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Old 12-11-2017, 10:02 AM   #1
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2001 ambulance e350 7.3l

Currently off of pacific coast highway in California. Left Texas near end of September. Been here since . Traded 2001 tundra for this 2001 e350 with half a million miles.
I have a few things to note . Living in this/ out of a van is way more appropriate then nesting inside a access cab tundra with everything you own . Hitting the horn every night while our asleep because you and the steering wheel are that close.

Anyways , after driving even 2 hours straight. I cannot let the van sit overnight or even 5+ hours without it being able to start.
There's a lot of electrical components that may be draining juice.
Also the starting battery probalay does not have enough cold cranking amps. Needs 850?
Also are both the (house) batteries and the starter battery ignite and turn car over to start?
Should I replace just the under hood starter batter with 850 cca and leave house/frame side batteries alone. I heard you should replace both at same time.
Also looking into running 200 watts solar into house batteries to always have those full. Need some thicker awg wire and a charge controller. And maybe some kind of rain gutters clamps or either weld directly onto rain gutters /body.

Besides this battery issue and having to rely on gf triple aaa to jump us off. It's an alright van.
Probably a little over loaded.

1. Battery issues, find door open blinking light fuse. Swap battery with a higher cca.
(Hope fully not alternators) (also solar on house batteries) . 2 115 watt into 3 deep cycle 12v

2 . Need some tries and rotors and ceramic pads.

3. Swing away scooter carrier/ platform tow hitch receiver . Swing away elbow arm, cargo platform for tool chest. No drag. Rated 500* pounds

4. Mount 9000 pound winch to front frame, cut hole in bumper. Mount light bar ?

5-1 .... possibly make rack on top of fiberglass hi top. Hi top roof rack for solar panels stealth mode.





Ambulance,7.3l,diesels,e350,battery,solar,vanlife, roof rack, cargo hitch, swing away, 2001,
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:25 AM   #2
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every 7.3L vehicle that i have seen (or owned - had 3 now) uses 2 starting batteries. on the trucks they are both underhood; on the vans, 1 is under the hood, 1 is under the body on the pass side, about halfway back. i think SMB adds the house battery next to the second starting battery.

as for the electrical drain, you could put an ammeter on the (+) battery cable, and start pulling fuse for each circuit until the current draw goes away. the batteries may also be weak/dying.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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It totals 4!
Just picked up a 850cca battery for under the hood... will see if I can let it sit overnight without having to be jumped off.
The other 3 are inside the battery box on driver side.
2 are CAT construction brand batteries deep cycle 850cca. And the other is an interstate 850cca.
I'm currently using the alternator while driving to charge up the house batteries. I'm also thinking of directly throwing solar panels 230 watts through charge controller onto all 3 house batteries..
Where I'm confused is there must be some battery cable going from the under the hood new starting battery onto the 3 house batteries. The house batteries are also in series I believe.
Either way the goal is to have a new good starting battery and not abuse it.
Then have either the 3 houses being charged up with solar . And the starting battery using those also to turn over /ignite van.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:34 PM   #4
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Where are you "off PCH" in Calif?
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:10 PM   #5
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Where are you "off PCH" in Calif?
Near pacific palisades / Malibu / Santa Monica. I don't know how much longer I'll be here. It's full of lost hope, street drugs and hard to find peace and quiet for the mind. But the first 2 months of living in my tundra were rough yet exciting.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:12 PM   #6
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This is how i sported all my important belongings on a 2000 + mile trip.
From Houston to and through LA
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:49 PM   #7
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Welcome to The Forum.
I would suggest getting a pen and paper and taking the time to find out where each single wire goes to and from, where the batteries are... Basically draw out and post it for all of us to see then we'll be able to understand and help you.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:58 AM   #8
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You say there’s 3 more batteries? If you’ve got one toasted battery, depending on how they’re wired, will bring any good batteries down. At least one of the 3 will be the second starter, try to figure that out. I’d take the lot of them in somewhere to get bench tested at the least. Being a retired ambulance, you’ve got quite the electrical schematic to work out, good luck!


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Old 01-19-2018, 08:36 AM   #9
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On mine I found that if the side door is opened with the key in the ignition power still goes through a timer even after the door is closed....draining power

To fix this I disconnected the wires on both the side and rear cargo doors......took 4 hours with a 26 page wiring diagram to figure it out
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:19 AM   #10
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On mine I found that if the side door is opened with the key in the ignition power still goes through a timer even after the door is closed....draining power

To fix this I disconnected the wires on both the side and rear cargo doors......took 4 hours with a 26 page wiring diagram to figure it out
Yeah I need to figure out what fuses to pull for the cargo door . So I can have doors open when needing to and not affect battery's by producing door ajar red blinking light or the sound.
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