PINEWOOD DERBY CONSTRUCTION RULES


Revised January 2018

1. The inspection judges at check-in are responsible for evaluating each car’s adherence to these technical specifications. An individual judge’s decision may be appealed to the inspection chairman, who, after consultation with the inspection team, the Scout, and his parent/assistant, shall render a final, binding decision.

2. Use only Pinewood Derby Kit (#17006), authorized by the Boy Scouts of America and available through the Boulder Scout Service Center, McGuckins Hardware in Boulder, or official Boy Scout Distributors. Any other kit, such as those advertised in various magazines (including Boy's Life) or sold in hobby stores and even McGuckin's (for example Pinecar), WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. If parts (such as wheels, axles precut wood blocks, etc.) are removed from such kits and installed in the official kit, disqualification of said car will result. In general, use of unofficial parts for the purpose of increased performance and / or improvements of said cars is not allowed.


3. DIMENSIONS


WIDTH: Overall width shall not exceed 2 3/4 inches.


LENGTH: Overall length shall not exceed 7 inches

The center of the front of the car cannot be pointed or indented, and must be the furthest piece forward of the front wheels; it must have a flat area of at least 1/4 (0.250) inches wide, for track starter pins, and must be (from the ground) between the minimum track clearance, and the top of the front wheels.


HEIGHT: Overall height shall not exceed 4 inches


CLEARANCE: Minimum recommended car clearance is 3/8 inches.


4. WEIGHT Weight shall not exceed 5.000 ounces (141.75 grams). No loose materials of any kind are permitted in the car. The car may be hollowed out and built up to a maximum weight by the addition of a solid material, such as wood or metal provided it is securely built into the body.


5. WHEEL BEARINGS: Washers and / or bushings of any kind are prohibited.


6. SPRINGING: The car shall not ride on any type of springs.


7. DETAILS Details such as steering wheel driver, decals, painting, interior detail are permissible as long as those details do not exceed the maximum length, width, height and weight specifications and are securely fastened to the car.


8. ATTACHMENTS: The car must be freewheeling with no starting device.


9. WHEELS: NO ROUNDING or BEVELING of the wheel is permitted. Use of a mandrel is

prohibited. Milling and turning of the wheels is especially prohibited. The best policy is to leave

the wheels as they are. All 4 wheels must come in contact with the track surface to the best of the builder’s ability.


10. AXLEAxle spacing is determined by the preset grooves in the block of wood provided in the kit. Axles may be polished but cannot be plated or specially lubricated. Only dry graphite lubricant or Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Wheel and Axle Lubricant (part no. 17240) may be used as a lubricant.


11. GRAVITY POWERED The race car may not be constructed or treated in such a way that the track's starting mechanism imparts momentum to the car. (For instance, this provision disqualifies cars with sticky substances on the front of the car and protrusions which may catch on the starting pin.)


12. STAGINGThe entire car must stage behind the starting pin. For example, you can not have a Y shaped front end where the starting pin fits in between the Y and offers an unfair starting advantage.


ALL CARS MUST HAVE BEEN BUILT AFTER SEPT. 1 of the previous year.


COMMON PROBLEMS FOUND DURING CHECK-IN:


1. INCORRECT WEIGHT: Often cars were weighed on scales that were less accurate or weight has been added in glue stickers or even due to changes in humidity and absorption of the wood. The person checking in the cars should expect to have to adjust the weight of the car.


2. BEVELING OR SHAPING OF THE WHEELS: The wheels of some of the cars in past years have had excessive beveling or shaping. The wheels are inspected at check-in and can not be beveled, rounded, or specially shaped. The seam in the center of the wheel, if present, must be removed so the wheel is reasonably flat. Use of a mandrel is prohibited. The best policy is to leave the wheels as they are.


3. USE OF NON-OFFICIAL CAR KITS: Several cars had been built using Pinecar Kits. These are not allowed. They are easily identified as the wheels and axles are different from the official car kits.


4. INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE: Several cars had the weights mounted on the bottom of the cars and these reduced the clearance to the track such that the weights or nails would drag on the guide rail of the track. These will have to be reworked to allow them to run in the race.


5. SIZE VIOLATIONS: Addition of weights or trim to the ends of the cars may cause some cars to exceed the maximum allowable length.


6. MODIFICATION OF CAR WHEELS: Addition of trim to the wheels of cars to be raced requires replacement or correction.


7. EXCESSIVE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT: A common complaint is that some parents have done too much of the work on their Scout's cars. The Scouts are supposed to do the majority of the work themselves. It is not fair if an adult has done much of the work on a car, which is competing against cars built by Scouts. Parents should supervise and teach. Because of the risk of damaging the car, an adult can set the weight of the car and attach the wheels. Doing more is a disservice to the Scout. If an adult wants to do more they are encouraged to build a car of their own. This is an excellent way to encourage your Scout and show him by example how to build it.  It is impossible for the Pinewood Derby Committee to judge who has done the work on the cars.


We can only trust the honesty of the Scouts, parents and leaders.





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