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Hello folks! -

Hey- not sure this is the appropriate forum for this- and will likely ask the same in another... but REALLY need some help gathering as much info as I can on ( 1 )- the probability/potential of rigging an SSR out for wheelchair accessability, and ( 2 ) whether GM is still offering its assistance program for off-setting handicap accessability costs ( such as they did for my '96 S-10 ).. and ( 3 ) if anyone knows if GM has in any way considered any of these aspects? - I am a T-4 paraplegic from service (U.S. Army- Vietnam ) connected injuries. Have full use of my upper-body ( chest-up ) and arms... and am currently an owner and driver of an S-10 extended cab with the 3rd suicide door. It IS this door that makes the truck accessable to me- as; once sliding in, then folding the chair closed- I am able to place the chair in the space behind me. If it were'nt for the door- I could get in... but there'd be no way ( or place ) for getting the chair in after me! Now- the SSR ( which I am quite seriuosly hoping to have ) HAS no 3 doors, NOR space behind the driver seat. The chair would HAVE to go into the bed somehow- which I would be unable to do un-assisted. There ARE wheelchair hoisting devices that can work from a pickup bed... that look a bit like a hangman's inversed "L", that can lift the chair, swivel rearward and lower the chair into the bed. The "L" itself ( in some makes ) can then also lay flat. ANYhow... am desperatly trying to explore and work the problems- because the SSR is a magnificent machine... and likely to be as close to a "hot rod" as this angst-ridden cat is going to get!! Any thoughts? Or folks with any "inside" with GM- who could look into it for me? PLEASE let me know!!!
 

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I'll check for you!

Hey Butch my neighbor owns a local conversion shop that does upfitting for Vans and trucks. I'll ask them to take a look at mine SSR and see if what you want would be possible. Below is copied off the GM website and the link is below too! Take a look there is help for you.



You may be eligible for:

Special financing from GMAC.
Reimbursement (up to $1,000) toward the actual cost of permanently installed eligible mobility equipment needed for the driver or passenger. For details, see GM Mobility Program/Equipment Eligibility page.

This reimbursement applies to new and unused (never titled) GM cars, vans and trucks manufactured by Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. Eligible vehicles must be purchased through an authorized GM dealer in the United States who is franchised to sell that vehicle. Saturn customers must contact Saturn Mobility at 1-800-553-6000, Prompt 3. TTY users call 1-800-833-6000.

Click here for a sample reimbursement form in PDF format

Vehicles Eligible for Reimbursement:

New and unused GM cars, vans and trucks
Dealer demos/special event units
Leased vehicles (must have lessor's approval for conversion)
Driver education vehicles (previously used in GM Driver Education Program)
Fleet units

The vehicle must be adapted with eligible adaptive equipment within six months of purchase/lease and the reimbursement application submitted within 90 days of installation.

For full details about the reimbursement offer, contact the GM Mobility Assistance Center:

GM Mobility Assistance Center
100 Renaissance Center, PO Box 100
Detroit, MI 48265-1000
1-800-323-9935
TTY (Text Telephone) users: 1-800-833-9935
www.gmmobility.com.

Financing and leasing through GMAC

With GMAC, qualified customers can finance the cost of the vehicle and aftermarket adaptive equipment at the time of purchase. The service is available at your GM dealership. SmartLease by GMAC allows you to lease the vehicle and finance the purchase of your adaptive equipment. All devices must be removed from the vehicle at the end of the lease without affecting the original condition of the vehicle. You must obtain written permission from your GMAC branch to adapt any lease vehicle. At times, GMAC may offer extended terms on conversion vans and lowered-floor minivans. Contact your GM dealer for details.





http://www.gm.com/automotive/vehicle_shopping/gm_mobility/financing/index.htm

:cheers :D :cool
 
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Thanks amigo!

...and first off- a happy ( belated ) birthday man! Mine was on the 4th. September must be a righteous month!!

Second: Bitchin' Vette man!! Your blessed!!

Yes: As I'd noted- I used GM's mobility assist when I bought my S-10. Actually- as it is; I really dont need lots of bucks to make a vehicle accessable and driveable- as all I require is the hand-control conversion kit- and a heavy-duty hand-grip to replace the mickey-mouse factory inside-roof handle... which I'd eventually yank loose on account of needing it to pull up-and-in when I transfer from my wheelchair into the driver seat. In any case: the whole deal only came to a little over $500 bucks... and GM would have gone $1,000. But an "L" truck-bed lift would surely cost a good deal more. Still not clear on how well it might all go anyway... as I'd almost need to get right up TO an SSR to see how everything opened, and how far. ( As per namely the bed-cover. ) Almost wish there was some form of "extended cab" version- so I could just work it out like I do now with my S-10!

This will all prove quite a challenge all 'round... as my disability is not nearly as problematic as my VA disability/comp income!! You can make ANYthing "work" if you've got the bucks!!

All I know is- I just turned 56... and Lord willing; in the days I've got left I have GOT to try and realize my lifelong love and dream of owning a hot-rod!! Have always been partial to 32-36 Ford Hi-boy roadsters... or the old '49-51 Merc led-sleds... but again... bucks... accessability- and also the problem of not having the physical wherewithall of doing and building my own ground-up! Hence- it's going to have to be a finished product. Along that line- I now have SSR on-the-brain!! Mercy...

Thanks SO much for your time, and kind help amigo! Do let me know what you find out partner!! Till next...
 

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Hi Butch,
I'm a T-12 para, and took delivery of my SSR Feb. 26. I use a Quickie GPV, and the wheels & frame sit in the passenger seat (barely). GM Mobility will pay up to $1000 for mods, and I'm having hand controls installed next week. I don't think my chair will fit in the box, the height clearance may be an issue. A folding chair should work for that, I'll see if I can find out some more info regarding adaptable equipment. I haven't had a chance to really check everything out yet, as it's been back at the dealership waiting for guage replacement. There's very little room for hand controls between the steering column and the door, but the local shop said they could make it work. I'll keep you posted.
 
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SSR adaptabilty for wheelchair drivers...

Thanks amigo! -

I'm T-4 injury level... so "free hands" balance is always an issue- i.e. one hand must generally be involved in stabilizing balance; being as how I have no voluntary stomach & lower back muscles.

I'm taking it that you would literally lift the chair up, and then over your head to settle it on the passenger side? Unless you're gettin IN on the passenger side... then somehow going to get over the console to the driver seat- bringing chair in after you?

As I've described- I drive an S-10 extended-cab; with the 3rd door that opens backwards "suicide" style. Once in, I just collapse the chair, then pull it in behind me. Now I'm sweating bullets... because now it seems the new S-10's no longer offer a 3rd rearward-opening door! So... getting a new S-10 someday down the road also looks less likely as well!

I want the SSR in the WORST way man! But really need to figure how I can get the chair stowed un-assisted. I know GM has that assistance gig for adaptions & all... but I'm afraid it'd cost a good deal more to work this out. I'd thought of a gizmo I saw once - ( sort of a "hangman's" inverted "L" that laid down in a truck-bed. It stood up electrically... then the top part of the upside-down "L" swung-out over the side of the bed just behind the cab. A velco cinch or harness gets wrapped on the chair handles- then lifts it while also turning back over the bed. It lays back down ( with the folded chair ) out of sight. The problem is the SSR bed cover opens the wrong way if I'm not mistaken. ( hinges at the back... on the cab end of bed. ) If it opened leftward to the passenger side it might work... BUT we're talkin' more electric gizmo's... re-hinging... and drilling all manner of holes in a brand new SSR!!! The idea is to keep it simple.

If you could keep me apprised on what you learn and experience with your own- it'd surely be appreciated!!

Lord bless... - Butch
 

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chair lift

the lift you decribe would work if you permently removed the bed cover which can be done in minutes and then you would have a regular open truck bed
 

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Gonna be a challenge

Butch,

I have been involved in a lot of custom modifications to coaches for handicapped clients and have thought about your situation. At first, I thought this will just never work in an SSR, but if the bed is accessible enough for you...maybe. It's never going to be as easy as your S-10, but modifying the bed could work.

You're right, the bed cover opens the wrong way and modifications would mean drilling holes and extra gizmos, but...It looks like swapping the hinge to the rear of the vehicle could work. You would probably want to permanently fix the tailgate so the hinge could be attached there. As you will see on earlier posts to this site, GM wants us to open the tailgate before closing the cover due to expulsion of the volume of air effecting the seals. You would need to open some holes to the outside somehow, but that seems minor. We open the cover with a remote (fob) button or a button in the glove box. A gas strut assists the cover (sometimes). If you end up with the same situation after reversing the operation, it will sometimes open on its own and other times you will just assist it by getting your fingers under the edge. If you can reach the open edge you can push it closed manually. The storage does not seem very tall, but pretty deep, so the chair might have to lay down.

Remember, you would only have access with the top down so rain and inclimate weather will be a problem.

Good luck!

#1692
 

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Some more info for Butch

Butch,
I finally had the hand controls installed, after a lengthy wait for replacement bolsters, which I didn't want to cut without replacements. They will cost around $800, and there's very little room, with the controls hitting my left knee. I have very long legs, maybe this woudn't be an issue for you.

I've been trying to visualize how you would transfer and load your chair, and have asked colleagues at work (I'm a GM Powertrain engineer) for their thoughts. Here's some thoughts...

You may need a transfer board to get into the driver's seat. Hopping the console from the passenger's side would be difficult. Some problems include the lack of a handle on the roof to pull on, and I'm not sure the inner panel of the roof would support full-body weight if you installed one. I've asked a friend at the Tech Center in Warren if he could offer an opinion, and I'll let you know. I'm able to transfer without a board, but your injury is higher, so you probably have less trunk control.

Once you're in, you need to stow the chair, which in my case is done by breaking down my rigid-frame chair and stowing the pieces in the passenger seat. It's again very tight, because the seats don't have space to recline, and that forces you to pass the frame between the steering wheel and your stomach. If you have a folding chair, it will fit in the box, provided it's not more than 18" wide when folded.

If you removed the tonneau cover, or reversed the hinges and installed servos to lift & close the lid, (pretty expensive, unless you have street-rod buddies), you could lift & stow with a post-type or L-lift. I don't know any specifications as far as operating force for these lifts, but you'd want something that folded below the 18" body line.

I know that cost is always a consideration, and I think you'd be pretty far above the $1000 GM Mobility allowance. I've found that the guys I've met at cruises and shows are always willing to help with ideas and sometimes actual work, and it would be good to get suggestions from some car clubs. If you could get someone to put the chair in the back, that would save tremendous cost & modifications. I know it sucks to have to depend on someone else, but there's usually lots of people that will trade that little favor for a ride!

Like you said, it's too bad there's no third door, that would solve many issues. Personally, I love my SSR, but I would probably try to locate an old ride with suicide doors, and go that route with the 45K plus that you'll be spending. I really like the old Lincolns & 4-door Mercs, but that's just me, and you should build an SSR if that's what you really want. If you have any questions or need anything that I can help with, please feel free to e-mail me at the address listed on my profile. If you're near Michigan, you are always welcome to check mine out to see if you can transfer & drive it. (it's #97, a test-fleet vehicle). I know it's not very specific, but I hope this gives you a little more info. I know you'll find the right combination for you, let me know what you decide on bro... by the way, you mentioned you're a vet....thank you :flag
 
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