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4067 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  08:18:30  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I try to keep the FAQ's to be info only. So, if you have a question, please post in another section. It's easy to add info to the FAQ's later. If you have a suggestion, put it here: Suggestions for the FAQ's

If you are unsure if your gearbox is bad, check out The Definitive "Troubleshooting" thread

For info about motors, this thread has links to a few threads about them:
FAQ - All about motors!

A couple important notes:
- It is NOT possible to buy individual gears for any ride-on.
- It is NOT possible to buy OEM motors or gearboxes for Power Wheels brand vehicles from authorized Power Wheels retailers or repair centers.

All info in this thread is a combined effort.
Gear ratios are from RuKnee, Grant, Chevytuner, TiddlerRacer, (maybe some indirectly from the Power wheels CD?), etc.

Power Wheels #3 gearboxes
#3 Geaboxes use standard 540/550 size motors

Gear ratios:
#3A - 111.4:1 (round driver - 32T final gear)
#3B - 121.9:1 (pentagon driver - 35T final gear)

These gearboxes are used in a LOT of vehicles, especially older ones.
#3A - Older Bigfoot's/F150's, Junior Jeeps (one wheel drive), Lamborghini's, Corvette's, etc.
#3B - Newer Bigfoot's/F150's, Quads (Kawasaki Ninja), Firerock's, Wild Thing, etc.

There are definitely some 12 volt models that use a #3 gearbox, but if it's 6 volt, it's most likely a #3 gearbox.
If it's a "Super 6" vehicle, it is definitely a #3 gearbox, and most likely a #3B.

Note that some have a "2" marked on them, but are called a #3 gearbox by Power Wheels.

They come with either a plastic "clip-on" pinion or a metal pressed-on pinion. They are 8 tooth pinions, but are NOT standard 32 pitch!

RC4WD pinions are 32 pitch, and therefore will NOT work.
According to Treebeme, these WILL work:

Here's a pic of the gearbox, compliments of Jamesonsdad:

Opened up, with a pentagon driver gearbox (#3B) on the left, and a round driver gearbox (#3A) on the right, compliments of yours truly :

The cases are the same for both styles. The last 2 gears are different for the 2 boxes, but can be interchanged into other boxes if kept together as a pair. The round driver gearbox last gear has 32 teeth, the pentagon driver gearbox has 35. The gear driving the last gear has 7 teeth in both, but is slightly smaller (different pitch) in the pentagon driver gearbox.

Here are the gears laid out:

There is also another older gearbox that is sometimes confused with a 3A gearbox, but it's quite different from the 3A gearbox. They are marked with a "3" on them, and are slightly larger than a 3A or 3B gearbox. These gearboxes were used on some of the older Lamborghini's, Corvette'ss and Metal Framed Bigfoot's, as well as the Lil Dodge Ram and Dream carriage.

The older "3" gearboxes use a different pinion gear than the 8T ones used on the 3A and 3B gearboxes. The gearboxes used on the Dodge Ram and Dream carriage came with a 13T pinion gear, but Taz11 has used a 10T 32 Pitch pinion gear on it without any issues.

The front of the old "3" gearbox, shown here on the left, has 3 holes for securing the front and back of the housing, where a 3A or 3B gearbox uses 4 screws from the rear. The shape of the old "3" gearbox also closely resembles that of the 12V 170W Peg Perego gearboxes

The stabilizer mount on the old "3" gearbox, on the left, is a single bar across the back, where the 3A and 3B has a split stabilizer mount.

The internal gears on the old "3" are slightly larger than the 3A.

Power Wheels #7 gearboxes
#7 gearboxes also use standard 540/550 size motors, though there are an additional set of holes in the gearboxes that should fit a 700 series motor.

They use pressed on metal pinions, and 32 pitch pinions are an acceptable replacement. Tower Hobbies or your local hobby shop will have 32 pitch pinions, just make sure you get the correct number of teeth.

Before you ask.... NO, you can NOT change the gearing by changing to a pinion with a different number of teeth, they won't mesh correctly unless you "try" to slot the holes. Good luck if you do it!

The number of teeth of the pinion effects the final gear ratio.
13T - 181:1
15T - 157:1
16T - 147.4:1
17T - 138:1
19T - 123.7:1
21T - 112.0:1

Application info (some is compliments of TiddlerRacer):
13T - Hurricane
15T - Grave Digger
16T - Unibody style Jeeps with 14" tires (Enforcer, Rescue, Limited Edition, etc) and Silverado's
17T - Barbie Dune Beetle, Monster Traction Kawasaki KFX
19T - Unibody style Jeeps with 11.5" tires, and the regular Kawasaki KFX
21T - All Harley models

Here's a pic of gearbox opened up and cleaned out (again, compliments of Jamesonsdad):

Here he is showing where the gearbox number is stamped into the casing:

Front (motor side)

Back (wheel side):

Power Wheels older gearboxes found on metal frame Jeeps.

A bit more info on different gearing is needed, but appears there are 12T, 13T, etc. versions.
The motors are 700 series.

They came in both white and black cases: (photo courtest of Jay)

They look very similar to the #3 gearboxes, but much larger. Here is a comparison picture:

Edited by - gseric69 on 12/12/2009 20:30:14

Senior Modder


1849 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  20:53:26  Show Profile
Concerning #7 style gearboxes...

The way PW regulates top speed to it's advertised 5 MPH (actually closer to 4 MPH) is to combine certain ratio gearboxes with specific diameter tires. For example the Grave Digger has one of the largest tires PW makes, so it utilizes a 15T gearbox in order to regulate top speed to 5 MPH. Any #7 gearbox with a higher tooth count pinion will give the Grave Digger greater top speed. For example a 17T or 19T gearbox would give the Grave Digger a boost in top speed (the 19T more so than the 17T) but the load on the electrical system is much greater due to less mechanical advantage (torque) via gearing. Wiring will be warmer and battery life will be shorter as well. Be realistic about your child's weight and the terrain the vehicle it will be run on before swapping gearboxes. Stepping up too far in gearbox ratio will kill torque and overload the electrical system.

All gears in the gearbox are interchangeable with other #7 gearboxes, regardless of pinion count. What this means is if you swap your #7, 16T gearboxes for a set of #7, 19T gearboxes to get more speed, don't be so quick to sell off your 16T gearboxes. If you break a gear in the 19T, simply open it up, remove the busted gear, and swap it fro the same gear in the 16T gearbox. This applies to the 15T, 16T, 17T, 19T, and 21T gearboxes.

The only catch is in some 16T, 19T and 21T gearboxes, the tooth count is different for the last two gears. So if you break the final output gear on a gearbox where the last two gears are 12 teeth and 38 teeth, respectively, and your spare gearbox has the final two gears being a 17 tooth and 54 tooth gears, respectively - simply swap out the last two in the "bad" gearbox for the last two in the "good" gearbox. Although the tooth count differs, ratio wise they are pretty much identical and will cause no difference in the overall gearing.

Edited by - gseric69 on 01/28/2010 17:00:55
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just north of austin

4796 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2007 :  13:33:01  Show Profile
Alot of questions have been asked about what gearbox will fit where. so i will start off with what i know and maybe we can go from here. pics are a welcome thing since most people are very visual.

I think the #3b pw gb and the 12V 170 Watt Peg Perego Gearbox Motor Assy are very close to the same thing, minus the spaces in the drive gear. the peg uses a 10 tooth pinion and the pw uses an 8 tooth. final drive ratio for the pw #3b is 121.9 and the peg is 122.75. not enough to make a difference.

This is the peg box:

71.99 KB

This is the power wheels #3b box with a pentagon drive gear:

28.45 KB

This is the gearbox that is in a good portion of peg perego ride ons excluding the goucho grande and newer jd gaters and tractors:

There is one more it looks the same but has a blue drive gear:

All three of these gearboxes have the same bottom 2 gears in them(that i have found) and are interchangable. the differnce is in the top gear(the one that connects with the motor pinion) that will have either a 52 tooth count or a 53 tooth count. this throws a curve in it because the motors can have either a smaller 10 tooth pinion (like the red or yellow just a hair smaller):

Or a 9 tooth pinion:

52 tooth 1st gear with a 10 tooth pinion gear ratio is---110 to 1
53 tooth 1st gear with a 10 tooth pinion gear ratio is---112 to 1
53 tooth 1st gear with a 9 tooth pinion gear ratio is---122.75 to 1

Peg Perego Gaucho Grande gearbox:

As far as i know there is only one option for these.
100 tooth 1st gear with a 15 tooth pinion gear ratio is---134 to 1

Peg Perego Super Power Gaucho gearbox:

Courtesy of budule. this has a scooter motor/controller setup with infinitely adjustable speed up to 7.5 mph. I dont know the ratio. the smaller motor in the middle of the 2 bigger motors is the standard 550 series motor that runs just about all ride on toys today. Yes, the super power motor are that big.

And a couple side by side shots with the Super Power Gaucho gearbox next to a Gaucho Grande gearbox (with a 700 series motor) and a Power Wheels #7 gearbox (with a 550 motor).

Little Tikes "hummer" gearbox and wheel driver:

72 tooth 1st gear with a 19 tooth pinion gear ratio is---123.3 to 1

This is a Power Wheels old style box, commonly referred to as a Metal Frame Jeep Geabox (MF Gearbox) or a #4 gearbox, that looks like large #3. You can see how they marked the pinion size:

56 tooth 1st gear with a 13 tooth pinion gear ratio is---129.3 to 1



old on left, newer #3 on right. you can see how much larger the old style is.

the old style also uses the bigger 700 series motors

the new style wheel driver will work with this gearbox.

Edited by - gseric69 on 12/12/2009 20:28:01
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4067 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2008 :  13:10:36  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I saw some really nice pics of some Safety First gearboxes by PeskeyX4, so I figured I'd post them here also....

Edited by - swhenrik on 05/01/2008 13:30:55
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just north of austin

4796 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2008 :  18:11:47  Show Profile
Greasing the gearbox

i dont know if there is a recomeneded grease but the grease that is in the gearboxes from the factory has a kind of wax in it too for stickyness( if i can remember what tiddler said), i use a really thick axle grease to redo mine, but you need to be careful that if you mix the two greases that they do not react with each other. i know that some kinds of grease dont do well to gether, meaning that it will make a kind of paste or glue instead of being lubricative (is that a word?)

maybe tiddler will impart with some of his knowledge.

i put it on all the big gear teeth, not the small ones(i figure they will get all they need when they make contact with the big teeth) and just a tad on the inner race of the gear itself.

i try to redistribute the grease thats in there and if the box has good grease i take it out and store it aside. then i clean the whole box and see if there is enough grease to go around, if not then i use the axle grease for both boxes and save the other grease for another gearbox. so far i have had no failure due to grease, that i can prove.

Edited by - swhenrik on 05/01/2008 13:30:24
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just north of austin

4796 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 :  17:22:58  Show Profile
the question was brought up as to why you cant swap pinions in a #7 gearbox case. for example you cant put a 21t pinion in a 17t gearbox, it will destroy the first gear in the box. here is why in a round about way. hope you can follow it.

originally posted by DKPW

I am replacing my burtn up 550 motors on my kids barbie jeep with a pair of 700's I found a place that sells 32p, 19t pinions that will fit the shaft. My question is in The Definitive "Gearbox" thread it says that I can not upgrade to a 21t pinion unless I try to slot the holes. what exactly is this refering to?

If this is unreasonable what would I have to do to put a 21t pinion in the gearbox?. I have access to the pinion I just need to know why it will not work..

my response:

interesting, i had thought that it would have been a little more in detaile about this, but i guess not.

originaly posted by swhenrik--1st post on #7 gearboxes

Before you ask.... NO, you can NOT change the gearing by changing to a pinion with a different number of teeth, they won't mesh correctly unless you "try" to slot the holes. Good luck if you do it!

i think this is what your referring to.

also see this
originaly posted by TiddlerRacer--2nd post down 2nd paragraph

All gears in the gearbox are interchangeable with other #7 gearboxes, regardless of pinion count. What this means is if you swap your #7, 16T gearboxes for a set of #7, 19T gearboxes to get more speed, don't be so quick to sell off your 16T gearboxes. If you break a gear in the 19T, simply open it up, remove the busted gear, and swap it fro the same gear in the 16T gearbox. This applies to the 15T, 16T, 17T, 19T, and 21T gearboxes.

with the two together it means that the gearboxes and gears are the same for any gearset/gearbox that power wheels uses in the #7 gearbox, but, the holes that are used to secure the motor in place change positions according to what pinion is used, hence the need to mark the gearbox with a designation of 13,14,15,16,17,19,21...

if you imagine a line, just a line, with 16t gearbox being the center(just for demonstration) and the motormount holes being equalally spaced on either side of that line 1mm away from the line. then the next size gearbox (17t in this case) have the motormount holes moved to the left 1mm to offset the slightly bigger pinnion that is on the motor. so now the line is still center but the left hole is now touching the line and the right hole is now 2mm away from the line. the same goes in reverse for the smaller size pinnions. a 15t gearbox would be left of the hole, the right hole is touching the line and the left hole is 2mm away from the line. now i dont know if the holes move a mm or not i was just saying that for example purposes.

so the offset is not very much but its just enough to make the gears eat each other if the tolerences are off just enough.

hope this makes sense and i didnt cofuse you more.

"free is always better"

Edited by - gameboy on 01/27/2009 17:29:25
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Red Lion

6315 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2009 :  06:17:11  Show Profile  Visit gseric69's Homepage
Thanks to Taz11, we now have a great description and some good pictures of the Gaucho Hi-Torque gearbox made by Peg Perego. This is a very unique gearbox that maintains 12V to the motors and shifts the internal gears for high, low and reverse.

This gear box is huge and features a 700 series motor with a 15t pinion gear. The odd looking part that sticks out the side is part of a rack and pinion set up that connects to the gear shift handle.

Here is a parts breakdown. The small spring loaded tabs lock into the notches on the inside of the 3 gears, depending on which gear has been selected. The tabs slide in the drum-like piece.

Here is a closeup of the spring loaded tabs. The shaft slides in and out to lock the pins into one of three gears. The shaft is also the spindle for the gear to rotate on.

This is the drum, the three gears rotate on this. One gear at a time is locked to it via the pins/tabs that slide in the slot.

To explain it further, gear #1 is part of the drum. When the shifter is all the way in, gear #1 is locked to gear #2. The other two float on the drum. In the middle position, gear #1 is locked to gear #3. When the shifter is out, gear #1 is locked to gear #4. This gives you 3 speeds.

This is the power flow in high gear. Drive ratio 151.8:1

34.98 KB

This is the power flow in low gear. Drive ratio 252.5:1

This is the power flow in reverse. The additional idler gear makes the final drive rotate in the opposite direction. Drive ratio 292.4:1

Edited by - gseric69 on 12/12/2009 20:23:41
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