Scooter Upgrade to 18V Drill Power




About: Retired Army, Dad to a teenage boy, husband to a wife who's patient with my tinkering.

I've seen the kids in the neighbor riding powered scooters than start at $100. I thought I could do it for less!  My goal was to make a safe, functional, powered scooter that could move a person 50-100 lbs approximately 5mph out of recycled and re-purposed parts as much as possible. I don't put a price on my labor since I love to do this stuff for/ with my Little Dude.

I must emphasive safety first.  I would feel horrible if you attempted this modification and you or your child got hurt.  If you're not mechnically inclined, get a buddy that is. This project takes some creative thinking and understanding of physics.

I used what I had readily available from the dumpsters at work, yard sales and in my spare hardware bins. Any extras I have purchase are readily available at Harbor Freight, Northern Tool ,or Ace Hardware stores which I've listed in the next step.

Update: January 22, 2013
Littledude isn't so little anymore and prefers to be called Kuhldude (pron,"cool-dude"). He was a little upset when "Meepers" was dis-assembled so i started mentally designing a go cart. I found a "Jazzy-Hover Round-Mobility" scooter, and started hacking! I've attached a video. It is still a work in progress

Step 1:

Step 2: Tools, Parts and Supplies W/ (costs & Source)

Basic hand tools: adjustable wrench, adjustable pliers, punches, hacksaw Cost ??? (If you don't already have these items the cost for this project is going to exceed $100!)

Power tools: Rotary tool w/ a variety of bits, drill w/ jobber bits (Ditto above)

Portable Drill: ($18 from Harbor Freight)

90 Degree Drive w/ chuck: ($10 from Harbor Freight)

Adjustable vice (I already had it but its not completely necessary if you have a buddy to help you.)

Kick scooters, any type ($3 for one and the second was free, both from yard sales)

Metal rods to be used as replacement axles (Free, recycled from a dead desktop printer)

Angled bracket (Free, dumpster dive at the local recycle center)

Metal banding clamp (preferably with a screw type adjustment) (Free, left behind by previous owners of the house)

Heavy duty sprockets (Free, I recycled mine from a dead business shredder )

A 2 to 3 inch nail (Free, left behind by previous house owners)

Tool Dip ($8 comes in black, red, yellow and blue from Ace Hardware)

small piece of sheetmetal approx. .060" thick (Free, was one of the printers' box / frame)

Fiberglass Kit (Free, from left overs at work but there is a decent size kit at Ace hardware for $20)

Heavy rubber disc (Free, recovered from the recycle center.)

Bicycle brake ($8, from Walmart)

Step 3: Basic Assembly

I disassembled 2 scooters that I got at yard sales, took the larger, more heavy duty and removed the back wheel. I used the angled metal bracket from an old motor starter and bolted it to the deck through drilled holes. It already had a 30 degree angle and was offset from the deck.

From the rods out of the disassembled printer, the extra bushings from the other scooter and the 90 degree drill driver, I cut out the necessary space to accomomdate the wheel offset outside the rear wheel cutout mounted on the rod/ axle.

I fashioned a holder from fiberglass and resin for holding the cordless drills. I added a rubber piece too isolate it from vibrations and attached it to the 90 degree angle drill adapter.

The throttle/ drill trigger is activated by pulling the lever on the handle which squeezes the brake pad. I mounted this brake caliper on one of the rods and positioned it to press the trigger by putting a bend in th rod and tying it to the bracket with another banding clamp.

Step 4: Drive Wheel Installation

I took the larger wheel from the disassembled scooter, cut 2 circles of sheet metal, ran the axle and  botls through the metal, and put sprockets on the opposite side. I locked it all down with nuts and a nail bent to fit in an S shape.

Assembly with the larger wheel required I offset it or I would have had to cut into the scooter wheel well. I accomplished this by using bushings from the old scooter and put them on the outer sides of wheel slot to stop the side to side slop.

Step 5: Fine Tuning and Adding Flare/ Bling/ Graphics

After the first couple runs, Little Dude said that it had stopped pushing. It turned out that my Harbor Frieght drill had let go of the 90 degree chuck. I put a gorrilla torque on it and it stopped letting go. Next the brake handle was difficult to pull due to the tight radius I had it bent in order to keep it clean looking. I cut off the extra bundle ties and let cable relax into a more " natural" position. Little Dude said it wasn't a problem, and put his foot on the other side of the cable. I'm not happy about the safety factor but he reassured me it was not in the way.

Finally I coated the deck, fender, and angled bracket in Tool Dip. It is basically liquid vinyl that has a solvent that evaporates but it can get messy and very sticky very quickly. I glued a small piece of rubber foam over the front edge of the fender and added an electronic horn. It makes an annoying "meep meep" sound so Little Dude calls the scooter Meepers.

Graphics and upgrades are going to come later since Mom and I are in the middle of a garage re-modeling.

I was able to keep my cost to about $50 and Little Dude can go at least 5 mph so I am calling it a success.

Thanks for checking out this instructable and I hope you get some good ideas from it for your project.



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    18 Discussions

    same here my neighbors have one but i have a gas motorized bike and now their jealous and mine cost just as much as the electric sccoter and is a lot faster

    hah my neighbours are like that whilst im on my bike i remember a few months ago one kept tailgating me stop i stopped n said wtf do you want he kept saying something about giving him my tire after telling him to f off politely After about 3 miles i ended giving him a bloody nose ! its something i didnt want to do but sometimes you havbe too

    go get a board they are awsome a bit pricy but TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!! LONGBOARDING RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Its an really cool idea, however with all that spare room in the rear axle under the back fender (pic 1), why don't you try bringing the drill closer.  Or you could (if you are electrically knowledgable) take the drill apart and use the motor/gearbox combination, which might fit under the fender.  Of course make sure you are not planning to use that drill for anything else ever again.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I have considered taking the drill apart and making it more compact. It was only $16 at Harbor Freight. Extending the fender and putting the drive and gears under it would help the appearance too. Sounds like a good excuse to buy an English Wheel!  Now I just have to convince my money manager (my wife) we NEEED one!

    I did partially take apart the drill to check if there was a high and low speed switch under the top plate . There wasn't a switch and I decided at that point to keep it simple... Kind of a proof of concept before I put any more money into it. (Lots of eye rolling from my loving spouse during this project.) The most difficult part of breaking down the drill would be the re-mounting/ support for the motor. The batteries could be re-assembled under the deck and the trigger/ throttle wiring simplfied by extending it the front of the deck as a foot control.  

    Thanks for the feedback!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds like a plan.  good luck convincing your wife and would love to see the update if you decide to go through with the remodel :)

    Thanks for the support. I'm currently working on a conversion from electric to gas scooter. Should be crazy fast. Maybe I'll call it: AAAAAHHHhhhhhhhhh


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The wheel doesn't spin freely but it does allow you to roll. Coasting (no throttle squeeze) drives the drill.