Upgrading a Power Wheels with an Electric Speed Controller

The Power Wheels F150 is a somewhat expensive vehicle for kids, especially if you consider the various upgrades it has. It’s also a halfway competent little electric property truck, with a real throttle and brake pedal. The East Coast PowerUp DIY ESC Kit is basically a total conversion kit for the chassis and motors.  The only electronics retained are the motors. Syonyk’s Project Blog writes:

There’s no good justification for this sort of project.  It’s entirely a “Because I can!” project that takes a perfectly functional kids’ electric truck, makes it mildly nicer, more complex to drive, more real-car-like, and involves spending more money than I’ve spent on quite a few full sized cars.
Between this kit and the large lithium pack I built for her truck, it’s far from the cheap $20 find I got it for – and I don’t care.  It’s fun, she likes it, and she’s learning that you can fix, improve, and upgrade things to make something rough around the edges an awful lot nicer.  By the time she outgrows it, her brother will be able to drive it, and if it survives him (which is actually an open question at this point), I’ll probably sell it to someone else.
The kit estimates 4-6 hours of time to get it installed, and that’s actually accurate.  There’s a lot of little bits and pieces to cut, crimp, and assemble.  If you enjoy this sort of thing, it’s relaxing enough.  If the thought of a spool of wire and a bunch of crimp ends terrifies you, this isn’t a project for you.  Maybe pay for the pre-built option, but that’s twice the cost and still requires a bit of wiring.
See the details of the modification and the results in the blog post.


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