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Old 04-09-2024, 06:31 PM   #1
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Hi from the Hi Desert!

Just bought an '03 e350 ambulance to play around with. So far I haven't gotten much further than maintenance, but I'm excited to make it a comfortable place for adventure. I was lurking on this forum before I bought it, and now I'm trying to put into practice some lessons I learned!
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:39 PM   #2
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Welcome! 7.3 Diesel I presume?

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Old 04-09-2024, 09:27 PM   #3
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Nice looking rig. Welcome to the group.
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Read detailed trip reports, see photos and videos on my travel blog, luinil.com.
Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:42 PM   #4
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Looks like a fun start. Your new relationship needs to be nurtured; dedication & appreciation, followed closely by compromise. If you keep her happy (while maintaining your own sanity & bank account) you benefit greatly from the experience's shared.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome! Yeah, it's a 7.3, I think it has about 200,000 miles on it, but it seems like the county took good care of it. I hope, anyway!
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Old 04-10-2024, 07:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the warm welcome! Yeah, it's a 7.3, I think it has about 200,000 miles on it, but it seems like the county took good care of it. I hope, anyway!
It likely has very high idle hours. Does it have an hours meter somewhere? I would definitely not skimp on preventative maintenance on an ambo due to the idle hours.

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Old 04-10-2024, 09:23 AM   #7
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It likely has very high idle hours. Does it have an hours meter somewhere? I would definitely not skimp on preventative maintenance on an ambo due to the idle hours.


When I was shopping for my 7.3 'slope' rigs were very common (north slope oil fields of Alaska). Due to the cold weather they were often left idling for days at a time. One of the very low mileage trucks I looked at had a hobbs (hour) meter on it. Even though the odometer only had 30,000 miles on it I did the math and at 50 mph it worked out to over 500,000 miles.




I passed on that one, BUT I believe the 7.3 is one motor that isn't harmed by idling for extended periods. It's an industrial engine that was designed to last forever with proper care.
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Old 04-11-2024, 08:49 PM   #8
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It likely has very high idle hours. Does it have an hours meter somewhere? I would definitely not skimp on preventative maintenance on an ambo due to the idle hours.


Yeah, it has an hour meter, right now its at 11000. I worked it out to being around a 20mph average speed.


So I've done the fuel filter, oil change, coolant flush, diff fluid, trans fluid and I just dropped the tank to change the screens. Am I missing anything important?
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Old 04-11-2024, 09:17 PM   #9
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I also like to start off 'fresh' with a new vehicle; You've got the fluids addressed so I'd move to a thorough FE inspection on the steering components + brakes & rotors + tires, then finish up with an alignment. After that, plant yourself in the drivers seat and turn the key... ...take a trip for a couple days to get to know your Van.
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Old 04-11-2024, 10:34 PM   #10
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If the tank is down consider doing something like the 'hutch' mod.
On pickups of the same era, the pickup foot has a tendency to deteriorate and fall apart causing fuel starvation below 1/4 tank.
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