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Old 06-16-2003, 02:12 PM
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Whacko Idea! Need transmission

As if I don't already have enough projects, I thought it may be cool to modify and customize a Radio Flyer tricycle for my son who is now 1.5 years old.

I'm going to start by extending the frame, fabricate new handlebars, attempt to form a new fender out of metal, maybe even throw in a nice rake...and of course put a better paint job on it.

IN the process of tossing around ideas, my buddy suggested putting a weed-wacker motor in this thing. Of course not yet, because my son is much too young for anything wild...but in due time. I figured it MIGHT NOT be a bad idea, because I always thought those Toys-R-Us Jeeps with the electric motors really sucked, to say the least....

So the idea is being tossed around, BUT, I have no idea what to do about a transmission for this thing. Perhaps a riding lawnmower tranny?

Any ideas folks? Any additional input?

Rest assured, it'll be awhile before this comes together, so don't worry about reading in the paper that some lunatic let his 2 year old drive a motorized tricycle....

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Old 06-16-2003, 08:56 PM
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A light duty go-cart clutch should do the trick for ya. If it's a little one, it shouldn't have too much inertia for the weed wacker motor to overcome.

I can just see an 8yr old kid riding a motorized tricycle now......
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:15 PM
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i would use a 5hp upright motor and a go-cart clutch.
you can probably use the existing rear sproket. you would have to build an adjustable engine platform and a chain cut to length but it should be very easy and with the 5hp engine you can always add more power later. you can also use the original brakes to stop it too.

ever go to garage sales? i find old edgers and ***** like that for about $5 or $10 all of the time.

i was going to do this a while back but sold the bike. keep us informed. akm
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:58 PM
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Old 06-21-2003, 02:17 PM
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I always thought those Toys-R-Us Jeeps with the electric motors really sucked, to say the least....
My oldest son has a electric car (it does 5 MPH) and all 3 of my kids love it, with liability and the importance of the safety of your kids I wouldn't consider building a contraption. Once they are older I say go for it but while they are in the tricycle stage stick to a consumer product. Little fingers don't know about pinch points remember.

The car itself is quite durable and runs for a good 1/2 hour on high speed before needing charging, heck he even pulls a wagon with the other two kids inside around my yard through the grass and uphill with only a little difficulty. The main thing to get across is how to drive and how to operate the little vehicle around other little kids, simple acts of vehicle control and manouvering are what they need to learn at this point of their young life.

I keep it in good condition and taught them to make sure they plug it in to charge after each use and so far it looks like it will suffice for another two kids. I am confident I could sell it later and get some value back. The model I choose was the dune buggy version because they all use the same gearbox/motor combination and the buggy had the largest driving wheels for a higher top speed. It stops immediately when your foot is off the throttle and the little shifter has a parental lockout so beginners can only select low speed and reverse if they are just learning.

I was sceptical when I bought it and assembled it but it has been perfectly reliable and shows no signs of wear or even slowing down, I have been satisfied with the build quality (it's plastic so it is very flexible)...and my 5 year old ramps the driveway entrance regularly with the front wheels off the ground! Best part is it does nice slideouts when you lift the thottle on sand or gravel covered pavement. Spins them on take-off too! I have yet to find any stress cracks or any other problems other than a screw tightening every now and then.

Now that my oldest is 6 I will build him a real go-cart with a 5 HP Briggs so I can prepare him for real race carts when he turns 8 (You have to be 8 to compete in Canada). The little electric has served it purpose well and worn my lawn in a figure eight pattern around my trees. For less than $250 CDN I couldn't be more satisfied with the product or the experience they have earned driving it.

Save the serious speed for when they are older, only Dad wants/needs something faster.

“She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.”

— Han Solo
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:51 PM
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Why not get a store bought electric car and rework the body? I saw where a guy took a "worthless" 53 Ford and modified it to fit on his golf cart! It looks a little strange from the sides, but the front and rear views are spot on!
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