AmbuLand build thread

Hello everyone!

After a way too long saga trying to find the right ambulance for my new Expo project I finally found one (actually two but that's another story;)). This is how it started:
There's a bunch of good info in the previous thread if anyone is tempted to jump on a similar project... But now that I have a keeper I figured I'd better start a new thread.

The basics;
2001 E350 7.3L Crestline Ambulance on the 138" wheelbase.
185,000 miles

The goal;
Minimum seating of 4 (2adults and 2 young kids)
Fully camperized
4x4 UJOR (6" lift, lockers front/rear)
Running on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)

So far;
Well, I got the ambulance,
I got the name: AmbuLand,
I got both axles fully built,
And started collecting some parts to be used in the build.

Most of these pictures are already in my initial thread but might as well start fresh...

The inspiration:

The day I bought it:

The herd:

The front Dana60 with 4.11 gears, E-locker and a good coat of Por-15:

The rear Sterling 10.5 with Detroit locker:

And the beginning of a long journey:

What the interior originally looked like and the gutting. Pretty impressive cabinets quality, they use that 1/2" plastic board for everything and although the original size or configuration doesn't work with my plan, I'll try to reuse as much of the material as possible.

Hard to believe this thing could fit in there!

Not sure yet if I'll move the electrical panel or leave it as is. It looks complicated but after spending a bit of time studying it its actually not that bad at all. Just need to figure what I need and what I can discard. I like that it came with a battery charger, isolator and pure sinwave inverter. Pretty cool how most fuses are actually mini-breakers!

More to come:)

Mr. D
Very slooooooow progress as I'm finishing other projects before heading out to Expo. It's nice to see though the quality of the original set up; tightly framed aluminum core, nice 2" insulation, well laid out electrical system, seaboard cabinets... Absolutely no regrets! Every time I look at those flat walls and ceiling puts a big smile on my face, it will be so much easier to build around it than any of my previous trucks or vans :)

Mr. D

Even without a job now, something else ALWAYS comes up. Got to have a life, and all that.

Mine is not nearly that well done on the insulation, looks good
Yes, they did a good job with the insulation! I have a couple rolls of FatMat left over from previous projects. I'm now trying to decide if I should pull the insulation to stick a layer on the flat surfaces. I know it worth it on steel panels, not sure if its as beneficial on aluminum ones?


Trailer sold, whats next?
Disregard my comment on your for sale thread... I like where this is going. I have thought for years that one of these would make a great camper hence my interest in the Ambovan project Hobietony... and others of course.

Very kool indeed.


Expedition Leader
After seeing your Nissan and trailer I have no doubt this will be a great build. And thanks for putting up with the generator as I had the essential 5 espressos each morning.

I am also very interested in seeing what you do for the WVO conversion.
Slowly heading back home from Flagstaff, trying to avoid as many hwy's as possible! We are in Portland now, home later on tonight... No worries about the generator, just glad I didn't get to smell the coffee cause that would have been much worse! ;)

I'll be taking my holidays locally this year which should give me some time to get going with the build, and the house restoration...

Nice meeting the bunch at Flagstaff, great time!

Mr. D
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Did you weigh the ambulance before and after gutting it? Curious to know what all the crap in the back weighs. Did it handle any differently when gutted?

Is there any reason to try to keep an ambulance build light or will the 7.3 perform about the same loaded with lead?
It wasn't that much weight, surely not enough to make any driving difference... But I'll be packing her up again with a new set up, hopefully sooner than later!
Silly question but how's the handling in a lifted ambulance?

My 4.2 6 cylinder E250 Van for instance is gutless. It accelerates very slowly and does not like to go over 65 mph, but it corners just fine and ever since installing a steering stabilizer does not get blown around much by the wind and passing semi trucks. I can live with it but wish it were faster.

Climbing steep expressway roads in the mountains with it absolutely sucks but it's pretty happy bouncing around on Jeep trails.

Will driving an ambulance feel much different than driving a regular full size van?
Mine isn't lifted or converted to 4x4 yet so I'm not the best to answer your question, sorry. As far as engine goes, the 7.3 is nothing like how you describe your 4.2 and from everyone I've talked to, adding a mild chip will wake it up even further. As is (no chip) mine as no problem accelerating, climbing a good hill at or over 65mph... If you're ever visiting Vancouver I'll let you try it out for yourself! :)

Mr. D