Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

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Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 08 Sep 2019, 21:37

I'm new to the forum, just got a used Invacare Storm 4 Xplore off ebay. It's got electric seat tilt, but no other electric seat functions, is a couple of years old and I had the seller swap the swing away leg rests for a central one.

After reading on the main site and other posts on the forum, I want to try and improve my chair. It all feels fairly daunting. I don't have good dexterity or upper body strength (I have ms). I don't have any real technical knowledge of the kind needed. I'm not even sure what kind of professional I could reasonably ask for help (a car mechanic, a bike shop idk)

Anyway to make a start I downloaded the service manual and took off the seat pan to see what would be involved in moving the seat back. That looks like it would be doable by me, except the central leg rest is in the way in two senses, the front casters would bump into it if I move it back and the way it attaches means I can't move the seat all the way back. I can see from other posts that the way forward would be to replace the casters with smaller ones and somehow find an alternative method of attaching the central footplate

but that's where it all gets a bit overwhelming. How do I know what replacement casters to get? do I need to get new caster forks? how do I know what size forks to get? Where do I attach the central footplate?

So I'm hoping someone can offer me advice and support in this new project. I like learning new skills and I want to learn enough so that I don't feel totally at sea over the basics of my own mobility

Thanks for reading
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby woodygb » 08 Sep 2019, 22:40

Lindsay,
Could you please add your general location to your profile as knowing where you are in the World could help "us" in pointing you to resources .

Edit ...Your first post say's Leith ...so Scotland.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 08 Sep 2019, 23:04

yes I'm in Scotland, off to edit my profile now, thanks for the reminder
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby stevelawiw » 08 Sep 2019, 23:12

Hi Lindsay,
So the short answer is, yes you can make it better!

But why do you want to mod it? What is it you want it to do better?
Are you mostly using it indoors or out?
Why did you choose the Storm 4 Xplore? Was it a chair you've been looking for a while, or was it a buy the first one you could get approach?
Is it the True trak version with brushless motors?
Edit: oh, and what's your budget!
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Burgerman » 08 Sep 2019, 23:13

You can make it steer better by altering a bunch of settings.

The design of that chair is based around a large central seat riser or lift platform. To but that particular chair without the lift kind of makes no sense. Adding it afterwards is not financially viable.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Dan » 09 Sep 2019, 02:22

I have a brushless Xplore.
Then main thing to remember is that one persons perfect chair could be your nightmare chair so you need to think about what you want from the chair and in what way it will be used.
I have swing away electric legs on mine and I have moved the seat back as far as it can go. The casters will hit the legs but having the seat back as far as it can go does make the chair that little bit shorter, I can easily avoid the casters hitting the legs by winding the legs forward a little or by tilting the seat back a bit.
I would never change casters on my chair because the large caster handle bumps and holes a lot better than smaller ones. You could try tilting the seat back a little until the center footrest does not hit the casters.

If the chair handles badly you can change the way it move by reprogramming it. Does the joystick have a screen? I would also put a few miles on the chair to get an understanding of it before making any big changes. Its also a heavy chair so be careful not to run over the Proclaimers.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 09 Sep 2019, 11:04

stevelawiw wrote:Hi Lindsay,
So the short answer is, yes you can make it better!

But why do you want to mod it? What is it you want it to do better?
Are you mostly using it indoors or out?
Why did you choose the Storm 4 Xplore? Was it a chair you've been looking for a while, or was it a buy the first one you could get approach?
Is it the True trak version with brushless motors?
Edit: oh, and what's your budget!


Thanks Steve, helpful questions, hope I answered them clearlu

I got it to use outdoors.
I still will need to use it indoors a bit, getting it into my flat and next to my manual for transfering, getting to my table in the pub etc

I want it to be shorter with a less front heavy centre of gravity, with easier stearing. I'm used to a compact nippy manual. I tried a bunch of powerchairs. I just asked a couple of suppliers to bring out a selection for me to try. I liked the way the Invacare TDX midwheel drive handled until it came to a kerb. All the chairs they brought were useless on the kerbs near me, so I started looking at chairs geared to outdoors.

I tried the Frontier mid-wheel, I liked it, once I was outside but it was really long, and too expensive for something that I wasn't completely sold on

I tried the chasswheel. I loved how it coped with kerbs, hills etc, but it was too high for me to transfer in and out of with confidence.

I knew I wan'ted an outdoor capable chair, I saw the Storm 4 Xplore had suspension, I wanted that since my last bout of back spasms put me in hospital for 2 months, I saw one on ebay I could afford and went for it. It would have been more sensible to try a new one first, but I got impatient, being stuck indoors

I figured if I got this I could try and mod it to my needs, learn something along the way and maybe figure out what I'm looking for in a chair.

The chair I've got has brushless motors, not sure about True Trak

I don't have money set aside as a budget, but I can afford a little every month. I figure I'll be doing this fairly slowly
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 09 Sep 2019, 11:08

Burgerman wrote:You can make it steer better by altering a bunch of settings.

The design of that chair is based around a large central seat riser or lift platform. To but that particular chair without the lift kind of makes no sense. Adding it afterwards is not financially viable.


Now that I've taken the seat pan off I can see how the seat riser dominates the chair yes. I don't have any use particular need for a lift, so maybe this wasn't the best chair for me to get.

I need to look into altering those settings, so will be reading up on that here some more
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 09 Sep 2019, 11:13

Dan wrote:I have a brushless Xplore.
Then main thing to remember is that one persons perfect chair could be your nightmare chair so you need to think about what you want from the chair and in what way it will be used.
I have swing away electric legs on mine and I have moved the seat back as far as it can go. The casters will hit the legs but having the seat back as far as it can go does make the chair that little bit shorter, I can easily avoid the casters hitting the legs by winding the legs forward a little or by tilting the seat back a bit.
I would never change casters on my chair because the large caster handle bumps and holes a lot better than smaller ones. You could try tilting the seat back a little until the center footrest does not hit the casters.

If the chair handles badly you can change the way it move by reprogramming it. Does the joystick have a screen? I would also put a few miles on the chair to get an understanding of it before making any big changes. Its also a heavy chair so be careful not to run over the Proclaimers.


Thanks, I think that is good advice about trying it out for a bit before making changes
Now you've got me rethinking the caster change too

No screen on the joystick

I think I'll move the seat back, shift the legrest up, lookout for smaller footplates, and take it out and about for a bit
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Burgerman » 09 Sep 2019, 11:22

Well if you are careful, and move a few seating things, the seat can go back a few inches as I did on mine here.

I modded the centre footplate a little so it could go back a few inches along with the seat.

This one has the seat lift too.

I also moved indicators/lights inboard, fitted black caster tyres, and wider reat tyres. (not easy, you need wider rear wheels). I also reprogrammed it, and added a 12V/24V proper charge system connector.

Here.

810_1486.jpg
ALMOST STOCK... With my carer on board.
Attachments
810_1763-smaller.JPG
810_1764-smaller.JPG
810_1772-smallrer.JPG
810_1776-smaller.JPG
12V and 24V charge point, vehicle charge etc.
810_1786-smaller.JPG
810_1799.JPG
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Burgerman » 09 Sep 2019, 11:26

Now I have to admit. Its a great chair out doors on pavements.

Its a terrible chair indoors because of size, and because the brushess motors lack torque, and soon overheat when zero turning and the chair stops responding. So I sent mine back, and came to the conclusion it has a serious a design error. If you are light, you may never come across this issue.

It steers abominably. Especially at low speeds, and you cant hit a doorway. It can easily be fixed.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Dan » 09 Sep 2019, 11:39

LindsayO wrote:No screen on the joystick

You should be able to buy or make a simple lead which you can use with software on your PC to change your chairs steering. A great guy on here makes them cheap but first you need to find out what kind of joystick you have. Its possibly a G90A.

LindsayO wrote:I think I'll move the seat back, shift the legrest up, lookout for smaller footplates, and take it out and about for a bit

If I remember correctly the seat sits on rails so its very easy to slide it back a bit.
I always tilt the seat back a little I also have a powered backrest recline which I can then move forward. On a manual back you could try tilting the chair back a little then you can manually move the back it to where you like it. There is also a way to set the level of the armrests if you have ones that are attached to the backrests.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 00:11

Burgerman wrote:Well if you are careful, and move a few seating things, the seat can go back a few inches as I did on mine here.

I modded the centre footplate a little so it could go back a few inches along with the seat.

This one has the seat lift too.

I also moved indicators/lights inboard, fitted black caster tyres, and wider reat tyres. (not easy, you need wider rear wheels). I also reprogrammed it, and added a 12V/24V proper charge system connector.

Here.

810_1486.jpg


wow that's super helpful thanks
I'm amazed by how far the lights stick out. I defo want to change that.
I tried adjusting the seat position. I'm not strong enough to loosen the bolts, so I'm going to have to get someone else to do it for me
I'm also looking at the footplates, they are way wider than I need, so if I got them cut down that might help.

I've got some ideas about how I might go about this, but it will be easier to explain with pics, which I'll see about tomorrow.

I need to figure out who to ask for help, and how to reprogram it.
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 00:13

Burgerman wrote:Now I have to admit. Its a great chair out doors on pavements.

Its a terrible chair indoors because of size, and because the brushess motors lack torque, and soon overheat when zero turning and the chair stops responding. So I sent mine back, and came to the conclusion it has a serious a design error. If you are light, you may never come across this issue.

It steers abominably. Especially at low speeds, and you cant hit a doorway. It can easily be fixed.


Outdoors on pavements will be it's main purpose.
I'm not tiny, pretty average, so fingers crossed
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 00:17

Dan wrote:
LindsayO wrote:No screen on the joystick

You should be able to buy or make a simple lead which you can use with software on your PC to change your chairs steering. A great guy on here makes them cheap but first you need to find out what kind of joystick you have. Its possibly a G90A.

LindsayO wrote:I think I'll move the seat back, shift the legrest up, lookout for smaller footplates, and take it out and about for a bit

If I remember correctly the seat sits on rails so its very easy to slide it back a bit.
I always tilt the seat back a little I also have a powered backrest recline which I can then move forward. On a manual back you could try tilting the chair back a little then you can manually move the back it to where you like it. There is also a way to set the level of the armrests if you have ones that are attached to the backrests.


Thanks, yes it's on rails. The back is manual adjust.
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 21:09

Here is a pic of what's under the seat pan. The bottom of the pic is the front of the seat.
I can move the two side rails back to move the seat back.
The black bar at the bottom of the pic is where the leg rest attaches. I need to figure out another way to attach the legrest so I can move the rails all the way back. So the front of the rail is even with the second horizontal black bar.

But if I can figure this out I can move the seat back a good few inches
Attachments
UnderSeatFull.jpg
Lindsay O

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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 21:18

Here are the casters and the central leg rest. I don't think I need the calf supports, so I'll get rid of those, and the footplates are way bigger than I need, so if I'm hoping I can cut those down sufficiently to keep them out of the way of the casters

My question here is, who can I get to do this? The footplates are metal, wood a machine shop do this for me or is this a ridiculously small job?
Attachments
Casters.jpg
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 21:21

Final question. How do I tell what controller I have? I need to know this to figure out what I need to reprogram it, right?
here is a pic of the joystick, can I tell from this which controller I have?
Attachments
joystick.jpg
Lindsay O

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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby rover220 » 10 Sep 2019, 21:25

Rem421 joystick iirc. Will need hirose to usb cable and a dwiz-adapt.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Irving » 10 Sep 2019, 21:34

LindsayO wrote:Here are the casters and the central leg rest. I don't think I need the calf supports, so I'll get rid of those, and the footplates are way bigger than I need, so if I'm hoping I can cut those down sufficiently to keep them out of the way of the casters

My question here is, who can I get to do this? The footplates are metal, wood a machine shop do this for me or is this a ridiculously small job?


Yes a machine shop will do it. you might get someone to do it as a 'homer' for a few beers worth. Only issue i see is that those footplates are cast then machined. To make them narrower means removing the web on one side which may affect rigidity, strength and/or the fixation to the upright.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 22:03

rover220 wrote:Rem421 joystick iirc. Will need hirose to usb cable and a dwiz-adapt.


thank you that's super helpful
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 10 Sep 2019, 22:05

Irving wrote:
LindsayO wrote:Here are the casters and the central leg rest. I don't think I need the calf supports, so I'll get rid of those, and the footplates are way bigger than I need, so if I'm hoping I can cut those down sufficiently to keep them out of the way of the casters

My question here is, who can I get to do this? The footplates are metal, wood a machine shop do this for me or is this a ridiculously small job?


Yes a machine shop will do it. you might get someone to do it as a 'homer' for a few beers worth. Only issue i see is that those footplates are cast then machined. To make them narrower means removing the web on one side which may affect rigidity, strength and/or the fixation to the upright.


would it be better to get someone to make new footplates, using the existing ones as a template?

I tried looking for small or children's ones but couldn't find any
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
Manual chair: Kuschall 4 series, Kuschall R33
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Burgerman » 11 Sep 2019, 10:01

Use your feet as a template. Use the originals as a mounting point to copy to your new ones.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby woodygb » 11 Sep 2019, 11:07

@Lindsay ..You could pop along to here ... https://www.edinburghopenworkshop.co.uk/ ..and see if any of the members might help you out.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby shirley_hkg » 11 Sep 2019, 12:26

WOW ! That's a wonderful helping hand. :thumbup: :clap
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 18 Sep 2019, 18:32

woodygb wrote:@Lindsay ..You could pop along to here ... https://www.edinburghopenworkshop.co.uk/ ..and see if any of the members might help you out.


oh wow, that's amazing, did not know this place existed, thank you so much
Lindsay O

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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby stevelawiw » 18 Sep 2019, 19:38

Well found Woody! They're right on your doorstep aren't they Lindsay? Let us all know how you get on, assuming you go.
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby LindsayO » 18 Sep 2019, 20:47

stevelawiw wrote:Well found Woody! They're right on your doorstep aren't they Lindsay? Let us all know how you get on, assuming you go.


It's minutes from my flat, I don't have the dexterity for metal work myself unfortunately


Took the Xplore out today, for the first time, I defo need to reposition the joystick pod, far too far forward. I found the steering very difficult, very stressful on narrow pavements with high curbs
Lindsay O

Powerchair: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby Burgerman » 19 Sep 2019, 09:27

You must read this carefully!

At least the first few posts. And do ALL of it.

The post is primarily about programming. But this matters! viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8035
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Re: Invacare Storm 4 Xplore: Can I make it better?

Postby ex-Gooserider » 25 Sep 2019, 06:52

Looking quickly at their website, I suspect you will find that Edinburg space will be VERY helpful - it looks like a reasonably good 'maker-space' and often there are people there that will be more than willing to give you a hand with stuff, especially if you are generous with the Pizza and beer tokens, and / or can offer any sort of talents that you have in exchange...

It sounds like they have a lot of the sorts of shops and talents that you might be in need of. I'd also encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity to learn new skills and so on that they offer to you, as the more you understand about how your technology works, the more you will run it instead of it running you...

I am a long time member of a similar space here in the US, and it is a fantastic resource....

It is worth noting that at least at the space I'm in, there is a very strong Geek culture - which often looks like Aspbergers to some extent (and sometimes is) so be flexible about dealing w/ interesting and different personalities......

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