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Need advice trying to modify electric cart

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    Video is very helpful to understand the project. Thanks.

    But, we also don't know your fabrication skills. I'll attempt to quantify better.....
    • If you can cut and weld steel, this will be pretty easy.
    • If you can cut, drill, and bolt metal, you can still do it I think.
    • If you can only cut metal and fab wood, we could still come up with something.
    • Without metal cutting you can't really reuse your cart, but you could still adapt the chair to haul your gear.
    IMO, the best approach, if you can do it, would be to strip down the chair to fundamentals, just what's needed to move, then use the removed bits only if needed, and cut/weld the cart to make it bolt on to the chair base.

    A similar, but simpler approach, if you can't fab metal to the extent needed, would be to use wood to adapt the two; just build a new wood platform on the chair base.


    You have a lot of flexibility, what do you prefer to do, and how badly do you want to preserve (how much of) your existing cart? What features are important to you? Are there things you would like to change?

    What can you do? What do you WANT to do?
    • [*=1]You can do quite a bit with angled aluminum or even angle iron, a hacksaw, and a drill. [*=1]Aluminum is much easier to work, lighter, and generally better; heck you can cut it with a wood saw (Circular/Table/Band etc) and drill it easily.

    There's 80/20 and similar structural 'grown up Lego Stuff' you could use, too, to minimize fabrication.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	29NZ78_AS02?$mdmain$.jpg Views:	1 Size:	23.8 KB ID:	92773

    How steep is your ramp?


    For the gig, in other words 'what can I do as fast as possible', for you it might be to strip the chair and quickly fab a NEW wood platform, since wood is so cheap and fast to work with.

    Again, if you can cut and weld, this is a whole different discussion.


    I think keeping the platform low is a pretty high priority for safety. The taller it is, the longer the wheelbase should be to climb ramps without tipping. If you keep the anti-tip-over casters from the chair, you may not need the wheelbase so long, but they represent 'unused length' if you will, so I'd rather eliminate them and just make the wheelbase longer, instead, working within the same overall length.

    It looks like a workable overall configuration would be to basically use the chair base as your cart, ditching all the existing cart wheels. Make the chair base as low as possible, while changing wheel location if needed.

    The wheelbase (length) of the chair looks too short to match your cart, is that right? Do you want it longer? If so, you can lengthen it. If not, great, we can leave the base alone and just work on adding a platform....
    1. The front of the chair looks like a simple pivot. A horizontal tube pointing forwards which the caster assembly pivots on. This allows the chair to flex/twist and keep it's wheels in contact with uneven ground. You could cut and relocate this, or extend the tube and add a spacer, if you need to preserve the feature. Much easier if you do not, though, I think?
    2. You might not need this feature. If not, you can just mount the chair's casters under your cart at the front corners, any way you want.
    Your existing cart is pretty simple. It's not the same width, so not possible to use without some adaptation of the chair or cart, obviously... Consider changing it's dimensions, vs. difficulty of making it fit, as is, as you noted. Making a new platform would simplify things a lot, but if those dimensions are important, we can work with them. What do you need, for platform size?

    I'd remove those rails from the chair base, they are taller than needed. Also remove the plastic body. What do we have to work with, for mounting points, and what is the highest thing we need to avoid? This will tell us how low we can go.
    1. The mounting points for those rails on the chair, the lowest bolt holes, seem a likely candidate for mounting your cargo base.
    2. Since the bolts are horizontal, you could simply make spacers to narrow or widen the rails and reinstall them to match your base, but it might not result in the lowest possible configuration.
    Hope that helps generate some ideas...let us know what you think.
    Last edited by JPLabs; 2 weeks ago. Reason: I thought of more stuff!
    Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.


      JPLabs Wow! Thanks so much for your input. I truly appreciate it. First, to answer your question. The ramps I use are 10' long. The cart is ideal for my music equipment. However, I am not adverse to using just parts of the cart. Unfortunately, I have never welded anything so I don't think this is a good time to start. I will provide another video after I remove the covers to reveal possible mounting points. I am considering what it would take to mount the wheels on the cart itself. But that would probably be a version 2.0. For the time being the wood or aluminum is a possibility.Would you mind hand sketching what you had in mind so I can compare it to what I am thinking? I like the 80/20 lego idea but I checked the prices on Amazon and it's pricey. A single 1x1 97" long is going for 32.00. That would be one expensive cart.
      Last edited by Stringbender; 2 weeks ago.


        Once I see the bars chair I might have an idea worth sketching. Get front, side, top, angle views. With your cart next to it if possible. Then can sketch on photos.
        Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.


          Remove the two poles/handles, turn the cart up side down and set it on the echair. That might help seeing how theframes line up.


          • JPLabs
            JPLabs commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice one!


          Originally posted by Stringbender View Post
          OK, not much response :-(
          Let me be specific. What type of motor, controller audacity temp mail origin and throttle would be best for the cart I am trying to modify? As the video says, the weight will probably never exceed 500lbs but the motor does need to be able to push cart up ramps to place it fully loaded in the back of my pickup. Come on folks! Someone has to have experience with this! I need specific recommendations. Thanks ahead of time!

          I built a remote control snow plow a few months back. I used electric wheelchair motors. Plenty of torque and work with either 12 or 24 volt. Plenty of used ones on ebay.
          Last edited by wailita; 1 week ago.


            Hi Folks! I had to set this project aside for a while but I'm back at it again. I'll include another Youtube link that will explain things in greater detail. Basically the direction I need to take has become evident after I removed the seat,rails and covers on the wheelchair. I plan on removing parts of the cart with an angle grinder and re-utilizing the brackets to secure it to the wheelchair base. I am going to try removing the steering casters on the wheelchair as well as I don't believe I will need them. I will need to adjust the height of the cart slightly. I am interested to know if you see something obvious that I am overlooking. Thanks for your time and recommendations!


              Again, video was very effective!

              I think you have it figured out pretty well, now! Looked at the pieces, and visualized a way to rearrange them for different use. Your a hacker now!

              Agree the angle grinder is best for removing welds.

              Agree front casters look capable, just don't crash into curbs too hard ;) . Locating the heavy drive at the back of the cart is good, and will let you keep wheelbase as long as possible, especially due to elimination of stock casters, also good.

              The front may swing around pretty fast when you do turns, since it's so long. There are probably several levels of responsiveness and speed, and safeties, which can be programmed into the chair controls, you might want to look into that.

              Keep an eye out for safety switches, like an anti-tip-over switch on the casters, etc. If you get to a point where it won't work, and throws an error, you may have to find and close such a switch. A switch that cuts power if the front casters leave the ground, perhaps? Or perhaps even a tilt sensor to cut power if it tips over? These may not interfere, but if it appears 'dead' or won't move later, or cuts out on steep ramps, don't panic, it is probably a safety limit of some sort. You can fool it. (Another hacker symptom: "disables safeties and violate warranties").

              Nice progress, I think this will turn out well. Cool to discuss a non-bike electric build, here, too, with Luna community forwarding the electric revolution!

              Is this an ambitious project for you to tackle, more complex than you have done before, by chance? If so, this is extra cool and makes me happy!
              Last edited by JPLabs; 6 days ago. Reason: Safty sensor comments.
              Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.