Pinewood Freak

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Shine the body

January 5th, 2006 · 7 Comments

One easy way to reduce friction between the car body and the wheels is to give the car body a slick, glassy finish on that area. I do this by adding a couple of coats of clear nail polish around each axle hole and then polishing it with my polishing compound.


7 comments so far ↓

  • Hypertech Pine // Feb 12, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Paint is generally much softer then say epoxy.
    Also a little lemon pledge at the contact point also works wonders. Obviously conning and polishing the hubs will reduce total friction surface available. Canting the nails up when properly aligned will pretty much eliminate contact all together.

  • Reed C // Mar 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Canting the axles creates friction in the bore of the wheel and on the hub, unless you’re going for a rail rider don’t cant.
    Rubbing graphite on the body where the wheels go gives shine and slickens!

  • Michael Blue // Jan 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    You can buy graphite stickers and graphite spray paint, either placed at the hub location on the body will help a lot. Even without “rail riding”, minute camber/caster adjustments can ensure the wheels never touch the body…It just takes a lot of patience and testing to get it just right.

  • Hypertech Pine // Sep 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Canting the axles a degree or so upwards but stay at 90 degrees to the side of the block works wonders for keeping the wheels from rubbing the body. It also has the benefit of offsetting slight castor alignment problems. It is NOT necessary to rail ride to benefit from this technique at all. The wheel friction on on smoothed and polished axel head is far less then body rub at the wheel hub. For cubs, its an easy modification and always beneficial if not overdone. Just remember to plan ahead and drill the axel holes BEFORE cutting the car out of the block.

  • Hypertech Pine // Sep 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Sorry forgot to clarify last statement, don’t bend the axles to cant them. you have to drill the holes in at the angle.

  • Gonzo // Jan 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I have always painted the body without regard to how the wheel would rub the paint. I also force tons of graphite into the paint as part of my lube process. Essentially the polished edge of the wheel is contacting nothing but graphite everytime it runs against it.

  • Rando // Feb 14, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I know this is old thread, but someone will see it someday - I did. What we did is after he painted the car with Testors botttle paint which stays soft forever, we (I) dabbed some CA glue around the axle openings and then smoothed it out. Let it cure fully before inserting axles, sand smooth with sanding stick carefully to not mess up the paint. I explained to him that the purpose was to give a harder surface where the hub may contact the paint. reduce friction, etc.

    We had a good car, but dear old dad (me) screwed up by using non BSA wheels on rear - we had some Pine Car brand wheels (from old hobby shop stock)that were same size and rolled smoother than the BSA wheels. I really didn’t consider it cheating intentionally after the way they let the derby run in 2016 (lots of visible infractions that were ignored). We had to change pre race and the new wheels were awful. I had to explain and apologize a lot to my son. It was not an attempt to circumvent the rules. Another leasson learned. We will follow the rules to the letter next time. And be as prepared as possible; even more than this year.

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