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

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Stock is about 2” of fibreglass in the walls and roof of the box. 5/8” foam under/within the floor, and nothing in the cab. It’s the single biggest source of heat... especially the windshield.

The cab being so hot is why I draw air in through the side door and blow it out the cab windows. That way heat from the cab is expelled before it can heat anywhere else.
 

berimbozo

New member
Stock is about 2” of fibreglass in the walls and roof of the box. 5/8” foam under/within the floor, and nothing in the cab. It’s the single biggest source of heat... especially the windshield.

The cab being so hot is why I draw air in through the side door and blow it out the cab windows. That way heat from the cab is expelled before it can heat anywhere else.
Ya when I was tearing stuff out, I realized that the cab was going to be a huge problem in trying to control the climate of the box so our idea is to make a door that seals off the box from the cab and to insulate the hell out of the "wall" that divides the two.

On another note, what are you guys doing for heat? Right now, I'm thinking buddy heater for a temporary solution. I'm sure I'll have sufficient venting for the heater but I am concerned about condensation. Anyone have any experience with that? I've read mixed results. Some say a cracked window will be sufficient to get the condensation out and some report water dripping down the walls like it's raining from the inside! The climate is pretty mild in BC so I'm not too worried but I would like something for cold weather adventures.
 

Fork-N-Road

Member
On another note, what are you guys doing for heat? Right now, I'm thinking buddy heater for a temporary solution. I'm sure I'll have sufficient venting for the heater but I am concerned about condensation. Anyone have any experience with that? I've read mixed results. Some say a cracked window will be sufficient to get the condensation out and some report water dripping down the walls like it's raining from the inside! The climate is pretty mild in BC so I'm not too worried but I would like something for cold weather adventures.
Chinese Diesel Knock Off Heater > Buddy Heater

I've had both and MUCH prefer the Diesel heater. It's safer, has a thermostat, no condensation issues, etc.
 

berimbozo

New member
This is all the work I've done up till now. Next step will be replacing parts of the subfloor. Then we'll tackle some more electrical, build a more robust battery bank with a better inverter and run the wires we need. Although, BC is finally getting summer weather and I'm getting severely distracted by beach outings and camping trips!
 

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berimbozo

New member
Chinese Diesel Knock Off Heater > Buddy Heater

I've had both and MUCH prefer the Diesel heater. It's safer, has a thermostat, no condensation issues, etc.
I've read a little bit about them and people seem to really like them but I'm intimidated by the installation. I feel like this would be completely out of my skill set as I've not had any experience messing around with diesel vehicles. Is the installation as difficult as I'm making it out to be? Alternatively I guess I could see if I could pay someone to install it for me.
 

iggi

Ian
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.
My Crestline is a 2009. No idea if the level of insulation is the same as for earlier models. For winter it's been quite good. A single 5000 watt diesel parking heater keeps it nice and toasty. At -10 I had it set at the lowest setting to avoid getting cooked out. At -15C I let it run a the lowest setting most of the night and just cranked it up a little before getting out of bed in the morning.

Haven't seen enough hot weather to really give any useful feedback. My only trip last summer where it got above 30C outside, I just cranked up the rear AC on the 30 minute drive back to camp in the evening and that chilled it off enough we were comfortable for the rest of the night.
 

bgflyguy

Member
I have a buddy heater and it gets the ceiling pretty hot. I would also never leave it sitting around with dogs. Its an open flame and no blower.

I'll be getting a deisel heater at the end of the summer. If you dont mind keeping an extra tank of deisel, the install looks dead simple. I guess I'll find out.
 

iggi

Ian
I've read a little bit about them and people seem to really like them but I'm intimidated by the installation. I feel like this would be completely out of my skill set as I've not had any experience messing around with diesel vehicles. Is the installation as difficult as I'm making it out to be? Alternatively I guess I could see if I could pay someone to install it for me.
You can fully set one up to run on it's own before you install in your rig. That's a real confidence builder.
The hardest part really was drilling the exhaust and intake holes in the floor. There are a lot of horror stories about how hard it is to install them but I found it quite simple. (but I also read the directions and watched a couple installation videos first)
If you can't follow instructions then don't do it as there are a couple ways to easily install it wrong and cause yourself problems.

What I found to be excellent on the diesel heater was it's ability to keep the interior dry. I did a couple 3 day ice climbing trips last winter. Cold, wet and semi-frozen gear is the norm. Everything was dry and toasty in the morning.
IMG_1450.jpgIMG_1463.jpg
 
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Fork-N-Road

Member
I've read a little bit about them and people seem to really like them but I'm intimidated by the installation. I feel like this would be completely out of my skill set as I've not had any experience messing around with diesel vehicles. Is the installation as difficult as I'm making it out to be? Alternatively I guess I could see if I could pay someone to install it for me.
The installation is pretty simple, the only "scary" part is drilling the holes in the floor. After it is physically mounted, it only needs power, ground and fuel. It shouldn't be too hard to install or find someone to do it for you.

My Buddy heater was nice for taking the chill off before going to bed, but I wouldn't consider sleeping with it running. My brand new Buddy heater had a good size fireball between the propane tank and heater twice. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I'm glad the van didn't catch on fire.

The diesel heater is smaller, safer, has a thermostat to keep you comfy, etc. it's one of my favorite upgrades so far.

P.S. Is Berimbozo a play on Berimbolo?
 

berimbozo

New member
I have a buddy heater and it gets the ceiling pretty hot. I would also never leave it sitting around with dogs. Its an open flame and no blower.

I'll be getting a deisel heater at the end of the summer. If you dont mind keeping an extra tank of diesel, the install looks dead simple. I guess I'll find out.
I remember reading a thread about someone drilling into their diesel fuel tank for their diesel heater and basically stopped thinking about it at that point. I didn't even think about installing it with a separate diesel tank. Haha such an idiot 🤦‍♂️

You can fully set one up to run on it's own before you install in your rig. That's a real confidence builder.
The hardest part really was drilling the exhaust and intake holes in the floor. There are a lot of horror stories about how hard it is to install them but I found it quite simple. (but I also read the directions and watched a couple installation videos first)
If you can't follow instructions then don't do it as there are a couple ways to easily install it wrong and cause yourself problems.

What I found to be excellent on the diesel heater was it's ability to keep the interior dry. I did a couple 3 day ice climbing trips last winter. Cold, wet and semi-frozen gear is the norm. Everything was dry and toasty in the morning.
View attachment 599979View attachment 599980
Ah that's great advice. I think I should be handle the install. Conveniently enough, I'm working on the subfloor right now and there are already a few holes that I might be able to use to run the exhaust and intake. Dry heat would be great to have, especially in British Columbia.
 

iggi

Ian
I remember reading a thread about someone drilling into their diesel fuel tank for their diesel heater and basically stopped thinking about it at that point. I didn't even think about installing it with a separate diesel tank. Haha such an idiot 🤦‍♂️
Apparently, although I have yet to drop my tank to check, there is already an existing auxiliary fuel port that can be used.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I’ve read that also. If I get a chance I’ll check my spare fuel tank that’s on a shelf in my garage. It’d be a great way to empty the extra fuel that’s sloshing around in it. :D

Plan is to repaint it with 2-5 coats of paint, drop my current tank, prep and paint my rear frame, and install the newer tank. I hope to get it done sometime before I need to. I’ve got a couple things to finish around the house first... and then I really need to install the P/S in my 40 (Landcruiser) while I’m still able... so not any time soon.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I remember reading a thread about someone drilling into their diesel fuel tank for their diesel heater and basically stopped thinking about it at that point. I didn't even think about installing it with a separate diesel tank. Haha such an idiot 🤦‍♂️



Ah that's great advice. I think I should be handle the install. Conveniently enough, I'm working on the subfloor right now and there are already a few holes that I might be able to use to run the exhaust and intake. Dry heat would be great to have, especially in British Columbia.
do the physical install, and if you feel over your head about plumbing into the fuel tank, pay someone for an hour of their time. I swapped a 350 into my 40 by myself. However, I did pay a NHRA certified welder $60 (in ‘96) to weld in my engine and trans mounts. I also paid to have my driveshafts shortened. Nothing wrong with farming out work that you’re not comfortable with.

That said I’d not think twice about hooking up a diesel fuel line... it’s nothing like burning motor mounts onto a frame beneath a tank of gasoline ;)
 

berimbozo

New member
The installation is pretty simple, the only "scary" part is drilling the holes in the floor. After it is physically mounted, it only needs power, ground and fuel. It shouldn't be too hard to install or find someone to do it for you.

My Buddy heater was nice for taking the chill off before going to bed, but I wouldn't consider sleeping with it running. My brand new Buddy heater had a good size fireball between the propane tank and heater twice. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I'm glad the van didn't catch on fire.

The diesel heater is smaller, safer, has a thermostat to keep you comfy, etc. it's one of my favorite upgrades so far.

P.S. Is Berimbozo a play on Berimbolo?
Alright guys, I'm convinced. I'm going to do some research on the chinese knockoffs and most likely go that route. Glad I brought this up--I really wasn't that set on propane heat. It just seems that if anything went wrong it could be potentially catastrophic.

And yes! Berimbozo is a play on Berimbolo. I've been doing BJJ for the past 8 years. Do you train as well Fork-N-Road?
 

Fork-N-Road

Member
And yes! Berimbozo is a play on Berimbolo. I've been doing BJJ for the past 8 years. Do you train as well Fork-N-Road?
Much respect to you for your 8 years of JJ!

I started a few decades too late (especially for Berimbolos :unsure:), but I still LOVE it! I really enjoy the physical and mental aspects of it, but it's challenging keeping up with the younger guys sometimes.
 
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