Replacing A Wheelchair Seat Pan:
Almost all wheelchairs sold in the United States have metal or composite seat pans. The seat pan, for you novices, is the part of the wheelchair that you place your seat cushion on. When using my Extreme 4 x 4 on rough terrain I am sometimes pitched a little sideways. Usually, I grab the right arm or the right leg lateral to provide some stability. Years ago when I grabbed the leg lateral something cracked and the lateral lost some of its stability. I didn't pay much attention to it over the years, but I figured something happened to the seat pan. The chair is 13 years old and needed quite a bit of work done on it this past fall. Also, because of getting a new gun mount it became necessary to fix the chair up for a new attachment system for the gun mount. It was then I realize the seat pan had become seriously damaged. Further investigation, to my amazement, confirmed that the seat pan was actually made of plywood. The Extreme 4 x 4 was originally made in Australia and I bought one of the first imported into the United States and the plywood pan are no longer used.
My neighbor Daniel, a 16-year-old high school student, helps me with a lot of projects around my house. I called Daniel and between the two of us; we were able to take the seat pan apparatus off the wheelchair. The pan and its metal frame were both wrapped in fabric. As you can see from the picture at the right the plywood on the front right had been severely compromised. I tried to strengthen it, but had no luck so I decided to call the company Innovation in Motion. They informed me that they no longer use the plywood seat pan, but they had one of composite material for $860 or metal which was over $1200. Instantly, I decided to fix the pan "myself."
I asked another neighbor Mike, who is a builder, if he would cut out a piece of plywood for me and he told me he had a piece of polymer (Acetal Delrin) left from a job and would use that for the new seat pan. However,it should be mentioned regular plywood would work just fine. Daniel helped reassemble the new pan, drilled holes in it for the leg laterals and cover it with Peel and Stick Shelf Liners from Wal Mart, camouflage of course, to reduce the slipperiness. Finally, 2 large strips of Velcro were placed on the pan to help hold the seat cushion in place.
While most individuals, who are in wheelchairs, will never have to replace a seat pan this does show how willing people are to help if they are asked.