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Pinnacle Kart

Team Members:
Joe Chan Hao Chen
Joe Giovanatto Jan Kellerman
Sujay Lahiri Vinh Nguyen
Mehdi Shabestary Faisal Siddiqui

April 11, 2008

University of Windsor
Mechanical, Automotive, & Materials Engineering
Capstone Design


Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... ii 

1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................1 

2.0 Design Methodology ..............................................................................................................2 

2.1 Benchmarking of Current Designs.......................................................................................2 

2.2 Financial Constraints ...........................................................................................................6 

2.3 Subsystems .........................................................................................................................7 

3. Materials and Production .......................................................................................................15 

4. Conclusions............................................................................................................................18 

Appendix A List of Figures  

A-1 Chassis
A-2 Front Suspension
A-3 Rear Suspension 
A-4 Brakes
A-5 Steering
A-6 Powertrain 
A-7 Wheels and Tires 
Appendix B Calculations 
B-1 Chassis 
B-2 Brakes  
B-3 Steering 
B-4 Powertrain
Appendix C Useful Tables
C-1 Brakes


Executive Summary

The main objective of the Capstone Project, at the University of Windsor, is to build a
high quality competitive go-kart that can outperform the competition in acceleration,
braking, and manoeuvrability; as well as provide excellent driver ergonomics and vehicle
aesthetics. The fundamental intent of this project is to implement three years of
theoretical engineering, specifically classroom material, into real-life practical
applications that can ultimately be used to develop real-world problem solving skills.

The Capstone Project is a final component of classroom study that must be completed
prior to being eligible to graduate. The project spans two semesters and consists of 4
groups with maximum of 10 members. Each group includes a finance officer and a
group leader to guide the team within the allowable rules and restrictions. After
completing the design and analysis phase of semester 1, each team must build and test
a fully functioning go-kart by the end of semester 2. The main design aspects of the go-
kart are that it must be lightweight and demonstrate optimal performance, while keeping
all cost within a $2000.00 budget. Key components that are mandatory in the kart
include: 4 wheel hydraulic brakes, suspension, sprockets, a chain, a drive axle that is fed
power from a supplied Liminar ZX170 engine, and Comet CVT transmission.

Throughout semester 1, the Pinnacle Karts team of eight worked diligently and
effectively, in a unified group, to come up with various design ideas and concepts. The
research material was presented as a group and discussed thoroughly. After a number
of revisions, the project was broken down into subsystems and each team member took
responsibility for one system. After establishing the design phase, steps and
procedures, CATIA drawings were produced and FEA analysis was performed. This
provided access to valuable information about the go-kart, particularly regarding kinetics
and kinematics. After analyzing the final design, any possible problems were discussed
and methods were reassessed.

Once the bill of materials and cost analysis was complete, it was possible to judge what
else other materials are needed and the final cost of the project. Finally, the bill of
materials will be sent to the CARE building technicians so the parts can be purchased
and the go-kart can be built during semester 2.


The Capstone go-kart project allows groups of students to put into practice the
theoretical knowledge and skills they have developed over three years of university
study. After subdividing the whole project, each member took on a specific section that
needed to be researched. Subsequently, each subsystem is evaluated and, after
rigorous calculations and drawings, the best system is selected. It would be
unacceptable if one of the subsystems failed as it could possibly lead to a poor finish in
the racing competition held once the kart is complete. The central subsystems for the
go-kart are: the frame, steering, brakes, suspension, and powertrain. These particular
components must all work together properly, since they all rely on each other for
optimum performance.

The frame is the key element of the go-kart, as it is the main connection that needs to
withstand a number of different influences, including torsion and bending from braking,
accelerating, and cornering forces. The frame, therefore, has specific mounting points
that link to other subsystems like the engine mount, seat, steering column, pedals, and
suspension. These mounts must be placed accordingly so that the frame is well
balanced and does not have stress concentrations in any specific area. This must all be
completed in compliance with go-kart rules and constraints.

The steering subsystem is another important component. Specifically, it allows for

steering inputs to be produced and directed from the steering wheel to the wheels. This
is a major area of control because it permits the go-kart to be manoeuvred right, left, or

The braking subsystem consists of hydraulic brakes with pads and callipers. This
system applies the correct levels of braking force needed to slow down the go-kart at
turns and for making complete stops. These levels are manipulated through the use of a
brake pedal which changes the pressurized fluid and alters the braking force.

The suspension system is divided into the front and rear suspensions, and each are
connected to the sides of the frame. This component needs to be dealt with carefully
because many other components are directly connected to this subsystem, like the
brakes, wheels, and steering. The suspension needs to be able to absorb contours in
the road while providing a smooth ride, and reducing body roll during turns will offer
better control out of the turn with less wheel hop or skidding. Also, in allowing for less
lunging, the braking performance will be improved. Generating a neutral balance from
the suspension is, therefore, the preferred situation.

The final subsystem, powertrain, consists of vital components that enable the go-kart to
perform favourably. The power is supplied from a Linamar ZX170 engine, which is
coupled with a Comet TAV2 transmission that will regulate gearing and output speeds.
The power produced will be fed through a chain and sprocket unit to the rear axle, where
the wheels will then drive the power provided. Acceleration is controlled using a gas
pedal that can adjust the amount of fuel and air that rushes into the engine’s combustion

Although the major subsystems have just been addressed, the description of each will
be expanded on, including any restrictions faced, as each was benchmarked,
processed, and evaluated to the team’s specifications.

2. Design Methodology

2.1 Benchmarking of Current Designs

Since go kart frame design is fairly mature and the basic geometry differs very little
among various racing go karts, the traditional go kart frame will be retained. However,
due to specific constraints on the frame and allowance of a suspension, differential and
CVT transmission variations will be needed. The design alternatives for each system are
discussed based on connections, materials and manufacturing processes. The
alternative that best satisfies the design criteria is selected.

In choosing the best possible suspension, many suspension systems were looked at
before deciding upon the proper one for a go kart.

The solid beam axle has been one of the first mass produced front suspension designs,
since horse carriages have been around. It is categorized as a dependent suspension,
which implies that as one of the wheels reacts to certain road conditions, it directly
affects the other wheel, which affects the vehicle stability conditions. Another drawback
that solid axle suspensions have, is due to the shear mass of the solid axle, which
produces a larger sprung weight transfer that affects ride quality, for both road holding
performance capabilities and occupant comfort. Solid beam axles are still in use today,
and can be found in heavy duty trucks, for their rigidity and strength in simplicity. Even
though the solid beam axle design has come a long way, it is not a suspension type
used in lighter weight vehicles, based on ride comfort and performance factor. As can be
seen in Appendix A-2, Figure 1.

The swing axle suspension is one of the first independent suspensions implemented in
front suspension design. The evolution of dependent suspension, leads to independent
swing axle suspension. The simplicity of this suspension type is based on pivoting axles
on either side of a center mounting joint, where the forces from the right wheel are
isolated from the left wheel, and vice versa. Another advantage of the swing axle is the
improvements in ride quality and steering through control, over dependent suspensions.
The drawback of using a swing axle is found when a vehicle is cornering, and the forces
created from turning, cause the vehicle to lift and potentially loose traction from one
wheel; causing a loss in cornering power. As can be seen in Appendix A-2, figure 2.

The trailing link suspension is based on using a set of arms located in front of the wheel,
to support the unsprung mass of the vehicle. Although this design minimizes the
required space previous suspension system needed, and presented much enhancement
in ride quality and road holding over the swing axle; its drawback is found when a vehicle
using such a suspension in cornering, would exhibit much larger than usual cornering
forces on the vehicle itself, and the occupants inside. The control arms for the trailing
link suspension are very bulky and increase the overall weight significantly, which in
response, causes frame members and suspension members to bend due to the increase
in load. This side affect causes a loss of camber and difficulty in steering. As can be
seen in Appendix A-2, figure 3.

The MacPherson strut was first used in European design front suspension vehicles, but
has evolved over time to become widely used in American automobiles as well. The
main benefit of a MacPherson strut is the coil over damper strut that only requires one
ball joint. The benefit of such a design is the minimal components necessary to produce
the ample performance in a suspension system, using limited space requirements. The
MacPherson strut is such a versatile suspension design that it can be used in rear wheel
vehicles of lightweight design. Many designers and engineers are split on deciding
whether the MacPherson suspension is better than the double wishbone suspension, or
vice versa, that they two suspension types are the most commonly used suspension
design for sport vehicles and racing, and can be found in almost every professional
racing organizations. As can be seen in Appendix A-2, figure 4.

The double wishbone suspension (double A-Arm suspension) has come along through
the years, from initially an equal length A-Arm suspension, to what today is a very
common and accepted design of the unequal length A-Arm suspension. The change to
unequal length A-Arm is due to obtaining negative camber when suspension is in
compression. This negative camber gives the vehicle greater steering capabilities when
needed most; during cornering and when the vehicle is in rebound condition. The double
wishbone design employs two rigid control arms where the steering knuckle can mount

between, and can also incorporate a spring onto damper design strut to benefit handling
and performance factors. This type of design has essentially corrected or minimized the
drawbacks of all other suspension designs that have previously been analyzed. As can
be seen in Appendix A-2, figure 5.

Electromagnetic suspension is one of the newest innovations coming out in suspension

design. It consists of a linear electromagnetic motor and power amplifier at each wheel,
and a set of control algorithms. As can be seen, this design consists of one of the most
complex suspension systems for vehicles to date. As can be seen in Appendix A-2,
figure 6. It includes control software to minimize rolling and pitching, and maximizes
steering capabilities and comfort. The linear electromagnetic motor is used as a
telescoping suspension strut along with a two piece lower control arm, a torsion bar
spring connected to one end of the lower arm supports the weight of the vehicle. It
basically replaces the shock and spring assembly found in a MacPherson Strut
suspension with a electromagnetic controlled strut, in which each wheel can act
independently, yet work together with the other wheels as a system, to make up for
minor deviations in stability and ride comfort throughout the vehicle. It is referred to as
an active suspension, which differs from all previous suspensions, for the reason that the
suspension system is electronically controlled to continuously change due to its

Various suspension designs were analyzed by the design team before finalizing the
modified trailing arm design for the rear suspension. Some of these suspension systems
along with their pros and cons are mentioned below.

The transverse leaf spring design combines a double wishbone or a trailing link with a
leaf spring mounted longitudinally. The transverse leaf spring also doubles up as a
torsion bar and helps to stiffen up the rear suspension based on its material properties.
There are two separate dampers on either side which aids in absorbing bumps and
improving ride quality. This type of suspension is mostly used in the Chevrolet Corvette
and was briefly used in some Triumph cars in the 1960’s. One of the main advantages of
this suspension system is that it provides independent suspension like handling along
with being lightweight and eliminates the use of a sway bar for the rear suspension.
Some of its disadvantages include: higher costs, rare materials (carbon composite leaf
springs are used), and complexity of the design. Refer to Appendix A-2, figure7.

The 4-bar suspension system has 2 versions: triangulated and parallel. The parallel
design is based on the principle of a constant motion parallelogram, which enables the
rear end housing to always stay perpendicular to the ground and keeps the pinion angle
fixed. The Panhard Bar used also improves the lateral stability of the vehicle; and helps
in locating the rear end of the suspension and keeping it in proper alignment. It is also

quite compact in design and easy to package. The triangulated design follows the same
theory except that the top two bars are skewed inwards and combined to the rear end
housing much closer to the centre; which eliminates the need to have a separate
Panhard bar, making it even more compact. One of the main disadvantages for this
system is that it is a dependent suspension design which results in the tires scrubbing
against the ground during hard cornering, thereby affecting handling characteristics.
Refer to AppendixA-2, figure 8 and 9.

The De Dion Tube is a semi-independent suspension design; and is a combination of a

solid beam live- axle system and a fully independent trailing arm suspension. In this
system, the wheel ends are interconnected by a De Dion Tube, which is theoretically a
laterally-telescoping part of the suspension which allows the wheel track to vary during
suspension movement over bumps and also in corners. Its main advantages are that it
keeps the wheels parallel to each other, and hence perpendicular to the road surface
irrespective of what the vehicle chassis is experiencing. This system also aids in
providing maximum traction by eliminating any camber change when the wheels
rebound. Moreover, it also contributes to the lower unsprung weight of the vehicle
thereby improving its handling and cornering characteristics.
Some of its disadvantages include increased weight and complexity since it requires two
CV joints per axle and needs extra lateral location links (Panhard Rod, Trailing Links or
A-Arms) for additional stiffness. Refer to Appendix A-2, figure 10.


This section is responsible for engine, transmission, sprockets, and chain connection to
send power to the rear axle. To determine the best way to harness the power of the
engine fed through a CVT and applying the highest amount of power to the rear wheels.
This has to be a reasonable setup and efficient in delivering power and performance.
The powertrain group must design a system that will be able to use the power from the
engine to the rear wheels. This needs to be addressed and analyzed to have maximum
acceleration and top speed, while maintaining fuel efficiency. The design of the
powertrain needs to have proper engine and transmission placement. The key to this
area is to have proper weight distribution for front/back and side/side percentage. The
side/side distribution should be 50% on either side. The front should be 46% and 54% in
the rear to improve traction. The max front to back distribution would be 40% and 60%
front and back, respectively. This will allow proper weight when turning and
accelerating. This area needs to be chosen and made to give the best weight
distribution and performance while being safe. The CVT drive sprocket will be used to
mount the drive sprocket so power can be sent to the axle, via the axle sprocket.
Calculating the acceleration and velocity at different speeds where the best times and
gear ratios be used. The fuel system can be left stock or modified using fuel pump,

lines, and external fuel tank. Since it is a stock setup and not alter it will have great
reliability compared to a modified setup. The exhaust manifold will be replaced with after
market muffler. Flange will be used to mount the muffler to existing flange on the motor.
Since the only component allowed to be modified is the exhaust, having an aftermarket
setup is beneficial. This will help reduce noise levels from the exhaust gases using
internal baffles. Still will provide the same or better back pressure to the engine allowing
optimal performance. The throttle system will have a pedal mount off the frame. The
throttle cable will run along the right side of the frame. A throttle return spring is need to
make sure the throttle doesn’t sick. The best dimension and material must be used to
insure proper performance and strength. The axle sprocket and holder placement will
be adjustable to find the best position. The best configuration for max performance is
based on how good the connection between powertrain component. The different
concepts are all reasonable, but each one has its drawbacks. In Table 1, it shows the
best possible setup in each case. The one to pick would be based on a lot of factors,
like cost, availability, weight, calculations, and how easy it connects to other

2.2 Financial Constraints

Cost is one of the major constraints if not the most important constraint in any
engineering decision making. For this go-kart project a budget of $2000 was allocated to
each team. Pinnacle Karts from the early stages of the design process realized the need
to be conservative and understood that cost reduction was an imperative aspect of the
design process.

In order to minimize the cost it was decided to order most of the parts locally from local
go-kart factories rather than from retailers. Also local vendors were preferred over online
vendors for minimizing shipping cost from vendors located far away from the university.
It was found that the scope of the project does not allow sufficient machining and
manufacturing as the team members were engineering students who were neither very
familiar nor very competent in handling the machining and manufacturing parts. As a
result the parts were bought “off the shelf”. This meant both an increase in cost since
machining and manufacturing the parts our self would have minimized the cost of raw
materials, but also a decrease in cost if considering outsourcing the machining and
manufacturing of custom parts.

Some of the subsystems were also decided to be bought as a kit as opposed to

individual parts and this ensured a further reduction in cost. Purchasing these kits meant
lack of flexibility to alter the components to maximize performance but they helped in
further cost reduction and staying within the projected budget.

2.3 Subsystems


The primary design constraints of the chassis were provided by the go kart rules and the
requirements of the other systems. The primary objectives were strength, minimal
weight, maximum stiffness, low cost, manufacturability and the support of other systems.
Stresses taken into consideration included fatigue, dynamic stress and impact stress.

Major systems of the go kart include the primary, support and secondary frames. The
primary frame provides strength and support for the other systems while the secondary
frame is used solely to provide additional strength. The support frame houses the
connections for the other systems of the go kart. The shape of the go kart followed the
traditional go kart closely but made important provisions for the suspension, differential
and CVT transmission. The isometric and top view of the go kart is provided in
Appendix A-1, Figure 1 and 2.

Due to the complexity involved in creating a tube with connections as a single part,
weldlets (Appendix A-1, Figure 3) are considered the most viable means of connecting
many systems to the go kart. When possible, the same 1’’ diameter tubing used in the
primary frame and bumper bars will be used for connections to the supported systems.
These include the steering column, seat and front suspension. Since the 1’’ tubing is
sufficiently strong to support these systems, only the minimum number of connections
allowed by the go kart rules will be utilised.

If connections are supplied with the bucket seat (Appendix A-1, Figure 4), these will be
used to connect the seat to the primary frame rather than creating customized
connections. If additional connections such as connecting tubing are dictated by the
rules or strength requirements, these will be incorporated into the seats.

The steering column will be supported and terminate in an end bushing that will be
welded onto the primary frame. In order to support the bushing, the primary frame may
need to be modified. An end bushing was selected due to its widespread availability as
support for steering columns in go karts. 1’’ pipe size U-brackets (Appendix A-1,
Figure 5) with two holes will be used to connect most of the body panels to the bumper
bars and primary frame. A ¼’’ diameter bolt would be sufficiently strong to support the
weldlets and U-brackets. However, the size of the bolts will be dictated by the available
diameters of the U-brackets and weldlets.

Front Suspension

It was a requirement to have a functional 4 wheel suspension; however it was not

permissible to use a double wishbone design (double A-Arm) suspension. Arguably the
next best suspension design would be a MacPherson strut (AKA McPherson) or
modified MacPherson strut. The decision was made after analyzing many other existing
suspension systems, and some original concept designs that were made through
brainstorming. However, they were terminated since designing a new suspension from
scratch would require much more time and money, on the basis of creating a prototype
and analyzing if it would work better than current suspension design, and was found to
be outside of the parameters required for this project. For the purpose of this project, it
was chosen to stick to ‘tried and tested’ designs already implemented in today’s market
of automotive suspension. The advantage in performance of an independent front
suspension outweighed its complexity, compared to a dependent suspension.

The MacPherson strut offered compact design and fewer components in dealing with a
go kart suspension, which appealed to the team. Fewer parts would equate to less cost
and would free up the budget to allow other sub groups to possible purchase other, more
essential, components required. Therefore, Pinnacle Karts have decided to use a
modified MacPherson strut for the front suspension.

The MacPherson Strut has been modified since its inception in the mid 1920; since then,
many modifications have been done to the design of the MacPherson. The MacPherson
Strut design that has been decided to be used is one with a lower control arm, similar to
what is used in a double wishbone suspension; a spindle or steering knuckle, where the
steering arm can be attached to, and a strut that contains both coil spring and a shock
absorber together. The advantage of the MacPherson suspension can be found in its
compact and lightweight design, compared to a double wishbone suspension; while
eliminating the upper control arm, which reduces its cost in total materials, it still
maintains excellent vehicle performance characteristics and occupant comfort. Shown in
Appendix A-2, figure11 is the CATIA drawing of the MacPherson strut suspension being
used in the design of the go kart

Rear Suspension

As part of the requirement to have a fully functional 4 wheel suspension on the racing
kart and allow a minimum vertical deflection of +/- 0.75 inches, various suspension
designs were considered for the rear suspension system. The most popular design for a
rear (or front) suspension system for racing purposes is the double wishbone (or double
A-arm) suspension as it allows for numerous camber and toe adjustments in order to

achieve the best setup and provides the best handling possible even under extreme
cornering. Traditionally most of the Formula 1, Touring Cars and WRC cars have relied
on this design. But this design was disallowed in the go-kart due to unknown reasons.

Hence the design team was envisaged with the task of designing a suspension system
which could provide the best possible handling mostly under cornering and track
irregularities (bumps, potholes etc.) without any loss of driver comfort and vehicle
performance. Cost, weight and performance were the three major factors which
influenced the design team’s decision and factors like aesthetics, availability and time
constraints were also taken into consideration. The suspension designs were analyzed
in CAD programs like CATIA and the various stresses and reaction forces acting on the
system were taken into account. The design team also followed a decision matrix as
illustrated in the Machine Design course to evaluate its options and select the best
possible design based on the factors mentioned above.

After a thorough analysis of all the possible rear suspension designs and evaluating a
few concepts, the design team decided to go with a modified trailing arm suspension
with coil over shock absorbers and a solid live axle for the rear suspension. One of the
major factors influencing the design team’s decision was the simplicity and sturdiness of
the trailing arm design which in turn would lead to lower procurement costs for the
materials, lesser reinforcements on the chassis, lesser chances of material failure, and
lesser building time. The trailing arm suspension design also shares many
characteristics of the superior double wishbone design, providing almost the same
degree of handling and camber adjustments and also doesn’t suffer from the side to side
scrubbing characteristics of the double wishbone design. It is also quite compact and
easy for packaging.

The main components of the trailing arm suspension include:

• Coil over shock absorbers (Spring and damper assembly)
• Lower control arms/trailing links
• Solid rear axle (aluminium)
• Suspension bushings (7/8 OD)
• Control arm clevis joint and ball assembly
• Spring clevis joint and bolt assembly
For illustration refer to Appendix A-3, figure 1 and 2.


Brakes serve the purpose of slowing down or bringing to a complete stop a vehicle in
motion. This is accomplished by converting the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle into
rotational friction torque at the brake pads. (Hesisler, Heinz)

There are different types of braking systems that can be used in the automotive industry
and each has its own application. However, the ones most commonly employed for go-
karts made specifically for racing are the single line hydraulic braking system and the
mechanical braking system. The main difference between these two systems is the way
each transfers the foot pedal force to the caliper in order to stop the vehicle. The
hydraulic braking system uses hydraulic fluid to transfer that force, whereas the
mechanical system uses cables to transfer the force.

The hydraulic system is the one used most commonly for racing go-karts, primarily due
to its performance and its efficiency. In keeping in compliance with the Go-Kart Design
and Build Rules, a single line hydraulic braking system was used for this build.
The most notable characteristics of a hydraulic braking system are that:
1. the fluid in pipe is incompressible;
2. the pressure generated throughout the pipe is uniform;
3. and there is very little fluid movement within the system. (Hesisler, Heinz)
A schematic of a typical automotive braking system is shown in Appendix A-4,Figure 1.

The hydraulic braking system is composed of different components including, but not
limited to:
• aluminum brake disc hubs
• hydraulic brake hose
• hydraulic brake caliper
• caliper stand
• brake disc
• brake pads and
• master cylinder
Most of these components are illustrated in Appendix A-4, Figure 2.

Initially every effort was made to fit all of the components such as rotor, caliper, and disc
brake hub inside the aluminium wheels of the go-kart (Appendix A-4, Figure 3) .However
the size restriction of the wheels (maximum of 5” diameter) and the increased cost of
such a design prevented from accomplishing the original vision. As a result, the design
was modified to allow the mounting of all components outside the wheels.

In the early stages of the design, one of the major challenges was to find a rotor, caliper,
and master cylinder fitting the particular specifications of the design. It required that the
master cylinder be selected in a way that would accommodate both front and rear
calipers. Therefore, it was necessary to make sure that the volume displacement of the
master cylinder was greater than the combined volume displacement of the front and
rear calipers. In this case the volume displacement of the master cylinder, front calipers,
and rear caliper are: 0.7 in^3, 0.2 in^3, and 0.31 in^3 respectively. From this data it can be
seen that VMC > (VFC+VRC). A more detailed calculation is found in Appendix B-2.

The brake system for this design consists of two complete MCP braking kits. The front
kit includes: two MCP calipers with 1” piston bore, two 6” rotors, and two brake disc
hubs. There rear brake kit includes: one MCP caliper with 1.375” piston bore, one MCP
cast aluminum master cylinder 0.75” piston bore, and one 7” rotor. The most compelling
reason for purchasing the brake system as kits was to keep within the financial
restriction of the project. Appendix A-4, Figure 4.

The performance of the go-kart was evaluated in light of two different and opposite
scenarios. In the first instance, the go-kart’s performance was considered when slip
occurs. In this scenario the wheels of the go-kart would lock up and the only forces
acting against the go-kart to reduce the speed or to stop the go-kart would be frictional
forces caused by the tires. Most automobile manufacturers use ABS brakes (Anti-Lock
Braking System) to prevent the vehicle’s brakes from locking. The results showed that
the go-kart would stop in 1.2 seconds over a distance of 13 ft. In the second instance,
the performance of the go-kart was considered when no slip occurs. In this scenario the
wheels would rotate while the brake forces act against the go-kart. These forces are
created by the fluid pressure acting on the calipers pistons are then converted to useful
work to stop the go-kart. The results showed that the go-kart would stop in 0.5 seconds
over a distance of 5.2 ft. For detailed calculations refer to Appendix B-2.
For details about Tires and Wheels please refer to Appendix A-7.


Steering serves the purpose of changing the direction of a vehicle which is in motion.
This is accomplished by converting the rotational motion of the steering wheel into
translational motion of the vehicle.

There are different types of steering systems that can be used in a vehicle and each has
its own application. However, the ones most commonly used for go-karts for racing are
the rack and pinion system and the direct mechanical system. The direct steering
involves simple components, which include a pit man arms, tie rods, steering wheel, and

steering shaft. In a direct steering system, the steering shaft is attached to the steering
wheel and pitman arm at opposite ends. Rotation of the steering wheel results in rotation
of the steering shaft and movement of pitman arm. The arm will push the tie rods in
either direction, which turns the wheels by pushing on the wheel spindle arms. The rack
and pinion, the system is relatively more complicated but also relatively advantageous
than the direct system. In the rack and pinion system a steering box is utilized. The
steering box includes a pinion-gear shaft connected via coupling and universal joints to
the steering wheel. Meshed perpendicular to the pinion-gear is the rack. The side-to-side
movement will be relayed through the tie rods to the tie rod steering arms and the stub
The direct steering system is the one used most commonly for racing go-karts, primarily
due to its lightweight, cheap, and robust nature. In keeping in compliance with the Go-
Kart Design and Build Rules, and due to the cost and simplicity the direct steering
system was used for this build.

A drawing of a typical direct steering system is shown in Appendix A-5, Figure 1, 2, 3.

The direct steering system is composed of the following components:
• Steering Wheel
• Steering Wheel Joint
• Steering Shaft
• Pitman Arm
• Tie Rods and
• Spindles
Most of these components are illustrated in Appendix A-5, Figure 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

A whole host of different calculations (i.e. Ackermann steer angle, output force on the tie
rods, steering ratios) were undertaken, to examine the kinematics involved within the
system. Other adjustment calculations would be considered later on to maximize
steering performance. The calculations for the steering system can be seen in Appendix
B-3. Since it is known that go karts do not integrate a suspension system in the design
criteria; to counter the bending forces and moments caused due to wheel hop and
cornering, ball joints were used instead of end bearings to connect the tie rods to pitman

For the optimum performance of the vehicle it is necessary that the vehicle is relatively
lightweight. This adds to the weight constraint of the project. Since weight was both a
major constrain and a large factor in performance, the steering system had to be
designed to be both robust and lightweight without hindering the actual steering

There are several different methods of steering which is utilized in modern vehicles.
They include but not limited to:

• Utilizing Wind (Natural Force) for steering

• Direct Mechanical Steering
• Rotation about an axis for Steering in three wheel vehicles
• Utilizing Difference in Wheel Speed and Direction for Steering
• Utilizing Angular Momentum and Gyroscopic Forces for Steering

Steering method utilizing external forces can be ruled out as a feasible option due to
these forces (i.e. wind) in this case is not strong enough to overcome the opposing
forces to vehicle direction change. Moreover, the constraints for this project does not
allow components utilized in this method of steering

Angular momentum and gyroscopic forces utilizing steering method is not feasible either
due to the vehicle having four wheels rather than two wheels. As a result tilting the four
wheel vehicle is not as easy as it is to tilt a two wheel vehicle such as motorcycle or

Only Mechanical method of steering is found feasible due to the forces needed to turn a
go-kart using mechanical components can be easily provided by the driver and
converted by mechanical mechanisms such as steering shaft tie rods, pitman arms, and
spindles. Moreover this is the only concept permitted by the rules of the go kart project.
Steering wheel CATIA assembly is provided in Appendix A-5, Figure 9 to 14. Also the
CATIA assemblies can be found in Appendix A-5, Figure 15 to 21. Ackerman angle and
Toe Alignment geometry of the steering can be found in Appendix A-5 Figure 22, and


The main objective here was to follow the guidelines provided in the rules and use the
most efficient setup that works the best while having a simple design and cost effective.
The major components in this subsystem is the Linamar ZX170 motor, Comet TAV2
transmission, exhaust, rear axle, chain, and sprockets. Incorporating all these
components and connecting them properly is crucial.

The powertrain comes from a Linamar ZX170, seen in Appendix A-6, Figure 1, and a
Comet TAV2 Torque-A-Verter Converter transmission provided from the university. The
engine is constrained from modifications other then an exhaust to adjust back pressure
and noise levels. The only CVT transmission modification that can be done is using a
different clutch spring and the clutch cover must be fitted.

The Linamar ZX170, as seen in Appendix A-6, Figure 2, is an air cooled, vertical 4 cycle
OHV gas engine that provides 169cm3 of displacement, just over 11 N.m of torque at
2800RPM, and 5.6 peak HP at 3600RPM. This engine consumes 245g/HP-h of fuel at
5.6 HP. With a 3.6L stock fuel tank, the motor should be able to run full out for over 30
minutes before its empty.

The Comet TAV2 Torq-A-Verter, seen in Appendix A-6, Figure 3, is a continuous

variable transmission that is supplied. This transmission uses pulleys and a belt that has
the ability to adjust on its own. As speeds change, the diameter of the drive pulley and
driven pulley change accordingly. This allows the drive ratio to adjust the power output.
The maximum gear ratio is 2.7, while the minimum ratio is 0.9. The advantage of this
transmission compared to a manual is that it is a compact design that incorporates the
transmission and the torque converter in one component that will allow the engine to
have max performance at all times.

The engine will incorporate an aftermarket exhaust. This purchased exhaust, seen in
Appendix A-6, Figure 4, will help in reducing noise and provided ample back pressure to
insure its producing max power of the engine. Since the exhaust has a resonance,
which is the frequency at which the exhaust will vibrate from exhaust pressure, that
means even the smallest exhaust pressure can cause an amplified sound. This is
achieved because the exhaust has louvered tube, which is tiny holes around the inside
tubing that allows the exhaust particles to deflect off each other to cancel the sound.
This exhaust is manufactured for engines producing 5 to 8 HP, which is suitable for our

The driving wheels will be driven by a 43in solid 1 inch aluminum axle with a ¼” keyway,
as seen in Appendix A-6, Figure 5. The differential was discussed and scrapped due to
its price, weight, and ability issues. The solid axle will give good contact and traction to
the kart in straight line, but will be at a disadvantage on turns. The kart will hopefully
have lift or pitch in the turns to allow the outside wheels to make most contact and have
the inside wheel lift to reduce tire wear from skidding or rubbing.

The axle will have a drive sprocket that will be connected to an axle sprocket holder with
a ¼” keyway and a 1” diameter. The best gear ratio for the sprockets that produced the
bet acceleration and top speed were used. A 60 teeth sprocket will be used on the axle

and a 12 teeth sprocket from the CVT output drive. This will be held together with a #35
chain. The chain slack and tension will be adjusted when the part is purchased and it is
a good idea to buy more chain then needed so it can be altered. A metal chain guard
will be securely attached from the CVT cover to the rear support bar of the go kart. This
will insure safety is the chain happens to snap, protecting driver and students. An axle
bearing kit will add extra mounting points and stiffness in the rear, seen in Appendix
A-6, Figure 6. This plate will allow our shock supports and caliper mounts to be added.
This kit has bearing hangers that allow the axle to rotate freely, while the flangettes are
bolted together to hold fix mounting points for the shocks.

Since our kart has exceeded our budget, some cost cutting measures will need to be
addressed. Using the supplied Linamar fuel tank mounted at the top, this eliminates an
external fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pump and other mandatory components. This will save
over 100 dollars, to meet our budget.

This setup should provide excellent performance while meeting the budget and safety
requirements. With this complete setup up the go kart should reach a top speed of
37km/h or 23mph, which is a reasonable number, as seen in Appendix B-4.

3. Materials and Production

3.1 Chassis

There is little choice in the available materials for the frame. The primary frame, bumper
bars and connecting tubing will all be constructed of 1020 steel tubing, as specified by
the go kart rules. The weldlets, end bushings, U-brackets and bolts will be constructed
of whatever material is available from the supplier, likely steel. This will also apply to the
bucket seat and bumpers. The bumpers consist of a nose bumper (Appendix
A-1, Figure 6), fairing (Appendix A-1, Figure 7), and two side pods (Appendix
A-1, Figure 8) Only seats of one-piece moulded construction and shatterproof bodywork
of high strength plastic or woven fibreglass will be considered. When given the choice,
the lightest and most cost effective seats and bodywork will be selected.

The tubes will be cut and joined together by welding. The weldlets will be welded to the
frame. The welding process used will depend on the availability of welding equipment.
An arc welding process such as shielded metal-arc welding (SMAW) or oxyfuel-gas
welding (OFW) may be used. The advantages of these processes are low cost,
portability and flexibility. As SHAW is the most commonly available welding method, it
will likely be used.

Available cutting tools will be used to cut the tubes to the appropriate geometry. A
simple planar or oblique cut will be sufficient in most of the frame. In some cases the
tubes will have to be cut into a specific shape. This may include the parts connected to
the steering column bushings and front suspension.

To attach parts such as the U-brackets to the bumper bars or floor pan to the frame
weldlets, holes will be drilled in these areas. The parts will be affixed by bolting through
the use of bolts and washers.

3.2 Front Suspension

The front suspension chosen for the go kart is of an independent design that simulates a
miniature modified MacPherson strut. As can be seen illustrated in a sketch in Appendix
A-2, figure 13 .This type of suspension consists of 3 essential parts.

1. Lower control arm

2. Spindle
3. Strut assembly

1. Lower control arm:

The lower control arm provides a base for the spindle and the strut to attach to. It offers
the suspension horizontal support, while pivoting from its end found connected to the
frame. The spindle is located above the lower control arm and is attached to it through
joint bearing connection. The length of the control arm determines the arch the wheel
makes in bounce and jounce reactions. It will be made out of 1” OD steel 1020 tubing by
welding together the pieces to form a A-arm.

2. Spindle:
The spindle is responsible for the rotation of the wheel, and is controlled by the steering
link, which is attached to the spindle. It rotates about the vertical axis, and is located in
front of the lower control arm and the strut assembly. The spindle will be connected to
the lower control arm by welds, to create a strong connection between the two parts.
The spindle will be purchased, and is part of the steering assembly, but it is a very
important part in the suspension design.

3. Strut assembly:
The strut assembly is made up of two main components; the shock absorber and the
spring. The strut integrates the spring around the shock absorber to minimize space.
The strut assembly is connected to the frame by mounting points allowing one degree of
freedom for pivoting, and connected to the lower A arm by a pivoting bearing to allow

freedom of motion when traveling over a bump or hole. The strut will be purchased by a
reputable retailer, which will provide both damping and shock absorption in one unit. The
shock absorber is more precisely referred to as a damper. It reduces the vibrations of
the oscillating spring by dissipating the energy stored in the spring. In theory a spring will
oscillate forever, if no force acts to slow it down, as can be seen in Appendix A-2 Figure
10. A damper slows the oscillation so that it does not transfer to the other parts of the
vehicle. The greater the damping force the quicker it stabilizes. It will be necessary to
find an appropriate balance between spring and damper force, to even the amount of
energy absorption created when traveling over a bump, while still allowing energy
dissipation. As illustrated in Appendix A-2 Figure 11 and 12.

4. Conclusions

This Capstone Project report due at the end of the first semester (Winter 2008) mainly
consists of the completed designs for all the sub-systems of the racing go kart. The
CATIA drawings for all the respective sub-systems have been completed by Vinh and all
the components have been assembled together to get an overall feel of the actual go-
kart on the software. The Bill of Materials and the Cost Analysis for all the sub-systems
have been prepared by Sujay and they have also undergone one revision to optimize the
components and reduce the price. Some issues were experienced during the process of
deciding on the components and some misfits were found out at the last moment but
they have been taken into account in the final revision. The suppliers and manufacturers
for all the components for the various sub-systems have been finalized and the logistics
discussed with them (shipping, handling, extra charges).

As mentioned earlier, all the components have been finalized by the various sub-groups
and the Finance Manager; however, they might still undergo some last minute changes
in the near future if/when problems are faced (packaging issues, design changes, out of
stock, price variations, shipping delays). The Force/Stress Analyses and other Analyses
have been carried out for the different sub-systems and the results incorporated into the
final design.

The rear suspension has been finalized as a solid live axle with shock absorbers (with
dampers) mounted to the frame and a trailing arm connected to the live axle. This design
was different from the one mentioned in the presentation on March 14, 2008, as various
inaccuracies were discovered with the previous design. The front suspension was also
finalized as a single A-arm type with coil springs (with dampers) mounted to the frame.
The design team has decided to build the A-arms in house in order to reduce costs
instead of sourcing them from outside. The frame will also be constructed in the shop
with the tubes being sourced from the suppliers. The remaining sub-systems will be
assembled in house from the components sourced from the suppliers/OEMs. The final
CATIA assembly drawing with all the sub-systems assembled together has been pasted
below as a reference.

List of Figures Appendix A
Appendix Outline

A-1 Chassis A1
A-2 Front Suspension A5
A-3 Rear Suspension A10
A-4 Brakes A11
A-5 Steering A13
A-6 Powertrain A23
A-7 Wheels and Tires A28
Calculations Appendix B
Appendix Outline

B-1 Chassis B1
B-2 Brakes B2
B-3 Steering B7
B-4 Powertrain B11
Useful Tables Appendix C
Appendix Outline

C-1 Brakes C1













Appendix A-1

Figure 1. Isometric view of frame excluding bumper bars and some


Figure 2. Top dimensioned view of frame excluding bumper bars

Appendix A-1

Figure 3. Frame weldlet brackets

Figure 4. Bucket seat with connections

Appendix A-1

Figure 5. U-brackets

Figure 6. Standard nose bumper dimensions

Appendix A-1

Figure 7. Standard fairing dimensions

Figure 8. Standard side pod dimensions

Appendix A-2

Figure 1. Solid Beam Axle (

Figure 2. Swing Axle (

Figure 3. Trailing Link (

Appendix A-2

Figure 4. MacPherson strut Front Suspension (

Figure 5. Double Wishbone (Double A-Arm) (

Appendix A-2

Figure 6. Electromagnetic suspension from Bose (

Figure 7. Transverse leaf spring in a Triumph Spitfire


Appendix A-2

Figure 8. 4-Bar Suspension – Parallel Design (

Figure 9. 4-Bar Suspension – Triangulated Design (

Appendix A-2

Figure 10. MATLAB Simulation of spring without damper

Figure 11. MATLAB Simulation of spring with small damper

Figure 12. MATLAB Simulation of spring with greater damper

Appendix A-2

Figure 13. Sketch of suspension design

Appendix A-2

Figure10. De Dion Tube Suspension (

Figure11. Modified MacPherson strut V1

Appendix A-3

Figure 1. Axle Bearing Kit for 1” standard axle (

Figure 2. 1” Standard Rear Axle (

Appendix A-4

Figure 1. Friction Brakes (

Figure 2. Component of a Hydraulic Brake System (

Appendix A-4

Figure 3. Initial design (left). Final design (right)

Figure 4. Front and Rear MCP brake kit (

Appendix A-5

Figure 1. Direct Steering Schematics (

Figure 2. Direct Steering Schematics (

Appendix A-5
Figure 3. Direct Steering Schematics (

Figure 4. Tie Rods (

Figure 5. Steering Wheel (

A-5 Appendix A-5

Figure 6. Left Spindle (

Figure 7. Right Spindle (

Figure 8. Steering Shaft with Pitman Arm (

Appendix A-5

Figure 9. Steering Wheel Assembly (CATIA Assembly)

Figure 10. Steering Shaft, Pitman Arm, Tie Rod (CATIA Assembly)

Figure11. Pitman Arm, Tie Rod, Spindle (CATIA Assembly)

Appendix A-5

Figure12. Steering Wheel Assembly (CATIA Assembly)

Figure13. Steering Wheel (CATIA Assembly)

Figure14. Steering Wheel, Pitman Arm, Tie Rod (CATIA Assembly)

Appendix A-5

Figure15. Steering Wheel (CATIA Drawing)

Figure16. Steering Wheel Hub/Joint, (CATIA Drawing)

Appendix A-5

Figure17. Steering Wheel Shaft (CATIA Drawing)

Figure18. Pitman Arm (CATIA Drawing)

Appendix A-5

Figure19. Tie Rod (CATIA Drawing)

Figure 20. Ball and Socket Joint for Tie rod (CATIA Drawing)

Appendix A-5

Figure 21. Spindle (CATIA Drawing)

Appendix A-5

Figure 22. Ackerman Steering Geometry

Figure 23. Toe Alignment Geometry

Appendix A-6


Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Appendix A-6


Figure 4.

Figure 5.

Appendix A-6

Figure 6.

Appendix A-7

Front Wheels and Tires:

Two 3.5”*5.0” one bolt aluminum wheels.

Two 4.5”*10.0”-5” Yokohama outdoor tires.

Rear Wheels and Tires:

Two 7.0”*5.0” three bolt aluminum wheels.

Two 7.1”*11.0”-5” Yokohama outdoor tires.

Appendix B-1

Chassis Calculations

Out Diameter of the pipe OD = 1 inch

Thickness of the pipe t = 0.065 inch
Inner Diameter of the pipe ID= 1-0.065x2 = 0.87 (inch)

We assumption the length of the tube is one inch to make the calculation part much easier
to calculate.
So L = 1 inch

The density of steel:

AISI 1018: ρ = 7.83( g / cm 3 )
AISI 1020: ρ = 7.83( g / cm 3 )

The volume of 1 inch tube:

V = π (R 2 − r 2 )L R= ½ = 0.5 inch r = 0.87/2 = 0.435 inch
So V = 3.14 x(o.5 − 0.435 2 ) x1 = 0.1908335(inch 3 )

For the unit, 1 inch = 0.0254 meters = 2.54 cm

So 1inch 3 = 16.387064cm 3

The mass of one inch pipe:

m = νρ
So m = 0.1908335 x16.387064 x7.83 = 24.486 g

For the unit, 1 gram = 0.00220462262 pounds

So 24.486 g = 0.054 pounds

So the weight of I inch pipe is 0.054 pounds.

Appendix B-2

Volume Displacement Calculation:

Note: All the data used in this calculation was taken from Appendix C-1 Table1.

V = (π * R^2)*L


V = volume displacement of the fluid, in^3

R = radius, in

L = height of the piston, in

π = Constant (3.14)

From this formula the volume displacement of the Master cylinder, Front calipers (two of
them), and rear caliper are respectively:

VMC = (3.14*0.375^2) * 1.6 = 0.7 in^3

VFC = (3.14*0.5^2) * 0.125 * 2 = 0.2 in^3

VRC = (3.14*0.7^2) * 0.2 = 0.3 in^3

From this calculation we can conclude that:

VMC > (VFC + VRC) → 0.7 > 0.5

Appendix B-2

Brake Performance Calculations:

First Case: Assuming Slip occurs.

N = (m*g * C)


N = normal force on each tire caused by the weight of the go kart and driver, lbf

m = total mass. (driver + go kart), lbm

g = constant gravitational acceleration, ft/(s^2)

C = weight distribution. Front 45%, Rear 55%

From this formula the normal forces on front and rear tires are respectively:

NFT = (320 * 0.45) = 144 lbf

NRT = (320*0.55) = 176 lbf

Now that we have the normal forces acting on front and rear tires the frictional forces on
front and rear can be calculated as follow:




F = frictional force, lbf

N = front normal force, lbf μt = coefficient of friction*

* The coefficient of friction was assumed to be 0.7 for our tires according to Stratus
Karts. Normally this value varies between (0.1 to 0.9) depending on environment.

Appendix B-2

Therefore the front and rear frictional forces are as follow:

FFT = 0.7 * 144 = 101 lbf

FRT = 0.7 * 176 = 123 lbf


F = ma


F = total frictional force, (FFT+FRT), lbf

m = total mass, lbm

a = acceleration, ft/(s^2)

Solve for acceleration it follows:

a = - (FFT+FRT)/m

a = -(101+123) / (320/32.2) = - 22.5 ft/(s^2) the negative sign indicates deceleration.

Now we can calculate the time takes to stop the go kart.

t = V/a


t = time, s

V = initial velocity, ft/s

a = acceleration, ft/(s^2)

t = (34.4 / 22.5) = 1.5 s

And d = (V^2) / (4*a) = (34.4^2) / 90 = 13 ft

Therefore the go kart would stop in 1.2 second over a distance of 13 ft.

Appendix B-2

Second case: Assuming No slip occurs.

The fluid pressure that was caused by master cylinder can be calculated as follow:

P = (FP*R*η) / A


P = fluid pressure, psi

FP = pedal force, lbf

R = pedal lever ratio

η = Pedal efficiency

A = cross section area of master cylinder

P = (100 * 4 * 0.8) / (0.442) = 724 psi

The normal forces acting on front and rear calipers can be found by following formula:

N = P*A


N = Normal force, lbf

A = caliper area, in^2


NFC = (724 * 0.724*2) = 1137 lbf


NRC = (724 * 1.485) = 1075 lbf

Once we found the normal forces the frictional forces could be calculated:

FFC = μP * NFC = (0.35 * 1137) = 398 lbf

FRC = μP * NFC = (0.35 * 1075) = 377 lbf

Appendix B-2

*The coefficient of friction was assumed to be 0.35 for our brake pads according to BMI

Now we can calculate the torque cause by these forces:

TFC = FFC * dFC = (398 * 0.233) = 93 lbf.ft

TRC = FRC * dRC = (377 * 1.12) = 421 lbf.ft

Note that “d” is the distance from each caliper to the center of each moving axle.

Assuming the torque is constant over the entire length of the axle we can fined the
forces that are acting on each tire.

FFT = (TFC / RFT) = [ 93 / ( 5/12)] = 223 lbf

FRT = (TRC/ RRT) = [421 / (5.5/12)] = 919 lbf

Where: “R” is the radius of front and rear tires.

The acceleration could be calculated as:

a = - [(FFT + FRT)*2 / m] = -[(223 + 919) / (320/32.2)] = - 115 ft/ s^2

t = V/ a = 34.4/ 115 = 0.5 s


d = (V^2) / (a*2) = (34.4^2) / (115*2) = 5.2 ft

There for the go kart will stop in 0.5 second over a distance of 5.2 feet.

Appendix B-3

Ackerman Steering Principle

The outside tires of a go kart needs to travel in a larger radius than the inside wheel for
the vehicle to negotiate a turn smoothly. The difference in the radiuses of the two tires is
approximately equal to the track width of the kart. Therefore it is necessary for the
outside tires to steer less than the inside tire. Perfect Ackerman geometry is achieved
when there the relation between tire angles is such that no side scrubbing occurs. This
perfect geometry is accomplished when the extended axes for the two front wheels
intersect in a common point that lies on the extended axis of the rear axle. Perfect
Ackerman is not achieved if the extended axes for the two front wheels converge behind
the rear axle extended axis and on the other hand too much Ackerman is used if the
axes converge ahead of rear axle extended axis. If the wheels steer at the same angle it
is called parallel steer and on the other hand if outside tire steers more than inside tire it
is called Reverse Ackerman.

α out α SA α in



D b R1


Figure 1. Ackerman Steering Geometry

Appendix B-3
The general Ackerman equation from

1 1 D 1 1 D 1 D
− = and = + = −
tan α in tan α out L tan α SA tan α in 2 L tan α out 2 L
D = Lateral wheel separation
L = Longitudinal wheel separation
α out = Relative turn angle of the wheel on the outside of the turn
α in = Relative turn angle of the wheel on the inside of the turn
α SA = Relative vehicle steering angle

From there it can derived:

⎛ ⎞
⎜ 1 ⎟
α out = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ and
⎜ 1 −D⎟
⎜ tan α L ⎟⎠
⎝ in

The minimum radius of turn R, is found to be:

R = R12 + b 2
R1 = + and
2 tan α in
b = Distance from the rear axle to the Center of gravity, CG.

Appendix B-3

For an example configuration of Ackerman geometry where the distance between the
front and rear axle is L=72”, distance between rear axle and center of gravity, CG is
b=24”, and Distance between the lateral wheel separation D=48”, if the inside wheel turn
is taken to be 45º, the outside wheel angle and radius of turn can be found as:

⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞
⎜ 1 ⎟ ⎜ 1 ⎟ ⎛ 1 ⎞
α out = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ =30.91° and
⎜ 1 −D⎟ ⎜

⎟ ⎝ 1 + 0.67 ⎠
⎜ tan α ⎟ ⎝ ⎠
⎝ in L ⎠ tan 45 72

⎛D L ⎞
⎛ 48 72 ⎞
R = R +b = ⎜ +
2 2
⎟ +b = ⎜ +
⎟ + 24 = 98.95"

⎝ 2 tan α in ⎠
⎝ 2 tan 45 ⎠

The Steering column support height/angle is dependent on where it is mounted on the

chassis and on the clearance of the tie-rods so it does not hit the chassis.

Steering Ratio Calculation:

Steering ratio refers to the ratio between the turn of the steering wheel (in degrees) or
handlebars and the turn of the wheels (in degrees). In motorcycles and bicycles, the
steering ratio is always 1:1, while in most passenger cars, it is between 12 and 20:1.
Example: If one complete turn of the steering wheel (360 degrees) causes the wheels to
turn 24 degrees, then the ratio is 15:1 (360/24=15).

Steering Ratio can be calculated with the following formula:

SR =
θ mean
θ H = Steering wheel alteration angle and
α + α in
θ mean = out = Average angle

Appendix B-3

∴ For the Perfect Ackerman Scenario above

α + α in 30.91 + 45
θ mean = out = = 37.96° and
2 2
θ H = 45° (Assuming steering alteration is equal to the inside wheel angle)
θH 45
∴ SR = = = 1.2
θ mean 37.96

Therefore the Steering ratio is found to be 1.2:1, which closely resembles that of a
motorcycle or bicycle.

Output Load Calculation:

Output load from the steering shaft can be found from the equation

Foutput = 2 × Finput × SR
Foutput = Output load from the steering shaft
Finput = Input effort provided by each hand
SR = Steering Ratio

Therefore for the above situation if a load of 25N is applied by each hand of the driver,
the output load can be calculated to be:

Foutput = 2 × Finput × SR = 2 × 25 × 1.2 = 60

Appendix B-3

A- - Front Wheel Toe Alignment:

Toe in alignment is used for the vehicle in this project. This was done due to the fact that
the vehicle in consideration is a rear wheel which leads to outward twisting of both

Figure 2. Toe Alignment Geometry

The toe in amount can be found using the following equation:

Toe − in = Tr − T f and
⎛ Toe − in ⎞
⎜ ⎟
2 ⎠
d + 2Tr
T f = Distance between the front of the tires
Tr = Distance between the rear of the tires
d = Wheel rim diameter

The actual dimensions of the vehicle need to be known in order to calculate these
parameters as a result they are beyond the scope of report at this time.

Appendix B-4
Top Speed

T1-(Teeth of CVT sprocket) = 12 T

T2-(Teeth on the axle sprocket) = 60 T

C-(Circumference of the rear tire) = 11in x 2pi

RPM-(Max running RPM of the engine) = 3600RPM

63360in/60mins = 1056 (Conversion for MPH)

Top Speed = C x T x RPM = pi(11in) x (12) x (3600RPM) = 23.5MPH or 37.7km/h

T2 x 1056 (60) x (1056) or 10.44m/s

60T was used because it produced better numbers for acceleration and velocity, instead of
the 72T sprocket.

The time to get from 0ft to 250ft

V= d/t
V= 76.2m = 7.3s to travel a distance of 250ft.


a = v/t
a = 10.44m/s = 1.43m/s The acceleration is 1.43m/s2

Appendix B-4
CVT Gearing

CVT Gearing


Gear Ratio



2000 2500 3000 3500 4000

Engine Horse Power

Engine Power


2000 2500 3000 3500 4000

Appendix B-4

Engine Torque

Engine Torque




Torque (Nm)







2000 2500 3000 3500 4000

Appendix C-1

Table1. Data for brake performance calculation.

Symbol Description Value

DMC Master cylinder diameter 0.75 in
DFC Front caliper diameter 1.0 in
DRC Rear caliper diameter 1.375 in
LMC Height of master cylinder 1.6 in
LFC Height of front caliper 0.125 in
LRC Height of rear caliper 0.2 in
m Total mass (320*32.2) lbm
g Gravitational acceleration 32.2 ft/s^2
μt Tire coefficient of friction 0.7
V Maximum velocity 3Front 4.3 ft/s
FP Pedal force 100 lbf
R Pedal lever ratio 4
η Pedal efficiency 80%
μP Pads coefficient of friction 0.35
dFC Distance from front caliper 0.233 in
to center of moving axle
dRC Distance from rear caliper 1.12 in
to center of moving axle
RFT Front tire radius 5.0 in
RRT Rear tire radius 5.5 in