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Old 10-15-2007, 05:33 PM
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Default Pinewood Derby Jeep

Has anyone built and/or have pictures of a Pinewood Derby car that looks like a Jeep? My boys have one coming up and wanted to make Jeeps, but I'm not good at coming up with the design, i need something to start with.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:47 AM
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They'll be as aerodynamic as a brick, though!
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:13 AM
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Brick shapes are good in pinewood derby's
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:41 AM
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I just started this last night & will post a full write-up when done (hopefully this weekend).

Obviously I'm going with a 4DR JK with Yellow paint.

By the way, this is for the "Family & Siblings" entry. My 8-yr-old is cutting his own car with the dremmel & I'll install the weights for him once he's finished.

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Old 01-28-2009, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by putnam dan View Post
the trick is to ensure that only two / three wheels actually touch the track this reduces rolling resistance and provides a winner
We tried that last year. Built a three-wheeler and named it "Tri-Anything." The balance didn't work out, & it had a "death wobble" in the straight-away.

This one is going for most original design. The aerodynamics aren't important at these speeds, but I had to shorten the wheel base to get the proportions correct, so it probably won't be too fast.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:58 PM
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The real trick to the races. Astroglyde on the wheels makes them run real smooth, forget the graphite pen.

Also try to sand a little off the bottom of the vehicle. Beleive it or not the derby car's do touch the track so when you put the weights on the car put them front to back. Use lead tape strips or copper wire strips of 10 GA. front to back imbedded if you pan to put underneath.

When I did it as a kid, having the weight as headlights/taillights seemed to dispurse the weight better. I came in second to Engineer dad kid.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:09 PM
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Just don't use the white lube crap that some districts restrict you to.
My daughter's first year in the GS Powder Puff derby didn't restrict lubes. The next year, they did. That white crap was worse than no lube at all.

Wheels (axle polish, wheel gate smoothing, alignment, etc.) and weight distribution are key.
Aero makes a small difference at the size and speed, but a cool looking derby car is much more appreciated than one that was made just for speed.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:24 PM
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We used tips and products from both of these guys to build my son and daughters cars:

http://w w w.maximum-velocity.com/

http://w w w.derbychamp.com/

A few of the tips I used were:
  • Notch the axles and angle the head to reduce the contact point with the wheel.
  • Most of the weight in the back, but make sure you balance the car as to not pop wheelies!
  • Either V-shape or groove the wheels to reduce contact with the track.
  • As mentioned, three wheels making contact = less friction.
  • V shape notch in the front of the car w/ a U shaped hoop above-made with a paperclip, to get a slight head-start when the starting pin drops.
I am sure I am forgetting a couple but we have built three cars and have not lost a race-except against our cars!

Good luck!





P.S. Big brother was really mad when his little sisters car beat his...

Last edited by Mowabb; 01-28-2009 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:34 PM
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man that design looks familiar... That was like the one I had but mine was green for the green hornet... I forgot about angling the tires a little. My first car ever I built myself and it was nearly the block they gave me and I came in 3rd. the next two years I built a rocket shape then a VW bug style. This design was definately best for winning. Engineering dad's kid built it full width but as thin as yours with oval cutouts front to back. I loved the derby races.

with a dremel I can easily see reducing the tire contact. We didn't have that back in my day.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mowabb View Post
We used tips and products from both of these guys to build my son and daughters cars:

http://w w w.maximum-velocity.com/

http://w w w.derbychamp.com/


A few of the tips I used were:
  • Notch the axles and angle the head to reduce the contact point with the wheel.
  • Most of the weight in the back, but make sure you balance the car as to not pop wheelies!
  • Either V-shape or groove the wheels to reduce contact with the track.
  • As mentioned, three wheels making contact = less friction.
  • V shape notch in the front of the car w/ a U shaped hoop above-made with a paperclip, to get a slight head-start when the starting pin drops.
I am sure I am forgetting a couple but we have built three cars and have not lost a race-except against our cars!

Good luck!
Strict rules prohibit shaping the wheels in many districts.
This was a rule in my son's pack, but the cars were never inspected prior to the race.
The scout that won had rounded his wheels to the point that none of the sidewall lettering/design was present. The parents agreed that the 2nd place should have won, since he followed all the rules and barely lost.

The other suggestions, I agree with, however.
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