Faculty Advisor

Cobb, Eben C.


This project designed and constructed the suspension and front crash protection for WPI's 2004 FSAE racecar. The team did extensive testing and research to determine desired values for tire size, wheelbase, camber gain, roll center, and other suspension parameters. TK Solver was used to calculate suspension sizing, stresses, and factors of safety. The team concurrently engineered the suspension with the drive train and pedal teams as well as considered driver ergonomics. The team increased the overall size of the driver compartment over the 2000 WPI FSAE car as well as devised a unique monoshock rocker suspension. The suspension the team designed allows for the control of bump and roll to be controlled separately via a single rocker connecting each push rod from both sets of front and rear control arms. The rocker has two degrees of freedom by allowing rotation for bump and translation for roll. Lateral springs control roll and a single-spring shock package controls bump. The team designed the suspension to have a worst case loading factor of safety of 2. The most critical component, the rocker axis shaft, was designed to have an infinite fatigue life factor of safety of approximately 2. Finally, the team designed the crash protection within FSAE rules and determined a suitable material capable of absorbing the entire energy of an 11.44 mph impact.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering