M.L. Toys
M.L. Toys
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Have you added running lights? Headlamps? Perhaps some spinners?
User avatar
By MacroscopePilot
the radio in this Barbie jeep did not work, so i decided to fix it


then i saw the wheels were split and warn thin on the inner edge, so I went crazy with the google search and came up with this fix


I cut the tire bead close to the edge for the inside, and close to the tread on the other side so that I could use the tire's sidewall to help with support


I think the rivets make it look tough


I really like the way the rubber part hides inside the body to make it a stealth upgrade

Last edited by MacroscopePilot on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

finally we get to the radio
the original radio is a nice little toy that takes 4 C size battery, well that's 5 volts

so my first thought was to use a car phone charger to convert the 12 volt from the battery down to the 5 volts needed to replace the required c cells

but then I saw how small the $25 radio's on amazon are...
then I decided to open it up...
this gave me great idea's about mounting so I just went ahead and got started
using only the front and the back of the radio meant a lot less cutting
I wanted to use nuts and bolts for mounting, just for ruggedness and, well, it's how I roll...
the final test fit in the jeep made me realize that I had mounted the radio too low
I had just 'replaced' the old radio without realizing I could have improved the design
If I have the chance to do this again, i will mount the face on to top part of the face-plate, and mount the back of the radio to the face-plate as well, to make service easier
now it's time to go through my junk boxes and see what I will install in the jeep to support this new radio...
ok, so here's a shot of the stuff i think will fit
well, from top to bottom (sort of)
altec lansing desktop speakers
pathfinder pillar tweeters
Kenwood home theater surround sound rear speakers
the 5" subwoofer from the desktop speaker
3 switch with LED mounting
some LED truck marker lights
amazon 2.1 channel 12volt amp (this amp is actually really awesome)
It's a workhorse and has reviews on you tube, but no one talks about the fact that it has a sub x-over built in
if you want to talk about how much power the amplifier REALLY has, it has the same chip as the typical factory radio that comes in your Honda
they use one chip to supply the two channels, then another more powerful chip, in bridge mode, to power the 'sub' output
this little amp will power the two 4" mid woofers, and the 5" sub
the car deck also has a low power 4 channel amp, the front two channels will power the Pathfinder tweeters
and the two rear channels will power the 3" altec lansing speakers, so each speaker has it's own amp.

not to sure what I will do with lights yet...
this a test fit of the 4" mid bass speaker
being able to take the car apart and flip it around make this job easy and fun, reminding me of the gymnastics sometimes required when modding a real car...
I cut up the metal speaker grill and sandwiched it between the speaker and the car, the speaker mount has a ridge that holds the speaker away fro the grill so it will not hit it during big bass beats
(the screws are just for test fitment, they will become nuts and bolts soon enough)
the pillar tweeters will fit down lower, I would have liked to put them higher up, or use bigger speakers, but there is very little open space behind that area, I will have to mount them at an angle so I have room behind for my nuts
I did my best to mount the rear fill speakers as far back as possible, so anyone sitting behind the driver seat would have a good sound image
the subwoofer needed a spacer to protect the cone from hitting the mounting surface, please forgive my hand drilled hole pattern...
I used the same grill system that I decided on for the front speakers, here is a view from behind
this is the detail for the front grills
and how they look installed
User avatar
By Hammer-fm
Looks great! At work we'd call this "scope creep" -- where you start fixing one thing and you end up not only doing more than you expected on the original problem, but also fixing unrelated things that need to be improved. :D

And yes, it's so much easier to work on these than on full-size cars -- definitely part of the appeal for me.
thanks for the comments, this is actually not scope creep
this is how i like to clean out my junk drawers and recycle electronics
why toss that expensive (yet broken or damaged) computer speaker system when you can play with them in the garage
and what to do with the left over shop supplies from the race car build?

so back to play time !

now, anyone can come along and cut pretty holes in soft plastic and play with their nuts
and bolts, but you will have to deal with the wires before the end of the day
I wanted the wireing to be safe and stealth, here are the first few test runs for the speaker wires
I finally found a good place to stick the RockBand stickers I've had in my sticker drawer for years
But now I am kicking myself for not saving the drum sticker for the Subwoofer...
with all the speaker mounting figured out, it was time to turn my thought towards lighting
I had these really cool LED marker lights, but the mounting was just so big and ugly,
then i had the bright idea to mount them from behind
so i grabbed my square drill bit and did my best to mount them in the factory locations
the next was the Headlights, so easy with the supplied clear lenses
I found these cool dashboard LED replacement lights and removed the mounting cap
then i just hot glue them in place, only drilling little holes for the wire leads to poke trough
I added some clips to protect the delicate connections from 'mistakes'
the end results look better in the picture than in real life, as you can see the bright spot where the LEDs are, but it still looks cool/realistic
if you look really closely you can see how I covered the bolts that hold the marker lights in with matching pink nail polish
to give it that 'plastic toy' look
connecting the tester we see that these 4 LEDs will only draw .26 of an amp, what ever that means
I also installed 'truck marker lights' on the back, tho no good pic's, sorry
the rear lights are the old style with bulbs
the reason for this is the automatic brake light mod i like to play with
when you take your foot off the gas in many of these PowerWheels, the gas pedal switch is used to "short out" the motors, to act as a kind of brakes, that's whey they slow down so fast, and why they are so hard to push
(buy the way, never 'push' a PowerWheels too fast, that's an easy way to kill the motors, found out first hand)
what I like to do is cut that circuit and run these light in line, so when you take your foot off the gas, the lights light up as you slow down, and the jeep doesn't jerk to a stop so fast
you can adjust the effect by running the two light in series or parallel, or by removing bulbs or changing the watts
As I lay out the wiring for the amp, I realize that the little channel provided was not going to be big enough
so i had to rethink my route, oping for more direct path along the side
I used the renforcement structures to house the mess
I merged the smaller one from the rear speaker with the larger amp run to make it a little neater
lets spend a few seconds discussing subwoofer box design
there are really only two rules for any speaker installation
an air tight seal, and a solid mounting
when a speaker cone moves, it creates a sound wave (which is really just a fluctuation in air pressure)
the problem is, it also creates the same sound wave behind it, but completly out of phase
so the trick is to isolate the sound wave created by the front of the speaker cone from the one created by the back of the speaker cone
this is accomplished by creating an air tight seal around the speaker to prevent these sound waves from meeting eash other and cancelling each other out
a speaker is a physical engine, the music sent to the speaker as fluctuating electrical energy effects the magnetic feild in the speaker coil and causes the cone to move back and forth
this same force is pusing back against the magnet of the speaker, so if the speaker basket can move, some of the sound wave energy will be lost
a solid mounting system is the key to this rule
when we focus on the subwoofer, the dynamics of the sound wave change, the lower the bass note, the longer the legnth of the sound wave
this is why having a hole beside your speaker (as often happens in a car door speaker install) sound waves longer than the distance between the speaker cone and the hole near the speaker with start to cancell each other out
resulting in loss of bass responce, the perfect answer is an infinte baffle, or a wall that goes on forever
of course a sealed box also has this effect
with all this in mind, lets look at MY subwoofer box design
this is a shot of the amp wiring install, but you can clearly see the subwoofer design details
I used tar tape (not shown) to create an air tight seal between the woofer plate and the plastic box
the wooden plate adds all the required rigidity and mass to counter balance the speaker cone movement
while there are small holes within a few inches of the speaker that will affect this and could be filled
but the soft plastic walls will soften the impact of lower bass notes anyway,
on the other hand, having the woofer attached to the seat support wall, will cause the bass to travel through the seat to the passenger, creating a deeper bass effect for the driver
the point is to know the rules, what happens when you break them, and how to work around them when you have the impossible to accomplish
Sorry to leave everyone hanging, busy weekend
so here is another shot of the amplifier installation
I have a little loop of wiring under the amp for serviceability
the the 4 little wires that are still running up the center channel are connected to the rear red lights
I will connect these to the gas pedal circuit, so that they will flash when the gas pedal is released
(until the car comes to a stop, and the motors stop generating energy)
all the wires for the other speakers, lights and amp power come out through that hole that will be under the dash
with the lower part of the jeep completed, it was time to finally get to the dash
I found this nice 3 switch unit with steel bars in the recycle store
I wired them up for power and ground, and now it has three power outputs to connect to the lights and accessories
I did all the fiddly connections and mounted the radio in place for the last time
I liked how the switch protectors also protected the radio a bit
This is a shot of the switches in the ON position
Now what this car REALLY needed was push button start and a gas gauge
but being an electric car, I had to improvise
in the corner you can see the front tweeter installation details, with the nail polish caps on the bolts
I have been having nightmares for DAYS about the mess that was going to become when wiring of this beast
but I stumbled upon these white thingies and was amazed that they fit these existing mounting holes perfectly
this made making all these multi-wire connections super-easy
here's a shot of the block connected to all the power wires coming out of the radio area
Power IN
Switch 1 (radio power)
Switch 2 (marker lights)
Switch 3 (headlights)
lets connect the push button start (not really, but lets call it that for fun, just this once)
and gas fuel gauge
it's just a on/off switch with a green LED controlling a white battery voltage meter
you can see the wiring detail for this here
after tucking away the wires and protecting the back of the switch,
I connected the tweeters to the white and grey speaker wires on the radio
and the green and purple wires on the radio will be connected to the rear 3" Altec Lansing awesome speakers with unicorn hoof magnets, and puppy ear woofer cones
and with that, the dash is now ready to install
Last edited by MacroscopePilot on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
with all the parts modified as much as possible in the time frame allowed
it was time to start the final assembly
with the twin turbo's in place I installed the factory engine harness to the shifter
I decided not to perform the brake light mod this time, and have the rear light on a switch
My goal for adding the lights this build was for safety and visibility when driving in these mean streets of thundertown
I plan on deconstructing the purple jeep build and then using that design on the new Commando Jeep build coming up
anyway, a simple way to explain my brake light mod is with this diagram of the jeeps wire harness
the throttle switch is used to short circuit the motors to create an electric braking effect
they add a resistor on some jeeps to make it a little bit less of a shock on the motors
what I do i replace the resistor with the bulbs in the tail lights
when the jeep is wired this way, you can light up the bulbs just by pushing the jeep
but don't go too fast, as you can pop the motors this way (that's how the purple jeep died, and on the way to school to show everybody, whaaaa!)



right, putting the jeep together...
it was finally time to connect all the wires together under the dash
here I have everything separated and ready to connect
from left to right
4 wires from the rear brake lights (wired this way, it's easy to add the relay mod later)
the black and white power leads from the engine harness
rear fill speakers
front marker lights
the power and RCA connections from the amp
and finally the green and black headlight wires
I had covered the radio and tweeters with painters tape to protect them as I flipped the dash around
I ended up doubling up on the ground connection points, as I had so many (not like in a car where you can use the metal body for a ground point everywhere)
I like how it ended up, easy to service and tell what's going on
here is a good shot of the new steel braided lines I installed on the dual electric turbo's
now all I need is a battery to power this thing...
When creating a mega opus, one must acquiescence to the bundled hidden bonus feels
Not just the pain when you press the soldering iron to the work you are holding for too long and...
I mean the emotional roller-coaster that goes along for the ride
At some point in the beginning of the build, I lost the volume control knob off of the radio
The missing volume control knob was the fist of the nightmares
I have this tendency to see something interesting and have it take over what i'm doing...
So the most dangerous and time consuming thing is for me to do is look for something small and lost in my messy garage
I often had to stop myself from looking for it, and just hope that I would run across it (unharmed) before the end of the build
(never mount the radio first became the build chant for a while), all part of the emotional stew that creativity makes
I was always so hesitant to install something else, worrying about prodding fingers and serviceability
My very first jeep build was a nightmare to service, and the lessons learned would not leave my head
I often had to force myself to continue, to just "get it done", and stop over engineering it
That's not to say it wasn't fun,
I found it fun, but not everyone likes to put puzzles together with no instructions...
Often once I got started, things just fell into place,
like the spacing of the screw holes on the white distribution block I found matching the existing mounting holes in the molded plastic...
I didn't plan that, it just happened
What I can't share with you of course is how it sounds, it actually sounded really full and nice
Of course it down't have thumping bass like a show car, but sounds full and hopefully will not create hearing loss in the younglings
It all went together very nicely and all the complicated wiring is safely hidden away inside the dash
I really like this shot through the passenger door showing how clean it is under there
The LED fuel gauge gets washed out in the sun and is hard to see, but I really like the location as it fits the factory gauge style and layout
another perfect fit was the 18Ah battery fitting in the front between the factory motor mounts
it's bolted down with a plate below the plastic engine bay for strength
I really like the design of the barbie jeep and would love to do another one,
but I have my commando jeep to do and the red car for my friend
I really hope you like the build, writing this was more difficult that installing the radio, but just as fun in another way
Questions / comments = feel free to tweet at me @MacroscopePilot

who put the game of life on the 'hard' difficulty setting?
Last edited by MacroscopePilot on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
if you mean the radio, it's just a cheap thing from
Masione Bluetooth Car Audio Stereo
Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 8.9 x 5.6 cm
Shipping Weight: 499 g
Item model number: 4004340

for about $26, I picked it because it was the one with the shortest depth, if I was going to do it again I would install a shallow double din radio to fill the space like this
Fosa 7" Audio Double Din Bluetooth Head Unit Car Stereo Radio MP5 Player FM USB SD AUX With Camera
Product Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 15 cm ; 821 g
Shipping Weight: 821 g
Manufacturer reference: fosa3ggw6bi2rs

the reason I went with a separate amp was 2 reasons really
one was that I knew the amp power of the cheap radio was going to be disappointingly low (but fine for driving tweeters)
and that cool little amp has a 3rd channel with a sub-woofer x-over and separate BASS volume for the sub
Eaglerich LP-838 Mini
Brand Eaglerich
Item Weight 290 g
Parcel Dimensions 18.4 x 15.8 x 4.8 cm
Manufacturer reference LP838
Manufacturer Part Number LP838
Folding No
(remember, never try to fold this steel enclosed amplifier...)

for $19 I will be getting a few more

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