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Manual no more? Answered

Well, I'm looking to find a cost effective way to alter my manual wheelchair (9000 xt) to make it electric. I don't need to go super fast, I just want a project to keep me busy, as I am a disabled vet with nothing better to do. They say I don't qualify for a big electric wheelchair due to my mobility currently. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Matt

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kelseymh

7 years ago

The hard part is going to be that manual chairs don't have accessible (pardon the pun :-) axles, so you don't really have anything to which to attach a motor. Instead, they have bicycle-hubs, with center clevis pins for detaching the wheels on the good quality chairs. The "old school" square hospital-style ones don't even have the center pins.

Ah, ha! If you're not worried about speed, you could do something with a motor and a single drive wheel mounted below the center-of-gravity of the chair, between the two rear wheels. The picture I have in my head is a real kludge -- a small wheelbarrow tire either directly mounted or with a chain drive to a high-torque DC motor.

Now, you'll need a sufficiently beefy chair to handle the mod. You're going to be mounting a heavy-duty motor, a 12V marine/motorcycle battery (and supporting frame), and wheel-and-axle to the lower frame. I think it can be done, with some decent welding skills, but you'll need to start with with a good-quality chair.

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caitlinsdad

7 years ago

Well, the big consideration is to make it safe to operate and that you have full control of the "vehicle". If you look at MAKE magazine, there was a recent build of a motorized carts, but one used two cordless drills as the drive source. You could try to adapt that or really rig it up with electric motors and heavy motorcycle lead-acid batteries. Search above for "electric carts" and such. Good luck.