Introduction: Childs Electric Car
This is another one of those projects where I wish I had taken pictures as I went along. The original plans came from http://www.realifetoys.com/ where they have a selection of parts, plans and information available.
A friend at work made the Land Rover Series 1 in perfect detail for his kids and he had some parts left over. I had them off him and had a look at the plans to see what I could make with them.
You basically use 9mm MDF and cut out the panels, use glue, nails, screws and anything you can get your hands on to stick everything together. Then use body filler and the normal procedure to blend all of the bodywork.
I purchased an old 50cc quad bike and a 4 wheel electric mobility scooter from my favourite haunt eBay :) Then it was a case of remove the electronics from the scooter, strip the quad and cut / weld all of the bits together to fit the new wheel base. To make my life a bit easier I made a ladder frame from some steel U section, fitted the drive gear to that then bolted that to the base of the car. This also stiffened up the chassis.
I used an old vacuum cleaner pipe for the exhaust, and the original seat from the mobility scooter instead of the bench seat that these things have, then I moved the steering wheel and the to the centre as well. All of the electrics including the charging circuitry were transplanted from the mobility scooter and fitted below the seat. The car basically has two peddles, one for forward and one for reverse. I made it so the reverse is only half the speed of forward for safety reasons. To brake you simply take your foot off the peddle and the motor brake does the rest. So in order to move it manually I added a leaver to disengage the motor brake.
Another cautionary thing I did was cover the base with standard car under seal, as my son used to take it over the fields and it would always come back coated in mud. And we all know what happens when MDF and water get together!
I made the back so I could open it and fitted a charging socket in there, to charge it I simply open the door and plug a 230V kettle plug in. under the dash is a variable resistor that controls the maximum speed. This is important because by using the 50cc quad wheels you are increasing the ratio and thus increasing the speed. It also turns out that there is a legal limit of around 6km/h and this “can” do around 15 Mph!
That is quick enough for most kids!
I purchased some trailer lights and fitted some LED’s to a piece of breadboard, then hot glued them together. The car has working indicators, using the original circuitry from the scooter, head lights (more LED’s on a breadboard behind plexi glass) side repeaters, (yet more LED’s in trailer lights) and two Blue cold cathode tubes fitted underneath. A bit of bling for my son!