Anyone ever modify the suspension on their cart?

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xrdh

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I bought two used Easy Entry carts - one with expanded metal and one with wooden slats. My husband is pretty handy, and a welder, and is helping me modify and upgrade one of the carts (the wooden slat one) to make it safer and more comfortable. I've already shortened the shafts; moved the footman's loops; added rubber bumpers on the back of the seat; added a lift to the front of the seat to keep me from feeling like I'm always falling forward; padded the arm rests; covered the slippery vinyl seat in heavy denim; added a dashboard, and I've ordered a pair of 24" motorcycle wheels and tires to replace my 21" bike tires.

I really like all the changes that we've made, but I'm concerned that the upgraded wheels won't be enough to keep me comfortable driving over rough country roads for a couple of hours at a time, considering that I still only have the original little coil springs under the seat for shock absorption.

Has anyone had any experience with upgrading the two coils suspension with either elliptical springs or air shocks? Or, will the new motorcycle wheels take care of the rough ride enough that I won't need to replace the suspension?

driving cart dashboard 3-2015 057.JPG
 

Minimor

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I think you will find the motorcycle wheels make for harder pulling and possibly a rougher ride--that was the case when we put them on a horse cart years ago. I would suggest putting C springs under the axle--it will be a smoother ride for you and more comfortable pulling for your horse.
 

paintponylvr

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I can't really answer on the spring modification on this specific cart.

I do know that a single elliptical spring running from side to side on our sulky cart makes for a very comfortable ride and supports my "hefty" weight. Switching that same cart to no-flat, heavier duty wheels and tires made for a rougher ride for me and a heavier pull for the horse pulling. It was a trade off - and is worth it when the horse is in condition enough to go for more than 20 minutes and I don't have a flat - miles from home and have to either ground drive the horse home w/o my cart and HOPE no one decides to pick up an abandoned "piece of trash" OR awkwardly drag/carry it while also handling the horse (I've done both!)...

Love the changes you've made so far.
 

Marsha Cassada

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They look like bicycle wheels, but are probably not. The hub of a cart wheel is generally 3-4" wide. And the spokes are fixed. Bicycle tires do fit the rims.

Have you ridden in it for 2 hours to know the coil springs are inadequate?

If you feel you are falling forward, perhaps you do not have the tugs the correct height on your horse. If you are falling forward, that is putting weight on the horse's back--he is then carrying the load, not pulling it.
 

xrdh

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Thank you, PaintPonylvr. I was wondering if I should try one elliptical perpendicular to the shafts, or two ellipticals running parallel to the shafts. Do you ever feel like the seat wants to tilt you left or right on sharp turns? I'm leaning towards the motorcycle tires because they're easier to pull through soft ground and I have a flat tire repair kit in my emergency kit. I'm also never going to travel alone. With all of my modifications, my cart still only weighs 85 pounds and I weigh 140. Motorcycle tires will, of course, add more weight.

Marsha, the "bicycle" wheels are what comes standard with the cart. They're OK for groomed arenas, but not acceptable for much else. I already know, from tooling around on my back property, that it is a rough and bumpy ride as it is. Kingston is out of stock on the new, wider and taller tires, but I will order them in April when they arrive. After every cart, seat, or harness adjustment, and if I change driving ponies, I always ask my husband to check the shaft weight with me in the cart. No matter what the seat may look like, it is balanced when I sit in it.

Thank you both for your input.
 

horsenarounnd

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Some suggestions on EZ entry cart suspensions: I have a couple of carts with "C" springs. They work well, and if you put the springs between the axle and the cart body the horse has a much easier time of pulling the cart as the shock of hitting a rough spot is not transmitted to the horse. If you can't raise the cart by the 3" or so taken up by the springs, you can replace the small coil springs under the set with the "C" springs and you will get a better ride. Best is if you can do both. I have a couple of Fox Lane carts with both and they ride great, even with hard rubber tires on steel spoke wheels. This is the best I've found as you can then use solid rubber tires eliminating problems with flats.

A friend of mine tried something else that worked well for him. He put swing arms on the basket going towards the back and attaches the axle to the swing arms. He then put motorcycle shock absorbers at the trailing ends of the swing arms to attach them to the rear of the basket. This works well and didn't raise the cart by much.

Frey Carriage Company makes a cart with a shock absorber suspension. Look closely at their carts on their website and perhaps your husband can make something like that.

Good Luck.
 

Margo_C-T

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Just a day or so ago, Patty's Pony Place posted a photo of their most recent suspension kit, made to add to most pipe EE carts such as the Frontier(original one), to improve the ride. It is described as lighter in weight than the previous version, also includes brush guards. It should be worth checking out.
 

xrdh

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Update on my suspension problem:

My new motorcycle tires finally arrived. I replaced the 20" bike tires with 24" motorcycle tires. I can't honestly say that the ride is any smoother, though. The wheels are more substantial and probably safer, but also added more weight to my cart. In theory, they are safer out in the woods and easier for my mini to pull over varied terrain, so I don't regret buying them.

I replaced the original seat, which consisted of about 3" of foam rubber, with 4" of foam rubber topped with another 3" or so of memory foam. My butt sinks into the memory foam and holds me securely and the combination of foam rubbers makes for a really comfortable ride, even over rough and bumpy ground. I replaced the foam rubber on the backrest with memory foam, too, and it helps me stay centered in the seat. There is no need to replace the coiled spring suspension now.

The motorcycle tires may have smoothed out the jolts in my cart, but the only way to really tell would have been if I had tried them out with the original (inadequate) seat cushion. With this new seat, I may have even gotten away with using solid rubber wheels and still be comfortable.

I love my cheap little cart!

cart, finished.jpg

driving cart dashboard 3-2015 057.jpg
 

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