Jake and the motor stack – the story of the largest motor in PPPRS racing

A long time ago (about 3 years) in a land far far away (my garage) some would be members of a Makerspace decided to build a few Power Wheels cars for the PPPRS race in Detroit.

One of the cars they selected was a plucky dump truck called Big Jake.

Big Jake ready for its 1st race

Big Jake ready for its 1st race

Well the first thing we did was pull out the stock motors (1 and 2) so we could install a surplus motor we had laying around (motor 3).

Jake's Original Motors

Jake’s Original Motors

(Sorry, we didn’t save any pictures of Motor 3)

Too bad this motor burned up – it was an odd motor anywaty, the commutator was a disk not a cylinder and the brushes were triangular – we found this out when we took the burned motor apart, doesn’t everyone take the thinks they break apart?

So we put in motor #4, a starter motor from a small gas engine, and it burned up – noticing a pattern here?

Jakes Motor #4

Jakes Motor #4

I think Fisher Price did as well – a recall about burning motors:


Then we installed a 1000W scooter motor and controller bought on-line and it was… ok.

Jakes 1000W scooter motor

Jakes 1000W scooter motor

We drilled holes in the motor and added a fan so it didn’t burn up.

But it wasn’t power full enough.

Then the big crash between Big Jake and the Yellow Escalade happened. And when the pieces were put back together – Jake N’ Stein was born.

(insert dramatic music here)

And of course such a majestic car need an equally majestic motor – so in went with a 4.5hp winch motor (#5)

4.5HP Winch Motor

4.5HP Winch Motor

Then it melted. So we took the motor from Little Pink Trike and put in on (motor #6) until we could rebuild motor #5 and put it back on (does that make it motor #7?)

Little Pink Trike's Motor

Little Pink Trike’s Motor

And it burned up.

Well we decided this wasn’t working so we did the only reasonable thing: bought a bigger winch motor! (#6/8) and it was good until it burned up.

6HP Winch Motor

6HP Winch Motor

So we re-installed the rebuilt 4.5hp motor (#5 or 9 depending on how you are counting) and added some gear reduction and it was fast until it burned up.

So back went the larger winch motor (#6/10) and added a water cooling system with some vent holes and it worked great, until we forgot to inject the water and siezed the bearings and melted the comutator – and almost got black flagged for being on fire, it was only steam!

So it came to pass, we looked around for the biggest motor we could find (too bad it was in a home brew electric car – 15″ diameter and about 200lbs) and decided to put a slightly smaller one in.

15 inch motor

15 inch motor

So motor 7/11 (lucky numbers right?) is

Jake's new MotorJake’s new Motor

Just how big is Jake N’ Stein’s new motor?

Well is 11″ long, 7.5″ in diameter and weighs around 80 pounds.

But how powerful is it?

Well, it used to haul around 6000 pounds of stuff in a warehouse all day long.

But how may horse power is it?

I don’t know, but Jake runs really nice :-)

5 of Jake's Motors

5 of Jake’s Motors