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Adding electric power to a wagon

I have attached pictures of the small wagon that I want to power with an electric motor.  It is 40"X20" with wheels that are (4.10 / 3.50 tires) 10" diameter. It does not have axels that go across the width of the wagon. Instead short axels are mounted on "U" brackets which make up the frame of the wagon. I use the wagon the haul my telescope and accessories from my home about 125' to a viewing spot.  The problem is that it is 10 to 15' lower then my house.  It goes over some bumpy spots but the wagon wheels handle those without any problem. However, the hill is the problem,after a night of observing it is very hard to pull it up. I do not need to go any faster than a slow walk and for a very short distance. I estimate the weight of the wagon loaded to be approximately 75 lbs.

I don't know if the lack of through axels is an issue but believe I could devise an axel of the normal type, the current one is 5/8" diameter.  Another issue is that the wheels have two sets of wheel bearings per wheel. I guess a drive sprocket would have to be attached to the wheel itself.  I hope I have provided sufficient info if not please let me know.

We have kits available that would provide all of the electrical components needed to add electric power to the wagon. Our kits could provide a walking top speed with a lot of torque for climbing hills and grades. The only part that we do not have is an adapter to mount a sprocket onto the wheel, so a solution for that would need to be found.

Many of our customers have successfully mounted sprockets onto wheel that are similar to the ones on that wagon though. Since those wheels are welded together and not put together with bolts a sprocket would most likely need to be welded to the rim with spacers, or a wheel that is the same size but that is held together with bolts could be used and then the sprocket could be bolted to the rim with spacers.

For a short distance run and relatively light weight load like you described a small battery pack could be included with one of our kits to keep the kit cost and weight down.

Please let me know your thoughts on this and I will start working on a kit specifically for your project.

Thanks for your response. After a lot of shopping around with different ideas I think I may have found a solution.  I had another pair of wheels on the handles for the 15" telescope which were the same size and were bolted together instead of welded like the one on the wagon. The bolts are 1 7/8 " off center and with some longer bolts and spacers I can bolt the sprocket onto the wheel as you suggested above and you have sprockets with those specs on the site.  The only problem may be that the axel is not very long and is now held on with a cotter pin through a hole near the end of the axel although if necessary I believe I could solve that by drilling a hole in the end of the axel and tapping it for a bolt to go in and extend the length a little.

So if you could put together a "kit" for my situation I would appreciate it.  Or if you have any problems with my ideas please let me know.


About a week ago I asked if you could comment or put a kit together for me, I have not heard from you and  am wondering if you received my request etc. An update would be appreciated.

I apologize for the delay in my response. One of our technicians has been on vacation for the last week so I have not had as much time for the forum as I normally do.

Before I make the kit we should figure out which wheel sprocket you would like to use. I ran a gear ratio calculation for your project and found that with a 13 tooth motor sprocket and 36 tooth wheel sprocket the top speed would be around 3 miles per hour. Here is the calculation.


 Average walking speed is normally around 3 MPH. Is this a good top speed for you?

Our SPR-B36 sprocket does not have any mounting holes so they would need to be drilled. It is a very low priced sprocket though. We have other sprockets that have mounting holes drilled into them however they are more expensive and have more or less teeth. Does the SPR-B36 sprocket work for you or would you prefer one with pre-drilled mounting holes?

Thanks for your help, I don't think the B-36 would work as the ID of 15/16 would not fit over the hub of the tire, assuming I would mount the sprocket on the inside of the hub. Please correct me if I am incorrect. I would not mind paying $20 or so for the sprocket as the SPR 4237, if that or a similar one would work.  Again thanks for your help.

Jay Williams

The MOT-24350G286 gear motor has a sprocket for #410 (1/2" x 1/8") chain so I recommend using a #410 chain and wheel sprocket with it. If a SPR-42837 was installed on the wheel then #428 chain would need to be used which is very wide compared to the sprocket on the motor. #428 chain is 5/16" wide between inner plates and the sprocket on MOT-24350G286 is 1/8" wide so there would be 3/16" of side to side play between them. The sprockets for #410 chain are available on this page:

We have a 30 tooth and 44 tooth sprocket for #410 chain with a 2-1/8" ID on the #410 sprockets page. I ran a gear ratio calculation with the motor's original 11 tooth sprocket and a 30 tooth wheel sprocket and got a 3.13 MPH top speed. Here is the calculation.


Do you think that the 30 tooth sprocket item # SPR-B30F would be a good fit for the project?

The problem with the B30F is that the mounting holes do not match and I am not sure how difficult it would be to mount it to the wheel. Let me ask you what issues would result from using the SPR-42837 resulting in using a chain that would have that 3/16" side play.  I am wondering if it would make a big differences considering the slow speed and short distances involved? Does that mean the chain would fall off easily or wear excessively?

Thanks for your help.


I do not know if using a #428 chain on a #410 sprocket would cause any problems, it would definitely fit and rotate on both sprockets. I have never tried this combination of parts though so I am unsure exactly how they would work together though. My hunch is that it would work great, especially at the low speed that the wagon will be designed for. Since the chain supports itself from twisting due to its design I do not think that it would fall off of the #410 sprocket.

The worst case scenario is that the #428 chain does not work well with the #410 sprocket in which case the #428 sprocket could be machined to 1/8" wide at its teeth area so a #410 chain would fit it. I don't think this would need to be done but it could be the backup plan in case the #428 chain does not play well with the #410 sprocket.

Thanks, that agrees with my thought as the speed is slow.  Could you put together a kit with these components it sounds like a reasonable solution.,,,waiting for your response.

I will start working on a kit for your project. I should have it finished and posted here in the next day or two. I will let you know if I have any question while I am making it.

Thanks I will be looking for it.

I just finished the kit. It is item # KIT-145-D. Here is a link to it:

The two 12 Volt 8Ah batteries in the kit should provide a 15-20 minute run time under load, if you need a longer run time then I can add larger batteries to the kit.

The kit currently has a unidirectional controller, however if you want reverse then I can add a reversing controller and handlebar mounted switch for the reverse switch.

I can also make any other modifications to the kit that you would like, such as adding a different throttle, or more or less chain to the kit.

Please take a look at all of the parts in the kit and let me know if you would like any changes made.

It looks good but could you tell me what the additional cost would be to add the reverse throttle control. And do you provide any suggestions for assembly etc.?

The additional cost to add a controller with reverse and a handlebar mount reverse switch would be $32.00. We install matching connectors on all of the electrical parts so they are plug and play right out of the box. You will need to determine where and how to mount the parts onto the wagon though.

The motor has a flat mounting base with four mounting holes, and the controller has two mounting holes. Some sort of box to hold the batteries will be needed and could be made out of wood or metal, or something already made such as a boat battery box or small toolbox could be repurposed as the battery box. It looks good to have the batteries and controller hidden away in the same box so they are out of sight.

We can make the wires between the batteries and controller, and controller to motor any length that you need just let us know after ordering how long you need these wires to be.

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