Car Naming and Manufacturing

Through creative methods, we finally decided upon a name for our 2017 car - and it shall be called Bongo!

Most likely a different color scheme though.

Most likely a different color scheme though.

Aside from that most important update, there's been quite a bit of welding, turning, and milling going on in the shop, as we've begun the manufacturing phase in earnest. Here's a brief look at some of the things we've done:

Trailing arms fully tacked.

Camber links in progress.

Front hubs being milled.

Bodywork molds being machined.

And some camera-shy parts: plenty of tabs being waterjetted, gearbox housing and shafts being milled and turned, aluminum pedals being milled and welded, and many other projects! Check back soon for more updates.

Framed! and other Fall Quarter Updates

It's been a busy quarter of recruiting, designing, and welding these past few months. While we've taken on around 20 new Motorkittens, the Motorcats have simultaneously been working on their individual designs.

So far, the most outwardly visible progress has manifested in the jigging and welding of the frame. It's gone from a giant box of coped and bent tubes from Cartesian into a rear roll hoop and transformed into a fully tacked creation, all before winter break!

Armando and George persuading the rear roll hoop to fit properly.

We decided to more fully utilize Cartesian's bending abilities this year, which helped to simplify jigging.

A little Chicago winter breeze can't stop Joe.

The newest pizza delivery service, coming soon to a town near you!

Grab your collets, grab your 80-20, it's jigging time

In the midst of reading week and finals week,  our team was still hard at work because car building never stops! After Jon and Armando did the jigging calculations and figured out how to make reusable collets, we started an army of collet-makers! With help from Luke and Colton, they became milling experts. Here's a look at all the hours our Motorkittens put into getting the jigging ready before break:

4 days

Sunday funday?

Knuckles resembles a racecar! Eric and Joe got crunching on finger guards for the CVT. Sarah reamed out all of the fancy tabs we waterjetted yesterday while Joel coped the tubes for the A-arms. Mikey was smoking up the shop doing some incredibly exact boring on the lathe. Mike and John started welding tabs around noon and we now have places to attach our suspension arms, lap belts, and best of all, KNUCKLES HAS HIS FIRST WHEEL!!!!!!  That’s right. We have a steering wheel.

Knuckles' first wheel :')

Knuckles' first wheel :')

6 days

We’ve been chip chip chipping away at tasks on the car. There’s so much to be done! We’ve been divvying out ‘small tasks’ to everyone who is not directly attached to a design project, while the people who are designing finish up their parts or start manufacturing them. This way, everyone’s been designing and building at a freaky fast pace, and Knuckles looks more and more like a race car.  

John tried out the new Haas which was set up last week, and he machined out rear uprights! Mike has been water jetting our front uprights and tabs, so hopefully we’ll have some pictures of that to show you soon. Thanks for checking in!

John's/Knuckle's shiny new rear uprights

John's/Knuckle's shiny new rear uprights

10 days until comp

Kids have been in the shop for 6-12 hours every day for the past week and we aren’t slowing down. We’ve got body panels on and John and Mike and Eric have been going to town on the tabs. Also John – after hours on the CNC and covering himself from neck to feet with greasy coolant – has successfully made us a gearbox!!! Boxes of raw materials and parts are arriving every day! We’ve yet to get our half shafts or EDMed parts back, but they should be here soon. It’s getting to be quite a pinch with ordering parts that will make it here on time, but we’re nearing the end. Other than master cylinders we should be done with all major components. If only we could get them all manufactured in time…

John  loves  his gearbox

John loves his gearbox

Mikey's suspension links

Mikey's suspension links

Steering arm by Mike

Steering arm by Mike

Charging into 2014

It’s 2014, and we’re getting ready for the Blizzard Baja race at Michigan Tech on February 22. The car is still mostly in boxes scattered around our engineering building, but John and Mike have been incredible as they train teams of eager, brilliant freshmen how to do complicated design, modeling, manufacturing and testing work.

Our designs for the gearbox, suspension, shafts and axles are complete and we’re ordering parts rapidly. We’ve got some freshmen helping weld the frame and others from the class of 2017 taking on the skid plate, steering system and firewall. Everyone is working hard and taking advantage of the lack of school work at start of the quarter. Still it will be a tough race against the clock to get a new car racing by the end of February. But if anyone can do it, we can.