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  1. #1

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    Default Early 90's Topkick Ambulance by Southern

    Just wondering if anyone might have knowledge of these from back in the day. I bought one for a tow vehicle (sports car racing). It came with no manual. Surprisingly, a lot of the systems work, but it'd be nice to hook up with someone who could shed some light on its idiosyncrasies. Mine has a Cat 3116 engine.

    Any suggestions on where I might find an actual manual?

    TIA.

    Russ
    Marietta, GA


  2. #2

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    Default Maybe Sentinel?

    Found some stickers on the vehicle that say Sentinel. Maybe it wasn't a Southern ambulance.

    It was in service in Bethlehem, PA. There is a Canada decal on it, too.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member zfdtruckman's Avatar
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    Sentinel is model manufactured by the old Miller-Meteor company out of Piqua, OH. You may find someone at the McCoy Miller company in Elkhart, IN that could give you some info.

    When I started the job, most ambulances were Cadillacs from M&M (Miller-Meteor), Hess and Eisenhardt, Superior or Wayne Coach. Dick McCoy was the founder of McCoy Miller that took over the old M&M assets and he also started MedTec and Marque. I haven't seen him in about 10 years and lost contact, otherwise he would be able to help you. Possibly someone at the McCoy Miller plant would know how to get in touch with him or maybe have the info you need.

  4. #4
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    You said there were Canada decal on it also. There was an ambulance manufacturer based in Cambridge, Ontario named Sentinel for many years. They manufactured a large number of ambulances for the Ontario Ministry of Health until the early to mid 90's. It is hard to tell by your photo, but based on the design of the box corners, it appears that it may actually be of Canadian origin.

  5. #5
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    Default

    We had an exact one like this where I use to work......I loved this thing. It too was an early 90's....possibly 1992.

  6. #6
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Hey Russ: Did you used to work in W. Spld. for atlantic Fasteners, and race a FSV??? We know each other.
    Ed

    Have you tried checking with the original ambulance service in Bethlehem?
    The colors and the original title would give you a lead where to look. You can also check with motor vehicles dept. in harrisburg to research the title back to the original owners.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 07-22-2008 at 05:58 PM.

  7. #7

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    Default

    Hi, Ed. Sorry for this very late response. I just stumbled across this today.

    Yes, I raced an FSV in New England Region in the late 80's. Atlantic Fasteners was my sponsor. I moved from Hartford to Atlanta, GA in 1997 and I'm still racing.

    My ambulance/tow vehicle is working out well. Fairly reliable. Smokes a lot on cold morning start-ups. It's my poor man's RV. I sleep in it at the track.

    The only real problem I've ever had with it was when I ran it out of diesel once, and drained the batteries while trying to get it restarted. It was an ordeal. Stuck on the side of a busy highway for hours.

    My biggest complaint is that it's speed limited (to about 60 MPH). I'd like to change that, if possible but haven't found a solution yet. I have to leave the house with it pretty early to get to places in time. :-).
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    Last edited by RussMcB; 05-14-2010 at 10:43 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussMcB View Post
    My biggest complaint is that it's speed limited (to about 60 MPH). I'd like to change that, if possible but haven't found a solution yet. I have to leave the house with it pretty early to get to places in time. :-).
    Typically trucks from that era run out of gears, not necessarily horsepower. If you're a racer then you're pretty good at retrofitting parts. Maybe a good used Allision 3060 would suit you. It's got two overdrives, with 6th gear being 0.65:1, plus the TQ-converter can lock up in every gear IIRC. Add an obscenely large air-2-air cooler, and the proper programming to the computer, and you should be good to go.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

  9. #9
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by RussMcB View Post
    Hi, Ed. Sorry for this very late response. I just stumbled across this today.

    Yes, I raced an FSV in New England Region in the late 80's. Atlantic Fasteners was my sponsor. I moved from Hartford to Atlanta, GA in 1997 and I'm still racing.

    My ambulance/tow vehicle is working out well. Fairly reliable. Smokes a lot on cold morning start-ups. It's my poor man's RV. I sleep in it at the track.

    The only real problem I've ever had with it was when I ran it out of diesel once, and drained the batteries while trying to get it restarted. It was an ordeal. Stuck on the side of a busy highway for hours.

    My biggest complaint is that it's speed limited (to about 60 MPH). I'd like to change that, if possible but haven't found a solution yet. I have to leave the house with it pretty early to get to places in time. :-).
    Good hearing from you Russ: I was fire rescue and a flagger with NER for over 25 years. That truck is definatly in need of a gear change in the rear end to give more top end. It wasn't designed for hiway usage as an ambulance.

  10. #10

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    Yes, I've thought about a rear gear change but that thing is huge, at least compared to the size of things I usually work on. I wouldn't be surprised if the rear end weighed as much as my whole race car! :-).

    I hope to get back to Lime Rock Park some day. I miss it since moving south. I see NER decals down here every once in a while. Transplanted Yankees, wanted to be where the racing season was longer, I guess.

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