Formula SAE: Part 2, The Little Team That Could


FSAE air intake

It may look ugly, but this is the test intake.  The PVC center section is removable to test plenum volume.  You can also see the intake restrictor just after the custom built throttle body.  The TPS is from Ford and is on the backside of the throttle.  This intake was built from scraps lying around the shop, but it has been an invaluable tool.  The throttle body is completely custom machined, as is the intake restrictor.

The exhaust is made from 2” tubing using an FMF muffler.  FSAE rules require cars to be under 110 decibels.  The exhaust is mostly designed after the rest of the car is built, but the piping diameter is designed to keep exhaust velocity high.  The exhaust runs along the frame and the muffler mounts horizontally to the frame.

FSAE YZF intake

Here is the final intake.  Much improved eh?  The positioning is mostly for convenience; many teams use a ram-air scoop behind the roll bar.  Delaware considered this until the engine replacement issue pushed back our timeline.  A ram-air system will probably be used in the 2012 car.  Also, we only use genuine K&N air filters.  No Chinese knockoffs here!

Cooling is always an issue in race cars.  This car uses a stock Yamaha YFZ radiator.  The stock overflow has been sealed off.  An electric fan is mounted to the back to aid in idling cooling with a carbon fiber shroud to improve efficiency.  The radiator is mounted on the right side of the car outside the frame.  The body work includes a side pod to duct air straight to the radiator.  A custom built swirl pot is used as the fill and bleeding point.  FSAE rules mandate less than 15% antifreeze, so preventing boiling of the coolant is very critical.  The overflow bottle is mounted to the rear of the rollbar.  UD uses JEGS urethane overflow bottles for simplicity and cost savings.  One bottle is used for coolant overflow, while the other is attached to the crankcase breathers to catch blow by.

FSAE Radiator

The radiator is hidden behind this foam duct.  The foam is light and easy to shape.  A single stay and a bracket support the radiator inside its ducting.  On the back of the radiator is a carbon fiber shroud and a driver operated cooling fan.

Getting the power to the ground is quite a challenge.  The Angry Hamster LeMons car uses a transfer case and a driveshaft going to an RX-7 rear axle.  For simplicity, UD’s car goes the Metrognome route, though because we have more than $500 to spend, we have a much more elegant solution.  Power is transferred through the stock YFZ transmission and through an upgraded sprocket on the engine case.  The stock gearbox is plenty strong for an SAE car.  This car without a driver weighs 470 pounds.  The car is then chain driven to a modified sprocket bolted to a custom built rear differential.  The diff guts are from a Honda quad.  This diff is a Salisbury type LSD.  The inner parts are housed in a custom built aluminum case.

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