Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2017


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Charles Pringle

Third Committee Member

Roger Beardsley


The ASME Baja car is a student built radio controlled car, which will compete with other schools in a variety races. The drivetrain aspect of the car must smoothly transfer power from the motor to the rear wheels of the car. The drivetrain must be designed in collaboration with the other team member’s suspension system to avoid interference. The majority of the parts in the drivetrain are purchased parts intended for various applications. These parts were chosen based on their proximity to the optimal calculated values. Power flows from the electric motor through a single gear reduction, then through a single timing belt drive reduction, next through a differential, then through universal joint axles and finally to the rear wheels. The gear reduction was chosen for gears ability to provide low reduction ratios and high torque capacity. The timing belt drive was chosen for the ability to absorb impact due to their elasticity this helps to maintain smooth power delivery. The differential is used to allow the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds through corners, this further increases smoothness of power delivery as well as improving driver control. Universal joint axles were chosen for their ability to transfer power from a stationary point (differential) to an oscillating point (wheel hub). This drivetrain design allows smooth and controllable power delivery, however, the weight of the rotating components take enough power to reduce the top speed of the car out of the target range.