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Tune Up Tips

Just like in NASCAR, the pit crew needs to be tuning up your soap box derby car to top condition before the race.  Here's a checklist of some things you should be doing:

  1. Weights:  Bring your car and driver to the track on one of the practice dates and use the scales to check total weight and balance of the weight.  This can take a lot of time, so don't wait until the morning of the race to do it.  KC Soap Box Derby officials will be available to help you during practice times, but not on the morning of the race.
  2. Rear axle alignment and spindle alignment:  It's best to check this after you've completed your final practice run down the hill.  We will have alignment tools for you to borrow at practice times.
  3. Check steering cable tension and the aim of the steering wheel.
  4. Check the brake cable, cable clamps and brake mechanism for proper operation and tightness.
  5. Check and replace the brake pad if necessary.
  6. Check for axle "crossbind."  We can assist you with this during practice times.
  7. Check tightness of kingpins.  Many experts feel it is best for rear kingpins to be as tight as possible, while the front kingpins are looser.  We'll have special torque wrenches for you to use at the practices if you are interested.