Best Track Mods

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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gpraceman
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Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:01 pm

After detailing some Micro Wizard Freedom track mods, I wanted to also have a mods thread for Best Tracks.

Before we get into track mods, I found this excellent assembly guide and video that can help with the initial track assembly.

I had a Best Track for a number of years and ran several races with it, but I actually didn't do any modifications to it, so the ones that I will list here are ones gleaned from this and other forums. I do encourage Best Track owners to jump in and detail any mods that they have done.

Mod #1 - For more competitive races, the stop section can be a bit on the short side. Some have simply purchased an extra stop section to go on the end of their current one.

Mod #2 - Sometimes cars can pop out of their lane on the stop section and cause a collision with other cars. Adding dividers between the lanes of the stop section can keep the cars in their lane. Some have used sheet metal, plexiglass or foam board to make the dividers.

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Mod #3 - Binder clips are not very good at keeping the sections together. During one race, I accidentally bumped the track and a gap opened between two track sections, so the binder clips were obviously not doing their job well. Some people use stronger spring clamps. GravityX mentioned adding spring latches to each section. I'm not sure if he ever did, but it is an interesting idea.

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Mod #4 - Improve the start gate release lever operation. Allows for easier tripping of the start gate, especially if using a solenoid to do the tripping. With bracketracer's mod the pivoting of the lever is improved by adding in some nylon washers and using a shoulder bolt.

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Mod #5 - More improvement to the gate release lever operation. With Owens Racing mod, a roller bearing is added to the release lever using a shoulder bolt. The gate just smoothly rolls off the roller bearing, instead of dragging on the bottom of the notch in the lever.

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Mod #6 - Quite down the running of the cars. The hollowness of track extrusion can make the running of the cars a bit noisy. This thread mentioned putting foam under each lane. As another option, I was really impressed with the sound deadening material that I used to reduce the noise of a copper sink that I installed in our kitchen. You can cut that stuff into strips and stick it under each lane. It doesn't need to cover the whole underside of a lane to do its job.

Mod #7 - Adding a solenoid start gate can help reduce vibration from the start and make starts more consistent. There are commercial solenoid gate triggers available, like the one below from New Directions, or there is a DIY solution.

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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by ngyoung » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:47 am

Thanks for collecting all those mods together in one place.



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by birddog » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:16 am

I've implemented Mod #4 above (owens racing mod) on 2 best tracks. I really like it. It doesn't cost much and it really makes the lever operation much smoother.

I've seen some issues with the stop section being too short for very fast cars. At one point I was about ready to purchase an additional stop section when I took a towel and wiped down the black rubber on the stop section. I'm thinking that a build up of graphite had collected on the rubber stops and caused them to be less sticky. By wiping them down, I went from a set of cars hitting the end of the section, to the same set of cars not hitting the end. From now on, I ensure those rubber stops get wiped down before a race to remove any graphite residue that may exist.

birddog



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:19 pm

It has been quite awhile since I used a Best Track in a race, so I don't remember how much vibration there was when the start gate snaps open. Can that use a memory foam upgrade mod, like that I described for a Freedom track?


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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by ngyoung » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:27 pm

Our pack's BT had a pretty good jolt when the gate released. NPWDRL has had the Owens for a while and just recently made the bracket racer mod. That one improved average track times around 0.02. I am not sure what mod was done to get the start gate to swing down and not bang into anything.

A lot of people also shorten the pins so even if they get bounce back the pins don't rebound back into the cars as they pass over.



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:02 pm

I don't recall any foam on the BT start gate for the one that I once had. Looking at the assembly manual and video, it looks like there is a chunk or two of foam. Is it memory foam? You can tell if you squeeze it and release it. Regular foam will quickly go back to its original state. Memory foam will slowly return to shape.


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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by ngyoung » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:04 pm

The track our district uses for all the packs doesn't have a foam bumper for the start gate.

Here is a video of how the NPWDRL start gate swings. I believe this has the Owens mod but before the bracket racer mod. I don't know what else was done to get it to swing down fast and not bang into the underside:
https://youtu.be/gJE9CL8VPu0



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:13 pm

ngyoung,

That seems like a custom gate, not the stock one. I was curious to see what Best Track provides for their stock gate to dampen vibration.


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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by bracketracer » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:18 pm

ngyoung wrote:The track our district uses for all the packs doesn't have a foam bumper for the start gate.

Here is a video of how the NPWDRL start gate swings. I believe this has the Owens mod but before the bracket racer mod. I don't know what else was done to get it to swing down fast and not bang into the underside:
https://youtu.be/gJE9CL8VPu0
The gate used on the NPWDRL track was custom built by Quicktime Derby as far as I know. I understood it to be using a rotary solenoid and it pivots on bearings. I'm sure they never used my handle mod on it.

I do not believe the Besttrack foam cushion is memory foam, if I compress mine it goes right back in shape.

I did use some memory foam to dampen the hit from my gate solenoid, as described here: http://www.pinewoodderbyonline.com/post ... am-6959847



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by ngyoung » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:39 pm

My bad. For some reason I got it in my head that the last mod they were talking about that effected the times was yours.
bracketracer wrote:
ngyoung wrote:The track our district uses for all the packs doesn't have a foam bumper for the start gate.

Here is a video of how the NPWDRL start gate swings. I believe this has the Owens mod but before the bracket racer mod. I don't know what else was done to get it to swing down fast and not bang into the underside:
https://youtu.be/gJE9CL8VPu0
The gate used on the NPWDRL track was custom built by Quicktime Derby as far as I know. I understood it to be using a rotary solenoid and it pivots on bearings. I'm sure they never used my handle mod on it.

I do not believe the Besttrack foam cushion is memory foam, if I compress mine it goes right back in shape.

I did use some memory foam to dampen the hit from my gate solenoid, as described here: http://www.pinewoodderbyonline.com/post ... am-6959847



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:46 pm

I added Mod #7, a solenoid start gate trip, to my original post.


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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by gpraceman » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:29 am

Here's a video on some simple things that can be done to a stock Best Track gate to reduce vibration.



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:12 am

gpraceman wrote:Here's a video on some simple things that can be done to a stock Best Track gate to reduce vibration.
I really liked Wayne's use of the LED to track vibration. Very clever.

Also, in the comments on his Youtube vid, he mentions he was able to get even more stability by bracing the legs of the track with a pair of tripods. Something else to consider for folks wanting to set up a stable-yet-mobile BestTrack.



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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:59 pm

Vitamin K wrote:
gpraceman wrote:Here's a video on some simple things that can be done to a stock Best Track gate to reduce vibration.
I really liked Wayne's use of the LED to track vibration. Very clever.

Also, in the comments on his Youtube vid, he mentions he was able to get even more stability by bracing the legs of the track with a pair of tripods. Something else to consider for folks wanting to set up a stable-yet-mobile BestTrack.
Good study!

Consider applying a light weight mirror to the front of one of his hypothetical high performance cars (light front end). Then reflect a laser off the mirror and onto a side wall. This will amplify the rotation of the front end and make it easier to see and measure. Multiple mirrors and lasers could be used to quantify rotation on multiple axes!


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Re: Best Track Mods

Post by derbyking » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:38 pm

First post! Thanks for all the knowledge sharing! Our pack bought a 3 lane 35' Besttrack 4 years ago. I am SM at the troop now, but still run the track and timing for the pack and district races. Never realized how much vibration the slamming of the start gate caused until seeing this thread, but spent yesterday afternoon tuning that.

When assembling this track new I thought there wasn't enough support/bracing in the middle of the sections so I added a piece of aluminum bar for extra strength. Maybe it wasn't necessary since I haven't seen mention of it here, but it seemed like a good idea then.

Ron

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