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Old 07-30-2011, 05:35 AM   #1
leejosepho OP
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Location: 200 miles north of New Orleans
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Classic wheels for my power chair -or- "Drivin' Mr. Crazy!"

Here is where we are at the moment ...



I have completed some intake and exhaust modifications to increase power just a bit.

The fine folks at Woody's Wheel Works have re-spoked my rear and side wheels, and I will also have the front wheel done later on while adding the Steerite modification to the forks as a "finishing touch" after the matters of toe-in and lean have been addressed.

I have found a 1500# 12-volt actuator for adding "electric lean" to the entire rig rather than just leaning the tug -- I learned about that from one of Woody's posts somewhere -- and I will build a little toe-in into my frames and then do some final tweaking at the sidecar wheel (with beveled spacers and washers or whatever to keep from bending the axle).

I have my new tires installed, and my custom plate from the State should be here soon: YMAHAK ...
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leejosepho screwed with this post 09-13-2011 at 06:34 AM Reason: update
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #2
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progress report

I am finally ready to begin bringing all of this together!

Using some old fence rail and my trailer ramps, I have mocked things up so I could get some final dimensions and order the tubing needed to tie my two frames together. The chair wheel has a 4" lead, and I ended up with a 45" track (70% of wheelbase).

My tubing will be ready for pickup in the morning, and I should be back here with a photo after my first actual roll sometime next week, weather permitting!

I never could have even *started* this project without all of the great help I have received from you folks here, and I thank all of you so very much!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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Here are my clamps to the bike frame. I was pleasantly surprised by how well these turned out from my drill press and a hole saw!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
stealthman_1
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Very cool. I'm very interested to see how this comes out. Keep posting updates!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
leejosepho OP
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Sitting on three wheels now!

I had thought about having 0 toe-in, but I decided to use 1/4" to try to keep overall handling from possibly being a bit *too* "loose" or light or whatever for a heavy rig. Tomorrow I will begin making the plates for welding the sidecar suspension to the cross-tubes, and that means I might get to make my first test ride by the end of this week! I will still need to shorten the second frame and add the front "chariot bars" and the struts at the back, but I can take my very first hack ride ever -- Can you tell I am excited?! -- before having to finish everything.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
leejosepho OP
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first ride

I got my first ride today and all went perfectly! Depending upon lane position and road crown, the rig runs straight and true. I need to do a little tweaking to get rid of a bit of camber, then I will re-attach the wooden deck and add struts at the back. That will not take long at all, then the actuator for leaning the entire rig is next ... and I can already see how sweet that electric tilt is going to be!


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Old 03-18-2012, 05:02 AM   #7
BeeMaa
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Like your set up.
Gonna want some report on how it rides with the chair in it.
Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
leejosepho OP
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Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Like your set up.
Gonna want some report on how it rides with the chair in it.
Good luck.
I thank you, and my test ride with the power chair in place went perfectly also! I had to adjust the pre-load on the sidecar suspension to position 2 of 7 in order to keep things the same with the additional weight, and that is probably where I will leave that set. After adding an actuator to also adjust wheel height on the sidecar (along with controlling lean and while also likely adding some progressive springs on the front end), I should be able to haul the power chair with my wife in its seat whenever we might go someplace where I will need the power chair. Other than that, I will be removing the seat from the power chair and attaching it to the deck for normal use ... and then that seat will be easily removable for giving rides to folks in regular wheel chairs (like someone asked me about at the auto parts store yesterday).

Many thanks to everyone here for all the insight and help I received during my design phase. Apart from that, I never could have done this and have it all come out so very well.

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Old 03-20-2012, 03:43 AM   #9
BeeMaa
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Congrats on a great build.
Love the look of the wood plank floor you have.
Cheers.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:

Howdy leejosepho,

Great job, I hope you have many happy miles whilst riding your new rig.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
BeeMaa
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Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
Why is there a seat and sissy bar on the fender of the sidecar?
Did I miss something or is it just for storage?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #12
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What a great job and ingenious too.

Is the seat and sissy bar intended for an additional passenger ? Could be considered if some sort of hand holds, or support, were provided ?

Any intentions to fit some form of bodywork, particularly at the front end of the sidecar ?
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:23 AM   #13
leejosepho OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Why is there a seat and sissy bar on the fender of the sidecar?
Did I miss something or is it just for storage?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecarjohn View Post
What a great job and ingenious too.

Is the seat and sissy bar intended for an additional passenger ? Could be considered if some sort of hand holds, or support, were provided ?
The owner of a local shop took my rig for a ride and loved it, but I could not talk him into taking a ride on that seat! As is obvious, that would be quite dangerous at the moment. However, I plan to add some wrap-around arm rests to that backrest, and I have a front seat on the way to attach to that frame in its usual spot along with a shortened handlebar that will be added after I have finished adding an actuator to the sidecar suspension. So ultimately, this rig will be a four-seater, and in this order:

1) driver
2) deck seat (or power chair or wheelchair)
3) sideframe front seat (with handlebars for support)
4) sideframe back seat (with rider in front, as usual)

Having an actuator to adjust wheel height on the side (along with "lean" for the entire rig) is part of what will make that possible, and the fact that I have done some work to increase horsepower will make it possible for four people to safely ride at least at relatively low speed (such as on an afternoon ride in the country or in a parade or whatever (and as opposed to any long-distance highway-speed travel)).

Quote:
Any intentions to fit some form of bodywork, particularly at the front end of the sidecar ?
No, and this morning I decided to shorten my ramp to reduce wind resistance. No ramp would be needed at all to load someone in a wheelchair, and the power chair does not need the long ramp unless someone is actually on it during loading.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:17 PM   #14
leejosepho OP
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I have added a removable seat on my powerchair deck, a friend is making a slotted end for my sidecar shock (so I can eventually add an actuator and have electric lean for the entire rig), and I have been doing some suspension and alignment tweaking. I started out with only 1/4" toe-in and adjusting shock pre-loads for lean, but I have since gone to about an inch of toe-in instead because having only 1/4" left me leaning too much and with the bike shock too soft whenever I had a passenger aboard. One thing I learned along the way is to set the pre-load on my sidecar shock to lightly hold the wheel all the way down when the passenger seat is empty so that a gust of wind from the sidecar side does not have the shock helping it tip the rig toward the centerline. But overall, increasing my toe-in has made the rig more stable and not seem to "float" like it did while I had so little toe-in.

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Old 08-24-2012, 06:20 AM   #15
leejosepho OP
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It took four months to get a slotted end made for the end of the shock for my sidecar suspension, but now here it is ... and what a difference it has made! The link you see here is temporary until I get a lever and electric actuator mounted, but yesterday I was able to fine-tune my rig's overall lean to the point that it now runs perfectly-straight almost 95% of the time and the "shake" I was getting at the handlebars while shifting the first couple of gears has nearly disappeared!

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