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- Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
- Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
1. Now, it only takes one tool to setup and tear down the track (a 5/32" Allen wrench).
+ The cross braces that connect to the track legs now attach with thumb screws. No more need for a Phillips screwdriver.
+ The start gate now has captive nuts installed in it, so just set it under the track, at the start line, and thread two Allen head screws in from above. No more need for a wrench to tighten nuts from below the track.
2. It's easier to connect the first two sections together. Before you had to hold the start section on its side, swing out the track legs to keep it that way, attach the large joiner plate and then hope you could attach the second section with all lanes in good alignment with the start section (on its edge as well). That could be a challenge as floors are not always nice and straight. Now, you can join these two sections with them flat to the floor. Set the start section with its back flat on the floor, slide the large joiner plate under the end and then set the uphill end of the second section in place over the joiner plate. Now you can easily secure the sections, lane by lane, and make sure the lanes line up center to center. That's a huge help.
3. The two items above certainly help speed setup and tear down, but there is one other thing that speeds things up. They have made the track sections just a tad shorter. This allows you to keep the section joiner plates attached to one end of sections two and on. So, there is less work to do. If you have a storage crate, a section with a 4" joiner plate attached to one end will fit in the crate. Before all joiner plates had to be removed before the sections would fit in the crate. You do still have to remove the big joiner plate that attaches the first two sections together, in order to store those sections in a crate.
4. Smoother start gate operation. The end of the start gate lever that holds the start gate in the up position now has a nylon rivet mounted in it. The head of this rivet allows the lever to smoothly swing under the start gate, taking less physical effort to start the heat. With less effort required, there is less vibration transferred to the cars during the start. Such vibration can actually affect run times of the cars, so keeping it to a minimum is desirable.
If you already have a Freedom track, you can retrofit your track to get much of benefit that the new design provides. I don't expect anyone would shorten their track sections, but you can get the benefits of Items 1, 2 and 4 above. You would need the following:
+ New front track legs
+ 2 new leg cross braces
+ 8 thumbscrews to replace the Phillips screws
+ New start gate
There is one other minor change needed to the start section for the retrofit. Remove the old front legs. The nearest 2" plate that keeps the start section together needs to move to where the old front legs were mounted. Then you can attach the new front legs where that plate use to be. The new legs swing back towards the rear track legs.
I don't see that Micro Wizard has a retrofit kit listed on their website yet, but I am sure that you can give them a call and inquire about the cost. It would be worth it, IMO. With my track retrofitted, setup and tear down is certainly faster and it can easily be a one person operation.
Initial Assembly Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDrPWzYweKw
Normal Setup and Tear Down Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QAUYWLrEV4
Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.