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Old 09-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #1
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I promised my daughter that I'd get her a Power Wheels Jeep with a mounted Nerf gun, once she was potty trained. She redoubled her efforts and is on the cusp of autonomous bathroom visits, so I need to make good on my promise.

But I am very unfamiliar with Power Wheels. I've done a little shopping, but I don't know what to look for or how to spot a good one vs. a bad one.

It doesn't have to be a Jeep, per se, but some type of rugged-looking off road type vehicle. I would like it to be able to go over grass and whatnot. And here's the kicker... I would like to ride on it with her. Someone's gotta operate the turret gun while we raid the playground.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:28 PM   #2
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:49 PM   #3
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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I've been shopping for the perfect Power Wheels for my daughter, much to the dismay of the good folks at Walmart and Toys-R-Us. Some genius decided that they would put all the good ones on the top shelf (read: three layers up in the bike department) and they also decided it was against company policy to retrieve said vehicles for customers to try them out.

No problem, says I. My and my friends climbed the rack and brought them down. Haha.

The Walmart folks weren't thrilled about that, but they liked it more than when I started disassembling the cars. Haha. I learned that there are no Power Wheels jeeps or rugged trucks that I can fit in while the seats are installed. Some of the cars (like the 911 GT3 and Viper) are big enough for me to fit in them and operate the pedals and steering without incident. My knees stick out, but I can make it work. However, we're going for a military assualt vehicle theme, so a 911 won't do. Further, I'm the only one who can fit in it.

I really wanted this one to work:


But I just couldn't make it work. Try as I might, I couldn't pretzel my way in it at all. One thought I had was to build a pull-behind trailer that I could stand on and mount the gun to the roof. The problem with this is that I would never be able to drive it if my daughter gets tired of driving it or wants to operate the gun.

I also considered this one:

It's basically the same vehicle as the one above, only it doesn't have the rollcage. Alas, the footwell still tapers inward as do the side beams of the rollcage. This conspires to push me toward the middle of the car, and my daughter would really have to squeeze in. Not going to work.

I really like both of those because they are well-built (they have metal frame rails, believe it or not).

This one also really appealed to me:


It mostly works. I have to yank the seats out and sit in the bed of the vehicle, but I fit pretty well. The only real issue I have with this one is that I'd have to thread myself through the rollbar (it would rest on my thighs like a lap belt), which is not conducive to types of playground, er, uh, terrorist compound raids we intend to perform. Also, the vehicle would flex under my weight, so that didn't seem like a good recipe for success. Haha.


Then I found the holy grail of rugged Power Wheels:


The F150 has a good sized bed. If I remove the seats, I can comfortably sit in the bed (with room to spare). My plan is to make a drivers seat that can be swapped into either position. if my daughter wants to drive, we'll put the chair there. If she wants to ride shotgun (or fully automatic foam ball blaster, as it were), we'll move the seat over there.

This thing is built like a brick poo house, so it supports my weight without incident. It's rated at 130 lb capacity, and I'm about 25 lbs. over that. Add in my daughter and we're going to be putting it through its paces.

The good news is that the aftermarket world has responded. You can buy metal gears, uprated motors, and all manner of battery configurations. I suspect that we'll be going to a 24 volt system in short order. Allegedly, when you add all the upgrades, these things can go about 15 mph!

The first upgrades (aside from painting it black) are going to be to add a PVC pipe brush guard and pneumatic tires. I figured some tires with air in them will provide a little suspension to lessen the impact my big butt will have on the chassis.

I'll post pics when it comes in.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:08 PM   #5
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This is the gun we got for it:

https://youtu.be/4ZhUUyrwxH8?t=30s
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Old 09-17-2016, 04:47 PM   #6
 
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Kid down the street has a Ford Raptor Power Wheel. It looks dope....
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:44 AM   #7
 
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So is the general idea that the higher the volts, the faster it can go? Looking into one of these for my son but have no idea where to start. I'm going to need one that drives well on grass, since my street isn't the best for little kids to be driving on
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:17 AM   #8
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Pretty much, yeah.

Irrespective of which model you get, they all basically work the same. The rear wheels have a solid axle that runs through the wheels, but they're not connected to it; the rotate freely on the axle. On the inside hub of each wheel, there is a female pattern. The gearbox (one for each rear wheel) has a hole through that the axle goes through as well. The gearbox output has a male pattern that mates up with the female pattern on the inside of the wheel hub.

The more voltage you run through the motors, the faster they spin. Once you get over 12 volts, it's pretty common for the plastic gears in the gearboxes to strip. Several companies make aftermarket metal gears and uprated motors that make more torque or spin faster, etc.

As far as traction goes, there are a few schools of thought in the Power Wheel world. One solution is what's called traction bands. You can but them on eBay, and they are not highly regarded. They're basically like a big rubber band that goes around the tire.

Another option is to buy a BMX bicycle tire, cut it, wrap it around the plastic Power Wheels "tire" flattened out, and drive screws or roofing nails into it. This option gives you rear rubber and tread, and it's cheap.


Another option is to buy (from Harbor Freight or Lowe's) lawn mower wheels and tires. These take some customizing to mate up to the vehicle, but they end up looking pretty cool.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:29 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.E.G. View Post
The more voltage you run through the motors, the faster they spin.
If you want to get technical, the higher voltage means you will put more current through the motor. Voltage doesn't go anywhere, it just makes current flow. Of course, you really need a motor rated for that higher voltage/current, so the real advantage is that you can switch to a bigger (faster or more torque) motor. At some point, I'm sure temperature will rear its ugly head...

Are you going to front mount the gun? I'd put it smack dab in the middle of the hood so the driver or passenger can control it while seated.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbrig View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.E.G.' timestamp='1474305461' post='24065070
The more voltage you run through the motors, the faster they spin.
If you want to get technical, the higher voltage means you will put more current through the motor. Voltage doesn't go anywhere, it just makes current flow. Of course, you really need a motor rated for that higher voltage/current, so the real advantage is that you can switch to a bigger (faster or more torque) motor. At some point, I'm sure temperature will rear its ugly head...

Are you going to front mount the gun? I'd put it smack dab in the middle of the hood so the driver or passenger can control it while seated.

It's been a while since my DC electrical theory class, but I don't think that's totally right either. Higher voltage doesn't necessarily mean more current. You can have 120 volts and 10 amps to get 1200 watts of power or you can have 1200 volts and 1 amp to produce the same 1200 watts of power. Voltage and current are inversely related. Plus, the current draw is fixed in a DC circuit (under normal load). So if you have an electric motor that draws 3 amps to run, you can have a battery that is capable of delivering a gajillion amps, and that only means that there is a big pool from which the circuit can slowly draw 3 amps before the pool is sucked dry.

The motor's output becomes greater as you add voltage because of the increase in power (watts), but you're increasing the power by adding voltage, not by adding voltage and current.

Some exceptions. If a wheel were to get stuck (increased load), then the current draw would be greater. But assuming a constant load (which isn't always possible), the current draw will be the same, whether you have one battery or ten batteries.

Long story short, true, the voltage doesn't "go anywhere," but more voltage also does not mean an increased amount of current. Rather, it means more power (watts) for a given current draw.

Nomsayin?
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