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 FAQ - Do I need to upgrade my wiring?
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Senior Modder


1849 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2006 :  15:09:39  Show Profile
The biggest single indicator if you need to upgrade your wiring is if the wiring is getting hot. This means your PW is drawing more current than the stock wiring can handle, and hot wiring can lead to melted insulation, short circuits, melted connectors, burned children, and possible battery explosions if the circuit is not fused.

If the stock wiring is getting hot another benefit to upgrading the wiring is more current can be delivered to the motors, meaning more speed and power.

Normally with stock motors and gearboxes you will not need to upgrade the wiring. Once you start upgrading in these areas you will want to keep an eye on wiring temperatures.

While this is not a fun upgrade, it is defintitely worth while. The performance upgrade isn't as impressive as changing a motor or upgrading voltage but the safety factor cannot be measured especially when you consider it's your child at risk.

To upgrade the wiring, you will want to choose a 10 gauge wire with a high strand count. This will make the wire more flexible, as will a teflon jacket instead of standard insulation.

This 10 gauge wire is very flexible and easy to work with:

When replacing the wiring you have a few options to choose from when it comes to connectors. One method is to carefully pop the spade connectors out of the plastic housings (like on shifter connectors), then carefully pry open the spade connectors and remove the stock wiring. You can then crimp the new wire in with pliers and solder for a solid joint. The spade connector will then slide back into the plastic connector housing. The spade connectors with two wires connected are a challenge, but like I said this isn't exactly the most fun upgrade.

The second option is to crimp on new yellow barrel (10 gauge) spade connectors and plug them in individually into the switch. This method requires you to keep track of where each individual wire goes without the aid of the connector housing.

A third option is to solder the wire(s) directly to the switch spades. This option will give you the best and lowest resistance connection but will also be a huge pain if you ever have to replace a switch.

****Testing the limits of Fisher Price engineering on a daily basis.****



4067 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2007 :  10:14:50  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
Just a note about option #3.... It is relatively risky. The melting point of plastic is much lower then solder. Soldering to the tabs on a switch can get them hot enough to melt the plastic switch housing, which can allow the internal tabs to move enough that the switch no longer works.

Soldering wires to the motor is tempting to prevent them from coming off. But this can be an issue also, as the connection tab is usually mounted in plastic as an insulator.

Option #2, with new "tight" fitting connectors should provide good results, and should stay in place just fine.
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