View Full Version : What's the possibility?
09-16-2007, 08:14 PM
Does anyone have experience with or advice on converting a 4x4 diesel ambulance into an expedition vehicle?
See: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-E350-Type-3-Diesel-4x4-Ambulance-35k-miles-ferno_W0QQitemZ300150576333QQihZ020QQcategoryZ6373 5QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Can the suspension be lifted?
Can larger tires be fitted without new rims?
Is there a disadvantage to dual rear wheels?
The rear overhang will undoubtedly cause problems, even with significant lift.
Would a skid plate or sliders on the rear help? How limiting will this be?
It would seem a shame to chop existing box to increase departure angle, but it could be done.
Seems to have a lot going for it as a starting point. What do the Portal folks think?
09-17-2007, 02:22 AM
Its can be done, but I don't recommend it. The ambulance is already near its weight limit normally just with the box it comes with. I've seen a couple of lifted ambulances and they are very top heavy.
If you are going to do it then a couple of suggestions,
1) do a mild lift, 6 inches or less with adjustable shocks.
2) plan on cutting the back end to an up angle and make a custom rear bumper.
3) definitely need some type of "rock sliders" to protect the bottom edge of the box.
4) you can fit larger tires with the lift, but remember to get a load rated tire.
5) watch for lots of electrical issues (notorious on emergency vehicles).
6) leaks can be a real ***** on rigs like that due to chassis flex.
Best to find one that has a seperate cab and box section, they are alot easier to build. Best conversions I've found are old "rescue"/utility/command vehicles.
09-17-2007, 08:53 AM
Thanks for the insight.
All excellent points.
Nix that idea.
09-17-2007, 03:57 PM
I looked through the listing quick, and couldn't find anything on the type of 4x4 conversion. Who did it? That plays a major role if you plan to lift it. Could be easy, could be a nightmare. Need detailed pics of the front suspension, or the name of the company that did the conversion.
09-17-2007, 07:36 PM
I had a 95 Ford/Horton 453 Type I ambulance with a 7.3 turbo diesel that I used for camping and my bigfoot activities. I did get a quote for a 4x4 conversion but it would run $13,200.00 to which you would have add new tires and rims. I found it just wasn't econmically worth it. I must say I was diappointed to have to sell it since I had a refridgerator, microwave inside and a host of other goodies, like a ladder on back. It did suck down fuel though even with it being a diesel. I'm driving a 95 GMC suburban and just got back from MO. with it and have some idea's for mods (roof rack, platform with storage drawers and will incorporate my 2200w inverter/dual battery setup for A/C power. For serious backwood activities or end of the road field work, the ambulance has too much overhang, too large/cumbersome and inability to fit a larger tire combo on the rear. For something like a nascar event...cool. From an ex-owner, I hope that helps.
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