Speed Upgrade on the New Grave Digger Power Wheels Ride-on Toy

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Introduction: Speed Upgrade on the New Grave Digger Power Wheels Ride-on Toy

About: I love working on and modifying toys for kids both big and small. Follow me on here to see my latest completed projects or follow me on instagram to see sneak peaks of what's brewing in the workshop!

Today we're going to upgrade the motors and pinions on the new Grave Digger ride on toy from Walmart. Common complaint on these cool little rides is that they are too slow. The stock motors are only 14,000 RPM @ 24v, so replacing them with the Traxxas 5675 motors will provide a big speed boost. Expect the speed to increase from the stock 5mph to between 8-9mph after this upgrade.

This is a relatively simple job. You're just going to be removing the rear wheels and axle, pulling off the gearboxes, putting the new motors in, then reassembling the rear axle/gearboxes/wheels. You'll also need to upgrade the fuse to 40a and the self-resetting breaker to 40a, as these motors draw a lot more power at startup. If your kids are bigger (>50lbs) or your riding area is grassy/hilly, you might experience issues with blowing fuses. We solved this issue by installing an ESC kit.

Between this and the soft spring upgrade, our Grave Digger has become a lot more fun for the kids.

Step 1: Gather Tools and Parts

Materials Required:

2x Traxxas 5675 - 775 series 10turn 16.8v Motors

2x 13-tooth 32-pitch 5mm-shaft Pinions

40a Cartridge Fuse - (might want to get a spare or two, but your local auto parts store should have them)

40a Self-Resetting Circuit Breaker

Various Crimp Connectors - (a kit like this is nice, if you don't already have a bunch laying around)

Tools Required:

1/2" Sockets

2mm Hex key

Philips screwdriver or drill

Crimp Tool

Wire cutters/strippers

Step 2: Remove Rear Wheels, Axle and Gearboxes

Lift the rear of vehicle with jack stands or a milk crate or whatever you have laying around that can support 100lbs or so.

Unscrew the 1/2" nut off each wheel. Pull the wheels off, then tap the axle out of it's raceway.

Disconnect the wires from under the seat that lead to each motor. They're simple click-fittings.

The gearboxes are held onto the frame with two philips screws. Remove those and pull the gearboxes off the vehicle.

While you have the boxes off, now is a good time to run a round file around the hole in the body where the green conduit carries the wire to under the seat. The stock holes fit very tight around the conduit, but having a little play in there will help them slide if you choose to upgrade the springs later on.

Step 3: Disassemble Gearbox Covers and Remove Motors

There are six philips screws that hold the the two sides of the gearbox cover together. Remove those and the gearbox will come right out of the cover. It might help to remove the three screws holding the green conduit piece on as well.

There are two philips screws that hold the motor into the gearbox. Remove those and the motor comes right out.

Step 4: Modify Motor Wiring and Attach New Pinions

The new motors come with male bullet connectors. You'll need to cut the harnesses off the stock motors, then crimp a female bullet connector onto the cut end. Connect these to the new motors. The new motors have dual plugs for r/c application, so cap the second wire with shrink wrap or another bullet connect that isn't connected to anything.

Check your new pinions vs the stock pinions to ensure they are exactly the same pitch and tooth count. (You can likely use a 14t or 15t pinion to increase top speed further, but I've yet to test that). The pinions just slide onto the shaft of the new motor and are tightened with a set screw. I like to use blue loctite threadlocker to prevent them from coming loose during driving.

Now install the new motor into the gearbox with the two screws used to hold the stock motors on. Spin the wheel adapter on the gearbox to make sure the motor turns freely and there is no grinding. If it won't turn, you might need to adjust the depth of the pinion on the shaft to make sure it lines up with the gear inside the box.

Then reassemble the rear axle, gearboxes and wheels, which is just the reverse of step 1.

Step 5: Modify the Battery Fuse and Circuit Breaker

IMPORTANT: This modification will require that you periodically check the vehicles wiring and motors' temperature during use to ensure safety. Grassy, hilly yards with heavy children will cause more strain on the electrical system than hard, flat surfaces with lighter children. Warm weather will also further overheating issues. Your application is unique and you need to monitor this for your childrens' safety. After this modification, I only allow 1 child at a time to ride the vehicle to keep the stress on the electrical system to a minimum. If the motors or wires are too hot to touch, they are being over-stressed and you need to stop usage, allow them to cool and then change your riding conditions (less weight + flatter surfaces = easier on motors).

These motors draw a lot more current at startup than the stock motors. They will instantly blow the 30a fuse. Unscrew the factory fuse holder, cut the wires and splice in a 40a cartridge fuse. Do not exceed 40a and do not eliminate the fuse entirely. The fuse is for your child's safety.

You will also need to replace the auto-resetting circuit breaker. It is located on the underside of the vehicle. There is a plastic strip that covers the wiring channel. Remove the strip and find the breaker (small black rectangle in the picture). Wire in the 40a circuit breaker. Make sure to note the line (wire from battery) and load (wires to motors/accessories) and attach them to the correct side of the breaker. Replace the plastic cover on the wire channel.

Step 6: Upgrade Other Systems (Optional)

Batteries: Consider upgrading your batteries while you're performing this mod. The stock 7.2Ah batteries have a pathetic run time with stock motors... and these beastly Traxxas motors exacerbate that. The stock battery will only have a 10~ minute run time with the new motors.

I've installed dual 20Ah batteries to increase the ride time to 30~ minutes. 22Ah batteries would be better, but I had one 20Ah laying around already, so I only had to buy one more.

Shocks: The stock springs on the shock absorbers are too stiff to function properly. I've upgraded to softer springs that really put some bounce into the ride. You can get a set from MLToys.

ESC: Adding an Electronic Speed Controller to any power wheels is a great way to add advanced features like variable throttle, separate brake pedal, parental remote kill switch, soft start and the ability to safely increase voltage without destroying your gearboxes. For ESC kits done right, check out www.EastCoastPowerUp.com . Their customer service is top notch. We've added the East Coast 1000w DIY kit to our 24vGD and I highly recommend it.

Step 7: Go Play!

You're all done! Now go have fun with this monster of a ride on!

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Runner Up in the
Wheels Contest 2017

1 Person Made This Project!

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40 Comments

0
williamethan1
williamethan1

Question 6 weeks ago on Step 1

Were the original motors 550s or 775s? I've got a Yamaha Grizzly 24v with what looks like the same gearbox. As far as I can tell from measuring the motors are 550s. But they're burnt out and i'd like to replace them with 775s if they'll attach to the gearbox.

IMG_20210807_173306467_HDR~2.jpg
0
Mrself2
Mrself2

1 year ago

Ordering parts for a traxis motor swap and battery upgrade. It seems the linked 13T 32P 5mm is no longer available. I instead ordered this one. Robinson Racing 8613 13T 32P 5mm. Hope it will work out.

0
tazkahala
tazkahala

Reply 3 months ago

Did this work? I had orders some gears from Amazon and they don’t align with my gears? Any feed back?

0
JuanB180
JuanB180

Question 3 years ago on Step 5

Any idea where I can get replacement #1 gears. Mine where slightly damaged since I bought the gearboxes used and with the new motor upgrade they were damaged beyond repair.

0
PoppaFixIt
PoppaFixIt

Answer 3 years ago

You're actually the first case I've heard of breaking the gbx on this model. My kid has beat ours very, very hard and burned up a couple motors, but the gbx seem to be stout on this one. I'd guess the damage was from slightly mis-aligned pinion gears.

To answer your question, there's no resellers for individual gears for any power wheels gearboxes. I just stockpile used boxes from salvage rides and piece things together as needed. That said, 24vGD is a newer model and there are not a lot of gbx available for it now. I've seen used pairs of gbx for it going for $50-100. You can search for 24v MotionTrendz Grizzly gearbox and find some replacements,but they're around $50each when you can find them.

Another option would be going to chain drive, but that's a whole other can of worms. One I'll be opening soon as my son wants even more speed.

0
deradams
deradams

Reply 5 months ago

Thanks for your help but now the other gearbox went. Really don't feel like dropping another $60 on a gearbox for this thing if they are just going to keep breaking. I'll probably try to sell it and go back to a Peg Perego. We have a 6 yr old Gator that is beat to heck buy just keeps going.

0
deradams
deradams

Answer 1 year ago

I'm in the same boat. I haven't even modified it yet other than higher capacity batteries and both my No. 1 and No. 2 gears on the right rear gearbox have begun slipping and are toast. I found someone who 3Dprinted a No. 1 gear but I need both. No one online sells the gear boxes. Tried running it with just one motor so my kids could at least have something to ride but it won't run without both motors installed. It's about 1 year old and not abused. Any ideas out there?

0
deradams
deradams

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks! I'll give that a shot. Any advice on how to prevent this from happening again?

0
deradams
deradams

Reply 12 months ago

I ordered the motor and transmission for the Grizzly. Transmission fits the Grave Digger perfectly but I didn't bother to detach the included motor and put the old one on. The new motor must be higher RPM because now one wheel goes a lot faster than the other. I'll have to pull it off and see if I can buy a matching spec motor for the other side. It kinda works now though!

0
markwest3434
markwest3434

9 months ago

My kid just started riding the grave digger ride on and its making a high pitch squealing sound on the drive side back wheel. I think it the motor or gears but im not sure. Do you know what this could be?

0
devinderesa1
devinderesa1

Reply 9 months ago

Just got one today and we have the same sound you are describing. Did you ever find out what was causing it?

0
Blueflames79
Blueflames79

Reply 8 months ago

I just took my son's apart and found when they lubed the gears they didn't lube the shaft the gears slide over very well. The gears shaft hole aren't drilled round they are pentagon shape and the points get hot and dry. I took the gearbox apart and lubed the shafts really good with they excess lube already in the gear box. Then I reassembles the box. I could then turn it by hand and see it already made a difference.

0
bokey.fla
bokey.fla

9 months ago

Does anyone know where I can get the replacement decals for grave digger

0
Triguy74
Triguy74

1 year ago

I did the upgrade, everything went great. Purchased the GD upgrade kit from ML Toys. Came with everything I needed. Your tutorial (as usual) was a huge help. Thanks for sharing.

One question though. With the higher speed, the front tires tend to slide out when driving on pavement. We've had a few close calls with the neighbors cars since my boys are used to the front wheels having more "bite". Considering adding some rubber straps or something to the front wheels. Anyone else had this issue and found a fix?

0
awada.a
awada.a

Question 2 years ago

I have 6v quad, it's only 1 motor that turns one wheel. top speed is 1.5mph now
should I put a new motor? what's the max voltage motor you recommend?

0
jay.glatman
jay.glatman

Question 2 years ago

The throttle stuck wide open after a few minutes of driving. Would adding the ecs fix this problem?? Thanks

0
finallyamom16
finallyamom16

Question 2 years ago

It started blowing fuses first. Then one day it wouldn't go. Lights and sound work but it wont go. Any idea what i need to do to fix it? Its five months old.

0
gary44887
gary44887

Question 2 years ago

I have a question. The stock grave digger 24 volt can I upgrade to the battery's you used but use the stock motors. I just wanted to have a better run time right now thank you

0
PoppaFixIt
PoppaFixIt

Reply 2 years ago

Yessir, the batteries I used will just about triple your run time on stock motors.