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Old 04-09-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
mjv
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'03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

Hello,

First post here but been lurking for a bit. I'm going out to CO to be a river guide this summer and needed a van to live in.

I came across a 2003 Ford E-350 with the 7.3 L Diesel & 140k on it for $6k and jumped on it. Awesome van so far with good maintenance records - oil every 3k, new turbo / pedestal 30k ago, new rear end 30k ago, new battery last month, etc.

While I don't intend to take it to the SMB level that a lot of you have with th 4x4, I plan to out fit the back with sleeping arrangements to be a comfortable home base.

The van came with an "Ambulance Preparation Pkg" which at first blush seems to kick ass - 2 batteries, dual alternator, 4.10 rear end. Problem is I can't find much on this package and want to know more about it and what it entails. There are two batteries and two alternators but I don't know how to isolate or even if I can.

Any sort of post ore site entailing insulating and converting the cargo area would be a great resource. I plan to finish the back (very simply), install a DC driven air vent and probably call it a day.

Feel free to check out the pics of what I'm working with and provide any suggestions! Thank you in advance, I'm super stoked to have this seemingly rare van parked in my drive way!

https://picasaweb.google.com/1060853154 ... directlink

-Matt V
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #2
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Re: '03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

Nice looking van. There are several long threads about builds that owners are doing and showing their construction methods
viewforum.php?f=24

You can also use the search to find specific supplies and gear to add to your build. For example lizard skin is a common insulation some have used. Using lizard skin in the search brings this up:
search.php?keywords=lizard+skin&terms=all&author=& sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&sub mit=Search+It

Good luck
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:31 AM   #3
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Re: '03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

There really isn't any downside to the ambulance prep package. Better electrical, and also some extra heat shielding for extended idling, and I believe they also come standard with the idle-control module. And also rear HVAC prep (lines for heat and AC).

You don't want to isolate the starting batteries. Both are needed to start when it's cold. Instead, add another frame box or two, and use those new batts as your isolated house battery(s).
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: '03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

If you are going to be sleeping in the van where it's cold enough for your breath to condense on the inside the van then I'd suggest lining the inside of the van with reflectix (foil bubble wrap) should be one of your first upgrades. I used double stick tape to hold it in place. That worked out well since I've had to pull sections of the refectix off wall when doing other work and just needed to replace the tape to stick it back.

Here's my posting about it:
viewtopic.php?p=34876#p34876

Welcome aboard and good luck.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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Re: '03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

Thank you all for your input on the new van and the welcomes. I'm excited to take on the project and plan to post some pics as I get into it.

Carring - Thanks for the advice on the batteries. I contacted my mechanic and he told me the same thing, said it might work for a bit but I'd be compromising the start-up reliability of the motor in the long run.

WV Van - Your van is sweet! Thanks for documenting the build. Your build thread is a wealth of knowledge, I've already spawned many ideas from it.

One question that you guys may be able to advise on: It seems that many, if not all of you use some sort of foil backed bubble wrap such as reflectix. In my initial research of reflectix it seems like to gain the R-Values advertised there needs to be an air space inbetween the foil and the surface it's insulating. How do you guys manage that air pocket? Would installing a layer on un-backed bubble wrap be sufficient? I.E. Accrete's build.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=5996&start=30

I really like how Accrete didn't use any wood or paneling to insulate, maximizing interior space.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Re: '03 Ford E-350 w/ 7.3L & Ambulance Prep

Quote:
In my initial research of reflectix it seems like to gain the R-Values advertised there needs to be an air space inbetween the foil and the surface it's insulating. How do you guys manage that air pocket?
I've read that also and don't have an airpocket between the foil and the outside wall so probably not getting the listed R value. But I did go camping in "cold enough to see your breath" temperatures in the van without the foil then again with the foil. Huge difference.
You might be able to get the same effect with just bubble wrap alone but didn't think the reflectix was that expensive to start with and I bet it's sturdier.
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