As Spring Break approaches, Longhorn Racing is working in full gear to bring the 2016 car to completion and go into the holiday on a good note. This weekend, the frame sub-team’s main goal for the week was to completely finish the steering assembly. This involved making sure that the steering wheel is centered on the frame and in a comfortable position for the driver before welding the mounts for it in place. After that, they could focus on the steering column. By the end of Saturday, the frame team was able to get the steering position mocked up and the assembly tacked in! Frame team was on a roll as they were also able to install the rear support for the seat, all of the bell crank tabs, finish half of the rod ends, and install two of the engine mounts. With the 2016 car one step closer to completion, the frame team was able to count the weekend as a success.
The aerodynamics team continued machining foam to create the molds for the nosecone. They are now halfway done and have the other half of the nosecone to machine out. The aero team also completed the side pod mold production for the 2015 car and continued to make progress on the 2016 side pods after minor design changes. This week, they look forward to preparing the 2015 molds for a lay up and finish making the 2016 molds.
The machine shop was a bustling center of activity with team members manufacturing everything from rod ends on the lathe to CNC-ing pillow blocks. All four pillow blocks were precisely machined using the Tormach CNC mill and now only need a few final touches before they are ready to be installed into the car. After weeks of wrestling with drawings, machines, and stock, both pedal rails were finally machined to perfection. The base pedal plate was also machined and the pedal assembly is almost ready to go into the car. Overall, it was a very productive weekend in the machine shop with lots of good work done by our team members!
With the stock engine harness out and the new PE3 ECU wiring harness on the engine with our custom intake and exhaust, our engine team is working hard to tune the engine. The glowing headers and the beautiful roar of the engine this weekend gave team members the motivation they needed to push harder as our deadlines to reach key milestones to finishing our car approach quickly.
Meanwhile, the team kept their doors open for the Explore UT event. This is a day dedicated to showing Texans the importance of the public research done at UT while also allowing them to take part in a variety of hands-on demonstrations and experiences to learn more about what the university has to offer. With so much work to be done in the garage, Longhorn Racing needed all hands on deck to keep working, but we were more than happy to show the car and the garage to anyone interested in learning more.
This coming weekend, Longhorn Racing, along with UT Austin’s Solar Vehicle Team, will be at the SX Create event at the Palmer Events Center on March 11-13 showcasing our cars and our programs. Keep an eye out on our social media (Facebook, Twitter) for more details to come but please come check us out if you are in town for SXSW! We hope to see you there!