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How to install wheels on your Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car

Tip #70

If you do not have an accurate scale to weigh your car, use this technique to adjust your car’s weight at the weigh-in. Drill a hole in the back or bottom of your car. Fill the hole with BBs or our tungsten cubes. Plug the hole with Handi-Tak. Handi-Tak is a clay like adhesive that can be found in the office or school supplies sections of most department stores. If the car is overweight at the weigh-in, just remove the Handi-Tak and pull out a BB then replace the Handi-Tak and have your car reweighed.

Installing Wheels and Axles on Your Pinewood Derby Car

Pinewood Derby Axle Installer

Pinewood Derby Axle Installer

Our axle installer makes it easy to install wheels and axles on your Pinewood Derby car the right way every time. It makes sure that the axles are horizontal and that the wheel-to-body gap is correct. For BSA, PineCar, and other kits which use 4 independent axles mounted in slots.


Lubricate the axle

1. Lubricate the wheel and axle - Slide the axle into the wheel. Tip the axle down then add graphite between the axle and wheel. Tap and gently spin the wheel to work the graphite into the wheel. Continue until no more graphite can be added.

Wheel on Axle Installer Base

2. Place the wheel/axle on the base with the pointed end of the axle up.

Wheel on Axle Installer Base

3. Place the Axle Guide in the axle slot. The end of the axle guide should be flush with the side of the car body.

Wheel on Axle Installer Base

4. Hold the Axle Guide in place with your thumb then gently press the car body straight down on the axle.   Push until the wheel touches the car body. The base is designed to leave the proper gap between the wheel and body.

Wheel on Axle Installer Base

5. The axle will need to be glued if it slips easily into the car body.  To glue the axle, remove the axle and place a small drop of wood or paper glue in the axle slot about one quarter inch in from the side of the body. Wipe any excess glue from the bottom of the car.  Insert the axle again using the above procedure. Keep the wheel away from the car body until the glue dries.

Wheel on Axle Installer Base

6. Check that the axle went in straight by checking the wheel angle from the front or back of the car. The wheel should be perpendicular to the car body.

Repeat for the remaining axles.

Axle Installer

Axle Installers

Pinewood Derby Winner
Ryan Jarvis from Long Island NY finished first place in his Pinewood Derby race beating over 100 cars. He used our Axle Installer, wheels, axles and graphite.
Two pinewood derby winners

I don't know how to thank you, I am hoping that these pictures tell you the story....Bob J.


Troy Wonnnn !!!!
He won his Den Championship , .... AND .... his Pack Championship ... BOTH ... he came in First in 6 Den heats , and a very close but still 1st place in 6 Den heats. Next month he will compete in regionals. Troy's car was averaging 180.00 mph in most heats ... 4 to 5 mph higher than the rest , ... he pulled away at mid distance most of the time. I think aligning the wheels was the big difference .... knowing all pinewood cars were at 5.0 ounces , with added weights in strategic loactions , etc. ... nobody had nor had ever heard about the wheel alignment tools. The Axle Installer was the best $5.95 I ever spent. Troy was the talk of the meeting, with a lot of attention , many heigh fives , etc. ... not to mention a ton of parents asking what we did different. Thanks very much for your pinewood derby products and helpRug G.
Paid extra for overnight shipping and I'm glad that I did. Your little axle tool did the trick. Axles went in straight. The result? We won the race! Money well spent...Tony R.
This is very helpful tool for getting the axles in straight and at the same height and it sets the wheel gap. One-thousand percent easier than trying to do it any other way....Eric S.
Good experience with a First in Den and Second in Pack finish in our first Pinewood Derby. Thanks for the help....Robert S.
Received tool. Very slick design. Thank you.
...Sandra P.