2023 194 E1

Go-Kart Brake Pedal Redesign

By: Miles Phillips, Justin Baskin

Department: Engineering 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Fatemeh Khalkhal

The project we have decided to design is a brake pedal for a racing go kart. Brake pedals manufactured by most manufacturers are a simple piece of pop metal or aluminum rod, about 0.5” in diameter, that has two 90-degree bends to transfer force from the driver's foot to the brake cable. The pedal is a very basic part, but it has flaws. On a karting circuit with bumps, cracks, and curbs (which you often run over to maintain straight line speed), your body feels all of what the suspension on a regular car would feel because karts have no suspension systems. Thus, you bounce around, hit your own seat, and your feet will inevitably slide off the pedal due to the forces on your body. For this reason, we propose to redesign the part such that this does not occur. The original design includes two 90-degree bends to transfer the applied force in the axial direction of the brake cable, which lies parallel to the horizontal axis of the cart. We suggest a redesign that includes a pattern of ridges to create a serrated surface on the contact patch, and a vertical extrusion 0.25” in height on the right-hand side of the contact patch to stop the driver’s foot from sliding horizontally in that direction, with both of these changes aimed at solving this problem.