Ask A Question
Ginger Taylor - Mobility Consultant and Accessibility Expert
Get Your Questions Answered

Our mobility consultants are ready to help you through your accessible vehicle purchase process with professional advice and expertise. Contact us today and start living free.

View Our Inventory Contact AMS Vans Sales Department

Conversion: From Minivan to Handicap Van

Wheelchair user and caregiver friend

As you get in your newly modified AMS Vans wheelchair accessible minivan and ride off into a brighter future, you might wonder how your standard minivan becomes the highly prized vehicle it is for people with disabilities. The road to a high quality, low cost wheelchair van begins there, with the minivan, which most handicap van conversion companies believe is the best option for wheelchair access modification for a number of reasons, including a roomy interior and automatic, sliding side doors.

Though there are numerous modification styles (raised roof, lowered floor, rear entry, side entry, ramp, lift, etc.), this article focuses on the popular side-entry handicap van conversion. When your minivan arrives at the AMS facility for conversion, the first thing that happens is...

  1. Your vehicle is carefully inspected for dents and scratches, cracked windows, and all electrical systems are checked to make sure we return your new handicap van in the same condition we received it (other than what is affected during conversion). You'll be sent a copy of the inspection sheet and asked to sign off on it before we begin the modification process.
  2. In the first actual production step, your van is covered with a special sealant to protect the paint.
  3. Next, everything in the interior of the van is removed except the dashboard. All seating, carpets and rear interior panels are taken out to make room for the handicap accessible interior.
  4. Now, the wiring harnesses from the center of the vehicle are relocated to run along the sides of the van, after which the fuel tank and rear axle are removed in preparation for the lowered floor.
  5. With the van prepped, a specially designed floor pan, dipped in a rust-proofing solvent, is welded securely into the vehicle, creating a 10" lowered floor--sufficient floor space and headroom to comfortably accommodate a wheelchair user and a higher rear suspension.
  6. Welding for reinforced strengthWith the lowered floor in place, the fuel tank and rear axle are reinstalled, along with a new exhaust system.
  7. From there, your van goes to the Paint department for installation and painting of the ground-effects panels. These are placed on the exterior of the vehicle to conceal the body changes created by the lowered floor, and painted to match your minivan's color.
  8. Next, the minivan heads to the Finishing department. A protective undercoating is applied, and automotive-grade carpet, interior panels, anti-skid flooring, and seating are installed according to the configuration best suited for your specific, predetermined requirements.
  9. Last in the production process, but definitely not least, the anti-skid, powered, side entry ramp is installed at the passenger-side sliding door, and power is connected. (The production process for rear-entry ramps is nearly the same, though standard, rear-entry ramps are manually operated.)
  10. It's time for the final conversion inspection! All conversion components and everything related to the conversion are tested and cleaned. All tools and unnecessary materials are removed, so the vehicle can proceed to the...
  11. Post-conversion, 134-point inspection, when we make sure all systems work seamlessly together.
  12. In the last step, the minivan is detailed from bumper to bumper. Your newly converted handicap minivan is ready to be picked up or delivered to your driveway!

There you have it! The meticulous, innovative handicap accessibility conversion from AMS Vans takes an average of 3-4 weeks from the moment we receive your vehicle to the phone call you receive to let you know your wheelchair accessible van is ready for the road!

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

2015 Used 2015 Ford Transit Wagon 350 XLT 15 Wheelchair Van

USED Ford Transit Wagon 350 XLT 15
NEW AMS Ford Rear/Side Conversion

$41,495 $41,995


  • Stock #: A58762
  • Mileage: 43,601 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side or Rear Entry Lift
  • Features: Backup Camera, Bluetooth, 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Parking Sensors, Driver Pwr. Seat Base, ADA Compliant
2014 Used 2014 Toyota Sienna LE Wheelchair Van

USED Toyota Sienna LE
NEW Able2Go Genesis Conversion

$41,995 $42,995


  • Stock #: 496159
  • Mileage: 40,343 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry In-Floor Pwr
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, ADA Compliant
2016 Used 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Wheelchair Van

USED Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
NEW AMS Edge II Conversion

$33,495 $33,995


  • Stock #: 180968T
  • Mileage: 39,677 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Rear Entry Long
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Driver Pwr. Seat Base, ADA Compliant

Vehicle Exterior


Exterior Appearance Inspection

  • Panel alignment/fit
  • Headlamp, taillamp/lens condition
  • Windshield/glass condition
  • Paint chips and scratches
  • Body damage/dents/dings
  • Trim and moldings

Vehicle Identification

  • In place and matching
  • Inspect certification label (federal requirement)
  • Check VIN label to paperwork
  • Check for non-completed recalls

Exterior Lights Function Properly and Illuminate as Designed

  • Headlights hi/low (including aim)
  • Parking lights/fog lights
  • License plate lights
  • Side marker lights
  • Tail lights / backup lights
  • Turn signal and cornering lights
  • Brake and high-mount stoplights
  • Emergency Flashers

Keys

  • Vehicle has 2 master key with remote entry (if applicable) and 2 valet key, flat key
  • Programmed to immobilizer

Door Lock System

  • Door opens/closes smoothly using interior and exterior door handles
  • Doors cannot be opened when lock button is in lock position
  • 2-turn unlock feature functions properly
  • Remote entry system operates properly
  • Theft-deterrent system functions properly
  • Child safety locks
  • Wireless door lock operation

Vehicle Interior


Interior Appearance Inspection

  • Seats: front/rear
  • Steering wheel/airbags
  • Armrests/door handles
  • Lower door and sill plates
  • Gearshift selection handle
  • Radio/AC control markings
  • Headliners/sun visors

Seat Belts

  • Extend/retract smoothly
  • Free of twists, cuts or signs of wear
  • Buckles lock securely

Seat Operation

  • Lumbar support operation
  • Memory control operates properly*
  • Headrest functions properly
  • Heaters function properly*
  • Seat cushion angle and height adjustment
  • Seatback angle adjustment

Power Windows / Locks

  • Function Properly

Trunk/Fuel Lid Release

  • Functions Properly (interior)

Glove Compartment

  • Contains portfolio, owner's manual, supplement

Steering Wheel

  • Tilt/telescopic functionability
  • Horn functions properly
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Warning chime (key in -- door open)

Windshield Wiper

  • Functions in hi/low/intermittent
  • Wiper blades clean properly
  • Rain sensing wipers*

Dashboard Lights Illuminate as Designed

  • Turn signal: left/right
  • High beam indicator
  • Emergency flashers
  • Instrument panel control knob
  • Waring lights: oil pressure, brake, fuel, charge, seatbelt, open door, engine check, rear light failure, ABS, SRS
  • Check operation of guages

Rear Defogger

  • Functions properly

Air Conditioner / Heater

  • Climate control system functions properly for both heating and cooling

Interior Lights

  • Dome/map/vanity mirror/courtesy lamps/foot function properly

Audio/Navigation System

  • Power/volume switch functions properly
  • Preset station indicator
  • Cassette/CD function (scan, seek, rewind, fast forward) operates properly
  • Navigation system operates properly*
  • Speakers sound clear
  • CD cartridge (if applicable)

Sunroof

  • Tilt/slide operates properly

Clock/Cigarette Lighters/Ashtray/Cupholders

  • Function properly

Outside/Inside Rearview Mirrors

  • Power controls function properly

Luggage Compartment


Luggage Compartment

  • Spare tire size, sidewall condition, tread depth and air pressure
  • Spare tire and attaching hardware, cover, jack, jack tools and wheel lock (if applicable) are present, properly installed and secure
  • Manual fuel lid release operates

Under The Hood


Engine Hood Release

  • Interior release operates properly

The Following Fluid Levels Meet Industry Standard

  • Engine oil replaced and proper level
  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake fluid level
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Engine coolant fluid level
  • Washer fluid level

Engine Mechanical

  • Excessive fuel pump noise
  • Cooling system (radiator, overflow tank, hoses, coolant level)
  • Water pump (noise/leaks)
  • Air filter (replace as necessary)
  • Inspect oil for contaminants
  • Engine noise (knocks, rattles)
  • Transmission noise (whines, clunks)
  • Belts (wear or damage)
  • Check engine diagnostics

Battery

  • No damage or leakage and proper group size/amp rating
  • Tests to standards

Engine Fans

  • Function properly

Under the Vehicle

Tires (Minimum tread depth 5/32")

  • FL: _______/32"
  • RL: _______/32"
  • FR: _______/32"
  • RR: _______/32"
  • Sidewall condition
  • Proper size, type and match
  • Tire pressure

Wheels

  • Condition/size/fit
  • Check wheel lug-nut torque

Brake Inspection (Minimum 6mm of pad material required)

  • FL: _______mm
  • RL: _______mm
  • FR: _______mm
  • RR: _______mm
  • Rotors show no signs of excessive wear, warpage or heat damage
  • Calipers, lines, and hoses show no sign of excessive wear or leakage
  • Parking brake assemblies, cables, and attaching hardware show no sign of excessive wear or damage

Chassis Inspection (No sign of damage or excessive wear)

  • Frame rails and floor pan
  • Subframe
  • Engine mounts and oil pan for leaks
  • Brake lines and couplings
  • Transmission case/pan for leaks
  • Drive shaft boots and CV joints
  • Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and protectors
  • Steering rack, linkage, bushings, control arms and dust boots
  • Differential assembly, drive shaft and related components
  • Exhaust system (including leakage)
  • Transmission mounts
  • Tie rods, ball joints, idler arm
  • Catalytic converter
  • Struts/shocks for operation/leaks

Under Vehicle Fluid Levels

  • Differential lubricant level -- check for contaminants

Road Test (Vehicle Operation)


Engine

  • Start-up
  • Idles normally
  • While driving, engine performs normally
  • Starter system operates normally
  • Shift Lock

Brakes

  • Brake and parking brake function normally
  • Brake and clutch pedal height, free play and travel meet specs.

Indicator Lights

  • No warning lights illuminate during road test

Transmission

  • T/M shifts properly (both power/normal mode)
  • TRAC/VSC and ECT control functions and indicator lights function properly

Steering/Suspension

  • Steering operation is normal
  • Off-center psecifications meet standards
  • Handling, straight-line operations

Cruise Control

  • Functions properly

Noise or Vibration

  • None present

Squeaks or Rattles

  • None present

* -- If Applicable

Service Guarantee

AMS Vans promises to deliver the best wheelchair accessible van available on the market today..... simply put if you are not fully satisfied with your wheelchair accessible van upon delivery---you can refuse it at no cost to you.

With nearly two decades of experience; manufacturing, selling, and delivering over 12,000 vans nationwide, our dedicated team of certified technicians will not allow your van to leave our Atlanta facility until its right!

Please contact one of our experienced Mobility Specialists today and ask about our three step quality control process.

AMS Vans looks forward to serving your family by providing you with a van that is worthy of our own.

Contact AMS Vans



Thank You!

You have succesfully signed up for the AMS Vans Newsletter. You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

Newsletter Signup