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Thread: Wheelchair Hell

  1. #1

    Wheelchair Hell

    I just realized it's been SEVEN years since I've had a chair that actually works properly. Holy crap. I've read elsewhere here that DMEs are notoriously bad with repairing chairs, and don't know how. Doesn't make sense to me, but it sure rings true. I just had new footplates put in my ZR that had broken, and suddenly it started falling out. They didn't even put the screws back in!! I don't know what kind those are, and I don't see the shim, either. Oye. My Permobil had a caster issue, and was at one DME for literally 4 months while they supposedly ordered parts, waited for authorization, and 'fixed" it. The caster fell out, with me in it. Another time, I fell out of my ZR cuz the caster fell off. WTF. So so tired of it. This ZR is only 2, and the whole time has had horrible flutter, no matter what. So I have to use a Freewheel all the time, and that probably contributed to the breakage of the footplate. Oddly, when it was broken, the flutter was less. Now it nearly pitches the chair over. So now we try to figure out from here why, and it'll likely drag on and on. I guess at least I'm getting some help with it finally! But jeez, over 3 DMEs I've used this past few years, every single one botches repairs, and badly!

  2. #2
    I might be able to help reduce flutter. Can you post a pic of the front of your chair?
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  3. #3
    Yeah I'll get one. New development, the screws fell out of my footplate, and so they put thread lock. On everything there, and the guy said he had to cut part of the angle adjustable arm off inside, and had removed my screws that I put in to secure it for the FreeWheel. I didn't get why, but he assured me he had to. I went home, and one side is still slightly slower, and after going for a spin, the footplate started going. The angle. So the screws broke. I ended up having to drill them out, and put new ones in, after an ordeal of getting it back at the right angle. Jeez. So IDK if these screws will break now, too. Why they did. But I'm really, really over it. LOL. I literally started crying, cuz it's just one thing after another.
    Last edited by heartdog; 05-04-2017 at 06:46 AM.

  4. #4
    I understand. When you post pic(s) I'll work with you to help. It's extremely rare to find an AB DMEs who truly understands our chairs; they handle so many other products.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
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    196
    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    Oddly, when it was broken, the flutter was less.

    Sounds like a footplate alignment issue. I use a level to make sure the footplate is square. Then I loosely tighten the footplate into place. At this point the footplate hardware is snug enough to hold the footplate in position but still loose enough to adjust it with a rubber mallet. Then I use the level again to verify that tightening the footplate didn't didn't throw off the alignment. If it's not perfectly level, I use the rubber mallet to make fine adjustments. Finally, I tighten the footplate into place and verify it's level. Perfect alignment eliminates the flutter.
    Last edited by August West; 05-05-2017 at 03:19 AM.

  6. #6
    yah, that flutter is normally due to the footplate being inserted cockeyed. pull it all theway off then see if flutter is gone.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  7. #7
    If using a level, check to make sure your floor is level also. If not, make allowances to compensate for the unloved floor.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    If using a level, check to make sure your floor is level also. If not, make allowances to compensate for the unloved floor.
    Good point!

  9. #9
    Similar to what other members have said. Totally remove the footplate assembly by loosening/undoing the front frame tube bolts/clamps. Then on a flat and level floor ask a friend to sit in the chair. This should make sure all four wheels are sitting evenly on the ground. While said friend is still sitting in the chair, re-fit footplate assembly and tighten bolts/clamps.

  10. #10
    Others are giving excellent advice, and I would make sure the casters themselves are not at fault. Check that they do not wobble when stationary etc. In fact I would remove them and check each bearing to make sure it turns smoothly. And carefully make sure that when spinning the caster(s) one side is not whacky too heavy, that is does it quickly always stop at the bottom?
    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.

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