Engineering Projects/SAE Car/Howard Community College/Fall2012

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Photo 4.JPG

Team Members[edit | edit source]




Chad W

Summary[edit | edit source]

The team brought together was able to acquire a non-functional Ethanol fueled car. The car was originally designed to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and has been rumored to have hit 500 mpg at some point. For now the team is hard at work documenting and listing all parts and functions of the modified parts of the car. The reason people build these types of cars is to enter a competition based upon multiple categories judging the car.

Here is a link to a page describing the competition:

SAE car competition

Poster[edit | edit source]

Story[edit | edit source]

The teams story is a tale of wits and cunning. We were given a car with little knowledge on its current condition and not much to go off of on actual examination. We've taken careful measurements of the vehicle and began work on drawing out a scale model of the chassis of the vehicle. While measuring out the vehicle we took careful note as to what the car still had and we did some small tests on it to see it's condition. After many failed attempts at trying to get the car to start with the hand starter we realized there were some problems. The very first thing we noticed was that the car had no fuel! That's definitely a deal breaker when it comes to engines. Once the Vehicle was fueled up we gave it another go. Nothing. Along side the car there were various toggle switches and we tried many combinations while trying to hand start the car... nothing. As it turns out we had ANOTHER missing component: the battery. We came to the conclusion that we shouldn't even need a battery to hand start the car because we're manually providing the power that is needed to start it to begin with. Given that it was clear that none of the electrical components would work though. Puzzled by the fact that the car wouldn't start up we took a look at the engine itself. As it turns out the spark plugs were no good, they were wasted. Without spark plugs the engine would never get the first initial explosion needed to start the machine up and we would never get it to run. Although all of this seems discouraging it did not stop us. We Began to list and label all of the components that we had and strove to document all of our parts and decide what we wanted to do from there.

Decision List[edit | edit source]

Purchase Ethanol: Unanimous vote for yes.

Purchase Battery: Decided at No

Purchase Spark plugs: Decided that soon they will be bought because they're cheap.

Remove Engine: In time

Modify car: Unanimous for yes.

Modify for faster speeds or acceleration: 3 Acceleration, 1 for speed.

Modify For Best fuel efficiency: Unanimous No.

Material List[edit | edit source]

-Future Purchases

   Battery for Car
   More Ethanol based fuel. E85
   Possible Need for carbeurator.
   New spark plug
   Possible engine swap
   New gears to attain faster speeds and acceleration
   New drivetrain
   Remodeling of Chassis
   Fiber glass, fiberglass, fiberglass.
   Raw metal
   A Welder
   Welding lessons?
   Cushions for a seat
   A new seat?

Wheels and tires possibly depending on the direction the car project is to be taken.

Software List[edit | edit source]

This project does not require any software.

Time[edit | edit source]

40 hours.

Tutorials[edit | edit source]

Next Steps[edit | edit source]

Our team has documented all of the important information about this car. Information such as the engine problems, the dimensions of the car, links to pages about the car, etc. The next team to take over this project won't have to start from scratch. They will be able to find all of the important information on the car rather easily, located either on this page or on the pages of the individual team members, and thus save valuable time which they can spend working to improve the car. The place where the next team should begin is the engine, replacing the spark plugs and doing problem analysis to find any further problems there might be with the engine.