Van modification for wheel chair

Hello, My friend needs to purchase a van then have it modify to transport his family member in a wheel chair. There is a company that would cut the floor
out starting from behinde the driver and front passenger seat toward the back of the van to install a sub-floor with steel cross members re-informance under the vehicle (a tub out of fiber-glass) low enough to provide adequate clearance for the wheel chair. Basically, you can automatically open the back gate with remote then the loading ramp would open (extended) then lower to the pave enable you to push the wheel chair with passenger into the van from the back gate. Lock the wheel chair in place and ready to go Questions: 1/ Does anyone has any experience with this type of vehicle and is there a concern to the uni-body from rigidity stand point? Please share your experience. 2/ Wheel alignment, tires uneven wear potential problem due to uni-body or frame modification? 3/ Heat and cooling for the back may require modification since there is more air space and lack of floor insulation? 4/ What about new vehicle warranty?
He is considering a 2003 Safari with a 4.3 Vortec engine or Savana with 5.3 Vortec for this application Any comment or suggestion is much appreciated.
Regards, Mnn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would you suggest you contact a Ford dealer, the converters prefer the Econoline as sturdy enough for that type of conversion. Speak to the Sales Manager or preferably the Fleet Sales Manager. I was once Group Sales Manager for an east cost megadealerships company. At the time Ford paid up to 1,000 toward a conversion under its 'mobility program,' as well as selling the vehicle under its discounted 'X' plan. I'm sure today they pay even more. Ford has a list of converters located throughout the country. There is a converter in the Mt. Pocono area of Pennsylvania that does wheel chair conversion, lowering the floor and using a powered ramp. They can even build a conversion that enables a wheelchair bound person, with only the use of one hand, to drive the van. Contact me privately if you wish at snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com. Specify 'Conversion Van' since this is a automated mailbox that will send you an automatic 'do not contact' reply. It does keep the mail for 24 hours before automatic discarding it. You can send a message from the same address three time before it will automatically reject anything from that address. You may need to send the message several times until I get a chance to access the mail drop and reply
mike hunt
NOSPAM wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Au contraire mon ami! Both the Safari and the Savanna are popular conversion vehicles for wheelchair access and the converters have no preference of Ford over GM or vice-versa. They will convert any make or model that is suitable. Many cab companies are running the Safari with wheelchair access, so they must know something that you don't! I would suggest to Mnn that he/she check with several cab companies and check out their wheelchair accessible vehicles. By the way Mnn, GM used to actually give a significant discount to anyone purchasing a van for conversion to wheelchair access. I'd suggest that check with your local dealer to see if a discount is still available. This would suggest that normal warranty would apply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm well aware that GM and Chrysler offer mobility programs, we sold all brands. The reason I suggested Ford was because their rebate was greater and Ford is the only one that offered an 'X' plan discount price to individual buyers. The cost of the conversion, of the type I was referencing, can run from ten to over twenty thousand dollars. Any cost savings is important. I'm not looking to debate the point. You may not believe converters prefer the Econoline, you are free to believe what you wish. Perhaps if will just look around you it will become quite apparent that they do. If you even saw one in a converters shop with the roof removed, to install an elevated roof, it would become obvious why they do. The fact remains seven out of ten conversion sold today are on the Econoline chassis because of its construction..
mike hunt
Sting Ray wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What I really find odd is that I have never, ever seen a Ford conversion, yet I have seen many cab companies and nursing homes using the Safari. I have also seen the older Pontiac Transports converted, but never a Ford. Perhaps different vehicles are more popular in different geographic locations. Mike, would you have a link to a company that converts Fords? I'm not questioning your integrity, I have just never seen a Ford conversion.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A full list sound be several pages long
Examples
Conversion Companies
Centurion Explorer
Google search stating 'A' to 'Z'
Access Development Access Industries, Inc Access Mobility Systems Access Vans of Louisiana, Inc. Adaptive Mobility Equipment, Inc.
Sites
http://www.superiorvan.com http://www.conversion-vans.net/mobility-vans.htm http://www.conversion-vans.net/van-conversion-links http://www.centurionvehicles.com/rockwood/rkwdmobility.htm
mike hunt
Sting Ray wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mike, thanks for the links. Unfortunately all the links only showed GM & Chrysler van conversions. Are you aware of any Ford wheelchair conversion sites?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do you own search stating; "http://www.fleet.ford.ca/english/products_services/specialty_vehicles/Van_Conversion.asp " for the list of Ford authorized conversion companies. There a several pages of retail outlets listed, as well.
mike hunt
Sting Ray wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

onversion.asp
Mike, is this supposed to be a riddle? First you send me to 5 links, none of which seemed to convert Ford vans to wheelchair accessible. Now there was no list of Authorized conversion companies at that last link. And the link you gave me showed a camper van, not a wheelchair conversion!!! Are you sure that Ford vans are being converted to wheelchair accessible units? You seem to be running me around in circles. As I mentioned earlier, I've never seen a wheelchair accessible Ford van and to this point, I still haven't!!! Mike, I'm growing skeptical.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Sting Ray" wrote

I've seen both full size GM cargo vans converted, and recently we are selling Chev Venture vans that have been converted to wheelchair accessible units. They are called Entervans and they are converted somewhere down in the States and then sent up here. I've had to work on a couple of them, and the workmanship appears to be very professional....at least as good as GM's factory stuff. They cut the body center section out and install a huge dropped floor pan. It appears that they also raise the body slightly as I noticed that they had some brackets on the dog bone mounts for the engines that raise the bracket on the engine up to meet the dogbone where it comes off the front rad support.
They also are fully covered under GM's warranty, though it appears that the conversion company covers anything that "they" do to the van. It's very nice....and the whole thing looks like GM built the thing themselves.
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you are having a problem it must be you ISP, they work for me. Try here; http://home.netscape.com/ or dial 1-800-34 FLEET for a list of Ford authorized converters that do mobility work.
mike hunt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you are having a problem it must be you ISP, they work for me. Try here; https://www.fleet.ford.com/enroll.asp or dial 1-800-34 FLEET for a list of Ford authorized converters that do mobility work.
mike hunt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As an FYI for all, GM is now offering a new base for the pass. side captain's chair, second row, that turns the seat 90, slides it out the door and lowers it to the ground. Dunno if it'll help the OP, but it's a cool idea, and GM is the first to offer this type of mobility assitance in the US, as an OEM.
It's called the Sit-N-Lift base, is $4590 and should be available on the Venture-based minivans.
http://www.chevrolet.com/venture/gm_mobility.htm
On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 19:17:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Try http://www.sparrowhawk.ca / They convert just about anything.
Barry
snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote in Specify 'Conversion Van' since

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Go talk to the dealer. Most of them will know of an upfitter who will do the entire process, then you pick up the vehicle at the dealer just like a conversion van. If done by a good shop there will be no problems and in actuality the van will probably be stronger than stock. Warranty usually is not affected by the work, however the specific converted parts will be covered by the upfitter company.
--
Steve Williams
Fort Plain NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the input
Mnn

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.