6 inch ujoint offroad red yellow ambulance camper conversion

Ambulance Camper Conversion – Phase 2 – 6 Inch Lift

Finally… the Ujoint Offroad diy six inch lift is complete!

And oh, doesn’t she look better!?!?  No longer are we seen as just another ambulance rolling down the road, but now we get stares, smiles, and conversations due to the lift.  Now people actually see it as a conversion and everyone comments what a great idea an ambulance camper is.

But we didn’t do the lift for looks alone!  We did it so that when we’re wild camping on BLM or in National Forests, we can get to places that others may not be able to.  She’s still a work in progress.  We still need to install the transfer case and get the transmission beefed up, but we’re getting close!

UJoint Offroad DIY 6 inch lift, ambulance

    Isn’t she a beauty?

Lift Kit Received

We ordered the diy six inch lift kit from Ujoint Offroad.  We aren’t sponsored by them and we paid full price.  It was costly, but they’ve put in many hours of research and a lot of customization to make sure that everything you’ll need is included and every bracket that you receive fits.  They also include step-by-step instructions for the build.  Chris Steuber, owner of Ujoint Offroad, is extremely easy to reach with any questions and is very quick to respond.  We highly recommend them!

UJoint Offroad DIY 6 Inch Lift Kit
Ujoint Offroad DIY 6 inch lift kit has arrived

Out with the Old

Removing the front end would’ve been much easier on concrete.  Gravel proved to be a challenge with the jack.  But Jeremy is extremely innovative and improvised to overcome each challenge.

Dana 60 Axle Prep

We got our axle from a local salvage yard.  It required quite a bit of work including:

  • New axle seals and bearings
  • New ball joints
  • New unit bearings
  • Old bracket removed
  • Grinding for paint prep
Dana 60 Axle
Dana 60 axle prep

Leaf Spring Brackets

When a hammer just doesn’t cut it, grab the jack! My husband is brilliant!  Work smarter, not harder.

UJoint Offroad diy 6 inch lift, spring bracket
Improvising to make the spring bracket fit over the frame

Drilling the Frame

Going from coil springs to leaf springs requires holes to be drilled into the frame for the bracket for the new spring hangers.  This wasn’t an easy task.  The holes need to be lined up perfectly and it takes some long, meaty drill bits to get the job done.

Drilling Frame for Spring Brackets
Drilling the frame for the spring brackets
Big Drill Bit
That’s a big bit!

Axle is in

There were many steps, and plenty of colorful language, between drilling the frame and the leaf springs and front axle being installed.  The leaf springs weighed over one hundred pounds each and maneuvering those with a jack… on gravel… in order to lift them into place to be bolted in, was pretty difficult.  So we skipped pictures or video during this portion.  It was a huge feat, but Jeremy got it done.

Dana 60, 4wd Ambulance
Front axle is in!!!

Unit Bearings and Hubs

We ordered the unit bearings from Amazon.  Chris with Ujoint Offroad sells a spindle kit; however when we calculate the cost of that kit compared to having to replace the unit bearings sporadically, we decided to stick with unit bearings.  Hopefully that decision pays off in the long run.  Jeremy had to reinstall the unit bearings multiple times for different reasons, so he’s now a pro!

Dana 60 Locking Hubs, Unit Bearing
Unit bearing and hubs installed, and reinstalled, and reinstalled…

Front End Complete

We finally have tires and wheels mounted on the front.  It totally changes the look!

UJoint Offroad diy 6 inch lift, ambulance 4x4
Looks tough now!

Waiting on wheels and tires for the rear.  It may look a little silly, but this shows what a massive difference the lift and tires make.

Ambulance 6 inch lift in front
Ujoint Offroad diy 6 inch lift complete for the front – now on to the rear!

Rear Lift Installed

We didn’t take pictures or video at all of the rear lift installation.  There was no room for Jeremy to work, let alone take video.  The ambulance box was actually in the way of the rear spring mounts, so he had to use tire irons and crow bars to lever the perch down enough for him to get to the bolts.  Not fun…

Below is a before picture taken at Port Aransas, TX and an after picture taken in our yard.  It actually looks level now.  The ride is a bit stiffer because our rear springs were built to carry weight that we haven’t added yet, but it drives and handles wonderfully!

Port Aransas, TX, Beach, Vanlife, Mavis
Before Ujoint Offroad diy 6 inch lift
Ambulance with 6 inch lift
After Ujoint Offroad diy 6 inch lift

What’s Next?

If you missed what we’ve done up to this point, check out this post Ambulance Camper Conversion Phase 1.

Our next project is going to be cutting out some of the interior cabinets in order to move our queen-size bed to the back of the ambulance.  I’ll post that link as soon as it’s complete.

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey!

If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Happy and safe travels!

6 thoughts on “Ambulance Camper Conversion – Phase 2 – 6 Inch Lift”

  1. Avatar

    Great work on the progress. I’m not sure when I will have the money to do the 4×4 conversion. Nelly Bella is a 2003 e450. Her box is nearly the same as yours. I would like to raise the roof 8-12 inches too. I’m 6’4”…the inside is 6’. Cheers.

    1. Jeremy & Sandy
      Jeremy & Sandy

      Thanks, Dustin! We originally used Plasti Dip to paint the lenses black as a temporary fix to make it legal. Since then, we’ve cut rectangles from left over sheets of aluminum and used VHB to seal them over the holes. So far so good- no leaks!

    1. Jeremy & Sandy
      Jeremy & Sandy

      Toyo M/T 37 13.50 r17 are one of the only tires we found rated to hold our weight without going to a larger rim. We’ve since found a Nitto M/T that can also take the weight.

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