M.L. Toys
M.L. Toys
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I'm tired of blowing up gearboxes so I'm taking my first step away from them. I acquired a freebie 450w 24v 16mph scooter. The plan is to move all the components under the hood of a McQueen that was on the way to the dumpster anyway. Will post photos as I go along. Always open to ideas or suggestions

The motor mount is aluminum that I will bolt to the sides of the car. I figure I'll let it sit down and find where it settles and mount it up. Big problem with it currently is how flexible the 3/8 shaft is. No heavy riders on this one for sure. Luckily its a 1 seater. As a result the wheels want to fold in a little under load. Initially I wanted to cut the body and get the wheels closer and mount the motor to the body but I decided it was better to have something solid between the motor and sprocket to keep things aligned and the chain on. So with this design the wheels will bow in a little but the motor and sprocket should maintain alignment.

Another major concern I had was braking but luckily it seems like the scooter brake seems like its going to mount up nice. I'm using the stock controls for now, only had to buy u-bolts so far (and I kept the tags on them just in case lol). The hand control throttle is going on the floor (on/off basically) and the brake hand control is going to be mounted up on the side sticking up vertically like the rally cars.

The #25 chain is 4.5 links too long so I'm going to take out 4 and shim the motor out. Anyone ever mess with a chain this small? Seems like I need a master link...

The front wheels are from a freebie wheelchair. They have a 5/8 ID and I used the PW 5/8 7/16 sleeve to make it work. Only problem is it reduces the ground clearance which is low to start with. I had the kids in a junker McQueen over the summer on a stock setup at 24v (fun for a while) and they hit a bump and dug the front end into the ground. Not good and I have been avoiding this body style since. But I figure we are going to be running this in large flat lots.
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The donor
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**This is the aluminum deck from a razor scooter**
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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Northern Tool use to sell master links for #25 chains. That's been years and years ago so I'm not sure if they still do.

I have similar chains on a car I built. I was always a little worried about the possibility of small hands or fingers getting in the chains. I made sure the body covered them up and the clearance between the body and wheels was close enough that small hands couldn't fit through and reach the chains.
Did you ever take links out of a chain?

Good tip for chain safety,our guys are always always under supervision but I hadn't even considered that.
Yes, and some chains are easier and some are harder. Unfortunately, from the picture, that looks like one of the harder ones. If I'm right, the heads of the pins in that chain have been mushroomed fairly significantly by a machine. You'll have to use something to grind all of that head off the pin you want to remove. Then you'll be able to push/drive the pin through with a punch.

A bicycle chain is an example of the easier style. In those the pins are just press fit. You can drive the pins out with a chain breaker tool or a punch without doing any grinding.

Norther Tool use to also sell half links. Which were often very useful for getting the desired length.
I think you are on the right track but the aluminum you have looks to be pretty thin and aluminum is pretty wimpy. Plan B would be to move up to steel and you can bend that in a vise or have a shop weld something up for you. I am doing a project like yours but on a much more extreme level!!
1 inch tube frame
4.5 HP 12 volt winch motor
#114157 has chain break tools but looks like out of stock. Ebay would be my next place to look.
Extreme is right, holy sh*t. ATM I lost my shop space and metal working tools so I'm extremely limited. All of this stuff was headed to the dumpster so its no loss to me besides my time. We'll see how it holds up. Anyone guess where its going to fail first? I was planning on putting 4 bolts to the body (2 back 2 front) maybe that's not enough.
Last edited by wesleyb82 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
i have used chain tools (the ones that push the pin out) to shorten chain on almost everything i have with a chain .. and they can be used to put the links togather too .. so no need for a masterlink
i have had bad luck with anything running much higher rpms then a bicycle where the masterlink pops apart (yes i know to aim the clip the right direction)

right now the only toys i have with masterlinks in the chains are antique bicycles and a couple pedal cars ... and a pedal tractor
#25 master links are coming in today so I hope to have the chain shortened tonight. I figure I'll take out 4 links which should leave me about 1/2 link too long, then I'll shim out the motor. I don't know how tight the chain should be. Anyone know?

I was also considering throwing in a tensioner instead of shorting the chain. It might give me more control over tension, but also make it easier to get the chain on if it pops off. I don't know how well this mount and alignment is going to do and if I have to get the chain back on its going to be a PIA if I have to loosen the u-bolts every time.

Besides that, since it's setup to do 16mph, I need to get the brake working! My son is not strong enough to grab the bike-brake handle so I'm going to have the entire bar pivot on a bolt then attach the cable to the bottom of the bar. I need to figure out how to securely mount the cross bolt to the body or get brackets, how to secure the cable, and how to clamp down the cable sleeve to the body. Can I pin down the rubber portion of the sleeve or does it have to be done on the metal cap at the end of the sleeve? I'm also thinking about how to get the handle to reset. I might mount it up so that it leans forward and can't be pulled past 90* so gravity pulls it back down and resets it, or I'm going to throw some spring(s) in there to keep it in place.

EDIT: Wait a minute I just read no need for master links? As another poster commented the pins seemed to be mushroomed at the ends on #25, how can I press them out? Grind off the ends and push them out, but then are the pins reusable? Also, if I use master links which way is the right way to set them up?

I might just use a metal sleeve I have thats about an inch long as a roller/tensioner with a wingnut. Allow quick adjustments, easy to get the chain back on, but I have never seen a metal roller, only plastic and there is probably a reason for it.
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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
I ground down the pins, used a hammer to bang out the pins, throw in my master link and the slide lock is super super tight. I grind it down and it barely slides in so I think I might have bought a 25 link but have a 25H chain. The chain does say 25HO but it was 8mm wide so i thought it was 25. Well see how the 25H link fits when I get it. It sucks to pay $6 for something that small.

Anyway the chain has about 3/4" of travel at the mid point. I don't know if this is tight enough.

I did also run the wheel at full throttle and it wobbles a little. The axle is 3/8 and there is a hair of play which is probably the reason for the wobble. Idk if that is going to be noticeable later.
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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Instead of using the moped bar I'm going to try to use the shifter handle to pull the brake cable. Just trying to think of a simple but solid way to attach the cable to the post.
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The brake surprisingly came together pretty well and seems like its going to work. I threw in a spring to reset the handle. Seems like it doesnt require much resistance to work but handle placement is a little weird. Well see how it works.

The batteries are strapped down with an old belt. Everything is under the seat so the front end is super light, should turn pretty well.

Last thing to deal with right now is the new master link, final motor location, and chain lube. ATM this chain is loud and I'm not sure it's because the motor alignment is not perfect (its square on its side but with it sits it changes slightly) or if its because the chain is bone dry.

I'm going to soak the chain in bike lube and then adjust the motor so that when it sits its more square. This weekends going to be 50* so we'll get it a test drive and post a video.

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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
I got the 25H master link which went on easy so I definitely had the wrong link before. I also orientated the master link lock so the solid end is facing in the direction of the rotation of the chain. I also soaked the chain in lube, and twisted the motor a little counter-clockwise so when the car sits its aligned better, and took out the washer between the motor and mount so the chain is alot looser. This quieted the chain down a lot and there is no more binding but idk if the chain is too loose. I didn't torque down the motor too hard and I think I'm going to get 4 more bolts and use them to lock in this set.

I'm getting the 5 point harness from a baby car chair for the seat belt and I need to do some wiring. I'm going to install 2 eagle eye 3w LEDs and was considering running them off the power LED on the controller. The voltage is around 15v which might be too high.... idk and I'm not sure if the controller can handle anymore draw w/o blowing. So although it would be easier to hook them up that way I might just run them off one of the batteries and throw in a switch.

Will post a video when we get it out.

This thing is really fast.... probably too fast. The controller is also basically ON/OFF with soft start. A normal controller with hall effect pedal might be the way to go, then I can also govern the top end. In the wrong hands this thing would be downright dangerous. 5 point harness is going in tomorrow and a helmet on the next ride.

Its also under steering pretty badly. The front wheels did well on a extreme machine at around 10mph, but at this speed they're not working. The tread marks on them is basically perpendicular to the rotation of the tire. I need to get some weight in the front maybe, or figure out how to get some wider rubber up front. I'm thinking about small lawn tractor tires with 5/8 bore and I can use the adapters from the stock wheels to make them work on 7/16. Anyone have any ideas?
Last edited by wesleyb82 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
We got it out this weekend and he's getting a good grip on controlling it. The first time he got in it, it was borderline scary. We taught him to lift off the gas around the turns which helps prevent pushing through turns and hes getting his hand on the brake and preparing to stop.

He got distracted at one point and smashed into a tree. He was probably only doing 8-10mph but it smacked up the front end good and broke all but 2 screws off the front bumper. I figure I'm going to take some metal brackets and bolt it back on. He crashed his extreme machine at the same speed and it barely left a scratch.

After about 2 hours the chain started to bind and then popped off (this happened when he was pulling hard and fast turns in the video below). It seems he stretched it out since I can't see any changes to the mount. I took the u-bolts off and added 1 washer all around to shim it out. It works but its far from a quick fix so I've been thinking about way to set the chain adjustment up for quick adjustments... just have to figure out how.

The front wheels are not holding up well. The plastic 5/8 OD 7/16 ID flanges that come stock in the front wheels are getting red hot at these speeds and are deteriorating fast. The wheel chair wheels also don't provide much traction, they are lower than stock so the front end is lower, and they are solid so every bump is translated into the body.

The next step is to setup pneumatic rubber tires in the front. I just scored a mobility scooter so I will probably try to get those to work, otherwise I'm going to buy 4 matching 3.00-4 tires all around. Just need to figure out which buhsing sleeve to use. I was reading around Olite's last night but I was thinking about checking out some 1/2" piping at home depot and measuring the ID see if any are close to 7/16. Idk, I'm sort of lost about this at the moment I need to read around and research some more.

Anyone have any ideas on front tires? Anyone ever reinforce the front of this body style before? (crash bar would work too...)

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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
That IS pretty fast! :o
Ha, yeah! This thing pulls!

Harbor freight has a sale on 10" rubber tires for $6! ... 67465.html

They have a 5/8 bore.

I'm thinking about using PVC tubing and steel pipe to make the 7/16 to 5/8 gap.
PVC pipe - 3/8 ID, 1/2 OD
Steel pipe - 1/2 ID, 5/8 OD
With enough lube and brute force maybe the 3/8 can be worked over the 7/16? Then the steel pipe over the PVC?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how stupid is this idea? ... 100133747# ... rd=468490#
Last edited by wesleyb82 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Thanks a lot for the info! I ordered the bearings after you posted the link and they arrived the next day. I ordered the longest flanges they sold ( don't know is that is a good idea or bad idea since I don't have the tires in my hand to measure them but we'll see when they get here, the tires are going to be here on Saturday. I might have to cut a couple down or I might throw in some spacers....

Another issue I need to work out is the bearings in the rear scooter wheels. They are 6000Z's, which are 10mm/26mm/8mm. The axle shaft is 3/8" which is 9.5mm so there is some (.5mm) wobble in the wheels and the bearing spacers are rattling around (sounds like a bell which can be heard in the videos). I could leave the 3/8 shaft and fill the gap some how, I could go back to 7/16 and change the bearings. Biggest problem I'm running into is simply standard vs metric. Anyone have any ideas on how to resolve this?

EDIT: Duh, maybe I'll just get a 10mm rod:
Last edited by wesleyb82 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
this .... has me thinking now ... EPIC little car man o-o
now i think i might have to deside which bpro would be a good home for the two 24V 500W scooter motors i have on the bench
The flanges worked well for the 5/8 ID harbor freight rims. I didn't measure but I probably added ~1/2" spacer inside on either side on the front end so that the shaft collar sat at the end of the shaft.

I then took the other 2 harbor freight tires and mounted them on the scooter rims so the tires matched all around. I inflated them to 20 PSI but when I spin the tires they wobble. I guess that's what you get for $6? I wonder how this will effect the ride @ 16mph.

I cut out the compartment under the hood to move the batteries forward. The space is tight enough where friction is holding them in. I am considering adding another set of batteries under the seat in parallel for run time but I don't know how the stock charger is going to hold up to that change. The hood doesn't close completely atm hopefully it doesn't spring open constantly.

I reattached the front bumper by using two screw holes/mounting points that didnt seem to be used from the factory? After opening the hood they are on the inside lip of the front bumper. Then I drilled some holes and bolted the bumper on from the bottom too. Wonder whats going to fail first after the next crack-up.

I ordered a new 10mm shaft and new shaft collars from mcmaster to match the 10mm wheel bearings. The rod was 9.85mm and the bearings were 9.95mm so I first tried to file the bearings out which didn't even leave a mark. Then I took a flat file to the shaft and after about 20 minutes it was down enough to slide the wheels on the shaft.

Also threw in some eagle-eyes. The switch is under the hood bc I havn't decided a good, clean location for the switches (power switch, LED power indicator and headlight switch).

As soon as it gets over 20F we're going for a test drive and I'll post a video.
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The weight up-front and new tires have completely changed the turning radius... for the better or worse I havn't decided yet since he got a wheel off the ground on a tight loop. A new helmet is in order and instructions to lift off around corners. All-in-all this thing is doing really well, and I'm happy that I only have about $100 at most into it. Only major drawback with the setup is it doesnt work well in the grass with 1-wheel drive.

Only a few more things to go, like headlight switch location, and getting the hood to stay latched! Anyone deal with the hood latching before?

A pair of these hood pins might help your issue. Just search Ebay

This is a chapter 2 to follow up and report back on this project. Among all of our rides (PWs, electric gokart and this hybrid) this ride is the best in terms of performance bang for the buck. The entire ride weighs in at about 60lbs which is great when transporting it and the power with the 450w motor is impressive. If this was a two seater and/or if you are mental (like me) its easy to bump up the power to 1,000w for cheap and govern the top end. (On the gokart we used a Unite 1,000w 48v motor which is less than $100)

Besides being cheap and powerful this is a tough setup (chain) that allows the use rubber tires all around (ye-ha!). We had harbor freight tires on for about half a year until they started to wear through (the tubes were pushing through the worn down rubber and causing a wobble) so now we have 3.00-4 scooter tires on which are working well.

The one-wheel drive setup limits the car to the road but the thing turns on a dime. Of course it would be possible to throw in another motor to have a setup similar to the PWs which I would like to try to build sometime.

The batteries and controller are currently under the seat which helps with drive traction and although steering is not super solid as it was when the batteries were under the hood this is OK since this narrow wheelbase is not good at this speed and is top heavy when cornering too fast. Luckily my son has a solid grasp on this concept but otherwise this car would be flat out dangerous. To deal with this we put a governor in the mix to slow down the top speed for other drivers. If I did it again I would choose a wider two seat mustang or the like. I also realized when disassembling the car that the seat is actually very high which is critical for stability. I may modify the seat to bring the driver down and possibly back if he keeps growing the way he has been and then move all components under the hood.

We really lucked out with the donor disc brake fitting very nicely into the car body and several of the holes in the body and bracket lined up which I took as a sign from the universe that we were on the right path to awesomeness. This setup works but its not ideal to have 1 wheel driving and 1 wheel braking since take off and stopping are limited and there is a lot of tire lock up with wears down the tires fast. If a mechanical brake was not an option I was going to look into a motor control with regen braking. We use a 4QD porter 10 on our electric gokart but this is an expensive option at $100+sh and is really overkill in terms of amperage handling capability. A unboxed porter 5 is enough and costs ~$70+s/h. These controllers have regen braking which uses the motors to stop. You can control the accel/decel rate on the controller which is cool but the regen is always on... which can be good or bad. For experienced drivers I think its bad. If I did it again I might pickup a kelly controller which can accept pedal inputs for both accel and decel which is pretty awesome. With a 2 motor setup and kelly controller you would have a super tough, potentially super fast ride that could turn on the road and get traction in the dirt... fregging rights.

Motor placement and chain tensioning is a pretty important aspect too. I started by shimming out the motor to adjust tension but ended up buying a scooter chain tensioner which bolted right up to the motor and has worked flawlessy so far. Even though the chain has gotten looser the tensioner is doing its job and the chain is smooth and stays in place.

The plastic body has held up fine and I have seen no evidence of wear or distress.

The formula here is simple. 10mm axle shaft which fits in the 7/16 PWs rear axle slot, scooter wheels with sprockets, scooter motor(s), chain, 10mm shaft collars to lock everything down, some HF or the like rubber tires and then normal ESC system with a regen controller.

At the end of the day we had a cheap electric gokart with a race car body. The thing hauls, turns and corners really well and is a really cool little ride.

IMO the most important take away from this project is the high power to weight ratio and the durability of this setup after many hours of riding. All other builds that I have seen similar to this have had metal sub-frames, steering reinforcements, huge motors etc... overkill IMO. There is no reinforcement or mods to this body and under the hood there are 2 12v batteries, a ESC system and the 450w motor with a bracket/mount that attaches it to the body. Its a relatively cheap, pretty easy to setup now that I have figured out the parts that work and lots of performance here. Our rides vary from PWs (cheap but weak) to metal frame kart (tough but expensive) and this is somewhere in the middle where there is pretty awesome price/performance and I strongly recommend it.
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Last edited by wesleyb82 on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
Great video! Gives a lot of perspective into the speed it's running, and roughly from a kids POV. 8-)

Also, thanks for the follow up overview of the project. It's a big help for those considering similar mods
cantdrivestock wrote:Are you riding a drift trike?

Yup, here's a photo of it a few weeks ago when we were half way done with it, since then it has pegs and a boat seat. 1000w 48v brushless magic pie vector motor.... its a lot of fun
Great build.
This is something I would like to do.

What is the average run time on the 12AH batt.

Also one thing I dint quite get was how does the axle dont eat away the frame plastic running at those speed as you locked it all with the 10mm shaft collars.

Our typical usage is 50% of the max draw so 10A per hour or 10AH (500/24=20/2=10a). SLA batteries provide ~65% of their rated capacity so the typical average run times are: 10.5ah=40m, 12ah=45m, 15ah=60m, 18ah=70m. [((AH*.65)/10)*60].

Also while we are back on this topic I am not sure if I already mentioned it in this thread but this car was tippy in some circumstances. He dumped it by turning too sharply at high speed and was ejected from the car. It was terrifying to watch but since he was geared up he walked away without a scratch. After this incident this car went into the dumpster and the parts went into a wider two seater mustang. Rubber tires provide more traction for acceleration and turning but they can significantly increase roll over risk. Simply put, these cars were not designed for rubber tires so I would recommend proceeding with caution. At the very least I would limit the speed and if possible the steering travel to reduce the roll over risk.
Oh nice those are great times, I was expecting low 20ish.
So the motor is pulling about 10amps?
Wow even that in the videos it seem super stable. good to know the little one was unharmed.

know that have me second guesing my mod plans. But like you mentioned I now believe a speed limiter is mandatory.
would you say using a 24v 250w scooter motor help with the max speed beside a speed adjustment knob.
Wattage is power, doesn't directly relate to speed. Power is toque. So wattage is how quickly it could achieve maximum speed. For argument sake if 250w is capable of powering a car at 15mph, it will get to that max speed slower than 500w or 1000w. I've never tried but I would guess 250w could push a small car to 15mph.
Anyway what is actually important here is maximum safe speed which would be determined by center of gravity, tire grip and steering travel. If by testing you determine the car is safest below 10mph you could limit the speed electrically with a governor or mechanically with a gear change. Ideally I would ballpark with gear and fine tune electronically with a governor.
With this body style, no steering changes and cheap tires while mild grip 12-ish mph seemed like a good safe speed.
thanks for the explanation.
quick question what is the life span of this type of motors compared to the stock

later on I will try to build the jeep with a 250w scooter motor.
I guess 7mph would be the top speed as it higher of the ground.

I will start a new thread for that one.
People use these scooter motors to go to work everyday for years. But overvolting and especially over amping them would shorten their lifespan but if you're like me it's very likely you'll be onto the next bigger project before the motor even starts to wear in.
great I was just wondering the lifespan on this motor.

one more thing I forgot to mention / ask.
Any reason you did not use a belt instead of a chain.
I could be wrong but it seem that the belt would stay put much better due to the side guard built into the sprockets.
Unless your son is taking the car to work everyday I would not worry about the lifespan

I used chains because the scooters I bought off CL for almost nothing all had chains and not belts
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