Landbulance build thread

Abitibi

Explorer
Hi everyone!

Warning, this build will start sloooooow and will hopefully pick up in due time but let's get going anyway :) This ambulance is very similar to my 1st one hence the name, AmboEvo (which might change along the way?). For reference, this is the build thread for my 1st ambo: https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/ambuland-build-thread.103768/

This new one will follow a similar path as my 1st one but very different at the same time. It starts with a 2008 E350 Crestline, extended body, 6.0L diesel engine and new to me, power mirror and windows! I bought it out of town, had to fly in and drive back 2 full days, can't argue with a roadtrip for the maiden voyage! The truck runs awesome even though it has 275k miles. That mileage might scare a few but when properly maintained these beasts go on like the Energizer bunny!

The day I picked her up for our first date and maiden voyage.

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Made it home without issues. First thing I noticed is that this ambulance saw a lot of gravel road in its life. Once I got home I scraped from underneath years of dirt! With all the carpet, doghouse and seats removed I sprayed a healthy dose of cleaner and hosed down everything with the garden hose. I didn't shy out!

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I also took care of some light surface rust with some Por15. Luckily, she's pretty clean overall. The old wrap was mostly removed but it was still sticky so by the time I got home it was covered in dust, it's a pain to clean!!! Patched some holes on the roof and walls where the emergency lights and antennas used to be. I used Eternabound tape, works great! As you can see in the background, my neighbors just got himself a sweet truck as well, he's gutting it big time and re-building from ground zero, will look awesome!

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I've already gutted the box, removed all the electrical, keeping only the wires for the brake and signal lights. I'll re-use the wires I removed as needed but I found with my 1st build that it's way easier to start from scratch.

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The main plan:

1) Completely gut the box (checked!)
2) Raise the roof by 6-8"
3) Add a clam shell poptop (home made)
4) 4x4 (home made)
5) Full camperized interior including full time bed, full kitchen with dinette & compact shower.
6) Wood stove and diesel heaters
7) New paint along with bumpers and all.. Way more in the list but I'll bring it up as I get closer in the build.

As I said, it may take a while before I get more progress as I first need to do the 4x4 conversion so that I can pass the mechanical inspection and register it in my province. Once the interior is done I'll register it as a Motorhome which I recently did with my 1st one (saves me a couple hundred $ on my insurance).

I got a few more pictures coming...

Cheers
David
 

Abitibi

Explorer
I cut a bunch of 8" aluminum strips from some of the interior I previously removed and will re-use them when I raise the roof. The table saw works great for that purpose... The rest of the aluminum went to the recycling and paid for some new LED lights I bought on my trip to Australia (and some fine scotch) :)

On my 1st ambo I modified the side scene lights, re-using the existing light mounts to install new LED lights. It worked great but took a lot of time to build and wasn't cheap. For this one I decided to go a different route. I'll be using some slim 22" light bars, it will provide plenty of light but will be much easier to install. The four 9" round lights will either go on the front bumper or on the cab roof, not sure yet.

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iggi

Ian
Great start! Looking forward to seeing your progress. Especially on the roof raise. I'm just a bit too damn tall to be comfortable in mine. I don't notice it much in the summer but after a few days winter camping I was reconsidering my stance on not needing a full height ceiling.

Are you sound insulating the cab? I was hitting 90dB on the highway in mine before insulation. Have it down to the low 70's now. Seems a bunch of noise is transferring through through firewall/dash so that may be the next stage for quieting things down. Rolling down hills I'm at mid 50's dB and to get the highway cruise down to 60ish would be heaven.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
I'll be insulating the cab for sure! If you go back in the thread of my first one you'll see what I did and I'll likely do something very similar for this one. Sound dampener (Fatmax) on floor/firewall, ceiling and doors (very important), 1/2" to 1" subfloor foam on floor and ceiling and I might try to improve the doghouse. The 6.0L is much quieter than the 7.3 so the battle won't be as hard :)

I've never measured dB in mine, you got me curious!

I need to do the 4x4 conversion before I can register it (need mechanical inspection) so that won't be right away, need to pad my wallet and find a good donor axle. But once that's done then the roof will be next along with framing some windows at the back.

Cheers
David
 

Abitibi

Explorer
We had great weather lately, warm enough to tackle my next project... A bit overkilled but I was somewhat confined at home so why not. Completed the floor (going as far up the firewall as possible), the ceiling and the 2 front doors. In the doors I added some Roxul below the lowest window reach and also added a layer of some special car insulation material that looks like bubble wrap but apparently performs way better. I'm still skeptical about it but have seen some good objective reviews on it. (bought it years ago for another project, can't recall the name). I've been told the doors are actually the worst culprit for noise transmission (maybe 2nd if like us we have a doghouse to deal with). Sure hope it will help a little with insulation for winter trips but now the doors definitely have that high end car door sound when you close them!

Cheers
David

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Doslocos

New member
HI, wondering what your plans are for raising the roof? I am also building an ambo and going to raise the roof.
Thanks
 

iggi

Ian
Looks good! I haven't done my doors or the ceiling. Easy enough to try. I did one layer on the floor and doghouse, did one road trip and then added a 2nd layer on the whole front floor section (much as I could do without taking the seats out again). The doghouse has 4 layers in some spots. Just kept adding until it got quieter.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Looks good! I haven't done my doors or the ceiling. Easy enough to try. I did one layer on the floor and doghouse, did one road trip and then added a 2nd layer on the whole front floor section (much as I could do without taking the seats out again). The doghouse has 4 layers in some spots. Just kept adding until it got quieter.
When doing your doghouse, are you talking about adding to the outside or engine side? Post some pics as I'd like to see how you did yours!


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Abitibi

Explorer
HI, wondering what your plans are for raising the roof? I am also building an ambo and going to raise the roof.
Thanks
I'll cut right above the upper horizontal 2" square tub and either add 2"square alu studs extension (same as walls) all around (between wall and ceiling) or build a 8" wide aluminum "ladder" & weld it sideways between roof & walls.

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Abitibi

Explorer
Cool thx!

What material did you use inside? Just regular bubble wrap? Now that you've run it for a while no issues with the inner material melting or falling apart?

D.
 

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iggi

Ian
I used the noico sound mat. For inside the doghouse the heat insulation is still what's closest to the motor. The sound mat is between the dog house and the heat shield. No issues yet.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Just a quick note on the sound dampener I've glued to my floor and ceiling...

The brand I've used is Fatmat (Rattletrap), I've used it on 3 previous projects, never had issues and this was my last roll. This particular brand is not butyl based but asphalt. It works similar but will not tolerate heat as good and some people say it gives an initial smell. I've never had issues with either but I wouldn't use it inside the doghouse or on my ceiling if I lived in Arizona... The cab of my roof will be painted with a light color bedliner type paint and will have a roofrack blocking most of the sun exposure. I also live in a rainforest area... I think they have better product available nowadays but at the time this was the main option to Dynamat for a fraction of the cost.

Just thought I'd give a little warning...

And a post without pictures isn't cool so here's a few more ;)
2 layers on top of the Fatmat, thicker foam to follow and will be filling most of the voids with Roxul (which doesn't absorb water, insulate and also helps greatly with sound dampening even-though it's house stuff).

Cheers
David


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