Camber to reduce friction?

The_Commish Monday, 3/8/2021

I know that reducing tire friction in pinewood derby racers often involves A. shaving the tires super thin, and B. adjusting the axels so that not all of the tires are in touch with the racing surface. I realize that one of the main differences is that pinewood derby cars ride on a rail, granted however has anyone tried running toed out or toed in wheels so that the edge of the wheel is what makes contact rather than the foot of the wheel? I'm not asserting that this would be good or bad. In fact I'm asking because I have no idea. I do know that the fewer tires in contact with the track the less friction which should result in a faster time. 


I've tested this in limited fashion with die cast and so far the results are less than stellar. Being so small and light compared to a pinewood derby, all 4 on the floor so far has produced quicker times because there is enough grip to take advantage of the weight added to the car. What I have yet to test is if using the skinnies from a Dodge Demon or Nash produce faster times.

Also, running the rail is great in pinewood but again with the smaller vehicles, riding the rail or close to it produces slower times over a car that just runs straight (so far). This is because the friction has a greater effect on the smaller car.

There was a post on here about coned wheels, shaving the inside down so only the outside edge touched the surface (and in fact some cars like the 8 Crate have a coned wheel as standard) and i believe the person that posted it was happy with the results.

  • The 8 crates come standard with coned wheels? I notice the 8 crates do well at the Canyon, are those running the stock wheels? Thanks for the input. — The_Commish
  • Yes, just stock wheels on the 8 Crates. if you have one, put it on a flat surface and have a look from the back or the front and you see not much of the wheel touches the surface — Chaos_Canyon
  • Hey Spanners and/or Gibbs! Love your Youtube channel. Just wanted to chime in that all hot wheels have cambered wheels. Some, like the 8 Crate just have either more angle or are wider so the angle is easier to see. This is not true with the premiums as such slight camber would be hard to do with rubber. (to see for yourself, set a car on a table with a light behind it) — abudhabikid
  • Thanks abudhabikid, I thought a lot did have, but it's definitely more noticeable on the 8 Crates. — Chaos_Canyon
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The_Commish 3/12/21

Great input everybody. Appreciate the advice on the 8 crates, Spanners!

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