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Old 01-13-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
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Wheel chair lift hacking / reuse for solar tilt?

Has anyone ever played around with a bus wheel chair lift to reuse parts for something else?

Weíre going to have a large solar array, and Iíve been trying to think of ways to implement a powered tilt on a budget. Iím intrigued by these air powered hydraulic rams from HF, the main down side I can see is they have to be manually released like a bottle jack to lower.
https://m.harborfreight.com/8-ton-lo...not%20provided

That got me thinking about wheel chair lifts that should have remote powered operation in both directions. But Iím not sure how reuse friendly the components will be. Thereís a guy selling them locally off old buses for $200, or I might be able to find one free from someone taking one out of their bus, so the price certainly seems about right.

Anyone played with these?

Thanks,
Rob


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Old 01-13-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
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I haven't heard of anyone using the lift parts for solar purposes, but there has been talk about using them to create stabilizer jacks underneath the bus.

That's a good idea. The components of the lift aren't really designed to deal with the weather.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:54 PM   #3
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I'm going to lengthen the platform to accept motorcycles. Should be easy to do since they have a fold down lip at the back, all I need to do is lengthen that. Do you have a link to the guy with them for $200? I found a free one in your neck of the woods and am waiting on shipping quote to see if I'll jump on it or not. If not, I'l forward the info to you.
I think building what you want from scratch might be easier than modifying these 300lb beasts.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:59 PM   #4
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Hereís the link, this guy regularly posts school bus parts and seems to have a yard full of old buses. Iíve been meaning to go check it out but havenít had a chance yet.
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/p...423868883.html

Good point on the outdoor use, that could be an issue. If things work out the way Iím thinking the lift component would generally all be concealed under the panels so not too exposed to the elements when flat. But more so when deployed.


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Old 01-13-2018, 01:04 PM   #5
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Hereís the link, this guy regularly posts school bus parts and seems to have a yard full of old buses. Iíve been meaning to go check it out but havenít had a chance yet.
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/p...423868883.html

Good point on the outdoor use, that could be an issue. If things work out the way Iím thinking the lift component would generally all be concealed under the panels so not too exposed to the elements when flat. But more so when deployed.


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Thanks, gives me another option.
I forgot you were out west and I would incur the shipping charges.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:22 PM   #6
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People are dumping chair lifts all over once they find out how hard they are to sell.

Chair lifts used to be kind of rare and expensive. Now the government agencies will pay to install a new lift in a handicapped individual's vehicle because they need dependability. So why would they mess with a take out?

Personally I'd rather have a lift gate on the rear of the bus so I could use the lift door as an actual exit.
Then again, as o1marc and others have stated the lift is about the nicest way to get a bike in and out when you're alone. No ramp to slip off of while loading.

How feasible would it be to use an oversized lift gate on a bus to open the entire rear wall? Not as a ramp, but as a platform the way the lift gate was designed to work.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:39 PM   #7
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People are dumping chair lifts all over once they find out how hard they are to sell.

Chair lifts used to be kind of rare and expensive. Now the government agencies will pay to install a new lift in a handicapped individual's vehicle because they need dependability. So why would they mess with a take out?

Personally I'd rather have a lift gate on the rear of the bus so I could use the lift door as an actual exit.
Then again, as o1marc and others have stated the lift is about the nicest way to get a bike in and out when you're alone. No ramp to slip off of while loading.

How feasible would it be to use an oversized lift gate on a bus to open the entire rear wall? Not as a ramp, but as a platform the way the lift gate was designed to work.
I have to laugh when I got to Ebay for wheel chair lifts and find the first one list at $1000 and then one for $99. Good luck with that $1K sale, I wonder what the seller thinks when he sees his $1k next to a $99 offering. I'm definitely adding double doors to the back of mine. I've considered doing a full fold down gate/ramp like a trailer would have. But for loading as a ramp it needs to be at least 8' long which would require a folding extension to the end. I can see where WC lift could be adapted like a Tommy Lift to load bikes with. I stopped the school bus that goes past my house everyday so I could measure the rear door height, it's 40". So an 8' ramp should not be that steep to push a bike up. Of course my bikes all weigh around 400lbs and not like a 600lb full size Harley. My Harley only weighs 331lbs, my Triumph 430lbs. The gifts have an 800b capacity, so it's all doable.

I'm still leaning toward a side WC lift access and a double door in the rear with a folding 3' wide ramp that will side in a hole in the bumper and rest in the frame rails ala U-Haul. Depending on frame rail spacing a wider ramp could accommodate a 4W ATV.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:10 PM   #8
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My original plan was to carry a quad, but by now we both know a quad won't fit through the lift door, and it certainly won't fit through the even narrower lift.

Your back door idea would make keeping a quad in the back possible again. I'm still not going with the ramp idea but I would like to be able to put larger objects in the bus at times.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miscrms View Post
Hereís the link, this guy regularly posts school bus parts and seems to have a yard full of old buses. Iíve been meaning to go check it out but havenít had a chance yet.
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/p...423868883.html
It looks like a bunch of sad Praying Mantis bots.

mantis.jpg
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
My original plan was to carry a quad, but by now we both know a quad won't fit through the lift door, and it certainly won't fit through the even narrower lift.

Your back door idea would make keeping a quad in the back possible again. I'm still not going with the ramp idea but I would like to be able to put larger objects in the bus at times.
Maybe they make Quads that are narrower and only have 2 wheels?
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