FHSAE Voltz N Boltz

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Formula Hybrid Vehicle picture from 2012.

(photo courtesy of ___________)

Team Name Voltz N' Boltz (FHSAE)
Duration Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
Faculty Advisers
  • Jordan Anderson
  • Jonathan Andring
  • Derek Arrotta
  • Amos Bartlow
  • Adam Bunch
  • Ignacio Lopez
  • Nathan Peterson

The Vandal Hybrid Racing Team is a non-profit organization which advances the education of future engineers by designing and building a vehicle to compete in the annual Formula Hybrid competitions. The mission of the Vandal Hybrid Racing Team is to build the best Formula Hybrid vehicle possible using our acquired engineering and real world skills while having a good time. The Vandal Hybrid Racing Team is a great way for students to gain appreciation for the hands on side of engineering. Many skills used to build the formula hybrid vehicle are not taught in the class, but gained through trial and error along with plenty of practice. Because of the vast range of skills students learn while being a team member, the project produces very well rounded engineers with an appreciable understanding of how to apply engineering principles to every day challenges.

Sub-System Redesigns

VALVE COVER ISSUE: At the beginning of the year we were only equipped with one valve cover and two engines (one for the dyno and one on the car). This was inconvenient because of the time that it took to switch them out between testing on the dyno and physical testing of the car.


  • Create solid model and convert into Mastercam.
  • Machined on HAAS CNC mill using the Mastercam code, and manual mill used for the cam sensor hole.
  • We ran the engine with the new valve cover to check for leaks and see if the cam sensor was still working.
  • Old valve cover placed on dyno engine.
  • No future work is needed at this point, design was a success.
Figure 1: Final Valve Cover.
Figure 2: Valve Cover on the engine.
BODY ISSUE:Need a new lightweight body design. We need to figure out how to mold it, how to scale it to fit the vehicle, and make sure the body shape will fit correctly around the frame and components.


  • Artemio, our Virtual Technology Design major, designed the body in 3DS max.
  • Imported model into CATIA to give the surface a thickness so that the model is a "real" part.
  • Scale CAD model to fit our frame and check for unexpected interference's with other components of vehicle so that we can reshape the body shape accordingly.
  • Finalize the CAD model to send into Jason Stirpe at Janicki Industries so that they can shape the mold we will use to lay down the carbon fiber body shape. This also requires a written proposal, and then they will decide if they will help us with the mold.
  • Shape the body (we already have carbon fiber).
Figure 3: Body Design by Artemio Ambriz.
DRIVE BY WIRE ISSUE: The throttle body is actuated by old worn out cable design. We need to update drive by wire for throttle body system.


  • After research we decided to go to an electrically actuated throttle body because we can have more control of the vehicle not only through use of our ECU but with the addition of our standalone energy management system.
  • We are currently testing and troubleshooting our test bench setup and starting to incorporate the EMS.
Figure 4: Drive By Wire Control Scheme.
THROTTLE BODY ISSUE: update throttle body for electronic drive by wire.


SUSPENSION ISSUE: Current suspension design is outdated compared to other teams using composite suspension materials.


  • Design new carbon fiber suspension.
TRACTIVE SYSTEM MEASURING POINT (TSMP) ISSUE: Old design doesn't incorporate Ground Low Voltage (GLV) measuring points.


  • Design and manufacture a new TSMP that complies with current rules.
APEX JOINT ISSUE: In need of replacement in order to reduce steering wheel slop.


  • Ordered and modified a new apex joint.
PINGEL SHIFTER ISSUE: Pingel shifter lacks capability to downshift, and sometimes has problems upshifting too.


  • Contacted Pingel to verify the maximum rated output force from the Pingel Electric Shifter , which is 30-35 lbs at its full range of motion.
  • Measured the force it takes to shift the engine with a fish scale by pulling on the end of the shift lever (about 30 lb maximum).
  • Fabricated jig to measure the output force from the Pingel Electric Shifter (see fig. 5), which came to be about 30 lb.
  • Lengthened the shift lever to provide more torque from the Pingel Electric Shifter, and to allow the Pingel Electric Shifter to generate the maximum force with its full range of movement.
  • Hook up engine ignition kill module to “unload” the engine during shifting.
  • Fix the centrifugal clutch to fully disengage at idle (different issue.)
  • Higher capacity charging system to prevent voltage drop at low engine rpm and/or during shifting.
  • Shifter now sits too low, so we need to fix the ground clearance.
Figure 5: Pingel shifter jig used to measure output force.
Figure 6: Diagram of up/down shifting directions.
STAGING CLUTCH ISSUE: Need new staging clutch to get more torque and higher RPM's when accelerating from rest. This issue may arise from our Rekluse clutch that was used as the replacement for our manual clutch. We can't just buy a new manual clutch because he YZ250F engine is custom machined so it wouldn't fit properly.


  • Replace Rekluse clutch with a specialty manual clutch designed by ourselves.
  • Design a cam system that will linearly actuate the push rod, which will separate the clutch plates allowing the car to be in a neutral state and be able to raise the RPMs while remaining static.The cam will be actuated by a clutch cable that is attached to a hand lever on the steering wheel.
  • Incorporate scatter shield within regulations of the rules.
  • Solid model system in CATIA or SolidWorks.
  • Manufacture/Install system.
BRAKES ISSUE: Brakes severely drag/lock up when hot and the normal brake drag increases rolling resistance, low pressure brake lines were not protected lines (need to be braided metal as stated by rules), a single hydraulic reservoir was used to supply the front and rear master cylinders with hydraulic fluid and is inadequate, and brake over travel switch only momentarily shuts down the vehicle when it needs to be permanently shut down in the event that the brake pedal travels too far (ex: hydraulic leak).
    • Requirements:
      • System that acts on all four wheels from a single control
      • Two independent hydraulic circuits
      • Capable of locking all four wheels simultaneously
      • Plastic lines must be protected
      • Brake by wire prohibited
      • Must be protected from drivetrain failure/collisions
      • No portion mounted on the sprung vehicle can project below the lower surface of the frame
      • Pedal must withstand 2000 N force
      • Pedal must be fabricated from steel, aluminum, or machined from steel, aluminum or titanium
      • Pedal over-travel switch wired in series with the shutdown buttons
      • Brake light with at least 15 cm2 shining area.
    • Key Components:
      • Master Cylinders (MC)
      • Brake Over-Travel Switch
      • Brake lines, Hard/Flexible Braided Stainless
      • Pressure Switch
      • Brake Light
      • Front/Rear Calipers
    • Existing System:
      • 4 calipers.
      • 7 inch front rotors, 7.5 inch rear rotors.
      • 0.75 in. diameter MC
      • 60% weight distribution on the front, 40% on the rear (heavy braking).
      • 62% brake bias on the front, 38% on the rear.
      • Front/rear bias adjustable through a balance beam between the two master cylinders (djustable between 38-62%).
      • 130 lb. driver input force to lock up the wheels.


  • Found new self-retracting calipers from Wilwood.
  • Created math model to calculate the required input force from the driver to lock up the wheels with our newly proposed Wilwood calipers.
  • Increase brake rotor diameter to increase the braking power (0.22 in^3 of master cylinder volume to cycle two calipers).
  • Designed a new mounting bracket for the calipers.
  • Sourced and installed braided stainless steel lines for the low pressure brake lines.
  • Designed and fabricated a new mount to include two hydraulic reservoirs instead of one.
  • Installed single pole, single throw toggle switch to act as a brake over travel switch.
  • Return spring added to pedal.
    • New System:
      • 4 calipers.
      • 8 inch front rotors, 8 inch rear rotors.
      • 0.625 in. diameter MC
      • 60% weight distribution on the front, 40% on the rear (heavy braking).
      • 62% brake bias on the front, 38% on the rear.
      • 92 lb. driver input force to lock up the wheels.
  • Finish installing the new Wilwood calipers.
  • Drive vehicle to test the brake system to ensure that all four wheels can be locked up.
  • Verify that the rolling resistance has been reduced.
  • Fix leaks with new seal design.
  • Decrease the required input force from the driver needed to lock up the wheels
    • Decrease bore size to generate more pressure
    • Increase the bore length to increase the volume
Figure 7: Brake Bias Adjustment
Figure 7: Caliper mount stress analysis
ENGINE MANAGEMENT ISSUE: Engine needs to be tuned and maintained at an optimal level.


Key Components:

  • Motech M800: windows based interface, RS32 or CAN connection, not easily corrupted, help forums and help line available 24/7. Leading professional Motorsports aftermarket ECU. Maximum ability to tune engine including spark advance, dwell, pulse width, injection timing, multiple style fuel maps and efficiency calculations. Most accurate form of Crank and Cam position sensing and calculation.
  • Cam Sensor:
    • Single tooth on Exhaust Cam crosses sensor when piston is located at TDC of Compression Stroke; This is known as the Sync pulse which allows the ECU to know what Stoke it is on.
    • Hall Sensor for Cam: Reading off intake came lobe. Same sensor as Yamaha R6, 3 wire sensor (power, ground, signal), square wave, mounted through side of valve cover.
  • Crank Position: 12-1 wheel slip fit over YZ250F Flywheel and tacked into place. 12-1 chosen to give high enough resolution for 10,000+ RPM. More teeth would cloud the signal and not give as clear of a wave. 12-1 is the smallest standard used that I found in my research. Stock Mag sensor will be used in its stock location. This will minimize changes to case and cost.


  • Run tests on the dyno engine and use that data to tune the real engine.
  • Maintain engine during driving/testing days.
2014 FHSAE EngMgmt.jpg
ENERGY MANAGEMENT ISSUE: no effective coordination between the electric motor and the engine. User must choose which mode (electric, Internal combustion, or Hybvrid) to run in which is extremely inefficient and does not utilize the system to it's full potential.


  • Creating an energy management system (EMS) using a PIC32 microprocessor and a drive by wire system as described above enables the vehicle to choose what mode it operates in and how much power is created by each of the two sources. The EMS takes input from the throttle, battery state of charge, wheel speed sensors to determine the best mode of operation.
2014 FHSAE Controldiagram.jpg
DATA ACQUISITION ISSUE: on-board data collection is needed to support future development.


  • The data acquisition system is built into the microprocessor already in place for the EMS. This allows future developments in the management scheme as well. Inputs are taken from many sensors around the vehicle and output via a serial connection to a USB host controller which writes the data to a thumb drive on the dash.
Figure 9:?????
FIREWALL ISSUE: Hybrid rules changed, we have to make sure the firewall is sealed and in compliance with any other rules.


  • Figure out which material we'll use, and if it's going to be a new design, or a reworking of the old design.

Competition Design Analysis

Structural Equivalency Report

Impact Attenuator Report

IA Rules

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Design Report

High Voltage DFMEA

Marketing Presentation


Local Track Layout



Engine Testing

Motor Testing

Team Profile

Jordan Anderson, M.E.
I am a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Idaho. I grew up in northeast Washington playing sports. I have always enjoyed motorsport and have been a member of the formula hybrid team for the last three years. My responsibilities have been extremely various from cutting out firewall closeouts, to designing an engine management wiring harness to design of a throttle by wire system. I will graduate with a B.S.M.E. in May of 2014.​ Throttle By Wire & Throttle Body

Engine Management

Jonathan Andring, M.E.
I am a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Idaho. I grew up most of my life in northern Idaho and enjoy many outdoor activities including, skiing, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and ATV riding. I also enjoy engine rebuilding and tinkering on various mechanical systems. When I graduated from high school, I went to North Idaho College for the Welding Technology program. After graduating from this program, I went to work for Diedrich Manufacturing, a manufacturer of high end coffee roasters. My work at Diedrich Manufacturing included fabricating/welding tubular and sheet metals parts, many of which were labor intensive and detailed. I also worked on many new designs/prototypes. After about three and a half years, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to go back to school for mechanical engineering. Now, four and a half years later, I am on the hybrid formula car SAE design team, and will be graduating in May of 2014 with my B.S.M.E. Brake System & Pingel Shifter

Chief Engineer

Derek Arrotta, M.E.
I grew up in Spokane, WA and have done most of my higher education in Idaho. I've continuously been on the deans list and honor roll the past two years at the University of Idaho, passed the FE exam, and currently have a 3.52 GPA. I'm a huge fan of music, I play the guitar, love to play basketball and soccer, rock climb, and hike in my free time. So far I've been interested in creative design (Solidworks and CATIA) and the dynamics of project management. Although career-wise I am open to all forms of engineering and am eager to learn more. Engine Management

Wiki Manager, Rules and Safety Officer, ESAC funding, CATIA Manager, and I helped with body, firewall, and early Pingel Shifter design.

Amos Bartlow, E.E.
I grew up in Nampa, ID where my love for engines and vehicles came about by riding dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and various other recreational vehicles. If it has a throttle, goes fast, and burns fossil fuels, count me in. I am a senior in electrical engineering with an emphasis in high frequency circuits, and micro-controllers. I have had the opportunity to be a member and am currently a captain on the SAE clean snowmobile challenge team, which is unique as an electrical engineer. I really enjoy combining my love of vehicles and my fascination with electronics in the FHASE and CSC teams. As an Air Force ROTC cadet, upon graduation, I will commission as an officer in the Air Force and go to Pilot Training in Texas, where I look forward to taking my passion for vehicles and electronics to the skies. Energy Management, Low Voltage Controls, High Voltage Tractive System
Adam Bunch, M.E.
I am a Mechanical Engineer at the University of Idaho and will be graduating May 2014. I chose engineering because of my passion for racing and always trying to achieve top performance on whatever I was racing. I have been racing since I was of age to do so and because of that I joined the FHSAE team for senior design. I am currently assigned to the frame, impact int. and a redesign of a staging clutch for the car. Aside from engineering I am a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and ran track for the University for two years. Frame, Impact Attenuator
Ignacio Lopez, M.E.
A part of society of hispanic professional engineers, dean's list. Body, Ergonomics, Future Re-gen, Firewall
Nathan Peterson, M.E.
A part of SAE, theta chi fraternity, and resonate church. Achievements include dean's list (fall 2013 and spring 2012) and center for advanced energy studies (CASE) scholar. Suspension, Tractive System Measurement Point (TSMP), Apex Joint
Artemio Ambriz, V.T.D.
​I was born and raised in the small town of Rupert Idaho. I have always been fascinated with design and the virtual world. I knew I wanted to pursue higher education doing what I loved to do, so I decided to major in Virtual Technology and Design at the University of Idaho. I self-taught myself 3d Studio Max which is a 3d computer graphics program when I was a sophomore in high school. Vehicle Design and Racing are my main interests, which is why I wanted to be a part of FHSAE. I am also a member of Aerospace and Augmented Reality senior capstone group for my major. I will be graduating May of 2014 with a B.S in Virtual Technology and Design. Body Design

Designed the new body shape

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