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Dodge Crew w 35s & 4in Lift.jpg (63229 bytes)

 

 

 

 

WC54 - Down to Bare Metal.JPG (279255 bytes)

WC-54, 5 view drawing 1.jpg (35909 bytes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Off-Road Home Projects

Vaporware

 

This is the section of Off-Road Homes where we muse about projects that we would pursue if only we had the time and monetary resources to do so.

Dodge Cummins Pickup - We have to admit that as much as we are far more attracted to vintage vehicles and vans as platforms for off-road homes, the 1992 -1993 Dodge W250 Cummins turbo diesel pickup probably comes closest to to an ideal starting point for an all purpose, exceptionally reliable, high fuel mileage vehicle. These years came equipped with the Intercooled Turbocharged Cummins engines and  Bosch mechanical fuel injection, a decided advantage in our view for simple, inexpensive get it done anywhere service - simple and inexpensive being relative terms. The drivetrain is comprised of a wide ratio 5 speed Getrag gearbox, an NP205 T-case and stout Dana 60/70 solid axles mounted on leaf springs at both front and rear, another nod to simplicity and durability. The chassis is heavy duty enough to accommodate just about any configuration of shelter/toy box that might replace the standard bed, perhaps even on an extended wheelbase. The only commonly acknowledged drawback for this vintage of Dodge Cummins is that it is very much a truck, decidedly harsh in its ride quality, and the rough edges of its "dieselness" are more apparent than later, more sophisticated iterations. The chassis stiffness would likely be to our advantage since the vehicles GVW would climb significantly with the modifications to make it a fully equipped off-road home and toybox.

 

Dodge WC54 Ambulance - This vehicle is just cool beyond words, from the functional features such as the flip up windshield and the cargo compartment walk-thru to the subtle bodywork overhang of the cab door windows ( wee rain umbrellas ). Although a bit constrained in interior volume, it would be worth the effort to be exceptionally creative in fitting all we need into the space available. The only other design issue that is potentially a problem is that the engine bay space and radiator frontal area were originally designed to accommodate a low horsepower engine. Fitting a powerplant and related sub systems that yield acceptable engine performance, cruising speed and fuel mileage may require some careful research and engineering. A smaller Turbo Diesel would seem to be an answer here, but this is precisely where restrictions in the engine bay and radiator area pose difficulty. Four wheel drive to start and a heavy duty chassis built for the rigors of war time operations bode well for a superior rig. One of my favorite stories is of a reporter for National Geographic who used an ex Army WC 54 for a traveling base camp and photo lab as he wandered around the world in the early 1950s. If I had a WC54 off-road home and a Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat as a set, I could be a very happy traveling camper.