The Honey Wagon: 2001 Ford 350 7.3 PSD Crestline Ambulance Build Thread

berimbozo

New member
Hi Everyone,

I've been creeping for the past few weeks, looking for ideas and advice on my new project. I picked up my ambulance a few weeks ago via private sale. She had about 272,000 kms on it and about 5,000 engine hours (not great but the best out of the 4 ambulances I went to go see). My goal is to turn this thing into a tiny home for me and my dog. I have basically 0 experience working on vehicles but I have some experience on different job sites and construction projects. Luckily, one of my good friends went to school for electrical engineering and he is helping me out with and teaching me about all the electrical and wiring.

I look forward to sharing this with you all and I hope it helps other inexperience noobs down the road! Many many more pictures to come but here she is in her untouched glory!! The previous owners used it as a work truck for his concrete company so there is something shelving to remove and a ton of cleaning to do (we've already gutted most of it and re-insulated it but more on that later).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Eric
 

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berimbozo

New member
My dog was one of the big motivators to make this project a reality. Her name is Honey so the name that I've come up with for the time being is "the Honey Wagon". Any dog lovers on here?
 

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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
My dog was one of the big motivators to make this project a reality. Her name is Honey so the name that I've come up with for the time being is "the Honey Wagon". Any dog lovers on here?
5000 hours is nothing. I’ve got about 17,000 hours and it’s still going strong. A friend drove a tow truck that had been pinned at 99,999 hours for years and they still drove it like it was stolen.

Our black lab also loves our ‘97 Crestline. I’ve added a 12” 850 cfm Hayden rad fan into the side window to ensure that it doesn’t get too hot inside. If the front windows are open 2” there’s a noticeable breeze when you stand near the doors. Operation it draws 5-6 amps. I’ve yet to add a thermostat to control it... once wired in I can ensure pooch is always safe from getting too hot. It works especially well if that window is parked in the shade of a tree.
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berimbozo

New member
Hey Bikersmurf! I've read a lot of your posts! You're a great rep for us Crestliners! Your dog looks like such a good boy! Good to know that others have made the ambulance work for their dogs. Thanks for the tip on the rad fan I will definitely check it out. Originally I had planned to get the maxxair fan but it's like $350 on Amazon in Canada. At the moment, we are modifying the original intake and exhaust from the ambulance to help cool it down. The original fans are super loud so we got some 100cfm duct fans that we're going to try. I've also got a window ac unit that we're gonna install in the passenger side compartment. One of the essentials to building this out is to make sure that we can keep the box cool for my doggo on our little adventures!
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Hey Bikersmurf! I've read a lot of your posts! You're a great rep for us Crestliners! Your dog looks like such a good boy! Good to know that others have made the ambulance work for their dogs. Thanks for the tip on the rad fan I will definitely check it out. Originally I had planned to get the maxxair fan but it's like $350 on Amazon in Canada. At the moment, we are modifying the original intake and exhaust from the ambulance to help cool it down. The original fans are super loud so we got some 100cfm duct fans that we're going to try. I've also got a window ac unit that we're gonna install in the passenger side compartment. One of the essentials to building this out is to make sure that we can keep the box cool for my doggo on our little adventures!
I bought my Hayden fan for $20... they’re about $81 CDN on Amazon... https://www.amazon.ca/Hayden-Automotive-3680-Rapid-Cool-Thin-Line/dp/B000C3BB8A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=hayden+12”+fan&qid=1595130276&sr=8-1

And $22 for the 12v microprocessor thermostatic control. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B073FDF6VJ?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

making it about $105 and no holes in the roof.

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She’s a great girl... no one would ever guess she’s 8 years old.

Also a couple fan pics.
 
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berimbozo

New member
No way she's 8! She doesn't look a day over 5!

Thanks for the pics of the fan. I'm most likely gonna do the same. It's basically a poor man's vent fan and I don't mind spending $80 if it means I don't have to spend almost $400. How in the hell did you find it for $20?!?!

Here are some more pics of the dog and the ambo! This was after we removed the shelving and walls. We also cut the little window separating the cab and the box so that we have a doorway.
 

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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
No way she's 8! She doesn't look a day over 5!

Thanks for the pics of the fan. I'm most likely gonna do the same. It's basically a poor man's vent fan and I don't mind spending $80 if it means I don't have to spend almost $400. How in the hell did you find it for $20?!?!

Here are some more pics of the dog and the ambo! This was after we removed the shelving and walls. We also cut the little window separating the cab and the box so that we have a doorway.
Found the fan on Facebook marketplace for $20. It will roughly exchange all the air in the box every minute.

Our dog usually outruns dogs 1/2 her age. We have to find 1.5-2 years old for her to play with. Dogs older than that can’t keep up. As she ages though she is more particular about who she plays with... the younger the better.
 

iggi

Ian
Welcome to the Crestline club!

I've also been too cheap and stubborn to do a rooftop fan. I current have a Noctua Industrial computer fan that's rated to 269.3 Cubic Meters per hour and draws 6.6 watts.. https://noctua.at/en/nf-a14-industrialppc-3000-pwm/specification

Pushing through the original rear ducting is too constrictive. Working a vent that integrates with the original emergency light hole.
The single fan moves the air but not enough to keep it cool on a +25C day. Hoping with better venting, another exhaust fan and an intake fan that it'll be enough. The power draw will be low enough that on a sunny day solar should be able to keep the fans and fridge running without discharging the batteries.

IMG_2287 2.jpgIMG_2289.jpgIMG_2325.jpg
 

bgflyguy

Member
Welcome to the Crestline club!

I've also been too cheap and stubborn to do a rooftop fan. I current have a Noctua Industrial computer fan that's rated to 269.3 Cubic Meters per hour and draws 6.6 watts.. https://noctua.at/en/nf-a14-industrialppc-3000-pwm/specification

Pushing through the original rear ducting is too constrictive. Working a vent that integrates with the original emergency light hole.
The single fan moves the air but not enough to keep it cool on a +25C day. Hoping with better venting, another exhaust fan and an intake fan that it'll be enough. The power draw will be low enough that on a sunny day solar should be able to keep the fans and fridge running without discharging the batteries.

View attachment 599726View attachment 599727View attachment 599728
I just added a 300cfm 6" comair fan that backs up to the rear emergency light. I haven't found a solution for a vent cover yet though. Have you found something that fits the whelen cutout?

I'll have to build a little box around mine with an internal vent cover.
 

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iggi

Ian
I just added a 300cfm 6" comair fan that backs up to the rear emergency light. I haven't found a solution for a vent cover yet though. Have you found something that fits the whelen cutout?

I'll have to build a little box around mine with an internal vent cover.
I know a guy that's working on a bolt-on solution but it's not ready for market. I have an idea for a DIY solution and hopefully will have time tomorrow to fab it up.
What's the power draw and CFM on that fan?
 

berimbozo

New member
Welcome to the Crestline club!

I've also been too cheap and stubborn to do a rooftop fan. I current have a Noctua Industrial computer fan that's rated to 269.3 Cubic Meters per hour and draws 6.6 watts.. https://noctua.at/en/nf-a14-industrialppc-3000-pwm/specification

Pushing through the original rear ducting is too constrictive. Working a vent that integrates with the original emergency light hole.
The single fan moves the air but not enough to keep it cool on a +25C day. Hoping with better venting, another exhaust fan and an intake fan that it'll be enough. The power draw will be low enough that on a sunny day solar should be able to keep the fans and fridge running without discharging the batteries.

View attachment 599726View attachment 599727View attachment 599728
This is a great idea! I never even thought of it. You're absolutely right in that the rear ducting is too constrictive. We were going to build a cabinet to house the duct fans but I suspect that it's not going to be very effective. I may just have to try this idea too.
 

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berimbozo

New member
Can any of you guys speak on the original insulation in the ambulances? Are they pretty good at holding/keeping out heat? We've just replaced all of the fibreglass insulation with rockwool. It's already made a very noticeable difference in soundproofing. We've also put 1x3s on all the square tubing to prevent thermal bridging. This will probably seem like overkill but we're also going to add 1/2" foam insulation on top of that. We decided on doing all of this to minimize cold spots in the box that can cause condensation and also to make sure that there is a thermal break from the metal.

Of course all of this means nothing without some pictures. I'll get on that later today!
 

bgflyguy

Member
I know a guy that's working on a bolt-on solution but it's not ready for market. I have an idea for a DIY solution and hopefully will have time tomorrow to fab it up.
What's the power draw and CFM on that fan?
It can draw up to 40w if there is a lot of backflow pressure. I have it switched 12v/24v and at 12v open air I'm measuring < 1amp so 6-8w I would guess. I haven't measured 24v draw yet, but it's pretty loud at 24v as well.

@24v it's 298 CFM, but I would guess it's around 100 CFM at 12v. It moves a lot of air, but it's not enough to fight the sunshine.

I didn't have any insulation in the top rear or the front above the cab. I added some foam I had laying around, but I'll need to come back with something better. That's a lot of solar gain.

I have no idea what the insulation is like other places. I'm thinking not good.
 
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