How to Set Your Pinewood Derby Axles to the Neutral Position

How to Set Your Pinewood Derby Axles to the Neutral Position

(For 3 Wheel Rail Riders)

ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:

*Pinewood Derby Axle Extraction Pliers*

*Quantity (4) BSA Pinewood Derby Wheels*

*Quantity (3) BSA Axles bent at 2.5-3.0 degrees (NEGATIVE CAMBER)*

*Quantity (1) BSA Axles bent at 1.5 degrees (POSITIVE CAMBER)*

*Black Sharpie Marker*

*Red Sharpie Marker*

*White Background For Analysis (sheet or wall)*

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

BEFORE STARTING:

Mark your (3) Pinewood Derby Axles that are bent at 2.5-3.0 degrees with a black line in the direction of the bend.

Mark your (1) Pinewood Derby Axle that is bent at 1.5 degrees with a RED line in the direction of the bend.

INSTALLATION:

The 3 axles that are bent at 2.5-3.0 degrees and marked with a black line will be used on the rear wheels and high wheel.

The axle that is bent at 1.5 degrees and marked with a red line will be the steer axle.

When installing axles, grip them carefully.  Do not rush.  The Pinewood Derby Extraction Pliers can scratch your axles if you are not careful.

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

How to Set Your Pinewood Derby Axles to the Neutral Position

STEP 1:

First, Install the rear wheels with the 2.5-3.0 degree axle. (negative camber)

Next, use the Pinewood Derby Axle Extraction Pliers to turn the axle until the black line is in the 12 o’clock position. 

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position
How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

Checking Your Adjustment

To see if you are close to the neutral position, hold your car up against a white background.

The wheel should be parallel to the body of the car.

If your adjustment is off, turn the wheel accordingly until it matches the parallel position.

Common reasons for being off:

You did not mark your line straight on the axle head. (most common)

Your axle hole or slot is not drilled properly (improper angle, depth, etc)

GOOD!

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

Parallel Position

BAD!

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

Wheel angle too far in (toed in)

BAD!

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

Wheel angle too far out (toed out)

STEP 2:

Next, you are going to install the high wheel and adjust the axle to the 12 o’clock position.  The high wheel position is pretty easy.  Having the wheel parallel to the body is not as important because the wheel does not make contact with the track.  Just make sure the wheel is slightly raised.

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position

STEP 3:

Finally, you are going to set the steer axle.  Install the axle and adjust the wheel to the 6 o’clock position.  This will give your steer wheel a positive camber.  When checking the adjustment against a white backdrop, the wheel should be close to parallel.

how to set your axles to the neutral position by humble21creations

Notice when I use my finger to push down on the left side of the wheel.

When I hold the pressure, it causes the wheel to slightly angle in.  This is ok for now.  The wheel is angled (just slightly) towards the rail which is what we want.  When my finger is removed from holding the pressure, the wheel springs back into the parallel position.

How to set your pinewood derby axles to the neutral position by humble21creations

CONCLUSION:

Before you can start the final tuning process, you must first set your Pinewood Derby axles to the neutral position.  

2018-09-13T17:22:07-04:00

About the Author:

I have been making pinewood derby cars for a LONG time. Using trial and error and published physics backed research, I have come up with the proven formula that yields the fastest and most consistent results. I am fortunate to have the space and resources to build test cars on my 42ft remote activated 4 space sensor test track. After thousands of pinewood derby builds, the cars just get better. I have tested countless Pinewood Derby products and cars from various vendors and I know what works and what is the best. I am pleased to share this with you!

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