The purpose of this page is to give you a general idea of what the '01 Moonbuggy looks like
and how it works. If you'd like a more detailed description of a particular part, feel free
to contact anyone on the team and ask (see the team page for email addresses and phone numbers).
If you're in the Ithaca area, we'd love to show you around the shop and demonstrate our project
for you. Free test drives for everyone!|
We began with a triangular trussed frame. This forms the central stiff member of the buggy to which everything else is mounted. We chose a triangular frame because it is very strong, light, and offers beneficial suspension geometry. The riders are situated one in front of the other facing forward. This way they both have a clear view of the track and can react to the course most efficiently. This is very important since they share the driving responsibilities (the front rider steers and the rear rider brakes as you'll see in a bit).
The four bicycle wheels are attached to the frame with a four-wheel independent a-arm suspension. The buggy is four wheel drive, each rider having their own independent drivetrain to power their own axle. Each rider therefore has thier own shifting mechanism as well. Last year, we quickly learned that one of the most difficult challenges of building a chain driven Moonbuggy is keeping the chains on the sprockets! Therefore, we are using an internal hub shifter to change gears, eliminating the need for the chain to slip from one sprocket to another in order to shift. Roller clutches inserted into the axles allow the outside wheels to spin freely during turns.
We've incorperated disc brakes into the CNC machined aluminum uprights to allow the buggy to be stopped during testing on Ithaca's steep hills. ATV constant velocity joints in the front axle allow the wheels to be turned using a handle bar linkage controlled by the front rider. Furtermore, the buggy can be separated into two halves between the riders in order to fit within the volume restriction stipulated by the competition rules.
We're in the process of documenting our final construction efforts and when we're finished, we'll have a collection of pictures to post here. Until then, here are a few shots of our last year's entry into the competition.