Rear Driven Snowmobile for CSC

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Sponsors BRP
Team Name Skiddadle
Duration June 2019 - Dec. 2019
Faculty Adviser
  • Steve Beyerlein PhD.
  • Zach Hacker
  • Dan Cordon PhD. / UICSC
Team Members
  • Omar Ruiz
  • Saleh Alkhathami
  • Adam Thurgood

The goal of the project is to design an effective and fully functional rear driven track for the Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team. This design is to be implemented on the snowmobile for use during the 2020 SAE Clean Snowmobile Competition.


Problem Definition[edit]

Conventional snowmobiles have tracks that are driven from the front causing the top of the tack to be pulled in tension and the bottom of the track to be pushed in compression. The portion of the track in contact with the snow, being in compression, causes losses in efficiency and decreased handling. The clean snowmobile team anticipates to see drastic improvements in the following competition events: Acceleration, handling, and endurance.


Currently there are not any rear driven snowmobiles on the market. This is mainly due to manufacturers wanting to reduce sled weight and simplify designs. Aftermarket rear driven snowmobile prototypes have been made in the past, however their application is mainly for drag racing snowmobiles. The past CSC projects that have attempted this type of design are detailed below.

2011-2012 This Senior Design Project was the first attempt by the UICSC team at implementing a rear drive snowmobile skid. The design this team created involved a gear and chain system that ran down the center of the tunnel. Having the chain in this configuration meant the team had to redesign the suspension, and complete a finite element analysis. Once the system was fabricated and testing could be done, the team found that their chain would brake too often/quickly; they concluded that they were lacking a chain tensioner.

IMG 20130612 131014 665.jpg

2014-2015 During this school year another senior design team took a second crack at tackling the rear driven snowmobile. Following findings by previous group, and adapting the built skid from the 2011 project they added a chain tensioner. However due to part receival delays the system was not completed not implemented on the sled for competition.

Due to a change in SAE competition rules a chain and gear system would need to be fully shielded and an oil bath and lubrication system would need to be implemented. The amount of modification and weight adage to do this leads our team to explore other avenues of research.

2015 A masters student, Matthew Kologi, looked into this design problem as a part of completing his masters degree. He performed conceptual and ideological experiments in detail to explore the theoretical efficiencies that could be gained from implementing a rear driven skid. In his analysis he explored a drive shaft and pinion gear system. In his road load models he found that once a cruise speed is reached there is little resistance to maintain the cruise speed. Being a conceptual design exploration there isn't any information detailing how such a system would fair on snow.

New cap3.PNG


Our teams goal is to design, fabricate and test a rear driven snowmobile. The implementation of this system is hoped to improve competition activities where handling, fuel efficiency, and overall sled performance is necessary. The system should maintain the full functionality of a stock snowmobile. Minimal weight addition is desirable. Any designs involving the electronic transmission of power from the engine, clutch, and/or crank shaft must be submitted to the SAE competition proprietors prior to the competition for approval. Other deliverables include:

    * Two people should be able to swap out stock and designed skids with relative ease.
    * Detailed 3D model & engineering drawing package.
    * Complete assembly and installation instructions.
    * In-depth FEA for re-designed suspension system.


SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge Requirements
Description Value Unit
Sound Requirement- SAE J1161 < 67 dBA
Endurance Run 100 mi.
Acceleration -10 sec run 500 ft.
Weighted Acceleration 500 lbs.

Meet sound requirements for National Parks

Design Considerations[edit]

Preliminary Designs:

Picture Cost Weight Size Pros Cons
Single Rear Drive
Easily adaptable
Oil bath not required
Cost effective
Possible efficiency Losses
Relocation of brake
Moderate alteration of suspension
Dual Drive
Brake relocation unnecessary
Easily adaptable
Oil bath not required
Cost effective
Possible efficiency Losses
Moderate alteration of suspension
Pump $
Driver $
High Pressure Hose $
Electrical $
Hydraulic Oil $
Materials $
Hardware $
Hydrostatic Motor
Minimal suspension modification
Flexible power transfer
Electronic Power Transmission
Decreased sound output
Mounting of extra parts adds weight

Hydro-static power transmission implemented motorcycles

Final Design[edit]


Team Members[edit]

Omar Pic.jpg

Omar Ruiz

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Wenatchee WA
Responsibility: Wiki Master, Team Meeting Organizer

Picture Saleh.png

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Riyadh KSA
Responsibility: Budget, Purchasing


Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Post Falls ID
Responsibility: Client Contact, Recorder

Additional Documentation[edit]

Team Contract File:Capstone-TeamContract-Rev1.pdf

Product Requirements Document File:Product Requirements-Skiddadle-rev1.pdf

Project Schedule File:Project Schedule Su-Fall-snap1.pdf

Project Budget File:Budget Su-Fall-snap1.pdf

Meeting Minutes

File:Meeting Minutes-6-25.pdf

File:Meeting Minutes-7-2.pdf