Pickups may be the most popular vehicles in America, but not among the country's million or so wheelchair-using drivers. It's often too difficult to wrestle a chair into the exposed bed and secure it there from the drivers seat. The "Easy Access Panel" rearward-opening third door available on new Chevy S-Series and GMC full-size extended-cab trucks fitted with a Cab Sider™ wheelchair lift may change that.
With the side door and panel open, drivers transfer themselves into the seat then, using the lift's hand-held controller, raise and store their chairs behind them within the cab. The system requires no modifications for use with folding-style wheelchairs, and GM reimburses users up to $1,000 for its purchase and installation.
Gordon Ammon, Bruno Independent Living Aids, Inc., 1780 Executive Dr., P.O. Box 84, Oconomowoc, WI 53066, (800) 882-8183.
This mechanical filter features a central rotor that receives pressurized sump oil through its hub. Oil spraying out from tangential aperatures at its base sets the rotor spinning as fast as 7,000 rpm. Contaminants remain plastered to the rotor's inner wall even after the engine is shut down. Clean oil flows by gravity back to the sump.
Coupled with a reusable metal-mesh full-flow screen, the combination could lead to oil changes at 100,000-mile intervals, reducing operating costs and nationwide consumption of lubricating oil as well.
Rita Grisham, T&N Industries, Inc., 777 East Eisenhower Pkwy., Suite 600, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, (313) 663-6749.
Fry no more
Ride in a car on a sunny day and you can still feel hot even with the air conditioner going full blast--your skin's absorbing solar radiation through the window glass. The makers of California Series™ XIR® solar-control glass say their product can put a stop to that. Sandwiched between layers of polyvinyl butral and glass, its visible-light bandpass film blocks 99.5% of UV radiation and cuts IR 35% better than conventional tinted glass.
The laminate's advantages include lower air conditioning loads, reduced noise conduction, and improved break-in protection. And, unlike tinted glass, it doesn't become a safety hazard once the sun's gone down.
Brian Kennedy, Southwall Technologies, Inc., 1029 Corporation Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303, (415) 962-9111.