Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

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Vitamin K
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Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Vitamin K » Wed May 27, 2015 9:34 am

Has anybody ever tried to provide better car kits to cubs...on a District-wide level?

Here's the deal: We're wrangling over our district rules, and I'm making the point that we can't check for illegal axles without tearing cars down, so we may as well go ahead and lift that requirement. The problem is, of course, that better axles /are/ a speed boost. What I'm wondering is...what if there were a way to even the odds on this?

For example, Awana axles are thicker, rounder, straighter and less-burred than BSA axles. What if we put together a kit in a ziplock bag and sold them, at cost, through the District? It would consist of a pine block from someplace (Max-V?), four Awana axles (or maybe Max-V axles), and four BSA wheels. If we ordered in sufficient quantity, would we be able to meet the $4.00 price point that the BSA sells kits for?

Would it be worth it?

Thinking out loud here, but always welcome to a few more voices in my head.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed May 27, 2015 10:41 am

Why mix and match? Why not buy complete kits that use better components. When you buy in bulk, the unit cost from http://www.shapenrace.net/ is less than $4.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Vitamin K » Wed May 27, 2015 11:19 am

Darin McGrew wrote:Why mix and match? Why not buy complete kits that use better components. When you buy in bulk, the unit cost from http://www.shapenrace.net/ is less than $4.
We need to stick with the BSA wheels since this is a Scouting race. I guess we /could/ open it up to wheels from some other manufacturer, but that's too far of a departure to even consider floating to District leadership, IMO. Also, I would want these cars to be legal for other BSA-rules events, such as the Mid-America Derby.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed May 27, 2015 11:57 am

Once you're no longer using BSA kits, why stick with BSA wheels? I guess I don't see the point. Once you switch to something else, why not switch to something else?

But I suppose if there are regional events that require only BSA wheels and don't require anything else, then it could make sense. I just never pay much attention to regional events.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Vitamin K » Wed May 27, 2015 12:05 pm

In this case (and this is still very hypothetical), we'd want to offer the /option/ to buy a kit from the district that would include slightly better axles than the stuff the BSA kits provide. However, we'd still want them to be compatible with the kits that the BSA provides. Allowing different kinds of wheels means that we'd have more complications when it came to evaluating the legality of wheel modifications and suchlike.
Darin McGrew wrote:Once you're no longer using BSA kits, why stick with BSA wheels? I guess I don't see the point. Once you switch to something else, why not switch to something else?

But I suppose if there are regional events that require only BSA wheels and don't require anything else, then it could make sense. I just never pay much attention to regional events.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by bracketracer » Sat May 30, 2015 1:12 am

The standard BSA car kit with a set of Maximum Velocity #4094 axles would be a nice kit but the axles cost as much as the car.

Playing the devil's advocate here - you know that including better quality axles in the kit means less work that the scout gets to do on the car, right? :D



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Vitamin K » Sat May 30, 2015 5:37 am

bracketracer wrote:The standard BSA car kit with a set of Maximum Velocity #4094 axles would be a nice kit but the axles cost as much as the car.

Playing the devil's advocate here - you know that including better quality axles in the kit means less work that the scout gets to do on the car, right? :D
Well, it eliminates the axle-filing step. Which can be tricky and error prone for small hands. Scouts that want speed would still want to polish the axles with various grits of sandpaper.

Most scouts have a limited budget of time to work with their parents, so that time could be used for other things instead.



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Re: Providing Better Kits for Scouts?

Post by Vitamin K » Sat May 30, 2015 10:26 am

Mulling on this a little bit more, the inclusion of BSA wheels is really the big limiting factor here. The wheels sell for $1.99 a tube, which is half of the allotted $4.00. If aftermarket axles add another $1.00, then we'd need to find a way to include a block for $1.00.

It might be worth looking into what it would cost to have a local business cut (and maybe notch) a number of pine blocks. Or, possibly just have them cut it and come up with some kind of jig to notch them ourselves.

All this could be avoided if the BSA would just switch to quality axles. :)

Anyhow, still just hypothetical, since there's no approval from the District to loosen axle restrictions yet, but it's an interesting thought experiment.



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