FAQ - switch maintenance

Electrical, Battery & Switch help
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Pvt. Burnt Motor
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FAQ - switch maintenance

Post by gameboy »


this thread is now about- Power wheels, Peg Perego, and the LT hummer switches.

I am a firm believer in reusing what you got and keeping what you have in good order or you will be forced to buy something that you already have… again.

Lets start by identifying the three most common switches that are in the vehicles most of us have.

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These are the most common of the switches out there. These are interchangeable between pw to peg, but not the other way around, unless you do a slight modification to the bottom of the switch(but hey we are no strangers to modifications).

As you can see there is a plastic cross on the bottom of the peg switch, this allows orientation of the switch in the peg gear shift so they cant be reversed(or used somewhere else), but if you wanted to use them in a power wheels harness or something else just cut that cross off and your good to go, you can see that the power wheels one comes that way also, it has been ground or cut off by the mfg to be used in the pw harnesses though. Here is another look at it

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and a look at the buss bar that is in just about every peg today.


there is also a 30 amp (sometimes 25 amp in older models) breaker in the back of the buss bar. it is the silver object on the end.


To take apart the switches you need a small screw driver, look at the above pic and see where the whitish dot is, you want to pry out gently around this area on both sides while holding the toggle part so it does not fly off. Once you have the switch apart it looks like this. This is a power wheels switch:

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And as you can see there is not much too it. 2 springs and 2 floating contactors with 6 points of contact on the bottom (the pins that plug in). if for some reason you buy, pickup, acquire or have a trash find and the inside of this switch is all brown with rust and the springs are missing, it can be rebuilt pretty easy with bic ball point pen springs(the kind that click) and a little cleaning. Just make sure the springs are about an inch long.

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Now for cleaning or refurb you can use the small screw driver your finger, cleaning solution a little bit of fine grit sand paper, what ever you want, you are just trying to get the soot of electrical sparks off of the material and make sure they are semi shiny, and don’t take off too much material. You will also need to do the same thing with the fixed contactors (marked “here”). Once you have a nice clean inside and clean contactors put your springs back in, same with the floating contactors and snap the top back on and now you have a rebuilt switch, for the cost of 2 pens(if the springs were bad)

If you require a self returning switch then you will need to add a third spring in the place marked “hole for spring” and then snap the top on (doesn’t matter which way there is a nib on both sides to hold the third spring in place).

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Like so.

This should cover all the necessary info on power wheels switches. Let’s move onto peg switches:

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The one on the left is a new style (the black one) and the one on the right is the old style (the red one). The contacts on the inside are made the same way, but the way these two switches come apart are completely different. The old style come apart the way described above and the new style come apart from the bottom, same way with the small screw driver, just make sure to hold the bottom from flying off or the springs will fly.

I will start with the old peg. The springs are smaller and more sturdy, but I still use a bic spring and they seem to work fine, now these are made with the same thought process but have a little bit different design. The fixed contact are upside down and the floating contactor will not come out of the switch. So now the cleaning just got a little harder.

What I have to do is to bend one side of the fixed contacts up before I can get the floating contactor out and once this is done proceed with cleaning just like the power wheels switch. Bending the fixed contact is not easy, and there is the possibility that it might break (although it has not happened to me yet and I stress “yet”) because it is metal and we all know if you bend metal too much it breaks, but hey, you have a switch that doesn’t work so I figure whats the harm, if it breaks that just means that I don’t have to clean this one ( but I do have to buy it, unless I have others for replacement). Once its clean put the floating contactor back in, bend the fixed contact back in place and put the top on. Now your done.

The self returning red topped peg switch is just the same as this one, it just has 2 extra springs inside the switch for the return.

***also one side note*** when the self returning switch returns, it will return to center, not all the way to the other side. This is true for both pw and peg

Now lets take a look at the new peg switch, it’s the one on the left in the above pic. You take this one apart by prying the bottom off much the same way as both of the other types. There are a few extra parts in this one, but the design is a little better and allows for the contacts to be removed with out taking the shifter apart, as in previous models.

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This is both of the same style of switch, but for demonstration I will use the self return switch:

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I don’t see a reason you would have to take this switch apart this far but if you do this is what it looks like inside with all its little pieces. Same cleaning instructions here as before, but with this new one you want to make sure the “little doo-hicky” doesn’t get lost, the switch is useless without it. The green line just shows where to plug it into when you are putting it back together.

*** one other side note about peg switches*** in the very recent past I have had trouble with perfectly good switches that have tested out to be 100% working not work when plugged into the buss bar of a peg perego vehicle. Upon replacement of the good switch with a like 100% working switch the vehicle will now work fine. what i noticed was the bussbar contacts were dirty so replacing the switch cleaned them just enough to work again. the fix is to clean the bussbar contacts and now any working switch will work in the bussbar. Sorry you had to read this far to get this information, I just thought it might help when trouble shooting a dead or not shifting hi/lo-fwd/rev vehicle. *********

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thanks to "edsd" we have a pic of a realllllly old peg switch. this one uses ball bearings to rock the floating contactor back and forth. this one would work just like a power wheels switch and cleaning should be pretty easy. getting it back together is another story. once all parts are clean, put the springs back in the switch top and add just a touch of grease to the spring tip. this will hold the ball bearing in place when the top is pressed back on and make installation much easier. also if you look closely at the pic you can see that one of the contacts is burned and will not allow power to pass, this is why we clean them.

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Pic of a shifter with the old style switches inside. With this style you have to take the whole shifter apart to replace or clean the switches

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This is a shifter with the new style switches in place, with this style all you need to do is replace the contactor base unit and snap in a new one then put the shifter back in the vehicle. This is a great time saver, whether you are cleaning or replacing.

this is a little tikes Hummer shifter with switches in it

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you can see that the switches are screwed in place, so you have to unscrew them to get them off of the shifter.

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once you get them off the shifter this is what they will look like.

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the bottom of the switch is different from any other out there, it has angled contacts, so unfortunatly you have to use a LT switch or change out the wire harness to use the other kinds.

***** look at the other switch in the picture, you can see that it has some corrosion on it, since this kind of switch has an angles spade connected with a rivet on the bottom of the switch, corrosion can weaken the metal and cause it to break at its weakest point( where its connected at the rivet), i say this because mine did and i did a temp fix with some solder. it is holding but i dont know for how long, lucky for me my kids are older so i put the side that broke on the low speed side since they dont use that much incase it breaks again i will lose low speed, not a biggie.****

to open it up place the small screw driver in the place maked for it and just pry it open slowly. since it is a metal closure it will stay in what ever it is forced in so it is possible to open too far and not be able to close it easily when the time comes.

once you get it apart the insides are roughly the same as the others, they look different but it does the same thing.

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the same rules apply for cleaning as the other switches

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inside of the switch.

This is what I know about switches, I will be updating this as I learn more or fixing mistakes in the thread as they come apparent. So if you see something that needs to be added, please by all means let me know and it will get done.

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Pvt. Burnt Motor
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Re: FAQ - switch maintenance

Post by gameboy »

some info about the buss bar too, since they are closely related, forgot about that... i was focused on switches.

****** kidswheels does sell an "overhaul kit" but its mostly for the gator and polarus and power pull. if you need one for the goucho you will have to call and ask for one on the specific model that you have. they are kinda expensive at around 100.00 bucks, but if you go that route, worth the money, plus now you have spare parts (once you clean up the old ones)

good luck.
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Re: FAQ - switch maintenance

Post by taz11 »

Some more useful findings......

I had two Peg Gauchos that my kids were using. One was faster than the other. This seemed odd since they had identicle drive lines.

Here is what I found........

I placed a volt meter on the motor leads and tested the voltage at the motors. The fast jeep was 11.86v, the slow one was 10.92v. At the battery they read 12.36 and 12.33.

The problem (voltage drop) was found to be at the pedal switch. It had been cleaned previously, so I paid special attention to contact alignment this time. I gave the contact just a little tweak and reassembled it.

The voltage at the motor is now 11.74v. It runs just as fast as the second one.

The point here is to take your time and pay attention to all the parts involved. Over time the contacts can relax or straighten out. If the pressure at the contact is not enough you will loose power and cause heat build up. This will (if not corrected) will create a snowball effect and eventually cause something to melt.

As long as you don't go nuts on it, you can bend the contacts slightly to get that pressure back. No tools required, just give them a tweak with your fingers in the direction of its mating contact. JUST A LITTLE...DON"T GO CRAZY!
DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT!..........Out of somebody's garbage

I'm trying to get out of PWs.........That idea's not working out real well......

My time on MPW is limited these days. I'm trying to check in everyday.....please be patient when awaiting responses.

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