Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Drazen Fabris

Second Advisor

Michael Taylor


The objective of the project is to design and manufacture an off-road vehicle that is able to climb hills, maneuver around technical courses, and accelerate while meeting all rules and design criteria set by SAE. To best cover all aspects of vehicle manufacture, the design process was broken down into three subsystems: transmission, chassis and suspension. The transmission is the propulsion system of the vehicle and turns the engine output into motion. The chassis serves as the primary roll cage, support system, and framework for all other subsystems. The suspension elevates the chassis from the ground as the vehicle maneuvers over rough terrain, and keeps the wheels in contact with uneven terrains. The main focus for the design of each subsystem is maneuverability. This goal is achieved through the design of a lightweight chassis, a suspension system that supports control and speed during cornering and creates a small turning radius, and a driveline that incorporates reverse functionality. For the final design, the resulting chassis is 78.1” long and 36.2” wide with a final weight of 75.9 lbs. In terms of the suspension, the resulting camber angle of the front suspension is -4.27°, with a toe angle of -0.1°, and 9.31” ground clearance. The final driveline resulted in a forward gear ratio of 13.25:1 from the gearbox, with a range of 3:1 to 0.45:1 from the CVT used in the system. This thesis outlines the planning, design, analysis and integration of the 2018 SCU Mini Baja team.

SCU Access Only

To access this paper, please log into or create an account in Scholar Commons using your email address.