Wil's Power Wheel Modification CD ††††††††††††††††††††††††† Frequently Asked Questions:†††††††††††††††† Updated 5/26/2005


Q:I have downloaded Adobe Reader 6.0 but I still canít get some of the pages to pull up

A:First make sure your Web Browser is compatible with an Adobe Acrobat Plug in.If using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will need IE version 6.0 or higher.


The main page of the CD should open (the page with buttons) as this is html.From there, do any of the three indexes open?


If the Power Wheels modification Index does not open, you will likely need to reload Adobe acrobat reader to ensure the plug in for your web browser is functioning properly.



Q:I have Internet Explorer 5.01, will the CD work?

A:No.You will need to Download Version 6.0 or higher from Microsoft.Cut and paste the following link into your web browser:




After installing your new web browser, restart your computer.Then install or re-install Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or higher.



Q:Do you have a link to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0?

A:Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 is included on the CD.To access it, click on the Index.html file and then click on the Acrobat button.


To load acrobat without using your web browser, Right click (not left click) on the "start button"


Click on "explore"


Find your CD drive.


Click on the CD drive.


Click on the "acrobat" folder.


Click on the "windows" folder


Click on the Acrobat executable file to load Acrobat Reader 6.0.



Q:Is there a web site somewhere that shows all the different Power Wheels gearboxes by number: 3,7 etc, or maybe a cross reference by part number?

A:In the Videos folder, there is a file called gearboxtech.xls that has a picture of the most popular gearboxes and pwgearratios.pdf that lists most of the gearboxes and their popular applications.

Note that some #3 gearboxes have a ď#2Ē embossed on them, but they are still considered a #3 gearbox.



Q:I am performing the Kill Switch Mod, Tech Topic #23 and I followed the chart #3 but the problem is I canít get the power wheels to power on.If I connect the middle Pedal wire back to where it goes, the Vehicle works normally

A:First, make sure the Relay you are using is truly a SPDT Relay.Radio Shack sells SPST relays with only 4 leads, but Auto part stores sell a SPST Relay with 5 leads that can easily be mistaken for the proper SPDT relay.Only a true SPDT relay should be used.

Next, make sure to go by the numbers marked on the relay and not the colors of the harness wires.Different harness vendors use different color wires

Note that If you wire the Relay Harness per Schematic #3 using the proper relay, the vehicle will work with only the red (87A) and blue (30) relay harness wires attached and none of any of the other wires hooked up.You actually have to power up the relay for the vehicle not to work.

Disconnect the power to the kill switch box. If the vehicle starts to work, the problem is likely with the box itself or the wiring of the kill switch box (or the 87 and 87A relay wires are switched).

If the vehicle still doesn't work, the problem is with the relay or the relay wiring.


Q:Tech Topic #8 shows the Titan 550 motors.Do you recommend these as a replacement for Firerock motors?

A:The Titan 550 and the All Electronics DCM-231 have similar specs, but the DCM-231 is 1/4th the price.The Factory Firerock motors (and most Super 6 volt motors) will also have similar specifications, so unless the current motors are burnt up, I would suggest keeping them until they do.


Q: I have a question on the Thermal Circuit Breaker and the Breaking Resistor. I am starting from scratch on my set-up no wiring harness. I need to find out what size the Breaking Resistor is, and the size and type of Thermal Circuit Breaker that is used in the separate break & gas set-up.

A:The Braking resistor is just a 5 Watt resistor.Any Ohms should do.You can probably get away without a resistor and just hooking the brake wire up without it.Most Power Wheels since about 2000 have omitted the separate braking resistor.


The Type II Thermal circuit breakers can be purchased at auto parts stores like Advance Auto for about $3.Most 12 Volt Power Wheels used 27 to 30 Amp breakers.The auto parts store should have sizes from 15 to 50 amps.


Q: I want to perform the High speed Motor mod.Should I go with the $3.50 DCM-231, 550 sized motor or the Robot Marketplace 700 series HTI for about the same price?

A:The choice here depends on the application.On pavement, the DCM-231 will be nearly twice as fast as the HTI motor.Off road, over rough terrain or snow, with a rubber tire conversion, the HTI motor would be the better choice, due to its superior torque and low end grunt.


Q:I have a Red Silverado and the right wheel works in high speed only.Neither wheel works in low speed or reverse.Where should I look?

A:Only one motor working in high speed indicates a motor or wiring problem on the bad side.

First check for a disconnected or broken motor lead or wire. Then jump 6 or 12 volts across the motor lead to see in the motor functions.

If the motor is bad, replace it per Tech Topic #8. If the motor does work, the problem could be internal in the high/low switch.Repair the switch per Quick Tech #5.


Q:Why doesnít the CD have Mods for the KFX or Adventure Quads?

A:The Adventure and KFX quads use what is known as a "turbo circuit" to control high and low speeds and lock out high speed reverse.The turbo circuit is a small PC board with two 10 Amp PCB relays soldered onto it.Any performance modification of your vehicle with require the replacement of this turbo circuit with real relays as this board is easily ďfriedĒ.

Turbo_circuit_board.pdf is a file that shows how to wire a replacement circuit with 30 Amp Relays that will allow 18 volt operation or the use of high speed motors.

Other mods like the key switch mod and remote kill switch can also be easily adapted to these vehicles.When we get one of these vehicles to mod, Iím sure we will be able to develop additional mods for them.


Q: Why donít you recommend 24 Volt operation?

A:We actually test all of the mods on the CD and we have had too many failures with 24 volts to recommend it.Itís true that it can be very fun, but the fun comes at the expense of burned up motors and broken gearboxes.

700 series motors, as a general rule, will tolerate 24 volts better than 550 sized motors, but both will last much longer on 18 volts than they will on 24 volts.


Q:What's your opinion on the E-Bay traction bands?I haven't looked but I am assuming there is a cheaper option readily available at the Home Depot.

A:I'm not a huge fan of traction bands on the driven wheels, especially with high speed motors or other speed modifications.Traction bands put tremendous stress on the gearboxes and can lead to gear stripping.Tires are generally available from Power Wheels, but you can no longer buy replacement gearboxes from Power Wheels, so I'd rather save the gearboxes than the tires.

Traction bands can help steering response on the front wheels and eliminate some of the understeer you get with fast Power Wheels so they have merit on the front tires.

Most Traction bands on E-bay are truck or farm tractor inner tubes, sliced into strips.We don't use them, so I have not written a tech topic on how to make them.I was going to buy a bunch of inner tubes for sizes, but decided it wasn't worth the effort, since I'm not big on them, anyway.


Q:For the Rubber Tire Conversion, Tech Topic #11, I understand the need for the 1.5 inch PVC slippage as not to stress on initial driving, but how does the PVC eventually grip and spin wheels and not just keep slipping (spinning).

A:If you split the PVC, you may have to remove additional material from the split line so that it will clamp the wheel hub tighter.

If slippage is still an issue, you can roughen the ID of the PVC or the OD of the hub to provide more friction.

If slippage still problem, a strip of bicycle inner tube rubber can be put in the slot and clamped in place.This will still allow a little slop in the driveline to reduce the shock.


Q:Have you found or have plans for a variable speed "gas pedal"?The all or nothing method just doesn't seem like the best way to go, but that's all that the stock units seem to offer.I've done a little research and found kits that allow you to control, via pulse width modulation, 3-50 volts but they're $40 and only allow for up 10amps.

A:We've been working off and on a variable speed mod for a couple years now.I've purchased and used a scooter/wheel chair motor control for less than $50 that is good for 480 Watts continuous @ 24 volts (20 Amps) with intermittent up to 1900 Watts (80 Amps) from electric scooter parts here: http://www.electricscooterparts.com/speedcontrollers.html

I've used it on the 4X4 Quad we built with a matching 5K Ohm twist throttle.I'm investigating building a pedal switch that uses a strip of metal that shorts out various resistors to vary the resistance of the signal wire, instead of using a potentiometer.This will likely need lots of work and testing, but there really isn't a readily available variable resistance device that will easily adapt to a Power Wheels pedal.

Right now, the nitrous button mods with a brake pedal, do a pretty good job allowing the child to vary the speed of the vehicle by letting it coast and giving it more gas when pointed straight.


Q:What is the resistor on the gas pedal for?Is the pedal a rheostat or switch?

A:The Resistor is for the Dynamic Brake and the gas pedal is a SPDT switch.

When the gas pedal is depressed, the switch sends 12V+ to the motors.When the switch is released, the motors are shorted to ground through the resistor.

There is a very small area of the switch between the throws that can be used to "coast" the vehicle.The brake pedal mod uses a second switch to control the dynamic brake.


Q:How about the 4WD mod?

A:I am very hesitant to put the 4wd mod on the CD, because the vehicle needs to be of a certain type (metal framed or very sturdy plastic framed vehicle, like an early Jeep or Bigfoot).Most vehicles are NOT compatible with 4wd or like quads, will crack and break in 1/2 from the stress.

Most people that buy my CD want to 1.) go faster 2.) buy cheap batteries, motors, tires, etc. to adapt them to Power Wheel.If somebody can weld and fabricate, they probably do not need me telling them how to make a Power Wheel 4wd.

I can give general advice about 4X4 operation, however:

1.) Run the motors on each axle in series.This will enable the vehicle to turn.

2.) Run higher Voltages like 24 or 36 volts because with the motors in series, the vehicle will run at about Ĺ speed.

3.) Avoid high traction tires, as they will put tremendous stress on the vehicle and child.

4.) Run a separate brake pedal.Lifting off the gas rapidly can result in a nose wheely when the dynamic brake locks up the front tires.



Q:I converted my Super 6 Volt Vehicle to 12 volts, but I do not have a 12 volt charger.Can I just use my 12 Volt Auto Battery charger?

A:Never use an automotive battery charger to charge a Power Wheel Battery.You can use a Trickle Charger that puts out no more than 2 Amps and shuts off automatically, but using an automotive battery charger (even one set on 2 Amps), is asking for a fire.

The New Power Wheels Quick chargers are EXCELLENT and worth the $30 they cost.They will charge a Power Wheels battery in only a couple hours and have an LED that lets you know when the batteries are ready to use AND it shuts off automatically when the battery is full.Look for them where Power Wheels are sold.


Q:Why canít I use a lawn mower battery?I have been using one for a year now and the vehicle runs great and has a ton of power

A:I donít recommend using a lawnmower battery for more reasons than I could possibly put into an answer.If you want to use a lawn mower starting battery, that is your prerogative, but I will never, ever recommend it to anyone.Iím not kidding, either.Never, Ever.

And I donít want people E-mailing me, saying ďyou were right, I used a Lawn Mower battery and _______ happenedĒ, because I know Iím right, you donít have to tell me.




Got a Question?††† E-mail me at Support@UNGN.net


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