Kids tractor Lithium Ion conversion


Old 03-11-08, 09:09 PM
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Kids tractor Lithium Ion conversion

My kids have a Peg Perego John Deere Gator tractor that uses a 12v battery.

The battery requires monthly charging or it will die. The charge is slow and the winter months are a hassle. I could replace the battery but I'd rather convert it to run on my 18v Makita LXT Lithium Ion batteries. Even if it didn't last as long, the short recharge time and no maintenance would be worth it to me.

My tenative plan is to "gut" a Makita LXT flashlight to use the base to clip the battery in, then mod the flashlight base either into the old battery housing or simply with the old battery's pigtail on it. Inside I'd like to have some kind of voltage regulator or other means to convert the 18v output from the battery into 12v for the tractor motor.

The standard battery is a 12v 7Ah lead acid battery and cross references to an Interstate SLA3041

The Makita batteries I want to use are 18v 3Ah Lithium Ion model BL1830

I found this DC-DC converter online, but it is expensive and I don't know if it will work:

This project was inspired by this video from DPX systems who made a mini bike that runs on a Dewalt 18v drill.

Is what I'm trying to do feasible?
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Old 03-11-08, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: (near) Boise, ID
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Please read the Wikipedia article on lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive and are designed for the devices they are used in. They have several safety features built into them, and can be damaged if drained too far.

I think you are just creating more trouble than you will save.

Lead acid batteries generally like to be kept fully charged. Perhaps you could connect this battery to a trickle charger to keep it "topped off". Or, maybe you could modify a drill (with the proper battery) to power the tractor instead of the 12v motor in it.
Old 03-11-08, 11:48 PM
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Most likely, the battery pack is made of either CR123s or 18520 LiOn batteries. While the voltage is the same, the Amperage is going to be way lower. There just isn't much storage space in these batteries.

I fresh NiCad battery for these would work much better. NiCad does degrade over time, but I imagine it will outlast the years they'd ride a powerwheels. And NiCad does work well for this type of application.

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