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A descriptive research methodology was used for this study. A research was
administered to a selected sample or material from a specific material identified by
different source in the internet and Shell Eco-marathon Thesis of Florida International
Descriptive research seeks to describe the current status of an identified variable
or phenomenon. Systematic collection of information requires careful selection of the
units studied and measurement of each variable in order to demonstrate validity. The
process flow diagram shows the steps planning up to contest proper of the contest.


The chapter discusses the method used in modifying and evaluating the
prototype vehicle. In modifying and evaluating the vehicle, the objectives of the study
were used as the basis of the methodology. Hence, the following are the major steps
performed in the thesis.
1. Planning. Identify the key parts of the prototype that caused problems during the

previous year of competition, as well as the parts that have to be improved.

2. Modification. Improve on the parts identified in Step 1; and modify the prototype

further to increase its fuel efficiency.

3. Evaluation. Test the new prototypes performance.

The following is the flow chart of the methodology used in fulfilling the objectives
of the study.

Planning Modification Evaluation

The Planning stage of the study was conducted on August 16 to October 22,
2016. The Modification stage of the study was conducted on November 7, 2016 to
December 23, 2016. The Evaluation stage of the study was conducted on December 28
to 30, 2016.


Planning is the act or process of making a plan to achieve or do something

(Merriam-Webster; 2016). In the planning stage, the researchers listed the areas on
which the prototype is to be improved. These will be the basis of the action plan of the
thesis. From interviewing the previous team, and from observing the performance of the
original prototype during the initial testing, the researchers have listed the following
areas of improvement for the prototype.



Electrical System;


Propulsion System;

Steering; and

Auxiliary Systems.

3.4 BODY

The body is the outer casing of the vehicle. It is important for the body to be
aerodynamic and lightweight. An aerodynamically-designed body will have less air drag
and therefore reduce the energy lost during operation. The dimensions of the body are
based on the rules of Shell Eco-Marathon 2017.
There are three stages in creating a good and sturdy fiberglass body that fits for
this prototype.
1. Mold Making;
2. Fiber-glassing; and
3. Applying Body Filler.
At first, a miniature sample is made. This miniature model will be used for
experiment of the mixture that will fit for this prototype. For creating a mold, paper
Mache is used for this process. Using old newspaper and a mixture acting as a holding
agent for the paper Mache, the miniature mold is created. Note: The process of making
the outer case of the eco car is not final because the design is not yet finished and

Figure 4.1 Test Mold

In making the fiberglass body, these materials are needed:

Paper used in making the mold, paper Mache

Polyester Resin
Release Wax for detaching the fiberglass to its mold
Fiberglass Cloth main component for creating the body
Body filler used for finishing process

Figure 4.2 Fiber glass Materials

Three sample mixtures were made; first mixture is made of two layers of fiber
cloth with 1% hardener. Second mixture is two layers of fiber cloth with 10% hardener
and the third mixture is 1 layer of fiber cloth with 20% hardener.

Figure 4.3 - Mixture and Application of Resin and hardener

The designers test on three different concentrations to find out which one is most
suitable for the application.

Figure 4.4 - Test Fiber glass product

To acquire the designed case for the car, testing for mold is required. Testing the
mold allows the designers to foresee if it will look exactly as the designers would want it
to. In the molding procedure, the designers used resins that make the mold stiff together
with the wire mesh for its shape and the application of paper mache. Figure 4.2 below
shows the finished mache of the molded cars casing.

Figure 4.5 Prototype Paper Mache Mold

Fiber glass advantages and disadvantages include the following.

Advantages of Fiber Glass

High Strength


Increased Life

Non-Conductive (Magnetically)

Low Maintenance

Easily Assembled

Corrosion Resistant

Chemical Resistant

Fire Resistant

Non-Conductive -

Disadvantages of Fiber Glass

Needs to be re-gel

Airborne fibres which

may be an issue to
asthma sufferers
Loses effectiveness if
becomes wet or damp


R.F. Transparent

Dimensionally Stable

Carbon fiber is composed of carbon atoms bonded together to form a long chain. It is
basically very thin strands of carbon; even thinner than human hair. The strands can be
twisted together, like yarn. The yarns can be woven together, like cloth. These cloths
and yarns can be molded and bonded together into any shape desired. This bond is
formed by using heat and pressure, combining the fiber with a plastic or a polymer.
Carbon fiber is five times as strong as steel, two times as stiff, yet weighs about twothirds less. Carbon fiber has slowly made its way into multiple industries, replacing
metal in certain applications.
Fiber glass is composed of melted glass that has been extruded though bushings; this
produces a string like material. This string is then woven into yarn and the yarn into

cloth. Like carbon fiber, this cloth can be molded and bonded into any shape desired but
fiberglass takes far less heat and pressure to accomplish this bond. Fiber glass is
similar to carbon fiber in strength and weight but is slightly more flexible than carbon

The following table differentiates carbon fiber from fiber glass.

Fiber Glass

Carbon Fiber

High strength-to-weight ratio


Cost effective

High stiffness-to-weight ratio


Low thermal expansion

No radio-signal interference (Radiolucent) High fatigue level

Corrosion resistant

Corrosion resistant

Prototype Fiber Glass body

The prototype body is made mainly of one layer of fiber cloth but in some areas,
multiple layers of fiber glass are needed to withstand direct impact of air. Maximum of 3
layers of fiber cloth only.

Figure 4.6 Prototype Fiber glass body

After the mold dried, cuts were made. These cuts are for air vents, glass cover
wind shield, and engine compartment and for some adjustments in dimension for
complying the rules of competition for the prototype dimensions. These cuts were made
through grinding and using cutting disks.

Figure 4.7 Fiber glass cuts

Fiber Glass Making

The fiberglass mold process begins with an object known as the plug or buck.
This is an exact representation of the object to be made. The plug can be made from a
variety of different materials, certain types of foam are commonly used.
After the plug has been formed, it is sprayed with a mold release agent. The release
agent will allow the mold to be separated from the plug once it is finished. The mold
release agent is a special wax, and/or PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol). Polyvinyl Alcohol,
however, is said to have negative effects on the final mold's surface finish.
Once the plug has its release agent applied, gelcoat is applied with a roller, brush
or specially-designed spray gun. The gelcoat is pigmented resin, and gives the mold
surface a harder, more durable finish.

Once the release agent and gelcoat are applied, layers of fiberglass and resin
are laid-up onto the surface. The fiberglass used will typically be identical to that which
will be used in the final product.
In the laying-up process, a layer of fiberglass mat is applied, and resin is applied
over it. A special roller is then used to remove air bubbles. Air bubbles, if left in the
curing resin, would significantly reduce the strength of the finished mold. The fiberglass
spray lay-up process is also used to produce molds, and can provide good filling of
corners and cavities where a glass mat or weave may prove to be too stiff.
Once the final layers of fiberglass are applied to the mold, the resin is allowed to
set up and cure. Wedges are then driven between the plug and the mold in order to
separate the two.

Body Filler
For the finishing process in making the body, it is necessary to apply body filler.
Body fillers are materials that use a catalyst to harden. The main solvent in the filler is
styrene, which vaporizes as the mixture cures. Bubbles in the filler occur when the
mixture cures too fast, trapping the styrene gas. Also, body fillers are thermal-set
plastics. That is, they cure with heat (created by the chemical reaction between the filler
and the catalyst) and become hard and stable, usually within a few minutes. Too much
hardener will cause the cured material to become brittle and crack, while too little delays
a cure almost indefinitely.

Figure 4.8 - Body Filler Material (Polyester body filler and hardener paste)

Figure 4.9- application of body filler

Figure 4.10- finished prototype body

Figure 4.9 shows the application of body filler on the right side of the body using
mixture of polyester body filler with small amount of hardener paste. And figure #.#
shows the finished prototype body with spots of body filler for finishing touches and to
make the surface smooth and even. The former lualhati v1.0 body is more likely to 65%
to 70% smooth, but now lualhati v2.0 body is 90% to 97% smooth without paint. The
smoothness of the surface lessens the air drag of the body.
Body Paint Coat
Additional things needed to be done in the finishing process are the paint job.
The first thing is the application of the primer. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint

to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the
material being painted. And for the final coating the team decided to choose the colours
of red and white to represent the Alma matter.

Figure 4.11 - Body with primer paint

Figure 4.12 - Finished Prototype

Aerodynamic Testing
The designers use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to enable
quick, efficient simulation of fluid flow and heat transfer. You can easily calculate fluid
forces and understand the impact of a liquid or gas on product performance. Tightly
integrated with Autodesk CAD, CFD analysis using Autodesk Simulation takes the
complexity out of flow analysis and can be a regular part of your design process,
reducing the need for costly prototypes, eliminating rework and delays, and saving time
and development costs.

Figure #.# - Simulation Aerodynamics Result

You can see that the air velocity of the stream line is mostly moderate level
(green stream lines) indicates the air run smoothly on the surface of the body. The
stream line on the front part of the body shows above the moderate level (yellow stream
lines) it indicates that the air run slightly hard but it runs through smoothly after passing
the wheel cover part of the body.


The designers used Frame Generator to create internal frame and external
frame assemblies for mechanical structures. Frame Generator consists of several tools
to automate frame modelling. You can select lines, edges, and points to specify the
location of members. It also allows you to select the material of the object and the
standard dimension of available product in the software. After they have selected the
placement geometry, you can change the position and orientation of the member. A
thumbnail of the profile is displayed in a grid of radio buttons that control the position of
the member accessible in the software.

Figure #.# - Lualhati v1.0 Frame Design

The designers reconstructed the original chassis design using Autodesk Inventor
2014 so they can simulate it through stress analysis. Then, they added support to the
parts which has the highest stress in the chassis to improve the rigidity of the whole
prototype. The stress analysis result will be discussed further through this chapter.

Figure #.# - Lualhati v2.0 Frame Design

After the designers have evaluated the original design and simulated it through
stress analysis, the designers examined the results. From the results, the designers
added support to lessen the stress on the roll bar of the chassis, which is where the
highest stress is located. The red bars in the figure were the added support.

In Autodesk Inventor, the designers simulated a stress situation to determine the

effects of various load and constraint scenarios to determine areas of weakness, better
design alternatives, how much a part is over- or underbuilt, to what extent a design
change will impact a design, and so on.

Figure #.# - Lualhati v2.0 SAR

Figure #.# - Luahati v1.0 SAR

As seen from Figures, Lualhati v2.0 Stress Analysis Report has higher maximum stress
displacement of 1.885mm than Lualhati v1.0 Stress Analysis Report that has only a 1.635 mm
of maximum stress displacement. The result proves that the additional support made the
chassis stronger and the roll bar part can withstand higher pressure. It is important to increase
the capacity of the chassis to hold the body of the eco car.


The electrical system includes the wirings that connect the main electrical source
to the engine and the switches. In gasoline engines, combustion is achieved when the
fuel is compressed and ignited. This ignition is done by the use of a spark plug. The
spark plug sparks because an electric current is being fed into it. The electrical system
is responsible for delivering this current into the spark plug. It is important to have a
faultless electrical system to avoid short circuits and lack of combustion due to no


Carburettor is one of the most important components of the prototype. Due to

unavailability of brand new carburettor on the Philippine market, we decided to use the
old one. In order to reach the efficiency needed, the carburettor had to be clean and
tune up. The carburettor was disassembled from the engine intake manifold to diagnose
the problems why is it malfunctioning.
It is always best to return the carburettor back to the factory settings to reach the
efficiency needed. Using carburettor cleaner to detect blocked holes and clean gasoline
residues. Because of the attached jet needle has a larger diameter than the standard it
will inject more fuel into the combustion engine and consume more fuel. Therefore using
smaller jet diameter needle is needed to restore the old factory setting of the
The fuel injection system in petrolengined cars is always indirect, petrol being
injected into the inlet manifold or inlet port rather than directly into the combustion
chambers. This ensures that the fuel is well mixed with the air before it enters the
On petrol engines, fuel injection replaced carburetors. The primary difference
between carburetors and fuel injection is that fuel injection atomizes the fuel through a
small nozzle under high pressure, while a carburetor relies on suction created by intake
air accelerated through a venture tube to draw the fuel into the airstream.
Benefits of fuel injection include smoother and more consistent transient throttle
response, such as during quick throttle transitions, easier cold starting, more accurate
adjustment to account for extremes of ambient temperatures and changes in air
pressure, more stable idling, decreased maintenance needs, and better fuel efficiency.
Fuel injection also dispenses with the need for separate mechanical choke,
which on carburetor-equipped vehicles must be adjusted as the engine warms up to
normal temperature. Furthermore, on spark ignition engines, fuel injection has the

advantage of being able to facilitate stratified combustion which have not been possible
with carburetors.
It is only with the advent of multi-point fuel injection certain engine configurations
such as inline five cylinder gasoline engines become more feasible for mass production,
as traditional carburetor arrangement with single or twin carburetors could not provide
even fuel distribution between cylinders, unless a more complicated individual
carburetor per cylinder is used
Fuel injection systems are also able to operate normally regardless of orientation,
whereas carburetors with floats are not able to operate upside down or in zero gravity,
such as encountered in airplanes.

Figure: Suzuki Choi Nori Carburettor

Another problem on the carburettor was on the idle jet system, the air jet of the
original carburettor system is not working. Due to gasoline residues that clog the holes,
air cannot enter properly the system that results on carburettor delivering too much
gasoline inside combustion engine. The engine will be use is Raider Fuel Injected (F.I.)
115 cc which is a fuel injected engine motorcycle and most applicable base on the

Rocker Arm

A rocking lever in an engine, especially one in an internal combustion engine that

serves to work a valve and is operated by a pushrod from the camshaft. Rocker arms
(levers) are part of the valve-actuating mechanism. A rocker arm is designed to pivot on
a pivot pin or shaft that is secured to a bracket.


Figure Rocker Arm Assembly


The bracket is mounted on the cylinder head. One end of a rocker arm is in
contact with the top of the valve stem, and the other end is actuated by the camshaft.
The outer arms operate the exhaust valve, and the inner arm operates the intake valve.
The valve bridge enables the rocker arm to operate valves simultaneously. The valve
bridge has a hardened ball socket into which the ball end of the rocker arm adjusting
screw fits. The valve bridge spring keeps valve bridge tension off the valve stems until
the bridge is actuated by the rocker arm. When the valve end of the rocker arm is forced
down by the cam action, the valve bridge moves down, compressing the valve springs

and opening the valves. By the time the action of the cam lobe has ceased, the valve
springs will have closed the valves.


As the researchers checked the condition of the engine, a few problems were
identified. These assessments were based on the initial configuration of the engine.

First, the researchers found out that the valves and piston were in good condition
but the part where the gasket installed have burnt.

Second, the clearances of the rocker arm were not the same, the intake side
measures 2.2 mm and the exhaust side is 1.9 mm which is not good when it
comes to the timing of the intake and exhaust of the engine. This kind of problem
can identify through sounds of the engine.

Third, the engine lacks on engine oil.


Base on the assessment gathered, the researchers consulted a mechanic

which has an idea with the engine. The engine came from the Suzuki Choi Nori, 49cc.

The researchers cleaned the burnt in the gasket side, with the used of sand
paper and gasoline. Gasoline is used to clean the engine to avoid corrosion.

The mechanic modified the configuration of the rocker arms clearances. From
2.2 mm and 1.9 mm clearances to 1.6 mm both intake and exhaust. Its should
be the same because of the timing of the intake and exhaust. The 1.6 mm
clearance is the default configuration of the Suzuki Choi Nori engine.

The engine do not required much engine oil. The researchers put only 250ml of
engine oil.


The main power comes through the engine, and then from the engine there is a
connected shaft that produces torque. The shaft has a small sprocket with a chain, and
the chain is also connected to a shaft with the larger sprocket that is interconnected to
the rear wheel of the prototype car. And with this system, the power is able to be
delivered from the engine to the wheels.
One of the problems the previous team has faced is that the chain disengages
from the sprocket. There was also a time that the chain breaks. The reason behind this
is that the chain originally used is a bicycle chain. To fix this problem, the chain was
replaced with a motorcycle chain and sprocket, which is more applicable because the
prototype car will run an average speed of 30kph. Figure below presents the original
bicycle chain connected to the rear wheel. Figure below presents the modified
propulsion system using the replaced motorcycle wheel.

Figure: original bicycle wheel

Figure: Replaced Motorcycle wheel

Wheels on the prototype car are maintained except for the rear wheel. Designers
chose a bigger wheel diameter on the rear for aerodynamic help. Due to the weight of
the car and the driver, inclination on the prototypes body due to difference in front and
rear wheels diameter allows the forward motion of the car. Example of this is when the
driver shuts off the cars engine; the distance travelled by the car is increased due to its


The steering system of the vehicle is design patterned from the steering system
of a go-kart with minor modifications that will function properly for the prototype.
The design of the steering module of the previous prototype was intended to be
detachable so that the driver can exit the vehicle in 10 seconds easily, a rule which is
mandated in the Shell Eco-Marathon Rules. The previous steering rod design has two
parts in which a solid rod is inserted in a hollow rod. This made the steering module
detachable; however, it made the steering module not rigid. Figure below shows the old
steering rod encircled in red.

Figure: Old Steering Rod

The current team replaced this rod with a solid one so that when the steering
module is turned, the wheel would already turn as well. In complying with the rules,
when tested, the driver can still exit the vehicle in 10 seconds. Figure below presents
the new steering rod encircled in red.

Aside from replacing the steering rod into a solid one, the current team also
modified the connection of the two tie rods. In the original design, the two tie rods are
connected to a single screw in the center of the plate. This puts too much stress in the
single screw in the center, which may cause failure in the material due to shearing
stresses. Figure below presents the original design schematic of the tie rod connection.
Figure below shows the old tie rod connection encircled.

Figure: Original Tie Rod Connection Schematic

Figure: Original Tie Rod Connection

The current team modified the original tie rod connection by separating the
connection of the two tie rods. The two tie rods are connected to the steering rod by
using two screws. This puts less shearing stress compared to a single screw
connection. Also, it was observed during the test drives that the handling of the vehicle
during steering became easier after the modification has been made. Figure below
presents the modified design schematic of the tie rod connection. Figure below shows
the modified tie rod connection encircled

Figure: Schematic of Modified Tie Rod Connection

Figure: Modified Tie Rod Connection


The auxiliary systems of the prototype are the parts that complement the vehicle.
These are the parts that do not directly contribute to the energy efficiency of the vehicle;
however, they are included to increase the drivers comfort and handling. The following
are the additional parts of the prototype.
1. Anti-vibration pad is designed to prevent, resist, or offer protection against
vibration. Anti vibration pad is installed in the prototype to lessen the vibration
produced by the engine. Anti-vibration pads are added under the engines
support to reduce the vibration that the engine transmits into the chassis. Figure
below presents the original mounting of the engine into the chassis, without the
anti-vibration pads. Figure presents the anti-vibration pads installed underneath
the engine support, encircled in red.

Figure: Original Mounting of Engine into

Figure: Anti-Vibration Pad Installed
Under Engine
2. Air vents are openings that allow air to pass through the vehicle. Air vents are
added in the front of the vehicle to facilitate the ventilation of the driver. Figure
below presents the air vents encircled in black included in the facade of the body.

Figure: Air Vents

3. Drivers Seat is the seat upon which the driver rests inside the vehicle. The
drivers seat is fixed inside the drivers compartment with the use of the seatbelts

mounted into the chassis. The drivers seat together with the seatbelt prevents
the driver from moving in case of sudden changes in the velocity of the vehicle
during operation. Figure below presents the driver compartment of the original
prototype, without a drivers seat. Figure below presents the driver compartment
of the new prototype, with a drivers seat.

Figure: Driver Compartment without Seat

Figure: Driver Compartment with Seat

4. Brakes are devices used to slow down the velocity of the vehicle. For the
modification of the brakes, the researchers replaced the original cable brakes
with the hydraulic brakes to increase the braking force. Hydraulic brake has a
higher braking force than the cable brakes however, it has disadvantage in terms
of the difficulty in assembling the system. The first problem encountered is that
the hydraulic tube contains air which prevents the brake fluid from compressing
the brake pads. The solution implemented is to pour brake fluid continuously
inside the master calliper so that the air inside the tube comes out. Figures below
presents the original brake system using cable brakes. Figures below presents
the modified brake system using hydraulic brakes.






Driving techniques are important in conserving the fuel consumed during

operation. The following are the driving techniques to conserve the fuel during test runs.

Avoid aggressive driving - The proper way is to accelerate slowly and smoothly
until you reach the desired speed. It is much better than forcing your car to
increase acceleration rapidly.

Cruise control - On long stretches of driving, cruise control technique can save
fuel by letting your car maintain a steady speed. Slowing down or speeding up
wastes fuel. However, this efficiency is not favourable on steep hills where the
cruise control technique required the driver to maintain speed. On steep slope
road it is best to go with high speed so that the forward motion of the car help it
push forward and light throttling to consume lesser fuel.

Light braking - Braking lightly can be a game changer. Often use of brakes or
heavy braking can consume more fuel because of the decreasing forward motion
of the car and the driver need to throttle again to increase the speed. Mechanical
drag on breaks also demands additional fuel usage to overcome the drag.

Sudden and unintended turn - this will also decrease the inertia of the car, and
slows down your speed.

Too much revving - Avoid "revving" the engine, especially just before you switch
the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from inside the
cylinder walls. This is really bad thing for the next start up, as the cylinder walls
will be dry.

Avoiding rough roads - Whenever possible, every time the wheels bounce up and
down, forward motion energy is removed from the vehicle. Not only is it very
uncomfortable, the vehicle will actually slowdown from the transfer of energy this
causes the driver to apply more throttle.