To upgrade your Power Wheel motor, start by removing the wheel to access the underbelly. Unscrew the panel, remove the old motor and replace it with the new one. Ensure you check the wiring connection to see if it right before closing the panel and replacing the wheels.
Most of the time Power Wheels motors need to be upgraded because the battery or tires were upgraded. Keep in mind if you do upgrade your battery or add traction to your tires the motor may need to be upgraded to add more power or upgraded wires to the vehicle without this the motor can overheat.
Power Wheel motor upgrades often result in more speed and power to the toy vehicle. This article will take you through the step-by-step process of upgrading an electric motor as a DIY project. It is doable if you have time and the tools for the upgrade.
Parents may need to know the components of Power Wheels motors to do an upgrade seamlessly. Crossing some wires may result in your Power Wheels malfunctioning, and you may end up repeating the whole process.
Table of Contents
What Do You Need For the Power Wheels Motor Upgrade?
There are a few things that you will need for the upgrade.
- A screwdriver
- A motor
- Heat sinks
- Electrical tape
- Push nuts
It would be best if you had tools to disassemble the toy vehicle to get to the motor parts. Wires and tape are for an emergency if you cut a wire you weren’t supposed to remove.
You can choose a motor kit or just the motors from Amazon or your local hardware store. Buy everything you need in advance before the day you choose to install the motor. You must buy a motor that can handle the voltage of your battery.
It would be best to disconnect the battery from the toy vehicle before you start removing the motor. Please remove the battery to prevent damage and place it at a safe location. Also, you can work with ease, knowing that there isn’t any electrical current flowing through the wires.
Step 1: Create Access to the Motor
It will help if you start by removing the wheels underneath where the motor is but removing the push nuts. There is a huge chance that they will be damaged when you remove them to replace them when the upgrade is over.
Remove the wheels from the axle so that you can access the gearboxes. Disconnect the wires to the gearboxes and remove them for easy access. Place them on your work surface and get to work. Be careful with the gearboxes when removing them.
Step 2: Remove the Motor
You will need a screwdriver to open the motor box to take out the old motor. Take out the old motor from the gearbox and prepare to add the new motor. Motors have a metal head which you can remove with your screwdriver.
You need to remove the motor without damaging anything from the gearbox. It may be tempting to open the gearbox to see how things work.
Do not tamper with anything if you don’t want to end up doing some gearbox repairs too. Ensure you do not remove any wires that will help you reconnect the motors to the wiring system.
Step 3: Replace the Electric Motor
You need to install a new metal flat head on your new motor before replacing it in the gearbox. The flathead comes in handy to rotate gears in the gearbox.
Ensure the replacement flathead has the number of teeth as the previous one. One with more or fewer teeth will affect how your power wheels work.
Install the new electric motor in place of the old one and close the motor box. Ensure everything is where it should before closing the gearbox. Prepare to attach the gearbox back to the toy can as you continue with the Power Wheels motor upgrade. Here are two 12V motors you can consider buying.
The NSD 2Pc Universal 550 35000RPM 12V Electric motor is an excellent choice product, and you get two motors for a fair price. The motors are perfect for most 12V Power Wheels motor upgrades because they are compatible with many models. You also get two motors on Amazon.
Alternatively, you can go for the Weelye 2Pc Universal 550 35000RPM 12V electric motors. The motors come with gears that you need to mount depending on the type that your toy car needs. They are compatible with most 12V power wheels gearboxes.
Step 4: Connect the Motor
Power Wheels motor upgrade is made easy because the vehicles color code wires for easy identification. Most motors come with basic connectors and some loose wires for the wiring connection. You can get some fancy connectors at the local store if you don’t like the ones the motor manufacturer provides.
Connect blue wires to blue wires at the connectors and black ones to connectors with black wires. You should strip the wires and crimp them together to create a connection.
Please cover the exposed wires with electrical tape to insulate them. Please don’t leave any expose wires as they may cause a malfunction when water touches them.
Test the gears to ensure that the wheels move in the same direction when reconnecting the wires to the gearboxes. Skipping the testing phase can cause you to change the gearbox connections when you realize you did the reinstallation wrong.
Step 5: Add Heat Sinks
Heat sinks ensure that your motor doesn’t overheat and ensures that your new motors can last for a while before you replace them. Heat sinks are not a compulsory requirement, but they are useful in the long run. It would be best to secure the wires away from the motors before installing the heat sinks.
It takes about a minute to snap a heat sink on top of a motor. Ensure the heat sinks are well secured to keep the motors cool.
They do an amazing job despite their small size and easy installation. Heat sinks are cheap, and there is no reason you shouldn’t add them when upgrading an electric toy car motor.
Step 6: Assembly and Testing
After replacing the old motors with the new ones, it is time to restore the wheels and test the vehicle. You should install the battery and start the Power Wheels to see whether it is working right.
Test the gear to ensure that the wheels move in the same direction. Be careful when restoring the wheels because if you tighten them too much, a wheel may not rotate.
You can allow your children to take the Power Wheels for a test drive after the upgrade. Keep a close eye on your child for a while until you are sure everything is running smoothly. Once the vehicle is moving, your job is done. You can relax while watching your child drive around the yard.
How Long Will the Power Wheels Motor Upgrade Take?
Power Wheels Motor Upgrade should take less than 30 minutes if you know what you are doing. It may take longer when you are new to Power Wheels, but newbies can complete the upgrade in less than an hour.
The beauty of upgrading your power wheels motor as a DIY project is simple, and one parent can complete it successfully. Buy the replacement parts in advance and prepare a workspace in advance. Preparing in advance also cuts the time it takes for the motor replacement process.
How Do You Know the Right Motor for your Power Wheels?
There is a lot of information online about the motors for various Power Wheels models. You can visit the Fisher-Price website and get the specs for your Power Wheels model before you begin your search for a replacement motor.
Parents are better positioned to select the right motor when they understand the gear or flat head a model needs and the battery voltage. Alternatively, you can select universal electric motors that are compatible with Power Wheels. Universal replacement motors come with several gear options, and you can mount the one that fits your model.
Above all, a parent should choose high-quality motors that will last and aren’t like to get damaged after a few months. Cheap replacement motors will burn out in a month or two, and you will be back to square one.
Maintenance Tips for Power Wheels Motors
Many parents do not inspect or clean the motors of their Power Wheels, which contributes to damaged electric motors. It would be best if you inspected the motors every 2-3 months to ensure they are in mint condition.
Clean the motors to remove any debris or build-up so that they can offer optimum performance. It is always good to clean the Power Wheels completely, if you are looking for the correct way, here is how to keep it clean and make sure the insides don’t get wet.
Power Wheels motors do not need a lot of lubrication, but you should do it every once in a while. A lubricant will reduce the friction, which in turn reduces the wear and tear of your motors. Ensure you use approved lubricants to avoid damaging the motors of your power wheels.
Adding heat sinks to your Power Wheels motor upgrade is an excellent way to preserve the new motors’ integrity. The heat sinks will keep the motors cools and reduce damage from overheating.
It is possible to do Power Wheels motor upgrades as a DIY project for parents who can find the time. It is a pretty straightforward process that any parent can perform. It would help if you were careful not to interchange the wiring when replacing an electric motor.
Also, removing the wheels will need some finesse. If the Power Wheels is faded you can also paint your Power Wheels to give it that extra flair with the new motor upgrade.
Busy parents can find a handyman to do the upgrade. It is easy to find someone with experience to work on your Power Wheels. Overall, the process doesn’t call for many tools, and in the end, a new motor will improve the toy vehicle’s performance and how it handles different terrains.
Kevin is the founder of RCRideOnCars. While watching my children drive around the yard on Ride On Cars with big smiles on their faces, I decided to start this Power Wheels site to help out everyone to make sure they get exactly what they are looking for.
You can see more of my RC RideOn Cars on YouTube and Pinterest, links below. Read all about us.