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Discussion Starter #1
got my 6 year olds Pinewood Derby car today...already got the 2011 Challenger traced onto the side...the wheel base worked almost perfectly, but the height had to be adjusted...

my son agree to white w/blue stripes....we may even wait until i find out what # the car is before we put numbers on the side...

im having a hard time not taking this build over....i have a friend who won fastest in the state...he's sharing all the tricks with me...he even machines the wheels....

im gonna let the kid help sand/file it down and he's going to paint the whole thing...ill draw the stripes in pencil for him probably..

ill also write the SRT8 on the grill and tail lights..

my dad always did the whole car for me, so ill make sure he shares as much as he can.
 

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I set the record for my school back when we were making them. Its all about aero and weight... Might want to adjust the front end accordingly, or make a couple practice cars and shave it down till it still looks right and you can get some time off of there. Was definitely a fun thing but we did it during middle school, a little later. Good luck with it and post up pictures for sure, should be a cool project.
 

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Post some pics when you can.

May car was all set to win the region when I was younger but I had a wheel fall off and needed to do a spot repair. I took 3rd place.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
im building a wind tunnel as i write this...

the paint booth is tomorrows project

i will be shipping it to my friends house for the stripes and IE 392 badge

it will be delivered by Thomas the train around the Christmas tree
 

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im building a wind tunnel as i write this...

the paint booth is tomorrows project

i will be shipping it to my friends house for the stripes and IE 392 badge

it will be delivered by Thomas the train around the Christmas tree
LOL!!! Good one.

Let's hope your door handles don't leak and delay the project.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ill post a pick in a week or 2...we cut the basic shape out this next weekend....just remember its a 6 year old who's gonna paint it...ill make sure its recognizable to any Challenger owner though

im not going to draw in the windows or grill...its going to be a 4-5 hour car, not a 20 hour car...no magnifying glass will be used to paint this thing

i am more excited than my kid though...its so hard not to take it over completely
 

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They need to make the pine wood derbies have *2* classes. One for the kids and one for the dad's to compete. Such a simple solution--two cars!

It's so obvious that the Dad's almost have more fun than the kids.
 

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They need to make the pine wood derbies have *2* classes. One for the kids and one for the dad's to compete. Such a simple solution--two cars!

It's so obvious that the Dad's almost have more fun than the kids.
im only working 8 hours all week this week...i could spend 40-60 hours on this thing
 

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I helped my son with his many years ago. He took first place 4 years in a row locally and also best appearance each year also. It did not hurt to have his father in the bodyshop business, but I did make him do all the work, including, color sanding between the coats of clear and he did all of the spraying himself. Of course he used a Sata gravity feed gun.
 

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Chuck the nails in a drill and sand them them smooth below the heads. You can get powered graphite to lube the wheels and axles.
 

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im having a hard time not taking this build over....i have a friend who won fastest in the state...he's sharing all the tricks with me...he even machines the wheels....
Been there, done that. You MUST rent "Down & Derby". It is a great laugh and so true for everyone going through the experience.

I use to allow the kids to do some of base painting and have input on the design. Then I would more or less take over. lol The hobby shops have cool stuff like lead tailpipes and motors you can glue on the car and add weight. Get the stuff early as typically as the day rolls closer, that stuff sells out. I also used a variable weight system as all scales are different and what matters is how you weigh in on the official one. One year I drilled out holes in back and added ball bearings as needed to get to max weight and taped over the holes. Another year I used the magnetic tape and just put it on the bottom till it was maxed. Weight is important.

Regardless, it is all about drag and if you car can track a straight line AND if your kid can line it up to go straight. You will see, the cars that touch the rails, are the slowest. But it is almost inevitable, that it will touch the rail. So I use to polish and lubricate the plastic hubs as well to reduce as much friction as possible.

Got tons of tips swimming in my head but that are some of the big ones that I used. Internet is a good source too. Make sure all parts are secure as the cars usually take a beating at the end and a parts flying off and dropping weight is bad. Oh, make sure you have tools & lube to do onsite tuneups as you will want to do that after every race.

It's great fun to win but don't sweat the losses!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
what do you think so far?

today we poured the lead in the back underside...its balanced exactly where it needs to be....we polished the axles last week

next week we are working on the tires and then we can paint it

probably 4 hours total so far into the car..goal is under 10 for the first one....
 

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Chuck the nails in a drill and sand them them smooth below the heads. You can get powered graphite to lube the wheels and axles.
The key is to use Flitz and polish the axles. My kids did it and both took home trophies at the local event.

The kids who win at the regionals go through great pains to align the wheels, etc.

There is also a science where to place the weights (front vs mid vs back and hi vs lo). I don't remember which works the best.

Of course, these are all done by the kids themselves:browsmiley:
 

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I work with a guy who must have put 60 hours into his kids car with all the research and building of the dang car. The kid dropped it as he was taking it to race for the first time. I didn't have the heart to laugh.
 

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i am told the balancing point should be 1 1/2" in front of the back wheels...thats exactly where this car now balances out and the weight is perfect 5 oz right now

i used 1,500 grit sand paper (wet) on the axels ...should i still use flintz?

i dont care about 1st place, but i want the car to win a trophy of some sort...my kid always loses at these things...i want him to be a winner this time

the guy who is working with me is a national pinewood derby winner...he has amazing cars.....the cars he won with are just like flat pancakes....1/4" flat wood w/ 1/4" thick lead under it.....just a square thin slab...im lucky he is one of my business customers and he lives 2 mins from my house....very nice guy....i told him he gets to drive my new 392 when it comes in return for all the help...he's a big Mopar guy, so he was quite excited
 

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Can you extend the axles...yours are in stock location. Also, go tungsten weight...it's more dense than lead but will run a few bucks. You can push it back further which works with the physics. Finally, raise one of the wheels on the front. Once you do that, all you have to do is toy with rotating the front axle of the one wheel on the ground up front to align it. An axle puller tool is helpful and you can make your own or I can point you in the direction. You'll need a kitchen/breakfast table that's raised, level and has some form of aligning point like tape on it to get it running straight. Critical to keep it off the rail. I've dabbled...

HemiSam
 

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i am told the balancing point should be 1 1/2" in front of the back wheels...thats exactly where this car now balances out and the weight is perfect 5 oz right now

i used 1,500 grit sand paper (wet) on the axels ...should i still use flintz?

i dont care about 1st place, but i want the car to win a trophy of some sort...my kid always loses at these things...i want him to be a winner this time

the guy who is working with me is a national pinewood derby winner...he has amazing cars.....the cars he won with are just like flat pancakes....1/4" flat wood w/ 1/4" thick lead under it.....just a square thin slab...im lucky he is one of my business customers and he lives 2 mins from my house....very nice guy....i told him he gets to drive my new 392 when it comes in return for all the help...he's a big Mopar guy, so he was quite excited
I'm not sure how fine 1500 grit is vs the flintz. I know my kids did really well with the flints. One of them lost when the other kid's father graphited the axles in between races which is illegal. The cars were neck and neck in a sudden death. He was supposed to graphite once before the match only.
 

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Just a tip from someone who learned the hard way, go for 4.95 oz on your scales then take some lead putty to fine tune to weight to 5.0 at weigh in.

As HemiSam said, extend the wheel base if permitted (most will not allow this).

Make sure it tracks straight, keeping the wheels off hte rails is important as friction is a killer. Teach your son how to place the car where it is aligned to run true.

Flitz the axles and use moly lube, looks like little ball bearings under a microscope vs. graphite that looks like flakes. Here's a link" Pinewood Derby Supplies - Lead Wire, Graphite Moly Lube, Polish, The Fastest graphite on the market

Polish the wheels to remove any burrs from the molds. Careful, most rules say that you can remove the burrs but not much else. Also, get several sets of wheels and test to see which ones are matched and true.

Make sure the wheels are aligned and Lube, Lube, Lube! I actually put my wheels and axles in a ziplock of moly-lube for several days before assembly.

Good luck and win or lose, have fun with it!

I'll post some pics of a few of our cars.
 

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Buy 2 kits. One for you and one for your son to build. Always a fun project.
 
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