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  • Permobil Front Casters

    Currently driving Permobil M400 midwheel drive chair. The front casters are 6 inches in diameter. Need to know if smaller (four inch} casters would provide improved turning/maneuvering. The stock casters seem slow to respond to joy stick input, plus they cause the chair to abruptly swerve. My thinking is smaller diameter front casters would perform better and smoother. Any advice?.
    You C.A.N.
    Conquer Adversity Now

  • #2
    Nope, been there done that.
    Check that casters swivel freely. An AB person can individually lift them, spin/swivel them around. If they don't swivel freely several times, something is causing drag.
    2014 I got an M300 w/4" casters. I complained about the jerking. Tech came out, found casters not free enough. Installed updated washer/spacer in each caster. They then swiveled freely. Not much (if any) improvement with jerking. He gave me a programming dongle and I softened/delayed steering. Only a slight improvement.
    Ran up and down street, thinking that I would wear in tires and reduce the "grippyness". No help.
    I got the 4" casters, thinking smaller tire = less contact patch would be better than "6 ones I had on another chair. I was wrong.
    <150 miles I parked M300 and out of pocket, I bought a used C300. Front drive solved all my issues.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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    • #3
      Also, the flat tread caster tires grip more than round tread. Flat tread adds more resistance to castor swiveling. I wanted to try some round tread ones but, for me, center drive has too many negative characteristics. I think the newer Permobils' have a more rounded tread. That should tell us something.
      Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
      Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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      • #4
        Agree that the swivel in these casters can be adjusted to help with that jerky swerve problem. Most Permobil mechanics will not make the adjustment, because they are afraid of creating caster wobble/flutter. There is a fine line, but it can be achieved. That said, it won't be perfect, but loosening the caster bolt will help.

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        • #5
          I softened the suspension on mine for a smoother ride and hoped it'd help the jerking. Helped a little but since the mid wheel has no suspension, still rough. This also caused caster wobble @ 8 MPH and was easier to get stuck (high side). Before softening shocks and with free casters, I had no wobble.
          Mid wheels just don't fit my uses around the house. Although I have a small Pronto M61 in my van that serves it's purpose well. Doc and grocery trips only. I would get rid of it but it's the only chair I have that my Bruno Joey will pick up.
          Last edited by Gearhead; 06-18-2019, 12:06 AM. Reason: typed wrong chair number, M61 is correct
          Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
          Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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