Gravity Powered Vehicules (challenge Idea) : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

The challenge would require each team to build a vehicule that could go further and/or faster powered only by Gravity... i.e: a big mass (weight)

- the mass (weight) would be the same for each team and/or - rules could be Vehicule must not weight over a certain weight

Since JunkYard Wars often show 2 ways of developing the same main idea I would suggest 1) Lever Machine 2) tall tower machine

-- Rich (, January 11, 2001


I like your idea and understand what kenitec energy can do for the show!!

-- Aaron M. Brown (, January 11, 2001.

You mean, use a weight-drop catapult to launch an unpowered vehicle (as on certain launched-loop roller coasters), or do you mean something like a Soap Box Derby?

-- Dave Althoff, Jr. (, January 12, 2001.

Maybe I was a little bit vague... The motor of the vehicule would be a free-falling mass(i.e. why i called that Gravity powered vehicules).

Tall Tower: the mass is let down from the top of a tall tower (on the vehicule) and pull on a cable that make the wheels spin.

Lever Machine: The mass is at the end of a lever (on the vehicule) the lever is in Up Position. when going down the lever activate some gears or pulleys to make the wheels spin.

-- Rich (, January 12, 2001.

This sounds good! Have the car carry the whole team, and they could raise the weight again (without getting off the vehicle,) to keep going. This would make the challenge more interesting by making the build include a way to lift the weight effictively and quickly, a possible flywheel, and some kind of ratcheting clutch(like a bike rear hub) to keep forward momentum going while they re-lift the weight. Lots of moving parts,Lots of "bodgering" and science going on, plus a good race to boot. This might work well on rails, as they would not have to build a steering system, and the race would be faster. They would have to find two tracks side by side to race head to head, but could do it with a timed race, and have all the cameras for each run. Maybe a train would come along, and it would be EXCEPTIONALLY good video.

-- Waddy Thompson (, January 12, 2001.

Ya know, this could be a really fun thing to see. It would be interesting to see what the teams come up with, as far as pulley systems, jack shafts and the like. If you could have a series of weights on a vehicle and let one or more fall, turning a shaft which turns an axle, all the while raising another weight to repeat the process..........

-- Bob McIntyre (, August 02, 2004.

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