Ride on toys have been popular for many decades, from go-karts put together with begged and borrowed bits and pieces to the sophisticated ergonomic designs of today. As Reader's Digest points out, modern factory processes in toy making often include connecting moulded plastic parts onto metal sub-frames and forks. Plastic can be a difficult material to repair and sometimes replacement parts are not easy to obtain. However, regular oiling of any moving metal parts in contact with each other will go a long way to maintaining a ride on toy.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wire brush
- Wooden block
- New parts (as required)
Remove any rust from the axle(s) and pedal crankshaft (where fitted) with a wire brush and oil at any contact points. Check that all nuts and washers are present and tighten any nuts which are loose. Test the ride action by moving the toy backwards and forwards on the floor several times. Proceed to Step 2 if the ride action is still compromised.
Remove the front axle assembly if the rod is twisted. Straighten the rod, if the damage is superficial, by tapping it straight with a hammer while it is supported on a wooden block. Test the axle assembly by moving it backwards and forwards on the floor several times. Refit it when it is working correctly. Follow the same procedure for the rear axle.
Remove the wheels from the axle rod if they are damaged, breaking the dot-cap fasteners, if necessary, with pincers. Replace the wheels with new ones or replace the whole axle assembly, depending on your assessment of the damage. Make simple, sturdy wooden wheels if replacement ones cannot be easily found.
Replace the front wheel, where necessary, by drilling out the rivets at each side. Use a screwdriver to lever the hook of the bracket out. Fit the new wheel, making sure that the hook reattaches to the frame. Bolt through the mudguard stay (if fitted) and bracket hook with a bolt and nut short enough not to make contact with the wheel.
Hammer a worn or damaged pedal, if the front wheel cannot be moved because of it, supporting it on a wooden block, until the spring clip breaks. Remove the pedal and discard it. Fit a new dot-cap fastener in the recess of the new pedal, where appropriate; slide the pedal onto the crankshaft and tap it home with a hammer.
Tips and warnings
- Why not make a go kart with your child? This can be a project which is both educational and a lot of fun. See Resources.
- Buying a new ride on toy is the best course of action when the damage is substantial.
- Test your repairs to the ride on toy thoroughly at every stage before allowing children to play on it.
- Some ride on toys may look sturdy enough to carry you but they are intended for children and use by adults is likely to damage them.
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