Los Altos Academy of Engineering


This is the legacy vehicle, Speed Racer. LAAE felt that Speed Racer was not through with its racing life though, and the Academy pulled it out of its retirement. Below are a few changes that were made so that Speed Racer can run in Electrathons.

Disk Brakes: One of the most esential components. Has multiple effects that can change the whole race. helps the driver make quick turns. Made out of titanium. 160mm brakes. Must have a specific diameter shape. Want round but not for the to bounce. use aztek disc brakes. We had a disk brakes malfunction because of fatigue and the force rthat was on it. and we are getting new disc brakes use. Ran sufficient. Much better. Using for the oregon electrathon.

After some research, the students of LAAE discovered that the old drum brakes the vehicle had were not made for stopping the vehicle. They immediately set out to change this and installed disk breaks onto the vehicle.

Spindle: It is where the tire connects to the rim, holds the tire to the car. Steel bar, threaded on one side, keeping the castle nut in place,

The spindle was changed becuase of the new brakes that Speed Racer had received. The old spindle was not going to work with disk brakes.

Rear Axle and Motor(kev w): kev looked into buying new motors. the problem was not enough horse power. an increase of 1 horse power. when combined with new gear ratio, the car moves faster. The rear axle that Speed Racer had before had become stripped and was no longer usable. The same applies to the motor that Speed Racer used to have. (paul)

Gear ratio: LAAE's students conducted some research to find what the best gear ratio between the motor and the rear wheel was. Originally, the ratio was 6:1, but was changed to a 5:1 ratio. (Kev W.)

Batteries: -The driving force of the vehicles, the batteries are possibly the most important component in defining the performance of a car. They have limited effective lifespans, and vary widely in weight, capacity, and performance. Many models can be considered sufficient for our purposes, but there is often more to consider than raw factory specifications.

-Speed Racer has undergone several heart transplants throughout its tenure. It was christened bearing the traditional Optima YellowTop™ in a 24-volt configuration. As new technologies arose, the Optimas were exchanged for a set of Power Sonic PG-12V55 FR long life series, which the most recent vehicle, Volt, inherited. The picture above features the third installation of batteries, the Odyessey PC-925. Because this type is so lightweight, the vehicle was able to accommodate 3 in a set, resulting in a 36-volt configuration. Today, Speed Racer is sporting a 24-volt set of Odyessey ER-40 (aka PC1100).

-Why all of the changes? Our choices were influenced by several factors, including race legal weight requirements, the lifespan of the batteries, and the availibity of their replacements. Our Electrical Team carefully and consistently regulates each pack's discharge and charge cycle to develop their effective output capacity, so whatever the case, we are race ready.


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