AmboLander - BUILD

Greetings All,

2 weeks ago, I bought a 2000 E350 Quigley 4x4 Ambulance, and am starting my build up on it.
Here it is as I bought it: 13254508_10208490585276601_379192374386758750_n.jpg

7.3 PowerStroke w/172k miles, Dana 60 Front, Dana 70 FF Rear, 4R100 Transmission, NV271 Transfer Case.

I flew to W. Virginia to pick it up, and drove it back to Tampa. It had been sitting up for a couple of years, and was a little weak, but improved greatly while driving. No major mishaps, which obviously made me happy.

Since returning, I have changed fuel filter, fluids in the rear diff and tranny, and am about to do the engine oil again. It is bogging on acceleration, and I am hopeful that it will continue to improve itself as I show it some love. I have also dropped the tank and removed the horribly clogged strainers, and once the rain stops, I will again change the fuel filter, remove filter valve, change pressure regulator spring, and some other fuel mods. I also have my gauges and pod to install, and will most likely be ordering a SCT Live Wire in the next day or so, and am changing the cam sensor, just for the Hell of it. EBP tube will also soon be cleaned.... And 4'' exhaust and some kind of fabbed intake in the coming months.
Even being a little weak, it runs smooth (occasional miss), no sputtering at the pipe, and have not seen even one billow of smoke, so hopefully my injectors are in decent shape. The only other issue is that it is binding a bit when turning, so I will put in friction additive and see how that does.

On the exterior, I have replaced the grill with a "junkyard special" that I bought and painted from our local LKQ (half price items on holidays), and put on new mirrors. I already have the Bully Steps to put in place of the diamond plate steps, and will hopefully do that in the coming days. I also snagged some front fender flares and a ladder off a conversion van, as well as a swinging spare tire rack off a mid 90's Pathfinder. All in time....but here it is with the grill and mirrors:


It will be down the road a ways, no pun intended, but to go to SRW I am thinking that I will remove the current 5'' spacers on the front, and then use rims with a 1'' offset, to give me room for 315/75 R16 BFG's or Open Country's.
The current front WMS is 78'', and the rear is about 74''. This would have the front tires sticking out a little, and the rears still just inside the box. I want to keep this thing VERY road worthy. I am NOT building this to be some kind of bogger or crawler, but rather the occasional trail rig for going Boondocking in, and camping in and fishing on the beach. Again, I have much more pressing issues at hand, before I overly concern myself with this, but am ALWAYS interested in feedback from those that already know!

Anyone know of a Ford van cold air intake mod? I am having ZERO luck finding anything. Will most likely have to fab one, I reckon.

Thanks for reading and for any Feedback/Input that you may have.


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I have been all kinds of busy as of late, but here is a little bit of an update on the rig.

I am focusing mostly on performance issues and mods, while still doing some aesthetics along the way.
The inside conversion will most likely wait to begin until fall. It is brutally oppressive weather here in Tampa this time of year, so.....

Anyways, I have removed the amber fender light lenses and fabbed some grates for them. There are small pockets between the fender
and the subframe that I am going to utilize to send the cooler air over to the bigger custom air box that I am in the process of building by
using 2 Aerostar 4.0 boxes. Here are a couple of pics to further explain. I have also ordered a couple of louvers that will go on to the fender
in place of the current light holders. I will test it later on to see if the boost, intake temp , and EGT changes are significant at all. Hope so.
(More pics after it is all together)



(Airbox in the works......)

Speaking of testing. I got my gauges hooked up. I left the pillar pod black, and painted the passenger side pod black to match. It offers a more
custom sporty look inside. I also painted the lower dash panels and doghouse. More pics on those after all put back together.


Other things include:

Cleaned out EBP tube, changed EBP sensor, changed oil/filter, changed trans fluid/filter and added Magnefine inline filter, changed rear diff oil,
changed fuel pressure regulator spring, removed fuel filter plunger valve, (will soon drill out fuel rail port fittings to 1/4'') inspected and snugged
all intake boots.

Here is the Wicked Wheel 2. One thing I am scratching my head about, is that they did not put waste gates on these van 7.3's. I guess
they have the motor detuned so much in the ECM, that it isn't an issue. I will swap out for a newer SD housing later on, if I see any issues....


So you are probably saying if you are doing all of the intake and fuel mods, then what about the exhaust?
Well, my 4'' Turbo back Diamond Eye w/muffler will be here tomorrow, and I just received my new bellowed up pipes and new upper manifold.
I drilled and tapped the upper manifold for the pyrometer fitting and even did an extra hole and put in a plug. I know that
some of the tuners I am looking at seem to require one, so why not, while I have it off. No way I can get more pre-turbo than this!



While the turbo was out, I also did the CCV mod. I just used 12ft of heater hose, some fittings. and zip ties. If you do this, be sure to go up and
over the master cylinder with your hose, so that any oil that is blown up, will drain back down. Meanwhile, make sure the end of you hose is
secured several feet behind the cab of your vehicle. Well, unless you are in need of a long nap.........


I am still thinking that I might have a low power issues at hand, but I will know more once I get it back together and can
actually monitor the boost pressure and EGT's with the new gauges. Fingers crossed it is/was a combo of mild exhaust leak at down pipes
and loose intake boots....

Stay tuned...
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It's a dog when accelerating. Once up to about 20mph, it is fine. And even though it is plenty
warm here in Tampa, it is cold blooded. Again, hoping intake and exhaust leaks had something to do with it.

Hoping to fire it up this weekend. My new air filters and a replacement clamp for my exhaust Y at the turbo should be here
in a couple of days. In the meantime, I am changing out the vacuum pump. bad bearing.....

Thx for reading.


If you had exhaust leaks that will make a good difference once fixed. Cold blooded meaning hard to start? Can you hear the glow plug relay click when you key on? Sounds like you are doing all sorts of work to it!! I would love to do a wicked wheel on mine as well as an keep the EGT's down is what I tell the wife.


Expedition Leader
Welcome, and always glad to see another Ambo Build!

If you haven't already found it, here is a thread you may find helpful. It was started to give us all a central place to ask questions that are more pertinent to the ambulance and it's various systems, as opposed to asking in the more general sections.

Ambulance Camper/ Expedition Rig Conversion FAQ

Looking forward to see how your build progresses!


Thx Guys.

@Patoz I am pulling ideas from several of those rigs in your posting. A nice read...

@GtBensely and IdaSHO,

Actually, it always fires up rather quickly, but is sluggish till it warms, then is tolerable, but still slow
and bogg-ish until I get it moving. Once in 2nd gear, it seems to load down and has good power. It never misses,
and never throws a CEL.

One of my next things to do is to get a SCT LiveWire Tuner on it. That will offer me loads of data to start monitoring and
will make a huge difference in troubleshooting. As a last resort, I will take it to a local shop and have them plug into it
and do an AE Scan on it.......

One of the up pipes flanges was actually loose, and I think that I actually heard it rattling from time to time.
Of course, all of the bolts broke off when I tried removing them, which was of no consequence, because I was
already planning on replacing them. With that flange being loose, and some soot on the pipe, I am hopeful that
it will be better. And a couple of intake boot clamps seemed a little lose, but they looked to be in good shape.
With the new gauges, I will now be able to check boost and EGT's.

Put a couple of hours in on it today. Before I installed the new vacuum pump, I pulled the front bracket off
of the drivers side head to gain access to the fuel rail port fitting (or whatever it's called...) I drilled it out to 1/4'',
and did the passenger side, as well. That pretty much wraps it up for fuel mods.

Now to get the new exhaust on, and fire that baby up. Hopefully this weekend.

Today, I also finished and installed the airbox, and ran the 2 1/2'' hoses to the fender pockets. Now those vents are
actually somewhat functional! Once my louvers get here, it will push some decent air. Just to recap on them. The top
is the OEM for this van and I relocated the air temp sensor to it. The bottom is made up of 2 Aerostar 4.0 boxes.
I needed them for the taller side walls for the 2 1/2'' fittings. Of which, is a Rigid vacuum hose and fittings kit from Home Depot.
Then, I cut the forward intake slots from the OEM lower box, and cut and fitted them into the Aerostar boxes. So, it is still drafting
from just behind the grill, and will get somewhat of a cold air/ram air effect from the fenders. After I get the SCT tuner in, I will do some
testing to see the real effects by running with, and without the hoses hooked up. Here it is installed:



Whatchya think?


Does yours have the auxiliary airbox that Y's off and sits on top of the motor? Not totally clear was purpose it serves.....