For the last few months in the pursuit of laziness I’ve been kicking around with several people the concept of building an epic, completely impractical but o-so-awesome mobility device.
This started with the procurement of a body for said mobility device which will be unveiled in due time and in the weekend with the purchase of an old Plega Mobility Scooter. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of it before ripping it apart to have a look at its guts and how it can be modified, so the Trade-Me photos are all I’ve got of it in its former glory
Front view, broken cowling and one broken arm rest were the only damage to it as far as aesthetics go but this doesn’t really matter as it’s all going to go anyway. Please note the safety features included in this model, namely the front headlight and indicators 😛
Rear of scooter, LED brake lights and indicators. Also features a rear crumple bumper to absorb the shock from those unfortunately frequent fender benders. Charging port to the right of the badge.
Control panel, 4 speed settings, battery level in bottom right, indicators, headlight and horn.
And now some pictures from after I ripped off the cowlings to expose the frame.
Firstly this thing has an awesome steering lock on it which is going to make it so much more maneuverable than I originally thought.
It also has hot swappable battery boxes, 1 x 12v deep cycle battery in each which you can just lift in and out without having to disconnect the battery terminals from the wiring.
2 x rear motors, optimal as it means that no differential required.
Taking the thing apart was a breeze. Firstly the seat (which slides backwards and forwards and has 5 locking rotation positions!) lifts out of its stand. You can then lift up the center section of cowling to expose and then remove the batteries. The rear drive section then disconnects from the front 2/3rds of the scooter by pulling one pin directly behind the seat post. All cabling is connected to a large connector with a plug / socket on each side which connects / disconnects automatically as you attach / detach the drive section. No having to plug and unplug / work out where a large mass of connectors go here.
The large black box between the motors contains the main PCB and a massive transformer to bring the 240V down. 6 bolts and you can remove one side of the box to peek inside. Remove the grey rear bumper and 3 bolts underneath and the rear cowling comes off.
At the front of the scooter once again excellent modular design makes itself apparent. everything is really simple to remove / re attach, every bolt has either a tapped hole or a captive nut so no trying to hold one side in an awkward position whilst trying to undo the other side. Cables have connectors in just the right place and are routed in just the right way to make the scooter easy to service but not at the cost of functionality.
The only hard part of the tear down was removing the front cowling. I guess it’s not a part that you would actually have to remove to service anything as everything was already accessible and so when putting it together they had used thick double-sided tape to hold the cowling to the metal frame. This stuff stuck really well and I didn’t want to use too much force in case the cowling broke further but it came off eventually.
The batteries are on charge at the moment, ill have to see what condition they are in and whether they will need replacing but at the moment every thing is looking pretty good…