WheelchairDriver.com  

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Updated:  23-Sept-09

Welcome

1. POWERCHAIR ONLY:
Detailed Full PowerChair Related ONLY Menu HERE

2. VEHICLE ONLY:
Detailed Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles ONLY menu HERE

3. EVERYTHING ELSE:
Detailed Menu of Everything else HERE!


MY OWN VEHICLES:
Dodge Grand Caravan


VW Caravelle VR6

MY HOME BUILT ULTIMATE POWERCHAIRS:
My SLIGHTLY Modified Improved Powerchair

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 >

My VERY Modified Off Road & All terrain DO ALL Powerchair!
Part 1 | 2 | 3


MISCELLANEOUS POWERCHAIR RELATED:
What Goes Wrong Power Wheelchairs

Powerchair Tyres

Drive your Powerchair by Radio Control

Powerchairs & Range


Off Road DO ALL Indoor & Outdoor Powerchairs

Off Road ONLY Outdoor Powerchairs & 4x4
Page 1 | 2

Manual or Electric Wheelchair?

Why ALL Powerchairs NEED  to be Off Road Capable!

Choosing  a Suitable Powerchair

Wheelchair Width


BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL (POWERCHAIRS & SCOOTERS + MOTOR VEHICLES):
Batteries for Both Vans & Power Wheelchairs


Inverters & Chargers

Very flexible charger!


Charging Batteries

Fast Charge Your Power Wheelchair

Which batteries to buy


"DRIVE FROM A WHEELCHAIR" VEHICLES:
Dodge Grand Caravan 1

Dodge Grand Caravan 2
Dodge Grand Caravan 3
Dodge Grand Caravan 4

Latest 2008 2009 2010 Disabled Converted Dodge Chrysler And Voyager Minivans
 
Chrysler Voyager Entervan Diesel

Suzuki Wagon R

More Here

Mercedes Vito - soon!
Kia Sedona - soon!


INSURANCE:
Modified Disabled Vehicle Insurance

Breakdown Cover

USED VEHICLES & OTHER EQUIPMENT:
Disabled Adapted Cars

WHEELCHAIR TRANSPORT
& DRIVE BY TRANSFERRING:


VW Caravelle

Dodge Grand Caravan can be used to transport up to 4 Wheelchair Seated Occupants

Fiat Doblo

Renault Kangoo - soon!
Citroen Berlingo
- soon!
Citroen Dispatch
- soon!
Kia Sedona
- soon!
Volkswagen Sharan
Mercedes Vaneos
Toyota Hiace
Fiat Multiplas
(Wheelchair
passenger travels in the front)

Kangoo ASSIST
(wheelchair
passenger transfers & drives)


ESSENTIAL DISABLED
EQUIPMENT STUFF:

Understanding


Grabbers

Puncture proof tyres

Run Flat tyres

Tyre Weld Aerosol

Fuses!

Spare Key


Wheelchair Ramps

Small Generator

Tools!


VEHICLE ADAPTATIONS:
Control Systems etc
Hand Controls Manual
Hand Controls Electronic
Van / Car Door openers
Van / Car Wheelchair Tie Downs

 


OTHER STUFF:
Used Disabled Equipment for sale

How to lose weight  FAST!

Email about modifying powerchairs

Keep it looking new 1 2

My Accident!


Climate Change

Electric Cars are a Joke!

Disclaimer & About Me

Site Map

Contact

Links


Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Mk1 Version

Mk1 | Mk2 | Mk3 versions + Timeline

 

This page continues with the Modified Power Wheelchair build. Plenty of important details here like moving the Centre of Gravity rearwards. Enjoy!
 
A new project over here Off road version for when you have read this 6 page epic! Or Detailed PowerChair Only Menu

 

 

Finished cool powerchair

New wheelchair seat bracket

Seat bracket big  |  Seat bracket huge

This is the plate that I had made (drawn on a tatty bit of paper a few images below) to allow me to move the seat back in small stages (all those holes) to get the correct C of G position for the whole powerchair. It is VERY important for a large number of reasons. I finished up using the most rearward one. The front one is in the same place as a stock power chair. That means that the seat is moved back 2 and a bit inches and that's all it takes, But don't even consider comfort padded backs or automotive style seats! They move you so far forwards the wheelchair is all but un-drivable.

 

The more rearward the C of G is positioned the better and easier your steering control is. This is because the rear drive and control wheels actually do the steering and having to drag the front from left to right with a lot of weight over it is very difficult to do especially on grass, carpet, or on slopes or ramps. Plus this extra effort requires battery power! Battery power is limited, and it takes MANY more amps to turn on a carpet than it does to drive on a flat surface at full speed.

Range and speed. Apart from the above extra amps a front heavy chair needs while turning or even trying to "stay straight" when travelling it also causes many more amps to be wasted (and slows the chair down) when travelling along any cambered road or pavement. As an example try to push a manual wheelchair along with its push-rims along the edge of a road. Most are cambered to let water run off. The wheelchairs front casters try to do the same, and it always heads down towards the curb. Same on pavements. Now, the more nose heavy a wheelchair is the more it tries to do this.

 You will find in some situations you are actually having to PULL on one wheel and push twice as hard on the other just to go straight and its bloody hard work!   The same thing happens with a power wheelchair its just that you don't "feel" this. But all that wasted energy is still happening.  Moving the C of G back reduces this waste, moving it forwards increases the wasted energy. I you were to move the C of G right back to the rear wheels axle then the effect is eliminated completely! The chair will just go straight and not be interested in heading for the kerb at all. But it would be too tippy! You would fall out of the back!  The correct position is -- just like a manual wheelchair -- where you feel the most comfortable. I like to be able to wheelie, tip the chair back at will on to its anti tip wheels, and have the lightest and most accurate steering possible.

Another advantage is that you have so little weight over the front caster wheels that a puncture does not matter. That's right, you can actually remove one wheel completely and carry on with your daily business. All (most) of the weight is over the almost puncture proof rear drive wheels. Which also means that they stay in contact with the ground for full control over tree roots, uneven ramps/pavements etc. Before, the chair seemed to have a mind of its own as a REAR wheel would leave the floor at times meaning no control.

Said bracket fitted (and powder coated!) with polished, greased stainless steel Allen bolts...
Seat plate fitted medium |  Really big image large

 

Seat bracket drawing

Here is the bit of paper that the engineering company got from me. So if you wish to do the same print this!

Another rear view showing the same bracket -- I use the very rearward hole for seat position and hinging (it tilts). If you do the same be VERY careful you don't go out over the back of the powerchair either while wheeling or slightly more unexpectedly when going up a ramp. If a ramp looks steep I have to run at it or go up backwards! Just like a manual wheelchair. You soon learn how steep is too steep!  It hurts though... Take care! I am not advising anyone to do this just showing you what I did!  Bracket medium |  Bracket large

Starting to look a bit more like a powerchair again. Vaguely...  wheelchair medium |  wheelchair large

Detail of powered wheelchair

And its shiny. I like shiny things... See the seat bracket again.  That's zero to 3 inches rearwards. It looks unimportant doesn't it. Well it drastically changes everything!  Also the seat back uprights are moved to the rearmost holes. The net result is a powerchair that is as tippy as a sports manual wheelchair with all the advantages (and disadvantages) that this brings. power wheelchair detail  medium | power wheelchair large

swing away -- powerchair

swing away medium |  swing away large

Above: This is a parallel swing away "pod mount" see the parts PDF at top of page. Its not cheap, and this is an old one that's been stripped and powder coated. They are a million times better than the crappy standard swing away linkage! They all wobble about like a drunken sailor and make it hard to control the chair! They are fine for the first week but after that buy one of these. They really are essential and should be fitted to stock new chairs. But the been counter won again.

Swing away control pod mounting

The pod has been stripped, re-sprayed satin black and re assembled too... A good few bolts still to add and or polish though.  swing away pod mount  medium |  swing away pod mount large

Wheelchair armrest

wheelchair arm  medium  |  wheelchair arm  large

OK, arm rebuilt and fitted. Brand new uprights are needed as they last about a year as they are a bad design. They start to wobble and rattle about slightly after just a few months on my chairs. I order them in black and don't get these coated.  I also replace the big ugly square arm tops with these soft comfort ones from the parts PDF at the top of the page.

 The T bar at the top is powder coated. The bolts are polished stainless steel, and the silver home made alloy bars replace the big plastic flat plates that stock chairs use. This is lighter, prettier, stops the sweat caused by a square foot of plastic causes on your legs and allows access to your pockets. What were they thinking!

self portrait

Close up of powder coated arm "bars" that now replace the big flat heavy plastic things it came with. (See green standard chair at top of this article)  Also a self portrait!  See the bolts! You can see four copies of me and my other black powerchair!

Still no rear light carbon fibre thingy, or Cushion (Jay2 in my case) or wheel trim discs fitted. But basically 95 percent assembled. No arm rest "bars fitted yet either here... And the dog has managed to get in this one too.
electric wheelchair medium |  electric wheelchair large

rear view - powered wheelchair in living room

The back. Without its lights fitted yet. But you can see how clean and shiny and the small skate board wheels to replace the horrid big rubber ones. And you can see that the push handles are shortened since they serve no purpose other than for my young lady to hang her shopping on. Please note that there are NO marks other than shadows on this 2 year old carpet. Contrary to the opinions of certain other self proclaimed we "experts" black tyres do not mark carpets unless either the tyre or the carpet is wet.

This carpet sees me for many hours each day and so far the only marks were on the white paintwork where I hit it many times. (it wipes off gloss paints) but never yet on any of my carpets although the rest are darker. And these are normal tubeless scooter tyres. Of course if you skid and try to mark them you can. But with a little common sense no issues. Of course your experiences may well be different but those are mine and I am not particularly careful...
electric wheelchair rear medium |  electric wheelchair rear large

powered wheelchair almost completed

Same as the above two images. Still not finished. The thing on the seat just allows me to drive it about by radio control... Its how I get it about without sitting in it. It works for all powerchairs that use a Penny and Giles control system. Its a very involved bit of electronics that takes the radio control receivers output and converts it to something the wheelchairs control system understands and its portable. It allows me to get into my van in my own powerchair and then drive an empty one into the space behind if I need to take a powerchair somewhere else for example. The dog did it again.
wheelchair and dog medium |  wheelchair and dog large

Almost finished electric wheelchair!

And another.  The dog is scared of an empty wheelchair driving around on its own. As were many of the people I met when I followed it in my other powerchair to the local college the other day to get some machining work done. I drive my own chair that I am sat in with my right hand, and this (or any other) empty powerchair with the transmitter below with my left hand. Requires some practice but after a while its easy enough. People are a bit surprised to see one crossing the road empty though. Pedestrian crossing are a laugh as you watch the cars stop for a waiting empty chair. I'm going to video it! Watch this space.  powered wheelchair medium |  powered wheelchair large

 

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Detailed PowerChair Only Menu


 

 

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