Titanium Donation for Northwestern Baja Racing

We’ve had the privilege of working with Northwestern Baja Racing team for the second year in a row. They may not be racing this year but they gained some valuable experience machining our donated titanium before having to put their build on hold. JD Slattery is the new Project Manager for the team and he explains why they chose titanium again and some minor difficulties they ran into.

Northwestern Baja Racing

This year we used titanium for shaft 1 (the input shaft) on our gearbox. In past years, we have had problems with shaft one snapping and knocking us out of our competitions. We saw ductile torsional failures at the bearing race interface while using both hardened 8620 and pre-hardened 4340 in previous years. We finally decided to upgrade to titanium for both increased strength and weight savings. After running our 2019 car for 3 competitions and numerous testing days, we are happy to say we have seen zero failures or problems with our gearbox. We had our best ever placement at 2019 Midnight Mayhem, a competition where we have previously broken numerous gearbox shafts. We expect the same to happen with our 2020 car, which is currently being built.

Northwestern Baja Racing

In terms of problems we faced this year, there actually were not too many! We had to approach machining the 662 Titanium a little differently because we only had HSS tooling available to us. Even with the tooling difficulties, we were still able to drill and tap our gearbox shaft easily (these were two operations we had a hard time with in the past).

Northwestern Baja Racing

Thank you for all your continued support and I’m looking forward to working with PTG over the next year!


We look forward to working with Northwestern Baja again as they get back to building their vehicle!
For more information on the team and BAJA SAE, visit: