Introduction: Mobility Scooter Kids Jeep


This is my first Instructable. I like to build things but never document my projects. I thought I would start with this one.

I purchased a Pride Victory XL8 from ebay for £40. It was listed as "spares or repair" as the electric brake had corroded and the motor wasn't running. It was only 5 miles from my home so I thought I would take a chance.

I got it home and tested it out. Removed the brake and cleaned it. I managed to free the brake and it started working again. I noticed one of the brushes was missing from the motor. I added a spare brush from my router and started it up. It ran ok'ish. Enough to take the kids out for a quick run.

I noticed only 1 wheel was turning and the motor power was getting weaker the longer we drove it. Time to take it apart and sort it out.

There's not much to the Motor and differential so I striped them down, and cleaned them up. I cleaned the motor Brush holders to stop them sticking, and sanded back the commutator to clean off some of the carbon deposit. Now for the diff.

The differential was full of this grease and dirty oil. After cleaning this out and putting it back together, I filled it with Automatic Gearbox Fluid. I re-attached the motor and put it back into the scooter. It now ran beautifully.

Time to remove all the plastics.

Step 1: The Inspiration

The purpose of this project was to make a vehicle for "the kids". Both are girls (one 7, one 4) and they told me it had to be pink. In that case, I decided on an old USA army jeep. I downloaded a few pics from Google for a bit of inspiration.

I use Photoshop all the time so I took a line drawing side view of the scooter and overlaid a line drawing of the Jeep. I made adjustments to the Jeep layer to match the scooter. I used this as a very rough guide.

Step 2: The Build

I used 12mm Marine Ply to build the shell. I started with a floor, added a box seat, and front panel. I then added the front wheel arches and sides.

For the sides, I cut 1 piece of ply the full width of the scooter and the max height required. I then removed the wheels and attached it into position. I used a combination of dining plates, dog bowl and dumbel weights to make the curves. I removed the side panel and cut using a jigsaw.

I reattached to make sure it was correct. I used this as a template for the other side.

Step 3: The Flat Bed

I decided to make a hinged flat bed back. It will act as a second seat.

Under the flat bed, I used 2 pieces of 2x1 baton and fixed 2 pieces of OSB leaving a gap between them big enough for the charging socket

Step 4: Steering

The steering took me the longest to figure out. One of my main goals was to preserve as many of the scooter parts so if I should ever want to, I could turn it back into the scooter without having to re-purchase many parts.

After playing with some stems from various kids bikes, I had to use the original scooter stem and cut off the sides. This left me with a square stem. I ground down the weld on the stem so that it fitted into a 30mm socket tight, but not too tight. If its too tight, you wont be able to remove it should you need to tighten the steering.

I then used a universal socket joint and a long bar for the steering column. I cut a hole in the front panel and fed it through at the correct angle. It took some filing of the ply to get it to sit just right.

I made the first steering wheel from some ply with a strip of garden hose cut down the middle and glued around the edge. This worked ok but was too thin to get a good grip. I decided to take a visit to the scrap yard and picked up a BMW steering wheel for £10. It was one of the few wheels that the air bag hadn't gone off. I took a shorter socket bar and ground down the circumference until it fit into the centre of the steering wheel (with some help from the gentle persuader - Hammer).

For the paddles, I used the scooter wig wag potentiometer mounted to some angled bracket and attached to a small block of wood that I secured to the steering wheel. I used the scooter thumb stick and removed the rubber covers. I drilled 2 holes in the end and made 2 paddles from some Server mount brackets. I had to bend the ends of the paddles so that they would clear the steering wheel.

Step 5: The Dashboard and Manual Brake

For the dashboard, I took all the dials, pot and buttons from the scooter. I had to purchase 3 push buttons for the horn and the indicators. I could not remove these from the scooter without them falling to pieces..

I cut a piece of plywood to fit as the dash and angled the one edge using a wood plane. I measured all the buttons and dials and drew them onto the wood. I cut out the holes using a drill and jigsaw.

I used some scrap Faux Leather to cover the dash. I covered the ply with some glue and stuck the faux to it. After it had dried, I cut out the holes and added al the buttons and dials. I had to extend some of the wiring as the scooter controls are close together.

I removed the printed insert from the scooter controls and cut out the symbols. I glued these to the dash above the relevant controls (horn, lights, Hazards, 4/8 mph).

Manual Brake
I took the brake leaver from the scooter and mounted it to the floor of the jeep. I added a pedal made from another Server mount bracket. I made a small hole in the front panel and fed the brake cable through.

I later removed the brake as it was difficult to press. I may add it back in if I can devise a better foot brake, or maybe as a hand brake.

Step 6: The Bonnet

When I made the front grill of the jeep, I used it as a template to cut another piece. I needed the curve from the top of one wheel arch to the other. I cut this out and fixed it to the front panel at the same hight as the grill. I cut out a small slot to make room for the steering column.

I made a cardboard bonnet and used this as a template. I used a piece of hardboard to make the bonnet. Once I had cut the hardboard to size, I tucked one side into the front wheel arch. I slowly and gently started to bend the hardboard over the two curves and tucked it behind the second wheel arch. This took some work to get it inside the arch without breaking the hardboard.

I put some large weights onto the bonnet. I left these on overnight. When I removed it the next day to paint, it did hold most of its shape. It was much easier to fit the second time.

I used some large headed screws to attached the bonnet. I put them every few inches following the curve. I did this to both the front and back curves (one attached to front panel).

Note: I made a few tests using hardboard, when using it laminate side up, it cracked and split easily. When using the hardboard laminate side down, it does give bonnet a rough finish but it bends without cracking.

Step 7: The Finished Product

I painted the jeep in the pinkest pink I could find. I added some sponge to the seats and covered in vinyl faux leather.

Some finishing touches:

  • I added some hinges to the flat bed.
  • Front indicators
  • Carpet in foot well.

I have a few things left to add:

  • Rear tail lights and indicators (I found some round LED lights on ebay from China. These were £0.99 each. I'm waiting for them to be delivered).
  • Front Round LED Headlights - 10cm diameter (also China).
The total cost of the project:
  • Mobility Scooter - £40
  • Plywood (8x4 12mm marine) - £19
  • Steering wheel - £10
  • Hardboard - £4
  • Paint - £8
  • Push buttons - £4 (for 5, I only used 3)
  • LED Lights - £12
  • Total - £97

Everything else was found in my garage.

Total time of build was about 10 days made up of 2 weekends and most evenings.

I hope you have enjoyed my first instructable.