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The Tractor I've Always Wanted

When I was a kid, my neighbor had a Power Wheels Barbie Jeep. You know, the kind with the pink bench seat and plastic wheels. My 10-year-old self didn't care about the pink. She had her own little cart thing, and it was awesome. I was jealous.

A few weeks ago, I spotted this baby at a yard sale.

Editor's note: Not my foot.

It didn't come with a charged battery or a charger, but it did come with a trailer. No matter, I wasn't planning on keeping the existing battery for very long.

I substituted the old 12v 8Ah Lead-Acid battery with a 12v 3000mAh Ni-Cd drill battery. Initial tests with the single battery went well, so I decided to kick it up a notch. MORE POWER.

Four batteries, wired in two series pairs, which are then wired in parallel. That gives me 24v at 6000mAh. It's so much power that starting at full power trips the overdraw protection in the motors, so you have to get going at 12v before shifting to 24v.

My iPhone speedometer clocks it at 9mph with a full charge. It doesn't sound like much, but it's more than adequate for a toy that's entirely made of plastic. With a trailer full of charged backup batteries, it'll go for miles and miles. One last detail remained, however.

RGB headlights. That's more like it.

Alec Sparks