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LBYMREU Final Project Documentation

Steering and Suspension Design of an Ordinary Mini Race Car

Submitted by:
Sabado, Audrian Louven R.

Submitted to:
Luis Bauelos

Date Submitted:
April 2015

What is a Mini 4 Wheel Drive?

Mini 4WD is any miniature model within the mini scale of between 1/20 (1:20) to 1/48 (1:48)
scale. It is being powered by AA batteries without remote control. All four wheels are directdrive, thus "4WD" for 4-wheel drive, as opposed to "AWD" or All-wheel drive. Horizontal side
rollers guide the vehicle against the vertical walls of the un-banked track for steering, providing
very fast speeds up to 65 kph (40 mph) on the track.
Applicable Improvements
There are mini race cars that already have improved functionalities being manufactured today.
Most of the improvements are the maneuverability and stability along off-roads while driving and
some have improved its durability and weight for increased speed and stiffness during driving.
So what can be improved on the mini race cars if those technologies already exist and being
applied as those technologies are also being improved in automobiles? As a Filipino student, I
would like to focus on the improvement of the local mini race cars sold here in the Philippines. I
would like to improve the functionality of the most known mini race car, Tamiya.

The Tamiya is Japanese mini race car manufacturer that is being played by most of the Filipino
children. Since Tamiya does not have the same technology of the other mini race car brands, I
would like to implement an improved automotive technology for the Tamiya mini 4WD so that
Filipino Tamiya fans can have more choices for their Tamiya mini-4WD customization.

Improvements Made

The improvements applied to the Tamiya mini 4WD is the steering and suspension technology.
These technologies were selected because these contribute to the driving stability and
maneuverability of the mini race car.
There is a change in the whole mechanism and additional components; the change is from a
4WD to a 2 wheel drive at the rear wheels. The reason for the 2 wheel drive is for the front
wheels to steer at a desired direction.

Suspension System
The additional components implemented are the shock absorbers and the steering system.

The shock absorbers, located near the 4 wheels, serve as the suspension technology of the
mini race car to reduce stresses acting on the chassis.

Steering System
The steering system is placed in the front wheel system. Its components are: stub axles, control
arms, and the steering arm.

The stub axles are the axles of the wheel and are designed to turn the wheel along the axis of
the control arms.

The control arms hold the stub axle and the shock absorbers. These will allow the stub axle to
turn left and turn right depending on the desired direction. The control arms are being
assembled in the chassis and the shock absorbers will separate the outside forces from the
chassis via control arms.

The steering arm is connected to the stub axles so that the turning of the wheels is aligned in
one direction.

Ackerman Steering Geometry Principle


The Ackerman Steering Principle defines the geometry that is applied to all vehicles (two or four
wheel drive) to enable the correct turning angle of the steering wheels to be generated when
negotiating a corner or a curve.

This means that to turn the wheels, one wheel should run faster than the other. By making the
wheel run faster than the other wheel, the inside wheel should have a higher angle from the
center point of the turning than the other.

The Ackerman steering principle can be seen in this image. Looking at the geometrical shape of
the stub axle and the steering arm, a trapezoidal shape can be seen. A trapezoidal shape
means that the Ackerman effect is applied. Meaning, the assembly product has an efficient
turning.

Manufacturing for the Product Improvement


Additional Parts
Shock Absorbers
Stub Axle
Control arms
Steering Arm

Material
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic

Process
Plastic Injection
Plastic Injection
Plastic Injection
Plastic Injection

Most of the additional parts will be made of plastic for the consistency of the parts and to
increase weightlessness of the assembly product. Since most of the parts are plastics, plastic
injection method is most likely applicable for rapid mass production.

References
[1] Mini 4WD
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_4WD>
[2] Ackermann Steering Principle
<http://www.rctek.com/technical/handling/ackerman_steering_principle.html>
[3] Shock Absorbers
<http://www.monroe.com.au/what-are-shocks/shock-absorbers-explained.html>