Clark Camper - 2000 E450 Ambo

clarkh

Observer
Another Ambo build here. Like me when it comes to unimog and land rovers I get that many of you don't understand the awesomeness of the Ambo. That's fine. I've never done a build thread so this will not rise to the level of the high bar set by fellow members on here. But it should go quick, I'm about 95% done (out of possible 99% - never totally finished) and can rip through.

Quick background: In '09 bought a '08 long and tall Sprinter and did a full build out. Kids were 4 and 6 at the time and the pass through layout worked well. Slept in it more than 250 nights, shipped it to Europe and back (sweet trip) and then realized 2 things: 1 – It's too small. Kids nearly outgrew their bunks, bed is a pain in the *** when stationary for a few days among a few others. 2- After some EGR valve and Turbo problems under warrantee, I lost confidence in the limited parts and service availability. Ambo builds started popping up and I talked the wife into making the switch.

The Sprinter:








I knew I wanted the longer 14' box and was prepared to fly and drive. Then, luckily one popped up local (San Diego) on CL. 2000 E450 7.3 PL Custom 4.10 gears:











Bought it and got to work.

After fixing some standard 7.3 leaks, a few sensors, up pipes and a few other things, the teardown started. First, decal removal. I tried 3 of the removal disks- 3M, Whizzy Wheel, and these cheaper ones by AES. For the money I felt the AES ones worked the best. This process took over 25 hours…. I removed the horns and light bars then got going on gutting the inside, full gut:







Very un-expo approved fiberglass insulation in these walls. Been there for 16 years and no signs of moisture problems. Or course nobody sleeping in there...













Amount of wiring is crazy:





Coming along:



Looking clean!, opened up the pass-through:





I plan to sleep side to side, so I need to trim the depth of the outside compartments. Cutting under way:



And shortened:



To be continued...
 
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MarcusBrody

Active member
That's a cool layout on the Sprinter, though I can see how you outgrew it. My son is little though, so it could give me a few years...

Good luck wih the Ambo build!
 

clarkh

Observer
It worked very well. Just very skinny down the middle. We were always tripping on each other.
 

jjohnny350

Adventurer
Wow, 250 nights in it, you got some good use out of it. Looking forward to seeing your build, thanks for letting us follow along.
 

gmtech

Observer
holy batman you didn't want anything left of the original ambo! how you plan on patching all the hole from the outside marker lights?
 

clarkh

Observer
holy batman you didn't want anything left of the original ambo! how you plan on patching all the hole from the outside marker lights?
I left all the outside lights except the light bars. There were a few holes from taking those off, in the front I just used Sika to adhere a few covers I fabbed out of some of the scrap AL from cutting out the window. A few other small holes got rubber plugs and sealant.
 

clarkh

Observer
On to insulation. I used a combination of spray foam (I used Tiger Foam, 600 board ft kit) and Thinsulate. On the camper side of the compartments I had to fir out with 1x1 AL to screw my finished surfaces to and give myself a guide to cut the excess spray foam. I didn't try to get every little bit of foam, I was fine with "about" an inch at the bump ins and 1.5 inches on the walls.

Here you can see the 1x1 used as fir strips:



You can also see the CR Laurance window I installed here. It's fine but I wish I went with an awning window of some sorts so it can be left open in bad weather.



For the studs on the walls I drilled and used closed cell foam in a can. I went slow so the foam had access to air for curing. I still had a few spots that ooozed foam when I attached my cabinets.



I had sprayed foam from a kit like this before in my Sprinter. Much much easier in the ambo. I think one of the keys is to follow the directions closely. You must shake the bottles of foam and have them and the surface to be sprayed at a certain temperature. I set the bottles in front of a electric space heater inside the camper for over an hour shaking every 15 min or so. Tape off what you don't want foam on and spray away. Cover every inch of your body or you'll be pulling hair out.





All trimmed up... I used Thinsulate at the front and back where there are lots of wires. The top will get a combo of more spray foam and some Thinsulate when the pop top goes in.



The roof of the cab got a pretty standard Noico and Thinsulate treatment:





I also stuffed Thinsulate in the A pillar and every other area I had access to.
 
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clarkh

Observer
Noise control:

The spray foam and Thinsulate do a good job of controlling sound on the walls and ceiling. The floor is a different matter. In the cab portion I cleaned it up and rolled on Noxudol 3101. The soundproofing company by me swears by this stuff. I can't tell you if it works better than the Noico or not, but it is easy to install.



Hard to see but with the Noxudol brushed on:



The floor of the ambo box is just 1 inch thick plywood with a very thin AL skin on the bottom (weather side). After I pulled up the old vinyl, I rolled out 1 layer of closed cell foam and 2 layers of MVL on top of that. The MVL sure does soak up the sound.



I covered that with 1/2 inch plywood. My finish floor will go on top of this. The wheel wells had sound deadener on them but I put another layer of foam and MVL.



The dog house is a big area for noise with the 7.3. I painted on a few layers of Noxudol then a layer of MVL. Then installed the stock fiberglass shield followed by DEI Floor & Tunnel Shield. It is HEAVY but wow did it knock down the noise.





I still need to do the front doors with Noico and Thinsulate. Probably replace the seals around them as well.

More to come...
 
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eporter

Adventurer
Wow. You're not messing around! I like the sprayfoam in the AL tube. Seems like a lot of work, but should help. Did you say pop top?!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jambulance80

New member
are you eliminating all of the flasher light locations and blocking them over? I noticed you pulled all of the wiring for them. Where will you be moving your electrical panel and wiring to? or is that completely eliminated?
 

clarkh

Observer
are you eliminating all of the flasher light locations and blocking them over? I noticed you pulled all of the wiring for them. Where will you be moving your electrical panel and wiring to? or is that completely eliminated?
At this time I just don't need that much light. I cut the wires to the flashers and plan to just leave them, too much work to remove and patch. I removed the entire electronics panel but left the loom coming from the front of the van. You can see it here:



This loom has all the wires I'll need and more. At the point this picture was taken I wasn't sure if I needed any switches/relays from the panel so I stashed it in the garage. Turns out it was as simple as find wire that says "brake lights" in the loom, run the wire to the brake lights and boom, worked. Same with the turn signals. No reverse wire in the loom though, just wired to a switch on the dash so they come on with the back-up camera.
 

clarkh

Observer
Next up, I need to get brake lights and turn signals working to safely get the the shop to build the cabinets. I can't find it now, but there was a thread about using sign modules inside the flashers instead of the bulbs. So I ordered some up from SuperBrightLED. They look like this



These are pretty cool little lights, cheap and easy to use.



I left the arrow turn signals, the bottom brake and reverse lights with regular bulbs. In the 4 previous flashers, i put 1 module in each for ICC lights and 4 modules in each for Turn or brake. Top two became brake lights and bottom two turn signals. They work very well. I just screwed them into the reflector in the flasher, VHB tape didn't hold:



Now I can get to the shop to build cabinets!!!
 

eporter

Adventurer
I'm glad that info from the Whelen 900 thread was useful! I think those little waterproof LED sign modules are the easiest way to retrofit things. Can you get a nighttime shot?
 
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