Don't use magnets as weight

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gpraceman
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Don't use magnets as weight

Post by gpraceman » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:19 pm

I had the pleasure to help out at Ford's Fast Track Race for Girl Scouts in Miami on Sunday. The race went very well and, more importantly, the girls had a good time.

What I will remember the most is a girl coming up to me at the end of the race and thanking me for helping her to get her car to finish. Her car was an enigma. We relubed, changed out wheels and axles, played with the axle canting and adjusted the wheel/body gaps. No matter what we tried, the car would stop about half way down the test track. The last resort was to change out her weights. She had neodymium magnets as weights. I really didn't think that could be the cause of the problem, since it was an aluminum Best Track. Yet, once the weights were changed out for regular weights, the car flew down the track. I've been involved with this type of racing for 18 years and this surprised me.


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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.

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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Speedster » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:19 am

Was the track held together with metal spring clips? Are those alignment pins steel on the Best Track? If you spun the wheels with your finger, did they spin freely? Glad you were able to correct the problem.



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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by gpraceman » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:53 am

Wheels spun freely. They used small C-Clamps to hold the track sections together. The section alignment pins are likely steel. Even pushing the car down the track, in between joints, the car would slow quickly. So, it didn't seem to just be an issue with ferrous materials at the joints.


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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:01 pm

This would be a fun experiment to attempt to replicate!

I wonder if you were having some kind of "Lens' Law" effect with the magnets and the aluminum track?




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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:27 pm

Yes! Matches my understanding exactly! Good catch, guys!


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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Vitamin K » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:12 pm

Really interesting choice of weight there. Neodymium magnets aren't cheap! I wonder why she (or her parents) selected those to begin with.



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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by gpraceman » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:11 pm

The mom said they used the magnets because it was what they had on hand already.


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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.

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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Terrence » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:55 am

gpraceman wrote:I had the pleasure to help out at Ford's Fast Track Race for Girl Scouts in Miami on Sunday. The race went very well and, more importantly, the girls had a good time.

What I will remember the most is a girl coming up to me at the end of the race and thanking me for helping her to get her car to finish. Her car was an enigma. We relubed, changed out wheels and axles, played with the axle canting and adjusted the wheel/body gaps. No matter what we tried, the car would stop about half way down the test track. The last resort was to change out her weights. She had neodymium magnets as weights. I really didn't think that could be the cause of the problem, since it was an aluminum Best Track. Yet, once the weights were changed out for regular weights, the car flew down the track. I've been involved with this type of racing for 18 years and this surprised me.
Strange, I remember having this problem before with those neodymium weights.
Last edited by Terrence on Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Speedster » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:24 am

When this was first posted I was granted an interview with the President of Dura Magnetics of Toledo, Ohio. I was honored he would spend the time with me. OK, I'm kidding. Rob's my nephew and builds fast Derby cars. He spoke so many big words I thought he was making them up. The bottom line is, Vitamin K is correct.
Vitamin K, How the Heck do you know all this stuff?



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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Vitamin K » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:09 am

Speedster wrote:When this was first posted I was granted an interview with the President of Dura Magnetics of Toledo, Ohio. I was honored he would spend the time with me. OK, I'm kidding. Rob's my nephew and builds fast Derby cars. He spoke so many big words I thought he was making them up. The bottom line is, Vitamin K is correct.
Vitamin K, How the Heck do you know all this stuff?
I just saw a video of the phenomena posted a while back, and that's what it was called. I am not particularly good at physics. :)



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Re: Don't use magnets as weight

Post by Speedster » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:44 am

Vitamin K, I beg to differ. I know your cars are very, very fast and that's all Physics.



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