Instructables
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.


 
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Step 1: Rip apart your air freshener

Picture of Rip apart your air freshener
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AirDis3.jpg
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AirDis5.jpg
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!
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PSA: This does not work. I did this, but the motor from the Airwick simply is not powerful enough to move the swing, which is no surprise since it's made only to pump out a spray of air, not move a 12lbs baby back and forth.

Look it suprised me too but, I've done the repaire several times and it works everytime. The motor does die sooner than the original (lasts about six months) but as long as you lube up the gears it works like a charm (very little noise). Also, what I have concluded is that the motor doesn't need to be that strong. It's like like pushing your kid on a swing, once it gets going it's just using momentum.

okay i my new motor in and solder everything back together but it only has one speed slow, it's suppost to have varible speed could it be a resister or something

okay i my new motor in and solder everything back together but it only has one speed slow, it's suppost to have varible speed could it be a resister or something

music has stopped working on my swing is there a fix for this?

MichaelG82 months ago

Just followed the instructions to a T, and whoa....worked like a charm!

I too experienced a NOISY unit after reassembly but luckily, "spjika" from a previous post had the same issue and his fix was perfect!

Thanks a Ton!

glightning4 months ago

Does anyone know how to fix the MOBILE on one of these, or can point me to some instructions? The swing is swinging, but the mobile has stopped. Not only did the babe like that, but the swing is borrowed and they are now having another, so I need to fix it! Thanks!

spjika made it!4 months ago

Thanks for this!! First rebuild the yellow cog slipped down the spindle a bit too far and I didn't notice, resulting in hella noisy operation. After much prodding and cajolling it played nice and just slipped back into position.

Now to replace the air sprayer device I borrowed from the office to test this out..

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fcallin7 months ago

Great directions; My baby is happy and I didn't have to buy and wait for replacement parts A+++:)

djsmok24218 months ago

I bought the air freshener and changed the motor and its doing the same thing.....the lights are dimmer than when it was operating good... it sounds like it turns once or twice then stops again. Not sure what other part could be causing this... any ideas?

millerwm20029 months ago

Went to Wal-Mart and bought an Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra. Came home and took the motor out, was a perfect match. Swapped diode and capacitor, installed in swing and works perfect. As long as the motor holds up we should get 2 more grand kids out of this swing! My daughter couldn't believe we fixed the swing with an air freshener. The Fisher Price WEB site didn't even offer an option for replacing the motor. Thanks for the help!

alanbork9 months ago

I just tried this using one of the brown looking airwick devices (5.99 at target). Doesn't look exactly like the airwick in the photo, but the motor inside was the same, and very easy to get too.

I too had the noisy motor issue after putting everything back together, but I don't think it's the motor's fault (or if it is, it's only a contributor). And it's easily fixed. The thread gear that you push down over the spindle of the motor has a metal flywheal which wobbles quite a bit once the motor is spinning at full speed, and it will bang into the plastic housing that surrounds the assembly. The solution is to make sure the flywheel isn't smack-dab against the motor, but has a little extra space (don't push it on all the way). Then it doesn't interfere with the housing, and the noise is gone. It still vibrates a lot, so some tape or such may help dampen the sound and reduce transition, but the physical interference was causing all the noise that I could hear. Now it's the same volume as the old motor.

I just hope the new motor lasts!

alanbork alanbork9 months ago

postscript: my swing looks very different inside: it's a snugabunny, and comes with it's own AC adapter. But the motor itself looks identical, and the fix works! I think the swing in the photo would suffer the same interfearence issue that mine had.

justincorey9 months ago

Pretty awesome deal. Only took about an hour and a half of solder time, and another 20 minutes to disassemble and re-assemble, and it was working again. Thanks for the comprehensive notes on how to do this. This made my son's day. He was fussy for the past 3 days.

MarasMommy1 year ago
Thank you SO much for this! My husband was able to fix my daughter's swing with these instructions. He put padded tape on the motor, just like the old motor had on it, as he believed this is why people were finding it noisy. It isn't any louder than the old one was. Again, thank you!!

I layered a bunch of surgical tape for the same effect. Works like a charm.

I JUST got done putting the swing back together. It really does work. But now it is VERY noisy. Any hints as why it's so loud now and how to fix that? please!! This is the only swing my son likes.

I bet you it's always been noisy, you're just noticing it now (placebo effect). I tried to address the same "issue", but my sister said there's no noise difference.

Make sure the spiral gear assembly is not robbing on the stationary plastic separator and the big disk gear.

I did the motor change out and my swing made a lot of noise as well. I took it back apart and discovered I had pressed the gear on to far. The gear was rubbing against the little plastic wall that holds the motor located in between the motor and the worm gear. I just pried the gear off a small fraction of an inch and the noise was gone.

I think the only way to reduce the noise is to use the exact model meant for the unit which is RF-500TB-18280, search on ebay, should be around $10/unit (plus shipping of course).
Did you find a solution?
vebulous made it!10 months ago

I just did this for my niece. My sister was extremely skeptical, but agreed to buy the Air Wick thing (for $5 at walmart, might I add). Did the switch, did some soldering, tested it and did a victory dance.

Bonus: I tried to put the "busted" motor in the Air Wick thing, since it still worked, just not under heavy load. Needless to say, as soon as I hooked up batteries, it fried. I still managed to convert the automatic freshener into a manual one by using a pen-tube and one of the plastic gears. Best $5 ever spent.

My sister thanks you very much and it was a fun project for me.

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rcolon8510 months ago

I just want to thank you, you saved me so much money! it was so simple

Did the repair but now with the new motor the swing goes in to Incredible Hulk mode once plugged in even though the power on the control panel is still set to off. It goes too fast to even move the swing and won't shut off unless I unplug it...any thoughts?
My swing did this EXACT thing (however I had not replaced the motor, but I had made the swing AC) which led me to finding out about the blown 8550 PNP transistor... which in turn led me to this instructable! I haven't ordered the part yet, because I was waiting to hear from cmeyers3.
Ah. Interesting, I figured there was something in the circuit board that was blown as the motor shouldn't see power until its switched on, but that is beyond my problem solving abilities. Ha. I'd be interested to see what you find out.
Thanks for posting this. Was able to harvest the motor out of one of these air fresheners to fix our NineStar garbage can lid.
cmeyers33 years ago
This is so awesome! I was getting ready to buy a $10 replacement motor off ebay , instead I went to HomeDepot and purchased the air freshener just for the motor.

My motor was failing but the failing symptom is that it blew up the transistor on the control board. I replaced the transistor once and it ran for a couple of hours before it blew up again. The brushes must be starting to short out internally. My external power supply showed the current jumping around.

So if you replace the motor and it still won't run, trace the yellow wire to the circuit board and follow the trace to the transistor. Mine had an old 8550 PNP transistor. I replaced it with the closest I could find which was an updated SS8550 from Mouser for $0.03, I bought a couple just in case, good thing because the first one blew up because the motor was failing.
Any chance you know which SS8550 PNP transistor you ordered? Mouser lists a few different ones. Mine blew up as well. Thanks in advance for your help!
rafeng cmeyers32 years ago
Hi, did you by any chance check the voltage on the motor? The voltage on my motor is about 2.43V and the motor is rated 3-6V. I know the motor is damaged anyway (is on/off , tested separately) but I wonder if the circuit is damaged too. thanks
cmeyers3 rafeng2 years ago
Motor voltage is a function of the RPMs it is turning, unless the motor isn't running at all. In that case you will only see the voltage applied to the motor. What generally happens is that the brushes wear out and so the motor appears as an open circuit so you you can only see the applied voltage.

Mine ran with this replacement motor for another 6 months before my son out grew the swing.
pleahy741 year ago
This worked perfectly for me! No issues at all. Hopefully it lasts! We went and purchased a replacement prior to doing this, but it is great to have a second swing for my mother-in-laws house.... Thanks
Jbryant9161 year ago
Well, it looks like the operation was a success, but the patient died (or is still dead). The Air Wick motor works fine/turns the plastic screw that turns the gear that makes the arm of the spring move back and forth in the plastic housing the seat is attached to. But, when I put it all back together, something isn't right. I hear the motor run when I turn it on, but it doesn't run for long. It's as if it can't handle the load of the seat, much less my grandson...
sharksoban1 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
Perhaps the batteries are running low on juice? Have you tried a fresh set recently?
boontis1 year ago
Thank you so much.
I've got twin boys that both love their swings which we bought cheap second hand, and both started to eat up the batteries and stop swinging with the same range as when first purchased, so I decided to give this a try and it was a success.
My swings are slightly different then the one posted, "Fisher-Price Rainforest Open-Top Cradle Swing", so different disassemble process, but the exact same motor RF-500TB-18280.
I hit Walmart yesterday and found the Air Wick Freshomatic Slim units were on clearance for $3.00... which made this repair even better! These come equipped with the same RF-500TB-12560 motor "djbecker" had indicated previously.
My only complaint would be the increase in noise, it's fairly substantial. My boys have pretty much outgrown the swing now, so we aren't using them as a means of helping them go to sleep. Instead, being that they are twins we often throw one in a swing as a means of survival. So the noise isn't a big deal for the boys, more of an annoyance for us adults.
Finding this post was a major discovery for us, as it easily saved $97 on a repair or ~$60 to replace both units with second hand equivalents.
Thanks again!
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adawson81 year ago
This is amazing. I need more help though; I have no idea how to De-solder the capacitor, diode and wires from the old motor to attach them to the new motor. I have everything apart and I'm stuck on this step. Thanks - any help is appreciated
Instructions were great. I replaced the motor and it turns. But the driving arm
for the spring that connects to the gear wheel might have a broken part. The pin
in the spring driving arm does not go through a hole in the plastic piece from the gear wheel. It just rest against a cutout. might there be any better pictures of way the spring connects to the gear that drives it?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mabuchi-Nichibo-Kysan-RF-500TB-18280-DC-Motor-6V-32mm-/111045941466?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19dada98da&autorefresh=true

Here is the ebay link for the motor. Im ordering two... They are $10.78 with free shipping. It's worth it to have the back up, I think.
Found this just over a month ago and it actually worked! It was a life savor. My daughter depends on this swing. Unfortunately, last night the motor died again. After replacing it the 1st time the motor was loud, with this second fix its even louder. How annoying. I did find that you can order the motor for cheap on ebay, so I may do that. Perhaps it'll be better?

Thank you for the help!
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