M1010 for my daughter the field biologist

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teletech

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So, it seems to me this thread is mostly a bunch of dudes speculating about what vehicle a woman needs. I thought I'd do something different and check with some females I know about what is important to them. Obviously the OPs daughter is quite remarkable but based on the input of some not so girly-girls about an expedition vehicle that spends a lot of time both on and off pavement...

What women really want (well the ones I asked):
Turns out, they want to pee indoors! By a wide margin vehicles with some internal height and size were favored when this was considered.
Something without too many windows and the ability to block them out when sleeping or changing.
A top speed of 70 and power steering, bonus points for cruise control, a stereo, and a vehicle quiet enough to hear it.
Enough room for all their stuff.
To be able to get into the driver's seat easily from the back for safe departure in an emergency.
They aren't a fan of really tall vehicles, contrasting with some of the above but who says we have to be consistent.
Run flat tires, or at least ones with thick sidewalls.
Lastly, but above all, what they REALLY want is to be respected to make their own decisions. I'd offer information and send her to drive anything you might be considering before actually getting too invested in an idea for a vehicle she will ultimately hate. Even if it involves several plane tickets it's worth it and I bet you can fine an enthusiast with a close approximation of anything you could want who would be only too happy to let her give it a spin, because that's the sort of folks we are, or at least I hope it is! :)

I know there are those who beat the "how will you get parts" or "a local garage has never worked on one" drums. I believe this thinking is very pre-Internet. I mean, look at this site! I wanted a part for a British tank and I had it in 72 hours from the UK! It wasn't cheap but nor was it awful and mechanics are increasingly having to look up service data online anyway so never having seen something might not even matter. Just find a local (in the US) specialist for the vehicle type in question and keep their number in the glovebox.

If ex-military: I'd say if your bankroll would support it, a nice HUMVEE/H1 with an ambulance body might be the best off-the-shelf choice for around here. I'd look again at the Pinzgauer, the 710 has the better geared transmission and I've heard good things about the fuel economy, well good for what it is... I wish I could find it now but there was a great thread about a cross-country (several countries actually) road trip in one. They are becoming super popular in the adventure travel circuit in the US which bodes well for parts, support, and reputation since the tour outfits seem to be able to run them profitably.
If an old MV: Sure, the M1010 or M725/M43 ambulances are also pretty small in a good way and completely indestructible, the 725 is faster and could be used without much work but ironically the older M37 based vehicle has a better upgrade path, you do a little drivetrain work and install a Cummins 4BT motor and you can get parts very easily and any mechanic who has worked on a modern Dodge truck is passing familiar with the motor.

I bought a VERY rough M37 in Canada and drove it a couple thousand miles back home, doing deferred maintenance and repairs along the way and getting common parts was no problem, it was stock so 55-60MPH made for long days but with revised gearing I could see it being reasonable. The dash-throttle was a bit like cruise control. :)

Civvy ambulances should be given extra consideration as they are usually well maintained, comfortable (insulated, tall, good lighting,etc), and fairly fast without being huge. The trick is to find one without too much overhang in the back.

Google "used ambulance for sale" and you get a lot of hits from places that sell used fire trucks and the like, there are some really lovely vehicles that cost A BUNCH when new, have been used very little and maintained very well.
The type I units are often available as 4x4, type II are occasionally found (often quiglys).

I bought a used Quigly ambulance on the east coast last year and drove it back to CA. It was smooth, quiet, and well mannered. Enough like my regular van to be a nice freeway ride and tall/secure enough inside to make the girlfriend happy. The downsides were the mileage (a bit worse than a regular van but not much), the additional height made for a slower trip down the blue-ridge mountains but not too awful, and the design has somewhat limited front suspension travel which could be a liability in severe offroad situations. It is nice that all the parts are standard.

In addition. I like military/EMS vehicles over civvy SUVs because two-legged predators tend to associate them with authority and seem to steer clear.

Again, good luck,
 

jpg

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Thanks Teletech.

I found a nice humvee ambulance, fully restored by a guy who restores them for a living, for about $50K. In terms of space, it seemed to be about the same as a Chevy Suburban. Massively better off road capability, of course. But $50K is a little steep. (I haven't finished paying her college loans yet.) I also looked at a bunch of used 4wd ambulances, many of them Quigleys. There's just not a lot of room in them. I looked at Pinzgauers too. For a vehicle that will travel a lot of highway miles, I really prefer a front crumple zone.

I looked at the M37, but I'm partial to diesels, so I didn't look too closely. It never occurred to me to consider re-powering it with a diesel. That's far beyond my mechanical ability. Can you recommend a shop that does this kind of work well?

I agree that getting parts is less of a worry nowadays. I've read a bunch about long road trips, and they say that outside the US, Mercedes parts are easier to find than GM parts.

Regarding height, privacy, security, and sanitation, you're right on all counts. These are clearly priorities. She and her peers live out of backpacks for weeks and weeks at a time, so the indoor plumbing doesn't have to be particularly fancy to make them happy. And a stretcher in a heated ambulance is a big step up from sleeping on the ground.

I agree it needs to be her decision. I'm just researching the possibilities at this point. She'll choose among the viable ones.

Thanks for your suggestions!

So, it seems to me this thread is mostly a bunch of dudes speculating about what vehicle a woman needs. I thought I'd do something different and check with some females I know about what is important to them. Obviously the OPs daughter is quite remarkable but based on the input of some not so girly-girls about an expedition vehicle that spends a lot of time both on and off pavement...

What women really want (well the ones I asked):
Turns out, they want to pee indoors! By a wide margin vehicles with some internal height and size were favored when this was considered.
Something without too many windows and the ability to block them out when sleeping or changing.
A top speed of 70 and power steering, bonus points for cruise control, a stereo, and a vehicle quiet enough to hear it.
Enough room for all their stuff.
To be able to get into the driver's seat easily from the back for safe departure in an emergency.
They aren't a fan of really tall vehicles, contrasting with some of the above but who says we have to be consistent.
Run flat tires, or at least ones with thick sidewalls.
Lastly, but above all, what they REALLY want is to be respected to make their own decisions. I'd offer information and send her to drive anything you might be considering before actually getting too invested in an idea for a vehicle she will ultimately hate. Even if it involves several plane tickets it's worth it and I bet you can fine an enthusiast with a close approximation of anything you could want who would be only too happy to let her give it a spin, because that's the sort of folks we are, or at least I hope it is! :)

I know there are those who beat the "how will you get parts" or "a local garage has never worked on one" drums. I believe this thinking is very pre-Internet. I mean, look at this site! I wanted a part for a British tank and I had it in 72 hours from the UK! It wasn't cheap but nor was it awful and mechanics are increasingly having to look up service data online anyway so never having seen something might not even matter. Just find a local (in the US) specialist for the vehicle type in question and keep their number in the glovebox.

If ex-military: I'd say if your bankroll would support it, a nice HUMVEE/H1 with an ambulance body might be the best off-the-shelf choice for around here. I'd look again at the Pinzgauer, the 710 has the better geared transmission and I've heard good things about the fuel economy, well good for what it is... I wish I could find it now but there was a great thread about a cross-country (several countries actually) road trip in one. They are becoming super popular in the adventure travel circuit in the US which bodes well for parts, support, and reputation since the tour outfits seem to be able to run them profitably.
If an old MV: Sure, the M1010 or M725/M43 ambulances are also pretty small in a good way and completely indestructible, the 725 is faster and could be used without much work but ironically the older M37 based vehicle has a better upgrade path, you do a little drivetrain work and install a Cummins 4BT motor and you can get parts very easily and any mechanic who has worked on a modern Dodge truck is passing familiar with the motor.

I bought a VERY rough M37 in Canada and drove it a couple thousand miles back home, doing deferred maintenance and repairs along the way and getting common parts was no problem, it was stock so 55-60MPH made for long days but with revised gearing I could see it being reasonable. The dash-throttle was a bit like cruise control. :)

Civvy ambulances should be given extra consideration as they are usually well maintained, comfortable (insulated, tall, good lighting,etc), and fairly fast without being huge. The trick is to find one without too much overhang in the back.

Google "used ambulance for sale" and you get a lot of hits from places that sell used fire trucks and the like, there are some really lovely vehicles that cost A BUNCH when new, have been used very little and maintained very well.
The type I units are often available as 4x4, type II are occasionally found (often quiglys).

I bought a used Quigly ambulance on the east coast last year and drove it back to CA. It was smooth, quiet, and well mannered. Enough like my regular van to be a nice freeway ride and tall/secure enough inside to make the girlfriend happy. The downsides were the mileage (a bit worse than a regular van but not much), the additional height made for a slower trip down the blue-ridge mountains but not too awful, and the design has somewhat limited front suspension travel which could be a liability in severe offroad situations. It is nice that all the parts are standard.

In addition. I like military/EMS vehicles over civvy SUVs because two-legged predators tend to associate them with authority and seem to steer clear.

Again, good luck,
 

Robo McDuff

In memorial Ron - 73M819
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.......
Lastly, but above all, what they REALLY want is to be respected to make their own decisions. I'd offer information and send her to drive anything you might be considering before actually getting too invested in an idea for a vehicle she will ultimately hate. Even if it involves several plane tickets it's worth it and I bet you can fine an enthusiast with a close approximation of anything you could want who would be only too happy to let her give it a spin, because that's the sort of folks we are, or at least I hope it is!
Amen to that. Been there, done that (with a bicycle for Olga). She just said yes in the end to get me off her back, I did not realize that at the time. Not a good move on my side (I was still young).:)
 

teletech

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Well, I haven't done the conversion myself but a quick search yields:
http://www.mseriesrebuild.com/ this guy seems like a good go-to but not sure about rates.
http://www.4btswaps.com/forum/showthread.php?5101-M37-Repower
http://www.garbee.net/~cabell/ details of his conversion
http://www.dodgepowerwagon.com/best/diesel.html

The "official" diesel repower was a Hercules
http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?2366-Hercules-DT3-7-diesel-engine
http://www.g741.org/PHPBB/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3484
http://www.g741.org/PHPBB/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3591
http://www.4btswaps.com/forum/showthread.php?6907-Hercules-Diesel

It is worth noting that if you are willing to do a slightly less common conversion and have a little less parts availability the Isuzu 4BD is know to be better balanced (quieter) swap and complete engine-transmission sets can be had pretty cheaply. You usually get a 5-speed automatic and use a divorced transfer case.

I'm sure the folks at http://www.vintagepowerwagons.com/ could steer you right.

It is worth noting that if you are willing to do a slightly less common conversion and have a little less parts availability the Isuzu 4BD is know to be better balanced (quieter) swap and complete engine-transmission sets can be had pretty cheaply.

Once in a while you see one that has power steering added as well which is a nice upgrade.
Not sure if the ambulance version had a winch but the PTO winch on the carrier was really nice.

I miss my old M37, literally bulletproof (.45acp, don't ask).
 

teletech

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Regarding the Quigly vans:
I know what you mean about the lack of space, the highbody conversion makes it barely big enough for the job but with that kind of fuel consumption I might almost as well buy a deuce so the cost/benefit on it that way is lousy but I didn't want something that was going to be an issue on narrow roads or slow me down much from what I'd manage in a passenger car. For the goal of feeling like a car but being offroad capable and having enough space for my stuff I think it was a win.
I can't really say for sure as I've not had time to redo the interior and really use it for it's intended function since I got it back to CA so I can't really say if I'd do it again.
I'm considering a 4BT or 6BT conversion on that rig but the 460 is SO quiet and I'd have to drive a lot of miles to recoup the cost.

8.jpg5.jpg
Interior shot of mine when purchased, it's a bit red. With a narrow utility body I'm a bit pinched but have room for tools and don't have to smell the chainsaw that's leaking again. :)

You can "fix" the crumple zone issue a fair bit with a massive bumper (handy for mounting your winch) thus rendering the thing you hit the crumple zone. I had someone back into me pretty good and it dented my bumper, I can't even imagine how many thousands it cost them. Of course high-speed collision is a different animal but I take some comfort in being above a lot of stuff.
 

teletech

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Rules forbid me from telling you if there was an auction site with a non-rusty 1967 Kaiser Jeep 1 1/4 ton M725 for sale for $3500 right now. I like the Dodge product a bit better but I think the Jeep is a little larger inside and some think they more comfortable to drive.

I don't think there is quite as good a support network for them... although KIA apparently still makes them under license!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5LW9y2GFNc http://www.angelfire.com/nb2/jeeppickups/Kia.html
I hate the new front clip but love the cabover ambulance body on the KM451
I wonder if there would be a way to buy a new KIA diesel motor, it would be amusing to go to the dealer for service! :D

Of course, one could drop a 6.5 chevy diesel in I suppose
http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/m715_swap.htm
I'd much rather have the Cummins a 4BT would be fine and give outstanding mileage but a 6 would be a glorious BEAST!
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/m715-cummins-first-test-drive-1351085/
Hmmm, I do have a spare 6.9... I wonder if I could...
 

Capt Jon

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US and European MV's are fun, but if you want boring reliability, parts availability, utility, practicality, and enough off road capacity to go anywhere that you reasonably should for non-recreational purposes. Then you go with the current classic MV used by militaries, police, terrorists, and everybody else in the third world to get them around where there are few roads, no mechanics, and no parts stores. You get a 4-cyl Toyota pickup. Put a cap on the back, stock size mud tires, a winch, 2 spares, recovery equipment, tools, and training.

Anywhere outside the US it's a diesel Hi-lux, but there's nothing wrong with a gas Tacoma. It's about a million times more reliable than any new US-made diesel pickup. And about 10 Million times more reliable than a 30 year old anything. Base models with less electronics are easier to live with long term, but the upscale ones have factory lockers which is nice if you can live with all the beeping and flashing lights.

That will comfortably cruise 85mph on the interstate, bounce its way into and out of the boonies, and otherwise get your daughter safely around the world as many times as she cares to go.

The only thing better is not available in the US. The African spec Toyota 70-series landcruiser (troopy or pickup) with the non-turbo straight six diesel. That one's as sophisticated and reliable as an anvil. Slow, but that doesn't bother most of the folks around this forum. I would gladly trade my brother for a used one.
 

Another Ahab

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The only thing better is not available in the US. The African spec Toyota 70-series landcruiser (troopy or pickup) with the non-turbo straight six diesel. That one's as sophisticated and reliable as an anvil. Slow, but that doesn't bother most of the folks around this forum. I would gladly trade my brother for a used one.
Why not available to U.S. market:

- Air quality issues?
 

Robo McDuff

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The only thing better is not available in the US. The African spec Toyota 70-series landcruiser (troopy or pickup) with the non-turbo straight six diesel. That one's as sophisticated and reliable as an anvil. Slow, but that doesn't bother most of the folks around this forum. I would gladly trade my brother for a used one.
Why not available to U.S. market:

- Air quality issues?
The J70 is the one I was talking about also. Actually, I learned something new, that is, that this line line never was introduced in the USA, where the focus was more on the comfort line. The USA had the J40 (old real jeep, I drove it from Harrisburg to Seattle in 1980) and the comfort lines J60 then J80 then J100. The rest of the world also had the J70 as a follow-up to the J40.

The specs varied by continent, but since the J70s were available in Europe, the air quality would not have been the problem. I think it was a strategic decision not to waste energy in the Ford and Chevy dominated pick-up and jeep workhorse sector but focus on the higher-end sector in the USA. In Australia, and Africa probably as well, the F70 up till today has a similar dominant position as Ford and Chevy in the USA.
 

Capt Jon

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Competition was too fierce to support the extra expense of complying with US Safety standards. These things have all the same safety equipment you would expect to find on a 1948 Massey Ferguson tractor.
 

Robo McDuff

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We should not hi-jack this thread going into this discussion but .....

Competition was too fierce to support the extra expense of complying with US Safety standards.
:rant:

I can agree with that but it needs explanation. It is not that the US Safety standards on all points are much more stringent than the European. Often, its the opposite. Unfortunately, car makers already complain 50 years that the rules in the USA, Canada, and the EU are very close together in actual safety effects, but miles apart in the very small details. The now outdated historic "bumper-rule fights" are a good example.

In October 1972, the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act (MVICS) was launched in the USA. It required a bumper standard that yields the "maximum feasible reduction of cost to the public and to the consumer" at 5 mph (front) and 2.5 MPH rear impact. Including the demand that with softer impact, the bumper dent should jump back automatically to its original form. It resulted in different bumpers for the European and the USA market. Both bumpers were equally safe, but the US bumper was about $ 200 more expensive up front (and horrible looking).

Today, the US bumpers still are required to minimize repair costs and damage to the car. In Europe, the focus has shifted to minimize damage to pedestrians at low speed. In the back is the idea as long as the passengers in the car and the pedestrians being hit outside have optimum survival chances, the damage to the car itself is secondary.

These things have all the same safety equipment you would expect to find on a 1948 Massey Ferguson tractor.
:soapbox:

If you are talking about the Toyota land cruiser, year by year they match their US counterparts. For the 1980-1990 Minivans, the European (especially the Renault Espace) in crash tests outperform ALL the US minivans.

Another thing is safety on airbags and passengers. In Europe, the concept is that an airbag is a support for the safety belt, which the large majority of the people use. In the USA, requirements are different because too many people refuse to use safety belts and this poses a large cost and health problem in accidents. Hence the requirements of seats and airbags are different than in Europe to reduce those costs.

For those interested in reading more, an interesting article about FORD having a problem launching its smaller, cheaper and safer European car. Their words:

... [Ford] automaker says its small European vehicles sell well and are superior to those in the U.S. onto the US market thanks to regulation differences.
I rest my case. :rant:

:D


On a lighter on-topic note, this Day Y126 Ambulance is the one that would out-perform all other jeeps and be a perfect mobile research home.

:drool:

DAF_YA_126.jpg 250px-H_drive_train_DAF_YA_126.png

I would love to own one and take it to the GA Rally to try it. The H-drive train is unique. The differential is placed high in the chassis, and the axes are placed to the side of the car, outside the frame. This results in a much higher ground freedom under the middle of the car and four completely independent wheels. In addition, the two spare wheels are actually free-wheeling and are a further help to cross rocky terrain.
 

Another Ahab

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I would love to own one and take it to the GA Rally to try it. The H-drive train is unique. The differential is placed high in the chassis, and the axes are placed to the side of the car, outside the frame. This results in a much higher ground freedom under the middle of the car and four completely independent wheels. In addition, the two spare wheels are actually free-wheeling and are a further help to cross rocky terrain.
Swift feature there.

That is really thinking outside the box. Like that.
 

MarkM

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I like the idea of a 6x Pinzgauer and a M101 trailer but I'am Bias.

Mark

pinz-with-trailer-002_zps7dce9227.jpg
 

saddamsnightmare

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February 11th, 2015.

Needless to say, I still say for your money, go Unimog, yes they are high, they also can climb over most downed tree trunks and ford streams with little or no modification. Used at $40,000? Still light years ahead of both US and Japanese engineering, super solid and generally reliable as the tractors they are descended from. The reality is, your daughter is going far enough back into the woods to really need the capabilities, plus fuel consumption is not that bad for a FWD. My 404 gas usually pulled 16- 18 mpg all day long if I chose not to drag race anyone (and granny in her electric wheelchair would have won that race easily).

The Japanese trucks are not all that reliable if you consistently push them past their operational or loading envelopes (which you will in FWD) plus parts are sinfully high when you do need them. The new American trucks, same complaint, they are designed as grocery getters, not working FWD's... I used the F250 gas to switch 47,000 pound cabooses almost daily, and hauled 4,200 pounds of rock almost every day for months, on a truck with a tare weight of 4,700 pounds. But that was back when American trucks were built stock for hard work. If I had to move a 125 ton diesel locomotive, I would have done that too, if I had a good brakeman.... The simpler the truck, the better the deal.

I regret that KIA has not chosen to import the diesel 5/4 ton Jeep they build, I believe that it would eat the lunches of many American and Japanese civilian based trucks..... The ambulance version would be good but more top heavy then a Unimog.

Just my opinion. For those of you who haven't driven a Unimog, get with it, your opinions would change very quickly.....2cents
 

tennmogger

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I'm going to surprise some folks and NOT vote for a Unimog (sorry kyle LOL). I have two daughters who are explorers at heart, and I also spent a lot of time around the oilfield where females were trying to fit in. It's a tough world out there for them.

As pointed out in a very perceptive reply earlier, privacy at night and a bathroom/potty are high on the list. A simple canister potty works fine and can dump anywhere with a rest room. Dressing while prone rules out a simple truck topper.

Vehicle should be one she can pick up the phone and call for service. It should be transportable on a roll-off, just in case. She should be able to change a tire, and that rules out 250 lb Mil Veh or Unimog tires. Oh BTW, a U-1300 Unimog can get 14 mpg, not less than 10...but still not very good.

I would recommend a few year old pickup, gas (because Diesel is 'messy and stinks'), with a truck camper on the back. The pickup should be 3/4 or 1 ton for that weight, but she would be comfortable and safe. She can enter through the rear windows from the cab if necessary, and can stand up. There will be sheets and blankets on the bed. She could host some of her co-workers and guests will be comfortable on a cold night, too.

My 2c

Bob
 

jpg

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Thanks guys. You've given me lots of ideas I wouldn't have considered.

Looking for:

  • Front-to-back access without going outside.
  • Can cruise comfortably and efficiently at highway speeds.
  • Excellent off-road capability.
  • Privacy, security, and space for basic amenities like at least a cassette toilet.
  • Room to store and operate basic lab equipment.
  • Comfortable for a young lady to operate, including very basic maintenance.

I'm finding:

  • A fully refurbished '80s M1010 on 37" wheels for $14K. (Marginal speed for highway use?) Upgrade to OD transmission for $2400.
  • A fully refurbished '80s Unimog U1300L ambulance upgraded for highway speeds for $70K.
  • A fully refurbished but slow '90s M109A4 for $16K. To fix speed, add $4K to re-gear hubs or $10K for an OD transmission.
  • Truck with camper. $30-40K. Used camper would be cheaper, but refurb costs hard to predict.
  • Pinzgauer -- no front crumple zone.
  • Quigley ambulance -- not much space with all the ambulance gear.
  • Quigley van -- I looked hard at these. I didn't find one that seemed like a good match. They were either built out in a way that wouldn't work for her, or very tired. I'm still looking.
  • HMMWV with AMTECH top. Low on space. $45K without top.
  • SUV upgraded for serious off-road work. Low on space. Lots of the upgraded trucks I saw were upgraded for looks, not function. The really good ones are really expensive.
  • Centurion -- the ones I found were expensive and tired and in demand.
  • Toyota diesels are also small, tired and in high demand.
  • Several older vehicles like the M37 were suggested, but they didn't have as much room as the above. Replacing drive trains and suspension systems seems like a lot.

It's time to discuss options with my daughter, once she returns from the mountains of Wyoming enough to get a cell signal.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
-jpg
 
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