4x4 fire truck conversion project


New member
I already have some capable vehicles between my van and my bike but I want a choice for some more space and other people to come along. So the most reasonable option is to drive 4 states away and buy a 4x4 fire truck on your 26th birthday right?

I was really looking for something heavier then a 1 ton truck and 4x4, but I could not pass this truck up. And "this", is a 1985 E-One Hurricane 4x4 custom pumper. She has a 450hp v8 diesel, 4sp auto. Is 30ft long and a full 8ft wide. My favorite bit on it is the hydraulic winch mounted in the back, right now I'm guessing it's a 30k lbs unit.

The plan drivetrain wise is 4-6" lift, go up from the 42" tires to 53's with some 16.00r20s, and find a locker to fit the rear axle. Also need to be able to haul my motorcycle and preferably a boat like I do with my van

Living quarters wise, the water tank, pump, and all its plumbing will be going away to make room to build a 8x16 shell on the back (don't worry, it will still mostly look like a firetruck) going for 6'6" interior height so I can stand fully. Wet bath with endless recirculating shower, sleeping for 4 and radiant infloor heat.

It's going to be a big project, but should be a good time! She does still need a name though

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I am somewhat skeptical of its off road abilities even with 53 inch tires but it will probably be a wild ride. I think you will waste lots of space unless you get rid of everything fire truck from the cab back
This is going to be interesting, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it. I've never seen a 4x4 fire truck, and my dad was a career firefighter in NH!

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New member
I get what your saying about it offroad, it's more then big, going to be hard to fit alot of places. And I'm ok with that. That's why I have a lifted 4x4 van and basicly an oversize dirt bike as well.

But I'm confident once it higher, new tires, and rework the leaf springs, it will take me anywhere I want to go.

And yes, in the end, everything firetruck on it will be gone, pump, plumbing, tanks, the whole lot

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Well-known member
My dream vehicle. Weigh all the fire equipment you take off. I'd bet you'll never add that weight back on. Plus I assume you are getting rid of the 750 gallon water tank, another 7K# gone. I'd only worry a bit about gearing jumping from 42s to 53s with an automatic but if you end up 10K lighter that likely won't matter..... you'll just get more speeding tickets.

I used to be a Pumper Operator. Fire Truck engines since they are built to pump under constant load were always rated 10% to 20% higher than the same engine in a truck. It should fly.

On yer 26th birthday.... you puppy. :LOL::LOL:

Look for a commercial office command or medicaI body. That'll definitely keep the fire truck theme.
I hope you paint it red.

In red, that truck has been a star in several movies.
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New member
On yer 26th birthday.... you puppy.
Hey now, at least im house trained by now!

Not too worried about gearing, maxes out at 62 right now and that's sitting on the 2400rpm govener! And boy does it get to that speed fast. So some taller tires will be nice to bring that rpm down for those boring highway sections.

Plan on keeping all the storage boxes and just modifying the frame work to accommodate a custom box for the living space.

Goal for this year is the lift, new tires, and brush guards yet stay a fully function fire engine so it's going to be quite the sight coming down the road!

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Active member

i am in the middle of a firetruck project right now and the process is quite daunting

the dream is Rat Rodish maintaining the firetruck looks

mine is smaller/shorter(25') than yours

1964 Ford/American LaFrance(in service thru 2015) w/ only 3,094 miles on the clock when i drove her up on the trailer to bring her home


153" wheel base and a 25,500 GVW

if yours has a GVW over 26,100 you need to check your local requirements for a commercial driver's license(Texas does)

the pump on mine was(it is now out of the frame) driven by what i call a transfer case turned vertical while the drive line runs thru the lower section on back thru a mechanical disc parking brake to the rear diff

similar to this


that's 2 separate complete drive shafts

one from the transmission tail shaft to the transfer case and one from the transfer case to the rear diff

the weight(bunches of hundreds of pounds/piece)of some of the parts i have removed so far required the use of the front end loader on my 50hp diesel tractor

many of the parts are cast iron and many more are bronze

IMG_4280.JPG IMG_4290.JPG IMG_4323.JPG IMG_4320.JPG

i'm down to the tank now just as soon as the weather breaks

the tank is baffed steel which takes up the entire rear section and will need to be lifted several feet to remove


GOOD LUCK W/ YOUR PROJECT i'll be folowing along



New member
That's going to be a pretty nice truck, even if it's a Ford...

But Yup all big fire pumps are going to use a variation of a transfer case style unit to divert the power up to the pump. Can power pump or rear axle but never both. Best part is besides the 2 driveshafts just to get to the rear axle, the front axle has a 3 piece driveshaft that runs all the way back and gets driven off a power diverter from the rear axle! That's 10 ujoints on driveshafts alone!

Also she has a 36klbs gvwr but hobbyist plates should get around the cdl just fine

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I am very fascinated by this build. Where did you find it for sale? Mind sharing what what you paid for it?


That's awesome. Approach and departure angles aren't the greatest but that is an awesome starting platform for sure.

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