Knowing where your wheelchair was manufactured, will give you an indication to which are the right tools to use.
Wheelchairs manufactured in the US will generally if not always use Imperial size bolts and screws (i.e. inches and feet) etc. whereas wheelchairs manufactured in Australia, Europe or Asia will use Metric sizes (i.e. millimetres, centimetres and metres).
The right or correct fitting tool makes it easier to undo bolts and screws and causes fewer problems in the long run.
Often on new wheelchairs bolts can be machine tightened or done up extremely tight. This makes it difficult to undo these using T-handled allen keys, screw drivers and other tools with short levers. To overcome this use L-shaped allen keys with an extension on the lever arm to get maximum leverage and decreased resistance.
The following suggestions of tools cover a broad variety of wheelchairs and allow most of the common adjustments and repairs to be done:
This can result in the stripping of bolt heads, allen key bolts and screws especially on tight critical bolts. If the bolt is completely stripped and is impossible to remove its time to call in the service team because the bolt will need to be cut off or drilled out.
Consider the tools that you are using and if they are offering you the greatest physical advantage. Use long levers and the right fitting tool – Work smarter not harder.
Predominantly seen in brake assemblies, a common mistake is to undo one of the two bolts a majority of the way – this creates an additional force on the second bolt and makes it extremely hard to remove (even if you use the right size tool and an appropriate size lever). In this case tighten the first bolt and undo the two bolts at the same time (about ½ a turn each bolt) until both have loosened.
If screwing into threaded holes ensure bolt is tightened prior to attaching nut and tightening that.
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