gearbox

Final countdown to Kansas

Moving out! We just got approval to use the F-250, and Solar has generously allowed us to borrow their generator and trailer! Tonight we’ll be putting the final touches on Knuckles – tightening up the gearbox and getting all those finger guards to spec – before we load him into the trailer and get ready to go.

Jane and Knuckles are psyched for Kansas comp

Jane and Knuckles are psyched for Kansas comp

We’ve got a great team of 11 kids going, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the excitement of comp. You can keep up with the scoring and some of the Pittsburg events and information here.

Bon voyage!

Only a flesh wound

It turns out the only problem with Knuckles is that we broke one of his gears! Whoops! It turns out we were putting a pretty extreme load on this little gear and it sheared right off into three pieces!

Knuckles' broken gear

Knuckles' broken gear

The shaft and the key were pretty badly damaged, but we managed to figure out what happened. Our key didn’t line up well on the inside of our gear, leaving almost half of the tooth length of the gear unsupported. The key way on the shaft was a little large, so they key could wobble. And finally, our gear had been made with the key way corners cutting through the thinnest part of the gear material. All this came together into a perfect storm which took down our gearbox. After discussing the issue with a number of esteemed professors, including our favorite, Q Jane Wang, we’ve determined that if we get a gear with a better cut key way (which we have), and redesign the shaft and the key to fit well with each other and the gear, we should we good to go.

Baja springs ahead

We’re back from Spring Break and back to work on Baja!  We finished up Winter Quarter just short of a rolling chassis, and we are now working out some final kinks in the assembly.  Unfortunately, the custom half-shafts we ordered turned out to be 3 inches shorter than what we ordered.  We are currently waiting for the correct shafts to come in, but we have made some good progress on the car.

Front pedal and reservoir assembly

Front pedal and reservoir assembly

Rear wheels and hubs

Rear wheels and hubs

Drivetrain and rear braking assemblies

Drivetrain and rear braking assemblies

We also recently secured sponsorship with Albany Steel & Brass Corp. who gave us a bunch of fasteners.  Thanks!

Once we get the half-shafts in we plan to finish Knuckles and take her out for a couple test drives on campus before doing some more testing at a local off-road vehicle park in May. We’re excited to be on schedule for our May 22-25th race in Pittsburg, Kansas.

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