attached to the hub end of each trailing links. To do this. This leaves only a limited number of options. a durable. Discussion of alternatives – The main options considered for the front suspension were a few variations on the double a-arm suspension setup. With the tread of the tires providing the thrust. Independent unequal length A-arms are widely accepted as one of the best alternatives for off-road suspension due to the fact that camber change can be nearly eliminated. With more of the outside rear tire/wheel in the water. the turn is completed more quickly. Steering is done using the steering patch in any driving situation. These included parallel a-arms. A-arm systems can add unwanted unsprung mass to the suspension and are prone to failure due to the number of parts involved. Not only is this shell extremely durable. keeping the tire flat on the ground. A 2006 Polaris Outlaw 500 hub and bearing carrier is integrated into the end of the trailing link. all of which make it less than ideal. In addition to helping with propulsion. While other methods can be used. An aluminum angle sub-frame that bolts directly to the main frame supports the entire system. the added complexity and opportunity for failure far outweigh the benefits. 6 Figure 4: Foam underbody model To ensure that the system is durable. With this flotation system bolted to the car securely. For the rear suspension several alternatives were considered. the car is able to move and steer in the water. lightweight alternative to aluminum of fiberglass. Overview of the design – The vehicle features front unequal length A-arms that attach to the frame with a rake of 15 degrees from the horizontal. geometrically. These offer various pros and cons. the fenders help guard the engine from the inevitable splashing that the tires create. These included independent unequal A-arms. These fenders are constructed of HDPE. relatively low unsprung mass. A-arms can provide large amounts of travel and usually match the front suspension set up which is almost always an A-arm type. the tire and wheel need to gain negative camber in a rolling situation. the best being unparallel double a-arms. This system is ideal because it provides a combination of significant ground clearance. Additionally. equal length and unequal length.

The Fox Air Shox 2. The A-arms are fabricated with 1 inch 4130 Chrome Moly tubing. A simple and effective system was designed and built with minimizing unsprung weight in mind. The rear suspension uses a trailing link design and has many positive characteristics. Two symmetrical parts were TIG welded together to form the arm portion of the link. thus improving the reliability and safety of the vehicle. The shocks are connected as close to the spindle as possible to help decrease body roll and stress on the arms. The member was also subjected to a simulated 4 G rear impact. This adds durability to the suspension. Like the lower A-arms. The stress plot of the shock loading analysis can be seen in Figure 6: Figure 5: View of front suspension The front suspension setup was designed and modified from starting parameters based on the carʼs ride height and track width. They were chosen for their high strength-to-weight ratio based on their cast aluminum design: using a prefabricated spindle allows for easy brake and steering integration. They permit specific pressure adjustment based on the weight distribution of the car and the desired spring rate. The members were subjected to shock loading of 90. solid mounting point for the front shocks. FEA analysis was then conducted using CosmosWorks modeling software. which could occur if another car hit the vehicle at full speed.000n assuming a bottomed out shock and very high impact on a single trailing link. The shocks have been re-valved to accommodate the approximate 128 pounds per wheel sprung weight estimate. The lower a-arms are th further reinforced using a 1/8 inch plate to not only strengthen the part. Thus they are the main structural members of the front suspension. The ball and helm joints are attached to the tubing using tube ends of their respective diameters and thread sizes. a bend of 20 degrees was placed in the A-arm to allow for a more horizontal relationship with the spindle mounting point. This allows the suspension to compensate for the additional weight of the driver while still providing the user a comfortable ride over rough terrain. The front spindles come from a Polaris Predator ATV. A finite element analysis was run in CosmosWorks with the same force as the rear and the 1 inch tubing proved to be more than adequate with a factor of safety of well over 1 for both the front and the rear.0 provides gas pressure specialization that is not available in a standard coil spring. one of which is the significant weight savings over the alternatives.0 shocks that have 8. however adjustability was considered more important than 7 . Their connection with the frame is made through two unidirectional bushings for rigidity. strength because it is not required to transmit forces to the shock. To maximize the carʼs suspension capabilities and travel. The lower A-arms are designed with force transmission as their main priority. The ball joints are mounted on the spindle 1 inch further apart than the mounting points on the frame to reduce the overall camber change throughout the working arc of the suspension. lightweight. Such a methodology makes certain the car is as stable and efficient as possible. The links are constructed from the same 1-inch diameter. The members were modeled using SolidWorks 3-D solid modeling software.5 inches of travel.065-inch wall thickness Chrome Moly tubing that the front a-arms are made of. but to also provide a flat. which is a strong. This allows for easy camber adjustment. Additional tabs and mounting brackets are found at the hub end of the arm. These A-arms can be seen in Figure 5. and workable material. the uppers also are bent to provide a more level mounting angle with the spindle. The ball joint that is used to connect the lower A-arm to the spindle has a limited amount of travel. This provides more than adequate strength and durability without the added volume and bulk of similar aluminum trailing links. This led to mounting the upper A-arms 5 inches above the lower A-arms using heim joints instead of bushings. A similar approach was taken when designing the upper A-arms. This ensures that the travel of the front suspension is not hindered by the limited travel of the ball joints. Opting for a non-coil-over setup provides significant weight reduction compared to a more conventional coil spring design and increased travel. Both of these modes of loading produced a factor of safety in excess of 3. 0.The front shock absorption is supplied through two independent Fox Air Sox 2. The vehicle obtains a maximum unloaded ground clearance of 14 inches without flotation and 10 inches when the flotation is attached.

figure 8. In addition. Instead of using a bushing and hinge type attachment to the frame for the trailing link. Another benefit of the trailing link system is the ground clearance that can be achieved. The angle of the tire relative to the trailing link never changes. Figure 6: Cosmos Stress plot with 90000N shock loading and deformation scale of 22. STEERING – Objective . Appendix B contains a figure showing the car in a hard left turn. The first option was to place the tie rod attachment point in front of the spindle. Not only does this increase the stability. demonstrating how the rear suspension reacts and keeps maximum tire contact with the ground. These dampers use internal nitrogen gas pressure to determine spring rate as opposed to conventional steel springs. The necessary pressure to achieve 8 inches of ride height with all flotation components has been estimated 180 psi. The tie rods must be protected from impacts and move with the two A-arms while the wheel stops limit the steering radius and reduce wear on the system.5 inches of length adjustability. The suspension designed and built for the 2008 season eliminates this issue by using two locator links on each side. increasing cornering ability. an ultra high-strength heim joint has been used. These allow for smooth. This is based on gross vehicle and driver weight as well as expected fore/aft weight distribution in the chassis.The main objectives of the steering system are to provide the driver with an accurate. and reliable method for navigating a Baja vehicle over rough terrain. This member. the steering system does not interfere with the suspension. easy travel and up to 2. This adjustable damper set up is absolutely necessary with the trailing link suspension and allows the user to adjust ride characteristics at will. Max Stress = 20KSI The locator links were constructed using the same tubing mentioned above. This allows the team to carefully tune camber change and track width using only a single crescent wrench. it increases the tire patch on the ground. Most standard trailing link suspension designs have one major drawback. This is an improvement over double a-arms where a drop angle can occupy otherwise free ground clearance.0 Airshox. The stock nitrogen pressure in these shocks is 200 psi. Discussion of Alternatives . As stated earlier. this allows adjustment of static and dynamic camber change.The steering linkage system had two options. and the second 8 Figure 7: rear trailing link members on chassis. the dampers used are highly adjustable Fox 2. A demonstration of camber change (gaining negative camber) is shown in . The links are shown installed on the chassis in figure 7: Figure 8: Rear suspension shown at full droop and full bump To compensate for excessive body roll. predictable. A small turning radius provides the driver with a responsive and controllable ride. constitutes the entire unsprung weight of the rear suspension. As shown in Figure 1 the closest component to the ground at full droop is the end of the trailing link. in addition to the wheel. The rack and pinion system is a proven method of steering that is direct and reliable. This means that excessive body roll will effectively induce unwanted camber change at both wheels. allowing for optimal negotiation of off-road conditions. with ultra high-strength heim joints at each end. hub and locator links.

Additionally. neither buckling nor axial failure will be an issue. Through threaded rod ends and heim joints. was applied. This was accomplished by modeling all the components in SolidWorks. The car uses three disc brakes. maximizing steering feel. Design Characteristics . Discussion of Alternatives . The tie rod mounts.option was to place it on the back side of the spindle. The first is that it ensures that the pieces are designed to withstand a very significant force. tilt of two degrees from static ride height.The braking system uses two CNC master cylinders of the same bore size to supply hydraulic pressure to the brake calipers. Design Characteristics . BRAKING– Objective . The camber is adjusted to a slight inward. This would maximize deceleration. Additionally. Two methods for accomplishing this objective were considered. response. or negative. and caliper mounts are made by Polaris. prevent front-end dive. the wheel base was minimized. Overview of the Design . were used to perform a stress analysis of the tie rods. The three-dimensional modeling programs SolidWorks and COSMOSWorks. Both the hard lines and braided lines are protected from possible damage because they are placed inside the roll envelope. The wheels were aligned forward and the displacement of the rack was measured at both extremes. Camber and toe setting were other important issues addressed.It was deemed critical that the front and rear brakes lock up at the same rates. Both options made use of dual front disc brakes. calipers. but the rear setup could vary. This industry-proven steering method is reliable and was chosen to ensure the safety of the driver. This test determined that the rods will endure expected conditions. numerous technical aspects were considered. These parts are composed of 4130 steel for strength.In order to properly achieve the main objectives. The spindles are also from the Predator and were chosen for their availability and proven design strengths. An axial compression force of 1200 lbs. To enhance the turning radius. providing ease of monitoring and maintaining brake fluid levels.A 14 inch rack and pinion system was selected for the steering of the vehicle. The first option was chosen because it simplifies the rear trailing link design and fully utilizes the capabilities of the Outlaw 500 final drive system. the system is adjustable to optimize steering geometry and performance. and tire life. This is for a couple of reasons. The second is that it 9 . a single rear disc brake can be used without worrying about the ability of the axles to withstand the added torque. The position of the steering rack was carefully positioned for minimal movement over the suspensionʼs entire arc. it converts the rear brakes from previously unsprung weight to now sprung weight. The dual cylinders and reservoirs are easy to access. The second alternative was locating the disc brakes at each rear wheel. and a two-dimensional modeling program. the system is properly sealed such that it will remain fully functional in the event of a collision or roll. This setting optimizes the tireʼs contact with the road surface. The rear calipers are designed for an Outlaw 500. With a shorter wheel base and wide track the car is both stable and steers as directly as possible. a vehicle of similar size and weight while the front calipers can be found on a 2006 Polaris Predator. It would act to stop the rear tires by braking the final drive axle. should something break. they are located in sections where suspension travel occurs. Working Model. The front two share one cylinder while the rear has its own A balancing bar at the pedal allows for the allocation of front and rear braking pressures. The first option with regard to the rear system wasthe use of a single disc brake located inboard of the wheels. The tie rods are attached to the rear of the spindle to provide more protection from impact and easy integration into the Polaris knuckle. Analysis of the buckling force also showed that with this design. This procedure was repeated iteratively for a matrix of potential steering rack positions. The brake calipers are connected to the master cylinders by a combination of both hard line and flexible braided brake line.A braking system that acts on all four wheels was chosen for optimum safety and performance. With newer. Overview of the Design . similar to the Polaris Outlaw 500 ATV. The independent front and rear brakes systems ensure that there should always be at least one mode of braking in the case of a line or caliper failure. All three calipers are driven by a 5/8 inch bore. Utilizing parts already in production reduces cost and lessens the cost of repair for the end user. giving a factor of safety of 3. All brake calipers and discs are mounted to factory mounts on a Predator ATV and an Outlaw ATV. This gave a base for optimizing under both bump and droop conditions. pre-fabricated CV axles and hub. By following this procedure the position of minimum bump steer was determined. Thus. and offer the best vehicle control.The brakes are one of the most important safety systems on the vehicle. The disk brakes. The steel braided lines are used for their flexibility and resistance to wear. one on each front wheel and one on the rear axle. tracking. to bring the vehicle to a quick and safe stop regardless of weather conditions or topography. and caliper mounts were designed and manufactured in-house.

Aluminum wheels were chosen for their durability with minimal weight. A brake fluid analysis of the different bore sizes of master cylinders was completed.hoffcocomet. the outside tire must drag across the ground. the best combination of braking forces for the front and rear brakes was selected. as proven in the mud pit of the 2007 competition. designed to move water away from under the tire quickly. This size was chosen over the available 12-inch model to reduce the amount of friction the car must overcome in cornering. The ITP mudlite offers an excellent middle ground.Union College Mechanical Engineering Faculty Paul Tompkins – Union College Machine Shop Technician James Howard . The suspension has been designed to provide ten inches of ground clearance with the flotation. Callister. http://www. http://students. The front tires are Maxxis Razr tires mounted on 10” aluminum rims. both front and rear. Without a rear differential. These front tires have a less aggressive tread pattern than the rear tires. The chosen tires. reliable. The flotation system has been revised and lightened to effectively traverse water without sacrificing land maneuverability. The Razr features a wide tread pattern to reduce tread squirm and the sipes tighten up under acceleration and braking forces. The braking system affords maximum overall braking force on the front and rear wheels. The current frame yields high factors of safety and drive (3/05/09) 10 . The treads provide ample water propulsion when mounted correctly. Parts Distributor REFERENCES 1.makes replacement and maintenance much easier should a part need to be replaced. The tires were selected to run on nearly any terrain. which means the tires are used in their proper orientation for optimum traction on rough terrain. College Machine Shop Technician Roland Pierson . The steering systemʼs design yields a responsive and controllable car with no noticeable bump steer. ample for nearly any off-road terrain. 7 edition. Minimizing the amount of unsprung weight on the car is a major goal when designing suspension components and saving weight anywhere possible allows for added strength elsewhere.martinsprocket. The resulting vehicle is safe. They are the lightest six-ply rated tires available which give the durability needed to withstand rugged terrain. TIRE SELECTION– The rear tires are a 25” outer diameter by 10” wide ITP Mud Lite model mounted on aluminum rims. attractive. 2006 CONTACTS Matt Beenen – (3/05/09) 4. These tires were also chosen for their ability to perform in mud. economical and fun to Jon Wilson – (3/05/09) 5. From this analysis. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Brad Bruno . are shown in Figure 9. affordable recreational vehicle to fill an otherwise empty market segment. or break loose in aggressive cornering. Figure 9: Rear Mud Lite tire & Maxxis Razr CONCLUSION The Union College Mini Baja vehicle has been designed to appeal to customers and manufacturers by effectively meeting the initial objectives and offering a safe.polarisind. These sipes are small cracks in the tread. A 10-inch wide rear tire was chosen for its capabilities in mud and water. William. The drivetrain was improved upon to further optimize the vehicleʼs performance and enhance reliability and ease of maintenance. The large outer diameter of the tire provides an increase in ground clearance which is vital in traversing off-road conditions. a clear requirement when off-road in anything but a very dry terrain.Union College Machine Shop Technician Quality Drive System – Alhambra CA.sae.asp (3/05/09) 3. Under a sliding force. Material Science and Engineering th an Introduction. http://www. they lock together and prevent the treads from shifting.

133 PSI 11 . Maximum Compressive Axial Stress = 16.140 PSI Maximum Tensile Stress = 7.Appendix A: 10G Frontal Impact (29430N) – Max Stress = 62 KSI 4G Side Impact – 10700 N.

694 12 . 4G  10700 N Max Stress (compression) = 18.Rear Impact.330 PSI Rear Impact  125000 N Max Deformation (buckling) = .0006m Deformation scale = 181.

0021m Static Load  90.000 N Max Deformation (deformation scale 22.Static Load  90.6)= .000 N Max Stress = 20.5 KSI 13 .

Appendix B: Suspension Roll Analysis 14 .

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