How to Install a Van Wheelchair Lift on the Side

A van wheelchair lift is a handy tool to ease the lives of many who rely on it for their means of transportation. The specific designs and the positioning of the main mechanism will depend upon your need and usage of the wheelchair as well as preferences for your van, as there are many models with varying functions available in the market. Their means of control also differ as they can be handled hydraulically, electrically or manually (handheld remote control system). The installation of a van wheelchair lift on the side will position the wheelchair in the front or middle row and is not a very challenging procedure. Follow the simple steps below to do the job yourself.

Tools and Materials

  • Screwdrivers
  • Power drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Mechanized lift system and any possible tools that came along with the wheelchair
  • Wheelchair installation and Usage Guide 
  • Assistants

Step 1: Check the Delivery

Van wheelchairs are usually home delivered by dealers, and it is important for you to check the delivery for any issues or damage so that problems you are likely to face later on can be avoided. Wheelchairs usually provide a 20 to 25-foot long wiring harness that is compatible to work with almost all types of SUVs or vans. Once all the things in the delivery have been thoroughly checked, begin preparing for the project.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle

Disconnect the battery of your car so that any risk of short circuiting or any possible case of electrocution can be avoided. Also remove the middle seat of your van by un-doing the latches around the floor, beneath the seat’s base and out through the sliding side door.

Step 3: Install the Wheelchair Lift

Set up the primary or leading portion of your mechanism through the sliding door of your van and take down the measurements from the door to the equipment using a measuring tape. Once you have the accurate dimensions, drill the bolts on the marked places on the floor (around the middle or front of the car) but do so cautiously so as to assure that the functionality of the wheelchair does not harm or cause obstruction in the usability of other equipments in your vehicle. 

Step 4: Get the Wiring Done

To finish your installation process effectively, wire your equipment. Begin by attaching the black wire to the negative terminal of your car’s battery, but do not connect the red wire at this point. Then, locate a suitable position for a pass-through of the wire from the engine to the inside of your van. Once found, drill through that location with the help of a power drill and pass through the wire. There should be excess wire left in the end which should advisably be coiled and put back inside the car. At this point, fasten the red wire to the battery and connect the harness to the main mechanism of the wheelchair installed in the last step.