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Axle prep - oil not allowed

Discussion in 'Wheels and Axles' started by Numbers, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Numbers

    Numbers Lurking

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    First time derby car dad here. Based on what Ive read on the site, oil seems to be the superior method of prepping axles.
    However, my race rules expressly forbid lubricating oil. Only graphite or silicone are allowed. Given this, what’s the optimal axle preparation strategy?

    thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    Same prep as far as polishing, but use lemon pledge instead of jig-a-loo on your axles afterward
     
  3. Hangtime

    Hangtime Pinewood Ninja

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    If you haven’t seen this yet, you should check it out...



    Or search “Pinewood Derby Black Ice Wheel Bore Polishing System” on YouTube.

    There is a lot of info here about using graphite. Search “burnishing”. We had great success this year using techniques I learned here.
     
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  4. ScoutDad11

    ScoutDad11 Hammering Axles

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    We've had good results with super highly polished (600 grit wet/dry to 5k grit MicroMesh then on to metal polishing paste) axles, and burnished wheel bores (not with black ice, but using the same techniques with plastic polish).

    This year my Weblos1 prepped with Pledge (silicone?) after polishing and before adding graphite, and it seemed to work even better.

    My gut (and reading this forum over the years) tells me that alignment is even more important.
     
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  5. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    Alignment is VERY important. Comes right after wheels and axles.
     
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  6. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    Kind of expanding on the alignment importance...

    You can have a fast car with polished wheels and axles, no doubt. The alignment of your car really shows in the last sections of the track.

    Once your car gets through the transition and starts to slow down, because all cars do, a perfectly aligned car will hold it's speed better. Have you seen cars get passed in the last 4'-6' on the track? It isn't because the faster car sped up, it is usually the alignment on the car being passed.

    If your car dog-legs going down the track or the rear axles are toed in or toed out, your rear wheels are not rolling straight on the track, they are turning at an angle in relation to the track. This scrubs energy, and essentially speed.
     

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