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Give your Pinewood Derby car a speed boost with our graphite pads 

Example of pinewood car









Tip #72

Graphite can get on everything including all over your car. You can usually wipe loose graphite off of your car with a dry cloth. For graphite that is hard to remove, put a small amount of toothpaste on a dry cloth and gently rub the graphite off. Use a damp cloth to remove the toothpaste.

How to apply Graphite Pads to your Pinewood Derby Car

Graphite Pads for Pinewood Derby Cars
Graphite Pads for Pinewood Derby Cars

During a race, every time that a wheel touches the car body it is like putting on the brakes.

Wheel wear marks on car body after several races. The wheel actually digs into the wood.

Our Graphite Pads dramatically reduce this friction. In fact,
our tests have shown a typical gain of 7 inches at the finish line!

These pads have a self adhesive backing and come as a set of 5 (one extra) .

These pads will feel rough when you receive them. After they are installed on the car, the wheel pressing against the pad will flatten the graphite for a slick surface.

Installation Instructions

1.Check your wheels for defects. Roll each wheel on a flat smooth surface. The wheel should not wobble. Replace any wheels that wobble.

2. Your car should be clean and dry before applying the pads.

If your car has holes for the axles, skip to step 4. If you car has slots as shown above, you will need to determine the placement of your axle in the slot before attaching the graphite pads.

3. Mount all four wheels and axles on your car. Adjust for proper position and alignment.  You will not be able to adjust your axles after you attach the graphite pads so make sure that the axles are where you want them to stay.

4. Remove the wheels and axles. It is important that the graphite pad is centered on the axle hole so use a sharp pencil and straight edge to mark the horizontal and vertical position of each axle.

5. Carefully peel a pad from the strip and center it over each axle hole using the pencil marks as a guide. Firmly press the pad on the car body with your finger.  It is ok if part of the pad extends past the bottom of the car.

6. Use a sharp pin to carefully make a hole in the center of the pad directly on the axle hole.

7. Enlarge the hole in the graphite pad by carefully inserting an axle into the hole while twisting it like a drill. If the outer edges of the pad start to raise, remove the axle and press the pad firmly with a finger. Continue until the hole in the pad is the size of the axle shaft.  Remove the axle. Press your finger on the pad again to make sure that it is secure.

8. After all 4 pads have been attached to the car body and holes have been made in the pads, mount the wheels and axles. If you see that a pad is loose after mounting the wheels, press the wheel against the pad to re-attach it. The adhesive on the pad will dry after a few hours keeping the pad securely on the car.

The graphite on these pads will last for many races. You will know when a pad is starting to wear out if you can see red start to show on the pad.

Graphite Pads

set of 5

Pinewood Derby Trophy

Nate used our graphite pads and graphite coated wheels and
axles for a 2nd place finish. Missed 1st place by .02 seconds.