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  • Ford ambulance issues

    I am wondering if any other services have had any issues similar to the one we're having with our 1997 Ford F350 chassis.

    The unit has died (stalled and won't restart) unexpectedly many times in the past two years. The first time it was taken to the local dealership who replaced a Camshaft sensor and said it was good to go. 9-10 months later- same issue, and again same remedy. They replaced the camshaft sensor again and said it was all set. On the latest trip the bus died and was towed to another service center and they replaced the cmashaft sensor also. A week later it dies again, the truck is again taken to the service center who can find no issues in 4 days of trying to get it to fail. They say no fault codes have ben found? Now they've returned it to us saying they can find nothing wrong. Of course we refuse to use it as it is unreliable as an emergency vehicle.

    Ford Fleet Services says they cannot do anything until it dies yet again, then they'll send a technician to hook up the code reader on the side of the road.
    But, two of the times that it died it restarted 15-20 minutes later.

    Lucliky its going away in trade in January, although this could effect the trade-in value.

    Anyone else have a dying Ford? Anyone using the smaller GM chassis for Type I units?

  • #2
    Assuming a 7.3 diesel but is it turbo or non-turbo? If there have been that many failures of the Cam sensor then it is likely due to wiring shorted, excessive heat or a ground problem. Also we have had problems with the injector wiring turning to crispy critters under the valve cover. Also what kind of fuel are you using regular diesel #2 or bio? When it restarts does it blow white , blue or black smoke? Sounds like a closer diagnostics look is called for outside of the codes in the brain box.

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    • #3
      LVWRENCH- Its the 7.3 non-turbo powerstroke diesel. We run regular diesel, not bio. I don't know that we've had anyone notice the color of the exhaust upon restart.

      The service facility claims there are no fault codes, so I'm not sure why they kept replacing the cam shaft sensor? Maybe this is the most common issue. The real problem now is trying to get it to fail when a competant person is around to record anything and everything. Ford agrees we can't use it but doesn't want it back until it fails again? I'm pretty sure we'll be trying GM for the next couple of buses.

      Thanks for the info, I'll have to check with the service shop to see if they looked at the wiring under the valve cover.

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      • #4
        I have heard nothing but good things about the GMC DuraMax diesel and those that have them here for their own POV really like them. Good luck. By the way the only reason I mentioned about the turbo is due to heat build up from the turbo over the non turbo. Yes, the more details the person can give the better to diagnose problems.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lvwrench
          I have heard nothing but good things about the GMC DuraMax diesel and those that have them here for their own POV really like them.
          And the good news is that it's now available in the Savana/Express cutaway vans for ambulance use.

          Or you can go the next step up like this: http://www.station87.com/Apparatus/amb874.html
          Steve Dragon
          FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
          Volunteers are never "off duty".
          http://www.bufd7.org

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          • #6
            Not trying to step on anyones toes but I thought anything after 1994 had the turbo? We had a 1997 and it had the cam shaft sensor issue.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pocambu
              Not trying to step on anyones toes but I thought anything after 1994 had the turbo? We had a 1997 and it had the cam shaft sensor issue.
              I stand corrected. It is a Turbo, it was the only one of three inhouse that doesn't have TURBO on the firewall. As you can tell, I personally am not the mechanic nor do I have any expertise in that realm.

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              • #8
                ____________
                Last edited by sfd2605; 03-17-2008, 08:00 PM.

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                • #9
                  I dont know about '97s, but the newer Ford diesels are pieces-o-shi*. Our county ambulance contractor has them (55, 2004 E-350) and they are haveing all kinds of problems. The '02 F-350 we have for a command rig has been nothing but trouble as well.

                  I do know that the ambulance service has two '06 units that were bought as replacements for wrecked '04s and they have a different motor. Not sure if there are problems with these yet.

                  Although I will say the '04 F-250 our Opps Chief drives has been OK so far. Maybe its the bigger motors that are a problem, if the 350 motor is different then in the 250. Not sure...
                  Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                  IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                  "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                  RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                  Success is when skill meets opportunity
                  Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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