The Pro Rail Rider Tool ™ is the first tool designed to assist the builder in accurately setting up the alignment of a Pinewood Derby car using the Rail-Rider™ method. This method makes for a straight, fast, easy to align car even without a test track.
If rail riding is part of your setup, there are special Axle Rail Riding Tool so that you have repeatable axles to work with to align your car. Do not try to “wing” this method as seen in many YouTube videos. A 2-degree bend here and a 10-degree bend there is a nightmare for your Scout to overcome.
Bent axles is how one rail rides. Adjusting the axles is how you adjust the wheels. When I reference wheels should be adjusted a certain way, this is done by adjusting the axles. Therefore, they are one in the same.
The standard axle configuration for rail racing is 2.5-3 degrees negative camber for the rears with a very slight toe out orientation to ensure wheels will always push out to the axle hubs and ride on the inner wheel edge.
Rail Riding Setup
The front dominant steer will be a 1.5-2.5 degree in the positive camber so that the wheel will ride on the outer edge of the wheel with a toe adjustment so that the car will steer according to track conditions. The steer wheel will initially touch the car body but will only do this for the split second it takes for the wheel to then ride the center rail. You will need special Axle Rail Riding Tool to make these bends with accurate repeatable results.
PLEASE take note these configurations for the front and back are NOT the same, but opposite of each other.
Please note that EACH wheel has 2 positions which must be adjusted correctly. Simply because you have the correct camber, does not mean you have the correct toe. So pay attention to both positions.
Be sure to graphite the body heavily on the front steer axle location to reduce friction as the wheel will rub in the beginning of the race. Every millisecond counts.
Adjust the axles as little as possible. The more you adjust them, the more the wood compresses and this in turn makes loose axles
Add a few drops of water to your wood to make it swell to make loose axles tight again. This only works with RAW wood. Any paint or glue will not allow the wood to absorb the water.
When inserting the axle, make sure that the axle tip does not rub against the inside of the wheel hub wall. This will place scratches on the surface that you have worked so hard to polish. These new scratches will create unwanted friction.
Alignment adjustments are simple and effective with axle canting.
Friction is reduced in all areas of the car.
Alignment is simple with a tuning board.
(A Pro Axle Press is required.)
Pro Tip: By cutting a 3/16” strip of business card and placing it around the axle at the head an additional .5deg can be achieved. This will give the builder the options of : 1.5°, 2.0°, 2.5° and 3.0° for tuning.