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just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

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just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby rabT » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:33 pm

Hi, new to the forum.
I have just bought a 1999 transit smiley ambulance, w. the td 100ps engine(as far as i can work out) plan is to convert it to a camper van. 135000mls
all looks good so far, the injector nearest to the fire wall seems to be missing a pipe or stopper as one of the inlet\outlets the fuel line plugs to is open, dripping fuel when running. sorry if this is not the best way to explain it.
I'm going to get the cam belt changed as a precaution.
would like to fit an aftermarket intercooler to it, that a good idea? if so how would i pick one, can i go too big?
also can't find any wiring diagrams for the ambulance part of it, any idea of where to find any information that might lead me to them?
Any other tips, things to check, mods to consider?
Any information at all is greatly appreciated as i said new to this and this seems to be the best place to find out anything about older transits.

Many thanks
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby ceurieusneus » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:15 am

Hi, welcome to the forum,
For the technical part, there are members who know a lot more off Transits than I do...
For the conversion to camper, I would advise, take a paper and write down everything you want to have inside, basics and luxe.
Than, cross on and number your priorities, start the conversion plan from there. 8)
Most of the time anyhow as I found out, there is not enough place to put in everything you want. :mrgreen:
Feel free to have a look at "my ambulance conversion"
Any how, please keep us informed, with pictures, in the tread "progress report"
Good luck
Writing was not invented to look for spelling errors :wink:
Ford Anglia '62, Mercedes 200 '86, Transit ambulance/camper '88, Mercedes CE300 '89, caravans Puck '75 and Constructam '82
My ambulance conversion
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby rabT » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:25 pm

Hi, Thanks.
Ye my girlfriend already has countless lists and drawings so time to pick out the best. our main debate right now is, i want to strip as much of the plastic/fibreglass inside out as possible(although it seems to be molded to the outer bodywork in a lot of places) and she doesn't feel the need. it would also allow me to get into the wiring thats hidden behind.

had a look at yours, looks great. some great info in there, new alternator might be a must for me but the van came stock w. 2 batteries so will have to check whats fitted atm.
Is there a major difference in power consumption between cheap and expensive 230v inverters do you no? and do you run a battery "controller" so you can monitor the usage and can it set an automatic cut off to avoid killing the batteries?

So much to work out!! the vans half an hour away at her parents as well, sorned for a few months, so with the lack of light after work its leaving it to the weekends that are free to work on it. quite frustrating but might take a while to get moving on it, ill get some photos as soon as a little progress is made.
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby Noctule » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:55 pm

Plan your electrics well in advance, allowing for changes in the future. If, for example, you don't want (or can't afford) a solarpanel or extra internal or external lighting right away, but might want them next year, it's better to get some spare wiring or cables capable of taking higher loads in before you can't access it.

I'd like to fit reading lights and some extra usb sockets above the bed but didn't plan in advance so will have to take down a lot of stuff to get the wires and extra fuse box in.
2000 Mk5 2.5 TDI HiCube DRW self-build camper, Bosch injector pump conversion
2006 Mk7 115t350 van

1987 Eagle Quest (Vauxhall Carlton Hearse)

Previously...
Mk5 100 swb Custom (had mk4 engine!)
Mk5 190 lwb x3
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby ceurieusneus » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:02 am

[quote="rabT"]Hi, Thanks.
had a look at yours, looks great. some great info in there, new alternator might be a must for me but the van came stock w. 2 batteries so will have to check whats fitted atm.
Is there a major difference in power consumption between cheap and expensive 230v inverters do you no? and do you run a battery "controller" so you can monitor the usage and can it set an automatic cut off to avoid killing the batteries?

Are the 2 batteries separated from each other? Its important that your can unload the leisure battery and still start te engine the next morning.
My idea is that the leisure battery is connected when the engine is running and automatically disconnect when the engine is stopped.
I have a "cheap" SINUS 12V - 230V 1500W convertor... as always its what you can or want to afford :mrgreen:

My converter stops working when a min. voltage is reached. The power consumption, "stand bye " can differences with the size of the inverter.
Choosing the inverter size, depend on your needs, and on the size off your leisure battery. Do some research on this!
I would not advice to buy a lot bigger than your needs.
Cooking on electricity, my wife can only use one item at the same time.
We have a 12V compressor fridge, a much cheaper 230 V would mean the inverter has to stay "on" all the time, now the inverter is only used for cooking.
Cooking on electricity has also his "cons" you have to drive to replenish your batteries.

I have a "Victron" battery monitor, who tells me how much I am charging or consuming from the leisure battery. Also tells me how much i have already used.
This monitor (clock) does not cut off the batteries. For the lifespan of the leisure batteries, I keep an eye, not to unload the batteries behind 50%.
I have installed deep unloading AGM batteries, I taught prise wise this was the best option.

Make sure you use the right fuses for the cable diameters!!!
Any more questions, feel free to PM me . Hope my translation work is a bit readable :?
cheers
Writing was not invented to look for spelling errors :wink:
Ford Anglia '62, Mercedes 200 '86, Transit ambulance/camper '88, Mercedes CE300 '89, caravans Puck '75 and Constructam '82
My ambulance conversion
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby rabT » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:36 pm

Right little bit of process made.

Thanks Noctule, yep good idea I'm currently ripping out all the wires i can work out that i don't need/that ran to the ambulance equipment and stripping out some of the fittings were not using. so once thats done and we ca get a better idea of space, plan, and decided what we want to include. wire all sorted i got sent some v. good quality car audio wire as a seller f up a order. its ofc 4ga, maybe a bit to good for using here so i might just buy some 0ga but haven't decided on split charger set up which is getting more complicated as i have just made a new discovery...

thanks ceuriesneus, aye right well the batterys atm seem to be separated but its more complicated than i though. i have been looking at split chargers that have an auto/on/off function so you can choose to manually disconnect a battery (a mate has one fitted to his range). so he can start off the second battery if it comes to it.

Great thanks good info ill check out agm batteries, and I'm going to have to find a good battery monitor, i found a voltmeter (car audio brand) that has a remote cut off so I'm considering that. and ye fuses is a must so ill google the equations when it comes to it and iv decided on lengths of wire ect.


Right so heres the complicated bit, i followed quite a heavy duty wire from what seems to be a relay/split charge that is connected to the van battery(charged of alternator directly) and also connected to the aux battery and it led me to a second alternator hidden underneath the engine, on testing this alternator with the van at idle it reads 28v!! it makes sense as a lot of the gismos and control boxes inside are rated 28v along with the relays/fuses. but it also seems to be connected to the same terminal as the aux battery on the relay/split charger i spoke about(this has only 2 terminals). Anybody ever had any experience with this before? seems like it might be common on service vehicles. just can't understand how the 28v is charging the 12v battery the way its wired.

any tips on how to tell the ford wiring loom from the added ambulance one? or a good place/thread to find info on this or even pictures? at the moment not cutting anything until iv fed it all the way back to its source, and found a few bits that seem to be connected to the original loom

A lot of bits and bobs turning up, think there might be point trying to sell them, strobe light controller, siren controller, ill see what else i can find.
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Re: just bought ambulance 190, any suggestions?

Postby eresseraca » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:26 am

Nice project you've got going. We bought our fire dept. minibus a year ago did the conversion last spring... went on a longer trip and found some flaws and did the last bits of building this autumn. Thought I'd share some inspiration (sorry for the picture bomb) :wink:

This is how our turned out:

- The foldable rear seats are from a Renault Grand Espace with integrated seatbelts with the rails bolted to the minibus rails under the floor mat.

- The large cupboard houses 185Ah battery (vented to the outside), a subwoofer, a 1200W inverter and a Sargent EC160 power Management System in the bottom and a 12V fridge on top.

Mine’s got two batteries in the engine bay, but I decided to make a completely separate system for the living area to be able to use a proper-sized real leisure battery, not a starter battery. That way we’re sure that we can always start the van and at the same time charge the leisure battery when driving. The Sargent unit also has a volt meter on it so it’s neat to be able to monitor the battery (as well as monitor the starter batteries if you want to)

On the outside of this cupboard there’s also 230V sockets, usb and 12V sockets, gas alarm, a fire extinguisher and access to the sockets of the inverter

The Sargent system is neat as it includes everything for 150gbp, split-charge relay, 150W battery charger and 230V fusebox, so wiring up a campsite hook-up was easy. I did that in a stealth way as well, so I have a Defa interior heater cable going to the front for the car, and use this system to connect to 230V. That way it’s almost invisible and looks like when we connect our cars engine heaters in the winter up here (https://www.defa.com/product-category/e ... es-warmup/) without the need for a big clunky RV hookup socket on the side of the van.

- Small cupboard houses gaslocker (vented to the outside) and kitchen stuff along with a stove up top.

- Under the sofa/bed there’s a long narrow storage area which is partly accessible from above, the lid or sofa bottom if you will flips up but the area is also accessible from the rear doors so it’s easier to slide foldable camping chairs, table and grill in and out without needing to move the sofa mattress.

- Since these pics I’ve also added a removable table on a sliding rail in front of the seats to make dinner and eating less of a hassle.
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