Tucker Odegaard, Colton Hague

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jeunghwan Choi (Mechanical Engineering Technology), Charles Pringle (Mechanical Engineering Technology)


There was a need for an RC car that would turn the power of a brushless motor into torque to the wheels, in order for it to move forward and backward. The car needed to meet given requirements in order to compete in the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) RC Baja competition. The team requirements were to reach a top speed of 20 mph, turn 60° in both directions, survive a three-foot drop, and spend no more than $500 total on the project. In order to meet the requirements, the device chosen was an RC Baja that had a floating rear end. The Baja was broken down into two categories, the drivetrain and steering, which was completed by the principal engineer, and the chassis and suspension which was completed by Colton Hague. The complete device was modeled in SolidWorks based off of a two-wheel drive floating rear end vehicle. The assembly was then broken down into sub-assemblies which had certain parts that were manufactured as well as purchased. The principal engineer and Colton combined the sub-assemblies at the end in order to construct the device, as it was built on SolidWorks. After successfully completing construction, several tests were done to determine if the Baja was ready to race. All requirements above were met, and the device successfully competed in the competition.

Keywords: RC Baja, brushless motor, chassis/suspension/drivetrain


3 thoughts on “RC Baja – Drivetrain & Steering”

  1. Tucker and Colton,
    Great presentation! I love the idea behind this project and the resulting RC vehicle. When you entered your Baja Car into the competition, how did it rank? Was it just a completion competition or were you ranked against one another? In addition to this, would you make any other modifications aside from the change to aluminum over plastic?

    1. Hi Kendra,
      Thanks for the comments! When we entered the competition, we were competing against the other RC Baja’s that were made as senior projects. There were a total of four cars that competed and our car finished in third place. If I could make some modifications to the car, I would make some modifications to the rear differential that houses the gears. There would be some sort of gear locker installed that made sure there was no slipping between the gears.

      1. Tucker,
        That’s awesome! Was the gear slipping something you noticed greatly affected the performance of the initial run? Also, I’m not well versed in what a ‘gear locker’ would entail, but how might you go about implementing that?

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