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Thread: Your Adapted Vehicle

  1. #1
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Your adapted vehicle

    Alrighty, looks like we have a cool new forum to talk shop about various gear. I figure might as well get it started with a topic of your car/truck/van/etc. and how it is adapted for your needs. So fire up that camera and take some photos and post 'em up

    First up is my car, a Chevy Monte Carlo. Pardon the big scratches under the door, those were from my old TiLite TRA wheelchair with the sharp exposed bolt-on caster barrels that would dig in to the paint. I touched those up and retired the TRA for a TiLite TR which doesnt cause this sort of damage.

  2. #2
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    On the inside we have a shot of some MPD hand controls. These are push forward for brake, push down for gas. The work pretty good for me. For reference, I am a T6 para, I think this setup would work pretty good for any para. Transfers are very easy as the seat is pretty high and goes back quite far; the door opening is very large, which means easy access to the wheelchair to break it down as well.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
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    We have a booger green Honda Element. Eric liked it because it has suicide doors but is small SUV size. I think we have damaged it more by driving it through the wild animal park and feeding the animals, than from his wheelchair. So far anyway! Who knew a buffalo would stick its head all the way in??? lol.

    He has hand controls. He used to have a seat lift but it was a pta and in the way of the door. So he and his dad removed it. Our controls look like *Andy*'s, except that they hang a little lower...he bumps his knees sometimes.

  4. #4
    I'd be happy to take a pic and post it later, but for now I do have a question. We have a 94 Ford van(E-150 I think?) with raised roof, bout 52000 miles on it, VanGator Lift, one of those driver's seat that moves backward, forward, up, down and turns around on a track, and hand controls. As with anything with adaptive equipment, it wasn't cheap, but Debbie's old van was two feet from dead and we had to buy the newest van we could afford. Now it's ten years old, and starting to have some rather expensive problems.Much as I"d like to just sell this one and buy something newer, there is no way we can do that right now. Two big issues - we have a problem with having to jump the van if we forget to start her up for more than about two days. WE've had it checked and rechecked to find the reason for the battery drain and have gotten no good answers except that the two battery system might be putting a constant drain on the system. Anyone ever had that problem and found a cause that could be fixed? Second, the lift is having more and more issues and I fear it'll break down completely and we'll have to buy a new one. We are pushing the weight limit for it at this point. For various reasons Debbie has gained weight and her new chair weighs more than the previous one. I think a lot of the problems are coming from that. Bolts wanting to come out, a tilt to the lift when she goes up and down, hesitation when bringing the lift up and down. Or - maybe - it's just getting old. Anyone know of a way to reinforce an existing lift to handle a heavier weight, or if not, and we do have to get a new lift eventually, anyone know the best lifts to look at?

    Melissa/Kendell

  5. #5
    Belle....

    I am about 2 seconds away from buying a Honda Element of my own. I always thought that they were kind of ugly until I got into one last night. Those suicide doors are the deal. It would be perfect for me and my chair. Are you guys happy with your purchase? Thanks ~Justin

    "Another day that I can't find my head...My feet don't look like they're my own...I'll try and find the floor below to stand...I hope I reach it once again" ~Norah Jones

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Kendell:

    . Two big issues - we have a problem with having to jump the van if we forget to start her up for more than about two days. WE've had it checked and rechecked to find the reason for the battery drain and have gotten no good answers except that the two battery system might be putting a constant drain on the system. Anyone ever had that problem and found a cause that could be fixed?
    This may sound kind of dumb but make sure your brake lights are not on. That happened to me about a month ago when my hand controls "adjusted themselves" so that it was pushing on the brake just enough to keep the lights on, the way i park my car i would have never noticed..luckely someone mowing the back lawn saw it.

    pics of my cars http://members.rogers.com/fxdown/

    [This message was edited by Down on 07-18-04 at 02:54 AM.]

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Kendell:
    Two big issues - we have a problem with having to jump the van if we forget to start her up for more than about two days. WE've had it checked and rechecked to find the reason for the battery drain and have gotten no good answers except that the two battery system might be putting a constant drain on the system.
    Melissa/Kendell
    Sounds like you have what is called a "negative short". The only easy way to track it down is to begin disconnecting stuff and constantly checking the battery to see if it has stopped draining. I just traced one in my wifes care to a plug in the trunk that had been crushed by the trunk latch.

    T-10 complete
    10/08/01



  8. #8
    Patrick, we did find out there was a short in the lift which we had fixed. Didn't help with the battery drain, though. I agree there must be another short somewhere, but if all the diagnostics run already haven't found it, I"m at a loss where to check next. Somehow, I suspect it just might be somewhere else in the lift, but if they didn't find anything else before I don't know if they would now. Cars - gotta love them.

    Down, I will check the brake lights. Thanks for the idea.

    Melissa/Kendell

  9. #9
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Kendell, have the batteries been replaced? It could be possible that the batteries sulfated and the plates in the batteries are shorting out in the battery cases themselves, especially since you mentioned that there was a short in the lift that previously ran the batteries down apparently. Most car batteries cannot handle extensive run-down cycles without damage. With smaller case sizes and manufacturer's selling higher and higher CCA's in these case sizes, that means that they are stuffing larger plates in the batteries, with no room at the bottom of the batteries for sediment that results from wear to settle without shorting out the plates. This in turn creates a situation where they will not hold a charge, even if there is no draw on the batteries. One way to see if this is the situation is disconnect the batteries for a few days and see if you still have the problem when you reconnect them and try to start the van.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by Down:

    Originally posted by Kendell:
    . Two big issues - we have a problem with having to jump the van if we forget to start her up for more than about two days. WE've had it checked and rechecked to find the reason for the battery drain and have gotten no good answers except that the two battery system might be putting a constant drain on the system. Anyone ever had that problem and found a cause that could be fixed?
    This may sound kind of dumb but make sure your brake lights are not on. That happened to me about a month ago when my hand controls "adjusted themselves" so that it was pushing on the brake just enough to keep the lights on, the way i park my car i would have never noticed..luckely someone mowing the back lawn saw it.

    pics of my cars http://members.rogers.com/fxdown/

    [This message was edited by Down on 07-18-04 at 02:54 AM.]
    This was happening to us too until we had the spring or whatever on the brake loosened.

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

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