How to Produce Your Power Wheels Faster - Power Wheels Toy Mods
Last December, McLaren delivered us a Power Wheels version of its 720S supercar, complete with working lights, a stereo, and a leather chair. My daughter instantly became the owner of the best selling car in our garage, and one of the millions of kids who got their first taste of automotive liberty from an electrical ride-on toy. Power Wheels has been around in 1 form or another for at least 35 decades. That means if you had been born after 1980, there's a great chance your oldest memories from the driver's seat involve a plastic steering wheel along with two or three electric motors.
And probably some disappointment. My cousin's Jeep Wrangler Power Wheels was a source of constant frustration when we were kids. It had been glacially slow and flummoxed with any surface rougher than a paved driveway. It ran out of juice in under half an hour and took a full day to recharge. I'm convinced an entire generation of Americans grew up loathing both Chrysler goods and EVs because of that very model. Regardless of the spectacular advancement of battery and electric motor technologies since 1984, things haven't changed much in the Power Wheels world. My daughter's 720S came with the exact same heavy 12-volt gel battery since that old Wrangler. And like the Jeep, the McLaren was slow, tired fast, and required a baffling eight hours to control. The fastest Power Wheels simply manage about 6 mph. Walking speed. Kiddo was tired with the item after 10 minutes. Hardly befitting something with Bruce McLaren's name on the trunk.
I did what he'd have achieved: I left it faster. The problem isn't the motors. It is the battery. And the web is filled with tutorials on how best to swap in the type of modern lithium-ion cells that electricity virtually every modern cordless instrument. The shopping list was easy --a 30-amp inline fuse, a cheap motor speed controller, along with a USB power-source adapter for a drill battery. Total cost: $35. If you can handle a soldering iron and a screwdriver, you can have the old battery out and the newest setup installed in under an hour. The advantages are obvious: It is milder; rather than a paltry 12 volts, you receive 20; it has the exact same run time, however a much quicker cost. And, if you're like me, you have five battery packs sitting on the garage shelf. Run the battery down? Swap in a new one and keep riding.
The car is significantly faster. It'll burst through bud up hills, and sling her down the driveway at double the former rate, her curly red hair whipping in the wind because she cackles with glee. When she's my age, looking back in nowadays, that is what she will remember: the first sweet taste of speed. That's the McLaren we all know and love. That is the Power Wheels our children deserve.