Power Wagon Ambulance...

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odjeeper

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Just purchased a '72 Dodge ambulance and have not picked it up yet. Was curious what y'all may know about this series of vehicle. It is an ex-military rig with a 4 spd manual trans, 205 transfer case, Dana 70F front axle....
 

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citizensoldier

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Are you sure it was military? Does it have data plates? Might be a civi ambulance made special for fire department or something? What model does the data plate say? Kinda curiouse now..
OOooooh my friend Bob wanted that truck... It has a civi/early front grill?
 

Elwenil

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Looks civilian to me, again probably a local Fire and Rescue truck. It could have been military, and if so it should have the data plates. Definitely not one of the normal M880 series, a bit too early I think and plus it's a manual with a part time transfer case. Should be a divorced case unless something has been swapped. Drum brakes all around.
 

odjeeper

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It Is Ex-Military...

It does have data plates and I have seen two other of this series in the past, but they were not owned by collectors and have long since been run into the ground. I believe they may have been a special Air Force purchase, but don't know for sure. After it makes it home, I will request info from TACOM with the contract number. It is definitely not an 880, just posted the request here as this is probably the forum with the most knowledge of this vintage Dodge trucks.
 

maddawg308

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There are lots of non-"M" standard vehicles that got bought by the military and given data plates, up through the 1970s. I remember seeing an IH Scout on eGay not too long ago that had a military data plate.
 

odjeeper

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Interesting...

I can attest to the fact that a lot of non-standard vehicles were purchased by the military for various purposes. I own a REO XM282 five ton 8x8 prototype from the mid-1950s, which is apparently the only one left of three built. I have also seen a similar vintage Ford F100 with military data plates and have also seen several vehicles sell at DRMO auctions, such as an AMC Jeep J2000 complete with troop seats, rear cargo cover, pintle hitch and data plates....

Had already checked out Dolye, and Crismon to see if they mentioned this version. Unfortunately neither of them do, that is one reason for checking here, hoping someone else besides me has run across these in the past.

The truck has a few differences from the M886 besides the driveline; there is no evidence of litter racks ever having been mounted, there is no provision for the operating light in the ceiling, the door between the cab and rear compartment swings instead of sliding and it has a Braden PTO driven winch. Some of this can be seen in the view inside the rear compartment as shown in the attached image. It had obviously been used as a mobile command center by some agency, but I do not know if it was originally built that way or not.
 

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Bob H

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RE: Interesting...

Hey I bid on that truck!!!!! ( Only about 1/3 rd of what it went for though)
Is it a 70 front??????????? Not a 60? ( I'm no expert) I did look at it through the fence thanksgiving weekend. Mirrors seemed to be olive drab, I have seen many of this type of truck used on military bases. Since it was a GSA auction, and it's painted red. I am sure it went from military duty to forest service / DNR fire use. I am still hoping to find a W300 version of this truck, and I'd give up my M886 to get one.

I'm gonna guess that this one has a (or came with a) 360 engine.
 

FrankUSMC

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RE: Interesting...

These types of ambulances were purchased for base hospitals. I would see them at every base I was on. The first ones I ever saw was at Parris Island and it was a Jeep 1 ton ambulance with duals. These ambulances were used to respond to emergancies in the boonies. You have to remember, if some one gets hurt, they are calling the base fire department and hospital, they need a good 4 wheel drive truck to get to the area.
One of the few, Frank
 
RE: Interesting...

Sorry, BA, if I'd noticed you were the poster on this thread I wouldn't have rushed to the library for my books. I also didn't pay attention to the 4 speed and other specs, just went by the body. Could you give us the model numbers from the data plates? Was that blue one in Frederic years ago the same model, do you think? Interesting set up in the back.
 

citizensoldier

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RE: Interesting...

2 to 4 inch lift some nice tires and if it has a 360! Man now you have something. That would put a regular 880 to shame. Twice the truck as normal.. NP205 and PTO winch! You will have lots of fun with that one BA... Maybe you will camp out at the trail ride next year ahe? Will you paint it though? Kind of eye polution in the woods but still would be a fun truck to drive..Want me to drive it to your house for you? May stop at some trails and try it out.. :p
 

Recovry4x4

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RE: Interesting...

GSA has contracted to provide similar trucks as well. Another consideration is a CIvil Defense truck. Since its a 72, that might be a possibility. I'll say this, its a wicked truck. I'd enjoy that one for sure.
 

odjeeper

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Some Great Responses...

Howdy guys, some great responses with a bit to think about. I'll try to answer some of y'alls questions.
Bob H. - Yes, it has a 70 front, not sure about the rear, I understand that Dodge used some 60 rears with 70 fronts in this time frame and will have to check that out closer. It was absolutely used by the DNR or a local fire dept after coming out of military service, don't know who painted it red though. The mirrors are different from any other similar truck I have seen and may be later replacements. It looks to me like a W300 in all but the badging.
FrankUSMC - That is a likely idea, some sort of small production run for base hospital use seems like you may be on to something. It will be interesting to see if TACOM has anything on record about them.
BigBee - I appreciate that you did rush to your library, never know when someone may find something that I overlooked. I'll be happy to provide you with any numbers off the data plates once I get it home and they can be read. Yes, I think it is the same model as the blue one from around Frederic, there were actually two of them that showed up in the last 15 years in that small township. One came through Pineview and I know both owners and plan to contact them to see what they may know about these rigs also.
CitizenSoldier - I don't know, what is wrong with RED? Not all MVs were OD or Camo :D Thank you for the kind offer to drive it home for me, but I am hoping to keep it clean for the winter. Maybe next summer I'll let it touch a dirt road once or twice, but only at less than 5 mph so as to not get any dirt on the body, yeah right. I do not plan to convert it to camper use, though may use it to tow a camper out to the trail ride, we'll see about me actually sleeping out there though. The nice thing about the trail ride being so close to home is that I get to sleep in my own bed.
Recovery4x4 - It may have been used by Civil Defense at some point, but I doubt if they purchased it new. I thought they used mostly surplus equipment?
 

Elwenil

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RE: Some Great Responses...

Hmmm, I'd like to have one of those with the 4 speed and part time 4WD. I never bought a M880 series because of the auto, full time 4WD and the unit bearing deal.

On the D70, if it's not a closed knuckle, it's a D60. I don't think dodge made an open knuckle 70. Mostly see D70s in the W400 and up and they are very rare. Also I have never seen anything dealing with a D70 front with a smaller rear. The D70 is listed as a 4500lbs front axle which normally has an equal or larger axle in the rear.
 

98hd

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The D70 front is a closed knuckle, drum brake. I have one sitting in my garage from my '73 W200 I bought for parts. It had the 70 front and a 60 rear. The main issue w/ the 70 front is that is uses tracta-joints instead of u-joints. I hear there are an odd duckling every now and then that uses u-joints, but I haven't seen one.
 

odjeeper

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Northern, MI
D70 Front For Sure...

This truck very definitely has the Dana 70 front as it is stamped '70F' on the housing. It is a closed knuckle, drum brake unit. Very interesting to hear many of them had tracta joints, they were supposed to be very strong units, if a bit odd by todays standards. The data plate on the dash lists the axle ratings at 4500 lbs front and 5500 lbs rear. Not as strong as the Timken FDS750 units used in the W500 series of Dodge trucks with a weight rating of 7500 lbs, but still a good strong unit for a 'light duty' truck.
 

odjeeper

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Northern, MI
It Is Home...

Picked up the ambulance today and drove it home, very impressed with it so far though it does need some work before considering it really road, or trail, ready. The engine sounds very good, but is missing on the #1 cylinder, there is a metal on metal sound coming from the front end when the brakes are applied and a few other little things to be corrected.

All of the information from the data plates and any other place in the cab have been copied down also. The rear axle is a D60. Found a slip of paper taped inside the glovebox with a bunch of alpha-numeric codes typed on it, does anyone know if this may be a factory printout of the chassis-cab equipment? There is also a code after the VIN on the driver's door preceded by 'T.O.N.', does anyone know what this is?

According to the primary Data Plate, the nomenclature for this vehicle is not an 'M' number, just 'Truck, Ambulance, 4x4, 4 litter'. There are Registration, F.S.N. and Contract Numbers given though. There is also a Parts Data Plate which gives Chrysler Part Numbers for the Axles, Rear Differential, Transmission, Transfer Case and Clutch.
 

citizensoldier

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RE: It Is Home...

Trail ride..sleep at home... hmmm. to each his own I guess.. Sounds like fishing in the bath tub to me.. Yes, yes,yes not all MV's are OD.. Might want to change your name to Reddodger..
I am like a big old bull when I see red. Want to shoot it like a bulls eye, or crash into it to put out the fire..
Only like red on hookers...
 
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