Why does it always feel like everything breaks just after it’s out of warranty or one day after the ability to return it.? Our baby swing, a Fisher-Price SnugAMonkey Cradle ‘n Swing, was no exception to this rule, except we had it for awhile and really used it. While it was used, it was in great shape, well taken care of and looked brand new. So, when it stopped swinging, there was no way I was going to toss it and buy a new one. I broke out a few tools and started a science-class-style dissection of how it worked to try to figure out why it wouldn’t move.
The unit came apart fairly easy. Just a couple of screws under the upper cover to expose the guts and electronics. If you are a novice (or even someone advanced and just forgot) remember to UNPLUG the swing before you begin the autopsy. Nothing is worse than getting zapped and/or further damaging what you’re trying to fix. I powered up the unit and tested for power at the motor lead plug and had power. My hunch was correct that the motor was shot.
I disconnected power again and removed the motor/gearbox assembly and took it apart. To go one step further, I disassembled the motor and determined that the brushes had worn off and the motor was most definitely the culprit.
This is the best part though: a quick internet search for the motor revealed that the small 6 volt motor used in this swing is identical to the motor they use in a Glade Sense & Spray. A quick look under the bathroom sink revealed that we had purchased one when they were on sale really cheap at CVS and never used it. YAY!!
(While this post is specific to the Fisher-Price swing models, there are other brands out there that this hack will work for as well.)
I tore into the Sense & Spray and rather quickly had the motor separated from its intended home and was ready to progress to a better and more meaningful life of keeping the baby quiet.
I dug out the soldering iron and relocated the wiring from the bad motor to the new one. Make sure you take note to the polarity. It does matter!! Re-solder the wiring including any capacitors, diodes or resistors that are across the terminals. They are there for a reason.
Push the worm gear on the motor and reassemble the swing. I will warn you at this point that you should re-install the gearbox into the swing and TEST IT before putting the top cover on. The worm gear needs to be placed at just the right spot on the motor shaft. If it isn’t you’ll get a loud clicking/groaning sound when it starts to move. I had to disassemble/reassemble the gearbox about 5 times to get it on right. It will take some time, but once you get it together and working you will have just saved a ton of money and feel really accomplished.
If your Sense and Spray was hanging on the wall prior to the start of this project, quickly hang a picture over the location and claim you never saw it there. Now, go enjoy a brew. You deserve it!!