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Anyone want to help modify a Radio Flyer Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by David.85D, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    My daughter has been digging her new Radio Flyer model S, but as is typical for these types of toys, the plastic wheels have poor traction and the throttle is really just an on-off switch. There are many people that modify "power wheels" toy cars with rubber tires and variable throttles. I'm ready to try. Anyone want to help? I'm in Maryland, but think we can do this online. I have access to a small machine shop and a 3D printer.
     
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  2. rocketshipp85

    rocketshipp85 Member

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    I’m also in MD and I don’t have a radio flyer Tesla but I’m very interested in 3D printers so would be willing to try to help out.
     
  3. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    93388A76-4E86-4559-8119-52BDF9A284A2.jpeg The wheel/tires are 8-3/4 diameter by 2-3/4 wide (in inches). Looks like there is room for 9x3.

    It drives both the rear wheels with a sturdy hub. The fronts float on a metal axle. Not clear how to get the front wheels off yet..,

    The accelerator pedal assembly unscrews from the bottom. Two wires in, two wires out.
     

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  4. P100DHG.

    P100DHG. Member

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    This is something I am going to do for my son (his Model S is still in the box because he’s just 18 months old) I’ve always wanted to mod a power wheels after seeing this video. Yes it’s extreme but holy crap it looks fun.



    Back to the subject at hand most people who modify power wheels use a drill trigger for the throttle switch.

    Modified Power Wheels Race Cars with Variable Speed Pedal and Rubber Tires

    “I also use the Ryobi variable speed drill swith under the accelerator pedal on their standard Power Wheels Jeep, Harley Davidson and Peg Gator. (Ryobi Switch Assembly Part Number: 270016075 (discontinued) at ereplacementparts.com for $16.75 (now use 270001342 Switch Assembly or the beefier Milwaukee 28 volt Switch Category Number: 23-66-0023 for $45”

    I never imagined modding the Model S. I had always imagined doing an off road build and using

    A 6” lawn mower rim

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004DTTEHE/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1513829690&sr=7&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2972396462&pd_rd_wg=Deo7d&pf_rd_r=V47DQJ67B7WFK65YKGBC&pf_rd_s=mobile-sx-bottom-slot&pf_rd_t=9701&pd_rd_i=B004DTTEHE&pd_rd_w=QM8rv&pf_rd_i=mower+wheels&pd_rd_r=14654c8c-1eb3-4a2a-95a5-2da6e46efbfe&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65

    and these tires Stens 160689 K398A Snow/Mud 15x5-6 Replaces KENDA MTD 7341859 Stens - Jacks Small Engines

    For a Models S maybe go kart tires would be best?
     
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  5. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    I'm one step ahead of you ;). My variable speed drill switch is on its way. The OD of the Radio Flyer Tesla wheels is 9 inches (maybe 8-3/4"). The wheels on those modified power wheels are more like 13 inches. There are some 9-inch pneumatic wheels available, but definitely less, and a full set of go kart wheels and tires is $250+.
     
  6. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    These exercise bands fit tightly over the wheel and have helped with traction. It's a shame you can't get these all in the heaviest weight. Put one of each of the heaviest weight on each of the rear wheels. Think I might order another set and put the full set (one atop the other) on each rear wheel.

    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0725Q4DC8
     
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  7. playoutside

    playoutside Member

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    Verne Troyer just got one of these and expressed interest in modifying it on reddit

     
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  8. tsui_san

    tsui_san Member

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    Has anyone tried upgrading the motors and battery? Radio Flyer is pretty stingy about providing any info about the motors or battery parts (liability issue) but my guess is that the motors are 775 brushed motors with 12-36V rating. I've done some research on the motors and I don't think you can get more powerful ones without having to upgrade the gearbox (has anyone done that??). Also I've read a lot about Power Wheels owners wiring batteries in series like RC car batteries to increase the voltage output. I'm going to take apart the stock battery to take a look at the components, possibly pull out the connector, and wire more cells together to get the output to at least 24V.
     
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  9. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    Going to 18V batteries seems like a nice bump up.

    I wanted to get the variable throttle installed first and figure out pneumatic tires or gluing the exercise bands onto the plastic wheels. I see these as the critical steps, since the wheels already spin as it is.
     
  10. tsui_san

    tsui_san Member

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    I'm actually thinking the reverse - my kids have experienced limited tire spin with the '2' setting. I'd like to see what kind of power I can squeeze out before I consider improving rear wheel traction (read: don't want the car to pop wheelies and flip over). I've seen Jeep Power Wheels get bumped up to 10 mph.

    For the batteries my plan is to somehow wire to of the Radio Flyer batteries together in series for a combined output of 28.8V. The tricky part is how to do all this while maintaining the use of the stock 4-pin connector. Wondering if any of the owners here have tried anything remotely insane like this.
     
  11. Mickie

    Mickie Member

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    I’ve heard of issues installing traction bands on these power wheels causing stress and accelerated wear on the drivetrain.

    Quote from a powerwheels forum—“You should know that the rubber will cause you to burn out the motors and gear boxes if you you do not have a soft start system.”

    I personally would prefer some sort of traction control as to reduce wheel wear and increase his off-the-line performance. My son who just got his little Model S this Christmas has a Corvette Stingray C7 that’s a high speed (6mph) powerwheel and it spins the rear wheels constantly on launch. Letting off the accelerator locks the rears up as well. Definitely makes for cool looking burn outs and side skids, but at an obvious cost.
     
  12. tsui_san

    tsui_san Member

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    Also saw this power up kit from East Coast Power Ups:

    ESC Kit - Plug and Play - 12/18/24 Volt 1,000 Watt Variable Speed

    It's theoretically possible to do a complete rewire that includes using higher voltage battery with a variable speed throttle/soft start mechanism. The main benefit of this system is that the motors would be able to safely accommodate more power while easing the stress on mechanical parts. My inclination however is to buy the variable speed throttle mentioned above after I figure out the battery rewire to see if that helps.
     
  13. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    You should know that the rubber will cause you to burn out the motors and gear boxes if you you do not have a soft start system.

    This is worth repeating. I am doing the soft start (variable speed) switch.
     
  14. P100DHG.

    P100DHG. Member

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    I have an electric wagon made by electricbeachwagons.com it’s their first generation model. They have since evolved. It uses an electric scooter speed controller and a MY1016 Motor. They come in 2 variants gear reduced and straight drive. Mine is gear reduced. Our driveway is steep as I live on a knoll and carrying my tools up from my truck one by one was tedious and nonmotorized wagon was impossible to get up the hill and scary to come down. Our wagon has a disc brake there is a switch on the brake handle that kills the motor. This plugs into the ESC. I still use the wagon often but I put a cushion in it now so my son can ride in it.

    2185C622-1ADB-47C7-87A8-FD3B8CD91F7B.jpeg

    The wagon can carry about 500lbs of material up our driveway. It’s geared for max torque and travels at walking speed. For a kid a smaller rear gear would be fine which means more speed. The point is this equipment (motor, esc, 24 volt system) is very capable and swapping all the components costs about $100 something I am considering for my sons Model S when 6 mph needs to become 20mph :eek:. A solid rear axel would be necessary but that shouldn’t be too difficult. Also a helmet, that would be a good idea too. All this equipment makes rubber tires necessary so when someone figures this out please take pictures.
     
  15. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    3DF25020-B543-41F9-953A-304BE9C0C5B3.jpeg Four extra thin wires on the switch. Hmmm.

    Will try to trace them. Speaker/Usb player and lights? Two are unswitched and two are switched.

    They also used a power tool switch - it still has its forward/reverse switch. o_O
     
  16. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    I may be jinxing myself, but the $15 270001342 Ridgid/Ryobi Switch Assembly looks like a drop in replacement for the original switch. Stay tuned...
     
  17. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    Ok, i have to walk that back. The switch mount will require a little trimming. Looking easy so far.

    Think the small red and white wires from the pedal seitch are the headlights. They feed into the right headlight then yellow and black wires leave there to feed the left headlight
     
  18. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    Discovered The wheels have center hubcaps that snap in and out. Exposes the rear axle nut.
     

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  19. David.85D

    David.85D Member

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    It really is a dual motor! Cant make sense of the numbers. Made just a date code?
     

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  20. insaini

    insaini Member

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    Quick question .. I placed an order for the Model S for Kids and will be delivered today ... but it is coming it says it is arriving in two packages .. anyone know what is in each package?

    Also ordered traction bands that I will be putting on the tires
     

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