After Psycho Scooter Scramble, life really wasn't ever the same. The practicality and robustness of the electric wheelchair as a project platform is unparalleled. I have no idea why it took me and my fellow psycho scooter scramblers so long to start messing around with electric wheelchairs. They are simple to hack, lots of fun to use, and are really efficient and well built machines! I am sure that this is just the beginning of fun and impractical things that we re-use the hacked electric wheelchairs for.
Hopefully this Instructable will serve more as inspiration for your own whack-job creative electric wheelchair builds rather than an actual set of directions to follow. I can't say enough how much potential there is for re-using these amazing machines.
Step 1: Get Electric Wheelchair
Now the wheelchair that you decide to buy will determine a lot about how easy or difficult the next couple of steps will be. If you are looking for an adventure, buy any old wheelchair you see in your price range and saddle up for a few hours or days of troubleshooting and hacking.
If you'd like to make things a bit easier on yourself, buy a wheelchair that you can test and make sure it works. If the wheelchair's batteries are dead or don't hold a charge, don't worry about it as that's an easy replacement. The unit should however power on, not give any trouble codes, and drive around. If it does these things, load it into your car and take it back to your cave.
Audrey and I purchased 4 wheelchairs in one day a few months ago and spent an average of $150 - $250 per wheelchair that met these requirements. Some even came with fully functioning batteries!
Bring ramps for your car or truck if you can, and drive the wheelchair right inside. It will make life easier. Otherwise, bring a friend and do some heavy lifting.