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Thread: Need SUV Modification Suggestions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    Washington , DC
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    Need SUV Modification Suggestions

    Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying an SUV. They are too high for transferring, so I need all suggestions/options that anyone may have. One of the options I'm interested in is raising for driving and lowering for transfers. Any and all suggestion appreciated.

  2. #2
    What is your level of injury (your profile isn't complete)?

    What is your reason for wanting/needing an SUV instead of a van or if you have no trouble transferring, a car with hand controls?

    I have only seen an SUV conversion of the Honda Element (Honda has discontinued manufacturer of the Element) and it had a ramp system. Here is a clip out of an article about choosing the right vehicle for you.

    SUVs are stylish, popular, and often coming standard with four wheel drive for off road driving. While this feature is nice in the occasional snow storm, the low gas mileage, expensive maintenance, higher insurance rates, and unstable high center of gravity doesn’t really make it worth the trade. Making an SUV accessible is extremely costly by adding transfer seats, kneeling systems and expensive unreliable hitch mounted lifts. While SUVs are as big or bigger than a minivan, most of the cargo space is taken up by bench seating for passengers. Once you transfer a user out of the chair and onto the seat and store the wheelchair in the relatively small space in the back for cargo, your storage space is cut in half.

    Reference: http://www.1800wheelchair.com/news/p...r-vehicle.aspx

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member GJ2's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Royal Palm Beach , FL
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    Hi Nic,

    i've seen a few guys/girls do as you mentioned and put in an air ride system that allows the vehicle to lower a few inches to get into then raises for driving ..
    the one guy made his own with firestone airbags that inflated with an onboard compressor ... you might want to check truck or lowrider magazines and get the ad's out of them for exact aftermarket kits and how much drop you get an the exact vehicles they work in ....

    a local friend here was talking about buying a kia soul but thought the xfer would be to high but i found him a set of lowering springs and hes thinking about doing it .....it doesnt always have to done by a mobility shop ....

  4. #4
    What you are interested in doing is called "bagging". Call a couple custom car shops where you live and ask them what it will cost and how far it will go up and down and how the ride will be. I would guess around 10k. And if you are buying a new vehicle it will probably void the warranty. Search the forum for trunk conversions, etc. THere have been a couple on here with a lift that comes out the door.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GJ2's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Royal Palm Beach , FL
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    Actually airbag suspension's aka "bagging" arent that expensive , you can find great systems under $2,000 and any good front-end repair shop or customizing shop should be able to install it for under $1,000 ......

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    massachusetts
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    air ride is an awesome option, i use air ride suspension on my car... if you have any questions i'd be happy to help!~

  7. #7
    I ran air suspension on a 2005 Suburban for a few years and it worked pretty well. Fully deflated the drivers seat was about 6" higher than my chair and inflated it was about 3 inches lower than the factory ride height. It wasn't cheap or easy to put together, but worked fine. That being said, I wouldn't do it again.

    Ben

  8. #8
    Here's a pic of the Suburban fully deflated.
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 06-09-2012 at 08:27 AM.

  9. #9
    Can you get pic w door open next to seat?
    Donnie: Dr. Xiao, What are your thoughts on a cure/combination therapy for SCI's??
    CG Xiao: Donnie, I don't want to disappoint you, but I think it is impossible to restore the continuity of the cord or "bridge the gap" in the near future, let's say: 50 years. Dr Wise Young has been my most respected scientist in SCI. He has dedicated and contributed to SCI no other can match.

  10. #10
    Sorry, I don't own that Suburban anymore.

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