PRO Axle and Wheel Alignment Guide

How to use this tool

How to use the Axle and Wheel alignment Guide



Wheel Clearance


Wheel clearance, or gap spacing, is the easiest thing to fix and perhaps the adjustment that most people get wrong. If wheels are too far out from the car body, the car wobbles from sliding left or right on the axles. If the wheels are too close, they rub against the car body slowing your car down like ABS brakes.

What is the optimal spacing between the wheel and the car body?

Your PRO Alignment Tool makes wheel spacing a snap.

The Tool thickness is exactly the spacing you need. Just insert the Tool Wheel Clearance slot between the wheel and car body, then push the wheel in as far as it will go against the tool.

Remove the tool and you have perfect wheel spacing! Repeat for each wheel.


Axle Alignment

If your axles are not perfectly straight, your car will steer left or right, causing it to hit the center rail as it goes down the track. This causes friction and drag on your car, which sloooows your car down.

With all four axles inserted into the car block, place the tool flat on the bottom of the car. Be sure the ruler is flush with the edges of the block so everything is square.

You can see if the axles are square by looking at the parallel lines on the tool in comparison to the axles. Your axles should be exactly parallel to the lines on the ruler. If not, you need to re-insert the axles so they are parallel.

Better yet, drill the axle slot using our PRO Body Tool, which makes a perfectly straight axle hole. Alternately, our Precision Drilled Block has perfectly aligned axle holes because they were drilled with a drill press.

Camber

What is Camber and why do you care?

Camber is the inward or outward tilt of the top of the wheel from true vertical. If the top of the wheel is tilted inward, it has a Negative Camber. If the top of the wheel is Tilted Outward, it has a Positive Camber. If the wheel is straight up and down on a true vertical line, the Camber is measured at Zero (0°).

If Camber is not zero, your wheels are not resting flat on the track and therefore could ride inward or outward on the axle. Zero camber will allow your wheels to stay centered on the axle, keeping it from creating drag by hitting the nail head or car body.

To measure camber, with your car on a flat surface, place the PRO Alignment Tool against a wheel and check that the wheel is perfectly flat against the tool. If not, you have camber and you need to adjust your axles until camber is zero.

Once again, a perfectly straight axle slot, drilled with the PRO Body Tool will eliminate camber. Alternately, our Precision Drilled Block eliminates camber.

Toe In, Toe Out


What is Toe and why do you care?


Toe relates to the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the rear of the tires on the same axle, or to the vehicle centerline. Toe-in, or positive toe, is defined as the front of the tires being closer together than the rear of the tires. Toe-out, or negative toe, is when the rear of the tires are closer together than the front of the tires. Zero toe is when the tires are parallel to each other.

If your wheels toe inward, your wheels will literally slide on the track slightly as the wheels turn, causing friction. You want to eliminate Toe in and toe out, so your wheels are perfectly straight.

Place the tool flat on the bottom of the car and pull the wheels out to the axle head. Compare where each wheel lines up with the lines on the PRO Alignment Tool. They should all match.

Track Clearance


With the car on a flat surface, put the PRO Alignment Tool on its edge and look under the car to be sure nothing is protruding below the 3/8” Track Clearance line.

Length and Width Dimensions


Your car should measure 7” long by 2 ¾” wide. Use the ruler on the PRO Alignment Guide to measure length and width to be sure it is within these dimensions.

While some specialty trim items may exceed these dimensions, be sure the width especially does not exceed too much (1/2” or more) as this could cause your car to hit the cars in adjacent tracks, causing collisions, which is not good for you or the car you hit!

The PRO Alignment Tool is made of a flexible, durable white polycarbonate... it won't break or wear.



only $4.95


Another tool to help you make a high performance pinewood derby car...from the derby car experts at Pinewood Pro.

      Pinewood Derby
      Tips & Hints

      The best part of pinewood derby is designing a unique, cool car that you can call your own. Don't worry about aerodynamics because it is almost insignificant. We identify dozens of other speed tips in Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets that rank far above aerodynamics.



    • Pinewood Pro Security Verified Trust

    • Risk Free Guarantee Pinewood Pro
    • Pinewood Derby
      wheels Tip

      A lathed wheel means the wheel was turned at a high speed and "sanded" with a cutting tool. Lathed Wheels are perfectly tuned around the axis of rotation giving you the highest performance.


      Pinewood Derby
      rules Hint

      BSA Rules are different from Awana Rules, which are different from Adult Race Rules, etc. Check our Pinewood Derby Rules page to download Pinewood Derby rules for different kinds of races.


    • Helping Pinewood Derby Racers
      pinewood derby authority
      ...for over 15 years.

    • pinewood derby champion

      We won! In the championships we beat 24 other Bears and won every heat.
      - Kevin K. from CA



    • pinewood derby winner with trophy picture

      Thank you for the great Pinewood Derby tips! My son was so excited when he got the 1st place trophy!
      - Kevin from AZ



    • Race winner for years, fastest

      Once we ordered your tips and tricks we won 1st place every year since. Thank You so much for this information and making my son's pinewood derby career a success.
      - Keith



    • Pinewood Pro gets 'er done cuz we finished No.#1, thanks Joe!!!
      - Bruce from WA

    • I just read your Winning Pinewood Derby Secrets book and I can not wait to apply the information. Thanks for the help!
      - Tully from TX

    • Great tips in your Winning Secrets book! This was our first year and my son was the overall District Winner. There were 250 racers at the District race so I'm guessing we have something like 1,000 scouts in our district. With that type of competition you need these tips to be competitive.
      - Mike from FL

Pinewood Derby Car -- PRO Wheel and Axle Alignment Tool