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KidsWheels
Need new batteries? Going from 12V to 18V or 6V to 12V? Wiring Questions?
User avatar
By Swervepf
#139699
Luckily I found a classic red Jeep discarded in my back alley with no batteries and no charger. It's an old body on metal frame Jeep with 4 wires going to the batteries. First powerwheels and my boy is excited to drive it!

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I just got 2 6V 14AH batteries and snipped off the old connector and hooked them up.

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However there's some issues. The foot pedal seems to intermittently work to drive the Jeep forward in low speed. Sometimes the pedal works and sometimes not. Flipping to reverse, and pushing the pedal, it won't reverse at all.

Also, when flipping to high speed, 1 of the 30 amp fuses blows instantly. Not when pressing the pedal, but instantly when simply flipping from low to high. I've pulled the fuse out of the holder a little to show which fuse blows. The other remains OK.

Suggestions on what to replace? Wiring looks stock and in good shape. Could bad switches be the cause? Where can I buy them? Here's pics of the wiring at the switches. If something isn't stock, please let me know so I can restore it.

I've since disconnected the red high speed wire from behind the switch til I get at least low working both forward and reverse.
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User avatar
By Swervepf
#139733
Thx for the link! Definitely worth a shot. I'll see if I can do that and see what happens.
#139753
You'll be amazed. A brass brush (toothbrush size) will go a long way towards instant gratification on these switches! And when the manual labor is done, a spritz of "DeOxit" works wonders for preserving them. Doesn't take much dirt, pooling water, or just plain chum to goof them up, but 20 minutes of tearing apart the vehicles and getting to the switch (you'd have to anyway to replace it) and cleaning it to work NOW, rather than ordering and waiting a week really teaches a kid what you are willing to do for them, and that not EVERYTHING needs to be replaced! Yeah, sometimes after its been thoroughly cleaned, when they fail ya do need to order one, but if you just got the ride, most times its just spider web type build up causing the problem.
User avatar
By taz11
#139755
"pop" when the switch is flipped usually indicates that the springs in the switch have broken and fallen across the contacts..... Or the battery wires are crossed (not likely because you have the red wire unplugged)
User avatar
By taz11
#139756
Now that I look at it....

I am 90% sure that the wires should be black to blue and yellow to white on battery #2
User avatar
By Swervepf
#139816
Suburbancharlie77 wrote:You'll be amazed. A brass brush (toothbrush size) will go a long way towards instant gratification on these switches! And when the manual labor is done, a spritz of "DeOxit" works wonders for preserving them. Doesn't take much dirt, pooling water, or just plain chum to goof them up, but 20 minutes of tearing apart the vehicles and getting to the switch (you'd have to anyway to replace it) and cleaning it to work NOW, rather than ordering and waiting a week really teaches a kid what you are willing to do for them, and that not EVERYTHING needs to be replaced! Yeah, sometimes after its been thoroughly cleaned, when they fail ya do need to order one, but if you just got the ride, most times its just spider web type build up causing the problem.


I've got a brass brush and I'll pick up some contact cleaner and give them a nice scrub. I'm thinking you're right about the maintenance and I'm keen to repair before I replace otherwise I wouldn't have saved this baby from the trash.
User avatar
By Swervepf
#139839
taz11 wrote:Now that I look at it....

I am 90% sure that the wires should be black to blue and yellow to white on battery #2


Oooh! I hope it's as simple as that! I haven't traced the wiring versus a wiring diagram yet but if that's it then woohoo!
User avatar
By Swervepf
#139899
taz11 wrote:Now that I look at it....

I am 90% sure that the wires should be black to blue and yellow to white on battery #2


You were right! I traced the wiring diagram sure enough, the yellow and blue were mixed up. I swapped them so yellow ran to white and blue ran to black and now everything works! High and low forward and low reverse. I disconnected the red jumper for high so it's in stock low mode only.

Still going to scrub the switch contacts with some contact cleaner but I'm happy to report that it's up and running. I even fixed the windshield wiper arm that was disconnected so both wipe now in unison, the rollbar so now it's snug to the rear supporting bars, and a missing and few loose screws holding the body to the frame. I gave it a good wash and removed glue residue from peeled decals. Going to look for some new decals.

Too bad the boy behaved badly most of yesterday... no surprise for him. Hopefully he's better today so he can earn a reward and what a huge one it'll be! Can't wait to see the smile on his face!

Thanks for all the help folks!
#139901
Congratulations, and good to hear. Glad it was simple. I haven't fooled with a metal frame oldie yet, the one I have isn't a priority due to its rough condition, and broken fender. But sure glad I mentioned something here, so I can easily find out how to connect the wiring. I must say, that's part of the reason I haven't played with it yet too. Hopefully he behaves today!

Yes, definitely rob, great observation taz!
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145722
Jeep's sluggish this year and I think it's because my son has grown since last fall so the added weight slows it down. The batteries were on a maintainer over winter so should be okay for this second season I would think, so I'm guessing maybe my original motors are just worn? His F150 Monster Traction has loads of get up and go so his jeep is now sitting idle. Can I replace them with something with some more torque than stock? Which ones to get? His sister gets a ride often and eventually will want to drive herself so I'd like to get the jeep running nice, but am not inclined to serious upgrading up to 18V etc.
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#145723
That's a 2 speed forward right? Or is it just forward and reverse?
If it's a 2 speed, hi is probably already at 12V I think? If you could measure the voltage at the motors for hi and low, I'm guessing that's going to be 6v low & 12v high? I haven't messed with the 2 wire setup much more than replacement parts to get them working. But there is a "flip the harness" method, and those motor/gearbox combos do handle 18V well. Just an idea?
User avatar
By taz11
#145726
Those old jeeps are known for having high resistance in the wire harness...happens with age. See what the voltage drop is between the battery and motors.... I'm guessing its close to 2 volts or more. It may be time for a rewire. Those stock motors are great and super tough. I would not ditch them. They are usually tough enough to take 24 volts (although the pedal switch is not)

You can make that 18v by putting a third 6v connected in series at the lock out plug.
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145753
Suburbancharlie77 wrote:That's a 2 speed forward right? Or is it just forward and reverse?
If it's a 2 speed, hi is probably already at 12V I think? If you could measure the voltage at the motors for hi and low, I'm guessing that's going to be 6v low & 12v high? I haven't messed with the 2 wire setup much more than replacement parts to get them working. But there is a "flip the harness" method, and those motor/gearbox combos do handle 18V well. Just an idea?

Yep, it's a 2 speed. I'll measure the voltage and see what the drop is. Good to know it might not be the motors. Thanks!
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145754
taz11 wrote:Those old jeeps are known for having high resistance in the wire harness...happens with age. See what the voltage drop is between the battery and motors.... I'm guessing its close to 2 volts or more. It may be time for a rewire. Those stock motors are great and super tough. I would not ditch them. They are usually tough enough to take 24 volts (although the pedal switch is not)

You can make that 18v by putting a third 6v connected in series at the lock out plug.

Good to know the motors are that tough! I'll check for voltage drop and see what readings I get with my meter. I think I can handle a rewire if need be. Thanks!

I picked up some electrical contact cleaner spray and dielectric grease for all the switch contacts in case that would help. I only cleaned them all up with a small file and the end of a flat screwdriver last year so maybe a little corrosion formed over winter. I'll measure before and after this maintenance to see it that makes any difference for voltage drop.

Another 6V at the lockout sounds interesting... I'll look into that! Thanks
#145756
I have one that had really really tight gearboxes. I think I had to clean it very well and grease it again to loosen it up a bit.
#145763
Basically I couldn't spin them by hand, or at least not very well. If my memory serves me (it usually doesn't :? ) I disassembled the gearboxes, wiped them clean with rags, then reassembled them with extra power wheels grease that I had from a couple gearboxes that for one reason or another were not reusable.
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145766
Charged up the 2 6V batteries and tested voltage at the battery terminals
Battery 1 6.38V
Battery 2 6.41V
12.78V across the 2 in series.

I disconnected a wire off of each motor and put my meter across the wires that connect to the motor, pressed the pedal and measured 12.63v on both sides. I guess the harness only drops voltage by 0.15v. Does this sound right? Have I tested this correctly?
User avatar
By taz11
#145768
Its a little harder than that. You need to test it under load. Stick your knee in the seat to add resistance and press the pedal. (make it do a burnout). While doing this you need to test the voltage at the battery and then at the motors. Alligator clips on your test leads help a lot if you have them.
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145799
Ok, so I tested this with fully charged batteries, the pedal down, motors running, while holding the jeep stationary and letting the wheels scrape the pavement. Putting my knee on it won't let a burnout happen- not enough torque. here's what my meter says under this load:

6v Battery 1: 5.91V
6v battery 2: 5.94V

Motors: 8.8 to 9.2v or so when switched to high speed or 12v
4.2 to 4.4v at low speed or 6v
#145898
Swervepf wrote:Ok, so I tested this with fully charged batteries, the pedal down, motors running, while holding the jeep stationary and letting the wheels scrape the pavement. Putting my knee on it won't let a burnout happen- not enough torque. here's what my meter says under this load:

6v Battery 1: 5.91V
6v battery 2: 5.94V

Motors: 8.8 to 9.2v or so when switched to high speed or 12v
4.2 to 4.4v at low speed or 6v


That is some pretty serious voltage drop. I would definitely say you have some high resistance somewhere in that harness. If all your connections are clean and tight I'd say some new wiring is in that jeeps future.
User avatar
By Swervepf
#145962
Thanks all for confirming it needs a rewire. I picked up 12awg wire and crimp connectors to replace the harness, but am curious how I should connect these 2 items up. From looking at the wiring diagrams here (thanks Taz!) the little white thing on the blue wire is the resistor that I need for soft start and soft brake I think, but what's on the red wire?
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