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User avatar
By schoeny
#62748
So, after months of flipping both parts and whole units on CL and here, I was finally at a point where I had saved enough to really be looking for a Gaucho of some variety. Thanks to a HUGE tip from TewSmooth, I was the first reply to an ad on CL, and met up with him the next day. Paid more than a lot of you guys would for it ($150), but they don't show up around here very often, and it's in great shape.

There are only a couple things missing from it that I see.
1) Passenger turn signal by the hood
2) Rear fender on both sides
3) Rear red wheel "cap" on driver side
4) The lights on the roll bar could probably use replacements, as the red plastic is pretty faded and flexy.

Came with a dead battery, but at least I got the plug and charger with it. Hooked up a 12V battery, and forward gears both work, but reverse does not, so I get to clean some switches. :roll:

All in all, I got a decent deal in my opinion, and once I sell my restored Lambo on CL, I'll have around $150 to put into this.

My son is 17 months old right now, so I have forever to get it fixed up for him, and I'm still tossing around ideas of what I want to do. I am for sure adding lighting (headlights, turn signals, functional brake lights, lights in roll bar), will probably add a radio and speakers (unsure on whether that will include a sub or not), remote kill, and I'm debating whether or not I want to put in an ESC or just leave it at 18V. Got a lot of reading to do on that front.

This probably won't move too fast, since I have to finish (read: start) up a lifted Barbie Jeep for a neighbors daughter (my son's "girlfriend" 8-) ) and that one will get started once I finally get some strobes from China. But that's another thread on another day.

Anyway, here are some pics of what I got, if you see anything wrong that I didn't catch, please let me know so I can look for that part too.

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By TewSmooth18
#62757
You're welcome on the tip man. Wish I could have afforded it but glad that you were able to get it! If you want a trailer for it I know where one is at. The lady wants 25.00 for it. I've got her talked down to 20.00 but you might be able to get her down more. She will even deliever it to Des Moines from Carroll. Let me know and i'll shoot you an email with the link...I shot you back a couple emails by the way
User avatar
By madmaxdecals
#63007
Nice find man....I am getting ready to pay $200 for a Rockin Gaucho...so don't feel bad..haha
User avatar
By schoeny
#63388
Got her all torn down, and the wiring all seems to work OK. Is it normal for the Gauchos to have a half second delay before the power gets to the motors? I've got the system hooked up on the workbench, and when I hit the pedal, it takes about a half second for the motors to turn. The PW harnesses I test are all instantaneous, so, just wondering f that was normal, or if there was a reason to look at something closer.

Also, I've decided I'm going to go with an ESC and go 24V. Been looking at the plan for the LBD14 that was laid out and it looks easy enough with all the info they've laid out.

I've got a couple questions in that thread if any of you have the time to glance over about brake and Hall Effect pedals. Just need to clear a couple things up in my head.

I'm planning on starting to order some of this stuff in the upcoming week/s and will start to work on it before too long.
User avatar
By schoeny
#66831
OK, bringing this back from the dead, since I finally got my other project out of the way.

I've ordered all of the parts for the LBD14 ESC conversion per the post in the ESC forum. Looks simple enough.

Also think I've decided to paint it. The hood is a slightly different color than the rest of the body, and my wife is adamant about the yellow/red color scheme not looking good. Her exact line was "You've fixed up all these other ones that look really nice, and then the one for our kid you don't?" 8-) Sounds like a free pass to get crazy on this one.

So we were walking around Menards, and my 18 month old settled on a blue color instead of a red color. The trim will most likely be done in black. Gonna dust with the Fusion to get a bond to the plastic, then come over the top with this. Both are enamel, and I've had good luck with this Rustoleum paint on the Lambo I did. It really covers well.
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Now that the parts are all here, I'm planning on breaking it down and wiring it up before doing any paint/body work (on my flippers, it'a always the other way around in the interest of time saved).

Pics will start showing up tonight, and moving along steadily.
User avatar
By schoeny
#67116
Alright, so I finally got a chance to start last night. The night before was spent cleaning up the workbench and back room in the basement so I wasn't stepping on all of the tiny wire insulation pieces from stripping them for the Jeep I just finished. :lol:

So here's what I got from TNC.

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From top left going clock-wise:
Hall Effect Pedal
24V Charger
LBD14
Bunch of connectors
30A Circuit Breaker
Keyed Ignition Switch
Inline charging port

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Here are the LEDs that I bought off of eBay. I bought the biggest ones I could squeeze into each light without cutting the lenses or lights.

On the left are 48 LED panels that are for the headlights and fog lights.
Link:http://www.ebay.com/itm/261037368339

In the middle are 12 LED panels that are for the tails and turns on the bumper, and the turns on the front fenders.
Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/221035736058

On the right is a strobe controller with 4x3 LED lights that will go in the roll bar.
Link:http://www.ebay.com/itm/280515289011

Next post: tackling the gas/brake pedals.
User avatar
By schoeny
#67117
So I decided that my first line of business would be to add in the brake pedal, and fit the Hall effect pedal. I knew going into this that this would really be the only "cut and modify" part of the project. It was also the part I was dreading, since I was having a hard time finding a good way to do it, or an example of someone who had.

I searched and searched around the forum for examples, but everyone was either using a different pedal, or they had a different BPRO so that it didn't fit a Gaucho application, or they really just breezed over it :lol:.

I had three options available to me. I have a PW pedal/switch off of a Silverado, a Gator pedal/switch (which the pedal assembly fits in the Gaucho tub BTW), and the gas pedal that came with my Grande. None of them were a "great" fit.

I found this post on the old forums by cfanto (thanks BTW if you're still here) http://modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/to ... IC_ID=8014 I liked his idea, and I decided to go with that idea of cutting into the floor for the brake pedal to the left of the recess for the existing pedal.

New issue: is that on the left of that recess that the gas pedal goes in, there were holes cut out. I'm assuming it was for a brake pedal in the earlier versions of the Grande, since mine is one of the earlier ones. This hindered the ability for me to just transfer over to the floor like cfante did. Also, my yellow pedal plate extended into the area that he was installing his, so I had further adjustments to make to accomodate for that too...

Here's what I ended up doing:

First, I copied over the outline of the cutout from the Silverado assembly to the edge of the Gaucho plate. I had to make sure that the cutout would be outside of the square formed by the recession.
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I cut little by little until the switch fit snug, and the screw had freedom to move when the pedal was pressed.
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Then, I transferred that cutout to the floor pan. I had to cut the hole for the pedal a little bigger, so the tab under the yellow plate didn't catch on the floor. (You can see that I was cutting into an existing hole for it. I couldn't line the holes up though or it wouldn't have fit right. It would have been too easy anyway though :roll: )
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Next, I had to fit the Hall pedal. This pedal is way too stiff for a 2 or 3 year old, so I had to figure out a way to soften it. I was reading old forum posts, and some suggested getting a "lighter" spring for it. I decided to use the idea from another user who bent the pedal itself, then the new angle provides better leverage for little feet. To do this, I just stuck it to the workbench with a couple c clamps, then bent it by hand to the point where full depression was just slightly off the floor.
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To fit the Pedal into the assembly, first I sanded down the pedal plate to remove the molding for the original pedal that you can see above. Then on the floor pan (shown below), I had to cut a slot on the front of the recession for the pedal's plate to slide into, and then a recession on the back side to fit the bottom of it, as well as slide the other edge of the plate into the floor. This fits really snugly without screws, but I'm going to throw on in to hold it still.
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Last thing I had to do was to cut the hole in the pedal plate a little bigger so that the gas pedal slipped through, and wouldn't bind on the plate.
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All done 8-) If you are trying to do this yourself, my advice is cut the holes too small the first time, then take a little off at a time until it really fits. The last thing I wanted to do with this was to cut too much and have to add brackets/etc to support everything.

Tonight, if I have time, I'll probably start removing decals from the yellow body, so that I can start mocking up the controller elements in the hood area to get that all sorted out before I start wiring.
User avatar
By madmaxdecals
#67120
Very cool...thank you for being very detailed....i am hoping to do this with my gaucho eventually
User avatar
By schoeny
#67153
Not a problem. I'm going to keep the level of detail, if for nothing else so that someone new can use it as an example to get started, or in case someone's looking for something specific about the ESC.

This will be the first keeper I'm doing, so I am not in a rush to recover money sunk into it (It's been paid for via the flippers).

Plus it helps me slow down so I'm not doing my usual method of:
1) Plan wiring (in my head)
2) Assemble quickly
3) Hook up battery (Doesn't work right)
4) Find bonehead mistake
5) Fix problem
6) Hook up battery (Still doesn't work)
7) Repeat steps 4-6 until it works right. (Mix in frustrated groans periodically upon step 6)
User avatar
By schoeny
#69515
OK, finally got around to working on this some more over the last 5 days and got the wiring "finished"

First thing I did was print off all of the diagrams from jparthum's post on the LBD14 setup. They were more than helpful to have in hand getting this all figured out.

For the wiring, I used 16 AWG for the majority of it, excluding 12 AWG for the connections that lead directly to the motors and batteries, and then I have one strand of CAT5 ethernet cable running to the back of the vehicle for the brake lights and amber "turn signal" lights (this may be replaced with 16 AWG though, since I'm having a heck of a time getting the ethernet cable to not snap off after soldering it.

Day 1
I used paper to mock up the size of the batteries in a 3D model, and placed the relays, controller, and 24V->12V converter around the inside of the battery compartment walls. All of this will fit under the fake motor.

The wiring was pretty tedious. I had to strip insulation off of all of the connectors I had to solder them and heat shrink them. I also had to do this for the connectors on the controller, since they have apparently changed which connectors they sell and they do not match up to the controller at all. Very annoying. :roll:

I was plugging along fine, got all of the runs made, and figured out how the wire would snake through the body and fit. I then took it all out of the body to bench test it. Hooked everything up, turned the key, had the gear in Low, pressed the pedal, and nothing.... switch to reverse, nothing..... switch to high and the motor takes off without the pedal being pressed. Called it a night since it was now 11 and I was disappointed.

Day 2
I rechecked all of the wiring on the switches/relays, all of it was according to the diagrams. I started to test the controller itself.

Using just the key, motor and throttle connectors, it didn't work at all. Throttle never made the motors run. This made me wonder, because this had worked when I first got the controller parts and couldn't wait to play with them. Getting late again so I called it a night.

Day 3
Came back the next morning, turned it on (still just the throttle, key and motors), and it worked. Since even after you disconnect the battery, if you turn the key on, the relays still react for a second, I'm thinking the controller holds some sort of "memory" in it about the setup. If it's disconnected long enough, it forgets everything and "re-learns" the setup when you give it power again.

So I wire up the whole system again and now have high gear working right, but the other two gears still have nothing. Now I start to investigate the brake light signal, since I notice it's getting power at all times (not just when the pedal is pressed). Gets late, give up.

Day 4
With the controller apart, using the multimeter I notice that the brake light and the indicator light positive leads are both soldered to the same connector. That would give the brake lights power all of the time. Not what I want. I keep looking for other mistakes and see that the brake pedal connector positive lead has no power until I connect the brake light leads. So I switch them and try to test again.

Plug everything back in, turn the key on, and now the relays are acting correctly based on brake pedal and gear selection. I'm smiling now, thinking I've got it all figured out, and then the throttle doesn't work like on day 2. I'm thinking it's the same deal where I need to leave it alone for a while and let it "forget" everything, so I disconnect and call it a night.


That was last night. Tonight, I need to hook it all back up and test one more time, but I think this is the final test because I'm 90% sure I've got it right now.

I'll get pics up once I figure it out, it looks like a rat's nest right now, but it will get tidied up.
User avatar
By Rokmunky1974
#69544
I hear about guys finding Gauchos in the garbage, or buying them for a mere 10 dollars… but I live in a similar area as you and can never find them for less than 100 – 200 dollars (and that’s for a rough one).

It sounds as though your project is coming along well. Thank you for describing things so very well, and providing pics. Keep at it and best of luck to you.
User avatar
By schoeny
#70896
OK, so I've been painting over the last couple weeks, haven't had much to update until recently.

I got the bottom of the tub painted black. I left the inside of it grey, as I figured that since there will always be feet in it, I will never have to touch up the inside of it from scratching.

I've also got the body/hood painted blue. I painted the inside of the body black so that any LEDs won't glow through, as well as having the back of the "enginge compartment" that is exposed by the feet being gloss black. I again want to point out how much I like the Rustoleum paint. Covers very well in a couple coats, no crinkling/webbing, and doesn't run. Great stuff.

I also got the wheels painted with Duplicolor chrome, and that is the best chrome paint I've seen yet. Actually is reflective. I was debating leaving my grille/exhaust pipes as is, because the original chrome wasn't peeling too much, but now that I've seen the results with Duplicolor, I will be respraying those to match.

I still have to paint all of the trim pieces in black, but other than that, the painting is done except for clearcoat on the body which will be done this weekend, then next weekend, I'll wetsand and lay down the final coat.

As for the electrical issues, I ended up ordering a new LDB14 from TNC. I was kind of kicking myself after doing it that maybe I should have ordered the Blue-Sky controller (they are the same thing as far as connectors/specs go), but this new one does function correctly. I'm not seeing the brake lights/pedal connectors acting backwards. (I have not hooked this up to the whole relay setup yet though). I still need to solder the capacitors onto the motors as the noise filters, but I'm going to do that as I'm assembling.

The last real bit of work I have to do is getting all of the LEDs wired up. I have not yet purchased switched for them, but will be getting the one's I've usually used in the past from RadioShack (or maybe other colors of them off of eBay).

I bought the 24V-12V convertor off eBay for $8, and it does as advertised (24V in, 12V out) so I don't have to worry about wiring in series since I don't have matching pairs for every light. I still need to figure out where I'm having that incoming source from (probably the Pilot indicator), but I'll have to cut and remake the connector to include that line. After that it will go to a terminal block (one +, one -) and be distributed to the LEDs. I need to get some really mall gauge wire to do that, since I don't want to be running thick stuff to the lights, and the ethernet cable seems very easy to break to me since it's solid wire.

I'll be working on this on Wednesday on my day off from work, so I'll throw up some pictures of the progress then.
User avatar
By daveweber34
#70932
Schoeny,

Just to let you know, I had a rash of bad LBD-14s. I was sent the Blue-Sky controller as a replacement. I hooked it up and bench tested it with wheels off the ground and everything worked properly as it should. Just thought I would throw that out there for you in case you do end up having problems with your LBD-14 again.
User avatar
By schoeny
#81159
Well, I figured I'd bring this back from the dead.

Since I left off, almost everything has been painted (except for the seats and hood pins) and I have not yet made decals for the dash or license plate area. Other than that, it's all painted and reassembled.

I had issues with the LBD-14 frying when the brake pedal was pressed (There is a lengthy discussion in the ESC section about it) so I finally broke down and bought one last one that I will modify the wiring for. This time, the brake pedal will pull power from the "Accessory" connector instead of the brake connector, so as not to fry the controller.

Just so this isn't another text heavy update, I have a few "current condition" pics of it. It really needs to be cleaned, as it has all kinds of dust and spray paint dust on it from the Fire Truck I'm working on right now. Once I get the controller on Friday, I'll be finishing it up and posting final shots/video.

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User avatar
By madmaxdecals
#81160
Looks great...thanks for updating
By SAHDman
#81169
I have a potentially dumb question. I've noticed a lot of people going with these LED panels for lighting. I like how you can get different sizes for smaller light housings. My question is how are you hooking them up? They all seem to have a two prong connector at the end. Are you just cutting that off and hooking them up or is that connector important for something I'm not aware of. Thanks and good work!
User avatar
By schoeny
#81171
SAHDman wrote:I have a potentially dumb question. I've noticed a lot of people going with these LED panels for lighting. I like how you can get different sizes for smaller light housings. My question is how are you hooking them up? They all seem to have a two prong connector at the end. Are you just cutting that off and hooking them up or is that connector important for something I'm not aware of. Thanks and good work!
It depends. They send you a variety of connectors that simulate the bulb in the car you are replacing. So the wiring they send you looks like this:

LED Panel --> Black connector in the picture --> Connector that plugs into dome light

For a part like the headlights, where the grill comes off, I generally leave them (the black connector) on. Then the part that you would connect to the car I cut off and solder on my wire. So basically, I keep that little black connector they make (both male and female), but then cut off the connector meant to plug into the car. I use electrical tape to keep the black connectors tight since they disconnect easily.

For something more permanent/stationary, I'd just eliminate the connector and solder to the wire coming from the panel.

Make sense? I can take a picture of the connectors they send with the LEDs tonight if it doesn't.
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