Formula SAE: What a Few Car College Gear Heads Can Do In Their Free Time


The cockpit is built to suit the 95th percentile driver, per FSAE rules.  The seat is custom made from carbon fiber and is molded from a Kirkey aluminum drag racing seat.  The steering wheel is a 190mm wheel from Momo and mounted to a Grant quick release hub.  A G-Force 6-point cam-lock harness is used to hold the driver in place.  The switch panel holds a main power switch, a switch for the radiator fan, the starter button, and the brake bias knob.  The dashboard is an AIM MXL digital dash for data logging and information display.

Carbon Fiber seat shell

A little rough around the edges, but this is the seat for the car.  The edges will be lined with moulding to prevent tearing up the driver’s clothes and the rough spots will be sanded out.  It will then be covered with vinyl for a sano look.  This seat was molded in one of the team member’s basement in a rush to get a running car deadline completed.  A G-Force 6-point harness is used to hold the driver in place.



 AIM MXL dash

The nerve center of the car is here.  The AIM MXL dash provides all the info the driver needs, and includes a data logging feature.  The switch panel on the left houses power, starter, and fan power.  A similar panel is on the right with a brake bias knob.  Bias is adjusted via a balance bar on the brake pedal.  Through the steering wheel you can see the sequential shifter.

The pedal box is quite trick.  The pedal box is custom fabricated from aluminum square tubing, as are the pedals themselves.  This makes a very light and compact pedal structure.  The brake pedal is the only off the shelf piece, made by Wilwood.  One trick feature of the pedals is their adjustability.  SAE rules require adjustable pedals to suit different drivers.  The pedal box rides on a threaded rod to adjust pedal length for differing drivers.The front bulkhead holds the reservoirs for the master cylinders, as well as a brake overthrow switch and the crush structure.

 Custom built pedal box

The custom built pedal box.  The rail on the right is threaded and can be quickly spun with a ratchet to accommodate drivers.  The left rail is smooth.

In February when these pictures were taken, there was still much work to be done which is why there is no bodywork on the car.  The frame is also bare metal because there were still a lot of little tabs to be welded on.  Once the fabrication was finished bodywork was made and the frame painted.  This will all be shown later on in Part Two.  In Part Two we will cover the drivetrain as well as the near season ending twist the team faced right after the team got the car running.

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