Faster Pinewood Derby Cars


Pinewood Site Map


 6th Grade Science Project

March 25, 2002


Test 1: Baseline:

Car #1 Average Time: 3.249 seconds
Car #2 Average Time: 3.402 seconds
Car #3 Average Time: 3.214 seconds

The average times with just weight added was 3.288 seconds. There was 0.188 seconds between the fastest and slowest car, about 23 inches.

Test 2: Stress:

1-10 Average Time: 3.391 seconds
11-20 Average Time: 3.317 seconds
21-30 Average Time: 3.318 seconds
31-40 Average Time: 3.319 seconds
41-50 Average Time: 3.320 seconds
Total Average Time: 3.333 seconds

After 50 races, the car was averaging about 9 inches faster than it's first races (0.071 seconds).  See Graph

Test 3: Graphite:

Car #1 Average Time: 2.974 seconds
Car #2 Average Time: 3.017 seconds
Car #3 Average Time: 2.992 seconds

The average time was 2.994 seconds, about 44 inches faster than without graphite (0.353 seconds).

Test 4: Graphite Stress:

1-10 Average Time: 3.017 seconds
11-20 Average Time: 2.975 seconds
21-30 Average Time: 2.970 seconds
31-40 Average Time: 2.973 seconds
41-50 Average Time: 2.966 seconds
Total Average Time: 2.980 seconds

After 50 races, the car was averaging about 6 inches faster than when graphite was first put on (0.51 seconds).  See Graph

Test 5: Weight & Axle Location:

The car went fastest when the weight and wheels were toward the back of the car. There was about 4 inches difference using different locations for the weight and wheels.  See Graph

Test 6: Aerodynamics:

With a 3x5 index card in the car, it was a lot slower, about 46 inches. (0.372 seconds) Cutting the car with a point on the front made it go about 5 inches faster (0.042 seconds). See Graph

Test 7: Wheels:

After sanding the wheels, the car went about 6 inches faster. Waxing the sanded wheels made it go another inch faster. Pushing the axles in to 1/16 of an inch made it almost another inch faster. But pushing the axles in to 1/32 of an inch made the car almost 2 inches faster on average (0.015 seconds). See Graph

Test 8: Alignment:

After aligning the wheels so the car rolled straight on the table, the car went over 8 inches faster than before (0.068 seconds).
See Graph


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Last modified: October 20, 2019   Copyright 2003-2018 Pullen Consulting, Inc.