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Thread: Full Size Wheelchair Van Questions

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    can power steering be modded like that darty.
    Yes, evidently, but a backup control is required for whatever reason: http://www.armstronglifts.net/products/zroeffort.htm

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    Darty, 75,000 is nothing on a E series van, if they're taken care of it's not unusual to get over a half million miles out of one. I also agree on the harsher steering effort on some of the smaller vans, I've got a VW Eurovan (rack and pinion) and it's much more effort than my Econolines.
    I have 218K on mine and only stopped driving because the lift died and then I bought a new one. I'll find another lift one day soon and get it back on the road as a backup, hunting vehicle.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  3. #13
    There's a guy on the Ford van forums that has a few in his fleet of delivery vans and have over a million miles on them.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadEye View Post
    I have 218K on mine and only stopped driving because the lift died and then I bought a new one. I'll find another lift one day soon and get it back on the road as a backup, hunting vehicle.
    What make lift? Some are pretty simple and easily repaired with off the shelf components.?

  5. #15
    that's just crazy. we get raped
    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    Yes, evidently, but a backup control is required for whatever reason: http://www.armstronglifts.net/products/zroeffort.htm
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  6. #16
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    I really don't understand why a full sized van is easier to steer. My guess is the power steering pump provides more fluid pressure to the steering box. Although when the mobility company's lower the effort of either vehicle you send them the steering box and for mini vans you send out the rack & pinion and not the pump. Maybe it's a weight distribution thing with the mini van, having both engine and transmission under the hood (transverse) and over the front wheels adds a lot of weight up there?

    I have been doing some research because $3,000 plus to lighten the steering effort just sounds ridiculous to me. I know a little about it (I was an ASE certified mechanic before my injury) but a lot has changed in the last 36 years. It's pressure and flow that need to be modified. So far it looks like 4 X 4 and off road vehicles have the same problem. They put larger tires on and that makes it hard to steer. Also if they are rock climbing and the front tires drop in between two rocks (like getting your front wheelchair wheels sideways in a crack) they can't get out / turn the wheels without easier steering.

    I do expect to get lots of miles out of my full sized Ford it has a 5.8 liter engine and runs great. I'm a big stickler for maintenance and keep up with it. I don't think I mentioned it's a 1996 and only has 75,000 miles on it. I bought it 7 years ago with 13,000 on it. The Chevy Venture I have is a 2002 with 30,000 miles on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    Yes, evidently, but a backup control is required for whatever reason: http://www.armstronglifts.net/products/zroeffort.htm
    ^^(A)^^

  7. #17
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    Interesting, I just saw a mini van today with a pop up roof on it. I can't remember the make, but it had handicap plates so I am assuming the driver or passenger was in a wheelchair. Anyway, could this be an option for you?

  8. #18
    Regarding the sliding side door on full sized vans, Automotive Innovations - a mobility dealer who gets on here sometimes said he has never been happy with any available door openers for the sliding, full sized door. My wife and I are rigid manual chair users who buy full sized vans, back when we had folders we had one rear lift and it was great for parking but of course you couldn't have a rear seat and once we started using rigid chairs it became very inconvenient as the 2nd user couldn't access the passenger seat unless the driver removed the quick release wheels.

    Re steering, we have 2 vans, a 2005 Econoline 350 and a 2010 150. We thought that going to the 150 might result in lower effort steering. The steering in the 150 is actually harder. I did have my Ford dealer check it and they offered no explanation or cures. We use 2 suicide knobs on each van.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    What make lift? Some are pretty simple and easily repaired with off the shelf components.?
    Braun Vangater, the older manual fold in half type. The circuit board fried and the motor is about shot as well.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  10. #20
    I assume you have looked at recent model mini vans. My 2015 has much more headroom than my 2005 did.
    Last edited by TomRL; 03-28-2017 at 12:45 PM.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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