Black Friday Ambo

#1
Some people wait outside the mall on Black Friday, and some close a deal on an ambulance and drive 4 hours to go pick it up...





It's a 1992 Type III with 65,400 miles. It was briefly a town ambulance in New Hampshire somewhere and then was purchased at an auction and used as a mobile office for a set of real estate agents. After they went under it sat around in a driveway until they listed it for sale (and I snapped it up!).

The van has a 7.3 high top and flares out to the box. This gives more than a foot of space behind the seats in the cab, and when sitting you can barely reach the ceiling. The compartments have reach throughs from the cab which means I will be able to turn on and off propane tanks and water without editing the cab or any real modifications. The box has the radian heater running off the engine coolant, and an electric AC/heater unit complete with ductwork to the back corner. Diamond plate has been used to cover the front and rear light openings where the lights have been removed.

So far I have just gotten it cleaned up and gotten some of the dash back together. It is pretty clear I have a lot of work to do, but the rig is awesome! The ABS and Brake lights are on (hidden by the seller when I picked it up!) and I need to replace a section of the exhaust and batteries. The wiring also seems to need some TLC.

There don't appear to be house batteries, only the two huge batteries in the engine compartment, something I am going to have to look into changing. However I do have a full vanner setup for the charger and inverter that nearly made my firefighter buddy drool.

I am basically terrified but here we go!



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#6
I would imagine it has to be the long wheelbase. I know most guys here have built up from the short, but if I am going to go through all this hassle to be comfortable I am going to actually be comfortable! I am looking to send this to Chris at UJoint at some point, but even as a 4x4 I am not interested in anything hardcore. I am extremely lucky to be able to travel on my weekends chasing snow and whitewater throughout the year, and this is going to be an upgrade from sleeping in the back of my truck.

I was able to get the price down from 5k to 3.5.

Has anyone seen a good write-up on adding a house battery bank? I have the battery selector switch in the cab which allows me to kill power to the whole rig or put one battery on at a time. I am hoping I can use it to separate the house and truck battery banks, allowing me to charge them individually. Or maybe you can just let the alternator maintain them without the added draw? I have no idea yet.

The plan was to get everything in the truck up to speed, then remove the passenger side wall and bench. From there I was planning on gutting a pop-up for a propane system, heater, and stove and the sink and foam beds. However since this setup has an electric heater installed and appears to have the heater that runs off the engine coolant I think my HVAC is taken care of already. The unit is tucked up in the drivers top corner and I can't imagine it would be worth the effort to relocate it and the duct work that pushes air to the back corner. Thoughts?


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#8
Started some light demo and de- cluttering inside after work.


On the down side the built in wine rack is gone now. On the up side tomorrow night I will be able to start taking down the passenger wall and free up some more space.

I also realized that the heater I was so excited to have scored was actually nothing more than a plastic cover! Hopefully I can find one to go back in the same place.


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#10
I've been stuck on the road for work the last few days, but I finally made it home this afternoon and grabbed some photos right before tearing out the bench and storage area.



I still have to trim the foot board flush with the closet compartment on the corner and bowls everything back in again before re-carpeting.

I was stunned when I measured the bench and realized that I will have a full 6ft long bed when this is done. I also was able to have a good look inside the walls and realized that I have about a 3" depth which has been stuffed with bat insulation. I was sweating inside with a small space heater on low.

I took my time and actually unscrewed 95% of what I removed. This let me save a lot of trim and other hardware to use later. (Or maybe I'll just scrap it.)


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#12


Progress continues. Demo is now done. Exposed the wheel well, cleaned it up and started adding insulation before I replace the carpet.

Called the now closed MedTec and there are no parts lists, manuals or diagrams available to help me replace the missing heater unit. Going to have to take a different direction. The box is so small I am really curious as to what was even in there in the first place. Could have just been a thermostat controlled fan heater.


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#13




Holiday season and work have been killing me, but I have managed to make some headway. The wheel well is double insulated with poor man's dynamat, the wall is out and ready to be replaced with wallboard instead of plywood, and I got the whole wall apart to re-route the cable for 110v power outlet to the oxygen hose spot on the cup holder shelf. Everything is basically a cabinet that bolts into the frame, or somehow hooks into something else.



It's zero degrees outside but I am at about 60 inside.


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#14

Everything is back together again. The ceiling is fiberglass wallboard, so I used it instead of 1/4" plywood.



It was t-shirt weather here today so I spent the whole day getting the lettering off the truck.


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#15


Anyone have a good idea for this spot? I can't come up with anything besides a pantry.

Also does anyone have an explanation for why my rig's batteries where dead a few weeks ago, but today they fired right up? I haven't touched them since I last drove it and they were so dead the volt meter flipped from full to dead when the turn signals blinked.


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