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When you think of Power Wheels, the motor probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you are in the process of upgrading your motor, you may have come across a few 775 motors while shopping around. There is a wide variety of Power Wheels motors available depending on the type of user and their needs. So how do you know if a 775 is the right fit for you?
As a general rule, a 775 motor is necessary for Power Wheels equipped with a 24-volt battery. Using a smaller motor with a higher voltage can create high amp spikes, causing the motor to overheat to the point of failure.
Power wheels are designed for kids to have fun. They often come with realistic features that include opening and closing doors, hoods, brakes with a power lock, forward and reverse motion, and even an FM radio. And, just like a real motorcycle, car, or truck, power-wheeled toys can run. However, depending on the age of your kid and their excitement level, your Power Wheels motor may not be up to par. Below, we will cover everything you need to know before buying a 775 motor and adding a bit more “oomph” to your ride-on car.
What is a 775 Motor?
If you are looking to upgrade your Power Wheels or replace a burnt-out motor, you might have seen mention of a 775 DC motor while shopping, but what exactly is it?
775 actually represents the size ID for this particular motor type. This number refers to the standard size of the motor's outer body frame. Typically, a standard 775 DC motor usually has a 66.7x42mm size, or an outer diameter of 42mm, and a height of 67.5 mm.
A 775 motor features a durable metal casing and is a high-powered machine with a high torque output. It is suitable for use in ride-on cars, robotics, and other industrial applications. These motors have been designed for use over a long period of time. It is estimated to last up to 10,000 hours, which translates to about five years at an average use of about 1 hour per day.
What is a DC Motor?
A Direct Current or DC motor converts electricity into mechanical energy by taking electrical power through direct current and converting that energy into mechanical rotation. Among DC motors, there are shunt-wound, series-wound, compound-wound, and permanent magnet types.
DC motors are powerful and are able to achieve a fine level of control over speed. By tweaking the armature voltage or field current, it is possible to adjust the motors to many different speeds and deliver the precision that many different applications require.
These motors use the magnetic fields that are created by the electrical currents flowing through them, which in turn power the movement of a rotor that is set into the output shaft. The electric input of the motor will determine its torque and rpm. The output, however, is impacted by both the input and design of the motor.
General Specification of a 775 DC Motor
While each manufacturer does things a slight bit different, here are the general specification you can expect to find in a 775 DC motor:
|No Load Current||20A|
|No Load Speed||12,000 RPM @ 12V|
|Rated Current||0.5A – 1.2A|
|Shaft||Full Round 5mm|
|Commutation||Brushed and Brushless|
A motor shaft is a component that projects out of the motor and its housing. It is cylindrical and has precision pins. These affect how fast a shaft rotates and how far it can move side to side, as dictated by the design of the end product. The shaft is there to convert the energy from the motor into energy for its end-use.
In 775 DC motors, the shaft size across most models is 5mm in diameter. Some manufacturers may use other dimensions, but a 17mm shaft is most commonly seen.
Number of Rotations
The number of rotations per minute (RPM) is dependent on the applied voltage. If you change the applied voltage, you can control the RPM level. The nominal operating voltage for this motor ranges from 6 volts to 36 volts.
The no-load current is the maximum current a motor is capable of when working without a load. This is the current required to turn the motor shaft with nothing attached. The no-load current needs to overcome bearing and brush friction plus the aerodynamic drag caused by the rotor moving in the air for cooling.
Brushed vs. Brushless 775 Motors
As you are shopping for 775 motors, you may have noticed there are two types of DC motors that are commonly used: brushed and brushless. Brushed motors have brushes to mechanically commutate the coils on the motor, which causes it to spin. Brushless motors do not require external sources for mechanical commutation and instead rely solely on electronic circuits.
A brushed DC motor uses a set of wires and a magnet to create an electromagnet. The current is reversed twice every cycle by the commutator, which aids the flow of current through the armature. This pulls and pushes against the permanent magnets which are on the outside of the electromagnet. The commutator then reverses the polarity of the armature's electromagnet.
In comparison, brushless motors utilize a permanent magnet for the external rotor. They also use three phases of driving coils and a specially designed sensor to track the position of the exterior rotor. With a sensor tracking the position of the rotor, the controller sends out reference signals which are used to activate coils in a structured way.
Which Type of 775 Motor Should Be Used for Power Wheels?
Typically, with Power Wheels upgrades, it is best to stick with brushed motors and up the voltage to 24v or more if you'd like more speed. Brushless motors are usually the go-to for ride-on cars. Cost probably plays a factor in this trend, as brushless motors tend to be more expensive, but there are also a few downsides to going brushless.
To start, a brushed motor doesn't really care if the motor is stalled. Brushless, on the other hand, has big issues when the motor gets stalled or has high loads during startup. The gearbox will also have a hard time handling the power of a brushless motor.
Remember, your kid will be riding on this toy, so keep safety in mind when upgrading your motor. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Why You Might Want to Buy a 775
As we mentioned earlier, a larger motor is essential if you want your Power Wheels to go faster. If your kiddo is complaining that their ride-on car is a bore because it won't speed up, a battery and motor upgrade may be in your future.
Stock 550 motors will only run well at 12 volts. These are the motors that come standard in most Power Wheels cars. Many people run them at 18 volts, but they eventually fail, and motors do not last long at all, running at 24 volts. However, 775 Motors will run at 12v, 18v, 24v, and even 36v.
When it comes to 12v, the 775s are much slower than the 550s. However, when you get them out of their comfort zone and into 18v territory, they are just as fast as the 550s but with more bass. It's at 24v where they really come alive and shine, offer the best speed increase.
Things to Consider Before Upgrading to a 775 Motor
There are many different kinds of power wheels motors that would work for your needs. A power wheels motor is one of the most important components in a Power Wheels vehicle. It influences the speed and torque of the power wheels. One of the major reasons for motors to fail is that they get hot due to the high workload.
Here are a few things to consider before deciding to upgrade to a 775 motor:
- What kind of terrain will you be driving on? (Pavement, off-road, grass, dirt, etc.) Some terrains require more energy to be used to get the ride on the car going and to reach higher speeds.
- How old is your kid? Power Wheels meant for two- and three-year-old children hit lower maximum speeds for safety reasons. Even if your kid seems like they are ready for higher speeds, it's important to keep age in mind.
- How is your kid with the speed of your current motor? If your child quickly gets bored while riding their Power Wheels, it may be time for an upgrade. On the contrary, if your kid is fine with the current speed or is still getting the hang of controlling the vehicle, you may want to hold off on the upgrade.
- Do you want control of how fast your kid can go? Some Power Wheels have parental control that enables you to limit the speeds your child can reach.
Is it the Battery or the Motor That Needs an Upgrade?
If your Power Wheels car currently has a 6v battery, you may not need to change out the motor at all (unless the motor has burnt out and you are looking to replace it).
Changing the battery from a 6v to a 12v may give your Power Wheels that extra speed boost your kid is looking for. However, if you've already got a 12v battery and you are looking to go higher, you will need to upgrade both your motor and the battery to reach those speeds.
Bear in mind. If you upgrade your motor from a 550 to a 775 with a 12v battery, you are going to see slower speeds. If you want the car to go fast, you will need to make that battery upgrade.
Quick Guide to Upgrading a Power Wheels Motor
Here are a few things to keep in mind when upgrading your Power Wheels motor:
- The 775 motors are bigger than the 550 and have a wider mounting pattern. You can only use them with Power Wheels gearboxes that have holes for both types of motor – so make sure you check your gearbox before ordering an alternate type of motor.
- The maximum voltage recommended is 18 volts without ESC. Higher voltages might cause motors to overheat and stop working.
- Never use in mud, sand, or snow. This could cause serious damage to the motor.
- External motor heatsinks and electric fans are not effective at internally cooling brushed motors, so using them is not recommended. They can even cause overheating if they're installed incorrectly.
Steps For Upgrading Your Power Wheels Motor
Before you plan to upgrade your Power Wheels motor, there are some things you will need to do first. These include collecting the supplies needed to replace the motor.
What you will need:
- Replacement motor: This may seem obvious, but it's good to make sure you have your motor on hand if you play on starting your upgrade that day.
- Pinions: Make sure you have pinions that will fit into the motor's shaft. Most motors made for upgrades come with compatible pistons, but it's good to check just in case.
- Compatible Gearbox: The 7R gearboxes available today are compatible with both 550 and 775 motors. Older, discontinued gearboxes may not work.
- Flat-head Screwdriver
- Small Allen Wrench
- Electrical Tape (optional)
- Zip ties (optional)
Replacing the motor in a Power Wheels is a fairly easy job that can be done in only a couple of hours. These steps may vary across different Power Wheels models but should be the same for the most part.
Remove The Wheels and Gearbox
If you want to take out the motor, you will need to remove all of the wheels first. Each wheel has a small black nut in the center which is called a push nut. You will need to remove all four push nuts and pull the wheels off from their axles.
Once you have removed each wheel, go ahead and remove the gearboxes behind them. Disconnect the wires from those boxes, then slide the box off.
Remove The Stock Motor
Typically, you'll find a motor behind each of the two front gearboxes of a Power Wheels vehicle. Your next step is to remove these stock motors from the gearboxes. Unscrew the screws with a flat-head screwdriver, and it should come right off.
If your gearbox is not compatible with your new motor, it will need to be replaced. You can find instructions on how to do that here.
Place Pinions on The Motor
Once you are done with the stock motor, you need to install the new one. Each motor will have a pinion that will fit on its shaft.
Once you put your pinions on, slide one onto the shaft of the motor. Most modern pinions have a set screw to secure them. If this is the case with your pinions, insert an Allen key into the hole at the base of the pinion and turn it until it tightens.
Attach the 775 Motor
Mounting 775 motors is pretty simple if you have a 7R Power Wheels gearbox. All you need is the 775 mounting screws. There are no adapters/spacers needed since 7R Power Wheels gearboxes have an offset built-in. However, if you have the older Power Wheels gearbox, you will probably need a mounting spacer.
Once the pinion is inserted, you can then take your new motor and thread it into the gearbox. Turn it in your hand until you can feel the gears locking in place. After that, secure it to the gearbox with a screwdriver or wrench.
Connect the Wiring
Now that you have installed your electric motors, you can start installing the wiring. Make sure to pay close attention when connecting the wires to your new motors. If you connect the cables to different terminals, the wheels won't rotate properly.
Make sure each wire connects to the terminals on the motor, then double-check your wiring to ensure that you did it correctly.
If you have a soldering iron, then you can use it to secure the cables. Without a soldering iron, just crimp them into position. After you have connected the wires to the motors, wrap them in electrical tape. If you want a durable connection, wrapping them in shrink tubing can also be done.
Secure the Wires
When the cables are connected, use zip ties to hold them into place. This will ensure that they do not come loose and get tangled up as you kid drives your Power Wheels vehicle. This is also important for your child's safety as it protects the cables from getting caught up and torn as they drag on the ground.
Breaking In Your 775 Motor
Once you install your new motor, you will need to break it in before putting it to use. Let's go over how to do that and why.
The stock motor that came with your car is not raced out to the maximum performance level and isn't running as many volts as you may play to put through the vehicle with the new upgrade.
So, what is breaking in do? Well, it seats the motor brushes. The 775 motor has two motor brushes that rub up against the center commutator. The commutator is the copper portion on the motor that makes the electric contact with the vehicle and helps determine the speed of it.
The motor brushes lay fairly flat on the contact area. However, when brand new, you may see sparks come from the motor when you first run it. This happens because you have an extremely small contact patch. As you break the motor in, you round out the brushes to create a larger contact patch area. That is what helps to seat the brushes and helps the motor to last longer.
To break the motor in, just run the vehicle at low speed for about 20 minutes with minimal breaks.
Common Motor Problems in Power Wheels
Most electric toy cars have a 550 motor (rated to 12-14v). However, if you connect it to a higher voltage battery (say 18v or 24v), these spikes in amperage can cause problems.
To get your Power Wheels car to go faster, you will more than likely need to upgrade to a 775 size motor if you want it to last. These motors have more power and run cooler at higher voltages, so they can be paired with a higher voltage battery for more speed without having the same overheating issues you would find in a 550 motor.
What Kind of Battery Should You Use?
A 775 DC motor current rating is about 3 Amps. To operate this motor, you would need at least a 12V, 3 amp battery. The higher the battery's current rating, the longer your motor will run on that battery.
What Happens If You Exceed the Maximum Amps?
By exceeding the maximum amperage, it will shorten the lifetime of your 775 motors. These motors have one bearing at the load side and a bush in the rear case.
These types of motors usually end up breaking the rear bush. The armature windings will also break when enough energy is released. This typically happens when the motor is considerably loaded. The rear bush is not sufficient for the power delivered by 775 motors.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of what to look for when buying a 775 Power Wheels motor. Larger motors such as 775's are better because they provide more power, run cooler, and have a lower failure rate. They are an excellent and easy upgrade for any Power Wheels. Plus, 775 motors will quickly mount to any modern Power Wheels gearbox.
However, keep in mind that the 775 will run slower than the 550 with the lower 12v battery. If you are looking for speed, you will want to upgrade both.