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RevRico
RevRico HalfDork
8/9/16 11:09 a.m.

It may be early, but I'm already shopping Power Wheels for my daughter. Kind of made that decision about a week after we found out she existed. I was with her at Toys R Us today, and we both really liked a BMW I8 that they had, that was reasonably priced ($220? awesome). This one, complete with scissor doors and speakers with a headphone jack

But it is a 6 volt.

How much difference is there between the 6 and 12? Is it worth spending almost twice as much? I'm guessing battery life and speed, but I know from some other people that certain models you can daisy chain batteries together and boost both of those attributes.

I'm not worried about speed right away, as she'll only be 18 months old come Xmas when she actually gets one, but it would be nice to future proof this toy, since she should have it for a few years.

What does the hive know about powerwheels and mods for them? Are there manufacturers to stay away from? Are there features to look out for?

I'm still thinking a Jeep or Truck would be better for the terrain on my property, but if wheels could be swapped around I can't imagine it making a difference what body it has.

How difficult would making a tow hitch be? I'm planning on modding her wagon anyway, I could make it so that it functions as a trailer.

Oh, and fellow single dads, take your kids to toys r us. Seriously, you'll thank me later.

Klayfish
Klayfish UberDork
8/9/16 11:21 a.m.

We've had several of both. There is a significant difference between 6V and 12V. 6V top speed is something like 3-4mph. 12V can hit 10mph. Typically, the 12V will have a high and low setting, so you can make it act like a 6V when she's young. Yes, you can modify the E36 M3 out of them. There's a forum/website that's specifically for doing this.

As for manufacturers, I never really looked that far into it. From the ones we've had, I think they're all very similar, but with different bodies. The mechanicals are about the same.

The wheels are typically a very hard plastic, so they have little grip. Towing anything more than a very light wagon would be a challenge. My kids tried it. When they had their little red wagon with a stuffed animal in it, it was OK. But beyond that, it would either just bog down, or spin its' tires.

My boys used to think it hysterical when they would go top speed on the street, I'd run up behind it and give it a hard push sideways. They'd do a 360 with the rear wheels spinning. Fun stuff.

The best one we ever had was the yellow H2 Hummer model. That damn thing took a hell of a beating and kept going. Had to replace one of the motors, but that wasn't all that hard to do.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus Dork
8/9/16 11:21 a.m.

I have no idea but just wanted to say that this is awesome. Good luck

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/9/16 11:34 a.m.

My little 3yo nephew has the 12v Jeep Hurricane one, and has been driving a 6v tractor since he was strong enough to press the gas pedal down. The Jeep is definitely a better vehicle. I put it together and I was pretty impressed.

The tractor came from a yard sale or some sort of giveaway. Keep your eyes open, a slightly shaggy one with a tired battery is cheap. Gives you a cheap starter that's not a big deal if he outgrows.

I'm so jealous.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
8/9/16 11:48 a.m.

I too have been shopping these and was going to start the same thread soon.

2nd birthday next month.

Sunday night she drove a friend's new tractor version for the first time.
The smiles were huge.

Notice in both pictures she is not looking where she is going.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/9/16 11:50 a.m.

I advise against buying a new one....only because you can almost always get a used one needing a littlr tlc for cheap/free.

RevRico
RevRico HalfDork
8/9/16 11:53 a.m.

I guess another big question is the motors themselves with regards to different voltage. Could I buy a 6 and just slap in say a 12v tractor battery with maybe upgrading the wires(or another 6v in parallel), or will that turn into motor swap territory?

I guess some googling of the motors would help, but you guys seem to know things better than it does.

John, if you're not against store cards, the Toys R Us Mastercard offers 10% off every Thursday. I may actually apply for it to try rebuilding my credit.

java230
java230 Dork
8/9/16 11:54 a.m.

We have the barbie jeep. It is 12V battery but only feeds 6V to the motors. Its really the same system they usually use for hi-lo speed ones, but its always in low. If you take the F-R selector apart, you will see an extra switch, this is the high low switch, take it out the the shifter and re-assemble. Magically have hi-lo. Low is good for learning, you only hit the fence at half speed that way....

failboat
failboat UberDork
8/9/16 11:59 a.m.

my wife is kicking herself, we just missed out on a free barbie mustang for our daughter on our neighborhood facebook page last week.

Some dick scooped it up and is trying to sell it on craigslist for real monies now.

WOW Really Paul?
WOW Really Paul? MegaDork
8/9/16 12:06 p.m.

I actually have one of those i8's I purchased used for events our local car group does(Downhill soapbox style derbies with motor less Powerwheels)

While it has its merits for those types of events, I would recommend an actual FisherPrice made unit for a child.

The cheaper ones are cheaper for reasons, typically fit & finish plus questionable engineering.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
8/9/16 12:30 p.m.
slefain
slefain PowerDork
8/9/16 1:37 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: modifiedpowerwheels.com /thread.

x2

The 6v vehicles usually only have a single drive motor as well. My youngest son is currently rocking a 6v Jeep that I added a second motor to and then swapped to 12v. It scoots as fast as my oldest son's stock 12v quad.

And yes, the going prices for a PowerWheel is free. Just cruise the ritzy part of town before trash day (or after yard sales). Once the battery dies and they lose the charger, the kids have outgrown it and the perceived value is zero.

Just remember to only use sealed lead acid batteries. First, they are small, but second they don't have the whole battery acid around small kids problem.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
8/9/16 2:11 p.m.

Yep, get the 12v because of the two motors. The Peg Perego models are typically a better unit than the power wheels. I cannibalized a Ryobi flashlight for the battery mount and used a 18V 4AH battery for my youngests most recent (like the tractor above) and it is a blast. The battery tends to overheat the plastic around the terminals so I'm planning to parallel two of them for the next build.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
8/9/16 2:18 p.m.

We had three at one point, all outgrown and gone now. One we bought at a yard sale for 20 bucks, the others were free. A new battery and you've got instant fun. Just be careful on ice. Traction is limited.

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
8/9/16 2:33 p.m.

We got my nephew a 12 volt jeep for free because it had a bad battery and they lost the charger. With a bit of searching both can be found pretty cheap.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/9/16 4:11 p.m.

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=rNoymKwk5-k

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
8/9/16 4:54 p.m.
mndsm wrote: I advise against buying a new one....only because you can almost always get a used one needing a littlr tlc for cheap/free.

X2. We garbage picked ours and she helped work on it. Now she's almost 14 years old and she commented the other day that she is afraid to drive a car. I told her she'll be fine since she did s good job driving her Jeep.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
8/9/16 5:21 p.m.

I have set a CL notification on keywords Power Wheel and Power Wheels.

Klayfish
Klayfish UberDork
8/9/16 6:17 p.m.

Yes on the CL finds. That's where all of ours came from. People give them away for free.

2.0dohc
2.0dohc Reader
8/9/16 6:19 p.m.

For traction I cut up mountain bike tires and screwed the tread section onto the hard tires, worked great. Had enough grip with the smart car that it would lift the front end on the little hill in the yard(short wheelbase and battery was under seat. On one of the cars I wired in a 6V battery to a relay and a 'turbo' button on the steering wheel to give it 18Vs, my boy loved it.

Chadeux
Chadeux Reader
8/9/16 6:44 p.m.
dropstep
dropstep Dork
8/9/16 8:39 p.m.

My kids had a 2 seater 12v jeep that was free. Needed one of the motors replaced. 40 bucks later they had wheels with a working radio and 2 batterys. It got stuck in our yard alot. Whoever wasnt driving got out too push!

edizzle89
edizzle89 Dork
8/10/16 7:50 a.m.
RevRico wrote: I guess another big question is the motors themselves with regards to different voltage. Could I buy a 6 and just slap in say a 12v tractor battery with maybe upgrading the wires(or another 6v in parallel), or will that turn into motor swap territory?

batteries in parallel well still net you 6v's but longer battery life and upping the volts will net you more speed so it depends on your goal. and from what i have looked into upping the voltage is usually the issue isnt wiring but the plastic gears on the electric motor, with to much power they will strip or it will burn out the motor. ive seen people replace the gears with metal one or just replace the whole motor from parts at hobby shops or the interwebz.

it varies from powerwheel to powerwheel on what power they can hold. We got a small 4 wheeler powerwheel that had a junk 6v battery in it. I bought the cheapest 12v motorcycle battery for it and had some get up and go, enough for a 200 lbs adult to ride it at a pretty quick pace.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/10/16 9:43 a.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote:
mndsm wrote: I advise against buying a new one....only because you can almost always get a used one needing a littlr tlc for cheap/free.
X2. We garbage picked ours and she helped work on it. Now she's almost 14 years old and she commented the other day that she is afraid to drive a car. I told her she'll be fine since she did s good job driving her Jeep.

She looks kind of small for a 14 year old.

ronholm
ronholm Dork
8/10/16 11:26 a.m.

See... It works like this... You need the Peg Pergo ones.. The Motorcycles are the best to find. They have smaller drive wheels under the "exhaust pipes". But what they do have is the bigger motors.. and the gearboxes used to drive those smaller wheels.... Which means when you mount them up on the jeep or whatever with the taller wheels... Speed happens..

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