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Thread: Mazda5 with home built conversion

  1. #1

    Mazda5 with home built conversion

    I built this a few months ago, and now that I have all the bugs worked out I figured it was time to share, as others may find a similar setup useful and about $5500 less than a Speedy-Lift.

    http://youtu.be/0KgyWxqC1Y0

  2. #2
    You did well. I love seeing these self made or diy projects. Thanks for sharing.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  3. #3
    well done.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  4. #4
    Thanks. I know most paras and some quads are strong enough to just reach behind them and pull the chair up themselves. I am not one of them though. And I say Mazda5 in the title but really this could be done to any minivan. I just went with the Mazda because of the 5 inch lower driver's seat height for ease of transfer.

  5. #5
    Nicely done, just don't forget your car keys on the chair Mr.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsquared View Post
    Thanks. I know most paras and some quads are strong enough to just reach behind them and pull the chair up themselves. I am not one of them though. And I say Mazda5 in the title but really this could be done to any minivan. I just went with the Mazda because of the 5 inch lower driver's seat height for ease of transfer.
    Clue me in if I'm mistaken but from what I've been able to research thus far, the Mazda5 is the smallest car/mini-van with rear sliding doors currently in production and available in the US.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    Clue me in if I'm mistaken but from what I've been able to research thus far, the Mazda5 is the smallest car/mini-van with rear sliding doors currently in production and available in the US.
    That is correct. I like to call my mazda5 a "microvan". I almost went ahead and got a standard size minivan (would have gone with either a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna), but in the end decided on the Mazda for 3 main reasons: 1) lower transfer height to driver's seat to help save my shoulders 2) lower vehicle cost as it is smaller and is the only minivan with a 4 cylinder engine which also leads to 3) slightly better gas mileage.

    I could have easily done the same ramp and winch conversion with the Toyota or Honda and they would definitely have more space for getting the chair in, and they also are much more roomy for passengers and cargo in the back, but the Mazda setup serves the purposes I need.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
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    Nice job. It looks like we are similar (quad level) -- I do the drag chair into car, but its terrible when the weather is bad and you're not feeling well. I'm looking to get a truck or van but I don't want a ramp van that I'm certain. Your set-up gives me some ideas thanks for posting.
    A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo! - borrowed from Honey boo boo child

  9. #9
    Fantastic job Tsquared!
    I have Ford Freestar for last 5 years and I am transferring uphill on sliding board and
    got no enough balance in my cores to drag wheelchair into the sliding door behind me.
    That's why I always need someone to throw wheels for me into the Van.
    Now I am thinking to downsize and find a wagon or smaller van (Mazda 5) to be
    able to transfer easier and find a way to go places independently.
    There is problem. I am 6'-3" and my legs will not fit into Mazda 5 unless I find
    a way to push a seat more to the back. In that case my wheels will not fit behind me...
    If I find a way - I would eventually buy or build some system to pull my wheels
    into open sliding door behind me as Tsquared shows here.
    Other wagons or vans considered as Toyota Venza and Subaru Outback but
    storing wheels would be a problem and I would need assistance again.
    Any Idea?
    www.MiracleofWalk.com

    Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary
    to what we know about nature
    Saint Augustine

  10. #10
    Thanks comad! You are right in that you would be able to fit in the driver's seat of the Mazda5, but also in that the chair won't be able to be behind you and right up against the sliding door as I am able to. But I am thinking that if you remove the passenger side middle row seat as well and put the floor in on that whole area, the widest part of your chair, which are the rear wheels, can be push closer to the passenger side sliding door. (I only had to take out the driver's side middle row seat) That should give your chair plenty of room and allow your front seat to be slid all the way back while driving. Just need to make sure the sliding door opening is wide enough, and also once you transfer onto the seat like I do, slide the driver's seat forward temporarily so the wheelchair doesn't hit the backrest.

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