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Thread: WTF is wrong with my Permobil??

  1. #1

    WTF is wrong with my Permobil??

    So I've had a Permobil M300 for a bit over a year now, though my primary chair is manual, I use it around town a lot, and for specific things. But it hasn't had a LOT of use...however, right away the front caster was wobbling, then wore down, and eventually I noticed it was bent, and bending more. Then it fell off. Six months of red tape repair (not under warranty that part) with insurance and the stupid DME they sent me to, and it still wasn't fixed right. Even the caster wheel wasn't changed, came back all chipped and worn to nothing. I 'fired' them, and went back to the place that got me the chair. Just got it back, looked like a good job, got new tires all over...
    However, taking it out for a spin, I noticed now that both casters making grinding metal noises when they rotate, and the one that had broke made a lot of cracking sounds. There was also like the sound of something hitting the big wheel, like when there's a little object rubbing. The battery drained extremely fast, and I barely made it home. I think what they didn't check was the chassis, that somehow it's gotten tweaked maybe. I just don't get how brand new parts, and still the casters are grinding and not moving freely. Ugh.

    I think these rough sidewalks in San Diego suck for powerchairs these days. They are made for in the home, not that. Though I've never had this big of a problem. They're going to be coming back out to look at it, but nobody can seem tofigure this out! Not sure what to do, but it seems this chair is just constantly in repair!

  2. #2
    Sounds like a bearing issue, and could be from improper installation.

  3. #3
    It sounds like the spring load on the casters is to much. The first thing i do and have done with my first two mid wheel and my current perm m300 is loosen the suspension so only the center wheels hit hard. A smoother ride with better traction.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by alittleslower View Post
    It sounds like the spring load on the casters is to much. The first thing i do and have done with my first two mid wheel and my current perm m300 is loosen the suspension so only the center wheels hit hard. A smoother ride with better traction.
    I have a rear wheel drive Permobil Street, which I like a lot, but at some point I will need to replace it. It looks like Permobil is moving towards mid-wheel and front-wheel drives, but I mainly use my chair outside. Like the OP, I use it a lot on sidewalks in poor condition. I am concerned from what I hear about mid-wheel drives not being as good outside as rear-wheel drives, and also that they are less reliable or smooth. I'd be interested in hearing other M300 stories.

  5. #5
    Well, this is only my third powerchair, all have been mid-wheels. The first was the Invacare Xterra GT, and I loved that one. It would climb mountains practically! The wheels were bigger, and that made a huge difference. Now I hit cracks and my brain jars in my skull. It's very very harsh.
    I noticed there's maybe some tweaks to the actual area around the caster, but they are all hitting the ground now. Whereas before, the broken one was off the ground, It made this noise before when it was replaced, so something is still wrong, that isn't the bearings I don't think. Unless they're being impeded somehow. This chair also started screwing up as soon as it got wet. Being in light rain, the casters freeze up badly. My old TiLite ZRA did this, too! Too bad there's not a way to prevent this. Cuz then dirt and grit gets in, and messes it all up.

  6. #6
    It is disappointing to hear that they cannot get the caster right. That is really a simple component that does not take a rocket scientist to fix. The single sided fork-caster design may look sexy but that does make their durability suspect. I have had my M300 for nearly 5 years. I had new caster tires put on once. I have had an undiagnosed problem turn up over the past couple of months. On three occasions the chair abruptly stopped when a drive wheel drops in a hole. I get a brake error message on the r-net LCD. The brakes have to be disengaged, the chair moved a bit, and then the brakes re-engaged before it will run. However I have been unable to replicate the problem for a tech. I ran over holes for about an hour one afternoon and the chair ran without a problem. Frustrating to say the least.

    In case you do not have a copy here is a link to the M300/400 service manual.
    http://www.permobilus.com/manuals/54.pdf
    Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 05-13-2016 at 02:54 PM.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

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    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stormycoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsfxsf View Post
    I have a rear wheel drive Permobil Street, which I like a lot, but at some point I will need to replace it. It looks like Permobil is moving towards mid-wheel and front-wheel drives, but I mainly use my chair outside. Like the OP, I use it a lot on sidewalks in poor condition. I am concerned from what I hear about mid-wheel drives not being as good outside as rear-wheel drives, and also that they are less reliable or smooth. I'd be interested in hearing other M300 stories.
    My Numotion peops have Permo's as their main supply..help claimed major advancements in electronics & other. Said they're super climbers now & faster speed package..
    Yeah the mid wheels look cool just like my Invacare TDX but some claim the joystick is gigantic.
    I am not your rolling wheels
    I am the highway
    I am not your carpet ride
    I am the sky
    I am not your blowing wind
    I am the lightning
    I am not your autumn moon
    I am the night, the night..

  8. #8
    I think they put the caster in fine, at least these folks, but the housing is tweaked, bent, mis-shapen, something. Both sound like there is metal on metal after being wet. But it stayed that way after the first rain I was in. It drains the batteries, because the turning isn't smooth, there's resistance. In the house, it's really bad, because the slow speed and lack of juice, the chair doesn't go straight. Ugh. Good thing it's not my primary chair. Maybe I should file a claim with the city, because it IS the sidewalks that messed it up.

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