Group 6 - Mini-Bike
- Jeffrey Becker - Communication Liaison
- Stephen Harris - Group Leader/Wiki Manager
- Eric Jongsma - Solid Model Creator
- Garth Lester - Technical/Mechanical Expert
- Eddie Valentin - Technical/Mechanical Expert
The objective of this project is to better understand the product through dismantling, modeling and reassembly.
Based on a surface inspection of the mini-bike it seems that it is held together entirely by hex bolts. We will beneeding a socket set and ratchet as well as a set of end-wrenches for when more torque is required. Having not seen inside the engine we can’t accurately determine exactly what tools will be necessary, but I would guess we’d need a razor blade or some other kind of scraper to remove any gaskets, a flat-head screwdriver in case anything needs to be pried open and a pan and funnel for the engine oil. I’ve also found a magnet and needle-nosed pliers are always handy just in case a nut falls somewhere inaccessible.
In taking it apart, we’d first remove the frame from the engine. This would mean loosening the chain tensioner and removing the chain, disconnecting the engine mounts and throttle control and we’d probably have to remove the seat or disassemble part of the frame to get the engine out.
Before opening up the engine, we’d have to properly drain all of the fluids, so as not to spill them all over the lab creating a safety hazard. Since there is no gas in the tank, no coolant system, no transmission and the brake system does not use any fluid, we should only have to drain the engine oil.
When taking apart an engine it is a good practice to replace any gaskets or seals you remove, rather than reusing the old ones, but due to the nature of our project we don’t have that option. Since the mini-bike is fairly new there shouldn’t be much existing wear and tear on the gaskets and seals but we will still have to be careful not to cause any damage in their removal.
I would assume this engine will have a timing chain, or similar mechanism, so we will have to observe it carefully as we take it apart. That way we don’t risk destroying any of the valves when we start the engine back up.
Besides the aforementioned gaskets and seal removal the disassemle should be a fairly straightforward process of removing one piece at a time, although it is hard to tell until we actually open it up. An experienced mechanic could probably disassemble it in as little as half an hour to an hour, but I would estimate we need at least an hour for us. We need to be taking detailed notes and measurements as we disassemble the mini-bike so that we can reconstruct it in a solid modeling program later. Given that, I’d say disassemble will take three to five hours just to be on the safe side.
As far as the experience level of our group members we aren’t too bad off. Eric mentioned that he has worked on bicycles before. Eddie has a motorcycle and seems mechanically inclined; I don’t know if he’s ever taken it apart, but I’m sure he at least has a working knowledge of how the engine runs. I have decent mechanical experience, having worked extensively on my car the past two summers, although the frequency with which it breaks down is alarming. Stephen has been on a robotics team for the past six years so he is experienced with most of the tools that will be used. The other members of the team do not apparently have any mechanical experience beyond the average person. All in all, the engine on our mini-bike is pretty simple as engines go, and I’m confident that our group has the necessary skills to disassemble and reassemble it successfully.
Group six consists of five individuals with a variety of strengths and weaknesses that complement each other. The work for the project shall be evenly divided between its five members which each person responsible for a different main function and additional ancillary functions distributed in whatever manner results in the best project. Stephen Harris shall be the Project Manager and Wiki Manager. He will ensure all tasks proceed as planned and lend a helping hand when needed. He is responsible for the overall direction of the project and should help the group members when they are confused as to what task to proceed to. For example, Stephen should tell the group if they are dissecting the mini bike in an incorrect fashion, and give instruction on how to do it correctly. Finally Stephen will collect all individual assignments done by the group, proofread them and add them to the Wiki. Stephen’s leadership will be essential in the timely completion of all five gates.
Jeffrey Becker will be the Organization Expert and Communication Liaison. As Organization Expert he will ensure the dissection of the product is done in a precise and orderly manner. This will be important in finishing gates two and four, in which the product will be taken apart and re-assembled. Jeffrey will be expected to make sure all parts of the engine are organized and easy to find. He will also take notes when necessary and make sure everyone in the group is on the same page. To facilitate this task Jeffrey will be head of communications. As head of communications he will compile and rout all information and make sure it gets to the entire group.
Our lead Solid Modeler will be Eric Jongsma. Jongsma having a great deal of experience with CAD software will make gate three easy to finish on time. He also has experience in a bike shop, and is expected to provide technical knowledge as to how the bike works. This will be helpful in gates two and four when we take apart and re-assemble the bike engine.
Technical/Mechanical Experts Eddie Valentin and Garth Lester will both be mechanics for this project. While Jeff, Eric, and Steve will help plan disassembly, Eddie and Garth will be actually dissecting the engine. Garth has experience with tools and will primarily take things apart. Eddie has knowledge as to how engines work and will handle the individual parts of the engine. Both are expected to take the engine apart without breaking it by using the correct tools and safety precautions. They will also re-assemble it, again using care and safety. This will help make gates two and four go smoothly.
Together, all five students will blend their knowledge and successfully meet all the project deadlines. As the project progresses work shall be assigned. The group will meet in 621 Furnas after every Wednesday class at Five PM, to discuss and work on the project. Additional work time will be scheduled by Steve. To contact Group Six, please email Jeffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
Initial Product Assessment
The product for the assignment given to group 3 was the mini-bike. It is a small, one person unit capable of providing transportation over short distances at relatively low speeds (no more that 10 mph). Given its low power output the product should only be viewed as a recreational vehicle and not used for any professional purposes. Other than for the transport of a single person from one point to another, the mini bike serves no other purpose in its design and should be recognized as just that. The mini bike uses a simple gasoline engine from which all the power necessary for it to function is generated. Simply put, the chemical energy from the combustibles (gasoline and oxygen) is transformed inside the engine is into mechanical energy that causes the mini bike to move. While the mini bike does still work, it was discovered that if any time was wasted between turning the bike on and giving it throttle, the bike would choke up and shut itself off. Any speculation as to why this happens is currently unfounded; a reason for the malfunction is still an open question. The product in itself is of a very simple design, it consists of a simple aluminum frame with a gas tank, an engine, and a chain, all of that, with the obvious addition of a seat, handle bars and wheels consist of the product completely. It is more complex than a non-powered bicycle but significantly less complex than a motorcycle. From a simple initial overview of the product, it is obvious that aluminum, rubber, and plastic are the main components of the mini bike. If one were to think more, it would be logical to assume that copper wiring would be used in the system to pass on electrical systems from the throttle to the engine, from the ignition switch to the engine, etc. The product’s appeal resides in its simplicity, the fact that it is easy to use with minimal training required beforehand. It is relatively comfortable although upon riding it, it is easily noticed that the bike was designed for someone younger/lighter than the members of the group. As for maintenance, the only real issues with that would be making sure that the moving parts are well lubricated as needed, that there is gas in the tank, and that the necessary switches such as the choke and ignition are well maintained and not loose. In terms of other alternatives, a motor scooter or perhaps a dirt bike would be possible, all depending on whether u want more power, distance and mobility from your product. A scooter would be the closest thing to our current product in every cat4egory ranging from power given to distance to price, the advantage of a scooter would probably be the maneuverability provided, considering that it’s not as cumbersome as the mini bike, while the disadvantages would be comfort, since while some motor scooters provide seats, they would not be as comfortable as the mini bike’s.