Over the course of the last two terms, I have researched, designed, purchased, and modified Constant Velocity, or CV joints to be used in this year’s Union BAJA racing car. In a typical car, there is a CV joint connected to the central drivetrain and another connected to the wheel. In between the two joints is an axle that transfers rotational energy from the inner joint to the outer, which then spins the wheel. The term Constant Velocity is used because the ball bearings inside spin on the plane of constant velocity, meaning the input and output components of the joints have the exact same rotational velocity. Universal joints, a very common joint for transmitting rotational energy, don’t have this feature so they experience greater stresses and provide rougher rides. Between the two joint types, CV joints are stronger and can transmit more power than universal joints, making them a common feature for modern cars. I initially planned to manufacture these joints. But due to their complicated geometry they would be too difficult to manufacture in house. Thus began my search. I found a CV axle that can be modified to work in the BAJA car. This past term has been dedicated to finalizing the design and engineering of the necessary modifications, including reducing the diameter of the shafts of one of the CV joints and lengthening the axle that goes between the two joints.
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