Repair Your FisherPrice Cradle Swing

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Introduction: Repair Your FisherPrice Cradle Swing

Do you have a Fisher Price cradle swing with a dead motor?
Do you want to spend $9 instead of $50+ dollars to repair it?
Even better, do you have a working Air Wick Freshmatic (or Freshmatic Express) air  freshener laying around?

If you answered yes to those questions, then read up, cause I'll tell you how to replace the main motor in your swing with the motor from the air freshener... cause they are THE SAME!

Besides the above items you will need:
1x Small flathead screwdriver
1x Small Phillips screwdriver
1x Medium Phillips screwdriver
1x Soldering gun + solder
1x Wire strippers/cutter
Some electrical tape, or if you wanna be fancy, heat shrink tubing.


Step 1: Rip Apart Your Air Freshener

Did you run out and buy the air freshener or have one laying around? Sweet, you are good to go.

1. Open it up, I used an old one laying around, so I pulled out the batteries and can, if it's new, you may be able to skip this step.
2. Get a small flathead screwdriver and remove the 2 triangular screws in Pic 2.
3. Using a Phillips, remove the 3 screws in Pic 3. The 2 large gears slide off their posts easily, using a flathead screwdriver, pry the small gear off the shaft of the motor.
4. Remove the 2 screws in Pic 4 and unclip the power cord to the motor seen in Pic 5.
5. Snip off the plastic clip and that's it! This motor will be replacing the dead one in your swing.
Pitch all the leftover parts of the air freshener, or use it for crafts, whatever floats your boat. The AA batteries should be fine, AND you can still use the can of freshener manually!

Step 2: Dismantle Your Swing 1/2

Ok, now we need to remove the dead motor from our swing. Pull the batteries or unplug the swing. Keep your infant happy in some way shape or form, luckily for me, my daughter enjoys the bouncy seat almost as much as the swing... almost.

1. With your Phillips, remove the screw holding the cradle in place, and depress the tab to slide it off the post. See Pic 1.
2. Depress these 2 tabs Pic 2, and slide the legs off, you can now take the top to a table to continue. (Note: What you are holding now is what you have to buy for $50 to "repair" it from Fisher Price.)
3. Remove 10 screws from the bottom of the unit, Pic 3 shows 5, the other 5 are mirrored on the opposite side. Note which screws go where, each pair is specific to it's location.
4. Remove these 4 screws under the battery cover, Pic 4.
5. Now gently pry on the seam starting from the rear and working forward. The front tab is a little tricky, but pull straight up to get it off. Be careful as the wiring to the control panel is only a few inches, and if you pull too hard it can come up suddenly and damage the wires.
6. Once the lid is off, flip it over and depress the 2 tabs in Pic 5. This will free up the control panel.
7. Tilt the control panel through the opening and put the lid aside. Pics 6 and 7.

Step 3: Dismantle Your Swing 2/2

Still with me? This is worth saving $40 right? Ok, now into the guts!

1. Remove the 2 screws holding on the inner lid of the swing, Pic 1. Lift lid off the spring and put it aside.
2. Remove the 2 screws holding the motor box in, Pic 2. Slide motor box up, it's a tight fit, but be gentle as there is a ton of wiring that can get caught on it.
3. Open the box by removing the 3 screws in Pic 3. Lift the lid straight up.
4. When re-assembling, pay attention to the small peg, and large hole on these arms, Pic 4. These will meet with the small hole and large peg on the bottom half, Pic 5.
5. The motor Pic 6, lifts right out, it's got some grease on the gears, so watch out. Pry the screw gear off the shaft with a flathead, and clip the wires off.

Done with dis-assembly! Just gotta transfer a small capacitor and diode from the old motor to the new one.

Step 4: Swapping Motor Bits

So close, I can almost taste it!

1. A comparison pic of the 2 motors. Left with the white cap is from the swing, right with the green is from the air freshener.
2. De-solder the capacitor, diode and wires from the old motor. Attach them to the new motor as shown, Pic 2. Current direction isn't important, but the cap is soldered to the side of the motor in addition to the pins.
3. Re-wire the motor into the swing, and seal with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.
4. Finally, put everything back together! Go back to the previous steps and do everything again... backwards!

4 People Made This Project!

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93 Comments

We have sucessfully repaced the motor and the swing works but the music stopped working! Any ideas? Loved the music on this swing Fisher Price snugglebunny V0099......

I got the air wick, set to disassembling the swing, and found just before I took out the motor that it was the metal spring piece that attaches to the motor and swings the arm that was broken. It had snapped completely off. I think hand pushing the swing probably put strain on that part and eventually snapped it. I found that the truly important aspect is the length, so I straightened out one of the springy bends, re-formed it to hang straight, and slipped it back in the plastic holder, bending the extra around the case. (I've added a picture before I put it in the case. If you can't clip the extra, make sure you bend it in such a way that doesn't interfere with the swinging motion. I re-bent the extra, and tested it with the batteries in after putting the motor case lid back on and slipping it in place.) Put it all back together and it works like a charm! But I never would have been ballsy enough to rip apart the innards without this post. Thank you!!

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I think I may have the same problem as my motor still makes a sound like its working. It just doesn't swing much if at all. Is that the symptoms you had? Also, what swing do you have?

I have a Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Swing it it swings but the mobile and the lights don't turn on what can I do

Thanks for the instructions! I used these and 2 YouTube videos on the same topic to help me fix the swing. I have never done anything like this before and I was able to do it by myself with one try. My advice to others is be patient and pay close attention to the exact position of the leads on the old/broken motor, take a pic if you have to, and solder everything to the new motor exactly like the old one. I used an AirWick freshmatic ultra for $6 and a $20 soldering kit, both bought on Amazon. The swing was given to me from a friend and was not working. So for $26 I got a working swing, a soldering kit I can use for future projects, and the satisfaction of fixing something myself! Happy momma! Thank you!!!

Crud, I messed my unit up. At first I
thought I had all the leads going to the right place with the new motor.
Turned it on and the spring mechanism moved side to side. Once I put
the plastic swing 'gate' back over the spring though, the spring just
couldn't seem to move the unit enough. I tried reversing the wires and
I'm pretty sure I've screwed the unit up - smelled a burning smell from
the control mechanism and now the thing won't shut off unless I manually
detach the wires or remove the batteries :( Also the motor seems to
moving way faster than before but it still doesn't generate enough
strength or momentum to make the swing actually swing.

This really sucks because I'm borrowing the swing from a friend and now it looks like it's practically useless :(

I am having the same problem with the spring not moving the swing. Did you figure out what was wrong and how to fix it? I am at a complete and total loss.

It sounds like you have it right except that little Arm with the pin that goes through the gear is bending the wrong at the elbow.

I think I burnt something out on the control board regardless - I can't switch the unit off or change the speed now when everything is connected.

Regardless of whether or not I had it right, now that the control board is burnt out, the unit is pretty useless. I'll probably either toss it or donate. Unless I'm desperate, in which case I could go on ebay and buy a replacement housing for around $60-70 or so...

I'm pretty positive I burnt out the circuit that switches the swing on/off in addition to its speed.... ugh