Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised wheel

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PeterT
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Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised wheel

Post by PeterT » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:44 pm

Just curious if anyone has an idea on a car we passed through registration tonight - after more than an hour of deliberations.

As a quick background, we register all cars one night, keep them in the "PIT" overnight, and race first thing the next morning. Our local district rules require the use of the original BSA slots and BSA axles and wheels (among a longer list of fairly standard requirements).

The "suspect" car had many "red flags". It appeared to be designed as a 3 wheel rail rider, which is allowed. However the axles were in holes drilled about 1mm away from the apparently filled in slots. The three "down" wheels could not be removed from the car at all, no way no how (if the tips are not visible, the Cub/parent must make them visible upon request - either by pulling or drilling the underbody until we can see it). Axle puller would not do it, needle nose pliers would not do it, nothing worked. I've never seen axles that stubborn. Eventually another parent helped them drill a hole to expose what looked like was probably a standard tip. This also exposed that the slots were only 1mm deep - I suspect they are fake slots.

The dad admitted pretty quickly that he had a friend make it for them since they were out of town for the last few weeks. He seemed to have little knowledge about its construction methods.

The front left wheel was clearly intentionally raised in the standard 3-wheel rail rider fashion, again, perfectly allowable if you're using the slots.

Here's the funny thing: that raised wheel a) had a notch cut in the entire inside edge of the wheel - almost as if someone had used a lathe to thin the wheel, but only tool off the first inside 1mm or so - measured not from the surface/face of the wheel, but about 1mmx1mm from the thin part which would touch the guide rail. b) it removed easily while the other would not budge, and had a standard axle.

The other funny thing - the dad was getting worked up about getting through inspections, the kid didn't seem to care.

I ran the car down a length of track and it seemed to be rail riding incorrectly - with the raised wheel tending toward the center rail. I told him they could race if they replaced the raised wheel with a new one from a kit we had handy - and they did this.

The thing I don't get - why the notch in the raised wheel? My best guess is that it reduces surface area if the wheel touches the guiderail. I still have it and will try to post a picture tomorrow.

I suspect that all three of the other wheels might have been shaved - but not sure how to tell or check. They were all quite well polished. The dad threw some new graphite on at the last minute, which in our experience typically backfires.

Also, any best guess: was this an eBay car, or some other way purchased?

Even though it is no longer tracking the way I might expect, and even though it the one clearly objectionable wheel was replaced, I still have a fear that the car was bought and might knock another kid out of a medal.

Any thoughts appreciated.

FYI: my son has been out of Cub Scouts for years, but I've continued to stay on as its a lot of fun, and my son now helps run the derby. Bottom line: I have no personal competitive interest beyond trying to keep the event fair for all.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:22 pm

PeterT wrote:The thing I don't get - why the notch in the raised wheel? My best guess is that it reduces surface area if the wheel touches the guiderail. I still have it and will try to post a picture tomorrow. I suspect that all three of the other wheels might have been shaved...
That would be appreciated. Like you, I would suppose that every wheel was modified. Removing mass from the interior of the rotating wheels should make the car faster off the starting line, and making the non-rotating wheel look the same-as may help minimize notice during inspection.
PeterT wrote:Even though it is no longer tracking the way I might expect, and even though it the one clearly objectionable wheel was replaced, I still have a fear that the car was bought and might knock another kid out of a medal.
With all the forcible tugging on the axles, alignment could have been altered. If so, there may be little need to worry. And because it already "passed through" I would think there is little more that can / should be done at this stage.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by Speedster » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:32 am

PeterT, you and your team are very kind. What's Done is Done. Could you and your team have supplied the racer a square, hacksaw and one new wheel?



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by PeterT » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:30 am

Thanks, all-

I'll get a photo of the wheel up as soon as I can. Left it in a box at the facility and didn't think to take a picture before I left for home. I've been struggling to describe the notch - this is one case where the picture would be way better than the proverbial 1000 words.

We also added 8' to our track this year to bring it more in line with the track our district races has been using, so a lot going on.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by PeterT » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:39 pm

Hi all-

Thanks for your feedback thus far. Here are the promised pictures of the wheel. In all photos, the wheel on the LEFT is the suspect wheel with the notch. The wheel on the RIGHT is straight out of the box.
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-KPxsJ" target="_blank

Sorry for the bad pictures, low light when I took them. I'll try again with a better camera/more light when I can.

My best guess is that whoever built the car used one of those wheel shavers incorrectly, either by accident or with the idea that it minimizes wheel to car body friction. Keep in mind that this was only the front left RAISED wheel on a car which otherwise looked like a three wheel rail rider by design.

The other three wheels did not have the notch, but did have the same shiny wheel treatment.

Another possibility is that a wheel shaver was used, and one of the wheels got messed up so it became the "high" wheel.

Curious if anyone has seen one of these before.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by Vitamin K » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:04 am

SmugMug appears to want a password.
PeterT wrote:Hi all-

Thanks for your feedback thus far. Here are the promised pictures of the wheel. In all photos, the wheel on the LEFT is the suspect wheel with the notch. The wheel on the RIGHT is straight out of the box.
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-KPxsJ" target="_blank

Sorry for the bad pictures, low light when I took them. I'll try again with a better camera/more light when I can.

My best guess is that whoever built the car used one of those wheel shavers incorrectly, either by accident or with the idea that it minimizes wheel to car body friction. Keep in mind that this was only the front left RAISED wheel on a car which otherwise looked like a three wheel rail rider by design.

The other three wheels did not have the notch, but did have the same shiny wheel treatment.

Another possibility is that a wheel shaver was used, and one of the wheels got messed up so it became the "high" wheel.

Curious if anyone has seen one of these before.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by FatSebastian » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:25 am

Vitamin K wrote:SmugMug appears to want a password.
:nod:



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by PeterT » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:12 am

Sorry about that - something strange in SmugMug's permissions. I actually had the gallery set to NOT require a password. That doesn't seem to be working, so, the password is "derby".

Here's the link again: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-KPxsJ" target="_blank
password: derby



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by Speedster » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:23 pm

The car is Revell "Grand Prix Racer Kit" Product ID: RMXY 9634. It is missing the front cross piece, driver and rear air foil. The only thing I can think of for the groove is the wheel shaver was adjusted and the groove was cut. Perhaps there was a total misunderstanding and the intent was to shave the inside edge of the wheel. Peculiar it was done to only one wheel and that wheel was the raised wheel.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by macd » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:42 pm

How much does the modified wheel weigh? I think it looks like an attempt to lighten the wheels.
The body looks like the Grand Prix from abc pinewood derby.



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:34 pm

Speedster wrote:The car is Revell "Grand Prix Racer Kit" Product ID: RMXY 9634. It is missing the front cross piece, driver and rear air foil.
There's a reason for that: it's not the Revell. I second macd. It's the ABC Pinecar Grand Prix body exactly. You can find it on ebay by searching for pinewood derby grand prix pre cut block. Matches it exactly.
The only thing I can think of for the groove is the wheel shaver was adjusted and the groove was cut. Perhaps there was a total misunderstanding and the intent was to shave the inside edge of the wheel. Peculiar it was done to only one wheel and that wheel was the raised wheel.
It could be a diversion. Think about it: it puts all the emphasis on the front NDFW and takes away from anything else. The fact that dad was anxious about getting it through the inspection says a lot and throws up red flags for me. That excuse is the same one we got when we caught our cheaters last year, even though we had the ended ebay auction for one of the cars.

As an aside, that car would have been disqualified in our race. We require the cub to play a part in the construction of the car, and we ask them what they did and what they found easy/difficult at check-in. We expect less for the Tigers and Wolves, and more for the Bears and Webelos, but doing ANYTHING really qualifies. We've had kids actually just admit that their guardian bought the car. :eek:



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by PeterT » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:51 pm

Can you share the rules/language you use to *require* Cub participation? We have this in the preamble to our rules, however it is not explicitly stated. I'd be very interested in seeing how you write this up and enforce it - and will seriously consider putting something like that in next year's rules.

I agree this looks exactly like the ABC Pinewood Grand Prix at http://www.[no advertising for this vendor].com/detai ... d-prix.htm" target="_blank

As for the wheel weight - my scale shows a standard OOTB wheel at 2.6g, and the notched wheel at 2.4g.

That notched wheel may have been intended to be the decoy, but in fact it caused me to look even closer at the entire car and ultimately caused them more trouble than they likely were looking for.

I'm just glad the cub still had the experience of racing, and that they did not succeed in any overall performance awards (the cub took home a minor design award).



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Re: Registration tonight - suspect car / notched raised whee

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:48 pm

PeterT wrote: It appeared to be designed as a 3 wheel rail rider, which is allowed.

The front left wheel was clearly intentionally raised in the standard 3-wheel rail rider fashion, again, perfectly allowable if you're using the slots.
Here's the funny thing: that raised wheel a) had a notch cut in the entire inside edge of the wheel - almost as if someone had used a lathe to thin the wheel, but only tool off the first inside 1mm or so - measured not from the surface/face of the wheel, but about 1mmx1mm from the thin part which would touch the guide rail. b) it removed easily while the other would not budge, and had a standard axle.
I ran the car down a length of track and it seemed to be rail riding incorrectly - with the raised wheel tending toward the center rail. I told him they could race if they replaced the raised wheel with a new one from a kit we had handy - and they did this.

The thing I don't get - why the notch in the raised wheel? My best guess is that it reduces surface area if the wheel touches the guiderail. I still have it and will try to post a picture tomorrow.

I suspect that all three of the other wheels might have been shaved - but not sure how to tell or check. They were all quite well polished. The dad threw some new graphite on at the last minute, which in our experience typically backfires.

Also, any best guess: was this an eBay car, or some other way purchased?

Even though it is no longer tracking the way I might expect, and even though it the one clearly objectionable wheel was replaced, I still have a fear that the car was bought and might knock another kid out of a medal.

Any thoughts appreciated.

FYI: my son has been out of Cub Scouts for years, but I've continued to stay on as its a lot of fun, and my son now helps run the derby. Bottom line: I have no personal competitive interest beyond trying to keep the event fair for all.

Useing the rasised notched wheel .. to act as glide fin.. & DFW to steer away from the rail

Sounds like the builder had an idea to try.. for raised wheel rail gliding.
It might have worked if the notched wheel wasen't cut down to act as the glide fin
with a smaller contact patch seen on the iner rim.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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