2009 Kodiak 5500 Duramax Crew Cab Ambulance Conversion Project

Cowpig

new guy + questions
#47
nice and clean! looking back ... i should've bought a cab/chassis and a used ambo box for it then started from scratch - spent countless hours tracing wires, removing circuits, coiling the removed wire ... then re-using it to add new circuits. hopefully i've got good notes so that i can add my wiring to the wheeled coach schematic for future reference.

i'll pm you the part numbers for the hoses you'll need to completely remove your hoseline system - but the biggest thing that i finally realized after staring at diagrams and puzzling about it for a while was this: their was a factory option for kodiaks to be built equipped for a rear ac/heat system! lol, maybe obvious to smart people but for me that was a revelation as i tried to figure out why it seemed to be so completely intertwined under the hood. it's not 'hard' to replace the lines but like anything takes some time - fortunately even though a lot of the lines are no longer made, there's still NOS parts available.
 
#48
nice and clean! looking back ... i should've bought a cab/chassis and a used ambo box for it then started from scratch - spent countless hours tracing wires, removing circuits, coiling the removed wire ... then re-using it to add new circuits. hopefully i've got good notes so that i can add my wiring to the wheeled coach schematic for future reference.

i'll pm you the part numbers for the hoses you'll need to completely remove your hoseline system - but the biggest thing that i finally realized after staring at diagrams and puzzling about it for a while was this: their was a factory option for kodiaks to be built equipped for a rear ac/heat system! lol, maybe obvious to smart people but for me that was a revelation as i tried to figure out why it seemed to be so completely intertwined under the hood. it's not 'hard' to replace the lines but like anything takes some time - fortunately even though a lot of the lines are no longer made, there's still NOS parts available.
When a truck chassis is purchased for conversion to an ambulance, the truck manufacturers supply an "ambulance prep" vehicle. This is done for both the ambulance manufacturers and for remounts (where an existing ambulance module (chassis) is mounted on a new vehicle. Doing a remount lets a user extend the life of an existing ambulance for far less than the cost of a complete new ambulance. During a remount, the vehicle is replaced, as are the lighting system, flooring, cabinets, and whatever the user wants to change.
 
#49
Had a pretty decent weekend to do some work. Had been racking my brain trying to figure out how to mount the ASME propane tank I originally purchased. There was a space under the drivers side crew cab door step that housed a compressor and a tank that was just about perfect so I started pulling everything off to see how hard it was going to be. Once I removed everything from the space to really visually see how it would fit It looked perfect but I did not have the hardware to mount the tank so I got to "making" a bracket. I took some 1/4 inch plate I had and cut it into strips and fabricated a bracket. With my extremely limited welding skills, I mig welded the brackets to the frame and set the tank in, welding the brackets in place.
Good news bad news
Everything fit the way it was supposed to and it mounted up there, the bad news is the I welded it so I wont be able to remove the tank without cutting out one of the brackets. I'll run a few pieces of all thread down from the floor to the bracket to stiffen up the outer portion but otherwise need to do a little cut out of the aluminum step for a access port to the tank. It's been raining since I finished so no pictures just yet but I will get them ASAP.
Now have to remount the step bracket and finish all that up and find a new home for the air tank and compressor.
This freed up a lot of space and options for the rest of the compartments and will help with the design of the water system.

This process has been a very fluid one for my build. I though I had everything all worked out on paper and measured and planned but once I started going, looking at what other have done, getting ideas and dealing with the hurdles, its taking longer than I expected but I think that this will all pay off in the end. I did just pick up a 30 gallon square water tank from northern tool that I will use for my water storage as the other tanks I had will not mount up under the frame or take up too much space in the box/compartment (rectangular in shape)
Again, pictures to follow later today
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#50
Too late now but for the future you should check the vehicle builders guide for your truck. Welding onto the frame/chassis is usually not a good idea.
 
#52
image1 - Copy (3).jpeg image2 - Copy (3).jpeg
My welds are not great by any standard but they are pretty solid. I am going to trim the bottom few inches off the bracket to get it flush with the frame and it should be good. Learning as I go is a painful process.
 

java

Expedition Leader
#53
It's more that the weld changes the metallurgy on the frame. It creates a heat affected zone in the frame member that was not designed around it.

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#54
as thick as the frame rails and as little of an area it is, I am thinking I should be ok. Live and learn. I've had a 5th wheel hitch welded directly to my frame rail in an F250 and towed 12K to and from Cali without issue. I've seen other applications welded to frames before so I hope or think I am too far off but hey,... too late now. lol
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#55
Older International truck specification as an example of what the manufacturer service manual will say :


TRUCK SERVICE MANUALTM 5-4210-230-14&P-1FRAMESb.Preheat the frame rail along the crack area to500-600 degrees to burn off excess oil or paintthen permit heated area to cool to 200degrees or below before welding is started.Under no circumstances should the rail beheated to a temperature exceeding 900-950degrees F. since this is the temperingtemperature of the rail.c.Either alternating current or direct currentreversed polarity, combined with a short arcand a beading or narrow weave techniquemay be used. Direct current reversed polarityis recommended or preferred.d.Slag should be removed after each pass andan interpass or constant temperature of 200degrees should be maintained.e.When sufficient metal has been deposited, theweld bead should be ground flush, Fig. 7, withthe surface being repaired.Fig. 7.f.Where both sides of the frame rail areaccessible, a V-groove is ground from the sideopposite the repair and the procedure outlinedabove repeated. Dependent uponaccessibility, "chill" strips should be usedwherever possible. The V-groove ground onthe opposite sideof the repair should be deep enough to enter the sound metalof the first weld repair "C" of Fig. 7.FrameWelds on heat treated material tend to reduce physicalproperties in the weld heat-affected zone. Because of this, itis recommended that all reinforcements be designed so thatall welds are parallel, rather than perpendicular to the frame rail edges. Welds perpendicular to the flange edges will reduce the carrying capacity of the rail, Fig. 8 and 9. Fig. 8 The edge of the reinforcement flange to the edge of side rail flange dimension should be held to a minimum of three quarters of an inch to keep the heat-affected zone from extending to the sidemember flange edge. Wherever possible, it is recommended that plug welds of the type shown in Fig. 9, be substituted for edge welds when assembling the reinforcement to the side rail. Plug welds offer the advantages of a reduced heat-affected zone plus increased flexibility and reduced stress concentrations. When using this method, one half inch (minimum) diameter holes should be drilled and chamfered in the reinforcement on 2" center to center distances. At no time should these holes be drilled in the frame rail being repaired. The reinforcement should then be installed in its proper position on the sidemember and the holes filled with weld material. Again a minimum dimension of 3/4" should be maintained between the weld and the edge of the sidemember flange. The voltage, amperage and pre-heat specifications listed below should be followed. CTS-2037-A Page 6
 
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