Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

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Darin McGrew
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Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:51 pm

A friend of mine described how the autocross "stock class" restrictions sometimes backfire. The restrictions were intended to create a class where people with "normal street cars" could be competitive by prohibiting certain performance modifications.

But it turns out that it's less expensive to make some of these performance modifications (e.g., machining your pistons so they match) than to buy stock parts that meet the performance requirements (e.g., a set of matching pistons from a vendor that sorts stock pistons).

Are we doing the same things with pinewood derby rules?

What made me think of this is the market for official BSA wheels with matched mold numbers. It reminded me of the market for matched stock pistons, a market created by the prohibition against machining stock parts.



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:38 pm

So, how many kits would I have to buy, on average, to acquire 4 matching wheels with a number 2, 3, 5, 12, or 17? Assume the same number of each wheel were manufactured and distributed, and assume that wheels are randomly packaged and distributed.

Are there any wheels with mold numbers 6, 7, 14, or 16?


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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Sun Dec 28, 2003 9:20 am

Stan,
Not sure if this will help but:
I inspected the wheels of a case (48 kits) of BSA pwd kits last year to sort out those that had a bad wobble and such. I seem to remember only having 4 sets (set = 4 matching mold numbers) of wheels that matched. We did have enough matching pairs (pair = 2 matching mold numbers) of wheels for all the boys kits so that they had matching mold numbers for the front and another pair of matching mold numbers for the rear. We ended up with around 20 kits. I don't remember looking at so many wheels last year but my wife reminded me that I had taken over the kitchen table and that I better do this in my shop this year so I won't get graphite on the table again! :oops: Geesh, the 'graphite incident' happened two years back but I'm still being bunished!

A little off subject here but I planned on using the wobbly wheels, left over axles and pine blocks to build some toy cars for a local day care. Although they were greatful for the offer, they declined due to the nails (axles to us Pineheads). I even offered to epoxy them in but they still declined the offer. Anyone have an idea for holding some axles on some pineblocks without using nails? Whatever your suggestions, they also cannot have sharp edges or be toxic.

Da Graphite Kid



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by gpraceman » Sun Dec 28, 2003 10:08 am

Da Graphite Kid wrote:A little off subject here but I planned on using the wobbly wheels, left over axles and pine blocks to build some toy cars for a local day care. Although they were greatful for the offer, they declined due to the nails (axles to us Pineheads). I even offered to epoxy them in but they still declined the offer. Anyone have an idea for holding some axles on some pineblocks without using nails? Whatever your suggestions, they also cannot have sharp edges or be toxic.
Nobel cause :!: You can try to get a hold of some Awana axles, which are pins, not nails. If you don't know someone in Awana that can get you some let me know and I can probably get you some from our Awana club. I probably have enough in my spare axle collection.

Your other option is to grind off the nail tips.


Randy Lisano
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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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Da Graphite Kid
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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:13 am

gpraceman,

Boy do I feel stupid! :wall: :shake:
Your other option is to grind off the nail tips.
This is a real easy solution!
I'll have to pass this by them along with using epoxy to hold the axles in and see of they will allow it.
I found out last week that our Council has been redivided and we now belong to another District. I don't know when or where our District race will be. I also don't know what rules we will be racing under so we haven't set our Pack rules yet. We also have not started building yet and I just gotta get my pine dust fix! :mrgreen: This will be a good way to get it.

Da Graphite Kid



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by MaxV » Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:50 am

So, how many kits would I have to buy, on average, to acquire 4 matching wheels with a number 2, 3, 5, 12, or 17? Assume the same number of each wheel were manufactured and distributed, and assume that wheels are randomly packaged and distributed.
From our experience, the mold numbers have a fairly normal distribution within the replacement wheel/axle boxes. So, the number of boxes required to get ANY matching set is not very high. However, per the statistics formulas (which I am very rusty on) the number of boxes required to get a PARTICULAR matching set is quite high.

That is why people are willing to pay a premium to get a specific matching pair from our web site - it's a lot cheaper than buying all those boxes.
Are there any wheels with mold numbers 6, 7, 14, or 16?
There does not appear to be any 6's or 7's, but 14's and 16's exist. The current mold numbes are 1 through 18, skipping 6 and 7.



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Derby Wizard » Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:57 am

The mold numbers on wheels are an interesting subject.

I believe trying matched wheels or 2+2 or even attempting to find the best ones with a mixed set is something that encourages creativity and ingenuity. The fact the numbers exist and what they mean is probably unknown to the majority. The ones that do know or have examined the wheels close enough to pick this up are the ones I would expect to achieve better results. All of this I’m sure I’ll hear is an unfair advantage from someone who doesn’t put forth the effort to even ask or try.

I suspect we may see examples of rules relating to this someday.



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:03 pm

Derby Wizard wrote:The mold numbers on wheels are an interesting subject.

I believe trying matched wheels or 2+2 or even attempting to find the best ones with a mixed set is something that encourages creativity and ingenuity. The fact the numbers exist and what they mean is probably unknown to the majority. The ones that do know or have examined the wheels close enough to pick this up are the ones I would expect to achieve better results. All of this I’m sure I’ll hear is an unfair advantage from someone who doesn’t put forth the effort to even ask or try.

I suspect we may see examples of rules relating to this someday.
I don't have a problem with folks wanting to match wheels. What I have a problem with is rules that cause wheel matching (and the attendant sunk costs) to be a significant factor in building a successful car.

Rules which permit dressing the tread to a flat profile allow most of the wheels to be used in successful cars. Tools required to accomplish the dressing are either useful for many other purposes (such as a drill) or can be built cheaply. This is a better test of ingenuity, I think.


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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by terryep » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:52 pm

Zealous rule makers (fun sucking, lazy... I’d better stop there) probably don’t read this forum.



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Derby Wizard » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:34 pm

terryep wrote:Zealous rule makers (fun sucking, lazy... I’d better stop there) probably don’t read this forum.
Heh. :lol: Good point. Although, in some cases I wish they would as they would become better informed about PWD which might lead to more sensible thought and better communication. The others just fall into the category you begain to point out.



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:40 pm

terryep wrote:Zealous rule makers (fun sucking, lazy... I’d better stop there) probably don’t read this forum.
True, so far as I know. However, we can encourage each other to push them right to the edge of sanity. We can overwhelm them with good sense and clear thinking and knowledge of the goals of the program. :)


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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by terryep » Fri Jan 09, 2004 8:13 pm

Fortunately we don’t have any over zealous types in our district :) Our coordinator is a good fellow. I have pointed him to this site and others and he has looked at a few things I sent to him. We have an anything goes (non fouling) rule for lube. When my son lost using graphite to the top 5 silicone users from another district he was gracious to show me the rule. :shock: He is a busy man and we are grateful to have him.

Terry



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Jan 09, 2004 9:08 pm

terryep wrote:We have an anything goes (non fouling) rule for lube. When my son lost using graphite to the top 5 silicone users from another district he was gracious to show me the rule. :shock:
Interesting choice of words ("show me the rule"). Where had it been hidden? Is it only brought out when someone asks if there is such a thing? Come on! Spill the beans, Terry! :)


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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by terryep » Fri Jan 09, 2004 9:53 pm

All I had ever heard of with my first 2 sons was graphite; everyone I knew used it in my district. My son and I were very surprised to win district. (that's when I got the dreaded derby bug) The top 6 out of the 100 were invited to the Challenge cup. Once there I smirked when I saw them using a spray lube at check in!

Rules? Honestly I didn't read them. I have no excuse, Alvin e-mailed me a copy after I made the fuss :lol: That was 2 years ago.

Terry



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Re: Raising the bar by requiring "stock" parts

Post by terryep » Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:13 pm

Ok, I just dug out our rules and they don't say anything about lube! All it says is:

[Lubricants of any kind may not be applied after registering at the place of the rally.]

Some of the other rules:

[Unusual “engineering feats” in the construction of the car is not encouraged and may result in disqualification. Remember that Kub Kar Racing is a parent/child project and should encourage fun and sportsmanship.]

This one is a bit vague:

[Wheel base must not be altered; groove locations in the kit block must be used. No suspension system or bushings of any kind will be allowed]

Does this mean the locations must be used or the actual grooves? I assumed the actual grooves. One parent questioned our wheel base, we shortened the back of the car and added onto the front.

The next rule is a strange one;

[Leaders are reminded that kub kar racing is an adult/child activity and all efforts should be made to have the kars built as equal as possible for maximum enjoyment.]

The next one is the one I should have read!

[Cars must be built so that the front end is completely behind the starting pin. In order to avoid disappointment on some tracks with short starting pins, the nose of the kar should not be higher than 2 cm from the track.]

Our’s was 3 cm but they didn’t inspect for it. The finish line judge grabbed it out of my son’s hand during the semi finals and declared it illegal! A bad day for my son and I. We were accused of not being sportsman!

Terry



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