Tech Tips Home

DMSBD Tech Tips

The Purpose of Tech Tips
 Like most racers we purchased a car, built it to the somewhat confusing directions, raced, and got soundly thrashed by the competition. Then we talked to experienced racers who helped us understand how to improve our car’s performance and how our driver could go even faster by using good driving strategy.

Eventually we got better as we learned more about the cars and how to adjust them for improved performance and as our driver became more skillful. We thought it would be useful to collect the many tips we received from our fellow racers into some neatly-written articles.

Then, by sharing these car building, setup, driving, and strategy tips, we hoped to help other newcomers to this sport build their cars correctly from the start and get up to speed quicker and easier than we did. We further believed that these articles should be freely available to all racers wherever they are. That’s how Tech Tips came about.

As the rule changes continue to accumulate some of our older articles become partly obsolete. For example, those nice pictures and the description of center drilling kingpin heads in Construction Article 3. Drilling kingpin heads for setup was prohibited starting in 2005. Now they can only be prick punched. For practical purposes it’s just as accurate. It is strongly suggested that before following any of our tech tips, you read through and fully understand the rules for the current race season. They can be obtained here: AASBD RULE BOOK

Tech Tips By Category
Many of the tips we post come directly from the DMSBD Kids themselves as well as other derby sources. Here at the DMSBD Kids web site, we encourage our kids to take an active part in the site. Any and all tech tips submissions are welcome however, no matter where you are from. Submit tech tips here!  More categories will be added as needed.

2002 DMSBD Car Building Clinics
DMSBD is starting off the 2002 season with a series of car building clinics (see schedule for details). For those of you not able to attend, we will be posting a weekly synopsis of what took place. Thanks to Ian Carsten for his willingness to write the articles. The links will become active the week after each clinic.

    February 16th, Start-Up Clinic
    March 02, Car Layout & Building Prep Clinic
    March 16, Installation of Parts Clinic - Steering & Brake Assembly
    March 23, Weight & Balance Clinic
    March 30, Alignment & Crossbind Clinic
    April 06, Final Assembly, Wheels & Tuning Clinic
    April 13, Race Prep & Driving Strategy Clinic

Plans For Building A Derby Racer
One of the most frequently asked questions asked on DMSBD Tech Talk and in our Guestbook is: "Where can I find Plans for building a Soap Box Derby Racer?" Currently, nearly everyone racing in the two main sanctioning organizations, AASBD and NDR, uses the kit cars from Akron. The plans may be ordered from the AASBD or you may download and print them at no charge.

Here is the link:

Results of Aerodynamics Testing, , by Amanda Karr 10-31-01

Construction tips for a first time car builder:  (6-Part Series)
1. Getting Started, by Ian Carsten
 2. Spindle Polishing, by Ian Carsten
 3. Preparing Rear Axle and Front Kingpin for Triangulation, by Ian Carsten
 4. Starting Construction, by Ian Carsten
 5. Weight & Balance, by Ian Carsten
Alignment & Crossbind - by Ian Carsten

Tightening Threaded Fasteners - by Ian Carsten 02-02-03
Installing Cockpit Foam - by Ian Carsten
Easy Alternative to Hot-Soldering Cable Ends - by Ian Carsten 01-08-04

Driving & Racing
From Dolline Vance, 1997 SS World Champ 08-20-01
"Attention to Detail",  Anonymous Source 08-29-01
Race Prep & Driving Strategy - by Ian Carsten

Removing Epoxied Bushings & Mounting Plates, by Ian Carsten 03-09-03
Ordering Your Car -  by Ian Carsten 01-17-03
Trackside Toolbox -
by Ian Carsten
Spare Parts For Derby Cars - by Ian Carsten 11-24-02
Repairing Stripped Body Mount Holes in Floorboards - by Ian Carsten 11-17-02
The Perfect Car Cover, by David Gibson 05-17-02
Build A Scotty Car Style Canoe, by the Karrs 11-21-01
A quick fix for bent body washers, by Amanda Karr 12-12-01
Derby Tips, by Sam Ellis 02-25-02

Painting & Polishing
(submissions requested)

Steering & Axles
Brake and Steering Cable
by Ian Carsten 05-23-05
Spindle Polishing, by Ian Carsten
Preparing Rear Axle and Front Kingpin for Triangulation, by Ian Carsten
Balancing Steering Cable and Front Kingpin Tension, by Ian Carsten 03-02-03

"The Art of Testing", by Tex Finsterwald 11-07-01
Two car start without starting traps, by Amanda Karr 12-19-01

Weight & Balance
Weight & Balance, by Ian Carsten
Adjustable weight option, by Amanda Karr 12-26-01

Wheels & Alignment
Wheel & Lane Swap and Timer Differential - by Ian Carsten
History of Wheel, Lane, and Timer Swap - by Tex Finsterwald
Bushing Warning - Submitted by, Ian Carsten 01-10-03
Alignment & Crossbind - by Ian Carsten
Using Lights to check for Crossbind, by Amanda Karr 05-02-02
The Wheel Caddy - Submitted by Steve Stam

Braking System
Brake and Steering Cable
by Ian Carsten 05-23-05
Brakes, Pads, and Plungers, by David Gibson 05-13-02

Derby Tech Links 
DerbyTech - for recommended viewing.
Derbymania Rule Interpretation site -Which to watch out for and more.
Painting a Super Stock Car - Great Article!


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