Introduction: Resurrect an 80s Stomper
Finding a box of toys at my mom's home, I dug through the treasures to see if there would be anything I could put on my shelf in my office that still might be fun to play with while on meetings.
One such treasure struck me as a fond memory of being on the playground and racing my friends who had brought their 'Stompers"! making tracks, grabbing small stones and sticks to make a complex course and then race before the bell rang to bring us back to class and stop our imagination of driving these cool trucks off road and navigating the rocky course.
I placed a 1.5 V DC AA battery into my 4X4 'Stomper Truck' only to realize nothing worked... no lights, not even a small buzz from the motor.
It was my goal to have this cool truck running again and thus this was my journey to bring this famous 80s toy back to life and bring those memories of being a little kid racing them down our dirt paths on the playground.
Screw drivers small tip phillips
Fine grit sandpaper 400 grit
Warm soapy water
Step 1: Gently and Very Carefully... Disassemble
With a toy of 40 years or older and that all parts of the drive and body are plastic, you will need to be very careful removing all parts and disassemble.
I was careful to remember the order and placement of each part.
Tip: The wires are very thin and could break very easily, the light bulb is also a very delicate part, be easy when removing them.
Step 2: Clean All Plastic Parts
I cleaned each plastic part with a cotton swab, warm soapy water, and set aside to let dry.
I cleaned all areas of the housing, the inside nooks and areas where the gears and axels go.
Step 3: Remove the Oxidation From the Metal Contacts
The photos might be hard to see, but where ever there was a metal connection to the battery connections, motor housing that mates with the metal switch or the ground connection tab, I used a fine grit sandpaper to remove all corrosion from the metal contact points. I also went back over each point with a cotton swab and alcohol to clean off any dirt or grit.
I also had a lot of dirt or oxidation on the main drive gears and think that this might have been one of the issues for the motor not turning, or it could have been the resistance of the oxidation on all the electrical connection points were a major factor as well.
Step 4: New Grease
Adding new grease, very lightly, to all gear mounting or touching points. I placed a small amount of grease on a paper towel and used a clean cotton swab to grease every gear LIGHTLY.
Step 5: Reassemble
Carefully reassemble all cleaned parts, screw in the battery contacts, and put all the plastic parts and housing together.
Step 6: Go Stomping!!!
Place a AA battery into the Stomper and flip the switch! If you have got everything done right the little truck Stomper should come to life with Head Lights and ALL FOUR tires turning!
I added a little video of it in action in the rocks... it is going to be a lot of fun showing my older friends something from our past that is a RETRO toy brought back to life.
10/19/2021: A quick additional note. I looked up the price to buy some more vintage "Stompers 4X4" ... WOW, they have really skyrocketed! (I was going to find some more working or even non-working, to restore and give as a gift, but they are very expensive.)
Participated in the
Retro Tech Challenge