First, what's the risk, try anything you think will help and see if it works. If not, you haven't wasted time, you've just found something that didn't work in THAT circumstance.
Second, lets talk details.
- How many winds does it take to break your rubber band? How close is 500 to breaking? As already said elsewhere on this list, turns are fuel, if you aren't winding to just short of max with any motor you are leaving FREE time on the floor.
- Do you lube your motor? If not, you are leaving a lot of winds behind.
- IF you are winding to max, try lots of motor changes. Longer, shorter, fatter, thinner, etc. To start, just do a little of each, say 10% of all combinations (that will be four by the way) Keep careful data and it will tell you which direction is right. Then go further in THAT direction. Look up something called Design of Experiments. Its a powerful statistical tool to allow you to vary multiple factors AT THE SAME TIME. Now this is sacrilege to some, but done correctly it is statistically AND scientifically sound, and much more powerful and efficient than one factor at a time changes.
- Finally, don't worry too much about winds left if you are winding to max. It can give you hints where to goe, but let the stop watch be your final measure. That's what the event is judged on, not winds left. Oh, and if you graph turns vs torque, you'll also see that if you have 20% of the winds left you have much less than 10% of the stored energy left.