Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Richard Gross

First Reader

Dr. Scott Sawyer

Second Reader

Dr. S. Graham Kelly


This report will present a thorough look at the design, analysis, construction and testing of the powertrain for the 2015 Zips Baja Race team at the University of Akron. The team saw great performance this year in hill climb and suspension events, placing 7th in suspension and 13th in hill climb at the 2015 Auburn, AL competition. This performance, coupled with feedback from the drivers during the endurance race, ensures that Akron Zips Baja has developed one of the best performing cars on the track. The main goals for this year's transmission design were the following:

  1. Decreasing System Weight
  2. Increase Power Transmission Efficiency
  3. Develop a function Gearbox Design
  4. Reduce Center of Gravity Height
  5. Increase Vehicle Speed
  6. Decrease Transmission Maintenance
  7. Meet all gear ratio requirements of competition with a single gear reduction following the rubber belt CVT.
  8. Incorporate an inboard braking system mounted to the gearbox