Belafonte Reboot....Ambulance to 4x4 Camper Conversion

tgreening

Expedition Leader
Would love to catch a break here. My new Ford sourced shackle bushings dont fit. Back to a stand still on the rear end.
 

flightcancled

Explorer
Hang tight! At least you didnt have to cut and push each shackle bolt 4-5 times to get it free because you have that handy panel.
 

tgreening

Expedition Leader
Well the rear of the bugger is rolling on 37s now. I still have to do all the torquing on the suspension, but she's on rubber anyway. I'll get a pic or two when I get home.

Tranny pull is next up.
 

flightcancled

Explorer
Congrats! At least doing the rear first will give you more room to drop the tranny.

What are your rear springs rated at? Not sure what you wound up going with. I re-read Tony's build and he upgraded his springs 3-4 times, the last numbers weren't posted but I'm guessing they are rated for 12k. His rig weighs in at 16.5k or something though and he tows all over the place.




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tgreening

Expedition Leader
I have no idea on the springs to tell the truth. Didnt really think about that. The van itself wont carry much more than passengers and some gear at most. If it still has its factory capacity I'm probably good. There wont be much tow weight, at least in the short term. I'll need gears at least before that happens, and it would be nice to treat the engine to a turbo kit. When that happens I'll worry about capacity. Once I get on the raod again my guess is gears and some love for the brake system. Need to scope out a hydroboost setup.
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Tom, at least you got the rear up some before you tackled the transmission. With the way the compartments hand down all around it, there isn't much clearance for crawling under it, at least not for big guys like me.
 

tgreening

Expedition Leader
Picts please!!!

Dont get too excited. The pics aren't all that 'cause it's sitting in my detached, and even with my back against the wall I could only get so much in the shot.

Overall shot. This is as much of the rig as I could get in the pic. The garage is 24' wide, but I've got shelves along both walls and this is as far away as I could get. I could try getting an angled shot, but a 4-wheeler, 2 1/2 sets of tires stacked up, and miskylaneous other crap in the way makes for a dirty pic.

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Lower down angle. The amount of open wheel well is just a tad much for my liking, but it'll do. At this point I'm really glad I didn't go with the 8" lift. Once I get the front end together we'll see if I'm still as happy. :) If it turns out like most Ujor lifts, and why wouldn't it, the space in the front wheel well will look even larger than the rear. That poor floor jack screamed bloody murder trying to get this pig high enough off the deck to get those tires mounted. Did I mention those things weigh a metric f***-ton? I didn't recall that weight, and had I remembered I may have rethunk my tire/rim choice. They're close enough to 200 lbs to not really matter, but hey, I can remount a new tire in the field with some hand tools and it's a double bead-lock so woo hoo!

One thing for sure I'd do different if I could is the wheel spacers. They're 2" and I'd cut them back to 1". The tires are far enough out they are just barely protruding past the body panel, but they don't stick out past the flare at all. Cutting 1" would drop them in just enough I could toss that flare and not have to worry about coverage, and it would be a tad bit less stress on the bearings. I might still be able to toss the flare, but it would be close for sure.

Something else I need to get with Chris about. I forgot that I have a D80 from a 2006 F-350 P/U sitting in my shop. It ended up as a spare due to an ill-advised replacement recommended by the Fjord garage. Disk brakes, and it's Dana 80! Since 80 is bigger than 70 it must be more desirable. I can't remember what draw backs there are to this axle type though. I'd love to have a rear that matches the front bolt pattern wise without using adapters. This way I could run a spacer between wheels and have my dually config back.



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Anybody know off hand what the farq this is? It's hanging just behind the tranny cross member. I didn't bother trying to wire chase it since right now it doesn't matter, but it's a curiosity thing. Also, anybody pulled the starter on one of these? How many bolts, best way to get at them, etc. Laying on my back I can see two bolts. I'm guessing there's more up top, but I didn't go searching since it was about the end of my shift.

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Unrelated hobby. Right now it's just a shell, but it uses the guts from a Ruger 10/22. It'll have about a 6" barrel, a can, and I'll turn that stock into a folder. Fun toy!


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My spoiled rotten pup. If he was trapped inside a burning building full of handicapped nuns heaven better make room for them, 'cause he's coming home with me. :)


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frig84

Observer
If there are no holes for wiring to come out of it, then it is just a cap used to seal the connector Ford put on there for an option not installed on the truck. See them alot, many of their newer vehicles have the wiring present even if the stuff it's dor is not installed. Cheeper to make one harness for everyone, than keep track of twelve different ones.
 

cjken

Explorer
It's amazing how an ambo can make 37's look small!!
I guess your rear track is wider than mine now is. I have 2.5 inch spacers, but stock h1 backspacing. I guess that puts you at a total of 4" wider track width.
No idea what that is hanging Behind the x-member.
The weight of the tire/rim combo bothers me as well Not sure if it is beating on my front end components over time.

Your pup looks really comfortable!!

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Here's mine. He was released from the guide dog program due to "low work drive". I think you can see why!!
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Looking good Tom,

I think the wheel well thing will become a non-issue once the front end is lifted and it's sitting level again.

The tires are far enough out they are just barely protruding past the body panel, but they don't stick out past the flare at all. Cutting 1" would drop them in just enough I could toss that flare and not have to worry about coverage, and it would be a tad bit less stress on the bearings. I might still be able to toss the flare, but it would be close for sure.
If you do decide to remove the the flares and don't need them any longer, I'd like to see about getting them from you, provided they are in good shape. Mine are beat up pretty good on both sides. The Rockwell axle I put under it is a couple of inches longer, so my tires are flush with the outer edge of the flares, so I need to keep them on mine.

I'm sure I'm going to have some left over parts you can probably use, if just for spares, so maybe, we can work out a trade. Let me know when you get ready for that front panel console also.

Anybody know off hand what the farq this is? It's hanging just behind the tranny cross member. I didn't bother trying to wire chase it since right now it doesn't matter, but it's a curiosity thing.
When I separated my cab and body, I cut the wiring harness just below the firewall in order to save as much wire as possible. As you can see in the picture below, I took the harness apart so I could trace everything out. I don't know specifically what it's for, but I determined I didn't need it. I don't remember if I removed it or not, but I'll check as soon as I get a chance. We have heavy rain in the forecast for the next 3-4 days, so it might be a little while.

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flightcancled

Explorer
View attachment 260666
Here's mine. He was released from the guide dog program due to "low work drive". I think you can see why!!
Isn't that the one that disappeared and almost went for a swim in my pond? That would have been a rough day for anyone following him. I was dying when all three labs popped out of that van.

Pat the rubber flare material is on fixmyambulance.com. Pricey, but permanent.

I can't believe you guys are running tires that are that heavy. No way Ford engineered for that kind of stress to the steering or suspension up front. Double bead lock would sure be nice though.


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patoz

Expedition Leader
Pat the rubber flare material is on fixmyambulance.com. Pricey, but permanent.
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Yeah Alex, I found the generic rubber stuff, and they also sell the Wheeled Coach Aluminum Fenderette for $141.71 per side. I have the aluminum ones like Tom has, and that's what I would prefer to stay with since I'm trying to keep as much of the Ambulance theme as possible (it's a Firefighter thing). Of course, the first time I go into the woods and bang one up, I'll probably wish I had gone to the rubber ones.
 

cjken

Explorer
Yes that is the one who made s run for your pond!!!
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Yes the weight concerns me.
I'm going to try to rebuild my second set without the runflats. Hopefully that will help.
Other future options.
Civilian h1 Alu rims
Swap front hubs to single and run any rim/tire I want.
For the time bring it will be mostly local driving so I will not make any changes.
 
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