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Ideas for my senior design project?

Old 02-11-2011, 01:15 PM
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Ideas for my senior design project?

I will be graduating in a year and will be required to turn in a mechanical engineering senior design project. I would like to design or re-engineer something for the RX8 community. I am not 100% sure on the requirements yet but I would like to start ASAP on a design. Examples of past senior design products include a custom Baja drivetrain (computed gear ratios, gear box, etc), a spot welder, dual cylinder Baja brake system, etc. Again, all were designed and built from scratch. My friend has an impressive design, which is an actual variable compression ratio engine. His dad owns a Lotus dedicated shop so he does have the source for parts and machine on top of what we have at campus.

I would like some suggestions on ideas for my Senior M.E. Design. I have thought about an ignition system but they are already in existence. Lubrication alternatives like the SOHN adapter is also in existence. I have access to mills, lathes, welders, CNC mills, metals, etc. For CAD I have Solidworks and Autocad. I can run stress analysis on designs and such.

Last edited by SayNoToPistons; 02-11-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:24 PM
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Senior design projects are so fun. I'm also a MechE and when I was doing my senior project I really wanted to do something with cars. My group ended up deciding on designing veterinary surgical tools which was fun also. If I was doing it all over again and could do a project on my 8, I think I would develop an LED head light system that would be more energy efficient and brighter than the Xenon system. You could also integrate an autoleveling system that takes feedback from the steering angle sensor to turn motors that rotate the beam pattern. I know its been done in other cars but it would be neat to see that in an RX-8. Also, the variable compression motor your friend is working on was first developed by SAAB. They had a concept like that in the early 90's. Its an awesome design that I hope gets used in the future. Good luck with your design project!

-Lawrence
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:38 PM
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What about a bigger better flowing intake manafold? Or an Ls1 swap kit 100% complete with working gauges and the whole 9 yards. I'm not sure if this is what you meant 100% but those are my thoughts...
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:48 PM
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develop a straight cut dogbox for the 8, there are some really nice ones from Ikeya out there for S chassis and the DSM crowd but nothing for us,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHhJN...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxDIkTwdafE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbr5T...eature=related
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SayNoToPistons View Post
I will be graduating in a year and will be required to turn in a mechanical engineering senior design project. I would like to design or re-engineer something for the RX8 community. I am not 100% sure on the requirements yet but I would like to start ASAP on a design. Examples of past senior design products include a custom Baja drivetrain (computed gear ratios, gear box, etc), a spot welder, dual cylinder Baja brake system, etc. Again, all were designed and built from scratch. My friend has an impressive design, which is an actual variable compression ratio engine. His dad owns a Lotus dedicated shop so he does have the source for parts and machine on top of what we have at campus.

I would like some suggestions on ideas for my Senior M.E. Design. I have thought about an ignition system but they are already in existence. Lubrication alternatives like the SOHN adapter is also in existence. I have access to mills, lathes, welders, CNC mills, metals, etc. For CAD I have Solidworks and Autocad. I can run stress analysis on designs and such.

This is a toughee. Something worthy of your time and effort which has complexity and challenge probably has very low market demand and higher cost. The RX-8 market has a lot of budget oriented owners and the car's systems work pretty well. Here are a few ideas that come to mind:

-Machine a replacement camber adjustment for the top of the front shock tower so daily drivers can go to the track and dial in more camber to save their tires. They then return it to a more positive camber solution and drive it home. It's doable. Don't know why it hasn't been done before.

-There is a product out there that supplies the OMP from a remote reservoir and has a block off plate to prevent nasty crank case oil from being the engine combustion lubricant. www.rotaryaviation.com I believe. There is a better solution out there as a complete component systme with a 2 qt reservoir, lines, a blockoff plate, etc. We have found using own design with 2 stroke oil is much better than pulling oil from the crankcase. Gravity fed supply reservoir (up high and flowing downward) requires the reservoir to be located somewhere on or about the firewall. Packaging constraints for this.

-This is a pretty high end project that may not yield any results at all. You may know that the crazy Renesis has little room for easy power gains through more or changed air flow. One of the crazy things a few smart guys and I are kicking around is to repalce the iconel insert from the center exhaust port with a design that flows better. The exhaust out of the center port makes some nasty turns and flows poorly. Iconel is expensive to machine and testing this would be very expensive. It may not provide any gains at all. It would be interesting to try. ZERO market potential for this.

You appear up for a big challenge. Contact Rob and Pineapple Racing. He has a TON of knowledge that pretty much nobody knows about. I know he has always wanted to try a few things and perhaps he could lead you a bit.

Keep us posted.

-

Last edited by EricMeyer; 02-12-2011 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:01 PM
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Thanks for the informative posts. I well definitely contact the rotary biggies like Racing Beat, Rob, and Pineapple Racing for more ideas.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:24 PM
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Sounds like fun.

Contact Dave from KDR ( now speed source or something). Hes always got a bunch of ideas he's willing to share.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SayNoToPistons View Post
...Lubrication alternatives like the SOHN adapter is also in existence. ...
Yes, but there could be an improvement.

There are 2 alternatives at present

1 - SOHN adapter to use separate oil for OMP
2 - adding premix to the gas tank

I think there's a niche for a 3rd alternative. Design and implement a functional modern version of the Marvel Inverse Oiler.

This was a device that metered lubricating oil into the air/fuel stream, based on manifold pressure.

I think it has a place on RX-8.

The SOHN is a great idea but still suffers from the constraints of the OMP system -- lubrication does not get everywhere it needs to. So users still premix.

Pre-mixing suffers because the administration of lubricant is not precise, and also requires the user to go through premixing steps at each fillup. In addition, problems with clogged fuel pump intake are not uncommon.

An inverse oiler gives the benefits of premix with the additional precision of tailoring to how hard the engine is working, and also with a good sized reservoir the user would have a longer servicing interval that can be separate from a fuel stop (i.e., at home in the garage). And it would avoid fuel-system problems.

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Old 02-23-2011, 05:48 PM
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maybe a project based on the flooding issues people seem to have?
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:25 PM
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design a better cooling system
check out the electric water pump thread.
using its own thermostatic sensor, variable speed controller for the pump and the radiator fans etc.
Lots of collateral info out there.
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