Scrutineering

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Each competition will have a different scrutineering method, and each Vehicle Type (EV, CV and DV) will do so. It is absolutely essential to have multiple team members read the competition rules in their entirety and then work through the entire scrutineering checklist in advance of inspection at competition to avoid spending valuable time making modifications to the vehicle. Most teams will have to make very minor adjustments to firewall or similar areas but keeping those changes at scrutineering minimal is a critical goal.

Scrutineering by Competition

FSAE

Gear

Inspection

If your team is like the vast majority of teams that show up at competition, the car and the team will have both been through a lot. This may be because it has lasted 1000s of km of testing or because you finished the night before at 4am. There will almost always be minor infractions on some part for some reason. This is racing, that's just how it is.

Of course, in theory, your car should be 100% up to code, but the inspectors are only human and minor, inconsequential, non-safety rule violations can slip through the cracks. One of the peculiarities of tech inspection is that the more mistakes are found by inspectors, the more mistakes they are likely to find. This is because the more time someone spends looking for minor rule violations, the more they will find. Usually inspectors continue to poke and prod at the car while the team is fixing one issue.

Teams are not allowed to work on the car during technical inspection at the Michigan FSAE EV competition in June.

Common and Easily Fixable Mistakes

There are a number of key areas that are commonly called out in tech inspection.

Line of Sight to Driver
Most common infraction, easiest fix. Bring enough of your favorite tape to tech and be ready to use it.

  • Fuel lines
  • catch can tubes

Fasteners
These are a longer, more annoying fix for both the team and the inspectors, you wanna fix these before getting teched. If one is found, the inspectors will likely check all of your bolts.

  • No positive locking on critical fasteners
  • Incorrect type of locking for location
    • some locations such as the brake system and systems near the engine require non-plastic locking features. I have seen a fuel rail nylock taken off by hand while being inspected.
  • Safety wire incorrect
    • It is very uncommon to see students use safety wire to the standards of industry motorsports or aviation. This is a grey area for rules interpretation by tech inspectors and they will pass most safety wire applications that will work in a pinch or are close to correct.
  • Bolts too short in very visible locations like suspension pickup points

Gas Tank
Usually these are resolved by removing a bolt, swapping a clamp, or cutting bodywork, easy fix, but also easy to avoid by checking in paddock

  • Rigid mounting = no no
  • Sight tube too short
  • Sight tube behind bodywork
  • Bodywork makes filler neck difficult to access

Driver Harness
If your team gets dinged for these, you likely wont be able to fix in the paddock anyways, and will need someone to show you how to do it properly. Inspectors will walk you through it if needed, it happens all the time.

  • Harness not looped through brackets right
  • Arm restraints looped around wrong belt

Intake
Rigid mounting is easy to fix, usually involves loosening and padding the restrictor mount. Not worth worrying about in the paddock too much.

  • Restrictor rigidly mounted to vehicle, no isolation
  • Missed critical fasteners

Drivetrain Shields
This is often a very difficult fix while getting teched and will get you sent back to the paddock to fix. Better to worry about the day before at the latest, not a good morning-of fix.

  • Too narrow in y (need 3x width)
  • No guard in front of front sprocket

Fuel and Cooling lines
Some inspectors make this their whole thing. Bring the right clamps to comp, and some spare hoses.

  • Using worm gear clamps on fuel lines
  • Sight line to driver

Aero
These are frequently an easy fix, often sharp edges are taped, wobbly wings are just tightened. Easy enough to fix, easier to fix in the paddock.

  • Sharp edges on forward facing edges
  • Wobbly wings

Egress

Each driver needs to pass an egress test to be allowed to drive in competition. This is usually checked at the same time as all the Driver-In-Car scrutineering such as driver harness and helmet clearance. Inspectors will allow as many egress attempts as needed (as long as its reasonable, not like 4 hours). Only one driver needs to pass to complete the rest of technical inspection (sound, tilt, brake) and the team can return at any time to get the rest certified.

Tips A few small tweaks to the strategy can help teams pass egress.

  • Practice before showing up to competition
  • Tighten the harness as snug as possible, the tighter the harness is, the faster it will get out of the way when the driver activates the quick release.
  • Stay calm, drivers who panic make small mistakes like missing the quick release on the harness or getting a foot caught on the steering column. These almost always end up slower than smooth/calm attempts
  • The inspectors will help you through the steps if needed and there's no penalty for a failure to egress in the necessary time.

Noise

Tilt

Brake

Formula Student Germany

The FSG technical inspection is divided into the following parts[1]:

CV EV DV
Pre-Inspection
### Accumulator Inspection ###
### Electrical Inspection ###
Mechanical Inspection
### ### Driverless Inspection
Tilt Test
Vehicle Weighing
Noise Test Rain Test ###
Brakes Test
### ### EBS Test


Scrutineering by Vehicle Class

Electric Vehicle

Preinspection

Accumulator Inspection

General

Please only bring a finished and tested accumulator to a competition. How can you prove to others that it works if even you do not know yet?
Always wear safety goggles!
Always wear insulating gloves if even one of your maintenance plugs are connected!
Be familiar with your design, it will be obvious to the scrutineer, and possibly dangerous if you do not know your own accumulator.
Be prepared, read the inspection sheets, have your documents and datasheets ready.
You have a fixed time to finish, after that you are back in the queue.

Equipment

Have your safety gear ready, you will need it anyway.
Have your tools ready, you will open up the accumulator and possibly the charger.
Bring a laptop and whatever hardware (can, ethernet, wifi, etc.) that you need to connect to the accumulator.
Bring your datasheets (paper or digital) and actually know what is in them.

Charger assembly

Must be a closed system
Have all your safety systems integrated and show them working. (interlock, shutdown, imd)
All metal parts must be grounded to PE.

Accumulator container

Your SES must be approved! Please submit it in time, depending on the competition your scrutineering might be cut short here.
Put all necessary markings on your container.


HousingRoll your fully assembled accumulator in to scrutineering on your handcart.
Every panel/cover/lid has to be fastened. If you have 20 screws for the top it is usually fine if you dont use all of them since you will have to disassemble the battery but it must be rigid at all times.
Fix the accumulator to the handcart, no moving, sliding or tilting.


After opening the battery remove the maintenance plugs.

Assembly

Wiring

Indicator Light

AMS

Charger Shutdown Circuit

IMD

Handcart

Tractive System

Outboard Motor HV Interlock

Low Voltage Sytem

Mechanical

Noise Test

Rain Test

Brake Test

Combustion Vehicle

Preinspection

Tractive System

Low Voltage Sytem

Mechanical

Noise Test

Rain Test

Brake Test

Driverless Vehicle

Preinspection

Tractive System

Low Voltage Sytem

Mechanical

Noise Test

Rain Test

Brake Test

  1. FS Rules 2020 V1.0. (2019, September 13). Retrieved from https://www.formulastudent.de/fsg/rules/