Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Timothy Hight

Second Advisor

Michael Taylor


Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is an intercollegiate competition to design, fabricate, and race a small, single passenger, off-road vehicle powered by a 10 HP Briggs & Stratton 4-Stroke gasoline engine. The purpose of this project was to optimize the design of a baja vehicle appropriate enough to compete in the SAE competition held in California and perform finite element analysis (FEA) for the verification of the frame and overall design of the vehicle. The design of this vehicle was created through outside research of previous baja buggies made for the competition and the group was split into three subdivisions (frame, suspension, and drivetrain) to make the environment more efficient. For the design of the vehicle, a steep caster and a negative camber gains through the suspension cycle was created. The desired specification of 5 degrees positive caster were met better handling and self-centering steering. The design process focused on minimizing redundant members by applying three different Finite Element Analysis approaches that helped develop an efficient geometry, operating within the stress limits. The status of the vehicle is that it was not fully completed and therefore unable to compete in the competition. It is currently in the Machine Shop at Santa Clara University to better assist the future SCU all-girls design team in 2018.