Ambulance Camper/ Expedition Rig Conversion FAQ

Very cool! Thanks for posting the pics of the capper. Guess I’ll be leaving mine... suppose it will help with mpg somewhat. Just a bit ugly. Hoping that it’s less ugly grey. Love the heated floor!


Mine is going to the paint shop on Tuesday... will be lead foot grey with the white top. We’ve decided to move the bed (which will still raise/ lower with linear actuators) to the driver’s side of the van. This will allow us to still use the rear door for people to enter/ exit. I’ll post a new cad rendering.... but the interior really doesn’t start until the paint and UJoint stuff is done.

While it’s at the paint shop I’ll be rebuilding the dana 60 front axle will ALL new components.
I have nearly everything in hand to install the UJoint 6” lift and 4wd conversion kit. Waiting on the wheels and tires from 4wheel parts.
 

jhoyt

New member
Hello Everyone,

I have a 1996 E-450 type III I am converting very slowly. I'd like to install a Maxxair fan in the ceiling for ventilation, but I'm running into a problem. The roof structure, like the rest of the box, is built from 2x2 square aluminum beams on 14" centers. That leaves 12" of clear space between them. Unfortunately, the fan needs a 14" x 14" hole to fit into. I don't really want to cut through one of the roof supports entirely.

I imagine most Ambulances of this period were built similarly, so I'm hoping someone smarter than me may have figured out a solution already. If not, I'm thinking of cutting the whole centered between two beams so I'll only cut halfway through each of them. I'm concerned that this might be a dumb idea, so I thought I'd float it here and see what you all thought.

Thanks in advance for any insights!
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
1) I’d double check to see if all your tubes are 14” on Center. Gc
2) see how big the hole needs to beto the fan.
3) I’ve cut 1/2 way through the 2” box aluminum with an ultra thin cutting disc on the angle grinder to fit in my fridge... works very well.

4) my 11” Hayden fan moves 800 cfm, circulates plenty of air, fits inthe side door window, and only costs about $45 usd.
 

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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Amazon says 800cfm and < $40. That's close to the fancy camper fan capacity.

Is it loud?
More info re “is it loud”.

From the driver’s seat I cannot hear it over the heater fan on high. It’s on a par with fan set on 3/4.

With quite tires, I can hear it from the drivers seat at 35 mph and by 40 mph Zi can’t hear if it’s on.
 

Rebuilder

Observer
Hello Everyone,

I have a 1996 E-450 type III I am converting very slowly. I'd like to install a Maxxair fan in the ceiling for ventilation, but I'm running into a problem. The roof structure, like the rest of the box, is built from 2x2 square aluminum beams on 14" centers. That leaves 12" of clear space between them. Unfortunately, the fan needs a 14" x 14" hole to fit into. I don't really want to cut through one of the roof supports entirely.

I imagine most Ambulances of this period were built similarly, so I'm hoping someone smarter than me may have figured out a solution already. If not, I'm thinking of cutting the whole centered between two beams so I'll only cut halfway through each of them. I'm concerned that this might be a dumb idea, so I thought I'd float it here and see what you all thought.

Thanks in advance for any insights!
Here's what I ended up doing when dealing with the same issue. I think 2"x2"x1/4" angle would have been a better choice of material but the 2" channel worked well. There's no noticeable flex in the tube that I cut.

KIMG0516.JPG

I used VHB tape on all contact surfaces

KIMG0511.JPG


KIMG0518.JPG
 

bgflyguy

New member
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do for ventilation. I have some existing exhaust fans, but they are pretty small so I think I want to replace them. I picked up some comair 172mm 24v beasts, and I have some dc-dc converters. However, if I do that, I'll need to upgrade the vents etc. We will see, it's still nice and cool here in the pnw. I like the radiator fan as well.

I'm also still curious if I have dedicated starting batteries. I unscrewed some stuff and pulled out a cabinet, but turns out it was my inverter hiding in there. It's actually a generator. It looks like I get an actual wine wave output, but i doubt it's very efficient.

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Screenshot_20200525-214129_Gallery.jpg
 
Progressing on my build. Guess I need to start my own build thread! Truck is dropped off at the paint shop (I did all the prep- removed everything, sanded etc. The shop will remove the front and rear doors) where it wil be painted "Lead foot Grey"- a Ford color. The BGF tires and new front wheels are in. The front axle is nearly complete with all new parts (hubs, rotors, calipers, diff cover, ball joints, knuckle).
 

Attachments

WHEELIEGREG

New member
If you remove the headliner you will see the heads of the bolts although you'll still need to cut the deflector off from the outside and then remove the flange because it was installed before the box. On mine I decided to cut an access hole from the box to use the area for storage from the inside. It was kind of a pain because I had to seal the 1" gap between the box and the deflector but I think it was worth it.

View attachment 587517

You can see the bolts/nuts covered in silicone here....

View attachment 587518
Looks like an awesome build! Curious as to how you filled the 1" gap It would be nice to do this in the future...
 

iggi

Ian
Electrical generator.. Well I never.. I thought it was just some bs marketing jargon but it's real. Super interesting concept.
I didn't see anything on my quick google search on what the efficiency is but I wouldn't be in a rush to get rid of it.

I found a PDF of the manual.


Re starting batteries.. Took me a month to find mine.
They were hidden under the side entry stairs.

Ian



I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do for ventilation. I have some existing exhaust fans, but they are pretty small so I think I want to replace them. I picked up some comair 172mm 24v beasts, and I have some dc-dc converters. However, if I do that, I'll need to upgrade the vents etc. We will see, it's still nice and cool here in the pnw. I like the radiator fan as well.

I'm also still curious if I have dedicated starting batteries. I unscrewed some stuff and pulled out a cabinet, but turns out it was my inverter hiding in there. It's actually a generator. It looks like I get an actual wine wave output, but i doubt it's very efficient.

View attachment 588183
View attachment 588184
View attachment 588186
 

Rebuilder

Observer
Looks like an awesome build! Curious as to how you filled the 1" gap It would be nice to do this in the future...
I formed an aluminum u channel to go around the opening that spans from inside the box to inside the air dam and used generous amounts of silicone to seal it up. Time will tell if it's sealed well enough but I'll probably just consider that to be dampish so I'll use plastic bins etc when storing things up there.
 

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bgflyguy

New member
Electrical generator.. Well I never.. I thought it was just some bs marketing jargon but it's real. Super interesting concept.
I didn't see anything on my quick google search on what the efficiency is but I wouldn't be in a rush to get rid of it.

I found a PDF of the manual.


Re starting batteries.. Took me a month to find mine.
They were hidden under the side entry stairs.

Ian
I kicked the high idle on while my wife ran the electric leaf blower for 20 minutes off of the generator and it didnt even sweat. This is also while our spa towel heater, I mean iv bag heater, ran. I need to figure out where that runs. :)

I'm wanting to add a cheapo chinese webasco heater RIP off, but I cant find much info on the e450 fuel tanks. I assume I just drop it and there is an accessories pickup I can use? I saw a few guys document the in cab install but missed the fuel install. What are you guys doing?
 

bgflyguy

New member
If anyone is interested here is a printout of my thermostat circuit. Nothing too suprising, and I believe most has been covered before.
.20200614_184903.jpg
 
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