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WHEEL MAINTENANCE FOR A MANUAL QUICKIE GPV WHEELCHAIR

 

Introduction

This manual is for experts who work with/on wheelchairs.  It takes you step-by-step through three sections of proper wheel maintenance: 

 

 

A pneumatic tire is a hollow tire.  These instructions are made for maintenance on a GPV Competition wheelchair, but could be generalized for other wheelchairs too.  Quickie is the brand name of the wheelchair and GPV Competition is the type of wheelchair. 

 

The purpose of these instructions is to be able to describe how to perform proper wheel maintenance on wheelchairs.  The benefits of wheel maintenance are:

 

        that it makes a person more comfortable when using the wheelchair

        lowers road noise

        provides a smoother ride

        increases personal safety

        gives better traction. 

 

This will also save you money from not requiring other people to perform the wheel maintenance. 

 

These instructions are to be used by experts who could be wheelchair users, healthcare workers, or bicycle shop owners.  The person who performs the maintenance needs to:

 

        be an expert in how the wheelchair works

        know most of the terminology used

        know how to access the correct items that are listed in the list of materials, tools, and equipment section.  

 

There are some requirements of the person performing these tasks.  They are as follows:

 

  You must have full use and strength of shoulders, arms, hands, and torso.

*  You must have access to the materials needed as described in the Materials Section.

 

*        Note: Bullets like this one signify something that you must have the ability to perform or to have the ability to find materials that are required.


 

Scope and Organization

This manual explains all of the tasks step-by-step so that you are likely to perform the tri-monthly maintenance on your wheelchairs wheels.  The rest of the introduction will:

 

 

Section 1 will describe how to change your wheel bearings.  Section 2 will describe how to change your front castor bearings.  Section 3 will tell how to change pneumatic tires and tubes, as well as how to tell when they need changed.  Finally, Section 4 describes how to change solid tires if you do not have pneumatic tires. 

Usage and Conventions

We intend these instructions to be used by experts.  If you are not familiar with working on your wheels, then the instructions will take you through step by step and the processes used.  If you are experienced, then you can go to the table of contents to find the specific topic for which you need aid.

 

For Sections 1 through 4, the tasks are given in sequential steps with a few optional steps, each having its own distinctive style:

 

  1. Numbered paragraphs, like this one, show step-by-step instructions.  Follow these numbered steps to complete the given task.

 

*   Bullets like this one signify a tip to aid in achieving that current step.

 

     *   Bullets like this one signify an extra step that is optional, but is recommended.

 

      This bullet signifies the materials, tools, and equipment that are needed.

 

*   This bullet is used to warn against possible injury to the person or the parts.

 

Major Parts of the GPV Wheelchair

You can identify the major parts of the GPV Competition wheelchair (WC) by looking at Figure 1 below.  This picture was taken off of the following website http://www.justquickiewheelchairs.com/quickiegpvcomp.htm.

 

 

 

Figure1 - GPV Competition WC

 

Note:  The author, Susan Moore, courteously provided Figure 2 through Figure 19.  These figures are all either drawn with a computer-aided design package or a digital picture to help show some of the steps.

 

We will now look at the specific parts that we will be working on, the wheels and the wheels located in the front caster assembly.  The front castor assembly and wheel are located on the wheelchair as shown in Figure 1.  These two part assemblies can be seen in Figure 2 and Figure 3.  Keep in mind that if you have changed the wheels or requested special wheels on your GPV, the axle release button may differ.  However, the general concepts will remain the same. 

 

Figure 2 - Front Castor Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3 - Wheel Assembly

 

List of Materials, Tools, and Equipment

This is a list of all of the materials that you will need in order to do all of the wheel maintenance in this manual.  They can typically be found in bicycle shops or on the World Wide Web.  There is a description of what each material is used for and some tips on what you should and should not buy.  Some of the materials and tools needed might vary depending on if you have the standard wheels or if you have other wheels.  The materials and tools that could vary will be identified. 

 

      8 - Ball Bearings

 

      2 Tires (solid or pneumatic, depending on what you use)

 

      2 Tubes (if use pneumatic tires).

 

Now we will go over all of the tools and equipment that is needed for all of the wheel maintenance.  All of the tools except for the tire lever and the Presta to Schrader adapter valve can be found at a regular hardware store.  The tire lever and the adapter valve should be found at a bicycle repair store. 

 

      2 - Wrenches

 

      Long Standard Screwdriver a flathead screwdriver

 

      Dead Blow hammer - A rubber hammer with sand inside it so that it does not bounce back when you strike an object.

 

      13/16 Socket

 

      2 - Tire Levers (shown in Figure 4)

 

      Presta to Schrader Valve Adapter (only if you use pneumatic tires with tubes)

 

      Bucket of Zip Ties that are rated for 50 lb tensile strength (only if use solid tires)

 

      Sharp Knife (only if use solid tires)

 

      Scissors (optional for the solid tires section).

 

Safety Information

Make sure that the person performing the wheel maintenance is a fully able-bodied person.  Do not force things, because it can injure someone or break something.  For your safety and aid, it might be easier to change solid tires with the aid of another person.  This will allow the person to hold the tire lever with both hands and the other person can put on the Zip ties and tighten them accordingly.

 

Estimated Time of Completion

The time required to complete the wheel maintenance can vary, depending on the proficiency of the person performing the work.  The time needed for each section of the wheel maintenance is shown below. 

 

 

The time allowed for changing the tires is displayed as a range, because there are usually some difficulties dealt with while putting the new tire on the wheel.

 

Troubleshooting

All of the tips on troubleshooting are given in the specific section or topic where the problem is occurring.

 

Replacing Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearing replacement is the first section of wheelchair maintenance.  The goal of this section is to perform preventative maintenance on the wheel bearings by replacing them. 

Materials and Tools Needed

      4 - Ball Bearings

      Long #2 Standard Screwdriver

      Dead Blow Hammer

      13/16 Socket.

Preparatory Work

1)     Determining whether your bearings need replaced

      Bearings need replaced if you hear a gritty noise from them when you spin the wheel,

while it is off of the ground.

2)     Make sure that nothing is in the chair!

3)     For some of the steps below, we refer to the inner and outer race of the bearing.  Refer

to figure 5 to see where these are located on the bearing. 

 

        The inner race of the bearing is the surface

on which the force of the axle is applied. 

        The outer race is the surface of the bearing on which the force of the

wheel is applied.

Bearing Maintenance

1)     Push in the axle release button and hold while pulling the wheel from the frame.

*      Hold onto the hub for a better grip.

*      Wiggle the wheel while pulling it off the

frame if there is some resistance.

 

2)     Once off the frame, release the axle.

 

3)     Turn wheel so that the release button is toward the ground. 

See Figure 6.

 

4)     Grab the hub with one hand and grab the axel with the other hand as shown in Figure 7.

 

5)     Depress the axles release button.

 

6)     Place the axle on a cloth or tissue.

*  Wipe the area on the wheel around where the axle was to avoid getting grease on

anything.

 

7)     Take the wheel and place it on the ground.

 

8)     Using the screwdriver, place it on the inside race of the bottom bearing.  Use a dead

blow hammer to remove the bearing.  See Figure 8.

*   Make sure that you hold the screwdriver by the bottom of the handle to avoid

injuring your fingers.

*   If the bearing does not want to come out, rotate the wheel and try the other sides.

*   Make sure that the bearing is not at an angle as it comes out.

 

9)     Turn the wheel over and proceed with steps 7 - 8 until both bearings are out of the wheel. 

 

10)       Next, proceed to insert the new bearings into the wheel.  This should be easier than getting the old bearings out. 

*   Place the bearing as level as possible in the wheel, place the socket on the outer race and then hit it square with the dead blow hammer.  If it is not level, you must try to make it level. 

*   If it is too crooked, you must get the bearing out by turning the wheel over and following step 8 to get it out.  Then proceed to try again on putting it in.

11)       Repeat steps 2 through 10 for the second wheel!

12)       After both wheels have had their bearings replaced, proceed with section 2, which will tell how to replace the bearings in the front castors.

 

 

Replacing the Front Castor Bearings

Front Castor bearing replacement is the second section of wheelchair maintenance.  The goal of this section is to perform preventative maintenance on the bearings by replacing them.

Materials and Tools Needed

      4 - Ball Bearings

      Long #2 Standard Screwdriver

      2 Wrenches.

Preparatory Work

1)     Determining whether your bearings need replaced

      Bearings need replaced if you hear a gritty noise from them when you spin the wheel,

while it is off of the ground.

 

2)     Make sure that nothing is in the chair!

 

3)     For some of the steps below, we refer to the inner and outer race of the bearing.  Refer to

Figure 9 to see where these are located on the bearing.

 

        The inner race of the bearing is the surface

on which the force of the axle is applied. 

        The outer race is the surface of the bearing on which the force of the wheel is applied.

Bearing Maintenance

1)     Place one wrench on the nut and one wrench on the bolt.  Refer to Figure 10.

 

2)     Turn the wrenches counterclockwise to loosen the nut on the bolt.

 

3)     Lay the bolt and wheel on a cloth or tissue once disassembled.

*  Wipe the area on the wheel around where the axle was to avoid getting grease or grime on anything.

 

4)     Insert the end of the screwdriver under one of the bearings and tap the bearing upward until it is

slightly raised.

 

5)     Using the screwdriver, proceed to knock the inner spacer out of place by tapping it out of position.

 

6)     Once the inner spacer is loose, put it to one side of the wheel.

 

7)     Place the bolt through the bearing hole and on the inner spacer, then pick up the wheel and hit

the end of the bolt with your palm.   This will get the bearing out as shown in Figure 11.

*   Do not hit the bolt hard or rear your hand back to hit the bolt, to avoid injury to the palm.

*   If the bearing does not want to come out, move the inner spacer to the other side and

try again.

 

8)     Turn the wheel over and get the other bearing out by pressing it out with your thumb.

 

9)     Next, proceed to insert the new bearings into the wheel.  This should be easier than getting the

old bearings out. 

10)       Place the bearing level in the wheel and press it in with your thumbs, while the wheel is on the cloth.

*   If it is too crooked, you must get the bearing out by turning the wheel over and following step 8 to get it out.  Then proceed to try again on putting it in.

 

11)       Turn the wheel over, place the inner spacer in the wheel, and press the second bearing into

the wheel.  After both wheels have had their bearings replaced, proceed to step 13.

 

12)       Repeat steps 1 through 11 for the second wheel!

 

13)       Reassemble the front castor assembly.  The final assemble should look like Figure 2 and

Figure 12.

 

14)       After both front castor assemblies have had their bearings replaced, proceed to the next

section to replace pneumatic tires (hollow tires) and tubes.  If you have solid tires,

proceed to the Section 4.

 

 

Replacing Pneumatic Tires and Tubes

Tire and tube replacement is the last section of wheelchair maintenance.  The goal of this section is as follows:

 

        to help prevent the likelihood of getting a flat tire due to wear

        loss of traction due to bald tires.

Materials and Tools Needed

      2 Tires

      2 Tubes with Presta valves (see figure 13)

      2 Plastic Tire Wrenches

      Presta to Schrader valve adapter (see figure 13).

 

Preparatory Work

1)     Determining whether you need to change your tires

      If there is considerable wear to where you can begin to see the black of the inner layers of the tire.

      If the threads on the sidewall of the tire have worn through to the surface.

 

2)     If any of the above is true, then it is time to change your tires and change your tubes.

 

3)     Take the wheel off of the frame.

 

4)     Make sure that the axles are out of the wheel and lying on a cloth.        

*  Wipe the area on the wheel around where the axle was to avoid getting grease on anything.

 

5)     Release all of the air from the tire by pushing down on the Presta valve.

 

Tire Maintenance

1)     Use the plastic levers that are made for changing bicycle tires.

*  Do NOT use screwdrivers or any other metal to avoid scratching

 

2)     Position the wheel at an angle on a surface (e.g. floor or propped against the something) or your lap where it is easy for you to work.

*  It is easier if you keep the push rim (bar that is grabbed by the hand to push

forward) on the opposite side that you are working on.  The push rim is shown in

Figure 1.

 

3)     Break the seal of the tire all the way around the tire by grabbing the tire by the sidewalls

and squeezing to the center of the wheels rim.

 

4)     Take the first lever and place the curved end under the tire wall edge by moving the lever

sideways while pushing.   The end result should look like Figure 14.

 

5)     When it is in place, grab the back end (with the hook) of the lever and push it back

       towards the spokes and hook the back end on one of the spokes.

*   Be careful not to put too much pressure on the lever or the lever will break!

 

6)     Take the second lever and repeat steps 3 and 4 approximately 4 or 5 inches from

      the first lever.

 

7)     This should bring a section of the tire on the outside of the wheel rim.  If the tire is

      too taunt to pull the rest of the way off, unhook one of the levers and slide it in the

      appropriate direction to release more of the tire.  Refer to Figure 15.

*   Be careful to not injure yourself by pulling a muscle or having your hand

      slip off the lever.

*   Do not force the lever to far in order to get the tire off if you have great

      resistance.

 

8)     When this half of the tire is off, you need to take the tubes Presta valve loose by

      unscrewing the valve nut.  Pull the tire out of the way, push the Presta valve out of the

      wheels rim and then proceed to pull the tube out.  Refer to Figure 16.

 

9)     Proceed in taking the rest of the tire off of the wheel, by performing

steps 3 6 again.

 

10)       Take the new tire and place half of the tire on the wheel as far as you can, and then use the

tire levers to install the rest of the tire.

 

11)       Put the new tube in the tire with the Presta valve through the hole and tighten the valve nut

on it.

 

12)       Place the rest of the tire on the wheel as far as you can, then finish putting the tire on using

the tire levers.  Refer to Figure 17.

*   Make sure that the tube is not caught under the tire anywhere to avoid a flat tire

upon airing up the tire.

 

13)       Put the Presta to Schrader adapter on the Presta valve and air up the tire to the designated

pressure on the side of the tire, which can vary from 60 to 110 psi (pounds per square inch).

 

14)       Perform steps 1 13 on the second wheel.

 

15)       Put the axles back in the wheels by depressing the axle release button while pushing the axle into the wheel.  Then place the wheels back on the wheelchair frame.  The wheel assembly should be located on the wheelchair as shown in Figure 1.

 

Congratulations, now you are finished with your wheel maintenance!  The maintenance that was performed should last for at least three months, depending on how much the wheelchair is used.


 

Replacing Solid Tires

Tire replacement is the final section of wheel maintenance.  The goal of this section is to help prevent the loss of traction due to bald tires.

Materials and Tools Needed

      2 Solid Tires

      2 Plastic Tire Wrenches

      Sharp Knife

      Zip Ties (at least 50) that look as shown in Fig. 18.

Zip ties are non-reusable, plastic fasteners that are used to bunch or hold things together.

Preparatory Work

1)     Determining whether you need to change your tires

      If there is considerable wear to where you cannot see any of the tread pattern.

 

2)     If the above is true, then it is time to change your tires.

 

3)     Take the tire off of the frame.

 

4)     Make sure that the axles are out of the wheel and lying on a cloth.        

*  Wipe the area on the wheel around the axles position to avoid getting grease on anything.

 

5)     If there is another person around that can aid in changing the tire, it will be much easier.

Tire Maintenance

1)     Hold the tire so that you are looking at the side of the wheel and the spokes.

 

2)     Cut the old tire off with a sharp knife that is larger than a pocketknife.

*   Cut the tire similar to that shown in the picture of Figure 19, while using a sawing motion.

*   Be careful to not have your hand in the way.

*   If you have trouble, you should sharpen knife or get a slightly bigger knife (more leverage).

*   Beware of the tire slapping anything when it breaks apart.

 

3)     Place as much of the new solid tire on the wheel as possible.

 

4)     Use one zip tie on each end of the tire that is on the wheel.

*   Try to place the zip ties so that they are supported against a spoke.

5)     Using a tire lever, try to get as much of one side of the tire in place and secure another zip tie.

 

6)     Proceed to do step 5 again on the opposite side of the tire.

 

7)     Continue to do repeat steps 5 6 and each time you put two more zip ties in place, you need to make sure that all of the other zip ties are as tight as possible.  Do this until the tire is secured. 

*   Note that as you get closer to having the tire on the wheel, the closer the zip ties will be together.

 

8)     When the tire is completely on the wheel, take the knife or scissors and cut all of the zip ties off.

This is shown in Figure 20.

*   Be careful not to cut the tire or scratch the wheel!

 

9)     Put the axles back in the wheels by depressing the axle release button while pushing the axles

into the wheels.  Then place the wheels back on the wheelchair frame.

 

 

Congratulations on finishing your wheel maintenance, while saving money at the same time!  The maintenance that was performed should last for at least three months, depending on how much the wheelchair is used.