The hydrostat Baja runs

Published 2010-04-22

I've been helping the Mini Baja team at school with a research project: We want to see if we can get the Baja to run using hydrostat motors instead of a geared transmission. That would save us the problem of stripped gears and broken CV shafts. Two other students (Mary and Ryan) and myself worked on this for quite a while, and we finally got it put together correctly, and took it outside to run it around.

Unfortunately the top speed is pretty low, and the torque is surprisingly limited. The motors can be adjusted, so we aren't bothered by the initial results. Ryan estimates (by running next to it while it's driving) that it probably drives at 10 mph at top speed, so hopefully by adjusting the motors we can get it up to 35 mph for next years car. Here are some pictures of the car:

Mary in the Baja

We saw a smart car in the parking lot

The Baja is about an inch or so taller, and has bigger back tires

These are the hydrostat motors

The other guys are inside working on final assembly of this years Baja, which they will take to the competitions. Here are some pictures of it:

This years Baja

Back end, this one uses a normal transmission (not installed)

The front assembly, showing the brakes and such

Royce standing next to new Baja, to show scale

This years Baja is much smaller than the hydrostat Baja that I am helping with, which was last years model (using a normal transmission). Finally, a picture of our school colors, painted onto the new Baja:

Nebraska Engineering