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    Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    Since Iíve been a long time lurker and first time poster I figured I would introduce myself, tell the story and bring you up to date on my latest project. Iíve grown up riding and wrenching on 4 wheelers, most recently riding shotgun and helping wrench on friendís RZRs while also doing some mild fab work like trailers, axle swaps and helped with a few roll cages. I was on the Auburn Baja team from 2010-2012 and jumped to the race organizing committee in 2012 to help with the race in 2012 and most recently 2015. With the majority of my friends having RZRs and me being on a college student budget, I wanted something fun, affordable and something RZR sized with a cage that would allow me into parks that werenít ATV friendly. The idea was to be able to follow a RZR around a park, not necessarily to out wheel it.

    If you arenít familiar with the Baja SAE series, Iíll give you a quick summary- itís a collegiate design series where teams are given a set of rules and a 10hp Briggs motor (that cannot be modified) and are told to build an off road race car to compete in events across the country. Each event consists of a design and cost report, strict tech inspection, 5 individual events and a 4 hours endurance race. While the Briggs is no powerhouse, it is impressive what these cars will do with that little HP- the previous Auburn cars topped out around 40+ mph.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gZJ...qKcO4AT-_l97jg

    At Auburn old cars are given to the captain of that yearís car when it has exceeded its useful life (aka broken beyond feasible repair), but when the 2013 car suffered a broken gearbox and was rusting away in a container, I saw my opportunity for a buggy build and managed to work out a deal on it. All that was left was a bare frame with suspension arms bolted on and a few small parts, but I had a complete, well-engineered and well-built frame. Here it is the day I drug it on my trailer and back to my apartment:



    Due to safety and SAE insurance the frame rules are pretty strict, which is why this frame looks like it does (no sheís not the prettiest girl at the dance- but not bad). The entire car was designed in SolidWorks and is built to withstand a beating, but also to stay as light as possible. Originally the 2013 car was set up to run a CVT to gearbox/ rear diff setup with a 64Ē wheelbase and a 60Ē front track width. The entire frame is 1Ē 4130 chromoly, with some 1.25Ē sprinkled in a few spots, so its very light weight- to the tune of 400# when fully assembled in race trim. Speaking in terms of power to weight ratio, this frame doesnít need a ton of power to be quick as it was respectable with the Briggs motor.

    For reference here is 2013 at race:

    Last edited by Dan_Goodwin; 03-08-2016 at 02:50 PM.
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    With the frame in my hands it was time to plan this thing out and begin the parts hoarding. I spent most of last year collecting parts, using money from work to fund this project (I’m a Co-Op with a construction company at home, which means I alternate school and work semesters). Before I bought anything I had to decide what the end goal was going to be with this rig; that was to be a reliable, capable and affordable trail machine with all the goodies- not some high HP RZR killer, though it would have some RZR influence. The idea behind the parts selection was to use all OEM bolt on parts. When I got 2013 there were several custom parts on it (knuckles, steering rack, etc.) that while they worked great, I couldn't replace them if they ever broke. The other main goal here was to learn- I wanted to get my feet wet with a mild build so that I could build up a production SxS when money allowed later on (aka a job). The first decision was 2wd vs 4wd, but I knew 4wd was just too involved and was going too be expensive to be feasible, so this limited my search quite a bit. Whatever I bought had to be bulletproof, 300cc minimum, manual (no CVT) and have reverse. Since keeping the IRS was also a priority, my search for a drivetrain was really not even a choice at all: enter the Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS.




    This is a KTM powered sport quad Polaris made in the mid to late 2000’s that was an IRS chain drive with Fox Podiums at all 4 corners. Polaris is a big sponsor of the Baja SAE series and there is rumor that this rear suspension design was from a winning Baja SAE car, but I have never confirmed that. After watching eBay for a few months and winning some cheap parts I had an Outlaw frame (for suspension points), all 4 shocks, rear diff and axles and rear a arms at my doorstep, all for around $800.
    I started looking at Yamaha sport quads for a donor for 2 reasons, the first was I’ve owned a ‘92 Yamaha Big Bear since ’99 and am a big fan of their reliability. The second had to do with the design of 2013 itself; Auburn has always used Yamaha parts for design, so all the ball joints and tie rod ends I got would work on a Yamaha knuckle. Craigslist delivered with a crusty, but complete Warrior 350 for $500. With a great reputation for durability, strong aftermarket support, respectable power and reverse I felt this was the perfect candidate. Another thing to keep in mind here- the Warrior and baja car are within 20# of each other, so the power to weight ratio was going to be very respectable here.

    Last edited by Dan_Goodwin; 03-09-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
    #3
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    Looking forward to see the two come together!
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    Quote Originally Posted by MASCMAN View Post
    Looking forward to see the two come together!
    Ask and you will receive!
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    Since I’m home this semester I decided it was time to make some progress on 2013 before I needed to get back to working on lake toys for the summer. I ordered some 1” .095 DOM, 2.5x1” and 2x1” .120 tube to build the back half of the frame. While the wall thickness is a tad overkill, I wanted this to be able to handle an upgraded motor in the future, just in case. I began by transferring the bracketry from the Polaris frame to the new center frame member:



    That was then welded to the frame along with the other members to create the motor deck and rear bracing:



    I kept the shock tabs to use as a jig, so now it was time to tube the rear of the buggy out:





    The Warrior came with a parts motor I used for mock up:



    With weight being such an issue on a baja car many teams run a hammock style seat, which works but is far from comfortable. Since weight isn’t as much of an issue (and I want to be comfortable), I borrowed an idea from a buddy and made tabs to mount the back and seat from a RZR into the frame:



    Stay tuned as I have several more updates to roll out very soon!
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
    #6
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    Are you going to run the front shocks from the quad in the rear?

    I have the IRS shocks for the rear of my build and Fox non-res shocks from a Predator for the front.
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
    #7
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    I was creeping on your Photobucket so you will know what this is.



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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    Quote Originally Posted by MASCMAN View Post
    Are you going to run the front shocks from the quad in the rear?

    I have the IRS shocks for the rear of my build and Fox non-res shocks from a Predator for the front.
    I'm running fronts on front and rears on rear, with the rears being the piggyback podiums.
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    Cool. Old formula guy here but did some tig welding for the Baja team too. And some test driving

    The Baja's usually were pretty chunky on the top, and seemed like the roll cage was 1.5' taller than the tallest driver, where as formula was like 2". Guess the formula's wheels didn't leave the ground very far or often so less chance of them ending up rollbar down.

    We never got a chance to keep formula cars, based off our budget and storage, they got canalized for the next years car.

    The other big downfall is with the complexity of the whole thing we spend 99% of the time designing and building it and 1% of the time driving it. Learned a ton, but sure didn't get the seat time the Baja guys did.

    I did end up buying an FL250 odyssey which was only good for doing doughnuts due to lack of suspension then found out about the 350 and had to get one of those. Always thought it was like a Baja car on steroids since it has a 27hp engine. But they are heavier and suspension is not as good as Baja either though.
    Edge Piranha with Sled Engine, 2 Margay sprint race karts, and a couple of fun Karts
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    Re: Another Baja SAE rebuild- 2013 Auburn Restomod
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    It was time to begin planning out controls and linkages, so the Warrior was stripped and the mock up motor swapped for the real one:



    I had measured for exhaust clearance when making the new rear frame so I wouldnít toast my back. I plan to put some form of heat shield back here, either attached to the firewall or an exhaust wrap.


    I knew the chain was going to be close the a arm, but itís currently touching, so I will have to come up with a fix for that, probably in the form of a chain tensioner.



    Since I needed to free up the fab table for another project (and really just wanted to see this thing on the ground), I threw the suspension on and set it on the ground. I was super pumped to see it at this stage, even if it is a LONG way from being doneÖ the last 20% of the work takes 80% of the time, right?



    The fronts are just rollers for the time being and will eventually match the rears.

    I scored a RZR wheel, column and steering shaft for $57 on eBay with hopes of using a RZR rack with it, though Iíd make it work with anything at that price. The RZR rack ended up not working due to the input shaft being offset to the driverís side, taking up the real estate that my brake pedal needed. The backup plan all along was to use a rack from desertkarts.com, a favorite among Baja SAE teams that donít build their own.
    I wanted to maintain the tilt on the wheel to ease egress in case of an emergency, so I tacked some tabs into place to mount the column:

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