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!
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!
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
Leaf Spring Brackets
When a hammer just doesn’t cut it, grab the jack! My husband is brilliant! Work smarter, not harder.
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.
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.
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!
Front End Complete
We finally have tires and wheels mounted on the front. It totally changes the look!
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.
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!
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!