Posted - 08/17/2010 : 11:28:12
| Thanks to the help of you guys my first mod to our Jeep Hurricane was to bump it up to 18 Volts last summer.
My 6-year-old loves the added speed! Actually he has to fight all the neighborhood kids for a chance to drive it with "Turbo" - as they call it. :)
I've seen several other Members asking "how to" questions related to this mod so wanted to post my info here for others to learn from.
This is a very simple mod with great results. We went from the 5 MPH (in high gear) with the stock 12 Volt battery to I'm guessing 7-10 MPH on a full charge with the new 18 Volt setup.
Here's what you need:
1. Stock 12v 9.5amp battery (http://www.fisher-price.com/us/powerwheels/product.aspx?pid=409) that came with the Hurricane. OR even better an upgraded 12v 12amp batter from Gruber (http://www.gruberpower.com/gruberpower/advertising/batteries/cutsheets/UPS-58-GPS-12-12f2.asp) (you'll have to make sure the new size fits - I used the stock one so not sure about fitment).
2. A 6v 12amp battery from Gruber (http://www.gruberpower.com/gruberpower/advertising/batteries/cutsheets/58-GPS-612.asp). Around $20 shipped.
3. 2 standard insulated bullet style splicers - male and female connectors in 14-16 gauge. Should be available at any hardware or auto parts store for around $3 for a 10 pack. Like these:
4. 2 standard insulated disconnects - female in 14-16 gauge. Should be available at any hardware or auto parts store for around $3 for a 10 pack. This will connect your wires to the new 6v. Like these: http://www.connectorsupply.com/catalog/images/female_fully_insulated_quick_disconnect_connectors.JPG
5. Wire cutters and pliers.
6. Dremel tool to cut a small portion of the body inside the battery tray to make room for both batteries.
7. You'll need a charger that can charge the new 6v battery. I picked up an inexpensive 1.5amp charger from my local auto parts store that you can charge both 6 and 12v batteries with. Like this: http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_SpeedCharge-1-5-Amp-Maintainer-Schumacher_17280006-P_N3014_A|GRP2005____
8. A foot or so of standard 14 gauge wire (or similar).
After you get all your parts and extra battery, test fit them in your battery compartment.
I found the easiest place to store them was to slide the stock 12v battery backwards to the rear of the Jeep and then turn the new 6v battery on its side and slide it down in front of the 12v.
Remove the stock battery holder thingy - two screws hold it down. There is a small ridge or hump at the bottom of the back of the battery compartment that I needed to spend about 2 minutes to Dremel off so that the stock 12v could slide backward like I wanted. Refer to photos below.
Cut your Negative (black) power wire that comes out of the Jeep about half way between where it exits into the battery compartment and the battery connector.
Install the insulated bullet connectors/splicers on these wires. Add a 6" or so length of additional wire to each of those ends with the correct connectors.
Refer to my photo below for my exact connections. My setup allows for quick and easy connects/disconnects and charging without having to shuffle or unplug a bunch of wires. Plus it's simple to reconnect so you can go back to the single stock 12v battery should you need to bypass the 6v.
I then added the necessary male/female connectors to my charger cables for charging.
Charge and then place both batteries in the compartment. Wire the 12v to the 6v in Series (not Parallel).
So,the Positive lead comes out of the car and plugs into the stock 12v/Battery 1 with the battery connector. The Negative of the stock 12v/Battery 1 comes out of it and goes to the Positive of the new 6v/Battery 2. Finally the Negative of the 6v/Battery 2 goes to the Negative lead that goes back into the car. See photo above for an example.
Also, Chopper has a great post and diagram here (its with a 3 battery setup but the same principle applies with just 2 batteries): http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=940.
Have your little one hop in and enjoy. Make sure they brace themselves - it's a head-jerker for sure! :)
A few things to note:
My wires get really hot and have melted some of my connectors a bit. I understand this is a indicator that I need to "upgrade my wiring" - something like 10 gauge instead of the stock 14 or so. To much current being drawn, and thus overheating my connections. That's on my "to do" list.
I charge my batteries individually. From my research you shouldn't charge batteries of different Voltage together. Sometimes I just use the Power Wheels charger for the 12v and the new charger for the 6v. Figure out what works best for your specific needs.
Anything more then 18v will quickly fry your gears and/or motor - so stick with 18v. Only do 24v if you plan to upgrade/replace other parts.
I'm still using the original PW 12v but 6 volt batteries only seems to last around 4-6 months for us. Again, they drive the hell out of this thing on a daily basis. Consider buying more then one if you plan on lots of use. For around $10 each (plus shipping) I look at them as sort of expendable - well worth the $10 every few months for how much he loves "Turbo".
I'm the furthest thing from an expert at any of this. Just posting what I've done and learned from my research on this site. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Edited by - fishhouse on 08/17/2010 11:55:17