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Paper Number- TTTITM2

Baja 09 design report

Raman Sarin
Captain, Member design team

Ajay Goyat
Steering and brakes department

Copyright © 2006 SAE International

ABSTRACT 1. Maximum speed – 45 km/hr

The design report focuses on explaining engineering 2. Weight – 270 kg

and design process behind each system in the Baja
vehicle that is developed till now. The report also throws 3. Ground clearance – 20 cm or 8 inch
some light on the alternatives considered. The design of
the vehicle is in accordance with the specifications laid 4. Track width – 160 cm or 64 inch approx
down by the rule book. This design report is a
cumulative effort towards explaining the design process 5. Wheel base – 190 cm or 75 inch approx
to the readers.
6. Braking distance – 1400 cm
7. Turning radius – 240 cm or 96 inch
The design process of the vehicle is iterative and is
Further, as designing is based on prevention of failure
based on various engineering and reverse engineering
so let me define the condition of failure of each system
processes depending upon the availability, cost and
of our vehicle.
other such factors. So the design process focuses on:
• For roll cage, failure is yielding as this would change
Safety, Serviceability, Cost, Standardization, Strength
the distance between various parts and thus their
and ruggedness, Driving feel and ergonomics,
working is affected. It should be rigid and the
mountings should be able to bear its load.
The design criterion followed here is design for the
• For brakes, failure is their inability to lock all the four
worst and optimize the design while avoiding over
tires simultaneously.
designing, which would help in reducing the cost.
• For tires, it is failure to transmit the required torque
We proceeded by setting up the budget for the project.
maintaining the traction with the track surface.
Throughout the design process we distributed the
budget in such a way that if we assign more money to
• For suspensions, failure occurs if they are not able
one system, we reduce that amount from some other
to isolate the driver from the shocks or if they are so
soft that they compress to their solid length while
Our last year vehicle design was based on the criterion
of prevention of failure, as that year no one knew the
• For transmission there is less scope of failure but
track and the obstructions prevalent over there. So the
failure is if any part is not able to transmit the
procedure of over designing was followed as the safety
required torque or also if torque provided in the first
of the driver is of utmost importance.
gear is unable to drive the vehicle from a halt.
The design targets of our vehicle for Baja 09 are as
• For steering, failure is defined in terms of effort 3. We used standard parts, thus increased the
applied by the driver and ability of the various reliability of the transmission system.
components to facilitate the function of steering.
To find the speed of the vehicle corresponding to
• Failure of various other mechanisms like pedals, different gear ratios, the formulae used is
levers, electrical components occurs if they are not
able to fulfill their desired function. Velocity on road = 2π×N×R×60÷ (1000×G) Km/hr
Hence, our designing process targets on the above lying G=gear ratio
facts to ensure the proper working of our vehicle. N=revolutions per minute
R=outer radius of the tire in meters.
Some of our calculations for reverse and forward
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION orientation are as follows:

A quick look at the engine: Normal orientation

Power - 8 kW at 4400 rpm Final Speed Speed (km/hr)

Gear (km/hr)
Max Torque – 19 Nm at 3000 rpm Ratios D=22 D=24
inch inch
About gear box, we have 4 forward and 1 reverse gear
box with built in differential and universal joint. First 31.45:1 0.65D 14.5 15.8

As engine and gear box were given to us. Thus we had Second 18.70:1 1.109D 24.4 26.6
a little choice while working on transmission.
Configuration of our vehicle would be rear engine rear Third 11.40:1 1.82D 40 43.6
wheel drive. We decided to keep the maximum speed of
the vehicle at 45 km/hr as the vehicle is not about larger Forth 7.35:1 2.82D 62 67.7
speed but greater torque and stability. For attaining this
speed, the only thing we can vary was the outer Reverse 55.08:1 0.38D 10 9
diameter of the driving tire. For 45 km/hr O.D. of the tire
came out to be 16 inch. This diameter is too small as
ground clearance decreases.
Reverse orientation
Hence in order to counter this problem options available
were: Final Speed Speed (km/hr)
Gear (km/hr
1. Manipulation of power transmission outside the Ratios ) D=22 D=24 D=28
gear box using gears, sprockets and chain. inch inch inch

2. Engaging the reverse gear lever while driving in First 55.08:1 0.38D 8.3 9 10.5
all the forward gears and using the first gear in
forward as reverse gear. Second 32.75:1 0.63D 13.9 15.2 17.7

We decided to work on the latter option and so did Third 19.96:1 1.04D 22.8 24.9 29
reverse engineering process trying to find if the gears
would be able to transmit the increased torque. Also Forth 12.87:1 1.61D 35.45 38.7 45
following this method,
Reverse 31.45 0.65D 14.5 15.8 18.5
1. We were able to check the weight
Hence for maximum speed of 45 km/hr, we selected
2. Reduce the cost of the vehicle as we avoided tires of 28 inch outer diameter.
the use of additional gears, sprockets and
chains. Further, for better economy, we assume engine rpm to
be ranging from 2750 to 3250 as maximum torque
produced by the engine is at 3000 rpm. In between this
range the torque produced by the engine is almost
constant (from engine characteristics graph; fig e1). One of the most important parameter for the selection of
Thus, for better economy, the range of speed in each the outer diameter of the tires in rear was the maximum
gear, for the driving tires of O.D. 28 inches; operating in speed of the vehicle. The relation between outer
reverse orientation is: diameter of the tires and the vehicle speed is as given
First - 6.7 to 9 km/hr
Second - 11 to 14 km/hr Velocity on road = Angular velocity × (Outer radius
Third - 18 to 24 km/hr of tire ÷ gear ratio)
Forth - 29 to 37 km/hr
Reverse - 12 to 15 km/hr For the reverse orientation of the transmission system
and maximum speed of the vehicle as 45 km/hr radius
Apart from this, for mounting the engine we are going to comes out to be 28 inches. Apart from outer radius of
use neoprene rubber mountings. the tire, other factors for the selection of tires include
tread width, tread design, side wall width, load handling
TIRES capacity, number of plies and treads on side wall etc
which define the traction ability, tire resistance to wear
Selecting the tires is one of the most important things as and puncture and performance of the tire on various
the whole vehicle is in contact with the road on these 4 terrains.
points or rather patches. Also for designing an all terrain
vehicle tires form the most important part. They should ADVANTAGES:
be such that they are able to provide enough traction on
all kind of surfaces so as to transmit the torque available 1. Built with a 6 ply rating and a reinforced casing
at the wheels without causing slipping. makes these one of the most puncture resistant
tires in the market today.
2. Large shoulder knobs wrap down the sidewall to
Front and rear same tires provide excellent side to pull out of the ruts without
Outer diameter of tire – 24 inch causing sidewall failure.
Outer diameter of rim – 12 inch
Tread width – 6 inch 3. The deep tread and open wing design provides
Aspect ratio - 1 excellent clean-out with each lug and an improved
Number of plies – 6 traction.
Tread design – mud cutting
Side with – 210 mm 4. Special natural compound delivers added traction.

THIS YEAR: 5. Smaller tires in front results in a smaller magnitude

of moment on the wishbones due to cornering
FRONT forces during steering.

Outer diameter of tire – 24 inch 6. Use of the larger outer diameter tire at the rear
Outer diameter of rim – 12 inch helps to provide good ground clearance and also 10
Tread width – 8 inch inch treads provides good traction to the power
Aspect ratio - 1 wheels.
Number of plies – 6
Side with – 198 mm BRAKES

REAR The criterion for designing the brakes stated as per the
rule book is that all the four wheels should lock
Outer diameter of tire – 28 inch simultaneously as the brake pedal is pressed.
Outer diameter of rim – 12 inch
Tread width – 10 inch LAST YEAR‘S BRAKING SYSTEM:
Aspect ratio - 1
Number of plies – 6 Front Disc brake of Maruti800 (91 mm)
Side with – 231 mm Rear Drum brake of APE (180×30mm)

Shown in fig t1 THIS YEAR:

In the last years vehicle we found that the braking force Using these formulae, we have done our calculation and
was not enough to lock all the four wheels selected our brakes. Some of calculations are shown in
simultaneously the table:

For designing the braking system this year, we F kg Pr D1 D2 D3 R1 R2 R3 R4

calculated the weight of our vehicle in static condition as
well as in dynamic condition as per the deceleration (0.6 1 20 2.5 16.2 50 30 91 90 12” 14”
g) and stopping distance. In static condition it is around 5
60kg on each front tire and 110kg each on the rear tire. 2 20 5 22.9 50 30 91 90 12” 14”
But in dynamic conditions, we consider weight to be 6
85kg on each tire, the front and the rear. We have 3 20 3 17.7 50 30 91 90 12” 14”
calculated the dynamic weight using the formulae as 8
given below: 4 15 5 19.8 50 30 91 90 12” 14”
Front axle dynamic load 5 26.9 3 20.6 50 30 91 90 12 14”
= w1 + (α ÷ g) ×W× (H ÷ L) 3 4 ”

Rear axle dynamic load Where the parameters shown above are as under:
= w2 – (α ÷ g) ×W× (H ÷ L) F=Pedal force required for braking (kg)
Pr = Pedal ratio
Where, D1=Diameter of the TMC (mm)
W1=Weight on the front axle in the static condition. D2=Diameter of caliper cylinder for the disc (mm)
W2=Weight on the rear axle in the static condition. D3=Diameter of the wheel cylinder for the drum (mm)
g = Acceleration due to gravity. R1= Radius of the disc (mm)
W= Total weight of the vehicle. R2=Radius of the drum (mm)
H=Height of center of the gravity. R3=Outer radius of the front tires (inch)
L= Length of the wheel base. R4=Outer radius of the rear tires (inch)
Deceleration of the vehicle is α.
The above highlighted specifications have been
We planned to use disc brake in front and drum brakes selected for our vehicle. These are the standard
in rear. Initially we thought of using disc brakes for all specifications of Maruti Zen’s braking system with
four wheels but disc with parking brakes have higher vacuum booster. We selected these as per our design
cost and we found it necessary to use the parking of the braking system for 5.9 m/s^2 deceleration. The
brakes to increase the all terrain capabilities of the pedal force would decrease further by a factor 3 due to
vehicle. the use of booster. So the force on pedal would be 9 kg
Some formulas that we used for designing our brakes: approx.

T (disc) + T (drum) = m × f ×R
T (disc) = µ×R1× (P × A) ×2

1. The friction material is semi-metallic which has

T (drum) = (P × A) × Brake factor×R2
got better frictional properties. So we have a
higher coefficient of friction
2. Vacuum booster is used for giving the better
T(disc) = Frictional torque on the disc
comfort in applying the paddle force.
T(drum) = Frictional torque on the drum
3. Use of X-type brake fluid lining which will give
f = deceleration
us better response and has a higher reliability.
m = mass of vehicle
4. Ventilated disc for higher heat dissipation rather
R = radius of tires
than a single disc.
P = Pressure applied by the TMC.
µ= Coefficient of friction
R1=Radius of the disc ADVANTAGES
A= Area of the caliper for disc brake and wheel cylinder
for the drum brake. 1. Standardization of parts is there. Thus reliability
is there.
2. The cost of standard parts is lower.
3. Ergonomically, the use of booster would get the response. The only problem lying with it is its higher
pedal force to a lower value. Thus facilitating the weight than rack and pinion type steering.
4. Friction material is in the disc and drum is of ADVANTAGES
semi-metallic which has very good frictional
property. 1. It has an advantage that being worm type, only
driver effort would be transmitted to the wheels. But
STEERING SYSTEM unlike rack and pinion, the wheels reaction
generated from the track would not be transferred to
LAST YEAR: the driver.

• Reticulating ball type, pitman arm 2. Reticulating ball type steering has lower wear and
• 4 tie rods used tear as compared to rack and pinion steering.
• Steering ratio 19.53:1
• Turning radius - 9 feet 3. It can withstand 25000 cycles at the constant load of
• IBJ to IBJ - 50 mm 250N/m, at the pitman arm speed of 20 to 25 RPM.
• OBJ to OBJ - 1090 mm
• Column inclination from horizontal - 40 degree Further, apart from keeping the steering ratio to be 17:1.
• One flexible coupling is used in column Our main concern in the design of the steering
• One universal joint was used. mechanism, using reticulating type steering, is to reduce
• Two pivots were used as shown in fig above the weight of the mechanism and to incorporate as
minimum joints as possible which would help to reduce
THIS YEAR: the human force required to steer the vehicle.

• Reticulating ball type (ZF steering) SUSPENSIONS

• Turning radius – 9 feet
• Gear ratio - 19:1 Suspensions act to provide cushioning action to the
• Steering ratio – 17:1 driver by absorbing the shocks from the road and also
help the tires to maintain good traction.
While designing the steering system the constraints that
we possessed were centre alignment of steering Last year
system, track width, human effort at the steering wheel
and the desired response of the steering system. Front - Mac Pherson strut
Rear – Mac Pherson strut and rubber bumpers
Apart from deciding the steering ratio we have not been
able to design the linkages, tie rods etc as presently we Last year, the problem with out suspensions was that
do not have the gear box of steering. they were too stiff. So the movement of springs was too
small ride was not comfortable.
The formulae used for steering calculations are:
This Year –
C^2 = X^2 + Y^2
Unequal wishbone suspension in both front and rear
X = c sin (p) + (a+ b sin (q) – a cos (q))
Y = b cos (q) + a sin (q) - R
• Wishbone suspension give more movement of the
Where, tires and hence the vehicle for the same movement
C – length of tie rod of the spring.
X, Y – lengths as shown in fig s1
p, q – angles as shown in fig s1 • Independent suspension.
a – length of steering knuckle from center of tire
b – perpendicular distance of steering knuckle from • In double wishbone suspension, force is distributed
pivot point as shown in fig s1 at 5 points on the roll cage unlike at only one point
in Mac Pherson strut.
We stick to reticulating ball type steering as we had a
good experience using it in last year vehicle in terms of • It can be slightly adjusted for different parameters of
suspension tuning like camber angle, ground
clearance at the time of testing and then finalized year’s vehicle
(proper adjustments are made at the time of
fabrication). Estimated weight of 270 kg approx.
this year’s vehicle
Design of suspension system should be such that it is
able to sustain the worst of the conditions. Driver with accessories 90 kg approx.

For example, in the case when the vehicle is falling on Total weight with driver 360 kg approx.
ground after jumping from a speed breaker, just the two
wheels support the vehicle as it lands on the ground. Unsprung mass 75 kg approx.
But if we design our springs according to this situation,
our spring will be a lot stiffer and hence the ride will not Sprung mass 300 kg (at max. with driver)
be comfortable. Also if we choose stiffer springs, they
would not be able to facilitate tire traction. On the other
hand softer spring mean that a larger spring travel
should be more otherwise they would reach to their solid The spring design is to be for the total weight of around
length. Hence the suspension system would fail. 300 kg now.

This criterion can be fulfilled by the 2 alternatives: Since the major components of the sprung mass(in
terms of weight) like engine, transmission, driver etc….
1. By putting a spring of gradually changing pitch and are at the back only, the weight distribution is taken as
hence stiffness. This is the best method to 50 kg on each suspension in the front and 100 kg on
encounter this problem but we could not find a each suspension at the back. Also, this was the
vendor who could manufacture for us a approximate ratio of distribution of the vehicle weight of
continuously varying spring. last year vehicles.

2. By putting a very long soft spring which has enough FRONT SUSPENSIONS
uncompressed length left so that it would remain in
its working range without reaching its failure limit. The spring damper would be placed at the centre of the
This method was used by one of the team last lower wishbone.
year. But the main problem is that the spring
might buckle. Even with a damper, the spring- Taking ground clearance to be around 8 inches and
damper system might buckle. We might be able load of 50 kg on each tire. Thus static load on each
to solve the problem using guides but this is spring would be 100 kg as spring is mounted at the
making the system unnecessarily complex. centre of the wishbone

3. By putting a system of compound spring (in parallel) Length of spring = 300 mm

in which only one spring is acting in normal
conditions and a stiffer spring starts to work only Total length (spring + damper) = 430 mm
after reaching a certain amount of load. This is the
method that we will follow because: Wire diameter (d) = 9mm

• It can be said to be equivalent to the first Mean coil diameter (D) = 70 mm

Allowed travel of the spring = 160 mm
• The range of travel is small as compared to
Maximum travel of the spring = 192 mm
the previous two methods and hence our
damper buckling problem is also solved to
Spring stiffness (K) = 20 N/mm
an extent.
Pitch = 25 mm
Spring Design started with some arbitrary parameters
within the constraints No of active turns = 10

Constraints: Weight, ground clearance required and Total no of turns = 12

space limitations
Springs are squared and grounded
Weight of the last 472
Initial compression (after driver is seated) = 50mm Further, if one of the rear tire falls in a ditch, their will be
load on the spring. Assuming tire and brake assembly
Thus springs can take up a load of 220 kg apart from weight to be 20 kg, deflection of spring required is 6.7
the weight of vehicle and driver mm or in terms of shaft movement we can say that 1.5
degree of shaft movement would be sufficient for
The dimensions and assembly of front suspensions is allowing the movement of tire if it encounters a ditch.
as shown in fig sus1
Hence under static but loaded conditions, position of
REAR SUSPENSION shaft below the horizontal level is 4.5 degree (12-7.5
Here also the constraints were ground clearance 8
inches, vehicle weight 110 kg on each tire and Now, the allowed movement of shaft under dynamic
movement of transmission shaft as shown in fig sus2; conditions is 7.5 degree or we can allow spring
full angle being 15 degree, full jounce 3 degree and full movement of 39 mm. Thus, the rear suspension can
rebound 12 degree accommodate an additional load of 117 kg.

In here, we keep the mounting point of the spring on the ROLL CAGE AND MATERIALS
upper wishbone and at its end. The rear suspension
system is as shown in fig sus3. The kind of body we are required to manufacture is a
unitized body. The roll cage is of utmost importance for
For the smaller half drive shaft, the distance between us as it would be the one which would provide safety to
spring mounting point and shaft hinge point is 12 inch the driver, mounting points for various systems and
approximately. Thus, for 15 degree spring movement is even ergonomics and looks to the vehicle.
80 mm as calculated by the formulae:
It should be strong enough to bear the laden load and
LENGTH OF ARC = RADIUS * ANGLE SUBTENDED should be designed against impact load that it might
encounter. The failure criterion for the roll cage is
So for 1 degree movement of shaft deflection of spring yielding.
is 5.3 mm
Our design of the roll cage started with ergonomic and
Now, driver comfort study. We also studied the rules and
safety instructions as per Baja SAE INDIA 2009
Length of spring = 230 mm rulebook. This was followed by study of compatibility of
various other systems with the roll cage, as these
Total length (spring + damper) = 490 mm systems were developed in the process. Based on
these, we designed a layout which was modified again
Wire diameter (d) =11.1 mm and again to take the present shape as shown in fig r1.
Adjacent to fig r1 we also have the roll cage of last year
Mean coil diameter (D) = 80 mm vehicle as fig r2. The software used by us is Pro-E for 3-
D modeling and design and Auto-CAD for 2-D drafting.
Allowed travel of the spring = 72 mm
Initially I assumed the ratio of total height of driver to
Maximum travel of the spring = 96.8 mm length of driver below waist as 1.65 (considering myself
as standard) and designed a roll cage model for a
Spring stiffness (K) = 30 N/mm person of height 6 feet 3 inches. Then slowly as the
other systems of the vehicle were developed, the roll
Pitch = 19 mm cage design got modified.
No of active turns = 10 Dimensions of the roll cage are see (fig r3):
Total no of turns = 12 Length – 2300 mm
Springs are squared and grounded Width – Max - 870 mm
At front end - 540 mm
Initial compression (after driver is seated) = 33.3mm
At rear end - 720 mm
From initial compression we conclude that the
Height – 1440 mm
movement of shaft required is 6.3 degrees
The FEM analysis of the roll cage is still pending and Odometer, speedometer, fuel indicator, oil pressure
would be included in the final design report. lamp, brake switch, brake lights, reverse alarm

The material that we are going to use is mild steel, IS: We are going to use a separate reversing lever
1239 (part 1):2004. The material has chemical
composition as: We also worked on a gear shifting mechanism which
would be available near the steering wheel

0.2 1.30 0.040 0.040 As discussed earlier, our approach is to design for the
worst and still optimize so that we avoid over designing.
This would help us to reduce the cost.

The pipe we are using is of electric resistance welded The approach that we followed is iterative in nature and
type, heavy duty pipe with the following specifications: processes like reverse engineering are adopted in order
to select various systems from the ones, existing in the
Bore – 20 mm market. This step would ensure standardization and
reliability would follow as a by part.
Wall thickness – 3.2 mm
Our top priority would always be the safety of the driver
Outer diameter - 26.5 to 27.3 mm and working in this direction, we will strive to add
aesthetic value and a sense of ergonomics to the
Weight per meter – 1.87 kg vehicle.

Yield strength – 480 N/mm^2 (as per UTM test)

As the yield strength is as per UTM test so we assume

working yield strength of 400 N/mm^2
The pipe of above specification has a higher bending
strength and rigidity than the material specified by the
The design process is not a single handed effort and so
rule book.
it is my team, whom I wanted to thank for standing with
me under all circumstances. I would also like to express
For safety of the driver, Ethan foam padding would be
my gratitude towards our Mechanical department and
used over the pipes in the adjacent of the driver.
on the whole towards the college for supporting us and
believing in us. SAE has provided us with an excellent
For fabrication of the roll cage, we are going to use
platform for learning and showcasing real life projects.
metal inert gas welding and cold bending techniques.
While working on the project, it was really heartening to
see that the people from industry were willing to help us
and they provided us with their precious time.
This section includes all the levers, electrical
equipments etc that form an important part of our
vehicle. Apart from the accessories provided by
Raman Sarin
Lombardini, we are going to use
Mechanical Engineering student
Battery: 12 V, 44 Ah Institute of Technology and Management, Gurgaon

Kill switches: 2 Email I.D. – raman.sarin@yahoo.co.in

Address - #1178, Sector 18-C, Chandigarh

Fig e1

Fig t1
Steering mechanism
(Tie rods to steering knuckle)
Fig s1

Fig sus1
Fig sus2

Fig sus3

Fig r1 Fig r2

Fig r3