97 E350 Crestline Ambo Build/Mod

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
As requested, I'm starting a build thread...

My slow and not so steady build.

1) Starting point.
2) Folding chairs x2.
3) Backup camera mount in broken light housing.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
We got a screaming deal on this retired ambulance... Much too good to pass up. The pair of chairs are mounted on the door where the stair climbing seat was stored. A scrap of aluminum was Secaflexed where the lens was originally mounted in the light housing.

I've had a few quirky problems:
First it wouldn't crank. Turns out, the stock alternator was draining the battery. The stock 215 amp Mitsubishi was $859 from Ford, but they didn't have stock anywhere in North America. Fortunately one of the local auto electric shops had ordered in a new one six years back, only to have the customer no show... Got a good price on it :D

Next, all the batteries drained because the alternator wasn't wired to the center terminal of the isolator.

For several months, it would intermittently not crank till I gave a thump on the dash... After months of exploring connections under the dash to no avail... I must of found the loose connection, because it starts every time now.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I've also rebuilt the fuel bowl with Orings from DieselORings.com. Great guy to deal with... Now to find time to install the new OEM glow plugs and "Monster" relay I also got from him. For now, I have to plug in the block heater for 45+ minutes if I want to start it easily without hugh clouds of white smoke and rough running. It's got a 'Sure Start' button which connects all 4 batteries together for rediculous CCAs.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I passed one on the road today that had a hoist/bucket on it to reach the wires on a power pole... Seems like a heavy vehicle to add extra weight too.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Backup Monitor

Overall I'd give this a 6/10. Location is good, but it shakes over bumps move than I'd like. When I come back to it I'll add a metal stay going down the plastic dash to stiffen it up. The screws that came with the mount aren't long enough to go through the dash and a reenforcement as well, so they'll need to be replaced.
 

Attachments

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Sorry about the sideways photos, I'll have to try and fix them once I'm at a computer. I picked up cup holders at a local auto parts store, and a new flair from Crestline. For $5 & $275... you can guess which was cheaper.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I'm planning on narrowing the awning that came on it to the width of the box and then reinstalling it out back again for cooking shelter. :D
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Too bad you spent that much money on the flair. I have a passenger side that I don't need... Awning? Did it come with one?
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Now you tell me... Where were you when I was looking for one 8 months ago? It probably wouldn't have been the right width... They only shipped a few with the narrower width, and my D/S one is one of them.

Awning: You can just barely see the end of it sticking out at the back(top) of the first picture. It's about 4x8' and is self supporting over the rear doors. I plan to narrow it so it's a little bit in from the sides (rather than sticking out).
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Odometer

I bought the truck, and drove it to the gas station to Fuel up. I reset the trip meter and decided to put some air in the tires... Many of them were soft from sitting for months in a dtorage compound.

Problem! Since there were no extensions on the rear dually valves, they were almost impossie to air up... After much cursing, I got enough to drive home safely. The 300 km trip home was u eventful.

On the way, the odometer didn't budge, when I had some time I pulled the instrument cluster and found this:
 

Attachments

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
The fuse is for perspective on it's size. A piece of the odometers drive gear had broken off. I've shifted the gear on the motors drive shaft, and it's working again. If it stops, I know what to order to fix it again.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Anyone fix slop in the drivers outside handle of an E-Series van? It works for now... but at the very end of it's range. If it develops any more slop, it wont open the door anymore. ATM, it releases the latch when the handle is at 85 deg. to the van body.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Put in a "Monster" glow plug relay from DieselORings.com

The strandcor or relay is 4x the size of the OEM unit. I didn't even bother checking the old one, but given it was rusty, had cracks in it, and cracked open when I tried taking it out, I knew it was toast.

I'll add a pic of a fried disc when I've got it near a camera.

Drum roll............
She starts instantly when the key is turned... Only a small puff of smoke for a few seconds. No more prolonged cranking :D

When I have a chance, I'll install new glow plugs, but I'm no longer in a rush.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Top