Tighten with care! You might want to undo it one day! The nuts are self locking
(use Nylocks - stainless steel)
Fitting caster fork
Fitting caster fork
After fitting the caster fork and coating the internal spaces in grease the new
cap is fitted by Brian my chief engineer on this project! Most people would use
a large soft hammer and a thick cloth. This works too...
Fitting moss plug big
Stock wheels have several issues. They are too narrow for the tubeless tyres I
want to use. So that rules them out already. They corrode on to the motor drive
shaft so badly that they cannot be removed without heat and much abuse! Great if
you get a puncture at 3 am. If you use some grease to stop corrosion problem
then the keyway and key that transmits drive wears fast and backlash develops
and the wheelchair lurches about making clunking noises when trying to turn left/right etc. And they
are split rims. Meaning you have to disassemble the rims to swap a tyre every
time you get a punctured tube... And these bolts also corrode and seize!
Not very good all round then. Stupid method of attachment is the main problem
though. Fitting the wheels above using a different method of attachment cures
all of these problems and makes the rear wheels practically puncture proof at
the same time without the disadvantages of solid. foam filled, or other puncture
I buy online from
here and they do lots of different tyres including stock sized 8 x 3.00
as well as the slightly bigger and stronger tubed and tubeless 8 x 3.50
size. Standard powerchair wheels cant take tubeless tyres, and are too
narrow for the 3.50 width size. I use
these 8 x 3.50 tubeless ones
as shown above. The reason I use tubeless tyres and get rid of the
standard rear wheels is many.
Tubeless tyres are about 15 times less likely to go flat as there is no tube
to burst or pop like a balloon. (Ref, the Dunlop tyres web site) I cannot
ever afford to be stranded as the recovery options are too slow and
complicated expensive and possibly dangerous especially in a strange town at
3 am! These particular tyres also have a very tough construction
and a thick crown so are even less likely to puncture. So far since changing
over to these I have never had a single puncture in 7 years. I used to get
around one a month with the stock tubed supplied as standard tyres. Even so they are 1/3rd filled
with OKO Off Road tyre seal...
as a real belt and braces precaution.
Plus I always keep a spare wheel and tyre combination in my Van! With a 4
bolt fixing they are easy to swap over "just in case" as you never really
know... And as the tyres are a little bigger it increases the overall
gearing and top speed at the same time by a noticeable amount.
4 pole motor
A brand new 4 pole motor. I have 6 here and about10 old
knackered or very tired ones...
Including 2 that have failed very traumatically and suddenly! They locked up rock solid on
different occasions and for different reasons. Collapsed bearings at one end of the motor
and shattered magnets jamming the armature solidly.
So now at ANY sign of funny noise or any other movement
problem they get replaced same day and the old ones stripped so I can see what is
happening. I am a hands on sort of guy and I just have to know. Knowledge is
Sod the expense getting stranded isn't an option. If
they make 2 years they are generally buggered anyway, at least mine are, so they go into the pile of old
motors kept as spares after a good strip and inspection. I have some old 2 pole ones as well
-- these really are crap and destroy gearboxes and motor brushes about twice as
fast as the later better 4 pole ones.
The thing is that contrary
to what some online power wheelchair supposed self proclaimed "experts" may tell you they wear out fast if
you actually use and abuse them hard every day. If you sit at a computer all day then
maybe they last a lot longer but it pays to check before you are stranded.
The same source claims motor brushes last the life of a
powerchair! Don't know what he's on, but I have a big pile of totally buggered
ones here, that all made about one and a half years before dying to prove he's
wrong. Here's a picture
of a new brush versus a eighteen month old one...
See here !! I
have a big pile of these knackered motor brushes. Along with my pile of worn out
noisy motors and clunky gearboxes.
So contrary to what you may read elsewhere on a self proclaimed experts website it is a good idea
to check them every year or eighteen months and while you are at it to also blow all the dust out with an airline.
I get clouds of it out so do it outside! It only takes a few mins and is peace of mind. If
you don't worry about failure and getting stranded somewhere then don't bother!
At least you will know how heavy you and your chair are on motor brushes.
Its also worth examining the connections here too as they burn
and corrode -- at least mine do -- pretty regularly. Motor brushes don't
just wear but they burn up if you live in an area full of steep hills and ramps.
Make sure they are clean and secure and show no sign of heat. These simple
connections have to cope with 100 amps often while wet or dirty and they are
pretty small. I have had them burn off completely on one occasion and cause
intermittent operation on several other occasions. Mainly caused by the salt and
crap that they throw on our streets and pavements. So assemble with some
petroleum jelly to help stop that happening.
But when the brushes do get to that state the gearboxes as well as
the motor bearings and the internal magnet strength (and so motor efficiency) are all a bit doubtful anyway. So
its really false economy to re-use old motors. At least for me. If yours have
been used by grandma, on a softly programmed powerchair and are quiet, smooth
and the brushes show no sign of wear or other damage then you may be OK to put
them back on.
Fitting a new motor to the battery tray / swinging arm assembly. Stainless bolts
and everything greased... I hate corrosion.
One fitted, or at least 2 bolts are!
Woo -- Looking good. My rooms not very tidy though. Its my
bedroom/office/workshop/and even has a lathe.
I live like an animal.
24v Powerchair Motor big
Brian, my chief engineer, and long suffering carer, car washer and grass cutter looking at the date on the grease because it ran out
already and I only bought it in 1977... How time flies. No wonder its an odd
This is the battery tray, rear swinging arms that allow suspension, with brand
new 4 pole tall geared motors fitted.
Now a Spring / shock absorber is fitted. This is 13 years old. Stripped cleaned,
blasted, and powder coated and
rebuilt like the rest of the chair! Nothing from the donor chair goes back
unless its redesigned, rebuilt, or better than "new".
Above: And the other one!
Suspension Unit big
Partially reunited with the main frame.
Main powerchair frame
Main powerchair frame
The motor/battery tray/suspension now fully reunited with the main frame. 6
Bolts! But now its looking better. Total rebuild time genuinely only about
3 hours, 1 of which was me wasting time with the camera! Its all in the
preparation and planning. And I have done this a few times before.
Cant remember what we were doing here. Oh yes! Wheels...
Fitting wheels big
I give up...
wheelchair build bigger
Thrown on floor, time for pub. But now it rolls! And is getting heavy.
Above: The "push handles" have been shortened by about 5 inches with a big
hacksaw. Then were filed and powder coated along with all the other black
brackets and parts. The reason is that the chair is way too heavy to push
anyway. And because in the interests of keeping the powerchair compact and
manoeuvrable they just had to be shorter! After moving the seat back to shorten the
chair and help with a multitude of things they were the very thing that hit the
wall first so where now in the way. So now they don't hit the wall when I reverse but my head does.
That's how all chairs SHOULD be EVERY INCH COUNTS. Anything else means your powerchair is
excessively long meaning manoeuvrability is limited. Nothing else at the rear of the
wheelchair sticks out further than my head. This keeps it compact and short as
the footrest plate is also about 6 four inches further back too so turning in
tight spaces or in my van, public bathrooms etc is all so much easier. Or
easily possible where it just was not possible before.
As you can see even the seat back bar is refinished...
Seat frame, seat back reassembly. Stainless bolts, grease, much care and new
upholstery! And its in the wrong order...
Seat Back big
Seat Frame big
This is the front corner of the seat frame. It used to have a big bulky
fitting/connection to allow the swing away footplates to connect to the frame.
Until I sawed it off... Horrid old fashioned bulky things that get in the way of
my transfers and hit every doorframe and obstacle in the universe!
PowerChairs SHOULD NOT HAVE "CORNERS"! These things are just too bulky for
indoor use in small areas. See the stock green chair at top to see what I am rambling
about. Or click
frame moss plug big
frame moss plug
With new plastic plug fitted. These are really meant for the other end where the
backrest goes, I just ordered 4 instead of 2 from Sunrise Medical along with the
rest of my parts.
Here's where the other end needs them!
seat assembled big
plugs seat assembled
Linear Actuator big
Powerchair linear Actuator
The big black square thing is a "linear actuator", Woo! Its a ram with a motor in
it. Allows the seat to tilt back to chill with a beer. But this chair can do
that on its anti tip wheels with a little use of the throttle! So you have to
remember not to do both together or you land upside down. Been there! Be warned.
there are no cuddly safety Nazi "inhibits" on this chair, it allows you to do
what you want. This
chair requires some actual operator common sense and isn't controlled by the
Giles power module big
Penny & Giles
Power Module. This thing lives under the seat plate and actually is the part
that controls your powerchair. Inside is a programmable computer and some "speed
controllers" that take the battery power and distribute it to your motors in the
form of pulses at high frequency. This one is a standard (and dirty) one. It is
80 amps max. That's "just" enough for a 6mph power chair with a light user. I'm
not light, and this powerchair has slightly taller gearing due to bigger wheels
so its not enough. The ones that I use on my 3 powerchairs are Penny and Giles
Pilot Plus 100 Amp modules. Only slightly better than stock, but
noticeable when trying to manoeuvre on ramps or when reprogrammed to allow 100
percent acceleration and wheelies etc.-- both are exactly the same to look at as this one
shown so you cant tell just by looking. This allows more torque and amps to get
you over thresholds, and to manoeuvre in difficult conditions once programmed
Wiring just involves reconnecting 4 connections. 1 battery, 2 right motor, 3
left motor, 4 the serial data cable that goes to the pod. Very simple stuff that
any dummy can do.
Fitting power cables big
Fitting power cables
Then push all the wires back into the battery box
Wiring Powerchair big
Powerchair power module
And then add the 2 stainless steel cap screws to hold it in place! Wiring done!
Fitting the seat frame to the main chassis. Notice the new home made seat
bracket. It has 5 holes to allow the seat to be relocated back by up to about 3
inches. This is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL if you want a controllable light steering
chair that can wheelie like a manual wheelchair! It saves battery power and
means front punctures no longer slow you down too. There's a drawing somewhere
| 4 |
of Mk1 version
Mk3 versions +