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Event location, Washougal MX Park Portland, OR ( http://minibajawest.com/ ). Introduction

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2006 sae mini baja team 2

Event location, Washougal MX Park Portland, OR (http://minibajawest.com/)


Annually, University of Utah engineering students participate in the SAE International Mini Baja competition that attracts 4,500 students from 500 Universities and 6 continents. Specifically the Mini Baja competition “simulates real-world engineer design projects and their related challenges” (students.sae.org/competition/minibaja). Competition events include a drag race, hill climb, rock crawl, maneuverability course, and a four-hour/100 mile endurance race. The cars are also judged on design and safety. This process simulates planning, manufacturing, and testing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against each other to design, build, test, promote, and race the mini baja.


The frame is the most central component of the baja car. All of the car's components are in some way attached to the frame. Shock and A-arm mounts depend on its strength in order to function, the engine and transmission mount directly to it's tubing, and the roll cage protects the driver during rollovers. The frame serves many functions, and there were many aspects of its design which were analyzed thoroughly before building the final design. Some of those aspects include the length, width, and strength of the frame, the angle at which to place the front portion of the frame and the mounting points for the A-arms and shocks.

Final Assembly

Frame (side view)

Frame (front-side view)

Steering & Braking

In order to have an effective steering and braking system it must be designed in a way to achieve maximum functionality, and control of the vehicle to be comfortable for the driver. The main goal of these two systems is to allow for good maneuverability and braking capabilities.

  • Suspension
  • The design of the suspension setup is important to the performance of the Mini Baja vehicle. If the suspension is poorly designed it will make controlling the car difficult and hazardous. The suspension helps to reduce the stress on the frame and other components of the car. Some of the design features of the suspension include:
  • four wheel independent suspension
  • 18” of overall vertical tire travel
  • Light weight air shock absorbers
  • Adjustable rod ends for wheel alignment
  • Drive Train
  • The drive train of this vehicle consists of the following components:
    • 10 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
    • Limited slip differential
    • CV drive axles
    • Final drive gear box
    • Continuously variable transmission

CV drive axle – delivers power from the final drive to the wheels and allows for free movement of the suspension

Torque Converter – acts as a continuously variable transmission www.hoffcocomet.com

Front Suspension (fully extended)

10 HP engine – completely unmodified http://www.briggsracing.com

Rack and Pinion - A rack and pinion steering system was employed because of its ease of installation, maintainability and its excellent control and handling capabilities.

Model of final drive gears – reduces the CVT gear ratio, and incorporates a reverse function

Disc Brake system - The vehicle will be stopped by an integrated upright/brake caliper system, with four disc brakes.

Front Suspension (fully compressed)

Rear Suspension Assembly

2006 SAE Mini Baja Team 2

Will Radford, Dan Schaugaard, Dustin Wallis, Adam Howe, Matt Bennett,

Jeremy Stout, Josh Banks, Lance Allen;Advisor: Sam Drake, Ph.D.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah