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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't find an appropriate top level forum for vehicle related discussion, so I thought try here first.

I live in the city (Austin, TX) but have some land out west where I'm starting to build out a retreat for my family. I'm by no means an expert prepper, but so far have figured out that a good bug out vehicle is perhaps the most important element of a good survival strategy. My requirements are:

4X4 long cab pickup
Easy to get parts
Immune to EMP (i.e. no electronics)
Potential for armoring

I'm thinking a late-90s F250 would be a good starting point, but pretty much any vehicle made after the late 70s will have EMP vulnerable electronics. I don't want to get a really old vehicle because I don't want to pay a "classic" premium for a 1970s vehicle that's actually reliable.

So here's my question: how would I go about stripping out all electronics from my truck? I know that at least I will need to replace the starter with a "point" system, but I'd like the vehicle totally clean just to be sure. Also, I'd like to put some light armor around the cab and to protect the engine block.

I did quite a bit of searching online before I posted here, and can't find anyone that's advertising this or similar services. Most people with good bug out vehicles seem to be mechanically inclined and did it themselves. I can do basic mechanical work, but am no expert in this field.

Can anyone recommend a shop in central-ish Texas that will be sympathetic to my requirements? Or anywhere for that matter, since I'm willing to send the vehicle across the US to get this done right.

Thanks,

Keith
 

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Find a F150/250 with a blown motor. Put a carburated crate motor in in with points distributor. Forget the armor. Starters ain't suseptable to EMP.
 

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Late '90 Ford sounds like a smart plan to me. The 5-speed manual in particular. ZF's are bullet proof. And it's a truck you can pull parts for out of ANY parking lot (assuming things have gone that far outta wack with society where nobody's going to mind! LOL). Or if things are still sane in the world, you can get EVERYTHING from ROCKAUTO.COM super cheap! QUALITY PARTS mind you! NOT the junk sold at local auto stores anymore. :(
 

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Mercedes six diesel in a ford pickup. Twin I beam suspension with a manual tranny. Can run on a range of fuels if filtered correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just pick up an 89-93 F-250 or F-350, 7.3l diesel 4x4 with a 5 speed. EMP proof, no computers of any kind. Easy to work on, parts are everyplace, not that you will need them.
View attachment 2525 View attachment 2526
Thanks Chipper, solid advice. I was worried primarily about 90s trucks having electronic distributors but these beasts have points distributors. Good old Ford, Built EMP Tough!

Interesting pic of the Ambulance, that would make for a pretty solid BOV.
 

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There isn't a vehicle on the road today - aside from Stanley Steamers that is "EMP proof". The diodes in your alternator will be destroyed in any HEMP. You don't have to worry about solar events for your vehicle unless it is a plug-in electric and it is plugged in during the solar EMP. Nothing else in a non-computerized car will be affected unless you have electronic ignition. The HEMP will destroy any semiconductors in your electronics so keep a spare alternator, ignition coil, and condenser on hand in a protected package. (at least three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil separated by heavy duty trash bags with the first trash bag containing your parts) You need to have alternate layers of insulator and aluminum. Mild steel boxes will not protect semiconductors from HEMP - it should be copper or aluminum and unpainted. Any long wires, like antenna wires or power wires that are more than 20 feet long will pick up and transfer the high voltage spikes from all kinds of EMP. You can use the same layered protection for wires but it must be continuous - unbroken.
 

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Im no certified mechanic by any means but PaulS is on target here.

If your in an area where you have to smog the vehicle like Dallas/Ft Worth, and I am sure Austin and Houston fall into that category you will have to get a 25 year old or older vehicle in order to swap out to a Carburated engine set up with Points and condenser or it will not pass smog and you wont be able to register it with the DMV and get it on the road. That means your looking at a pre-90 vehicle if you live in one of several countys in Texas that require smog on newer than 25 year old vehicles. If said vehicle is a 96 or newer then it has OBD II and the check engine light can not be on in order to smog it. 95 and older and it can pass with a check engine light if it blows clean enough to pass. Vehicles that have TBI or TPI will require a good bit of work to make them reasonably EMP proof if you have a few spare parts properly stored and protected for replacements after a EMP event. If it were me...I would look at 81 and older trucks...all you need is some protected parts as spares to replace the few parts that are suseptable to EMP. This would be a lot cheaper in the long run in my opinion. At least my 81 Dually had a points ignition on it from the factory making it smog legal and doesn't require modifications.
 

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look into DRMO at Ft Hood. you should be able to get a cucv relatively cheap. i bought the blazer model from a university of Florida auction.they come with a diesel engine. and a locker in the rear end.if you get the truck model it comes with 3/4 ton axles,so you could also pick up an old set of the hmmwv tire wheel assys. they are run flats and have alot better traction than the ones on the CUCV's. IMO this is a good starter vehicle for a bug out.4x4, lockers, diesel engine.relatively easy to work on.main problem these vehicle have is the glow plug system.rewire it thru a ford type starter solenoid and a push button and it will usually last for a long long time.oh the pickups have 4.10 gears in the rear the blazers have 3.73's

on mine i removed the stock tires cut out the fenders a bit and put 35 inch swamper tires on it, it was almost un stoppable, i went thru many a creek sometimes up to the hood deep. and when my buddies got stuck the diesel engine had the power to pull them out. problem i ran into with the big knbby tires i was climbing a hill spinning the tires as i went, a tire caught on a root or either caught in the wheel well and snapped the axle :(. that of course was my fault driving like a idiot : )
 

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Another thing I have always thought of in making a bov is, making it as discreet as possible. So unless you are able to plate the inside of the truck with the armor that you where talking about I wouldn't go for it. Also I would keep the exhaust on the quiet side and keep the lift( if you where going to install one) only to the size you need. Another good option for a bov would be an older 12v cummins dodge truck,I like cummins a little more just because that's the engine I work on day in and day out.
That's just my thoughts on it.
James
 

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I really like what James had to say...you know keeping it real and keeping it low key so as to not attract any attention. Im kind of thinking that you really don't need a 6 inch lift kit, 40 inch mudders, an exhaust that lets everyone in the next county know you started it up or enough fog lights that it can be seen from the international space station. I really do prefer the "sleeper" look as opposed to the "in your face - everybody look at me" approach.

I know that with my truck I will definitely be making some mods from its stock format. Most of the things I am going to do though will be to increase its mechanical reliability and longevity as opposed to adding a 6 inch lift kit, big honking tires, wenches and all kinds of other cosmetics that really don't contribute that much to the over all goal. For a bug out vehicle, I think durability and reliability is where its really at not the "trick of the week" parts and mods. Simple is good! Simple is cheap! And simple is less crap to break and need repairs and a lot cheaper when a repair is needed! Its for transportation, not rock climbing or playing road warrior. Maybe I am off track in my thinking here but, I don't think I am.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Army surplus.

Not likely to be practical day to day.

EMP prepping should be a bug in plan in my opinion.
I think you're probably right on bug-in vs. bug out for EMP. Nevertheless, even when bugged-in you'll need reliable transport. With an off-site location and EMP-hardened transport I'm trying to keep all the bases covered!
 

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Guide to Federal Government Sales - Department of Defense

read some of that, I've never actually bought from DRMO but the guys i work with do from time to time. as i understand it its lots and you go look at the lots(which could be uniforms,computers, a vehicle, anything the military has) pick which lot you wanna bid on and place your bid.bids are all sealed.

and lunatic, the diesels are known for more longevity and reliability.plus the miltary trucks are built stronger than the civilian models,the lockers being an example.although most new trucks now come with some sort of locker or traction control :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Guide to Federal Government Sales - Department of Defense

read some of that, I've never actually bought from DRMO but the guys i work with do from time to time. as i understand it its lots and you go look at the lots(which could be uniforms,computers, a vehicle, anything the military has) pick which lot you wanna bid on and place your bid.bids are all sealed.
Thanks Mule13, it looks like Government Surplus Auctions at Government Liquidation is where all the action is. Straightforward online auctions, just like Ebay!
 

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your welcome,
in my opinion, the CUCV vehicles make a great bugout vehicle.(of course as stated before everyone has their own opinion of what a bov is) but these thigns are heavy duty, they run on diesel, and the pickup version is 3/4 ton so will pull alot of weight. if you can get one at an auction cheap then your ahead of the game :)
 

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Honestly, and this is just me, I want to be damn near invisible once I make the decision to bug-out. Here in TX, it is not uncommon to see an older truck with a crappy towed camper going down the FM roads (especially around hunting season, Nov-Jan). I will have a 1970-76 truck or jeep with a good motor, transmission and drivetrain... why? Well, those days they built the chassis to actually perform as designed; the 4x4 was stout, axles very strong, and engines pretty much bullet-proof. It looks like a regular car/truck... nothing special, not a military style, not offensive to an observer as it goes down the road, but plenty tough to get though the shit if it needs to. As for EMP taking out the diodes, yeah, true enough, but you can always have spare VR's or alternators as well as multiple car batteries; a bad alternator does not mean a dead car... you will get over 100 miles if the battery is only powering the engine with no recharging.

Just some thoughts... Hope it helps.
 

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Add in diesel in the older trucks and you eliminate most of the electronics. Many were purely mechanical, with the possible exception of the glow plugs, if so equipped.
 
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