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District Race Rules

Discussion in 'Ask The Pros' started by Chris Stevenson, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Bent Axle

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    The district rules are different and more strict than our pack rules. Specifically, you have to use only materials that comes in the official BSA kit. For the pack race I used aftermarket wheels and axles. So I'm going to have to change them out. Here is the rule:

    "Only official wheels and axles from the BSA Official Pinewood Derby kit or purchased from the BSA Scout Shop are permitted. Colored wheels are allowed as long as they are official BSA wheels. BSA stamps must be visible on wheels. Use of wheels and axles that have been modified by third parties is not permitted."

    BSA axles have more flaws and are smaller diameter. I'm not sure if you can cull through a bunch to find some thicker ones or not. We'll polish the heck out of the axles and bend them ourselves, but there may not be anything we can due about the diameter.

    As for the wheels, here are the rules:

    "D. The only permissible alterations to the wheel tread surface and width are as follows:

    1. The outer tread surface of the wheel may be shaved to a flat surface that is parallel to the axle.
    2. Light sanding and/or polishing of any portion of the wheel to remove burs is permitted so long as it does not reduce the diameter below allowable levels. No material may be removed from the underside of the running surface.
    3. The wheel diameter may not be less than 1.17“ or greater than 1.20”.
    4. Wheel width may be altered only from the side facing the car. The overall wheel width may not be less than .360". NOTE: because there is a “bulge” in the wheel, the overall wheel width is slightly larger than the width of the tread surface. The .360” measurement is for the wheel at its widest point, exclusive of the hub.
    5. Underside of axle head may be ground or filed to remove burs. Axle shaft diameter must be uniform may not be less than .085". Simple polishing of the axles should not reduce the diameter below allowable level. No machined or lathe turned axels are permitted.
    6. No wheel covers (i.e. hubcaps) are permitted."
    Other than polishing the heck out of the bore, what else can/should we do? Find mold-matched wheels? Cone the inner hub? I don't have a lathe.
     
  2. Pinewood Outlaw

    Pinewood Outlaw Council Champion

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    By those rules just buy some 1.170 machined wheels from DD4H....they won't know the difference.
     
  3. 3phase

    3phase Council Champion

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    "Use of wheels and axles that have been modified by third parties is not permitted."

    This is not fair to people without access to a lathe or knowledge to use one.
    Maybe someone near you or a Makerspace can give you a crash course on a lathe.
     
  4. Deckard

    Deckard Pinewood Ninja

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    My pack also has very strict rules on wheels. Some sites sell good BSA wheels. Which are hand picked round and mold matched and even remove the outer hub.

    You can probably get 3rd party axles past the inspection but you can also make/prep pretty darn good ones. But unless they make you pull your axles or use the magnet test it's hard to tell the axles are 3rd party. And it looks like they are trying to ban grooves but again without making people pull their axles if you have proper wheel gap set no will be able to see the grooves.
     
  5. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Bent Axle

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    I'm not pure as the driven snow or anything, but my 9-year old still is (at least in my eyes) and I want to keep it that way as long as possible. I'm not going to break any of the rules, even if it would be easy to do so or if the rules are dumb or unfair. All of the competitive stuff is really secondary to the lessons to be learned and the experience. I'm just going to get a batch of stock axles and wheels and pick the best ones and then we'll work them as best as we know how and see what happens.

    I really wish there was a uniform set of national rules that all scout level racers used. For a national organization like BSA I'm frankly surprised that's not the case.
     
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  6. Pinewood Outlaw

    Pinewood Outlaw Council Champion

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    Unfortunately the BSA breaks their own rules so that wouldn't help lol
     
  7. 3phase

    3phase Council Champion

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    If you are going to look for wheels, their used to be a list somewhere of the best mold numbers to look for.
    I don't know if color makes a difference or if the list is still any good.
     
  8. Racing358t

    Racing358t Pinewood Ninja

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    The vendors may have wheels that fit your rules. Or I can cut you some that meet the rules if you want.

    Scott
     
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  9. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Bent Axle

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    Thank you. That's a really nice offer. But I think the rules mean that you can't use wheels that were modified in any way by anyone but the scout racing the car and their family member assisting them with the build.
     
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  10. Racing358t

    Racing358t Pinewood Ninja

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    I totally understand. And that is the way I feel it should be done also. Back in our scout days we did not buy anything but stock ummodified bsa stuff from vendors.

    But to be the devils advocate... the rules are too loose to stop others from doing it. They say wheels may be shaved down to 1.170. If a scout's family or family friend owns a lathe then they have a huge advantage. A machined wheel (shaved on a lathe) cut down to 1.170 will have a big advantage over a sanded only stock wheel as it is perfectly round, more balanced and it weighs less. Just saying... This is why I don't miss scout racing so much anymore. There are the implied rules vs the real/written rules. If they don't want people to purchase or modify wheels to be significantly better than they should write the rules so people cant.

    Scott
     
  11. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Bent Axle

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    You are 100% right. I haven't quoted the entire set of district rules, but they explicitly state that the purpose of the rules is to have the scout build the entire car with assistance from a family member and that buying hop up parts is against that purpose. The spirit of the rules is very clear. There is simply no way possible to address every way of bending them. It is also impossible to police. It would take a small army of people with intimate knowledge of every way to break the rules. That's not going to happen; nor should it.

    Everyone has to make their own decisions about what they think is best and right. My own point of view is that it's more important to teach my son not to violate the letter and spirit of the rules than to take home a trophy. He might not win; and probably won't. Maybe it will be because others violated the rules. We'll never know, but it doesn't matter. We can get into the nuances of gaining an edge and those gray areas in life when he's older and better able to understand such things.
     
  12. Racing358t

    Racing358t Pinewood Ninja

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    Without seeing the other section of the rules where is specifically says do not "buy" parts, my suggestion of having someone make the wheels for you if you don't have the tools available to teach you child to do it his/herself was not bending or breaking the rules as I seen them posted.

    I totally agree with the information I have now. I would have not suggested you buy nor would I have bought the hopped up parts. Actually we never did. I used the pwd building as a time to teach my son how to use tools and to understand the science behind what he was doing within a given ruleset. Granted we were able to apply much more of it when he was the weblo I and II.

    Good luck in your district race! But most importantly have good bonding time with your child building these things.

    Scott
     
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  13. flockshot

    flockshot Rail Runner

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    My approach to this problem was to buy 10 kits (40 wheels/axles) and 40 tubes of wheels (160 wheels/axles) and go through them all. I picked the lightest block of wood from the kits for the body. I found 1 (one) wheel that was perfectly round and balanced out of the box and then out of the other 199 wheels picked the best I could find. The best nails were no straighter than .003 run-out and those are the ones we polished.
    He started with a, out of the box, block of wood, 4 wheels and 4 nails.
    I also had plenty of parts to experiment with.
    To some this may seem a bit excessive for a scout car, and to others it is just a drop in the bucket.
    My most valuable resource is the pages of notes I have taken from reading and searching this site.
    just my 2c

    P.S. I believe mold matched wheels are overrated. My best 4 wheels, out of 200, came from 3 different molds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 at 10:01 AM
  14. Racing358t

    Racing358t Pinewood Ninja

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    That is pretty much how we did it too. Although not to that extent in number of parts.

    I agree, mold matched is over rated.

    Scott
     
  15. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Bent Axle

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    It's always comforting to know that there are people more obsessed about this stuff than me. Ha! I don't think I'm willing to go through 200 wheels and axles to find 4 good ones. Maybe 20. I have a die that I bought that is supposed to straighten the axles. No idea if it really works. I don't know how to test the straightness. For the wheels I have a similar grade tool that purports to true the bore, but again, I have no idea if it really works. I don't know how to test that either. If anyone cares to educate me I'd appreciate it. Also, if anyone can tell me a technique to true the bores I'd appreciate it.
     
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  16. flockshot

    flockshot Rail Runner

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    What you have in mind will work just fine. Use the best that you have and, most of all, pay attention to detail and get everything as precise as you can with the tools that you have. This forum has folks willing to answer all your questions. Have fun with your scout, because in the end, that's all that really matters anyway.
     
  17. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley District Champion Pro Racer

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    This has been my experience as well.
     
  18. Thinkin'Bout Racin

    Thinkin'Bout Racin National Contender

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    I do agree that most of the time that when sorting thru stock wheels to find the best ones, that quite often the ones that we pick are not mold matched. It is more important to find wheels that have the least amount of radial and lateral run out.

    However, mold matching a set of wheels can help. The real benefit from mold matching is more apparent when the wheels are trued. The benefit shows itself in the bore. Mold matched wheels are more likely to have the same size and taper to their bores. Any lateral and radial runout issues are addressed when turning the wheel.
     

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