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Chevy 3500 ambulance conversion to moto?


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I purchased a 09 3500 duramax ambulance and pick it up on Monday.  I plan to use it for moto and hauling the toy hauler on family trips.  Lots of storage (of course) but I want to open it up so I can haul a couple of bikes in it.  The wife wants to keep the bench seat which I may convert to a fold up to make more room.  I also have been thinking about deleting the lights on the hi-top but someone suggested to keep them since they may come in handy during night time camping trips.  Anyone convert a express 3500 to a moto hauler?  I could use some suggestions or photos if you got them.

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Picked it up last night and drove it home. Very smooth and great gas mileage, but man, does it look dorky. i was getting about 22 mpg doing 65 on a hilly freeway (duramax 6.6). The company owner went over all the features of the van. There is an air venting system for the back, a separate battery, a separate heater/air conditioner that has a thermostat in the back, a power inverter (110VAC!), cab lights that are super bright, outside lights are bright and may come in handy while camping at night. i don’t have a photo of the control panel that is mounted where the cup holders are, but i will have to think about what to do with that and all the switches. Everything in there is quality stuff and very sturdy. The siren and speakers work but i think i will remove them.

Here is what i was thinking:

 

Exterior: remove the numbers and logos, leave the blue striping. on the front, remove the lights and cut the hi-top back at the same angle as the sides (the first step up) and install a metal cover over it and paint white. This should make it more arrow dynamic, quieter, and less dorky looking. i will also remove the outside red light lens's and replace with white, possibly wire them into the solid lights (the red's are flashers). i have a toy hauler i plan to pull with it so i will also install a hitch and wiring.\

Inside: not sure at this point. the wall behind the driver contains all the electrical and an outside shore power connection so i don’t think i can move it. i thought about removing the bench seat to make more room but the wife said no way, she wants to put groceries in there and rest her leg on long trips. she has a medical issue with the circulation in one of her legs so propping it up will be more comfortable. i could throw my riding gear in there and use it for changing when i get to the track so its starting to make sense to keep it. i was thinking about removing the lower cabinetry along the wall on the driver's side to make more floor room and leave the upper cabinets for goggles, chain lube, spare parts, etc. i do plan to remove the wall and storage behind the passenger side, a storage box on the front side of the bench, and the tall storage box on the rear of the bench. i figure if i do all that there will be enough room for two bikes if i stager them. Since i have power, i am also thinking about adding a small water tank and a small electric power washer to clean the bike before heading home.

 

So what do you guys think? Suggestions??

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Picked it up last night and drove it home. Very smooth and great gas mileage, but man, does it look dorky. i was getting about 22 mpg doing 65 on a hilly freeway (duramax 6.6). The company owner went over all the features of the van. There is an air venting system for the back, a separate battery, a separate heater/air conditioner that has a thermostat in the back, a power inverter (110VAC!), cab lights that are super bright, outside lights are bright and may come in handy while camping at night. i don’t have a photo of the control panel that is mounted where the cup holders are, but i will have to think about what to do with that and all the switches. Everything in there is quality stuff and very sturdy. The siren and speakers work but i think i will remove them.

Here is what i was thinking:

Exterior: remove the numbers and logos, leave the blue striping. on the front, remove the lights and cut the hi-top back at the same angle as the sides (the first step up) and install a metal cover over it and paint white. This should make it more arrow dynamic, quieter, and less dorky looking. i will also remove the outside red light lens's and replace with white, possibly wire them into the solid lights (the red's are flashers). i have a toy hauler i plan to pull with it so i will also install a hitch and wiring.

Inside: not sure at this point. the wall behind the driver contains all the electrical and an outside shore power connection so i don’t think i can move it. i thought about removing the bench seat to make more room but the wife said no way, she wants to put groceries in there and rest her leg on long trips. she has a medical issue with the circulation in one of her legs so propping it up will be more comfortable. i could throw my riding gear in there and use it for changing when i get to the track so its starting to make sense to keep it. i was thinking about removing the lower cabinetry along the wall on the driver's side to make more floor room and leave the upper cabinets for goggles, chain lube, spare parts, etc. i do plan to remove the wall and storage behind the passenger side, a storage box on the front side of the bench, and the tall storage box on the rear of the bench. i figure if i do all that there will be enough room for two bikes if i stager them. Since i have power, i am also thinking about adding a small water tank and a small electric power washer to clean the bike before heading home.

So what do you guys think? Suggestions??

yeah that is a great platform. I was under the assumption that it was one of the cube van types. The dmax is a good motor BTW. I would definatly keep the upper cabinets.
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thanks guys. when i tell my buddies what i bought i get that WTF reaction so i am somewhat hesitant to even talk about it. because of those reactions i have been questioning my purchase decision but in any case here i am. i have a 03 savanna gasser that i have owned for the last 10 years (~140K on the clock) and really love the van so this is the direction i looked to for the upgrade. I’ll post pics as i go along so that if anyone has this question in the future they have something to reference to. it will probably take me some time to make the modifications. in the meantime, all suggestions are appreciated!

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  • 1 month later...

sorry for the late response. ya, its all stock so i am looking into making some improvements. the van's are a bit different than the trucks so i have to find someone with that type of tuning experience. i would like to remove the DPF, turn off the EGR and add a few ponies. in order to do this i will probably need a separate ECU and a pipe to install in place of the ECU/DPF so i can easily swap them out when smog comes due.

 

i set it up for towing and took the toy hauler out to the dez a couple weeks back and the outside floods are really bright. the van tows pretty good and i was getting about 11 mpg towing a 7.5-8K lb trailer up and down some mild hills doing about 60-65. yesterday I took it out to the track and it was freezing outside so about half way to the track i switched on the rear heater and it created a nice cozy changing/warming area when in the pits. a downside is that the cab is a bit louder than i would like so i might install a door (it already has the sliders installed) to separate the cab from the rear. i think most of the noise is echoing from the back. i am also looking into installing extended rear doors so i can walk the bike in standing upright but that might be a bit expensive.  Other than that my riding buddies that have seen the van said not to change anything as its set up pretty functional the way it is.  so far its worknig out better than i expected. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another positive experience, last weekend I was up at 5 AM to load up and head down to Glen Helen for a race. it was dark outside and the inside/outside floods really lit up the driveway making it much easier to load the bike, tools, food, etc. I picked up a Bluetooth speaker for about 40 bux and placed it on the shelf next to the seat in the back. There is a power station there with 12V sockets and 110v outlets so while changing I put on some AC/DC through Pandora over my phone. Nice.

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