The Base Camp - Super Duty Ambulance Conversion

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
You should be good to go then...right?
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
You should be good to go then...right?
For the Ford, yes. I was commenting on my Ram.

The heaviest load I ever tow is a jeep plus accoutrements. Maybe 5-6k lbs. I'd expected the truck and trailer to be ~9,500 lbs. To make up the cost difference from a 13k to a 16k plate, I'd have to get have to get an overweight ticket every 7 months to make it beneficial to get the tag. Obviously that's not going to happen. With the combo near 11k full of fuel before a load I have to evade the 5-0 for almost 2 years to break even.

Still probably safe, seeing as it hasn't happened in the first 11 years I've owned the truck.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
Is there any legal recourse for insurance to deny you after a wreck because you weren't legally tagged?

Also, wouldn't an overweight ticket for 16k gross on a 13k tag be about 300 bucks, give or take...depending on any other fines or costs they tack on there?

FWIW, a 16k tag is 288 and a 17k tag is 305 bucks.
 
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YotaOnRocks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Location
Winston-Salem
Is there any legal recourse for insurance to deny you after a wreck because you weren't legally tagged?

Also, wouldn't an overweight ticket for 16k gross on a 13k tag be about 300 bucks, give or take...depending on any other fines or costs they tack on there?

FWIW, a 16k tag is 288 and a 17k tag is 305 bucks.
No sure on the tag but being over manufacturers gvwr or gcwr puts you at legal risk
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Is there any legal recourse for insurance to deny you after a wreck because you weren't legally tagged?

Also, wouldn't an overweight ticket for 16k gross on a 13k tag be about 300 bucks, give or take...depending on any other fines or costs they tack on there?

FWIW, a 16k tag is 288 and a 17k tag is 305 bucks.

Theres a thread somewhere explaining it, so long as the fee schedule hasn't changed the first 2k lbs over the tag weight is penalized at $0.02 per lb. The next 3k is $0.04, and after that its $0.10.

The 16k plate is $109 more than the 13k plate, and the fine for being 3k over your 13k plate is $80. As long as I avoid the 421 gauntlet, the chances of being weighed are slim, so I don't think it ever makes sense to pay the extra in my case where I have a load 3-5 times a year.


About insurance... maybe. They'll always look for some way to dick you, but the tag fee is really just a tax. You aren't breaking a law with regards to safety, like exceeding GCWR, so I'd think it unlikely.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Yep, I've been slacking recently but have been checking off small tasks for lack of motivation to treat into anything big. Most of it was to get the 08 front clip fully mounted, clearance everything for the headlight buckets, and rewire the harnesses. Everything except the cowl is mounted up.



Today I get to something more in depth... trying (which is all I managed) to fix the hard start. It starts fine when plugged in for a bit, but real shitty otherwise. I Ohmed out the glow plugs a while back and found 1 open loop and 2 with high resistance, so I orded up some new Mastercraft units with new gaskets and harnesses just in case.

Got everything torn down early this morning. Somebody had definitely been in here before... these don't look like the style of quarters that Ford uses.



Also found 2 (but only 2) reman injectors, which is annoying.



Once out, verified excessive ohmage.



Unfortunately, with it all back together it didn't improve the symptoms. Still doing some diagnostics, but in the interim I plugged it up and it started after about an hour so at least I can say I didn't fubar something working today.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
Maybe it has a glow plug controller issue?
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Maybe it has a glow plug controller issue?
One of the many troubleshooting activities today included bypassing the relay, so probably not. Right now I'm focused on two areas: CPS and battery cable resistance.

If I ohm from the glow plug interface at the valve cover pass-through directly to the head i get ~1.3, if I go back to the battery I get ~23. If I ohm the block to battery cable I get 0.2, so I'm not entirely convinced my bargain meter isn't messing me up.

For the CPS, at one point today I cranked it and it started to shudder and coughed out some grayish black smoke at idle, so fuel timing somehow got weird. Also, cracking time is inconsistent even when plugged in so that would point me to a sensor.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Nothing like a global pandemic to remind you that your boogaloo ride is still nonfunctional.

In the last post I had commented that I thought my meter may have had me chasing specters. That turned out to be the case. I reran all of the ohm tests today with a squeaky clean Fluke 88V and was able to narrow in on an issue in the passenger side UVCH.





All these connect to a common power wire and should be the same resistance. The solenoid resistance is ~2.9 ohms, so I was loosing 15% drive power on two injectors and 30% at a third.

This issue seems to be karmic retribution for my laziness when replacing the glow plugs. I had bought a new valve cover gasket with harness but decided to skip it since I could get to the plugs by only sliding the valve cover to the side, and removing it completely to replace the harness required me to remove a few more pieces of ambulance-specific equipment. Stats up just fine now.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Getting really close to having the inside "done". Its really all just trim and touch up after the completion of the projects over the last few weekends.

Solid teak countertops. Wend for the hardwood butcherblock for durability when doing workbenchy things.



Finished up the battery wiring with the cutoff switch. Based on my current draw calculations the 110AH should be enough to run for 2 full days without firing the generator.


That cover panel is made from some unobtainium stainless allow that was on the floor of the ambulance under the stretcher area. I literally had no drill bits capable of going through it. It has the battery disconnect and generator start mounted in it.



Also made an aluminum prop rod for the bunk. The mounting bracket is a slip joint from an 88 Comanche steering column.

 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
I suppose I should update this thread to preserve some sort of linearity. I don't really have an pictures of new parts because there haven't been any. I have been driving it around to flush out any remaining mechanical problems, and caught a big one on a recent trip.

A buddy and I took it from Winston up to DuPont Forest for some mountain biking last weekend. As luck would have it, a member up that way wanted a set of wheels i had so we agreed to meet at the Rural King in Morganton to do the swap. Having never been in before, we decided to check it out after handing off the wheels. We ended up buying some random stuff including ratchet straps, a funnel, tape, gloves, and some other stuff for no real reason.

Fast forward an hour or so, quite near the top of the grade going into Ashville the odor of coolant becomes... noticeable. No change in the temp gauge, so we keep on truckin'. Once we get past town we pull into a gas station to snack up and find a nice stream of coolant coming from underneath. It wasn't hard to find the culprit. The fan had eaten the shroud and started on the surge tank hose.



Being at the gas station gave us pretty good resources to get it patched up. But the key was the Rural King haul. My friend sawed up the funnel spout while I got everything torn down.




We were able to stick the funnel spout down into the hose and put clamps on either side of the hole in the hose



You can see the tank isn't bilted back into place, obviously because the fan would have kept on snacking, so the ratchet strap (also bought at the King) held it to the side of the shroud out of danger.

The bodge was good enough to get us down to DuPont and home the next day.
 

Mojones915

Member
Joined
May 16, 2018
Location
Walkertown
I suppose I should update this thread to preserve some sort of linearity. I don't really have an pictures of new parts because there haven't been any. I have been driving it around to flush out any remaining mechanical problems, and caught a big one on a recent trip.

A buddy and I took it from Winston up to DuPont Forest for some mountain biking last weekend. As luck would have it, a member up that way wanted a set of wheels i had so we agreed to meet at the Rural King in Morganton to do the swap. Having never been in before, we decided to check it out after handing off the wheels. We ended up buying some random stuff including ratchet straps, a funnel, tape, gloves, and some other stuff for no real reason.

Fast forward an hour or so, quite near the top of the grade going into Ashville the odor of coolant becomes... noticeable. No change in the temp gauge, so we keep on truckin'. Once we get past town we pull into a gas station to snack up and find a nice stream of coolant coming from underneath. It wasn't hard to find the culprit. The fan had eaten the shroud and started on the surge tank hose.



Being at the gas station gave us pretty good resources to get it patched up. But the key was the Rural King haul. My friend sawed up the funnel spout while I got everything torn down.




We were able to stick the funnel spout down into the hose and put clamps on either side of the hole in the hose



You can see the tank isn't bilted back into place, obviously because the fan would have kept on snacking, so the ratchet strap (also bought at the King) held it to the side of the shroud out of danger.

The bodge was good enough to get us down to DuPont and home the next day.

Looks like that the funnel was still able to used for its original intended purpose, however many beers that may have been.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
A few RockAuto boxes showed up this week with some replacement parts for the issues uncovered during the last trip.

The shroud apparently isn't available in the aftermarket, so i opted for a patch. Maybe I'll replace it when I run across one in a junkyard.





The surge tank hose had been replaced with bulk hose previously, i opted to come up off the $13 to get the correct formed version. You can see it bends around the area that got ate.



This view is straight down from the top. The shroud is deformed inward in the center from the routing of the bulk hose.


If that wasn't the cause, it certainly made the situation worse.

Otherwise, it also got a new driveshaft carrier bearing. Uninteresting except for the Chinese puzzle of getting a shaft that long into my press frame.


And a few cans of refrigerant got the AC functioning again for the time being.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
I know you guys are bored of this maintenance work. You're in luck. It's time to start on the 4wd equipment.



Psych.

I bent my snap ring pliers trying to get the hub off, so back to boring stuff while I wait for a new set from the Amazon truck.

I decided to paint and install that hitch in the foreground.

I actually built it a while ago but the cycle between rain forest and desert hellscape discouraged me from painting it.

The frame mounts are built from the old step mounts.

This is what came off:


That box is the gas tank for the generator. It was full of scale rust and not worth saving. I debated building a new one to go back in the same place, but decided against it.

The mount width is not the same as the original hitch, it's actually built from two hitches.



One was plasma'd to save the side plates, one to save the tube. The chopped up plates were repurposed as reinforcements.


Painted:


Once installed, the wacky shape of the mount bracket makes more sense. The clearance is for the ambulance box isolator.



And finished:

 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Right on time



With the right pliers the snap ring came out easy but the big hub seal still put up a good fight. Bearing pullers, spacers, pry bars and some long unused Barnes4wd TJ bumper bracket reinforcements later:



The idea was to get the shafts out to replace the busted outer tube seals and make it quicker for the guys doing the gear work, but once I got into it I could tell the level of clap was higher than I was comfortable reinstalling. Seeing as how much of a PITA it was to get apart I figure now is the time for a full rebuild.



Back to RockAuto I go.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
I've got a seal installer for the knuckle seals if you want to borrow it. You put the seal on the stubs and then knock them in the knuckles. The only thing I don't like about those axles...

I knocked the old seals/axles out with a punch from the back side of the knuckle. You pretty much have to destroy them to get them out.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
I've got a seal installer for the knuckle seals if you want to borrow it. You put the seal on the stubs and then knock them in the knuckles. The only thing I don't like about those axles...

I knocked the old seals/axles out with a punch from the back side of the knuckle. You pretty much have to destroy them to get them out.
I bought seals, the wrong ones, thinking thats how it would happen but I actually got them out whole with the puller. Appreciate it though.

 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
Adding a few updates pre-weekend. Started with the bracketry for the radius arms. Since the rig is going to see a small lift anyway, I figured I'd go aftermarket with the drop built in. The brackets themselves are for 2005-2016 trucks, but 5 of the 7 holes are already there.


Just drilled the remaining places (right angle drill required) and bolted up on both sides.


Coil buckets are similar. Holes are already in the right place. The large clearance hole in the bucket is from a feature that exists in the 2008 (donor) frame, but that wouldn't be in 2005-2007 parts, which i should have just bought for how much trouble cutting the rivets was.


Axle is bolted in with some refreshed radius arms. Right now its going together with what would be a 2" level for a 05 truck, we'll see how it sits and may adjust afterwards.

 
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