2009 Chevy Medium Duty 4x4 Kodiak Ambulance conversion

Mattersnots

Adventurer
Where is that located in your rig? Or maybe where was it originally located :)
There was a cabinet on the left side just before you go through the pass through. The electrical board went floor to ceiling in that cabinet and the relays are on the very bottom of that board. Look at the 5th picture in post number 2 and you will see them.
 

rossiter78

Observer
There was a cabinet on the left side just before you go through the pass through. The electrical board went floor to ceiling in that cabinet and the relays are on the very bottom of that board. Look at the 5th picture in post number 2 and you will see them.
Cool.
Maybe I have that in mine too. I definitely some outlets, inverter, converter, etc in a closet there. Below that is the AC unit. But maybe behind that wall on the back side of the cabinet is where that is.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
Cool.
Maybe I have that in mine too. I definitely some outlets, inverter, converter, etc in a closet there. Below that is the AC unit. But maybe behind that wall on the back side of the cabinet is where that is.
I'd be very surprised if you didn't have one or two in there. Now you have a mystery to solve. Good luck.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
I got the inside cleaned out. I wasn't going to tear it down this far until Cowpig told me about all the wasted space. I'm keeping the cabinet by the door intact. It's going to be a giant pantry. The hoseline heater/cooler you see on top is about a third the size of the space it's in. Once again the wasted space is killing me, but I'm going to assume it's necessary. I'll run plumbing for the shower in there to make myself feel better.
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As I said earlier the original material is high quality. I spent hours pulling everything apart then cutting all of the dowels and staples flush.
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Now I have my own Home Depot in the back yard, all organized and ready to go. It will be nice to start putting material back in soon.
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I've also kept all the hardware. 99% of it is like new and most of it's stainless.
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Today I ordered magnetic drawer locks. I want to hook them up so whenever the key is on the drawers are locked tight. I will also have a push button switch nearby to bypass and get in when the key is on. Has anyone tried this?
 

rossiter78

Observer
Quick question for guy guys with Chevy Kodiak (C4500) ambulances - how much does your rig weigh? I wasn't required to get a true weight when I registered but I'm interested.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
I wish I knew. I didn't get to a scale on the way home and now I'm grounded by lack of insurance. There is a sticker on the door that says I have a payload capacity of 3050 lbs so gvwr of 17,500 minus the 3050 leaves me with a weight of 14,450. Hopefully what comes out will be close to the weight of what goes in and I'll be around that 14k in the end.
 

dcg1080

New member
I caught the bug to want to convert an ambo not long ago and I've been lurking on these forums since. Just came across this thread and I'm actually looking at a used model very close to yours. Loving the info so far and will end up using a lot of it. You've sparked a few questions:

- Any luck on figuring out the paneling material? The black edges look like phenolic resin board with laminate attached. I've worked with this stuff in another application before. It's incredibly durable, hard to cut and drill (will wear out bits and blades faster than you believe). It's also extremely heavy. Then again your description doesn't quite sound like this material, so I'm not sure.

- You or anyone else have any information about improving fuel economy? 11-12mpg highway is not terrible for what it is, but just a small improvement would put it nearly in SUV territory, which would be even better. Just had me wondering on the side there.

- I also would want to install a small wet bath with just enough room for a shower/sink/toilet. My original impression is the same location that you're using (right behind the drivers seat), but I wonder if there is enough room for it right behind the passengers instead (where the large pantry is) or even on the passenger side at the rear? I couldn't quite tell from your sketches if either of these locations would be possible. Both would be limited in their flexibility of how much space you can repurpose for this it would seem.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
I caught the bug to want to convert an ambo not long ago and I've been lurking on these forums since. Just came across this thread and I'm actually looking at a used model very close to yours. Loving the info so far and will end up using a lot of it. You've sparked a few questions:

- Any luck on figuring out the paneling material? The black edges look like phenolic resin board with laminate attached. I've worked with this stuff in another application before. It's incredibly durable, hard to cut and drill (will wear out bits and blades faster than you believe). It's also extremely heavy. Then again your description doesn't quite sound like this material, so I'm not sure.

- You or anyone else have any information about improving fuel economy? 11-12mpg highway is not terrible for what it is, but just a small improvement would put it nearly in SUV territory, which would be even better. Just had me wondering on the side there.

- I also would want to install a small wet bath with just enough room for a shower/sink/toilet. My original impression is the same location that you're using (right behind the drivers seat), but I wonder if there is enough room for it right behind the passengers instead (where the large pantry is) or even on the passenger side at the rear? I couldn't quite tell from your sketches if either of these locations would be possible. Both would be limited in their flexibility of how much space you can repurpose for this it would seem.
No I still don't know anything about the material. This doesn't sound like the stuff you are referring to. It's lighter than plywood and easy to cut. If I had found more of this material I would use the 1/2 inch version for most of my build. I have a load of starboard coming instead.

On the mileage I'm with you. Every little bit helps especially when you plan to drive as much as I do. I'm a fan of modifying for more air in and more air out, but it seems like the manufacturers have figured that out. I won't change the intake or exhaust on this one. I also believe in the tuners on economy settings which I will do. Other than that and driving slow I'm out of ideas.

Many options for a shower in a truck this big. Where I'm putting mine will be the best for space utilization. It's also about the only place it can go with my floor plan. I considered the front left box which is a good size for a cramped shower stall. The issue would be accessing it and where the toilet goes. Keep in mind all of the electrical is in this area as well. The front right box would work but first you would have to move the hoseline heater/air conditioner (on mine). Maybe CowPig can chime in here as to how difficult that was. The battery compartment is just below the "pantry". It sticks up from the floor which means about a 68" tall shower. You would also have to sink the shower pan into the battery box area. Another option would be to relocate the batteries and use the battery compartment as the shower floor. This would give you a huge shower which would most likely fit a toilet as well. The right rear box is too small for a shower so if you went that route you would have to completely remove that one. The left rear is a perfect sized layout, but just 3 feet tall. I think this would be the easiest place to put a bathroom and I believe CowPig concurs and has done it.

Let me know if you want any specific measurements to help with your planning.
Tom.
 

dcg1080

New member
This was all a huge help. I'm still at the looking online/imagining phase. Hoping to go take a peek at a few (that unfortunately I'm pretty sure I won't be buying) just to get a hands on feel for the layout.

The information about the battery compartment is really helpful. I'm very tall, so I've accepted the fact that I won't find one that I'll actually be able to stand up in. Which is fine and all, but it did raise the question of how in the world I would make a shower useable. I assumed I would just have to shower sitting down, but if there's a possibility of dropping the floor to actually have a tall enough shower then that certainly may well be worth the trouble there.

Thanks again for all the useful info. I'll be following along, probably with more questions (likely even some stupid ones) and look forward to seeing what you come up with.
 

rossiter78

Observer
I did a couple of tests with mine. The most carefully measured test was running pretty much an entire tank but always cruising at 55mph - so if the limit was 45, I went 55; of the limit was 65, I went 55. Then I just took it easy from a stop. End result - averaged 13.2 mpg! That is actually about what my truck would get loaded up. Granted, I've never taken it that easy on my truck - so I'm not saying they are the same. I am saying that I was VERY please with that fuel economy, especially since I live in Colorado where the air is thin and the roads are often not flat.
 

cjken

Explorer
13 mpg is great.
I expect the Kodiak to get 7-10 to be honest. 13 is on par with my tiny e350 minimod.

Anyone know the outside to outside frame rail measurement?? I’m wondering if a box from an e350 would easily bolt on to a Kodiak cab and chassis.
 
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