OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY SAE BAJA DESIGN

TEAM ADVISORS: Dr. Abdelmageed Elmustafa & Dr. Sebastian Bawab Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

TEAM MEMBERS: Chad Chandler, Joe Cofer, Nathan Eramian, Francis Hauris, and Jeff Wong Department of Mechanical Engineering Old Dominion University

ABSTRACT
The SAE Baja design project requires a thorough analysis and optimization of the current frame, front and rear suspensions, as well as an implementation of an entirely new drive train assembly. The current engineering process for the design is documented in the following report, including problem definition, project scheduling, design research, design development, and design analysis. The overall objectives are to increase the total vehicle performance, quality, and overall honors received by the Old Dominion University Motorsports Baja Team.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract ................................................................................................................................2 Table of Contents .................................................................................................................3 List of Figures ......................................................................................................................4 List of Tables .......................................................................................................................5 List of Graphs ......................................................................................................................5 Introduction ..........................................................................................................................6 Background ..........................................................................................................................7 1 Research Phase.........................................................................................................8 1.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................8 1.2 Study of Previous Frame/Suspension Designs ..............................................8 1.3 Study of Previous Drive Train Designs .........................................................9 1.4 SAE Rules and Regulations .........................................................................13 1.5 Conclusions ..................................................................................................14 2 Design Phase ..........................................................................................................15 2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................15 2.2 Suspension Design Process ..........................................................................15 2.3 Frame Design Process ..................................................................................26 2.4 Drive Train Design Process .........................................................................28 2.4.1 Drive Train Design Calculations .................................................................28 2.4.2 Drive Train Design Modeling ......................................................................32 2.5 Conclusions ..................................................................................................33 Current Project Status ........................................................................................................34 References ..........................................................................................................................35 I. Frame and Suspension References ...............................................................35 II. Drive Train References ................................................................................35 Appendices .........................................................................................................................36 1 Appendix I: Lotus Suspension Data ............................................................37 2 Appendix II: Drive Train Calculations ........................................................38 3 Appendix III: Drive Train Equations ...........................................................39 Updated Gantt Chart ..........................................................................................................40

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Current Frame Design ......................................................................................9 Figure 2: Chain Reduction Failures ...............................................................................10 Figure 3: Single Reduction Gearbox ..............................................................................10 Figure 4: Gaged Gx8 CVT ..............................................................................................11 Figure 5: Differential .......................................................................................................12 Figure 6: Drive Shaft Process .........................................................................................12 Figure 7: Primary and Secondary Frame Members ....................................................13 Figure 8: Weight Distribution.........................................................................................17 Figure 9: Roll Axis Inclination........................................................................................17 Figure 10: Camber Orientations ....................................................................................18 Figure 11: Positive Caster ...............................................................................................18 Figure 12: Ackermann Geometry...................................................................................19 Figure 13: Complete Suspension Side View ..................................................................21 Figure 14: Complete Suspension Top View ...................................................................21 Figure 15: Complete Suspension Front View ................................................................21 Figure 16: Complete Suspension Isometric View .........................................................22 Figure 17: Suspension Positions in Bump ......................................................................23 Figure 18: Front Bump Camber Change.......................................................................23 Figure 19: Rear Bump Camber Change ........................................................................23 Figure 20: Suspension Positions in Roll .........................................................................24 Figure 21: Front Roll Camber Change ..........................................................................24 Figure 22: Rear Roll Camber Change ...........................................................................24 Figure 23: Front Suspension in Steer Lock to Lock .....................................................25 Figure 24: Final Frame Design .......................................................................................27 Figure 25: Frame Design Comparisons .........................................................................28 Figure 26: Double Reduction Gear Box .........................................................................31 Figure 27: Gear Train Design .........................................................................................32 Figure 28: Updated Gantt Chart ....................................................................................40
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...........30 5 .................... Torque .........................LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Competition Scoring Breakdown .....................................................................................................................20 LIST OF GRAPHS Graph 1: Speed vs................................14 Table 3: Suspension Design Parameters ................................................................ CVT vs....................................7 Table 2: Design Regiments ..................................................... Torque ...30 Graph 2: Speed vs........... Gear Box Ratio vs.....................

and gearbox in computer-aided programs such as Lotus Suspension Analysis (SHARK). which includes learning valuable background information. the design phase begins which includes modeling our frame. Lastly. This process immediately exposed our current weaknesses in need of improvement. a thorough inspection of our previous Baja was conducted and compared to other highly competitive Baja teams in prior competitions. a rough outline of all strong design characteristics were compared to Old Dominion’s last competitive design. AutoDesk Inventor. Both of our teams are going through three major phases during the overall design process. This will involve using finite element analysis tools including both MSC NASTRAN/PATRAN and SolidWorks software to ensure that our designs are strong and efficient to endure all SAE Baja events. an analysis phase takes place to determine the structural integrity and efficiency in our design. The first phase of this process is the research phase. Next. To accomplish goals involving increased overall vehicle performance. Ultimately our team plans to provide Old Dominion’s Baja team with new design ideas that will establish our club amongst the elite in future SAE Baja competitions. suspension. and SolidWorks in order to establish and perfect the overall design packaging. while the other half focuses on improvements to both the current frame and suspension. half of our team is focusing on designing a new and revamped drive train. Considering the top five teams in all dynamic events over the past several years.INTRODUCTION In an effort to establish Old Dominion’s Baja team amongst the elite who compete in the annual SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Collegiate Baja Design Series competitions. 6 . determining what issues have been the most troublesome. and determining new design ideas to overcome these issues.

A breakdown of event scoring is shown below in Table 1. cost reports. and overall design presentation. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) annually holds three competitions in the United States as well as several other international competitions where universities from around the world gather to compete and participate in both dynamic and static events. During each competition. design reports.BACKGROUND The SAE Baja series is intended to be a design competition in which universities are challenged to build a power-limited. The teams that receive the highest overall score receive the highest honors. towing. maintainable. endurance. These vehicles are to be presented as a prototype for a reliable. Table 1: Competition Scoring Breakdown EVENT STATIC Design Report Design Evaluation Cost Report Production Cost Presentation DYNAMIC Acceleration Pulling Maneuverability Rock Crawl Endurance TOTAL POINTS 300 50 100 15 85 50 700 75 75 75 75 400 1000 7 . and economic vehicle sized at 4000 units per year. maneuverability. teams are scored based on their vehicle’s performance relative to the other competitors in events such as acceleration. single-seat all-terrain vehicle capable of taking punishment from all types of rugged conditions. ergonomic. rock crawls.

where most competitive cars are roughly 100 pounds lighter. Currently the front uses a pre fabricated rack and pinion steering assembly and Honda 400ex ATV spindles. toe characteristics. Our current frame design shown in Figure 1 below is bulky and doesn’t challenge the boundaries in the SAE rule book necessary to be competitive. caster.2 STUDY OF PREVIOUS FRAME/SUSPENSION DESIGNS In past years. parallel double wishbone coil-over suspension systems for both the front and rear. Most importantly. reducing the unsprung to sprung weight ratio will significantly improve our performance. Currently. we were able to compare the strengths and weaknesses of all designs and incorporate these ideas into our model while coherently following all necessary guidelines in the 2012 SAE International Baja Rule Book. scrub. Using pre fabricated front uprights significantly limits suspension design flexibility because you are limited to a small window for camber. This design flaw requires immediate attention and can be easily corrected using effective engineering practices. This includes studying previous frame. Consequently. and overall mounting orientations of the components.1 INTRODUCTION RESEARCH PHASE The first phase of our Baja design project involves extensive research of all areas relevant to our project goals. 8 . our Baja design is approximately 420 pounds at vehicle curb weight (VCW). similar to professional racing (NHRA).1 1. suspension. Old Dominion Baja has utilized unequal length. In a power limited competition. and gearbox designs from both Old Dominion as well as other competitive universities. optimizing the power to weight ratio is extremely vital. Our research has proven that Old Dominion’s current Baja design is significantly heavier than a majority of the top ranking teams. We also tend to use 1-0.12” wall 1020 CD steel tube for majority of the structural members along with MIG welding fabrication techniques for all components of the frame and suspension. 1.

1. 9 . It was determined that in general. we needed to research past designs to learn more about strengths and weaknesses of different models. You are also not able to get as good a performance from it due to issues with the chain. having to do any repairs on it would be much simpler compared to disassembling a gear box. Having only two gears and a chain is much cheaper than building an entire gear box. it can be cheaper in price. If you are willing to pay the cost. A single reduction gear box has a similar advantage when comparing it to a double reduction gear box. Some previous designs include single reduction chain driven and a single reduction gear box. But you have to deal with more stresses being put on the gears due to only being single reduction. A disadvantage of a chain system is that it is not as strong as a gear box and breaks more often.3 STUDY OF PREVIOUS DRIVE TRAIN DESIGNS In order to be able to design a competitive drive train.Figure 1: Current Frame Design Additional research was conducted to better understand the center of gravity of a human sitting in the driving position. double reduction is the best choice because of the reduced stresses and more consistent performance. Advantages of the chain driven system is the simplicity of it as well as the cost effectiveness. Also. a human body can be modeled so that their center of gravity lies along the belly button axis.

or “driving” gear. Also. Figure 2: Chain Reduction Failures While a single reduction gearbox shown in Figure 3 is still not the best design choice. With one small gear spinning one large gear (pinion gear spinning the axle gear). it is a much better design than the chain driven because it eliminates most of the problems associated with the chain itself. Slack in the chain also allows for an imperfect meshing of the gears creating poor performance. the overall size of the gears will be larger taking up valuable space within the packaging availability of the vehicle. the chain is prone to breaking due to the very small components put together as seen below in Figure 2. Only having one set of gears working together is what gives you the single reduction. Rather than having a chain connecting the gears. It is exactly what you will find on a bicycle. This creates a much smoother and consistent operation. 10 . This configuration is not the most optimum choice due to a variety of reasons. having only single reduction means you have unnecessary stresses added to the gears. which is driven by the pinion gear using a chain to connect them together. there are greater stresses introduced to the gears causing more wear and a much shorter life.A single reduction chain driven setup is a very simple choice of gear design. However. which is driven by the output shaft of the engine or CVT (depending on set up). or “driven” gear. you simply have the gears meshing with each other directly. Second. First. Then you have the axle gear. depending on the total reduction ratio. You have the pinion gear. it can cause problems due to stretching and slipping.

When the vehicle increases speed. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is installed between the engine and the gearbox.Figure 3: Single Reduction Gearbox Another important research topic the drivetrain team focused on was the continuously variable transmission (CVT) pictured in Figure 4 below. Figure 4: Gaged Gx8 CVT 11 . As the vehicle undergoes high torque conditions. the cones come together pushing the belt outward and creating higher reduction and maintaining max rpms from the engine. This is accomplished by a variable reduction belt drive that has two spring loaded cones moving in and out to change reduction. the torque on the gear train lessens the cones separate from centrifugal force which lowers the CVT reduction into the overdrive ratio. A CVT allows a vehicle to go through a range of speeds and torque loads while maintaining high rpms and power output.

Next. On a turn. The wheels that are attached to the half shaft can spin separately because the planet pinion lets the axial rotate freely. the drive train team focused on studying the engine of the current Baja vehicle. Lastly. which applied a torque to the wheels of the vehicle after passing through the transmission. 12 . the differential was studied to ensure all areas of the drive train were taken into account. the inner wheel needs to spin slower than the outer wheel. The engine weighs 52 pounds without holding 4 quarts of fuel. gearbox. the drive shaft that comes from the engine spins the crown wheel which then spins the half shaft. The revolution of the wheels is not the same as the RPMs from the engine because gears between the engine and the wheels reduce the rotation so the torsional stress does not fracture the axial.5 that outputs to a 1” x 2-29/32” crankshaft. Figure 5 below is an actual differential that allows steering to occur. which is when the differential comes in to play. and differential. The torque spins the left and right wheel at the exact same rate. The differential in the drive train is used to help optimize steering of the vehicle by reducing understeer. the differential is located on the axial next to the driving gear. There is a top revolution per minute (RPM) of 3800 in the shaft exiting from the engine. Figure 5: Differential In the drivetrain. The current Briggs & Stratton ten horsepower engine has a gross torque of 14. Shown in Figure 6 below. The differential splits the two wheels so they can turn at different rates.

89mm and a minimum outside diameter of 25. For primary frame members. Secondary frame members include the lateral diagonal bracing (LBD).Figure 6: Drive Shaft Process 1. the fore/aft bracing (FAB). Each secondary member must be steel tubing with a minimum wall thickness of 0. the roll hoop overhead members (RHO). all must be made with circular steel tubing. Major restrictions for the overall design include a maximum vehicle width of 64 inches. a wall thickness of 3mm. have an outside diameter of 25. SAE requires all Baja vehicles to use a Briggs & Stratton 10HP OHV Intek engine governed at 3800 RPM. and a minimum driver exit time of five seconds. the side impact members (SIM). and any other required cross members. the under seat member (USM).4 SAE RULES AND REGULATIONS In order to prepare for the design phase of our project. Figure 7 shows a view of most major primary and secondary frame members. 13 . the front bracing members (FBM). the lower frame side (LFS). and the lateral cross member (LC). which include the rear roll hoop (RRH). all SAE rules and regulations need to be noted and followed accordingly.4mm.4mm. a minimum helmet clearance of six inches.18%. and contain a carbon content of at least 0.

our Baja team was able to create an outline of how to revamp all areas in need of design upgrade. It is important to mount all powertrain guards with sound engineering practices. 1. SAE requires all rotating parts such as belts. Table 2 below shows our design regiments along with priority level for the overall project. All powertrain guards must be designed with AISI 1010 steel at least 1.5 CONCLUSIONS After completing all necessary research. chains.5mm thick or equivalent.Figure 7: Primary and Secondary Frame Members For the drive train. in order to resist vibration issues. and sprockets to be shielded to prevent injury to the driver and bystanders. Table 2: Design Regiments CRITERION PRIORITY 14 DESIGN REGIMENTS Unsprung to sprung optimization Favorable weight distribution Low center of gravity Congruent suspension kinematics Great power to weight ratio Efficient gear-train Low GVW CNC fabricated frame Accurate finite element analysis Simplistic design Less joints Multipurpose beams Handling Essential Agility Reliability Manufacturability Essential High Desired . For a complete listing of SAE rules and regulations see Reference 1.

To improve upon past designs. Once the kinematics were fine-tuned. a space frame. it was determined that the new Baja would utilize an unequal length double wishbone coil-over front suspension and a trailing arm with upper and lower rear link coil-over rear suspension. The trailing arm rear suspension is also an upgrade due to the nature of the geometry compared to a double wishbone setup. The trailing arm suspension is also another great candidate because it allows for convenient shock mounting location to mandatory 15 . As the rear wheel first hits an obstacle. the forward trailing link experiences virtually no bending stresses. front and rear suspension kinematics were modeled using Lotus Suspension Analysis (LSA) software. LSA allows the user to cycle a suspension system through bump.1 INTRODUCTION DESIGN PHASE The second phase of our Baja project involves utilizing the information researched by designing front and rear suspension systems.2 2. A trailing arm suspension can better transverse an obstacle at speed. This is due to the shear geometry difference. and a drive train assembly using computer aid. Using urethane bushings ultimately eliminates expensive heim joint connections. a space frame and all suspension components were generated in Autodesk Inventor. allowing the user to edit virtually any 3D kinematic suspension point graphically while simultaneously providing solutions to any desirable suspension characteristic. allows for double shear connections. This can be seen at the motorsports lab where we have had several yielded heim joints due to bending. 2. First. and provides some bushing compliance to help absorb shock loads from the road. All of these advantages go hand in hand and are essential for the overall improvement. and steering motions that all need to be considered for our Baja car. roll. the double wishbone setup used in the past mainly experiences forces of bending. LSA is a very useful tool. the front suspension would consist of more double shear connections incorporating urethane bushings.2 SUSPENSION DESIGN PROCESS Starting the design phase. Conversely.

and efficiency become critical and therefore the top suspension design regiments were chosen as follows: wheelbase. track width. is important and must be optimized to yield desirable weight transfer characteristics and turning diameters. or the lateral measurement from the tire centerlines. Baja is focused more on off-road ruggedness and is limited on available power so many critical suspension characteristics traditionally considered can be ignored. refers to the individual wheel weights relative to the overall and is generally considered front to rear in most two-axle cases. Wheelbase. suspension design can be extremely complicated when dealing with the handling of on-road vehicles. scrub radius.members of the space frame. 16 . travel in droop. static caster. Weight distribution. static camber. ground clearance. For design. The weight distribution is extremely important because it is used to locate the longitudinal center of gravity (CG) of the vehicle. weight distribution. shown in Figure 8. is also important and must be optimized to yield desirable characteristic in roll and tilting threshold. and steering Ackermann. or the longitudinal measurement from the center of the front hub to the center of the rear hub. Luckily. Track width. it was then critical to prioritize parameters to be considered. simplicity. Ground clearance. and also allows for the ability to generate very desirable suspension characteristics by simply adjusting the two rear links. travel in bump. an ideal weight distribution was assumed and considered for the overall Baja. Performance. roll center heights. Once the suspension types were decided. is also critical and must allow for significant clearance over obstacles without violating the vehicles break-over angle. or the vertical distance from the ground to the bottom of the chassis. In general.

Ideally for Baja.” This is another important parameter. Figure 9 shows the general variation of roll axis inclination along with its respective handling characteristic.Figure 8: Weight Distribution Roll center of the suspension is defined by SAE as “the point in the transverse vertical plane through any pair of wheel centers at which lateral forces may be applied to the sprung mass without producing suspension roll (Reference 1). a neutral to slightly oversteering vehicle is preferred mainly due to the tight cornering found in majority of the maneuverability events. or the roll axis. but in our Baja project we are only interested in the roll center height relative to the front and rear axles. The roll axis is the basic way to determine the cornering characteristics of the vehicle and can be done graphically. Figure 9: Roll Axis Inclination 17 .

Camber. Figure 10: Camber Orientations Figure 11: Positive Caster Caster. Keeping the camber in the slightly negative range will ensure desirable handling characteristics in bump. the suspension must be designed so the tires remain oriented properly in all modes of motion. However. Creating the correct amount of caster in the suspension design creates a center steer restoring force while driving. which compliments and supports stability at high speeds of acceleration and braking. positive caster implies the kingpin axis is rearward. Since the tires are responsible for the grip of the vehicle. or the angle in side elevation of the kingpin axis with respect to the vertical plane. is also extremely critical. Consequently. Baja uses ATV tires which are rounder and have less contact area making camber less critical. is another characteristic that is essential to any suspension design. or the angle of the tire with respect to the vertical plane. the front suspension can better absorb and transverse obstacles at speed. and must be examined more closely in roll to account for possible roll steer developed by this force. Positive caster is shown in Figure 11 above on the right. Typically. Unlike a typical road car. We choose to rake the entire front suspension eight degrees giving eight degrees of caster. 18 . a cambered tire creates camber thrust which generally pulls the bottom of the tire in the direction the top is leaning. The positive and negative orientations of camber are shown in Figure 10 below on the left.

or the distance between the kingpin inclination axis and tire contact point. is imperative and will add to the feel of the vehicle. and steering geometry. Vehicles designed with Ackermann geometry are said to have favorable natural steering characteristics because the steer torques increase linearly with steer angle. Steering Ackermann is a function of the wheelbase. Adding scrub to any suspension dramatically increases the feedback the driver feels at the steering wheel and aids in reducing steering wheel effort at low speed maneuvering due to caster. track width. Ackermann geometry is most easily described by considering Figure 12 below and noting that Ackermann geometry is one where the inner and outer steer angles comply with the geometry shown below. Another suspension characteristic that must be noted and is somewhat controversial on its importance in an off-road setting is steering Ackermann.Scrub radius. Figure 12: Ackermann Geometry 19 . Typically a positive scrub radius is one where the kingpin inclination lies inside of the tire contact point and ranges in value depending on tire size.

In Baja. Table 3: Suspension Design Parameters SUSPENSION DESIGN PARAMETERS Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) Weight Distribution Bias (F/R) Center of Gravity Height Lateral Track Width (F/R) Longitudinal Wheelbase Ride Height Tire Diameter Effective Tire Radius Static Camber Angle Static Caster Angle Scrub Radius Rack and Pinion Width Toe change in travel Roll Axis Inclination 520 lbs 45/55 Low as possible 47/46 inches 60 inches 10-12 inches 23 inches 11.38 inches ~0 to -1 degrees ~8 degrees 0. we typically need more bump than droop mainly because the shocks will need to absorb more energy during jumps or extremely rough terrain. establishing the suspensions bump travel (in compression) and droop travel (in decompression) is vital and must be determined in order to properly design for ground clearance.5 to 1 inches ~10 inches Minimal Neutral to Slightly Oversteering Using the tabulated suspension design parameters in Table 3 above. and general handling characteristics. suspension travel. the following final design suspension kinematics are shown in Figures 13-16 below. The bump to droop ratios will be more thoroughly examined once the proper shock combination and motion ratios are selected. and after performing numerous iterations of trial and error using LSA. 20 . shocks.Lastly.

Figure 13: Complete Suspension Side View Figure 14: Complete Suspension Top View Figure 15: Complete Suspension Front View 21 .

and full bump. and steer. static equilibrium. When considering suspension motion in bump. 22 . all major suspension characteristics were considered. It is important to have similar front and rear camber profiles to yield predictable corner handling characteristics.Figure 16: Complete Suspension Isometric View General suspension characteristics were determined by noting all three modes of suspension motion including bump. Also. roll. particularly for the steering axle. keeping toe change minimal through travel is crucial. Figures on the following page show the graphical positions of the suspension in bump for three intervals: full droop.

Figure 17: Suspension Positions in Bump Below. Figure 18: Front Bump Camber Change Figure 19: Rear Bump Camber Change 23 . Note the front roll center migration stability. front views show the camber change for the front and rear as the suspension cycles.

Throughout roll. it is critical to keep the camber as negative as possible.Suspension roll is the second mode to be considered. Figure 20: Suspension Positions in Roll Below. Figure 21: Front Roll Camber Change Figure 22: Rear Roll Camber Change 24 . front views show the camber change for the front and rear as the suspension cycles. Generally ideal characteristics in roll include a linear relationship between roll angle and camber gain. It should be noted that 10 degrees of roll is excessive so the actual roll characteristics of the suspension closely mirror the desired. The figure below shows the motion of 10 degrees of roll which is a large value and slightly exaggerated.

Figure 23: Front Suspension in Steer Lock to Lock Lastly. this is justifiable when you consider the free body diagram of the tie rod as it transverses obstacles at speed. the steering kinematics were analyzed to give Ackermann geometry while balancing toe changes in bump simultaneously. Figure 23 below shows a top view of the front suspension in pure steer lock to lock (-x axis is front of vehicle). and an adjustable upper control arm with spherical helm joints at the frame. The main design criteria of the front suspension include a custom spindle with a kingpin. 100% Ackermann was unobtainable with the current configuration utilizing rack and pinion in front of the wheel stub. the tie rod is subjected to pure axial tension. Incorporating helm joints in the top control arm allows for fine adjustment and accounts for any minor uncertainty in fabrication. our final kinematic design utilizes a front steering rack with about 25% Ackermann geometry. urethane double shear connections at the spindle and lower control arm. Unfortunately. Conversely. the hard points of the suspension were exported to excel so that the suspension links could be modeled in Autodesk Inventor. This is an iterative process that involves toggling from both bump and steer modes. which is perfectly suitable and typically unnoticeable in an off-road environment. However. Therefore. if the steering rack is behind the wheel stub the designer must account for buckling. When the tire hits a severe bump.Finally. All suspension data is available in Appendix 1. Consider a steering rack in front of the wheel stub. The rear suspension will also utilize spherical heim joints but 25 .

more multipurpose tube runs. When considering the front portion of the frame. stays tighter to the frame. and is significantly smaller saving about seven pounds. decreases welding and fabrication time. and longer continuous runs all weighing less than 50 pounds. These benefits are critical to an extremely low sprung weight and must be employed throughout the design. Using the Tillett seat is another improvement over the previously used Kirkley bucket racing seat because it positions the driver extremely low. One of the main goals of this year’s design was to have a triangulated space frame that contained far less tubes. the main design goal was to successfully locate and support all critical suspension points without having unnecessary members.for all connections. The general geometry had to account for mounting locations of the control arm mounts. This is mainly due to the flexibility and tuning available when heim joints are used. upper shock mounts. steering column. The rear of the frame was grossly simplified in anticipation of a double reduction 26 . individual tubes with a thinner wall profile can be just as effective and in some cases stiffer than cold drawn steel of a thicker thickness. Estimated values of suspension components were used so a general model of the front and rear suspensions could be shown in the figures seen above. and keeps costs down. The under seat members were designed to accommodate a composite. While designing the rear section of the Baja frame. numerous hand iterations of the frame were drawn and then modeled as a wire frame using Autodesk Inventor. With chromoly tubing. pedal assembly.3 FRAME DESIGN PROCESS Once the suspension pivot points were determined. This eliminates a lot of excess joints. low-rise Tillett racing seat within the boundaries of the rules. and the steering rack. The middle section of the frame was generally straight forward and good engineering practices were used to triangulate the side impact members. 2. Using 4130 normalized chromoly tubing is another design method that will provide benefits over traditionally used cold drawn steel. it was important to account for the gearbox/engine packaging so many iterations were required to yield a desirable result. Final dimensions for all the suspension components are still undecided but will be determined with further analysis in PATRAN finite element simulations.

Conveniently. In this case our driver was modeled off a 6’1” 180 lb man wearing a helmet and was oriented so the overall CG was in ideal position. 27 . which in turn allows for the engine to be mounted low on the frame further lowering the center of gravity. and structural efficiency. After numerous iterations of trial and error our final frame design is shown above in Figure 24. Differences in this year’s frame design can be seen in the comparison Figure 25 below. The back half was then checked to insure that the engine is accessible and all mechanical assemblies are maintainable while remaining compact and tight to each component. This space is great for an addition of a rear anti-roll bar to counteract under steer if need arises during the testing stage. ergonomics.gearbox. and the gear reduction box. the frame was looked over for flaws and places for improvement to boost driver comfort. This eliminated a significant amount of material resulting in additional weight loss. the engine. Lastly. Figure 24: Final Frame Design The final design was then checked to insure that no SAE rules were violated and then outfitted with main weight bearing items such as the driver. laying the rear roll hoop 20 degrees back from the vertical allows for great flexibility between the motor and firewall.

NEW NEW Figure 25: Frame Design Comparisons 2. since the vehicle needs upward motion to get over 28 . we began our three dimensional model in SolidWorks. the team calculated the force on an incline because the force due to friction and the weight of the vehicle parallel to the plane would oppose forward motion. the team first needed to find the minimum torque required to push the vehicle forward. The team approached the process with dynamic equations to calculate the amount of force the vehicle needs to have a positive motion on both flat ground and up an incline.1 DRIVE TRAIN DESIGN CALCULATIONS In the process of determining the optimal gear ratio for the drivetrain.4. The angle the team used was a 33 degree incline because it seems reasonable to double the force for which the completion was going to be testing for.4 DRIVE TRAIN DESIGN PROCESS In order to design the appropriate drive train for our Baja project. Once that stage was completed. Knowing that torque is the cross product of the wheel radius and the force on the ground. 2. our team broke the design process into two phases. First. we focused on calculating all hand calculations relevant to our design.

45. With that reduction. and final CVT ratio. Because we are limited by a 10hp engine. The torque from the force is the theoretical minimum that the engine needs put out to accomplish the goal of having the vehicle climb over a 33 degree incline.33 degrees to get a torque design factor of 1.29. Next. our max torque available at the axle is 468. total reduction. a top speed of 35 mph is usually competitive. 29 . The repelling force came out to be 334 pounds from using a 600 pound vehicle. Graphs 1 and 2 on the following page summarize important trends found through our spreadsheet calculations.7 mph on the incline. To calculate top speed we must consider engine rpms governed at 3800. wheel diameter. We calculated a total reduction of 8.the tested hill. This also gives us a top speed of 11. The wheels we picked out are 23 inches in diameter.9:1. Based on past top performing Baja teams currently. we took into account all necessary performance criteria that affected our optimal total reduction. We then compared that to our dynamics design test incline required torque at 33. which includes a driver that weighs 200 pounds. and the final CVT ratio is 0. our main focuses will be on optimizing speed and torque. .8 ft-lbs. All formulas used in our design were programed into our Baja excel spread sheet so that we can adjust our conditions if necessary. This is especially useful when studying dynamics on an incline or using alternative gear ratios to compare theoretical performance.

CVT 35.000 50.Speed vs.000 400.000 0.5 6 5.000 15. CVT vs. Gear Box Ratio 25.500 3. Gear Box Ratio vs. CVT vs.5 7 6.000 30.000 450.000 Graph 2: Speed vs.000 150. Torque 500 450 400 350 Torque (ft lbf) 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 9.000 10.000 2.000 CVT Graph 1: Speed vs.000 200.500 1.5 8 7.000 10.000 35.500 2.000 3.000 0.000 15.000 250.000 Speed (MPH) 20.5 5 Gear Box Ratio 5.000 350. Torque 30 . Torque Speed vs.000 0.500 4.000 Torque vs.5 9 8. CVT Speed vs. Gear Box Ratio vs.000 0.000 1.000 4.000 25.000 Torque (ft lbf) 300.000 5. Torque 500.000 Speed (MPH) 20.000 100.000 Torque vs.500 0.000 30.

2 kpsi. Using the diameter of the pinion gear and the individual gear ratio from the total reduction. The differential is an important component in the gearbox to rotate the wheels at different rates when the vehicle is turning. 31 . Once the gears diameters were found. First. After the gear diameters were determined in the gearbox. Along. In Figure 26 above. allows calculations for the first gear. Using AISI 1010 steel in our calculations we have a Sut = 365 MPa or 52. so the interference of the diameter of the second gear need to be in consideration.Figure 26: Double Reduction Gear Box Next. the optimal gear sizes. based on the gearbox total reduction of 8. which would be on the same shaft as the gear D.29. the minimum pitch diameter for the pinion gear was calculated. The thickness is calculated using the diametral pitch. we have to be confident that the shafts the gears are rotating on are an optimum choice of material and size. the teeth of the gears were all calculated by using the ratio of the individual gears and the corresponding the diameters. gear D has a larger diameter so the gear can rotate gear C without gear B touching the differential. The differential is on the same shaft as third gear. tooth numbers and gear widths were determined. so they are large enough to not interfere with the differential.9 kpsi and Sy = 305 MPa or 44. The diameters of the second and third gear were designed. with designing the best performing gear box and gear box components. the minimum thickness needed to be determined. The thicker the gear is then less stress is applied to the teeth of the gears.

75) used last year for the CVT and axle. we used the ratio of teeth as our rotation ratio in order to synchronize the gear movements. concentric. For the pinion gear to gear 1. Figure 27: Gear Train Design 32 . Using coincident. Figure 27 below shows our current drive train design in SolidWorks. For gear 1 to gear 2 we used a rotational ratio of 1:1 to represent them being on the same shaft. and parallel mates with offsets for the shafts. After making each of the four gears according to the shaft diameters (0. we modeled 2d gear profiles by hand and then extruded them to the corresponding widths. After the geometry and movement is all correct we implemented material properties mentioned earlier for each component. and gear 2 to gear 3.2. This mate will not be necessary after we spline the shafts and gears together because the shaft and gears will move together automatically. we opened an assembly to put them together. We then used the mechanical gear mate for each gear set.4. Using Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design book. we were able configure the gear train correctly.2 DRIVE TRAIN DESIGN MODELING We chose to use SolidWorks 3D 2010 to model our gear box because of its finite element analysis simulations.

2. This final phase will focus on the use of finite element analysis software from both MSC NATRAN/PATRAN and SolidWorks for efficiency verification. Also. front bump. 33 . We intend to test the designs for cases including rollover. it will be imperative to make sure each test has the appropriate constraints in order to have accurate results. Data from these tests will allow us to make any necessary adjustments to our current design in order to optimize our overall project. Both teams are finalizing all necessary design steps in order to begin the analysis phase of the Baja project. and frontal collision. rear bump.5 CONCLUSIONS Our Baja team has met regularly during the design phase in order to stay on track and meet the Gantt Chart deadlines as necessary.

Thus far. Dr. Elmustafa. Thus far. 34 . We our currently in contact with Don Van Raay from Cartesian Tube Profiling in order to have our frame manufacturing process outsourced. The next step for the frame and suspension team is to begin the analysis phase of the project using MSC NASTRAN/PATRAN. the frame and suspension team has completed various hand iteration designs and formalized the final iteration into AutoDesk Inventor and Lotus Suspension Software. the only setback the gearbox team faces is determining whether or not we can fabricate our own gears or if we are limited to outsourcing options that may require additional funding. Designing the gearbox in SolidWorks will make the future manufacturing process much easier.CURRENT PROJECT STATUS Currently our team has completed all necessary background research and is one pace with the design phase. to keep him updated on our design progress. The current focus of the gearbox team is to produce a 3D model of the gearbox design in SolidWorks. with detailed dimensions and sectional views. The gearbox team has finalized the optimal gear reduction ratio and all other necessary calculations relevant to the research phase of our project. This design will incorporate new information regarding the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the differential. Our team meets frequently with our project advisor. The project Gantt chart is shown on the final page of the report in Figure 28.

J. Budynas. Free CAD Models.REFERENCES I. Print. and Joseph Edward. 1976. Nisbett. “16-7 Cone Clutches and Brakes. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Shigly. Print. <http://www. Great Britain: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Books. How To Make Your Car Handle.. Arizona: H. 3. Puhn. Print. 3. Web.aspx?catalogid=171>. Richard G. 4. 35 . Getting Started with Lotus Suspension Analysis. 17 Oct. II. 2008. 2008. <http://www.sae.html>. Print. 2011. <http://www. Keith.P.3dcontentcentral.com/dgx8.pdf> 2. and Joseph Edward. Richard G. Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics. GEARBOX REFERNCES 1. August 2011. 2011.01. 5. Budynas. John. 17 Oct. October 2011.” Free 3D Models. Print. Shigly. “3D Content Central. 2008.com/downloadmodel. 2012 Collegiate Design Series Baja SAE® Rules. Keith.” Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design. 4.gagedengineering. Pennsylvania: Society of Automotive Engineers. Boston: McGraw-Hill.org/students/mbrules. Nisbett. 2009. 2. Version 5. Lotus Cars Ltd. Thomas. Fred. “Chapter 13” Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design. FRAME AND SUSPENSION REFERENCES 1. Dixon. J. Web.. Print. Suspension Geometry and Computation. Gillespie. SAE International™.

APPENDICES 36 .

1 APPENDIX I: LOTUS SUSPENSION DATA 37 .

2 APPENDIX II: DRIVE TRAIN CALCULATIONS 38 .

3 APPENDIX III: DRIVE TRAIN EQUATIONS ( ) ( √ ( ) N: P: d: m: p: dp: R: Tcvt: Tax: Peng: Mw: a: number of teeth diametral pitch pitch diameter gear ratio circular pitch diameter of pinion radius of tire torque from cvt Torque at axle power of engine mass of car acceleration 39 .

Figure 28: Updated Gantt Chart 40 .