2009 Chevy Medium Duty 4x4 Kodiak Ambulance conversion

rossiter78

Observer
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.
I have to measure that anyway for a hitch install project. I'll get back to you.
 

Cowpig

new guy + questions
i cut out most of the driver/rear compartment - fits a 30" square shower base. i'm putting a plastic 'sump' below that with a bilge pump to move the gray water over to the holding tank (will be passenger side under/behind the steps). plan is to have the sink drain into that sump also. toilet (nature's head/composting) will be above the battery compartment - planning to route the liquid waste direct to the gray tank too so i won't have to screw around with the jug o' piss

mpg's ... don't know yet - but i've removed as much of the extra crap along the sides and added a 'nose cone' to the front of the box. i'm also going to add the 'air tabs' that generate vortex to cut drag ... yeah it's still very much a giant flying brick but what the hell may be interesting to see what i get. other than that plan is to stay around 65 now that i don't have to race the daylight to the next camp site - sort of a trade from being able to cruise at 80+ but still have to set up a tent and then break it down next morning.
 

dcg1080

New member
Mattersnots do you know what you're planning for the bed yet? I've seen a lot of different ideas in that regard. It looks like you're going to have a lot of space to be creative there.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
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.
I just measured that front right box for you. It's almost 3x3 feet and just over 7 feet tall if you were to cut out the floor and top of the battery box. Not sure what all of that would entail and I'm sure it wouldn't be fun. If a guy was determined enough to have a 7 foot shower I think it could happen.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
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.
In case we have different frames, mine is 33 1/2" on the outside measured at the very back.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
Mattersnots do you know what you're planning for the bed yet? I've seen a lot of different ideas in that regard. It looks like you're going to have a lot of space to be creative there.
I'm going to do it sprinter van style with a platform bed across the back and garage underneath. After traveling in my friends sprinter I've found it works well for my purposes.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
This is my fuel mileage to date. Or back in December when I last drove this thing. It got better the more I drove. Perhaps if I'd gone all the way up to Washington I'd be getting 16.
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Mattersnots

Adventurer
Wow, that's a bit obnoxious. I'm assuming the smaller the file size the bigger the picture comes out on the site. Sorry about that, it just about knocks one out of their chair it's so LOUD. Back to work I go.
 

dcg1080

New member
It just needed to get good and wound up to keep on rolling.

That is actually pretty great. Very spacious and capable rig and the compromise is probably just a few mpg less than what you would get with a 4x2. Really probably not all that much less than a much smaller ambulance either. Can't find much fault in that.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
It's update time.
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My buddy Mark had these light plugs made for me. I was planning on having them match the original hole perfectly. In the end we decided that perfectly was much to difficult to do. He's a mechanical engineer and drew them up on his computer. Then I got a phone call where he politely let me know that the measurements and angles I took didn't match. Good thing we didn't cut them because when they got here I realized it would be much easier to cut the hole square on the ambulance rather than trying to match the pattern. Sounds obvious when I type it.
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My welding skills aren't good enough to fill that gap. Not sure how I'll deal with that yet. Will bondo fill a 1/4 inch gap? We will let the body shop worry about those details.

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While trying to come up with creative ways to get rid of the scene lights I started eyeing the license plate holder. The FirstRoamer had the plates way up high and I never got hassled so I decided to do it again. Now I have a perfect place to mount a rear winch.
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I'm about 90% finished with the electrical. I was able to use the existing switches for all of my electrical needs. While chasing wires I found some bonuses like this one. This is W158 which dissapeared behind the left rear box. I kept digging to see what it was for, finally pulling out the false panel inside the box and there it was. It's an extra and will now be used for the 20 amp espar heater start. Although I've purchased many of the extras for the electrical I have not had to purchase one piece of wire. A significant savings.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
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Look ma, no stripes. Lucky for me my Dad was bored and likes to help. He did most of the stripe removal one half inch at a time. The wizzy wheel was great on the thinner decals but didn't do anything on the thicker large stripes. A heat gun and putty knife were the only thing that worked well. There is still a bunch of glue left behind but my Dad just discovered that gojo hand cleaner takes it off without much elbow grease. Looks better doesn't it. I like the utility truck look over ambulance.

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I got my gray tanks installed. I bought the tanks from Class A Customs. Excellent pricing an shipping. Make sure you pick the flat rate tanks though or they add 50 bucks shipping.
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There was plenty of room under the truck for the tanks.
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I was able to tuck both tanks up above the bottom of the frame rails.
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
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Started on the waterworks. I think this is going to be one of my favorite parts of the build. It took many hours to come up with a plumbing schematic that didn't overlap water lines. My goal was to mount everything on one plane and have all of the valves in a line. This will make it easy to know which valves to open/close for the desired result. The slots cut in the rear wall are so you can see the water tank level while filling. I'm not a fan of the float type switches and senders in tanks.
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Here's a wider shot before I cut out the tank viewing portals. Since this shot was taken I've put in more plumbing and crimped everything. Pex is an amazing system so far. It allows you to put all of the plumbing together and check the fit before finalizing it by crimping the ends. Even after crimping the fittings can still be twisted.


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Here's a question for you Hoseline gurus out there. I can't remember who the expert is, but from reading on this site I know someone really knows their stuff about hoseline. These appear to be the engine coolant lines that go to the rear heater. I'm guessing that is a circulation pump and two solenoids. Maybe the water only circulates to the back when the heater is turned on? My question is, what is the best way to tie into this system for my water heater?
 

Mattersnots

Adventurer
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As you can tell by this picture something interesting has happened to the truck.

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It's time to commit on the shower. This job has been haunting me since the beginning. It's a big job that has had me staring at the floor and walls for some time now. I decided to get out the sawsall and go for it The cutting was very slow. Wheeled coach puts 1/2 inch aluminum plate under much of the floor.

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After a couple hours of sweating and swearing I had a big hole in my floor. There is almost 5 inches between the top of the floor and truck frame. Plenty of room to put in an insulated shower pan.

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