Pinewood Freak

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Speed Tips

Optimum weight location

January 7th, 2006 · 50 Comments

If you’ve read the tips here and elsewhere you know if your weight should go in the front or the back. You know you should keep the weight low. But I’ve seen plenty of cars that meet these criteria but still don’t have the best weight placement. Lots of people weight their cars with those non-lead […]

Shine the body

January 5th, 2006 · 6 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.

Polish the inside edge of your wheels

January 5th, 2006 · 1 Comment

In addition to rubbing against the axles and car body, your wheels rub against the center guide on the pinewood track. If you have rough edges on the inside edges of the wheel, they will catch the guide and tend to slow the car down. When you polish your wheels, make sure to polish up […]

Know your rules

January 4th, 2006 · 1 Comment

As you look over the tips here or anywhere else, make sure you know the rules of your race. Race rules differ between programs and even by region. Some of the tips here might get your car disqualified. I try to only list legal tips and to point out where a tip might run afoul […]

Picking your wheels

January 4th, 2006 · 3 Comments

The wheels that come in the BSA kits are not all the same. They look alike, but they’re created using different molds. Some molds aren’t very round, some have crooked axle holes, and some have smaller holes than others. Crooked axle bores are no good. With all that work you’ve done to align your wheels, you […]

Easy race day weight adjustment

January 4th, 2006 · 2 Comments

The scale you use to weigh your car while you build it might not register exactly the same as the official scale at your race’s registration. You might find out you need to add or remove weight at the race in order to meet your weight requirement. When you build your car, make it about two […]

How to align your wheels

January 4th, 2006 · 13 Comments

Most blocks that come in pinewood kits don’t have straight holes cut for the axles. They’re all manner of crooked, so you’ll need to make your own holes using a miter saw or a drill press. You can also use a carpenter’s square and a hand saw to square up the holes, but it’s a […]

Align your wheels

January 4th, 2006 · 3 Comments

When I was a kid I had Hot Wheels cars and lots of race tracks. To keep a car on the track, Hot Wheels tracks have raised sides that form a gutter of sorts that the car sits in. My friends and I used to build enormous tracks in the basement and race cars against […]

Polish your axles and wheels

January 4th, 2006 · 5 Comments

When you get your car kit, take a look at the axles and wheels. A lot of kits have burrs and mold marks poking off the wheels and axles. Every one of those will slow your car down. Friction is enemy number one to your car. Smooth axles and wheels have less friction. You can use […]