Despite the fact that last week marked the onset of spring break for students at UT Austin, the members of Longhorn Racing utilized the free time to their advantage. With no classes to worry about or exams to take, the team bunkered down in the garage for the week, working hard to get ahead of schedule on the 2016 car.
The week got off to a rough start, with the suspension team realizing that they would need to re-make the bell cranks and pillow blocks that had already been machined using the Tormach CNC due to the parts being ovular. However, the bad news was tempered with good; after outsourcing some parts to be manufactured by our partners at Reed Prototype Manufacturing, we received the completed rear uprights, our diff housing, and our rear hubs!
Meanwhile, the chassis sub-team has been finishing the frame of the car to prepare for final assembly. By the end of break, they had welded in the floor tubes and tacked in shock mounts. In addition, four of the six engine mounts are in place; soon they’ll be ready to place the engine in the car!
As the engine mounts were put in place, the engine sub-team set to work fine-tuning the engine. The ECU errors that had been plaguing them have been fixed, enabling the team to tune the engine for idle! The exhaust is ready to be tacked in as well. Their next task is to manufacture the radiator mounts whose design was finalized over break.
After working out the last few details, the ergonomics sub-team has completely finalized their designs for the pedal assembly, and they finished water jetting both the throttle stop and throttle wheel. Now, they’re waiting on an order for a throttle, shifter, and clutch cable that they ordered after specifying the details and matching them to the appropriate part.
Finally, the aerodynamics sub-team completed a lot of work. The CNC molds for the nose cone are now 80% done; this weekend, they’ll finish the final four pieces that will then be ready to bondo and prime. The sidepod molds for the 2015 and 2016 cars have been manufactured; both of the 2015 molds and one of the 2016 molds have been primed and are ready for lay-ups.
With dedicated members spending their spring break doing what they love - designing and building race cars - Longhorn Racing made significant progress during their time off school, and the team is already looking forward to getting back in the garage this weekend to bring their projects another step closer to completion!