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Brian, there is a fella on youtube; Poochefmarowbe is his channel. He has a tutorial on using bead craft crimp tubes on HW axles and also the piano wire axles. The correct size is 1.5 mm. They are a gentle press fit but can also be glued on for racing. They can be purchased at WM, Michael's, Joann's etc... They are like $1.99 for 50 pcs. I do not have any experience using them in any races here but would like to fiddle with it at some point.
Thanks for the insight. I will definitely look into it. Thx.
# 17 pins are 0.026 in and #20 are 0.030 in which are exactly the same as stock Hot Wheels axles. I am going to try some #20 pins and the 1/16 brass tubes from K&S next week.