People throw away the best stuff. Take this gem of a find: a Power Wheelz Harley Deluxe in perfect working order, aside from a fizzled battery and a missing charger. My kids were delighted as soon as they saw it, but I'd already started making plans for it! For one thing, I needed to get it running again. But more difficult would be restoring its looks to some semblance of its former glory - lots of chrome and sparkle paint mainly.

Some sanding and a few cans of spray paint later, this is the result: a badass hog that anyone would be proud to own!

Step 1: Find Something to Paint

Picture of Find Something to Paint
A few years ago I wrote an Instructable on how to renew old children's toys. I suppose a lot of the methods used there are similar to what I'm doing here. Namely, find something cheap, clean it, mask it, and paint it. I'll go into some specifics here, focusing on ride-on toys like the Harley.

As I said in the previous step, I found this little gem in the trash on garbage day. It's likely someone else would have picked it up if I hadn't gotten there first - there are guys who drive around in pickup trucks scooping up anything of value before the garbage trucks arrive. So, definitely a lucky find! Keep your eyes peeled.

If you're having trouble finding anything of value, check out Kijiji or craigslist for something good. Remember, the appearance can be dirty and faded. All that matters is that the plastic shell is intact and the electronics aren't fried. You can probably find something used for less than 50 bucks.

Speaking of electronics, they're pretty simple. the Harley's electronics consisted of a 3x3 inch board stuffed with relays. If the electronics don't work, you should be able to fix them without too much effort. I needed to replace the battery on the Harley, which tends to cost between $35- $50 for a new battery. eBay is the best place for them. I also picked up a new charger at the same time.
DanT410 months ago

Use Spaz Stix paint next time.

pls-write2 years ago
your kids are ADORABLE :)
rbarron3 years ago
Great 'ible! I picked up a pink power wheels HD on CL for $70 and the thing is in great shape, but my boy wants it black like my Road King.

And here's how to do it! Awesome!
rbarron rbarron3 years ago
Okay... I've started the project. I managed to get the ENTIRE bike apart (including the Power Wheels emblems). Of course my boy is asking me every 5 minutes, "Is it done yet, Daddy?"

Pics attached, more as I go!
photo.JPGphoto (2).JPG
jeff-o (author)  rbarron3 years ago
Nice find! Yep, a can or two of Krylon Fusion paint will turn that into a boy's bike in no time. Make sure you take plenty of pictures and post them here when you're done!
Robot Lover3 years ago
When I was a kid I had one these. It was really fun! Great work! I wish I could have done this when I was young!
Kozz4 years ago
*sniff-sniff* I smell a featured Instructables article!
Jeff, that's an incredible job. What lucky kids! If I were to take on a project like that, I think I'd be too afraid that if I weren't able to restore the toy to working order, then my young kids would never let me live it down. ;)

I can't say I know much about painting, but can you tell me the benefits of wet-sanding vs dry, and when it's appropriate? Thanks!
jeff-o (author)  Kozz4 years ago
It has already been featured! ;)

If you're concerned about putting something together again, you could either take lots of photos as you take it apart, or mask everything carefully and paint it without removing any parts.

Wet sanding is useful for sanding surfaces that would quickly clog the fine grit sandpaper, specifically plastic, metal and other waterproof surfaces. The water acts as a lubricant, preventing the sandpaper from clogging.
hmrk4 years ago
jeff-o (author)  hmrk4 years ago
Ha, like it? Ironically, when we went to the Harley Davidson store to buy the decals for the gas tank, they had one there that was painted in almost exactly the same way!
mr.frob4 years ago
awesome find. and great job on the restoration!
jeff-o (author)  mr.frob4 years ago
mrlunna134 years ago
You can remove sticker or tape residue, with rubbing alcohol, and a microfiber towel. I removes it very well, and will not scratch plastic.
jeff-o (author)  mrlunna134 years ago
Good to know! The residue in this case still seemed to have some plastic attached to it, as if it were separate from the metallic foil layer of the decal. I'll definitely remember that trick.
ledartist4 years ago
Oh, I see you've been busy... What a great restoration job!
Your kids are the luckiest!

jeff-o (author)  ledartist4 years ago
Thanks! I'm pleased with how it turned out. I've already started working on a used pedal car my wife found for sale. Sparkle red this time. ;)
janw4 years ago
So cute! Especially the tiny wheely she does when she starts to drive ;)
jeff-o (author)  janw4 years ago
Yep, it has quite a kick, especially if you're holding down the turbo button!