Dune Crawler 2 Speed

Service: Dune Crawler

This one was more of a salvage job, another junker that was written off as stuffed, but I thought may well be salvageable and turned back into a fun toy for the kids to play with. I was also keen to have a look inside after getting pretty familiar with these clutch poppers recently, but this one looked like it would be a bit different with its 2-speed function. This one was essentially non-functioning and pretty dirty, but I could hear it was trying to do something so was a good sign.

I found out that these have a very handy feature, you can essentially drop the motor straight out the bottom with the removal of the central underside screw. This makes these super easy to clean up & fix if thye ever run into any trouble.

Tonka Clutch Popper – Dune Crawler 2 speed – Disassembled

So I cleaned out the motor by spraying it thoroughly with CRC until it was running clear(ish). Cleaned up the body, removed the side stickers as they weren’t in great shape, gave it a bit of polish and buff up. Sliced my thumb trying to scrub one of the stickers off, so there’s a lesson there, that side edge is sharp when out of the casing! Cleaned down all the plastic parts and scrubbed down the wheels.

I found that for some reason the low speed clutch would not pop up when the buggy was pushed forward. The high speed one would, but the other gear would just not drop into place by itself. This meant that it would essentially stay in low speed by default until you set it to high speed. After a bit more investigation I found it was related to the tension of two wires the hold that gear in place (or push it back when the clutch is released “popped”). Readjusting these wires a little (probably back to what they used to be like) sorted this issue out, and it now has its 2 speeds back!

Tonka Clutch Popper – Dune Crawler 2 speed – Post Service

Overall pretty happy with how this one scrubbed up considering it was a write off, I reckon its a cool little retro toy buggy, not as quick as the Chevy’s but quite a cool looking thing and a bit of fun with its two speeds. I found the low speed gear enables it to move up slopes a lot more effectively than the other clutch poppers, which are really made to run on flat surfaces.

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