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Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 of Mk1 version

Mk1 | Mk2 | Mk3 versions + Timeline

Please remember the starting point was a cheap eBay 300 UK pounds wrecked and very tatty & rusty13 year old Sunrise F55s Powerchair? Actually I did two of them at the same time, since its as easy to do two as it is one. Now I have three total including the one I am sat in!

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Best Powerchair
And I love Black. ALL my chairs are black... A powerchairs job is to get you around everywhere and anywhere efficiently and reliably whilst remaining un-noticed.

A black and silver clean shiny powerchair is great in business meetings, the pub or anywhere.

A red or purple one shouts look at me!  Or rather look at the wheelchair. People notice the chair rather than the person. 

A good chair is efficient, small, un seen but capable of speed, distance, is highly manoeuvrable and just gets out of the way.

Plus if you happen to be female then it clashes with whatever you wear.  Black doesn't clash with anything. 

As it happens I have black clothes (yes everything!) black van, 3 black wheelchairs and a black manual wheelchair. I like black! 

If you want you can powder coat yours yellow and look like a dick!  Your choice! 

I may do this newest powerchair here Yellow like the JCB its beginning to look like though...

Polishing Bolt big |  Polishing stainless bolts bigger

Above. All the bolts used on reassembly were stainless steel so they never corrode and polished as shown above. 19 UK Pounds for the grinder/polisher and the same for the drill!  I'm stingy. The bolts were about 95 UK Pounds though... And I ordered them from the cheapest place I could find online. Mostly I made a note as the chair was stripped apart at the beginning. Take out a nasty steel bolt, measure it and make a note then throw it away. For the home made parts (wheel nuts, footplates, armrest bars, etc I just ordered what I thought I would need. And a few extra! Actually I ordered twice that because there was actually two chairs being built. 

Above: Wheel centre disks and the round bars that I use to replace the big flat standard plastic flat plates fitted to the armrest uprights on a standard chair. The stock ones cause sweat, potential skin problems, don't allow you to access your pockets without a huge fight and are both heavy and manage to look crap as well as holding the arms a further 2 inches apart all at once!  A marvellous bit of committee design!  They just had to go! (Look at the stock green one high up on the page and compare to my modified one) These new parts will be going in a big box with all the other bits of the dismantled chairs, straight to the powder coaters to be coated in tough silver.  The wheel disks were cut (with a simple hole saw) from some 4mm sheet aluminium. At least 2 were. The other two came from my friendly machine shop. The long bars were made for my to a drawing on a beer mat by my local engineering company too.


Both can be seen finished and fitted on the first photo on this page! Look at the wheel centres and the armrest uprights.   Machined powerchair parts big |  Machined powerchair parts bigger

Power wheelchair footplate big  |  Power wheelchair footplate parts bigger

Footrest mountings (more beer mat drawings) and some other one off parts back from the powder coater. 

Footplate big |  Footplate bigger

Footrests on this F55 power chair as standard are the old fashioned swing away style ones. Yuk in so many ways. See the green chair again at the top of page. Problem is that again they manage to be useless and look crap as well as getting in the way while both transferring and manoeuvring. Only a committee design can do this! 

They stick out too far ahead too (here comes my feet, then here comes me) and more importantly they are "wide". Meaning that they sort of form corners. The chair is impossibly unwieldy and hard to manoeuvre in tight places narrow turn areas, small loos etc. So I cut them off where they mount on to the seat frame at the top.  So I changed the design (beer mat again) to give me a better cleaner shorter arrangement. Big saw and five mins later problem solved!  


I replaced them with this home made single footplate shown above and below. 4mm alloy sheet and a friendly engineering shop and a beer mat drawing with dimensions as usual. There is two shown. I am actually doing two power chairs at once. Top shows plates cut out, and a bit of angle 40mm aluminium cut so it can be bent, then riveted to the plates. below.

Footplate with Edge big |  Footplate with edge bigger

Above. All riveted together... Two mounting holes 8mm drilled. After powder coat they will be about 7mm! Perfect for 6mm Domed Polished Allen screws. Alternatively you could use countersunk ones. And then into the pile of stuff to go to the powder coaters for the silver coating!  

Powder coated footplate parts big |  Powder coated footplate parts bigger

Above same footplates as above and some other stuff  After coating. The bar here is actually a lock up bar to use instead of the rear suspension shock absorber unit. It replaces it so then the chair has no working suspension. Better when driving my van! Less good on the street. So I have both options (2 identical chairs) Things on the ends are spherical joints, rose joints, rod ends depending on who you talk to. Available from bearing places and very strong! These arte M8 Male... I use them on the footplate mountings too as they need to move.

Assembled footplate big |  Assembled footplate bigger

New smaller more compact shorter and stronger single footplate designed on a beer mat shown here assembled! The two square bars are 25mm aluminium, and the plate on top for strengthening the joint is 4mm steel. The bit sticking up is for the supporting rod and rose joint that will lift it up and down with the seat. Its also aluminium and milled to shape by my local engineering shop. Two needed as the other one fits under the seat frame. 

It fits like this -- into two more 8mm rose joints (female, and an 8mm threaded bar) since it has to move up and down with the seat since I fitted an actuator rather than a fixed rod so I can tilt back and chill! rose joint big |  rod end bigger

Removed, and the triangular strengthening plate fitted, and refitted awaiting tightening... To see the footplate fully fitted and finished with its rose joints and support click here new footplate fitted  big new footplate fitted bigger (new window)

Above: More stuff back from the powder coater! And a very expensive bag of Stainless Steel Allen Screws and bolts/nuts and washers!  bagged bolts & wheels  big |  bagged bolts & wheels bigger

powder coated wheels big  |  powder coated wheels bigger   Unwrapped -- Bearing holes are all filled with cooked and powder coated masking tape, Its a pig to remove after its been in the powder coaters oven!  Sets rock hard  Wheelchairs can be a pain in the a**! 

perfect finish big |  perfect finish bigger

Photos don't show the shine somehow, But trust me they are very very shiny!  The stock paint is thin, dull and the finish starts to deteriorate and flake off and the wheels go all powdery after one winter and they look a discoloured patchy mess. This powder coating just doesn't seem to deteriorate at all after several years in salty conditions. Just soapy water and sponge and its as good and shiny as new. As are the corrosion proof polished stainless steel bolts.

wheels assembled  big |  wheels assembled bigger

Wheel assembled, new bearings, new stainless bolts and everything (shaft, bearings, spacers) greased so no corrosion.  It needs to come apart again to fit the tyres and tubes. Bugger I forgot... 

4 new front tyres and 4 new tubes, cheaper to buy 4 sets at once and they wear out fast anyway... Mine came 40.00 delivered. (eBay shop) These are used on some mini-moto bikes, mini bikes and scooters both electric and petrol like the go-peds.  Actually I got 8 fronts (and 4 rears) as I am actually doing two of these power wheelchairs at once. powerchair tyres black front bigger

The solid type (grey) ones many people use cause batteries to die faster as they are harder to move and also harder to steer. These ones can puncture but they are much less likely to do so as the centre of gravity on this chair is moved very much back.  There is very little weight on these front wheels now. They just seem to ride right over glass and sharp things and very seldom get punctures any more.  As an extra precaution you can add a lot of off road tyre sealant as well as I do. As it happens I can now drive about without a wheel on the front anyway as the moved rearward C of G means the front is so light that one single wheel is plenty.

caster fork power wheelchair big |  caster fork powerchair bigger

Brand new caster forks were used (two of the four sent to be coated) because I managed to bend the old ones landing from hundreds of wheelies. But just like every other part these new ones too went to the Powder Coaters as the crappy thin stock cellulose paint finish that they come with is abysmal.  It just looks so dismal and dull and thin compared to a powder coated part.  Here it still has masking tape (baked) on... 

Here's an old rusty one -- also just back from the powder coater, and with two new bearings and new Nut.
caster fork bearings bigger

Caster forks and wheels joined up!  And new tyres and tubes fitted. Each one has a 1/3rd fill of off road (thicker) tyre sealant which is loads!  Stuff in the bottle is OKO off road Tyre Sealant. Trust me it works. At least the off road stuff does.
fork and wheel big  |  fork and wheel bigger

New bearings in wheel as you can see as well as on the caster fork. And everything powder coated like glass so it lasts and all bolts polished stainless steel because it looks prettier and doesn't ever corrode or go dull! 
assembled front caster big |  assembled front caster bigger

Getting some bits together!  getting ready for assembly big  |  getting ready for assembly bigger

anti tip wheelchair wheels big |  anti tip powerchair wheels bigger

Above... Rear suspension arms, and battery tray back from the powder coaters. As is everything else!  Reassembly begins. The crappy rubber plain bearing stock anti tip wheels are both too big and wont last more than a couple of weeks if you wheelie all the time as I do..  I wheelie all over the place like a loony (my body is 48 but my brain is still 16) and it shreds them! They don't let me tip back far enough either as they are too big. So I replace them with these tiny skate board wheels. They look better (as do the polished stainless bolts) and allow me to tip back further. I can wheelie and run along on these now for the length of the street and I do so every day. Or stop and sit in a bar drinking my beer tipped onto the rear wheels. The make a lot of noise but seem to last forever. The reason it tips back and stays back is due to the relocated C of G (rearwards) because of the new seat plates and the bigger rear drive wheel diameter (bigger tyre size) and the smaller anti tip wheels. 

Bearing housing powerchair big  |  Bearing housing powerchair bigger

Cleaning the rust and cooked masking tape from the frame! 

Done! Here's where those bearing go in the frame. You must coat all of the bearings and the shaft as well at the frame in here in grease or copper grease to prevent the corrosion that will otherwise happen after reassembly. Shame the manufacturers don't bother!!!  rusty bearing housing big |  Rusty bearing housing bigger

All greasy including the frame. Time for a polish!  This is one of four new caster fork bearings. This is the bottom of the frame.  Bearings fitted to frame big  |  bearings fitted to frame bigger


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