Horton minimod ambulance build thread

#1
Hey people, I am fairly new here. I am moving this thread over to this forum because it seems more fitting. I built out a sprinter van over the last few years and did a whole lot of traveling in that thing, mostly for mountain biking. I recently sold the sprinter with my eyes set on starting a new project, and have purchased and started working on a 1996 e350 Horton minimod to replace it. The van has 160,000 miles on its 7.3 PS motor, and seems to have been taken care of well. There is a little rust here and there, but nothing major!

The plans is to make the vehicle mechanically sound, lift it, do new wheels and tires, and then start the interior build out to make it into a functional camper. I have a pretty tight timeline to get work done on this thing, and could use all the advice/ help I can get to make sure it is roadworthy before driving from Washington state to Alabama where I will be attending Air Force Officer Training School in April, before starting my career as a pilot in the AF.

So far I have started gutting the interior, and have most of it out. The only casualty of the process was losing my brake/tail/turn/ backup wiring, which for some reason was integrated into the harness for the box. I have pulled probably 1000 pounds out of the rig so far, and the amount of space inside is growing with every piece that comes out! Besides that it has been a heck of a lot of stripping vinyl off the outside, and giving it a nice wash and wax.

Ill post more when I have more to say, but I will be tackling the water pump replacement this week, and may start diving into the HPOP replacement/ fuel bowl rebuild, and EBPV delete if I have time!


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#2
And I am waiting for parts to get into any of the real work, so I did a little bit of trimming on the box today. I'm hoping to improve the departure angle on this thing a little bit, and with these cuts it should be improved quite a bit on the sides, and a little bit in the center. I trimmed about an inch of the box all the way around the rear "fenders", hoping it will prevent rub issues once I get bigger tires under the van.

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#3
Wow! Great work tearing into that. I saw that mini mod posted on CL in WA and was tempted again... I had a 1997 Horton mini mod. Fun rig. I didn’t do much modding to it, mainly just used it. Really nicely built.

There’s a Google drive link in here with all the Horton docs they sent me. Helpful with the wiring that you’ve got mostly gone, but also with the layout of the other systems, etc.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/my-adventure-ambulance-1997-e350-horton-mini-mod.151852/

The brake and reverse lights are tied into the system so they light up, or make other lights light up, depending on programming. You could program the back scene lights to come on in reverse, or back red flashers to blink with turn signals, etc.

Have fun with that, and have fun flying things.
 
#4
Wow! Great work tearing into that. I saw that mini mod posted on CL in WA and was tempted again... I had a 1997 Horton mini mod. Fun rig. I didn’t do much modding to it, mainly just used it. Really nicely built.

There’s a Google drive link in here with all the Horton docs they sent me. Helpful with the wiring that you’ve got mostly gone, but also with the layout of the other systems, etc.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/my-adventure-ambulance-1997-e350-horton-mini-mod.151852/

The brake and reverse lights are tied into the system so they light up, or make other lights light up, depending on programming. You could program the back scene lights to come on in reverse, or back red flashers to blink with turn signals, etc.

Have fun with that, and have fun flying things.

Your rig was actually a bit of an inspiration for mine, I read through your various postings about it before making the decision to pull the trigger on an ambulance after selling my sprinter. All that information you pulled together is gold, thanks for doing that, and for making it public!

Also, a bit jealous that yours was a 97, if mine was one year newer it would have made replacement seat options much easier!
 
#8
Installed the new water pump today, but stupidly bought the wrong thermostat housing. The factory one is rusty on the inside so I do not want to put that back on, so it is back to the waiting game until the correct thermostat housing shows up in the mail!

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#10
Sweet!!!
Do you have a pic of the left side?
One of mine is a Horton box. I want to see if it has the same skinny side door on the left.
 
#11
Sweet!!!
Do you have a pic of the left side?
One of mine is a Horton box. I want to see if it has the same skinny side door on the left.
I don’t, but I can grab one tomorrow. I have two side compartments on the drivers side, one tall one, that used to hold the spare tire and oxygen tank, and a small one that holds the batteries.
 
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#12
Here’s the side door on my Horton
Right now it’s a trailer, but may transplant on to a different truck in the future, but I don’t really like the small door.
It doesn’t have that spare tire door either.





Here is my other one.
With the larger door. I think it is a Wheeled Coach brand box.



 
#15
Update for today. The new thermostat housing comes on Monday, so I'm stuck waiting for that. I did put the new Gates serpentine belt on, I am not much of a mechanic, but the belt seems to have a little bit less tension on it than the old belt, Im hoping thats not an issue. I also did an oil change, and swapped the drain plug out for a Fumoto valve, which I have done on my last few vehicles and overall been happy with. I am going to be happy to get this thing lifted so that I have more room to work under it! I pulled about 3/4 of a quart out of the HPOP reservoir and it was about the thickest, most glue-like oil I have pulled out of a vehicle. I am glad to have at least a bit of fresh oil up top there. And here is a picture of the drivers side showing my side compartment situation as well!

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