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Restricted Mobility Wheeling

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by MNTrailboss, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Jan 24, 2005

    MNTrailboss Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    Nov 10, 2003
    I was wondering if anyone out there has seen/fabricated/ or knows of a site that would facilitate someone confined to a wheel chair (no use of legs) and still allow them to off-road. I have a buddy at work that has built several street rods, and is thinking about getting into a Jeep and doing some off-road. I've seen the air suspension systems, which could lower the Jeep/whatever into a more reasonable height, but vehicle egress is still a major issue -- what to do with wheelchair, in/out, ... Hand controls for operation are a non-issue – been around for years. Getting in and out seems to be the issue.

    I'm thinking a CJ/5 is going to be way too small to fab something, but just wanted to run it past you guys that might know of some places to check.

  2. Jan 24, 2005

    Kodiak12060 Sponsor

    Beacon NY
    Sep 27, 2002
    Has he maintained his upper body strength and what kind of chair? My buddies sportchair has pop-off wheels, folding back and is quite light. He can get in and out of a car just a little slower than you or I.
    Maybe he could come in from the tailgate.
    Make the front seat swivel and have a tilt wheel. Get his butt up to tub level, pull up the chair, slide along the back and into the front swivel seat.
    It would obviously be a fit young man's/woman's deal though.
  3. Jan 24, 2005

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
    Sep 20, 2002
    CJ6 would be a better bet - could enlarge the door opening ala M170 style if need be. Much more room for custom seat arrangements too.
  4. Jan 24, 2005

    mb82 I feel great!

    Charlottesville Va
    Mar 17, 2003
    i would think a TJ might be a better bet since they have air springs that you can buy aftermarket so the jeep could be lowered for ingress and egress. maybe even a grand might work.
  5. Jan 24, 2005

    Tumbleweed Senior member

    Mtn. Home, Idaho
    Sep 27, 2002
    I have seen an individual use a small pivoting, hyd. hoist to raise and lower his chair into a Blazer (70's). He had some bracketry and hand holds incorporated into the door jamb and seat frame to pull himself in with. The removeable top on the Blazer was air operated and hinged on one side to gain access to the lift and chair. Pretty slick set up. The Blazer was on 33's.
  6. Jan 24, 2005

    CT Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    I could see the side of the jeep being cut beside the drivers seat and hinged to open like a door. Move the under seat gas tank under the rear of the jeep. And have a flat spot for him to park and lock in his wheel chair with him in it.

    The top of the roll bar could be modified to have a slide out track operated with a 12-volt actuator. And a small electric winch could host him into the air so that his wheel chair wheels are at the height of the floor. Then he could activate the actuator to slide back in to the jeep and lower him into driving position. Two major parts Winch and actuator. A hydraulic system would probably be smoother with a couple of cylinders doing the sliding and hoisting.

    If you want me to draw a sketch of this send an email to cliff.todd@sbcglobal.net

    Don’t know where you are located, but I feel this could be done for about $1,000 to $2,000 with one of the machine and fabrication shops I know of in East Texas.

    There probably are many more folks in the same situation who would like to be able to do some off roading in a jeep if only they had a way to get in and out.

    I also know of a couple of ranches that have deer blinds that are wheel chair accessible.

    There is indeed a need in this market segment for some jeeps being converted. Might be a good business opportunity for someone.

    I appreciate you trying to help your friend to be able to enjoy a jeep.

    Please keep us posted.

    God Bless

  7. Jan 25, 2005

    nardo New Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    There was a guy that I went to school with that had a wheel chair crane in the bed of his pickup truck, it would swing out and grab the chair when he wanted to get in and would bring it out back to the door when he wanted to get out. I don't know what he did when it rained, maybe he covered it?

    Willy's Pickup maybe?

  8. Jan 26, 2005

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
    Sep 20, 2002
    I met a guy at the PA Jeeps show a couple years ago from the Philly area. He had recently flown to Arizona, bought a built Scrambler, and he and his wife drove it home. I think he had it fitted for hand controls before he left AZ. He wanted a Scrambler for the extra room for his chair, and he had to buy one already built as he was limited in his ability to access areas of the rig to build one himself. He was a pretty active wheeler. IIRC, he was on JU frequently as "Scrambler Guy". I haven't heard from him since then, and I haven't been to JU so I don't know if he still hangs out there. If he does, I know he would certainly be happy to answer any questions...


    EDIT: Sent him a PM through JU...
  9. Jan 26, 2005

    wingtime Member

    Clearwater FL
    Mar 20, 2003
    I would say a TJ unlimited would fit the bill here. We used to have a mobility company next door to my office that modified vehicles for the disabled. The stuff they built was AMAZING. The big key I remember was a vehicle with a automatic tranny, power steering and power brakes for the hand controls. Lifts to put his chair/scooter into the Jeep are a not a big deal. A custom swivel seat is no big deal either, or even a provision to actually use his wheel chair for the seat.

    As mentioned before a TJ is ideal for a air bag based lowering suspension. It already has the linked suspension required for such a mod. Just replace the coil overs with air bags.
  10. Jan 26, 2005

    MNTrailboss Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    Nov 10, 2003
    New thought came to mind. I bet it would be really hard for him to trailer his rig. I think going with a newer TJ, as mentioned by a few folks here, with some moderate modification would be the way to go. Then he could drive it to the trail and not have to worry about having someone get in on and off the trailer.

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