Volume 4 | Issue 7
Marjo Mallari, Ross Fraser, Ryan Sharp, Ricardo Delgado, Manuel Mangrobang, Robby Sampson
On race day the flag drops whether or not we are there. We like to call this the unmovable deadline. The pressure is both motivating and frightening. Spartan Racers live for it. Our friends at Club Auto Sport along with the Golden Gate Lotus Club and Dietsch Werks are hosting an unveiling of Formulaâ€™s 2012 contender, SR-4. We look forward to seeing all our sponsors, teammates and fans.
pedal to the metal Ryan Sharp
The pedal box for SR-4 is designed to be stiff, lightweight, and adjustable. It utilizes Tilton 77 brake master cylinders due to their lightweight design, small size, and ability to pivot about on a spherical bearing. In addition, the pedal box uses an off-the-shelf Tilton bias bar giving the team the ability to tune the front to rear brake bias for various track conditions. One of the car goals for SR-4 was to make the vehicle easier to drive. Fitting to this goal, heel and pedal cups were added to restrain the driverâ€™s feet from lateral movement during high G turns. As well, the pedal box can be adjusted longitudinally for different height drivers. In addition, the pedal box was designed to have minimal flex to give the driver good, firm brake pedal feedback Most of the small parts have been machined or ordered. The next step is purchasing the master cylinders and balance bar assembly from Tilton Engineering and getting the pedals and base structure CNC machined.
The pieces are finally starting to fall in place for the Spartan Racing Formula Team. All designs are done and manufactured parts continue to flow in weekly. Itâ€™s like we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Chassis Team completed a successful stiffness test of the frame and will begin installing the structural floor panels. Driver seat design and placement is also underway and if all goes well the pedal box will be ready to mount next week. The Powertrain Team has made major strides with nearly all systems on the car. Earlier this month we tested the new engine by installing it in last yearâ€™s vehicle, SR-3, and running it on a dynamometer. All systems performed flawlessly and gave us a good baseline to begin tuning. As well, the cooling system has been mounted and assembled. Exhaust headers and muffler have been installed and starting next week, we will begin manufacturing the intake system. We have also been lucky to find some help with assembly and layout of the wiring harness from a few members of our Electric Team. Additionally, the oil and fuel tanks are being welded and will soon be ready for mounting. Once the harness, oil and fuel tanks are completed we will be ready to install the new engine in the new chassis and fire it up for the first time. The Suspension team is well past the design phase and is now well underway with component manufacturing. Control arms and brackets have been installed or welded on the car. Due to manufacturing constraints we are still waiting for the final wheel package components to be completed, but we are confident that once everything is made, final assembly will come together quickly. The Composites team has finally begun full scale manufacturing starting with the carbon fiber floor panels. Nose cone and side pod designs have been finalized and will soon move to designing the molds and lay-up processes for manufacturing. We are also experimenting with a new carbon fiber intake plenum this year which will soon be ready to get thoroughly tested. The next 2 months to come will truly be a test of our teamwork and perseverance as we push to complete the car in time for our official unveiling on April 20. We hope to see everyone there!
It is done. The Electric vehicle is now a 2-year project. As well, the team has elected to forgo the design of Nike's frame and instead go with Formula's SR-4 frame design. With some tweaks here and there to accommodate the electric drive train it will work perfectly. This will allow the team to focus more on fundraising and testing the drive train instead of time consuming frame design. Also, the electric team has been discussing changing the teamâ€™s image since we are now all electric. First we created some logos. One option that could replace the stylized isometric view of Athena, our first year's car, uses electrical circuit symbols to create a picture that resembles a car. The choice of using electric circuit symbols is to emphasize that the car runs solely on electrical power. There is no fossil-fuel used to power our vehicle and instead will be powered by 56 or 76 lithium-ion polymer batteries, depending on a few variables.
The Baja is well on its way and with the fame nearing completion we are shifting focus to the drive train. The Baja will have a new gearbox that will be slightly wider along with the addition of a locking differential and continual use of a reverse gear. It will be nice to go forwards and backwards. The real challenge is figuring out the shifting of the gears between reverse and forward. Likewise, shifting the Baja into lock mode will be a challenge as well.
The crucial next step in the process is acquiring a sponsor to make the gears for the drive train for this year's vehicle. Once we find our new sponsor we can be certain of what the sizes our new gears will be and then pursue manufacturing of the three part aluminum gearbox. With the addition of a few badly needed tools the frame should be completed in the next few weeks. We are having the one inch rear tubes bent this week by taking our tubes to the good people at Pipe Cutting Bending Threading here in San Jose who offered to assist us. With that done we will be able to finish the frame and start working on the previously mentioned parts as well as body panels, skid plate and suspension components.
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