Lubricating Track

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derbytalker
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Lubricating Track

Post by derbytalker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:29 pm

I am the Pack Committee Chair for our Pack. We recently purchased a Piantedosi Oars Aluminum Freedom 6 lane track. One of my parents suggested that we lubricate the track before our first race as some of our cars were having trouble crossing the finish line when we were doing
practice runs.

Does anyone have any recommendations on lubricating tracks? If so, what do you use to lubricate your track? Or, is it not a good idea.

Thank you very much.



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by pwdarchitect » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:44 pm

Not generally a good idea. I would just clean it up good with denatured alcohol or laquer thinner.

Jim



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by Warthog » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:55 pm

How long of a track is it?



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Stan Pope
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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:59 pm

Lubricating the cars seems like a better first step! :)

Seriously, longer tracks can pose problems for newbie builders. A "time trials" period a few days before the event will give them a chance to discover such problems and to seek assistance in correcting them.

It seems to make sense to wipe down the edges of the center guide rail with a polish, but I certainly wouldn't want to affect the rolling surface.

My concern with lubricating the track is that its friction coefficient will change as the lubricant wears off. This makes the track different for some racers than for others. If you are racing the clock, then later runs would have a handicap. In any case, it may distort the results.


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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by TAL » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:50 pm

Warthog wrote:How long of a track is it?
That would be my first question also ...

Derbytalker, No I would not lube the track with any thing especially the running surface...

We also have a freedom aluminum track (anodized) and we just keep it clean...

I would reccommend more and more practice runs... Heck you and I both know the track is'nt cheap so put it to use...Practice ,practice, practice....

I remember when I first built a 48 foot wooden track at the shop for some co workers a couple years ago Only 1 man out of 15 made it to the end... My car knocked the stopper down at the end and the mouths dropped, the rest of the men had wheels fallen off going every which way ,stopping half way and jumping track and these were grown men...We really had a blast and some really good laughs also... Especially on one guys very first run when half way down the slope 3 wheels came off and went every where and his car flipped at the bottom of the hill :lol:

But after a week for all to practice we were all hitting the 48 foot stopper pretty hard...

Another suggestion ... If you do assemble the track for for all the kids to practice leave off the last 2 sections of the track for practice purposes so it does'nt ruin the end results on race day...
Because an additional 16 foot can make a difference in the outcome...

For example if little johnny can't beat another at practice on the full track at least he can have hope for different circumstances on race day...



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by derbytalker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:13 pm

Thanks all for the input so far! It is much appreciated :-) Sounds like lubing the track isn't a good idea.

We have the 40ft track. We may just pull one section out of the track until we have a better handle on how the track works.

But, I do welcome any and all suggestions, so if anyone else has comments, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks again!



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by gpraceman » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:22 pm

derbytalker wrote:We have the 40ft track. We may just pull one section out of the track until we have a better handle on how the track works.

But, I do welcome any and all suggestions, so if anyone else has comments, I'd love to hear them.
I'm surprised with a 40ft aluminum track that you have that much of a problem with cars not finishing. Most of the time, it is because cars are way under weight, not lubed, have some serious alignment issues, or have stuff dragging.

Having a pre-race trial run period is great to help identify and help those cars. If you don't have one, here are some things that you can do:

For underweight cars, during check-in highly recommend that they add some weight before it is finished checking in. Even if it means taping coins to the top of the car.

For non lubed cars, ask during check-in if it was lubed. If not, send them away to do so. You should have some graphite available for them to use.

For cars with alignment issues, there usually isn't much you can do. You can at least make sure the wheels are securely attached and don't have the axles angled downwards (wheels rubbing against body).

Stuff dragging should be easily identified by checking underbody clearance during check-in.


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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by SpinDoctor » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:41 am

As all the above stated. It is an issue with the cars not the track. Run a clinic for the newbies so they understand the importance of axle prep and weighting the cars, and proper clearance

If you can, have your registration the night before with access to the track so problems can be found and rectified. This turns into a fun night for the scouts and removes all the stress from the raceday.



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by ExtremePWD » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:55 am

SpinDoctor wrote:If you can, have your registration the night before with access to the track so problems can be found and rectified. This turns into a fun night for the scouts and removes all the stress from the raceday.
We actually run a trials night one week before the race. The track, scales and dimensional gauge are all setup. We try to resolve as many problems as we can that night but some can use the full week to make major changes that are required.



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by SpinDoctor » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:35 am

ExtremePWD wrote:
SpinDoctor wrote:If you can, have your registration the night before with access to the track so problems can be found and rectified. This turns into a fun night for the scouts and removes all the stress from the raceday.
We actually run a trials night one week before the race. The track, scales and dimensional gauge are all setup. We try to resolve as many problems as we can that night but some can use the full week to make major changes that are required.
That's even better. Our Pack has always done the Friday night Sat. moring, so we don't have to break down the track. I used to bowl on Fri. nights so the first year I missed the check in. The car would not cross the finish line. Not enough axle prep and we used that silly white stuff (actually right guard may have performed better). Anyway, my boy was lucky enough that one of our friends pulled the axles and worked on them for about 45 minutes and provide some gooooood graphite and my boy came in second in the tiger division and faired well at the pack division. With a little more mentoring the next year he won wolfs, and was close at the pack level. (Bear year the car did wheelies as we were really aggressive, but won a design award) After that is has been all first execpt when we had two scouts at a time. Now it is my turn to mentor, so I run a clinic for the newbies and scamble to help on registration day. This year we actully have a pack meeting schedule on the Wed. before. I am planning on have the officiai scales and the measuring tools available so they have an extra couple of days to fix any registration violations. I can give the wheels a quick spin test see they need any additional work.



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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by Mr. Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:04 am

Do not lube or wax the track - this causes problems with cars that are actually aligned and need the friction to steer. . . think of lubed track as driving on glare ice. While the surface/car interface is reduced friction, the car will still go further if the wheels are turning and not sliding.

Lube the cars that are having problems. I host lots of races and typically the cars that don't make it to the finish on the 64' track are either totally unlubed or have lots/visable amounts of white teflon with CLING.

Prior to the actual races I always have "training" for the track volunteers - run each car down the track to practice picking/staging/starting/returning --- also gives a chance to find any cars that "need a bit of help" . . .

When a car doesn't finish during testing, we remove/blow out any white stuff, add some Tube-o-lube, spin it in a bit and re-test.


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Re: Lubricating Track

Post by PWD » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:38 pm

I would definitely not lube the track. If the track is only 40 feet long you should be able to fix any car in the pit area so that it can atleast finish. Unless the wheels are glued to the axles :)

We run on the exact same track and we did not have any cars last year not make it to the finish line. But we did look out for problems.

In previous years on our 32' wood track we have had a car or two not finish. But we did not look out for the problem before check-in.



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