Chevy Monza

Service: Chevy Monza 2

This is a Tonka that was in a junk box, basically written off so was a salvage job really, just a few bucks so worth a crack getting it working again! I wasn’t holding out too much hope given it wasn’t really showing any sign of working, but at the very least thought it could end up being a reasonable cleaned up steel car for the kids to play with. Taking it apart I found it was really very dirty so it’s only chance required drilling the motor out and giving it a thorough clean. This one had no steel rivet in the middle hole, and instead two squashed down plastic ‘rivets’, so with these you’ve got to essentially drill those right out through the base to get the motor out. Having a look at the motor I found it was very dirty, basically loaded with a very fine sand, so this one had been really put through it’s paces!

After giving it a good clean out with CRC I managed to get a better look at what was going on. The motor and gears were all in good working order, but for some reason the clutch gear was no longer dropping into place by itself when the car is pushed forward. This is where normally it would push the button up into the ready position and drive another gear that spins the flywheel.

The motor, cleaned out

What I found though was that it functioned fine if the gear was manually pulled down into place, which in turn popped the clutch up. Just needed a way of setting it when the car was back together. So a little hack I came up with was to drill a hole in the base under the gear and make a little “key” that could hook the gear down into place with a little pull. Worked a treat! This one now has a special feature where you need its “key” to make it work, I may even find an old car key base and use that as the handle, makes it a bit more fun for the kids:)

I took all the stickers of as they were not in great condition, I quite like the look of these without the stickers, bit more simple and easier to clean up. This one now runs pretty quick even on a single rev up, so I added weight to the opposite side of the flywheel to try and straighten it up a bit. Also ran it on about a meter of a grippy mat to help it get going without immediately spinning out. Here it is all cleaned up an ready to go!

Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Monza 2 – Post Service

2 replies on “Service: Chevy Monza 2”

Thanks for this article. I recently purchased a similar (blue cragar) clutch popper and, despite being in excellent cosmetic condition, it has the same problem with the wind-up mechanism not dropping into place on its own. It does seem to engage consistently if I push the car forward and backward several times in rapid succession. I would be curious to know if this works for your car as well.

Hey Brody, thanks, I do have one like that – where if you give it a few backwards & forwards it does engage, however this one was a bit more stubborn. What I actually think it is now is the tension wire that holds the slip gear up, I think it is applying a bit too much upwards force (probably from being sitting in place too long), so the usual forward and downward pressure is not enough for it to slip down by itself. But I’m not going to bother taking the motor out again it try and fix it, works ok with its key:) If yours is working I’d leave it at that, a little bit of lube is ok (plastic safe though as there are a couple of nylon gears in there), but taking the motor out is a last resort really.

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