Standard Ford Mobility Packages Offered

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Like other major automobile manufacturers, Ford has produced and continues to produce vehicles that are frequently modified to serve as wheelchair vans. However, the do not offer factory conversion nor do they offer any standard package.

Instead, Ford supports wheelchair van conversion with a program designed to provide new Ford vehicle owners with reimbursement for some of the expenses incurred during the conversion process. It leads decisions regarding adaptations to the consumer, along with the choice of a conversion manufacturer. Ford will honor its warranties on vehicles converted for use as wheelchair vans, but will not cover difficulties that manifest as a result of the added equipment or modifications.

At one point, Ford produced two different vehicle models that were regularly converted into wheelchair vans. The Windstar minivan (later renamed the Freestar) and their E-Series of full-sized vans. Ford subsequently decided to discontinue the Freestar, instead focusing on their crossover SUV, the Flex. The Flex has not been a regular target for wheelchair conversions, leaving the various E-Series vehicles as the only real potential wheelchair van in the Ford line.

Ford Windstar or Freestar As Wheelchair Vans

ford windstar 2003 wheelchair vanThere are conversions for the Windstar and Freestar that were more common than others and that could be considered standard mobility packages. The most popular strategy involved dropping the minivan’s floor, adding an auto kneel system, making sure power doors were in place and rounding out the core package with an auto ramp. Some buyers opted for different configurations, including rear-entry configurations, but the side-entry model, supplemented by appropriate interior and seating adjustments was clear the most common.

If you are considering a used Windstar or Freestar and are curious about the standard means of handling the conversion process, you may want to investigate the details of that widely used conversion strategy. Even if it doesn’t exactly fit your needs, it can serve as a springboard for more individualized approaches.

Ford Full Size Wheelchair Vans

Ford ford_econoline_2006E-Series vehicles, which include the E-150, E-250 and E-350, are full-sized vans with roots tracing back to the Ford Econolines of the 1960s. Although most E-Series vans are sold to commercial entities and/or as fleet vehicles, many individual buyers invest in them for use as wheelchair vans.

However, there is no common modification strategy for these vans. They are large, spacious vehicles that offer a tremendous amount of flexibility with respect to customization. That blank slate quality results in a great deal of individualization with respect to conversion. Major conversion manufacturers will advise buyers that they have many different options at their disposal.

One will encounter E-Series vans set up for rear entry with heavy duty lifts, including top performers from Bruno and Braun. It is possible to use full-sized lifts on side-entry versions, as well. In the name of cost-effectiveness, some E-Series owners will opt for ramp-based strategies in both rear-entry and side-entry arrangements.

It’s Your Choice

The lack of a standard mobility package for the Ford E-Series van should not make you reluctant about the purchase of a the vehicle. If you are ready to deal with the tradeoffs that one inevitably encounters when working with a full-sized van, you can consult with a quality conversion manufacturer to create an ideal layout to meet your specific needs.

Ford is not alone with respect to not offering a standard mobility package. None of the major players in the van and minivan field resolves conversion as an in-house option. They may provide assistance in the form of special financing or expense reimbursement, but they are not actively involved in assembling conversion packages. That’s a job left to the conversion manufacturers who specialize in these efforts and who can transform a Ford into a great wheelchair van.

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