Best Track Alignment issues

Commercial tracks.
rkibby
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Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:15 pm

Track is 3 years old, and what I would consider very abused. The pack stored it in the rafters of the shed outside of the church. Which seems to show signs for no care for the ends of the track. This is my first year for taking over the Packs racing. I'm having some issues with alignment, and more that its not a smooth transition. Lane #2, first section after the curve, the lane is bowed up. How the heck do you get that bow out? Is it ok to put dowel pins where the guide rails meet? Right now I'm using 2 per lane, it's a 4 lane track.

Pics below. If you need a different angle or anything please let me know. I need all the help I can get with getting this fixed.


Left side of lane #2
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Right side of lane #2
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Close up of Right side of lane #2
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whole lane #2
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Trying to show how the track isn't flat.
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Pinewood Po
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Pinewood Po » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:07 pm

Hopefully someone that has had to deal with this before has the answer. I don't have a clue how these tracks go together but as someone that works with metal everyday I can tell you warped metal is hard to bend back perfectly. I'm guessing the best you can do is to bend it as close as possible making sure the "down the road" part of the track is not sticking up anywhere. Even if that means part of it is lower, I would guess driving off a slight dropoff would affect times less than hitting a bump.
It appears the high point is the top of the rib in picture 2. I'd start with applying some pressure on the top of that rib and see if that gained anything. You will have to push it past level because it will spring back. Proceed with care!!!!! It will probably bend easier than you think.



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kevinrevin
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by kevinrevin » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:27 pm

I have a two lane Best Track that we have used for 5 pack's races each of the last two years and at District for the last 5 years. Two years ago I added an additional section just for the District races. When I got the extra section, I 'rebuilt' the flat sections of the track. By this I mean we disassembled the sections and interchanged/reversed the lanes. In doing this, we corrected a slight alignment issue at one junction.
For your track issue, a couple of thoughts:
FIRST; I would try reversing this section of the track. That would make the bump into a drop. An easy out, if the track will go together this way, but probably not the best solution.
SECOND (and probably better solution); I would reverse the direction of this section and refit its ends to the 'new' joints. This would require loosening the nuts holding the track to the angle piece that connects the ends of this section of track, connecting it to the next section using the dowel pins for alignment, then re-tighten the nuts. Do this on each end of this section. For better instructions look here http://www.besttrack.com/Assembly_Manual.pdf It should link to the BestTrack Assembly Manual on their website.

I hope this helps. :D



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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Eracer » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:06 pm

The lanes look pretty rough at the joints. I am not familiar with how the track is put together but from the photos it appears you may be able to pull out the dowel pins with vise grips and some hammer tapping on the pliers after they are clamped on the pins. Once the pins are removed take the track section to a local sheet metal fabricator and they should be able to cut about an inch off the end of the section getting you into an undamaged portion of the metal. Put the dowel pins back in or use some new roll pins from the hardware store. You will loose a small amount of length but will get you back in business with a smoother transition between track sections.

After looking at the track manual, the dowel pins only extend into the extrusion about 3/16". You would not need to take the pins out before cutting the damaged portion off the end of the section. Cut back from the end 3/8" (or more to remove damaged metal). Once the extrusion is cut off you will be able to drive the pins out from the back side of the waste piece and reinstall the pins back into the "clean" track section. Make sure to file off any burrs or flashing formed from the cutting process.
Last edited by Eracer on Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Pinewood Po
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Pinewood Po » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:25 pm

You might try a combination of your own suggestion and Eracer's suggestion of using roll pins. Roll pins are a little more forgiving than dowel pins and easier to use, though less precise they will get you close. From looking at the diagrams on besttrack.com it appears you might be able to put roll pins in the holes that are right under the rails.



rkibby
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:19 am

Im kind of curious about using the pins at the guide rails and see if it will suck the track down. Just not sure if your suppose to put pins there. the round opennings look like the right size, manual does say it's not needed but doesn't say you can't.

I can't turn it around because of the inter-lock grooves. If I turned the whole thing around and used the other end, it doesn't match the side walls. And I'm not sure if the alignment is still right when it comes to aligning the guide rails. Best Track owners would understand what I'm saying for this part.

Thank you.
When i get up, I'll email Steve at Best Track and go from there.



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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rpcarpe » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:25 am

These issues with BestTrack are the reason I won't recommend them to anyone. I've tried to 'fix' our own Packs Best Track... it's an unforgiving hassle.


My wife started a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.

rkibby
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:01 pm

Curious now, what track do you use?



Pinewood Po
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Pinewood Po » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:07 pm

rkibby wrote:Im kind of curious about using the pins at the guide rails and see if it will suck the track down. Just not sure if your suppose to put pins there. the round opennings look like the right size, manual does say it's not needed but doesn't say you can't.

I can't turn it around because of the inter-lock grooves. If I turned the whole thing around and used the other end, it doesn't match the side walls. And I'm not sure if the alignment is still right when it comes to aligning the guide rails. Best Track owners would understand what I'm saying for this part.

Thank you.
When i get up, I'll email Steve at Best Track and go from there.

Thats why I suggested using the roll pins below the rails. If you drive a solid pin that is oversize in the hole it will distort the track more. If you use roll pins they should compress to fit the hole and should line the track back up in that area.



rkibby
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:34 pm

Pinewood Po wrote:
rkibby wrote:Im kind of curious about using the pins at the guide rails and see if it will suck the track down. Just not sure if your suppose to put pins there. the round opennings look like the right size, manual does say it's not needed but doesn't say you can't.

I can't turn it around because of the inter-lock grooves. If I turned the whole thing around and used the other end, it doesn't match the side walls. And I'm not sure if the alignment is still right when it comes to aligning the guide rails. Best Track owners would understand what I'm saying for this part.

Thank you.
When i get up, I'll email Steve at Best Track and go from there.

Thats why I suggested using the roll pins below the rails. If you drive a solid pin that is oversize in the hole it will distort the track more. If you use roll pins they should compress to fit the hole and should line the track back up in that area.

Sorry, I did read where you said roll pins but I took it as replacing the dowel pins all together. Thank you, I'll swing by the hardware store and pick up a few sizes and see what I come up with.



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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Pinewood Po » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

I would think that more pins would mean better alignment. I suspect it will mean it's harder to put the sections together as well. I'd try it in the worst spot, see if it helped and only add pins where needed.



rkibby
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:55 pm

Found out today that I'm installing the pins on the wrong end. It seems if you need to put the pins in at the end of ever sections rather then the start of ever section, makes for better alignment. So I switched the pins around and it made a world of difference. It didn't fix the warped section, but it did lower it.

Also I found out some really great news. My pack ordered this track as a 49' track. I have 42', and was unaware of this, till I talked to the Cubmaster. He informed me that they ordered it as 49' then to find out that Districts and Council run 42' and wanted to keep everything similar. He had the extra section of 4 lanes in his house. So I have since got that from him and have replaced the lane that is warped.



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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by Pinewood Po » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:02 pm

That's great....sometimes things just work out. :thumbup: Good Luck with your Derby!!!!!



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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:09 pm

rkibby wrote:Track is 3 years old, and what I would consider very abused. The pack stored it in the rafters of the shed outside of the church. Which seems to show signs for no care for the ends of the track.
rkibby, might I recommend your unit build a storage box for the track components if it has not already?

Congratulations on getting the alignment issues worked out!



rkibby
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Re: Best Track Alignment issues

Post by rkibby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:55 pm

I actually have all the wood, I'm the Webelos leader, my boys before they crossover on April 3rd are going to help me put it together. We are going to add caster wheels, so we can roll it into the enclosed trailer for transport.

Will be a wonderful thing when all done.



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