Baja SAE at UC Davis Design Team


Baja SAE is a college design competition in which student design teams design and build a rally car fit for various events, such as hill-climb, acceleration, and endurance race. As part of the design process, during my first year, I have done research on differentials and continuously variable transmission (CVT) systems as a member of the Drivetrain Team. The research included finding the most viable differential system for an off-road vehicle in muddy conditions as the rally was held in Oregon that year. On the other hand, the CVT system was the core in increasing the performance of drivetrain systems for the competition as it offered a variety of tuning options through different replaceable parts. Thus, the type of research I conducted was creating a data acquisition system through hall sensors and MATLAB scripts. The goal was to obtain the performance curve for the engine and the CVT output and match it to a theoretical optimal performance via replacing flyweights, primary and secondary springs, and helix cam angle. The outcome of the research was that we were able to obtain some results from MATLAB scripts that pointed towards a specific performance goal. That goal was later determined to be increasing the engagement speed of the CVT to the torque peak RPM of the stock Briggs-Stratton Engine and matching the shift out RPM of the CVT with the power peak RPM of the engine. The second year in Baja SAE at UC Davis, based on my experience in the team, I was selected as a Drivetrain Lead where I oversaw different subsystems within the team: axles, brake systems, gearbox, and CVT. Apart from managing the drivetrain team, I also took over the task of designing a gearbox and select appropriate gear ratios with regard to the specific competition tasks.

Emre Mengi

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