Friday, May 3, 2013

RC Power Wheels Jeep

This post is about the Power Wheels Jeep I found in my neighbors trash while working on the Racing Wheel project. I plan on slimming it down, PAINTING IT, and turning it into a RC Power Wheels (on a low budget).

When I saw it, I was thinking it would be very unlikely any thing was severely wrong with it. 

The first thing i did though, was wash it out. I could swear there was puke in it mixed with some slightly vegetated leaves. Nasty. It has two 6v Power Wheels Lead Acid batteries in the front wired in series aaaaand I instantly thought LiPo.  

I took off the seat and realized why the wheels don't have any grip: the motors are tiny with some gear reduction. I grabbed the 12v car battery charger and tested out the motors: they work fine. Then i tested the whole system by hooking up to where the batteries were: nothing. My dad pointed out that the "gas" pedal sits in this little bowl thing (on the floor just left of the removed dash in the above picture) underneath the rest of the car which means that water eventually gathered and corroded the switch to death. Marketing, hah.

I took out that assembly and found that it wasn't the switch, but the wire connecting to it had broken off.

Recycling some of the plastic parts: seat, light bar, and the windshield. I decided to keep the dash because other wise it just looks like a big flat bed.

I have this 30A Brushed ESC from hobbyking so that should be perfect. I found this info below on amp draw. Since i'll just be adding RC stuff the weight shouldn't be any where near 90lb. So, lots of power and I may need to put some grip on these plastic tires.
no load = 3 to 5 amps
90lbs load = 6-8 amps
90lbs load up a 10 degree ramp also = thick grass = 18-29amps

I bought some blue gloss spray paint for my Racing Wheel Project (for the wheel center thingy, haha) and to paint this Jeep. They advertise 1 ~3.00$ can = 2x other cans, so i'll see just how much is in there.

I pulled out these power window motors from my 92' Taurus and found these specs; should be sufficient for steering.
Serial: E6DF-14A365-B
Watts: 22.30w
Torque 1302oz-in @ 92RPM
Amp draw 2.8A and 24.8A stall

Now I have to do the painting, wire in the ESC, and figure out how i'm going to mount and interface the power window motor. Oo

Soldered a XT-60 connector on the ESC and tested out a motor. Yes, I used adjustable wrenches to temporarily connect the motor to the ESC :D

Nice and quick with adjustable speed!

I also took apart the "shifter" turns out its just a lever and two switches  Interesting idea by the Power Wheel engineers, lol.

Poor grass :D

Freaking awesome blue. Lighter than I thought (wanted a dark blue), oh well. Now I need to paint the bumper gloss black, the under body flat black, and the wheel side walls black

Underside of the hood painted flat black as i'm almost out of black gloss. Top is gloss.

This is how I covered up things I didn't want to paint.

The contrast of black and blue makes this PW look SO much better.

Interior... awesome!!

Gotta fix that "roll cage".

Underside flat black (the pink is where the roll cage bolt was). Here are some more finished pictures.

I got some 12v 30A SPDT relays for the two drive motors and the steering motor from here. Wwo SPDT relays are required for forward and reverse capability with a motor (you can wire two motors together and still use just two relays, but be careful with amp draw.).

For someone who wants a simpler solution, a DPDT

An Intermediate relay (like a DPDT, but already wired internally for fwd / rev). Though it comes at a little higher price.

Here is a "scheme" for the SPDT double relay design. Im not sure what out put is active when the relay is active, so I don't know if the PNP will need to be pulled up or down.


Relays in package!

 First thing i had to do was figure out the pin out  I couldn't find anything online, but the below image from the datasheet helps.

This the relay inside from the datasheet. The image is kinda messy, but I think you'll see the matching layout.

Now i'm gonna solder 'em up.


  1. We use different types of jeeps & jeep wheels but power wheels jeep are very comfortable.

    high tech rubber & nylon wheels