Making of: Tactical Tonka

tactical truck, power wheels,roll play, warn winch, led lights, truck vault

The Power Wheels we started with is a Chevy Silverado ride-on manufactured by Roll Play. It's licensed by General Motors and rightfully so since it's practically a 100% replica of the real truck. It's already a 12volt system, which makes customizing and add ons much easier.

Watch the video and scroll down to see the build in detail.

Roll Play 12v Chevy Silverado "Power Wheels"

Like any other cool custom truck project, you have to pick out a set of cool wheels and tires. After lots of searching the interwebs, we opted for a set that was used on the Power Wheels Jeep Hurricane

(Power Wheels Jeep Wheel / Stock Silverado Wheel) 

We knew without a doubt we wanted to lift the truck but found out after putting the new front wheels on that we were going to have to lift it regardless.

We ended up increasing the altitude about 3'' by cutting off the original front spindles, adding some square tubing to the bottom, turning some round stock down to the correct diameter for the wheels, threading the end for the nut and welding it all back together.

The rear was a bit more complicated because of the way the 2 electric motors that drive each wheel mount into the body. We had to cut the steel frame as well as a section of the plastic body, make proper measurements, make some new sheet metal boxes to extend the original "motor mounts" and rivet them back together. Then we were able to weld the rear portion of the frame back on, ensuring that it was squared up and the rear wheels were at the correct location (front to back) in the wheel wells.

Changing the wheels created more work than imagined. Because the car is Roll Play but the wheels are Power Wheels they both use proprietary gear drive systems, meaning our motor sprockets were different than the wheels, not to mention the offset and axle hole diameter were different, too.

(turning some aluminum round stock for the rear axle extensions)

After lots of thoughts, conversations and sketches, we came up with machining some adapters out of a material called Delrin, a very hard plastic with high load characteristics, that would both give us the sprocket change we needed and the offset we wanted to get the wheels just outside the body for a tough, off-road look.  

(motor side of the adapter)


(wheel side of the adapter and the axle extension)


tactical tonka power wheels lift kit and rear axle adapter extension

(rear motor assembled with adapter, extension, and wheel)


power wheels custom winch front bumper

What's a tactical truck without a winch and some lighting, right? We picked a Warn 2000lb winch designed for four wheelers for our truck. We also included a 7'' LED Light Bar… not that the kids will be out after dark. With a winch and lights, you have to have something to mount it to, so we grabbed the metal, cutters, grinders, welders, break – we used the whole shop – and started measuring, cutting through the body and extending the steel all the way to the main frame in 3 locations for maximum strength. We used some 16-gauge sheet metal bent in a break and welded the end caps on, then finished it with a bed liner before mounting the winch. 

tactical baby gear power wheels murdered out

Chrome is too flashy for a tactical truck, that had to go...

murdered out chevy silverado power wheels

If you're going to have a legit tactical response vehicle it has to be equipped with proper firepower. We recycled a drawer from an old nightstand, built the steel housing for it to fit the bed of the truck, bed lined it and added the foam for an organized truck vault appearance that holds the magazine-fed Nerf gun.

truck vault custom power wheels tactical baby gear

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