Q&A

Ordering


How to Order

Internet Ordering

Selecting and purchasing booklets and other products from Maximum Velocity is quite easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Look at the products until you find one you like. By clicking on a picture, you will see a larger picture and more information about the product.
  2. When you have found a product you want, select the ‘Add to Cart’ button.
  3. If you want a quantity greater than 1, change the quantity in the shopping cart, and press the ‘Update’ button.
  4. Select ‘Continue Shopping’.
  5. If you would like to purchase other booklets, speed supplies, decals, etc., continue adding products to the ‘shopping cart’.
  6. After adding your last item, select ‘Checkout’ at the bottom of the ‘Shopping Cart’ page.
  7. Complete the remainder of the on-line order forms and select the ‘Submit Order’ button.

Fax Ordering

To order by Fax:

  • Use the on-line ordering system to select the items you would like.
  • When all items have been selected, enter your zip code and state below the shopping cart, press ‘Update’, and select the shipping method. Print the ‘Shopping Cart’ page using the ‘Print’ command of your web browser. Then select ‘Checkout’.
  • Fill in the checkout form and print it.
  • Write your charge card number and expiration date on the paper. We take Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
  • Fax the printed pages to the Fax number on our Customer Support Page.

Mail Ordering

To order by mail:

  1. Use the on-line ordering system to select the items you would like.
  2. When all items have been selected, enter your zip code and state below the shopping cart, press ‘Update’, and select the shipping method. Print the ‘Shopping Cart’ page using the ‘Print’ command of your web browser. Then select ‘Checkout’.
  3. Fill in the checkout form and print it.
  4. Add the subtotal of the items and the shipping amount to get the total.
  5. Mail the printed pages, and a check or money order made out to Maximum Velocity!
    to the address on our Customer Support Page.

Phone Ordering

Order can be placed over the phone during normal business hours. Click Here for phone numbers and hours of operation


Adding to or Changing an Order

To add to or change an order please Contact Us by phone or e-mail ASAP. Please do not create a separate order for the additional items.

If the order has not yet shipped, we will be glad to make any desired changes. All we need is your order number and the additional items (or the change).


Canceling an order
To cancel an order please Contact Us by phone or e-mail ASAP. All we need is your order number.

If the order has not yet shipped, we will refund the payment in full. If the order has shipped, please return the package to us. When we receive the package, we will refund the payment minus the shipping cost.


Order Terms
All sales are considered final and complete after 30 days from the date of the invoice. Once a package is shipped, the shipping fee is nonrefundable. Please see our Return Policy for more information on returns.


On-line Security

Privacy

At Maximum Velocity we take your privacy very seriously. In order to process your order, we do require certain personal information including your: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and charge card (if the order is charged). However, all information provided to Maximum Velocity is treated as confidential. We use your information for processing your order and never sell, rent, or give your information to any third-party. This is our promise and guarantee. If you wish to review or update the information we have on file, please Contact Us By Phone.

If at some future time this policy should materially change, you will be notified by e-mail.

This policy became effective on January 1, 2000.

Certified Safe Shopping Site

As a measure to increase privacy and security and in an effort to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information, we have subscribed to SiteLock’s security certification program. SiteLock conducts security tests and audits and certifies this site’s security.

  • Tests for thousands of Internet Security Vulnerabilities and updated to the FBI/SANS TOP 20 list of vulnerabilities
  • Notifies us immediately of any new vulnerabilities that may arise.
  • Secures us from the most recent hacking attacks.
  • Actively secures your sensitive information and credit card details.
  • Scans per the PCI Compliance Vulnerability Scan standard as mandated by the payment card industry.

Security

Maximum Velocity is a Positive SSL Secure Site. Our secure server encrypts all of your personal information including name, address and credit card number with the most advance encryption methods available (128 bit encryption enabled). This encryption and other security measures ensure that no one can access or use your personal information in an unauthorized manner.


International Shipping
We can ship your order to virtually any country using the postal service (least expensive) or by FedEx International shipping. Due to the wide variety of options and pricing, international shipping fees are not calculated by the shopping cart.

International Rate Quotes

To get a rate quote for an international shipment, send us an e-mail with the list of products and quantities, and the shipping address. We will send you a firm quote including the shipping by the postal service (typically takes 10 business days or more for delivery). If you need the shipment in less than 10 business days, please let us know and we will provide a quote for shipping by FedEx International.

Duties, Taxes, and Fees

Regardless of the shipping method, you will be responsible for any duties, taxes, or fees assessed by your country’s customs service. These fees are not included in the quote.

Ordering

There are several ways to place an order for international shipping:

  • Paying with a Credit Card
    1. Checkout On-line
      Use the shopping cart to place your order. Shipping fees will not be included. The shipping fees will be charged separately using the same card. We will send you an updated receipt by e-mail.
    2. E-mail/Fax
      Send us the list of products and quantities, the shipping address, and payment information by e-mail or fax. We will create and charge the order, and send you a receipt by e-mail.
  • Paying with Paypal – After receiving a quote from us, use the Paypal “Send Money” feature to send the full payment to our Paypal ID (info@maximum-velocity.com). We will create the order and send you a receipt by e-mail.

Shipping


Free Shipping Offer
For orders with a subtotal of $75.00 or more (after any discounts), and shipping to a US Zip Code, you may choose our free shipping option. We will ship either by FedEx Smart Post, FedEx Ground, or US Mail (our choice of one of these shipping methods).

Shipping Methods
Priority Mail

For orders under $150.00, we offer US Postal Service Priority Mail. This is usually the most economical way to ship small orders.

First Class Mail

When an order consists of only flat materials (such as decals), and has a total package weight of 13 ounces or less we offer First Class Mail as a shipping option.

FedEx Ground

For larger orders, FedEx Ground may be less expensive than Priority Mail, however, the shipment time may be longer.

FedEx 3 Day (Express Saver), 2nd Day or Next Day Air

When an order is needed quickly and with a guaranteed delivery, choose FedEx 3 Day, 2nd Day or Next Day Air.

Important Shipping Notes:

  • FedEx does not deliver to PO Boxes, so please specify a residential or business physical address for FedEx deliveries.
  • Packages over $200 in value will require a signature upon delivery, so you may want to have the package delivered to your place of work (if appropriate).
  • If you choose Next Day Air and the package is shipping on Friday, the package will be delivered on Monday, the next business day. FedEx does offer a Saturday delivery service to most US zip codes. If you want Saturday delivery, you must request this service by selecting that option in the shopping cart.
  • If you choose 2nd Day Air and the package is shipping on Thursday, the package will be delivered on Monday, the second business day. If you need the order sooner, please select Next Day Air as the shipping method.


When Your Order will Arrive
US Postal service business days are Monday through Saturday excluding holidays. Business days for FedEx Ground (commercial) and express services are Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Business days for Fed Ex ground shipments to residences (Home Delivery) are Tuesday through Saturday, excluding holidays.

To determine delivery times, the first business day is the business day following shipment. Refer to the “Cut-off Times” section to determine the day on which your order will ship.

Holidays affect the shipment time. Refer to the chart of holidays below

MethodNormal Delivery TimeDecember Delivery TimeGuaranteed?Tracking?
1st Class Mail3 to 5 business days4 to 7 business daysNoNo
Priority Mail2 to 3 business days3 to 5 business daysNoNo
Ground1 to 5 business days
(see map)
SameYesYes
Next Day1 business daySameYesYes
2nd Day2 business daysSameYesYes
3 Day3 business daysSameYesYes
US Postal Service HolidaysFedEx Holidays
  • December 25, 2017 – Christmas Day
  • January 1, 2018 – New Year’s Day
  • January 15, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday
  • February 19, 2018 – Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day)
  • May 28, 2018 – Memorial Day
  • July 4, 2018 – Independence Day
  • September 3, 2018 – Labor Day
  • October 8, 2018 – Columbus Day
  • November 12, 2018 – Veterans Day (observed)
  • November 22, 2018 – Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25, 2018 – Christmas Day
  • January 1, 2019 – New Year’s Day
  • December 25, 2017 – Christmas Day
  • January 1, 2018 – New Year’s Day
  • May 28, 2018 – Memorial Day
  • July 4, 2018 – Independence Day
  • September 3, 2018 – Labor Day
  • November 22, 2018 – Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25, 2018 – Christmas Day
  • January 1, 2019 – New Year’s Day



Shipping Cut-off Times
We ship orders Monday through Friday, holidays excepted. First Class Mail and Priority Mail orders received by 8:00AM MST are generally shipped on the same day. FedEx Ground, 3 Day, 2nd Day and Next Day Air orders received by 1:00PM MST are generally shipped on the same day.

Late Deliveries and Shipping Fee Refunds
USPS Shipping – There are no refunds of shipping fees for late deliveries.

FedEx Shipping – When late deliveries occur, we will contact FedEx to request a refund. Assuming that the delay was not weather related (or some other “act of God”), then FedEx will issue us a refund. We will then refund your shipping fee. Neither, Fedex nor Maximum Velocity are responsible for shipping delays due to weather or other unavoidable delays, and shipping fee refunds are not available in those situations.


Tracking
For orders shipped by a Fed Ex shipping method, a tracking code will be emailed to you on the day of shipment. This code can be used starting on the following day to track your order at the FedEx Web Site

For orders shipped by US Priority Mail, a delivery confirmation code will be emailed to you on the day of shipment. This code can be used to determine if and when a package has been delivered. You can check the delivery status of the package at the US Postal Service Web Site


Download Booklets


How to Order a Download Booklet
All of our booklets can be purchased as a download. This options allows you to receive the booklet(s) you purchased immediately after ordering. The steps in the process are as follows:

Select a booklet(s), choosing the “Add to Cart” button for the immediate download version.

Complete the on-line credit card purchase transaction. You will be asked for your billing and shipping address as the checkout process is generic for all possible order types.


How to Download Your Booklet(s)
When the purchase has been approved, you will be shown a purchase confirmation page. You will also receive a purchase confirmation e-mail. Both the purchase confirmation page and the confirmation e-mail will contain a link(s) to your booklet. To download:

Click on the link or type it into your web browser.

Specify the download location and press enter. The booklets are between 100KB and 1 MB in size. Using a modem running at 28K, download times will range from 30 seconds to 4 minutes per booklet.

Repeat the previous two steps for each booklet ordered.


How to View Your Booklet(s)
The booklets can be viewed and/or printed with a program named ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader’ (file extension is .pdf). Many computers already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, but if your computer does not have the program, you will need to download and install it. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is free, and can be downloaded by clicking on the ‘Get Acrobat’ graphic below.

AFTER 24 HOURS FROM THE TIME OF PURCHASE YOUR BOOKLET ORDER WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOADING. Please download your booklets within that time frame. If you are unable to do so, please Contact Us and we will make arrangements for you to receive your order.

How to Print Your Booklet(s)
To print the booklets with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, use the File>Print command (not the shortcut on the toolbar) and make sure the ‘Fit to page’, ‘Shrink’, or ‘Expand’ options are NOT selected. This ensures that the templates are printed to scale.

Download Booklet Policies
By purchasing a download you agree to all copyright issues associated with the download and all order policies. Problems during downloading are rare but can occur due to the configuration of individual computers. In the event that a problem does occurs with your download, you agree to Contact Maximum Velocity and let us help you resolve the problem. It may take several hours or even a day to fix a problem but you agree to work with us to resolve the issue. Downloads are for single computer and individual use. Treat the download booklet as you would any copyrighted printed material.

Other


Return Policy
We cannot guarantee that your pinewood derby car will win a trophy, but we can guarantee that you will be satisfied with our products. If you are not satisfied with one of our products, within 30 days of receipt of your shipment you may return the product for a refund of the price of the returned items. To minimize the risk of damage, all returns must be shipped in a box. Returned products must be in original condition, and please include the original order number. Due to credit card company restrictions, after 30 days authorization for a return must be granted by Maximum Velocity, and a store credit will be issued in lieu of a refund. No returns are accepted after 60 days from order placement.

Returned products with damaged packaging are subject to a 10 percent restocking fee. Orders that are refused delivery on the receivers end will be charged the original shipping charge for the delivery, and the return shipping charge.

Shipping fees are not refundable. If free shipping was selected, then if after the return the subtotal of the order is less than the free shipping limit, the cost of shipping will be subtracted from the credit amount.

Return of Polished Axles
Do to the risk of introducing corrosion through hand oil, humidity, and other foreign elements, and the risk of scratching the polished surface, polished axles (parts 4035, 4036, and 4056) may only be returned if the package has not been opened. Once the package is opened, the axles are considered used and may not be returned.

Download Products
This return policy also applies to ‘Immediate Download’ products. If you are not satisfied with an Immediate Download product, within 30 days from the date of purchase completely delete all copies of the file from your computer. Then send us an e-mail with the original order number, and state that you have completely deleted all copies of the file and that you are requesting a refund.

This is a no-questions-asked guarantee, however, we would appreciate your sharing with us the reason for any dissatisfaction. Thank you.


Privacy Policy
At Maximum Velocity we take your privacy very seriously. In order to process your order, we do require certain personal information including your: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and charge card (if the order is charged). However, all information provided to Maximum Velocity is treated as confidential. We use your information for processing your order and never sell, rent, or give your information to any third-party. This is our promise and guarantee. If you wish to review or update the information we have on file, please Contact Us By Phone.

If at some future time this policy should materially change, you will be notified by e-mail.

This policy became effective on January 1, 2000.
Certified Safe Shopping Site
As a measure to increase privacy and security and in an effort to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information, we have subscribed to SiteLock’s security certification program. SiteLock conducts security tests and audits and certifies this site’s security.

  • Tests for thousands of Internet Security Vulnerabilities and updated to the FBI/SANS TOP 20 list of vulnerabilities
  • Notifies us immediately of any new vulnerabilities that may arise.
  • Secures us from the most recent hacking attacks.
  • Actively secures your sensitive information and credit card details.
  • Scans per the PCI Compliance Vulnerability Scan standard as mandated by the payment card industry.

Security
Maximum Velocity is a Positive SSL Secure Site. Our secure server encrypts all of your personal information including name, address and credit card number with the most advance encryption methods available (128 bit encryption enabled). This encryption and other security measures ensure that no one can access or use your personal information in an unauthorized manner.


Legal Matters
Web Images and text
All images and text on the Maximum Velocity web site are copyrighted material and may not be used without permission. We typically grant permission to use our material for non-profit use as long as the Maximum Velocity copyright and web address are included with the material.

Download Booklets
All download booklets are copyrighted material and are for single computer and individual use. Booklets may not be posted on any web site or distributed to others.

E-Newsletter
The Pinewood Derby Times e-newsletter is copyrighted material and may not be posted on any web site. However, we do grant permission to distribute the e-newsletter to others via hard copy or email, as long as the newsletter is distributed in its entirety. Portions of the newsletter may not be used or distributed without permission.


CPSIA Act of 2008
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 regulates the content, packaging and sale of products to children 12 years of age or younger.

All products sold by Maximum Velocity are intended for use by adults for use in building competitive race cars. While children may be involved with an adult in the construction and/or racing of these cars, the resulting cars are to be used in a supervised competitive environment and are not to be used as toys.

Many of the products sold on the Maximum Velocity web site are a Choking Hazard for small children, and are not to be used in any way by children under 3 years of age.

Some of the products sold on the Maximum Velocity web site have sharp, functional points, and are a Puncture Hazard. Take appropriate precautions when using axles, tools, etc, with sharp points.

Lead is sold on the Maximum Velocity web site for use as ballast weight in cars. Make sure to read the Lead Caution Information before purchasing or using lead.


Product and Technical


Axles Q&A
What is the difference between your 4094 and 4097 axles?
The 4097 axles are the official BSA nails that have had the burrs/crimp marks removed, the head beveled, and the polishing started. The 4094 axles are “clones” of the BSA nail without any flaws, and with a slightly beveled head. Essentially, they are “perfect” BSA nails.

Because the 4094 axles are full diameter (the diameter of the 4097 axles must be reduced to remove the flaws) they will outperform the 4097 axles.

Were can I find specifications on the axles you sell?
A comparison chart of the various axles can be found Here. Specifications for each axle type can also be found by clicking on the photo of the desired axle type.

Are grooved axles faster?
In general, grooved axles perform better than non-grooved axles. I believe this has less to do with the idea of a lube reservoir, and more to do with minimizing the amount of contact between the wheel bore and the axle shaft.

Why are the Super Speed Axles less expensive than the Grooved BSA Pinewood Derby Speed Axles? Which are faster?
The Super Speed Axles (part 4098) are generally faster, however, they are not an official BSA part so they may not be legal in a Cub Scout race. The Grooved BSA Speed Axles (part 4099) are more expensive as each one must be loaded onto a lathe by a human operator. The Super Speed Axles are made from scratch on a lathe and do not require operator intervention.

Which axles are the fastest?
The Pro Grooved Stainless Steel Axles (part 4052) are the fastest. They have an excellent fit with BSA, PineCar, Awana, and MV wheels resulting in super performance. The two-step shaft simplifies installation. Use Krytox 100 or Max-V-Lube for best results.

Can Awana axles be used with BSA Pinewood Derby wheels?
Yes, Awana axles work well with BSA wheels. Just make that they are legal for your race.

How do you remove the flaws from a nail axle?
The nail is placed in the chuck of a drill that has been immobilized with a clamp or vise. While the axle spins at a medium speed apply a mini-file to the flaws. Note that files cut on a push stroke, not a pull stroke. So orient the file so that the axle material is rotating towards the file handle. Dipping the mini-file in water will result in a nicer job.

How do you bevel the head of the nail?
The nail is placed in the chuck of a drill that has been immobilized with a clamp or vise. While the axle spins at a medium speed apply a mini-file to the back of the axle head. Dipping the mini-file in water will result in a nicer job. Only a very slight angle is needed – about 3 degrees. The resulting bevel should be virtually undetectable by the human eye.

How do I cut grooves in an axle?
Use a similar technique to beveling the head, but cut into the shaft with the sharp edge of a file. You don’t need to go very deep. Make sure the grooves are isolated to the area of the shaft on which the wheel will spin.

How do you polish axles?
The axle is placed in the chuck of a drill that has been immobilized with a clamp or vise. While the axle spins at a medium speed apply the polishing material. If you are polishing a nail axle, use an Axle Polishing Kit. If you are using axles that are already partially polished, then a metal polish, such as Simichrome, can be used. Metal polishes are applied with a soft rag.

Why do you not sell graphite-coated axles?
Graphite works well as a lube because at the molecular level the graphite is formed into plates which easily slide over each other. To make graphite adhere to metal it must be mixed with a binder (alcohol or similar). When the binder dries, the graphite is no longer in the plate form and can thus no longer slide over each other. Thus, it no longer lubricates as it should. Because of this, graphite coated axles generally do not perform as well as polished steel axles that have been properly lubricated with graphite powder.


Body Q&A
What is a “standard” and “extended” wheelbase, and why do I care?
A “standard” wheelbase positions the axles the same as the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby kit. An “extended” wheelbase places the axles closer to the ends of the block. Note that some kits have a “centered” wheelbase, and other variations exist. For more information on wheelbases, Click Here.

In general, an extended wheelbase provides more stability and performance. So, if allowed by your local rules, use an extended wheelbase.

How do I drill axle holes?
Unless you have a drill press with an accurate fence, use a Pro-Body Tool, or a Pro-Body Jig. These tools can be found Here.

How do I cut new axles slots?
New axle slots can be cut with a band saw, or with a hacksaw equipped with two blades (usually a hacksaw will accept two blades. However, it can be difficult to accurately cut slots, so it is often prudent to purchase blocks with precision slots. These blocks can be found Here.

What is the best saw to use for cutting the body?
A band saw is the best power tool for this job. A coping saw is generally the best hand saw. However, if you just need to make a straight cut (such as cutting a wedge shape), then any saw (carpenter’s saw, back saw, etc.) will generally work.

How do I curve and shape the body?
I like to use a 4-in-hand rasp. This is a coarse file with four faces, two are flat and two are curved. After roughly shaping the car with the 4-in-hand rasp, use sandpaper to finish shaping. If needed, Bondo (car body filler that can be found at any auto parts store) can be used to add contours or fill in gaps.

What type of drill bits should I use?
I recommend the following:

  • Holes under 1/8 inch – High-Speed Steel bit – Standard drill bit found in any drill set. A #44 (3/32 inch for Awana) drill bit is used for drilling axle holes.
  • Holes between 1/8 inch and 7/16 inch – Brad Point Drill Bits – Equipped with a sharp center tip and side cutters to make clean holes in wood. Brad Point bits are commonly used for drilling weight holes in pinewood derby blocks.
  • Holes over 7/16 inch – Forstner Bit – Equipped with a sharp center tip, side cutters, and bottom blade for making clean, flat-bottomed holes in wood. Forstner bits are commonly used for creating wheel wells for attaching to the side of a pinewood derby block. They are also used for creating holes for tungsten rounds.

How do I make weight pockets?
Repeatedly drill into the pocket area with a Brad Point or Forstner bit, then use a wood chisel to carefully create the corners and straighten the edges of the pocket.

Is aerodynamics important?
Not as important as other factors, but in a close race a more aerodynamic car will generally provide an advantage.


Lubricants Q&A
What is the best graphite for pinewood derby cars?
In our testing, the best graphite was pure flake, high purity (99% pure), with a medium to fine particle size. Max-V-Lube meets these characteristics, and was the top performing graphite in our testing. You can find Max-V-Lube Here.

How do you apply graphite?
Before installing the wheels and axles, apply Max-V-Lube as follows:

  1. Fill the bore of the wheel with graphite.
  2. Insert an axle into the wheel bore.
  3. With one hand, firmly grasp the axle and hold the axle horizontal to the ground.
  4. With the other hand, spin the tire gently — don’t drop the axle. Spin the wheel ten times.
  5. Hold the axle with the wheel hanging towards the ground.
  6. Deposit some lube into the gap between the axle and wheel bore.
  7. Tap the wheel gently to help move the lube down into the wheel bore.
  8. Again, spin the wheel 10 times.
  9. Continue this process for five minutes per wheel.
  10. Important – Don’t add any more graphite after this point. If you do, you will need to spin the wheels ten times again. Always spin the wheels after adding graphite.

What about graphite with molybdenum (moly)?
Molybdenum is a hard metal that is used as a lube in some industrial processes which require a lubricant with no electrical conductivity, high pressure, and high heat. None of these conditions apply to pinewood derby racing. In our testing the addition of molybdenum to graphite did nothing for performance, but did scratch the axles that you just spent so much time polishing.

How do molybdenum disulfide (MS2) and tungsten disulfide (WS2) work with pinewood derby cars?
Marginally. Graphite easily outperforms both of these lubricants

We can only use “Dry White”. What do we do?
Dry White is a Teflon powder lubricant. In our testing, Dry White performed very poorly. In fact, running without lube was superior to running with Dry White in most cases.

I have heard of “secret” lubes that people use. What are they?
People have tried all kinds of lubes including silicon, Pledge furniture polish, various waxes, food oils (peanut, safflower, olive, etc.), WD-40, liquid graphite, etc. I have tested most of these products and found that although many of them work quite well, graphite was still superior.

Specifically, silicon sprays are generally very fast in the first few runs, but quickly wear off (spray it on the axles, let it dry, then lightly wipe it off). WD-40 is not bad, but it is a solvent so it can damage wheels. I do recommend avoiding liquid graphite, which generally performs poorly.

Our rules say “dry lubes only”. Will a liquid lube be legal?
Technically no. However, when properly applied, liquid lubes are cleaner than graphite.

How do liquid lubes compare with graphite?
It depends on the application. When applied properly, Krytox 100 will equal the performance of graphite. But in situations where the wheel bore to axle tolerance is very tight (outlaw wheels/axles, Awana wheels/axles), Krytox 100 will generally outperform graphite.

Can I mix liquid lubes with graphite?
Although this technique is touted by some web sites, I have never had success mixing liquid and dry lubes.

How do you remove graphite that has gotten onto the paint?
Depending on the type of paint, and whether the paint was fully cured when the graphite was applied, removing graphite can be relatively easy or very hard. Graphite on enamel paint is usually very difficult to remove, especially when the enamel is not fully cured. But in any case, here are some techniques you can try.

  • Erase the graphite with a pencil eraser.
  • Rub the spot with a dab of vegetable oil on a clean rag.
  • Use a baby wipe.
  • Spray some “Simple Green” on a clean rag and wipe.
  • Spray “WD-40” on a clean rag and wipe.
  • Apply a paste wax or car polish with a clean rag.


Paint, Decals, etc. Q&A
What kind of paint should I use for my pinewood derby car?
Spray paint will generally provide a nicer finish. I like to use Duplicolor brand primer, paint, and clear coat. Duplicolor is available at most auto parts stores. Note that Duplicolor offers several formulations. I recommend the acylic laquer formulations. This can be identified by the label “Perfect Match” or “Premium Lacquer”.

However, if you want to have your child paint the car it is best to use Acrylic brush paints. Acrylic paints are water based for quick drying and easy clean up, and can be found at hobby and craft stores.

Which decals are better: dry transfer or sticker decals?
Sticker decals generally leave a slight “sheen” around the perimeter of the decal, so Dry Transfer decals generally look nicer.

How do I apply dry transfer decals?
Application instructions for Dry Transfer decals can be found Here.

What are “Body Skins”?
Body Skins are full body decals that can substitute for paint. They can be applied directly to the wood body, over primer, or over paint. Body Skins can cover all or portions of the body. Due to the complex patterns on the skin, pieces of the skin can be overlapped to cover complicated areas of the car.

How are Body Skins applied?
Application instructions for Body Skins can be found Here (scroll down past the photo).

Can I apply a clear coat over decals and Body Skins?
Although there may be exceptions, most clear coats can be applied over dry transfer decals, sticker decals, Body Skins, and pinstriping.

How are stripes put on a car?
The easiest way is with pinstriping. This product comes in various widths and has an adhesive backing. It will attach to any paint. Instructions can be found Here (scroll down past the photo).

What kind of glue should I use?
For attaching wood to wood use white glue, yellow carpenter’s glue, or a tacky glue such as “Formula Glue” by PineCar. For attaching metal (weights or decorative items) to wood use Epoxy. Epoxy is a two-part glue that fills gaps, dries quickly, and adheres to most surfaces. I don’t recommend using “Super Glue” type glues except for emergency repairs.

What grit of sandpaper is needed for sanding the car body?
I recommend the sequence: 60, 120, 240, and 400 grit. Then use 600 or 800 grit paper between coats of primer or paint.


Rail Riding Q&A
What is rail riding?
If a pinewood derby car is aligned to run straight, but the track is not consistently level (very common), the car will contact the center guide rail both with the left wheels and the right wheels. If a raised wheel is used, then the raised wheel will likely contact the guide rail and start spinning. This will cancel any benefit attained from the raised wheel.

To compensate for the unknown condition of the track, the car can be intentionally steered such that the raised wheel does not contact the guide rail. For this discussion, we will assume that the left-front wheel is raised (if the right-front wheel is raised, then everything discussed below is reversed).

Adjust the right-front wheel so that the car drifts to the left – this keeps the left-front wheel from contacting the guide rail. With this drift, and if the rear wheels are aligned to run straight, then only the right-front wheel will contact the guide rail. To ensure that the right-rear wheel stays off the rail, the right-front of the car can be narrowed by 1/16 inch.

Tests show that when this Rail-rider technique is implemented, car performance is consistently faster than straight alignment.

Why does rail riding help?
Two major reasons: (1) The rear wheels of the car carry more weight, so there is a greater speed loss when a rear wheel contacts the guide rail than when a front wheel touches the guide rail. With rail riding, the rear wheels do not contact the guide rail. (2) When a raised front wheel is used, to gain a benefit it must not contact the guide rail and start spinning. Rail riding keeps the raised wheel off of the track.

Our pack does not allow a raised wheel. Can I still rail ride?
Yes, although the benefit is not as great, keeping the rear wheels off of the rail will still provide a performance benefit.

How much should the car drift?
The amount of drift should be about 5 inches over 8 feet.

Must the axles be angled to rail ride?
Although, angled axles are commonly used when rail riding, rail riding itself does not mandate angled axles.

Are there tools to help with rail riding?
Yes, the Pro-Rail Rider Tool is specifically designed to angle a front axle so that it can be steered. The tool can also be used to angle the other axles if desired. Note that a Pro-Axle Press is required to use the Pro-Rail Rider tool.

If you do not want to bend an axle, then the desired steering correction can be accomplished by shimming one of the front axles, which will force the car to steer left or right.

Do I need access to a track to implement rail-riding?
No. In fact you can better set the proper drift using an alignment board. An alignment board is created as follows:

First, find a smooth, level surface that is 6 to 8 feet long. A smooth table top or a sheet of MDF (Home Depot, et al) work well. Next, place a piece of masking tape down the middle of the surface, running from one end to the other. Better, use a marker to draw the center line. Measure accurately to make sure the line is straight and centered.

Raise one end of this ‘test track’ about three inches with books or a piece of wood. Level the test track side to side by rolling a large steel ball (or billiard ball) down the track. Use shims of wood or paper to level the track so that the ball follows the stripe.

Finally, place a pillow at the downhill end. To use the test track, place the car at the uphill end and align the edge of the car with the line. Make sure to place the car exactly even with the line on each test – a slight difference in placement will make a big difference in accuracy.


Race Management Services Around the Country
The following companies/people provide race management services. We do not endorse, nor do we have any personal experience with any of these companies.

ARIZONA

Derby David (David Keith)

  • Track Rentals, Race Management, Classes, Special Events
  • Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding area
  • 480-518-0006
  • www.derbydave.com
  • info@derbydave.com

Waylon Anglin

  • Race Management
  • Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding area
  • 602-803-8937 or 480-983-0599
  • www.blacktrackderby.com
  • blacktrackunlimited@gmail.com

CALIFORNIA

Paul Taylor

  • Race Management
  • Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles or Orange County
  • trackmaster.webs.com
  • pwdtrackmaster@gmail.com

ILLINOIS

Rick Doty

  • Race Management
  • Central Illinois
  • 217-848-1782

IOWA

Brian Thorp

  • Race Management at ours or your location
  • Waterloo, Iowa and surrounding area
  • www.thorpfamilyfun.com
  • 319-290-0227

KENTUCKY

David Buie

  • Race Management
  • Somerset, Kentucky
  • 606-219-5454
  • dbuie2010@yahoo.com

MICHIGAN

Jerry Dent

  • Race Management
  • North Grand Rapids, Michigan and surrounding area
  • xjarcher@gmail.com

Anthony Prince

  • Race Management
  • Battle Creek, Michigan and surrounding area
  • Tony1747@yahoo.com
  • 269-964-8946

Terry L Stevens

  • Race Management
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan and surrounding areas
  • terrylstevens@sbcglobal.net
  • 616-889-9592

MINNESOTA

Keith Larson

  • Race Management
  • Bagley, Minnesota and surrounding area
  • 218-694-3365
  • keithlarson@team-ind.com

Brad Harmon

  • Harmon Race Management
  • Race Management, Consulting
  • Minneapolis / St. Paul and surrounding area
  • 763-772-8845
  • brad.harmon86@gmail.com

Warren Kalsow

  • PWDRacing, LLC
  • Track Rentals, Race Management, Workshops, Special Events, Training & Consulting
  • Twin Cities Metro
  • 612-801-7827
  • www.PwdRacing.com
  • pwdracing@yahoo.com

MISSOURI

Ronnie Ward

  • Track Rentals, Race Management, General Support
  • Greater Springfield area
  • tanker2003@gmail.com
  • 417-849-3605

NEW JERSEY

John Cusimano

  • Race Management
  • New Jersey
  • www.thederbyman.com
  • info@thederbyman.com

Racemasters (Craig)

  • Race Management
  • Northern New Jersey
  • race-masters@hotmail.com

TENNESSEE

Ken Hancock, Ralph Sanders

  • Derby Track Rentals
  • Track Rentals, Race Management
  • Northern Middle Tennessee
  • derbytrackrental@aol.com

TEXAS

David Summers

  • Pinewood Nuts
  • Track Rentals, Race Management, Workshops, Special Events(Corporate/B-Day/Reunion/Science Fair)
  • Dallas/Ft Worth Area
  • 740-297-6887
  • www.PinewoodNuts.com
  • David@PinewoodNuts.com

John Renfrow

  • Renfrow’s Raceway
  • Track Rental, Race Management, Special/Corporate Events
  • Dallas/Ft Worth Area
  • 817-448-3700
  • renfrowsraceway.weebly.com
  • skormaker@yahoo.com

UTAH

Kelly Ball

  • Race management and track rentals
  • Salt Lake and northern Utah counties
  • www.derby4rent.com
  • rental@derby4rent.com

Blake Goddard

  • Track Rentals, Race Management, Workshops, Special Events(Corporate/B-Day/Reunion/Science Fair)
  • Facility is in Ogden, Utah at
  • 1306 Gibson Ave. Ogden, Ut 84404
  • 801-737-2911
  • pinewoodspeedway@gmail.com
  • www.pinewoodspeedway.com

Scott Morrill

  • Race Management, track rentals
  • Davis, Weber, Morgan, Salt Lake and Utah counties
  • 801-403-3696
  • www.derbytime.com
  • smorrill@derbytime.net


Pinewood Derby Rules Q&A
What are the official pinewood derby rules?
There is no one set of official pinewood derby rules. Each organization has a set of rules, and usually each local group has a set of rules based on the organization’s rules. If the rules for your race are not provided, make sure to ask your race leader for a copy of the official rules for your race.

Are the products on your web site legal for my pinewood derby race?
All of the products on our web site are legal in “some” race, but not necessarily legal in your race. So, make sure you understand your local rules before purchasing our products.

What questions should I ask the race official?
Here are some of the key questions you should ask:

  • Can the wheelbase (distance between the front and back axle) be lengthened? If yes, use an extended wheelbase car.
  • Can the car run on three wheels, or must all four wheels touch the ground? If yes, use a three-wheeled car.
  • Can the geometry (shape) of the wheel be modified? If yes, consider H-tread speed wheels for BSA races.
  • Can axle holes be used instead of axle slots? If yes, then consider using axle holes instead of slots.

Here are the rules that come in the official BSA Pinewood Derby kit. They are oftentimes the only rules for a Cub Scout race, and are very typical of the rules provided by other organizations.

A CUB SCOUT/PARENT PROJECT
KIT NO. 17006
OFFICIAL GRAND PRIX PINEWOOD DERBY® KIT
Please read these Rules and Instructions before building your car.

The Pinewood Derby® is open to all Cub Scouts. Cars should be built by the Cub Scouts with some adult guidance. Any technical assistance should be fully explained to the Cub Scout so that he can use that knowledge on future projects. Because it is difficult to establish how much help was given in building the car, some Packs have a separate Pinewood Derby Race for adults.

IMPORTANT: The Race Committee should decide on rules and race procedures, then have them printed and distributed to all participants at least two weeks before the race.

CAR SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Width: – 2-3/4″
  • Length – 7″
  • Weight – Not over 5 Ounces
  • Width between wheels – 1-3/4″
  • Bottom clearance between car and track – 3/8″

RULES
Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited. The car shall not ride on springs. Only official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted. Only dry lubricant is permitted. Details, such as steering wheel and driver are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width and weight specifications. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete. If, at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.

BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS
Check the grooves to ensure that each is at a perfect 90-degree angle to the car body. A car with untrue axles tends to steer to one side or the other, causing it to rub up against the side of the lane strip, slowing it down. You can check the groove angles by using a square, a protractor, or even a piece of paper.

Lay square on block to check for squareness and alignment of slot.

Use two hacksaw blades side by side to redress the slots. Use the edge of the square as a guide.

Choose your favorite design, then mark the block accordingly (See Figure 1). Lay car body on the side, then gently drive the axles into the grooves within 1/4″ of the axle head. Axles should fit tight. With a pair of pliers, remove axles by pulling and turning gradually (See Figure 2). Repeat on the other side of block. Most of the cutting can be done with a hand saw, then finished with sandpaper (See Figure 3). Details such as fins and scoops should be added now. Any additional weight needed to achieve a total of 5 ounces should be built into the car.
NOTE: If the car design you chose has a narrow body, make sure the area where the axles are inserted into the body remains 1-3/4″ wide, or wheels will not fit over the guide strips of the track.

PAINTING AND WHEEL ASSEMBLY
Apply several coats of sanding sealer; then sand entire car with a fine-grade sandpaper. Give model at least two coats of fast drying paint in your choice of color. When paint is completely dry sand with a fine sandpaper, apply a final coat of paint and allow to dry thoroughly. TO FINISH, rub entire car with a rubbing compound. Details such as steering wheel, windshield, driver, racing numbers, etc., should be added now. For a super finish apply a coat of auto wax and rub to a high gloss. Pre-lubricate axles and wheels using dry powdered lubricant. Do not use regular oil or silicone spray, since it may soften the plastic. Slide wheels over axles, then gently tap them into the car body grooves with a 1/4″ dowel or similar object to within 1/32″ of car body. (See Figure 4). Make sure wheels turn freely.

Due to many requests we have eliminated the cockpit section in the Pinewood Derby block to allow for more designs.
©Copyright 1997, Boy Scouts of America
®Pinewood Derby is a registered trademard of Boy Scouts of America


Tools Q&A
What is the most important of the Pro-Tools?
If you are preparing your own pinewood derby wheels, then the Pro-Wheel Mandrel is the most valuable. If you are using prepared wheels then the Pro-Body Tool (or Pro-Body Jig) would be the most valuable, as the tool allows you to get accurate axle mounting.

Will the Pro-Wheel Mandrel replacement screw fit in the standard mandrel?
Yes, the replacement screw fits into the standard mandrel.

What is the difference between the Pro-Body Tool II and the Pro-Body Jig?
The Pro-Body Tool drills a pair of axle holes with one setup, while the Pro-Body Jig drills four holes. Also, the Pro-Body Tool can be used to drill pilot holes into axle slots, while the Pro-Body Jig cannot (it sets the holes slightly higher on the block). If you plan to drill one or two blocks, the the Pro-Body Tool should be fine. But if you plan to do quite a few blocks, then the Pro-Body Jig would be beneficial.

Why can’t I use the Pro-Wheel Shaver XT II on Awana wheels?
Awana wheels are made from a relatively soft plastic. Instead of shaving the plastic, the blade of the XT tends to bite into the soft plastic, leaving gouges.

How long will the Pro-Tools last?
If you are careful with them, they will last indefinitely. Specifically:

  • The Pro-Wheel Shaver XT II blade will need to be sharpened occasionally.
  • To prevent rust, apply a thin coat of oil to the Pro-Axle Press II, and then seal it in a zip lock bag.
  • The holes of the Pro-Body Tool II will enlarge if care is not taken when drilling. Using a Pin Vise instead of a power drill will extend the life of the tool.

Can you explain how the Pro-Axle Guide works?
When installing an axle into a slot, the axle wants to take the path of least resistance. So the axle tends to go in at an angle. If you then try to straighten the axle, the axle will bend or (more likely) the wood block will chip. The Pro-Axle Guide forces the axles to go in straight, eliminating the need to adjust the angle.

Do I need to buy a 5 ounce and/or 200 gram weight when I buy a scale?
Not necessarily. If you want to be able to calibrate your scale from time to time, then you would need a 200 gram weight. If you want to prove the accuracy of the scale (at a weigh-in for example), then you would need a 5 ounce weight.


Tracks Q&A
Why can I find plans for building a pinewood derby track?

Among others, this free track plan is posted on the Internet:

www.rahul.net/mcgrew/derby/track/

The plan looks complete, but I do not have any experience building it.

What type of pinewood derby track should I get?

Tracks are available in aluminum, wood, and plastic. In general, the aluminum tracks are more accurate, and hold up better. Wood tracks are not generally as smooth as aluminum tracks, and are susceptible to warping and water damage. However, they are less expensive. The less expensive plastic tracks tend to be flimsy and can warp. Also, the major plastic track on the market has side guides (instead of a center guide rail), which is different than all other tracks (most wheels are designed for use on tracks with center guide rails).

My personal recommendation is to spend the extra money to get an aluminum track.

Where can I buy a pinewood derby track?

Aluminum

www.besttrack.com

www.pinewoodderbytrack.com (Microwizard)

Wood

www.pinewoodderbycars.com (S&W Crafts)

Plastic

www.supertimer.com/track/supertrack.html

www.derbymagic.com

Which aluminum track do you recommend?

Both tracks have pros and cons. I prefer the construction and surface of the Microwizard track. The anodized version is especially nice. However, BestTrack has a nicer starting gate and finish line. They also have many accessories for the track. So, either track would be a good choice.


Weight Q&A
Why do I need to add weight to my pinewood derby car?
If there were no friction or air resistance, then added weight would not be needed. But since friction (and to a lesser extent, air resistance) exists, weight is needed to help your car overcome friction. This is especially important on modern tracks which have an initial slope followed by a long flat section. On this type of track, the pinewood derby car reaches its maximum speed at the bottom of the hill, and then begins to slow down. Without added weight, the car will slow down much more quickly.

What is the best weight for pinewood derby cars?
For cars with less than one-half of the original block remaining, lead or tungsten weight is generally required. For minimalist cars (very little wood), tungsten is generally needed to attain proper weight. For cars with one-half or more of the block remaining, then steel or zinc will work fine.

What is tungsten?
Tungsten is a metal with one of the highest densities. It is 1.7 times heavier than lead. Only gold, platinum, and a few other rare and expensive metals have a similar density. Tungsten is non-toxic and environmentally friendly so it is gaining increased use in weighting applications where lead is not appropriate. For example lead has been banned in many streams, so tungsten is often substituted for lead weight on fishing flies.

Can I drill, melt, or reshape tungsten?
Not easily. Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals in pure form: 3422 °C, 6192 °F. To cut or drill tungsten generally requires diamond cutting tools. So, I recommend using the appropriate shape of tungsten, and creating pockets or holes in the pinewood derby car to accept the tungsten weight.

Is lead safe?
Lead can be toxic if taken internally (Click Here for Safety Information). However, if handled and used in a safe manner, the health risk is quite low.

Why do you not offer a greater variety of PineCar weights?
PineCar weights are made of zinc, which is a metal with a very low density. This low density makes proper weighting difficult to impossible on cars made of less than one-half of the wood block.

What is the best location for added weight?
Added weight should be placed such that the final balance point of the car is 1 inch or less in front of the rear axle. To achieve this balance point, a good “rule of thumb” is to place of 2/5 of the added weight behind the rear axle, and the remaining 3/5 in front of the rear axle.

Is it better to put the weight high or low on the car?
Low weight is better, as it gives the car greater stability.

What do I use if I don’t have time to buy weights?
If you are in a jam, use pennies, or steel screws and washers.


Wheels Q&A
Are your wheels “official” BSA wheels?
Our 4090, 4080, 4070, and 4060 whels are official BSA wheels. We purchase them from BSA and then prepare them.

What is difference between your 4090, 4080, 4070, and 4060 wheels?
All of these wheels have been mold-number matched and then had the tread surface “trued” (wheel is made round and the tread is made smooth and flat). In addition to this, the 4080, 4070, and 4060 wheels have had the bore “reamed” (made smooth and round), the outer hub cleaned up, and the inner edge cleaned up. The 4070 wheels have been partially weight reduced, while the 4060 wheels have been fully weight reduced. Click Here for a chart and photos that summarizes the differences.

What is difference between your 4090 and 4091 wheels?
The wheels are the same. The “1” at the end indicates that they include our 4094 axles.

Where can I find wheel specifications?
Wheel specifications can be found Here

Are some mold numbers of BSA (Cub Scout) wheels better?
Yes, there is some variation in the Cub Scout wheels. Some molds tend to produce better wheels, so if you are preparing your own wheels then you may want to select one of the better mold numbers. If you are purchasing machined wheels, then the mold number differences are largely eliminated.

How do I order wheels with a particular mold number?
Click Here for information on the different Cub Scout mold numbers. Then, on that page, scroll down a little for ordering information.

Are lighter wheels faster? Why?
Lighter pinewood derby wheels tend to be faster. This is because a certain amount of energy is required to start the pinewood derby wheels rolling when the starting pin drops. Lighter wheels require less energy to start rolling, so cars with light wheels get a jump at the starting line. Lighter wheels also allow the car builder to focus the car’s weight at the desired location, instead of spreading it around the car.

Why and how do you cone the wheel hub?
Coned hubs provide less contact with the car body and the contact is focused close to the axle. Both minimize the braking that occurs when the wheel contacts the car body. On BSA wheels the hubs are already coned. Hubs on other wheel brands can be coned with the Pro-Hub Tool.

What are Awana, PineCar, RA, and Royal Ranger wheels?
Although Cub Scouts is the largest group that sponsors pinewood derby races, there are many other organizations which have similar races. Awana is a church-based group that has an Awana Grand Prix. The Awana kit is similar to the Cub Scout kit, but the wheels are made of different plastic (softer and lighter), and the axles and blocks are slightly different. PineCar is the major distributor of pinewood derby-like kits in hobby and craft stores. The PineCar kit is very similar to the Cub Scout kit, but the wheels are different (heavier, with see through spokes). Similarly, RA’s and Royal Rangers are church-based groups that have pinewood derby style races, but again the kits are slightly different.

I used the sandpaper that came with the PineCar Wheel mandrel on the wheels, and it made the tread worse. What material should I use?
Unfortunately, PineCar supplies sandpaper that is much too coarse for wheels. So, use the PineCar sandpaper on the car body, and instead use 600 or 800 grit wet sandpaper for the tread surface.