What would you keep 4x4 7.3 Box Truck or C4500 2wd Ambulance?

Len.Barron

Observer
The kodiak ambulance would be my choice. The LMM duramax and 6speed allison are just too good... leaf sprung front kodiaks are easy 4x4 conversions.
 

cjken

Explorer
The kodiak ambulance would be my choice. The LMM duramax and 6speed allison are just too good... leaf sprung front kodiaks are easy 4x4 conversions.
Aren’t the parts for 4x4 hard to find??
Like the front axle.

I’ve been looking around a bit.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
If you are looking specifically for a Kodiak front axle then yes...you could easily use a Ford high pinion dana60 (super 60) with DRW hubs to get the needed width..
 

cjken

Explorer
Good to know.
Is the super 60 beefy enough for a c4500??
Also are the brakes available for that axle up to the task??

Also they are apparently making a new c4500 truck 4500hd
I wonder if you will be able to buy that axle assembly from ford eventually to convert an old c4500 to 4x4. I feel like my next project will involve a c4500 cab and chassis.
 

truck mechanic

Adventurer
I would keep the ford, gm stopped building the c4500/5500 a while ago. parts that arnt supported by the aftermarket are getting harder to get and very pricey . I was in NC after the hurricane with a fleet of bucket trucks. Hit the local gm dealer for some parts, I had to laugh when the first counter person didnt even know what a 4500 was. Just my .02
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
As much as I am am a medium duty ambulance guy I suggest you stick with the Ford. And that is purely because the 2008 Duramax has pollution crap on it. Trouble waiting to happen.

Or pull the ambulance box off the ambulance and put it on the Ford . Probably sell the Chev for more without the ambulance body anyway.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
egr and dpf delete are a must for the LMM duramax (IMHO) but once you do that you basically have an LBZ with even better injectors and a better data bus system..
Ford F450/550 are great donors for a front axle...no strength/braking concerns as they are in the same weigh class... Not that the ford is a bad choice, but, you'll spend a lot of time and money trying to make the 7.3 produce duramax power...and the economy will decline with all those attempts.. also the transmission behind the 7.3 isn't even in the same class as the allison.
 

Deshet

Adventurer
If I would have seen the 7.3 4x4 chinook I would have gotten that and sold off several things...

The Duramax is very nice. I have had 4 vs 50+ 7.3s. I haven’t owned one long enough to compare longevity to the 7.3. I would not buy a pre-2004 Duramax although they are great as long as the injectors are good. Stock to stock an 08 Duramax is seems to be much more powerful and gets much better mileage. It is really the 6 speed transmission behind the Duramax that makes it seem better. The ford e4od or 4r100 isn’t comparable.

The Duramax doesn’t sound like an American diesel....almost too quiet. GM seems to have less slope in the steering components almost Drive like cars.

Every year Powerstroke 7.3 is solid and none have emissions issues or need to be deleted. Finding a cleaned moderately priced one is getting tough. The 7.3 is cheap to keep going seen them with 15,000 hours running strong.
The Duramax needs more attention to do the same job.

I like them both a lot but the 7.3 is getting old same as the cummins 5.9. It is hard to compare 30 year newer designs but the 7.3 can get anything done that newer trucks can do.

If I had to drive one vehicle everyday day it would probably be a mega cab dually 6.7 deleted and I don’t like dodge but the cummins is solid.

Almost home from importing my two new old trucks
2001 F450 7.3 4x4 box truck (mainly bought to tow the Landcruiser)
1987 landcruiser BJ74...second toyota diesel I have own impressed so far.
 

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