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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1989 Chevy 1/2 ton Extended Cab (not Crew Cab), short Bed (6ft)Pickup with a 350 ci gas engine, 5 speed Manual Transmission to work with here. Its gets about 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It has a 35 gallon factory gas tank and I can get about 750 miles max out of a tank of gas if on the highway. No I am not interested in adding more fuel capacity. No its not 4 wheel drive and I have no desire to go to that much trouble (not to mention expense) to convert it to one. It does have a computer to run the TBI injection and doesn't control much other than fuel delivery, spark and timing. Its been an exceptionally reliable and low maintenance vehicle the 25 years I have had it. Right now its my back up daily driver if I need it, but recently hasn't seen much run time. I was thinking about turning this bad boy from its pretty much stock form now to a dedicated and purpose built BOV. For this purpose I think it has some decent possibilities to make a excellent project for a BOV. Id like to keep it "High Speed-Low Drag" so as to not attract a lot of unwanted attention.

Some things I have considered doing thus far is

1. Put a camper top on it, one that's level with the cab top, with a rack to hold a Kayak on top.
2. Get a Liner of some sort sprayed in the back bed.
3. Get out the carpentry tools and build a modular storage system in the back bed to store most of my gear neatly and out of sight of prying eyes yet have enough room to roll out a sleeping bag and use it as shelter for the night.
4. I would like to install a couple of 8D batteries with a total of 440 ah of capacity and a small inverter to run 110 items such as a lap top, light ect...and have the ability to plug a couple of 120 watt solar panels up to recharge it without running the engine to do so.

What else would you do and what other features would you attempt to incorporate into a project like this?
 

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My truck is a 1/2 ton shortbed. It's a dodge, and has taken everything I've thrown at her.

That said, my next upgrade will be 3/4 ton leaf springs for the rear, and 3/4 ton coil springs for the front. Dearched and lowered of course to keep it half ton height.

Biggest drawback to shortbed though. 14' 2x4's stick awfully far out :)
 

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Since you dont have 4Wd set it up like a pre runner long suspension travel.
Since you have a five speed you could add divorced transfer case with a pto Like a New Process 205 this would give low Range like a 4WD
Jerry cans
Brush Guard with recv hitch mount
lift Kit 2-4 inches
roof rack (safari Rack)
hi lift
Shovels
cable block and tackle and a fluke anchor
relocate the spare
some off road lights
tool box with aux gas tank ( eats up a lot of bed space though)
Recvr hitch
Shop manual and misc consumable parts like belt hoses brake pads and ujoints
without question run optima red top battery
Fuel stabilizer
Mile Marker hydraulic winch ( nice Accessory worth the bucks and they dont put the strain on your elec system like an elec winch does )
 

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Not like us Southern boys are worrying to much about snow (we had enough to color the grass for 3hrs one morning last winter)! :D Where I see the value of a 4wd bug out vehicle is in the need to go off road around abandon cars or stopped traffic. Even if it's just through a median, which usually look solid, but are SUPER damp and any turf tears up exposing SLIPPERY mud very easily (don't ask how I know :D). Or having to abandon your planned route and create a short cut to another paved road.

And still, I think it's a huge mistake to not fully expect to have to abandon your vehicle at some point and "pick up" another one somewhere else.

A good long tow strap, shovel, and quality paper maps of your state are the most important accessories above all imo.
 

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I have a 1989 Chevy 1/2 ton Extended Cab (not Crew Cab), short Bed (6ft)Pickup with a 350 ci gas engine, 5 speed Manual Transmission to work with here. <SNIP> Id like to keep it "High Speed-Low Drag" so as to not attract a lot of unwanted attention.

Some things I have considered doing thus far is

1. Put a camper top on it, one that's level with the cab top, with a rack to hold a Kayak on top.
2. Get a Liner of some sort sprayed in the back bed.
3. Get out the carpentry tools and build a modular storage system in the back bed to store most of my gear neatly and out of sight of prying eyes yet have enough room to roll out a sleeping bag and use it as shelter for the night.
4. I would like to install a couple of 8D batteries with a total of 440 ah of capacity and a small inverter to run 110 items such as a lap top, light ect...and have the ability to plug a couple of 120 watt solar panels up to recharge it without running the engine to do so.

What else would you do and what other features would you attempt to incorporate into a project like this?
1. Camper top - even with the roof is good! A rack to hold a kayak is OK as long as it is strong enough for rough handling.
2. A spray-in liner is OK but you will need insulation if you are going to sleep in the bed of the truck.
3. In your carpentry work build with light materials and with minimal framework. The bed will support it all you need is cabinetry. No 2x4s! Weight is your enemy.
4. two 8D batteries are a good start for additional power - put them on an isolator so when you are moving they will charge with the alternator too. 240 watts of charge will take two to three days to fully charge the batteries. 440 amp hours to charge with 240 watts = 20 amps at 12 volts. 440 amp hours divided by 20 amps = 22 hours without considering the losses. I would suggest more panels for expediency.

You might want to add water storage tank; 20-30 gallons would be a start. You will want to carry extra oil, antifreeze, an extra filter and some spark plugs, belts and hoses.
 

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My BOV depends on the situation. It'll be a Lincoln Navigator which will work pretty well. The Prius could be a good BOV since it can supply 2,000 watts of 110v and has a 500 mile range on 10 gallons of regular gasoline. But if I really need range, the roads are shot, etc. It's going to be a 1976 Cessna 172. No, I don't own it but if the SHTF that won't matter.

Truthfully, I think your Chevrolet pickup truck has as much potential as any other vehicle other than maybe a military deuce and a half.
 

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Nobody can drive to a place where they can't be found. Heck, most can't even walk to a place where they couldn't be found. A bug out vehicle is just to get you to a place with a low population density, a more secure place than the one you left, and not to be the ultimate survival vehicle. The makeup of the vehicle depends on the terrain you need to traverse to get where you are going and the population you have to get through. In most cases, a well prepared individual (and family) could easily get by with the family wagon.
 

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I have a 1989 Chevy 1/2 ton Extended Cab (not Crew Cab), short Bed (6ft)Pickup with a 350 ci gas engine, 5 speed Manual Transmission to work with here. <snip> I was thinking about turning this bad boy from its pretty much stock form now to a dedicated and purpose built BOV. For this purpose I think it has some decent possibilities to make a excellent project for a BOV. Id like to keep it "High Speed-Low Drag" so as to not attract a lot of unwanted attention.

<snip>

What else would you do and what other features would you attempt to incorporate into a project like this?
GE Mini Gun. The ultimate commuter/bov accessory.::rambo::
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah when its suspension rebuild time and that's just around the corner stiffer springs were one the menu for sure. I was also considering a 4 inch lift kit but that's more than likely not going to happen. I was looking at getting one of the truck toppers that has the rack built into it like a lot of small contractors use on their company trucks. I figure that should keep the exterior fairly clean but handle my Yak or Canoe in style. I thought about mounting the solar panels on the roof but I think I will just keep them where I can plug them in and lean them against the truck or make a PVC rack to angle them for me. Living in Texas Hail is a very real worry here!!! Going this route should keep them usable and protected if it gets crappy outside. Yes two panels wont charge totally dead batteries very quick but since I will only be running a few LED lights and a lap top surely 2 x 120 watt panels can keep up with that load reasonably well. Yeah I already got a CB and use the heck out of it when I am driving it.

@Gunnersmate: Yeah I was more than likely going to include a couple of Jerry Cans, a shovel and a Come Along for sure. Got all that in the bed now!

@ BigCheeseStick: with the ice and snow storm we had 2 winters ago I found out just how nice it is to have a truck when two cars on a 2 lane road got together and blocked the road way with Tow Trucks having about a 6 hour back log before they can reach you. Had no problem driving up over the cur on to the side walk and through the intersection leaving everyone else behind hating life wishing they were in a truck too. In fact it did quiet well on the ice!!!

@ PaulS: Yes your right I was definitely going to use the rubber coating type spray in liner and build boxes along the side that are almost flush with the top of the truck bed. In the center of the truck bed I was going to have a 40-42 inch x 6 inch box build to hold my guns and sleep on top of so I aint on the cold metal of the truck bed. I was going to carpet cover all of these boxes so it doesn't look ghetto or like Bubba did it one afternoon while drinking a case of longnecks. I was definitely going to look at insulating the camper top too as well. Yes I was definitely looking to connect them so the altenator could also be used to top off the charge on them. Not planning to pull much power except for running a few LED's when actually needed or a lap top when actually in use. Hopefully two 8D's and 2 x 120-145 watt panels can keep up with my usage. I will definitely be keeping a 7 gallon water jug in there when there aint no possibility of it freezing even though water here from area lakes and streams feeding into them are quiet plentiful and easy to come by. I hear you on the belts, hoses and fuses thing. I keep a 12 gallon tote in the back of the cab with all the neccissary fluids and minor repair parts and patching kits to help me limp down the road to a repair shop. That's something I have always been anal retentive about doing since I started driving decades ago. Walking sucks!

@Arizona Infindel: My BOL aint that far away maybe an hour drive under normal conditions. I am some what rural now although urban sprawl is creeping in pretty bad these days. My BOL is inbetween some COE land that is zoned flood plane and wont be built on. I am above the 100 year flood mark so I should be pretty dang safe and have a very well stocked shelter there and just a few pretty cool neighbors to one side. The COE land has a large lake and there is lots of game animals. So no cross country treks will be needed. Wont be needing to do any rock crawling either. Plus I really like my decent gas mileage, something I wont have on a 4x4. Don't mind having one now mind you just don't NEED it enough to justify it, the posi-track rearend has done me well so far on anything I have any business driving across.

Great ideas keep them coming. I have thought a lot about this but I am sure I haven't thought of everything!
 

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Just about everything is already covered, but I might add some sort of reenforced bumper so you can push stuff out of the way if you have to.

If the roads on your route have guard rails, I might add a cutting torch and small oxy/acetylene tanks.

I might also add a siren/pa system and hidden flashing lights.
 

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I get that. But the point is to be PREPAIRED. I also get your point about the mileage. I average 16.3 and I'm running 35s on a quad cab P/u with 390 hp. I could do better than that, but the remote start kinda spoils ya in winter warming the inside up and in 100+ degree summers cooling it down.
 

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I have a 1989 Chevy 1/2 ton Extended Cab (not Crew Cab), short Bed (6ft)Pickup with a 350 ci gas engine, 5 speed Manual Transmission to work with here. Its gets about 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It has a 35 gallon factory gas tank and I can get about 750 miles max out of a tank of gas if on the highway. No I am not interested in adding more fuel capacity. No its not 4 wheel drive and I have no desire to go to that much trouble (not to mention expense) to convert it to one. It does have a computer to run the TBI injection and doesn't control much other than fuel delivery, spark and timing. Its been an exceptionally reliable and low maintenance vehicle the 25 years I have had it. Right now its my back up daily driver if I need it, but recently hasn't seen much run time. I was thinking about turning this bad boy from its pretty much stock form now to a dedicated and purpose built BOV. For this purpose I think it has some decent possibilities to make a excellent project for a BOV. Id like to keep it "High Speed-Low Drag" so as to not attract a lot of unwanted attention.

Some things I have considered doing thus far is

1. Put a camper top on it, one that's level with the cab top, with a rack to hold a Kayak on top.
2. Get a Liner of some sort sprayed in the back bed.
3. Get out the carpentry tools and build a modular storage system in the back bed to store most of my gear neatly and out of sight of prying eyes yet have enough room to roll out a sleeping bag and use it as shelter for the night.
4. I would like to install a couple of 8D batteries with a total of 440 ah of capacity and a small inverter to run 110 items such as a lap top, light ect...and have the ability to plug a couple of 120 watt solar panels up to recharge it without running the engine to do so.

What else would you do and what other features would you attempt to incorporate into a project like this?
That TBI is good stuff my dad always said. It's like TPI, the stuff they had on those vettes. Throttle body injection I think. The one on the vettes wasn't, it was tuned port injection but they were from the same era. I drove a camaro with TPI and it was a freaking monster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
@ Leon...Yep Throttle Body Injection. I really kind of like it although I like the carburetor better, but its not nearly as efficient as TBI. TPI is even better from a power stand point but have a more limited range of operation in the power band and aren't as flexible as TBI. I will probably stick to the TBI on this engine until it needs a rebuild. At that point I will go with the Edlebrock stand alone system that's tunable by the driver from the cab or just go back to the old school mechanical fuel pump and a Demon Carb in the 600 cfm range. It makes good power in most street engines and produces some good vaccum too. Not too bad on the gas either. Im kind of old school and a firm believer in simple is good!

@ Prepadoodle...Yeah I have been thinking about one of those "Go Big or Stay Home" bumpers like a lot of construction or farm trucks use that made out of that heavy guage diamond metal since I got first gear and gas for two if need be. Besides with the way idiots drive here and pull out in front of you and run stop signs...I want to be able to punish someone in a Prius when they do it to me and I cant stop in time to miss them! I might even get some pin striping tape and put some cross hairs on the driver side windshield so I can get my aim just right, lol. Man the things I am so tempted to do to people who so deserve it! People on 'ludes shouldn't be allowed to drive!!!

@ ArizonaInfidel...I was definitely going to do a little something about new shoes on all four corners. Probably wont be anything too radical. But I could definitely justify a wider foot print and a little more aggressive tire more suited to off the pavement vs on the pavement since it wont see a lot of yeoman duty as a daily driver.

Man I love all the ideas that just keep coming...
 

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Not that I am an expert but please think about what I am telling you.

A stiff suspension and tires is the worst thing in the world for off road performance.

If you intend to make the truck carry heavy loads, do it by adding over load springs. Do not add springs to stiffin the normally used suspension. Articulation is key to ground contact and key to not making your tires spin.

Add a differential locking device, and air your tires down, if you intend to air your tires down, be aware of how far down you can air your tires down before they blow off the rims in rough condition with a load on the truck. This pressure is also determined by the side wall rating of the tires you are running. D range tires under load can be aired down to 10 psi and go off road with out a lot of incident, 12 PSI will keep you from having a blow off most of the time.

You can not believe the off road ability you can gain with a differential locking device and airing your tires down to 12psi. If you have reasonable throttle control, you will be stunned at what you can go through with a two wheel drive.
 

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I have seen a lot of pipe bumpers in my life that were 6 or 8 inch pipe that had weld caps on both ends with a quick connect coupling for an air hose. Charge it up with 160 PSI of air so you can blow your tires up. good idea to store air.
 

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Just sell the 2wd and buy a 3/4 ton 4x4. Why waste time trying to modify something into something it's not. A 1/2 ton will never haul more than a bigger truck, safely, no matter what you do. Bigger stronger frame, larger brakes, larger axles and springs, trans oil coolers etc. are you planning to replace all that. Most likely it will be just a band-aid approach on one thing to make yourself fell better.
As far as going someplace out in the woods that you won't be found. That's a joke. If you read the forums "EVERYBODY" has the exact same plan.
 

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I use to see an underhood arc welder that ran of the engine pulley system in my 4wd magazines looked like a neat accessory for the emegency trailside fix might come in handy,
I also use to see in my outdoor magazines a slide inn gun locker for the bed of trucks and suv.
I would definetley carry a electric fuel pump and a roll of fuel hose add some long leads to the electric fuel pump and you have a stealthy gas siphoning device available (think Jumper cables for refueling) some fuel pumps flow more than others 3 to 4 gal a minute
 
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