Winning Tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

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Winning tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

 There is a Video on YouTube that gives you a step by step reasons why you need to do certain things to get a wining pinewood derby car.  Here is my take on things.
Our PWD bodies and kits utilize the steps.  We have been for years!

Center of Mass (Center of gravity) Location

This step is supposed to give you a 36% increase in speed.  These canopy style bodies are super light and allow us to maximize weight placement where we want it.  Our setup is for a 0.930″ COM in front of the rear axle.  Then we place weight pockets on the remaining wood sections so that you can tweak what works for you. Designed for minimum wood weight designed for maximum weight placement. Get your COG tricked out for ultimate performance.  This body style will only work with HEAVY canopy weights. You will need a minimum of 3.5 of canopy weight. 3.8-3.9 is probably the desired overall added weight to the body.
pinewood derby center of gravity mass

Winning Tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

Lightweight wheels

If your rules allow, we high suggest getting a set.  Video’s Claim is 16% increase in speed, but I tend to think the increase is more like 36% and COG is 16%.  I know if I can use a set of 1 gram wheels and tune a car, I will smoke nearly everything.  I will beat any car that has factory wheels no matter if I am racing a block of wood.  Seriously.


Winning Tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car


11% increase in speed.  Majority of our bodies are streamlined.   With Low weight placement.  We also remove wood around the wheel’s outer edge to ensure that that part never touches the body.
Pinewood Derby Car Body ONLY --- Key Hole

Winning Tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

Polished Nails

If you need speed axles, we have those.  2k-100K optical polished.   10% increase in speed  LOL we got that covered.  CNC polished nails.  Only one in industry that can state their axles are polished my a computer controlled machine.
Pinewood Derby Car BSA Steering axle

Winning Tips for making a Fast Pinewood Derby Car

Lift one wheel

9% increase in speed.  All bodies made by Derby Dust have the option of 3 wheel racing.  We believe it is the only way to race.

Graphite / lube

Do we ever know this!  Derby Dust dry lube is a pure graphite with proper flake size and moisture content that will give you a smooth friction-less surface when you follow our break-in process.

Other  (long wheel Base, car shape, wheel gap, etc)

11% increase.  I think this is a BS category.  I can get a standard wheelbase to run just as fast or faster than a short wheel base.  Car shape is important.  Wheel gap is important based on the type of wheel hub.  It will differ.

Derby Dust’s conclusion which was barely addressed

Fastest car is a tuned car.  Regardless of any other option.   Focus mainly on tuning or adjusting your axles.  You want your car to go down the track as straight as it can without going side to side.  Easiest way to do this is 3 wheels touching and make it ride along the center strip.   Takes time.  Not technical, Not complicated, just time.  The correct tool to do this with is a set of axle pliers.

My go to solution for all builds:

Low profile body with .930ish COG, 3k bent axles (3x 2.5, 1x 1.5) for center rail riding, lightest possible wheels that you can use, Wheel Polish kit to clean up the bores of the wheels, Derby Dust graphite.


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