Apr 18 2014
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Adding weights to Pinewood Derby cars is as easy as ABC!

Example of pinewood car derby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #71

If your pinewood derby car doesn’t roll straight, the first thing to check is dirt on the wheels. A small piece of dirt on the tread area can cause a car to turn. Clean the tread area (the flat part of the wheel that touches the track) with a dry clean cloth then test your car again.

How to Add Wire Weights to Your Pinewood Derby Car

The more your car weighs, the faster it will go down the track. A winning car will weigh as close to the 5 oz. maximum as possible. Here is how you can install our wire weights in your Pinewood Derby car.

What you will need:

  • One set of wire weights
  • 5/15" drill bit
  • Hand drill or drill press
  • Wire cutters, diagonal pliers or other cutting tool
  • Wood putty or glue
  • Gloves

Caution: These weights are made of lead. You should handle lead weight with gloves. Children should not handle lead weights.



1. Put all of the components that will be used on your car on a scale. Be sure to include wheels, axles and any accessories. Add enough of the wire weight to bring the weight up to 4.9 oz.  The remaining .1 oz is reserved for paint and decals.






2. Decide where you would like to add the weight. Weight should be placed towards the rear of the car.  You can drill the weight holes in the bottom, side or rear of the car as shown in these examples. Stay at least 1/8" away from the axle slots.

3. Measure the distance that you can drill into the block - leave at least 1/8" of wood at the other end of the hole. Wrap a 5/16" drill bit with masking tape at the measured distance. This will stop the bit at the right depth.

4. Drill enough holes in the car to accommodate all of the weight. Drill one additional hole for weight that will be added later.

5. Cut the weight with a diagonal pliers or wire cutter at slightly less than the hole depth that you measured.

6. Insert the weights in the holes and weigh your car again. If the weight is more than 4.9 oz, snip off a little of one weight until your car is the correct weight.

7. Seal the weights in the car with wood putty or glue.  Let the putty or glue dry.

8. Use sandpaper or a file to smooth the wood putty.

9. Paint your car and add the wheels and accessories.

10. Weigh your car. Add enough weight to make it exactly 5 oz. Add the weight to your car in the extra hole.

Note: Scales differ so unless you have access to the scale that will be used on the night of the race it is a good idea to make your car slightly less than 5 oz then bring our stick-on-weights to the race and add them to your car to adjust the weight to 5oz.

Return to Pinewood Derby Car Weights page

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