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swhenrik
Moderator



Pengilly
MN
USA

4067 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2007 :  08:22:54  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I can't comment on long term reliability, we haven't had ours long enough to know. But there are a few things I want to mention.

The frame is a major part of the ATV. It is very well built, welds all look great, seems very heavy duty.

The tires and wheels are just tires and wheels.... typically not a problem area. They are a standard size sold everywhere (used on a LOT of wagons with air filled tires), so finding replacements in the future is easy. The aluminum wheels are nice, but are relatively expensive to replace, close to $30 a wheel!

The motor and electronic controls are the same as, or very similar to, readily available electric scooter parts. www.tncscooters.com has parts that will bolt up/plug in, for very cheap. Finding the exact electronic speed control might be an issue, if you care about retaining all the "features" (reverse, high/low speed key select, etc). But others will go in their place, or possibly you could buy a replacement from Mongoose/pacific cycle in the future.

The chain and sprockets are things that can and will wear out. All chains in the world follow some standard, so finding a matching replacement shouldn't be a problem. The chain from the motor to the jackshaft will be the most difficult to find, as it's a double wide chain, but the rear one will be readily available, I believe a simple #25 or #40 chain.

The suspension components seem to be of good quality. And if you have issues with them in the future, I assume they are standard mountain bike parts.

Other possible wear areas look very well built. The tie rods are big and heavy duty looking. I wouldn't worry about them, and if you get enough miles to wear them out, you should be able to find something to substitute in their place.

The batteries are also standard scooter batteries, 12 volt 12 amp hour size, which are available by clicking on the Gruber link at the top of this page. Battery life is typically 2 years and they need to be replaced.... that has nothing to do with who made them. Taking care of them will make them last longer.... charge after EVERY ride, charge once a month when not being used, etc.

Side note: Having 2 sets of batteries, and swapping them when one goes dead, isn't real feesible. It takes a while to change them. The instructions suggest removing 4 bolts to get the handlebars loose, then 6 bolts to get the plastic up, and then you can get at the batteries. I found it easier to push both upwards, turn one and drop it through the bottom, then turn the other and drop it out. Either way, it's NOT a quick change.

As far as actual run time goes... it will vary depending on how it's used more then anything. I don't see any reason for not getting at least the run time they advertise.

Charging time.... The charger is rated for 0.1 to 2.0 amps. With 12 amp hour batteries, that means 6 hours for a full charge from completely dead batteries. For normal running, charge time depends on how long it has been run. The terms "electric powered" and "all day ride" don't go together. That's why they make gas powered vehicles.

The customer service, the 2 times I called, was very good. I gave them a list of parts that were damaged or lost in shipment, and I had replacements at my door 3 days later.

It is definitely small! My 2.5 year old looks perfect on it, though his skills are still a bit short for running in "high" speed. I'm sure he'll get a couple years out of it, but I'm also sure he'll be on a gas powered fourwheeler long before he is 6. This one is intended to fill the gap, provide some learning, and as a hand-me-down when his 1 year old sister is ready to ride.

Keep in mind, it is HEAVY. Not a great stunt machine (though luderchris's son makes it look easy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOKl92LGh6k)

Other threads of interest:
http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3130
http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3387

luderchris
Apprentice Modder




50 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2007 :  10:08:41  Show Profile
I 2nd everything that swhenrik said. My son is 4 and loves his Mongoose. It is a bit on the small side -- I will be getting a gas powered ATV within the next year for him and this will go to his brother (2 years younger). I fully expext this Mongoose to hold together for my third son (to be born in February) when he is ready for it. It is well built -- pretty heavy duty. Try to find it on sale on Amazon -- we got it for a little over $200 shipped to our door. For that price it is a bargain. I would have bought it for anything under $300--maybe $350.

And, oh yeah, my son was riding it on 2 wheels and doing tricks within a week or so of getting it. I think that is the advantage of the smaller size -- easier to handle.

Edited by - swhenrik on 03/25/2008 06:51:53
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  12:59:10  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I don't have any video uploaded yet, but I do have some pics:










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Alero
Journeyman Modder

Dallas
TX
USA

259 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2007 :  22:57:42  Show Profile
They've changed the wheels on them! Ours have white steel wheels. Looks like they come with aluminum mags now. Nice! :)

It's more fun when you can do it for free!
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colinandmylesmom
Senior Modder



USA



2351 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2007 :  12:17:29  Show Profile
He's looking good on it! I can't wait till next August when Colin gets his for his 3rd birthday! He should be able to ride it really well by then since your son is only 2.5 and can handle it.

And we were surprised yesterday when Colin needed no assistance from us to ride his Sport Tracker Quad (12V now, 6mph+), he was doing figure 8's and running over pop cans, aiming right for them and hitting them 75% of the time.

Edited by - swhenrik on 03/25/2008 06:52:59
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2007 :  22:17:25  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I didn't even notice the replies here til now...

Yep, the wheels were somewhat of a surprise, the pic on Amazon I was thinking showed steel wheels, the manual shows steel wheels, our wagon with the same tires has steel wheels, etc. And I'm glad I didn't have to pay for them, $30 a pop for them is crazy! One was cracked when we got it, hopefully it won't happen from riding!

Yes, our son does well on the Dirt Grinder... I think the fact that he is used to variable speed (Jeep and Bigfoot) helped.

One thing that might be an issue... I put the whip antenna on... and it proceded to ALMOST whip my son in the face when going under a tree! So, it may not stay on.
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Alero
Journeyman Modder

Dallas
TX
USA

259 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  09:45:03  Show Profile
Does TNC have a motor for it?

We broke our motor last fall (shaft sheared in half) and I put an old 260w scooter motor in it. I had to remove the windings from the housing and install them backwards to make the bolt holes line up in a way that put the motor sprocket out far enough for the chain to line up.

the problem is that now we're just running a single scooter chain because no motor I can find fits that weird double sprocket.

If you find the correct motor from TNC, please tell us the part number! I belive you can get one from the Mongoose people but it's almost 100 bucks for a $20 scooter motor. No thanks!

It's more fun when you can do it for free!
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  09:54:06  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
I never looked for a motor, I just assumed it followed the standard.

The sprocket doesn't fit other motors? That seems odd. You did get it off and try it? Is the motor shaft too short? Can you get measurements? Maybe an email/call to TNC scooters with dimensions will help find a suitable replacement?

Did you get any numbers off the motor? A google search of the part number might show some options. I remember seeing a number, but I don't remember what it was. The 250 watt motor on TNC is MY1016, seems the number on the Dirt Grinder is similar.

You got a price of $100 from Mongoose? Ouch! That's almost 1/2 of what we paid for the whole fourwheeler!

I assume you've had yours way too long to think about warranty? I don't remember what the warranty period is, maybe one of use can get it covered for you.

And now I must ask... how did the motor shaft break?

An idea.... start a new thread for this so we can do the "discussion" seperate from the review. I'll delete these replies and put a link to that thread from here.

Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho

Edited by - swhenrik on 04/02/2008 09:59:54
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Alero
Journeyman Modder

Dallas
TX
USA

259 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2008 :  11:05:54  Show Profile
I think it broke because a kid was on it and was shifting from forward to reverse and back at speed. I didn't see it happen, but I assume that's the case. Never let other kids ride your toys out of sight because they don't care about them and will try to break them!

Anyway, the motor is a 350w MY1016. But MY1016 refers to the housing and windings I believe. It's got nothing to do with the shaft. I have another MY1016 on my shelf-o-parts, but it's not even close to the same. I've built dozens of scooters in my garage and have never seen a similar shaft that will hold that little double sprocket.

TNC told me they can probably find one if I send them some pics of it. I might even have the old motor/shaft to send. I just never got around to it because it's working allright for now.

Plus, I have an 800w controller (with reverse!) and motor the garage that's just itching to get installed when my son gets just a bit older. :)

It's more fun when you can do it for free!
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2008 :  15:20:55  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
That's odd that it broke like that. There's a huge delay when switching directions... Although I suppose something could have changed.... that, and if someone REALLY wants to break something, they'll find a way!

So the "standard" number doesn't nail down "all" the dimensions? That sucks! Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but do tell if you figure something out.

800 watts does sound like a nice upgrade. Though I'd worry about the chassis being too small (short and narrow) to handle well at higher speeds.

Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho
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colinandmylesmom
Senior Modder



USA



2351 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  19:40:44  Show Profile
Just curious how yours is still holding up, we've decided to wait till Christmas to give Colin his now since he's getting a Gaucho for his birthday.



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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2008 :  15:17:53  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
Ours is holding up pretty good. My son puts a LOT of miles on it, drives it more then all the other PW's combined. My daughter learned to drive a fourwheeler a bit later then my son, she was about 22 months. But a week later she was also driving the Dirt Grinder. She is really good at controlling it, she never goes full throttle. But it's also an easy throttle to control.

When I got it, there were some broken parts, including the headlight. The new one didn't work very long and started acting up. There is a white, red, and blue strobe inside. The white is the brightest, and was first to quit working. The blue gave out shortly after, and the red only flashes occasionally.

There's a little slop in the front end. One tie-rod end had the nut get loose, but not come off. I tightened it and all was good. Also one of the steering pivots has a bit of slop, but isn't bad and doesn't effect driveability.

The brakes don't work.... I adjusted them up and within a few minutes of riding they needed adjusting again. My son can't even reach the brake lever, but I still wish they worked when he does need them.

Everything else is working VERY good.

My wife is still rubbing it in that I didn't just order 2. I wish I had, as they don't seem to be even making them anymore.

Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho

Edited by - swhenrik on 08/07/2008 15:18:39
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greatdane
Expert Modder

Northwest
IN
USA

737 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2008 :  10:16:42  Show Profile
Swhenrik,

I did buy 2, but both are out of comission with problems. (though my lights and horn work fine)

1-controller went bad, kept going even though the throttle was not turned, luckily an older kid was on it and was able to get it stopped while avoiding trees in the backyard. Controller no longer works and not available from Pacific Cycle ( I tried to wait it out, but still not avail. New controler on order at TNC). Most all bolts have been replaced due to stripping.

2-Dirt grinder does not go across hills well. Quad rolled sideways down the hill, battery strap not sufficient to hold them down, letting them move around, ripping out wires and breaking the fuse.

Overall, I'm not too thrilled with the quality/performance of these, or the lack of available parts, though I do like the reverse feature that the razor quad does not have.



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RadDad
New Member




8 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2008 :  13:25:48  Show Profile
GreatDane- Pacific Cycle does currently have the speed controllers if you still need one- I had one shipped from them a few weeks back. They said they had plenty in stock.

They may have told you they had none because each of the 4 "versions" of the Dirt Grinder has a separate parts list. If you call, tell them you have the 4th version. If they ask specific questions, tell them you have the silver rims and the parking brake.

Hope this helps!


PW Green Jeep Special Edition
PW Yellow Jeep Sandblaster
Mongoose Dirt Grinder 24v ATV
Minimoto 36v ATV
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greatdane
Expert Modder

Northwest
IN
USA

737 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2008 :  11:00:08  Show Profile
Thanks for the info.

That's the one I have. Crap, In stock now? that's just my luck-good to info for others though.

Well, my quad has been completely rewired to use a standard controller with reverse-I was not going to wait any longer. There is no turning back now.



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gameboy
Moderator

just north of austin
tx
USA



4796 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2008 :  13:19:35  Show Profile
i just ordered one today. talked to scott and he said that all the controllers were the same. the changed some cosmetic stuff with the different revisions, but the controllers were the same.

should be here in 3-7 days. 41.69 to my door. 78641 zip.
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junior1976
New Member




1 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2010 :  15:50:15  Show Profile
i just purchased a dirt grinder from someone and need some insight on two problems. i only get low speed and no reverse. i have four loose wires. two for the speed lock and two for a remote (at least thats what the wiring diagram says). i figured out that the reverse switch is just a set of contacts and works properly. when i switch to reverse, the box clicks and the wheels crawl in reverse with no load. as far as the speed. the speed key lock feel off and all off the loose connections were broken. i thought i could just by pass the switch but i only get low speed. please help
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