Gruber
HobbyMasters
M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
Gruber
HobbyMasters
M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
HobbyMasters M.L. Toys
Gruber
KidsWheels
for 12v vehicles that NEED to be upgraded to 18v
#129767
This is my first topic here on the board, but have enjoyed reading and learning a ton over the past several months.

Just thought I'd post some pics of an easy conversion that I did to my son's Jeep Hurricane. Original idea came from user JimmyPGE's post here:
viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15284

A couple of baseline bits of info that led me in this particular conversion direction:

- I have limited electrical skills (as in, I've never cut/spliced wires, soldered, etc.)
- Options for 6v piggyback 18v upgrade would be $100+ (looking at a charger, 2 6v Grubers and a 12v Gruber to rotate with my current stock 12v battery)
- I have been using Makita LXT 18v batteries for several years and also had a non-working Makita cheap flashlight that could easily be chopped to provide a battery dock in the Jeep

So it basically ended up being a 'free' mod for me, took less than an hour but could probably be done in minutes by most people.


1) Light and battery preparing to cut the bottom of the flashlight
Image


2) Cut stock orange connector out of Jeep trunk, clamped wire end things onto the white/black wires, and then clamped those onto the yellow Makita receiver piece
Image


3) Cut the bottom of the flashlight off (had to remove the yellow receiver first to install wires)
Image


4) Re-install yellow plastic into the former flashlight housing
Image


5) Temporarily a tight fitting piece of wood is wedged into the battery bay to keep the 18v piece from sliding or moving at all. Originally I planned on screwing in something more permanent but actually haven't noticed any movement with this so far.
Image


6) (not shown) Waterproof taped around the wire opening of the Makita receiver.


Results have been awesome, my 4y/o son definitely noticed the difference immediately. He and my 7y/o daughter can ride around through the grass, hills, and heavy terrain for at least 15 minutes or more on one battery (I haven't timed it yet, but usually they start and stop quite a bit). He's pretty keen on knowing when the battery is getting low on power, and even after heavy use the battery is slightly warm - about the same as when I've given it constant use on the hammer drill or recip saw, etc.

We're going on about one month since the conversion, haven't noticed any drawbacks except tire wear :) My son loves the fact that he can swap the battery out now instead of having to get mom or dad to heave the original one out and then wait for it to charge.

I'm happy to get any feedback, comments and suggestions and look forward to adding some lights to the Jeep soon.

thanks!
#129771
Nice :D
#131133
I have no first hand experience with these batteries so take this with a grain of salt - but just fyi for anyone that doesnt know - lithium batteries present a fire risk if they are mistreated by either over discharging or pulling too many amps out of them. I would imagine these have some sort of undervoltage protection built in so its really over-drawing that I think could present a problem. If this is a 3ah pack and you are pulling about 20 amps out of it (18v/350w) then you are running the battery at around 7c discharge rate. We do not know the safe discharge rate for this battery so we can't say if its safe or not but considering this battery was used for a flashlight that might be an indication that it is a high internal resistance battery which might not like discharging that fast. The first solution to not only this potential discharge problem but also captivity (15m run time) problem is to run 2 or 3 of these batteries in parallel which would increase run time and distribute the load equally among the batteries. If you ran 3 then this would bring the discharge rate down to ~2c which is safe for most batteries, thats a much bigger hoop to jump through. My final thought here is that if you want to be proactive about the potential hazard here they do make fireproof bags which are designed to store and charge lithium batteries. Again I have no first hand experience and have not read any failures so take this for what it is - my random thoughts.
#134472
wesleyb82 wrote:...considering this battery was used for a flashlight that might be an indication that it is a high internal resistance battery which might not like discharging that fast.


These batteries are made for power tools like drills and circular saws; they only power flashlights because Makita throws in a flashlight with the "package" to make you think you're getting a deal... thus the flashlights are perfect to cut apart and use as a receiver for the battery.

I'm not saying a drill is as (continuously) strenuous for the battery as a kid on PowerWheels, but they are certainly designed to power more than a flashlight. They also will not over discharge any more on a PowerWheel than they would in a power tool. Overdrawing is another matter entirely.

I use Porter Cable instead of Makita, but I purchased a box of ten 18v Lithium Ion batteries from Lowe's for $5/piece (instead of $60/piece) when all the brands switched from 18v to 20v, so this has been a very cost effective mod for me, and my three year old can swap out batteries by himself.
#137029
Wanted to update this thread - we swapped out the motors from stock to mltoys 775's http://www.mltoys.com/Performance-Motor ... -s/111.htm and noticed that the 18v lions were getting pretty warm pretty quick (checking them during testing / break in as we also installed new gears to replace broken ones).

I'm thinking the 775's are maybe too much draw for the lions, so I'm probably going to swap the power over to some gruber 12v+6v combo.

Summary - worked fantastic w/ the stock 550's, batteries were never too hot, discharged and recharged just like using them in a power tool; with the 775's I think the combo is probably overworked. YMMV
#137087
jhelms wrote:Wanted to update this thread - we swapped out the motors from stock to mltoys 775's http://www.mltoys.com/Performance-Motor ... -s/111.htm and noticed that the 18v lions were getting pretty warm pretty quick (checking them during testing / break in as we also installed new gears to replace broken ones).

I'm thinking the 775's are maybe too much draw for the lions, so I'm probably going to swap the power over to some gruber 12v+6v combo.

Summary - worked fantastic w/ the stock 550's, batteries were never too hot, discharged and recharged just like using them in a power tool; with the 775's I think the combo is probably overworked. YMMV


Thank you for the update. That's what makes these forums valuable!

In that case then I can retire the long wire conne[…]

well the wires got hot at the switches to the moto[…]

Increasing voltage question

The motor's "nominal voltage rating" is […]

Thanks for the update!

HobbyMasters Udemy Course