Top 10 Vehicles For Your EMP Survival

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Thirty years ago, most of the cars used carburetors, and only a few people believed that electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a real threat.

Nowadays, even NASA admits that EMP is one of those events we could not recover from: it would stop all infrastructures that sustain modern society which rely so much on electronics. No communication, to transportation, and no escape with your fancy new car out of the crowded urban jungle.

{adinserter usf}So if you are one of those readers who wish to consider EMP-resistance as a factor in selecting a bug-out vehicle, then you should not miss this article.

I have been doing the survival thing for some time and I see precious few absolutes when it comes to survival and a whole lot of gray area. And I am not a mechanic or car salesman by trade, but I do have a solid background in technology and understanding of EMP as well what most people would term as vast experience as a self-reliant consumer.

Considering this, I will take a poke at answering some questions about EMP and how it would affect automobiles, which were asked by our readers after our recent article that described some top picks for ideal bugout vehicles.

9 EMP-Related Factors to Think Of When Buying Your Vehicle

First, there are factors to consider in choosing a post-EMP bug-out or survival vehicle:

1. Benefits of Diesel

A large and strong enough EMP could stop the extraction, refinement, distribution and sale of fossil fuels. Whatever gas you have on hand could be all the gas you get for years. The more highly a fuel is refined, the shorter its storage life. Diesel is less refined than unleaded so diesel stores longer.

You make biodiesel from crops that you grow. Diesel motors are somewhat simpler than gasoline motors in that they do not have an ignition system. This cuts down on some vulnerable parts.

Most tractors also run on diesel too, so for many homesteaders, it is worth considering.

2. Fuel Capacity

You can add oversized and/or additional fuel tanks to many vehicles, increasing the vehicle’s range. A post EMP world will likely have far fewer gas stations, if any. To get at any of remaining fuel, you will need a pump and hose like the Jackrabbit by Black & Decker.

3. Cargo or Towing Capability 

By the time you pile in what will surely be everything you own in this world, your spouse, your 2.4 kids, grandma and the golden retriever, you may be looking for ways to increase your vehicle’s carrying capacity. So cargo space, a trailer hitch, roof rack, swing outs and so forth will come in handy. For many, the vehicle will likely double as their home.

4. Off-Road Capability

Features such as 4-wheel drive, a full size spare, plenty of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, lockers, extraction or trail gear, towing points, winch and off road lighting will come in handy post-EMP because roads will no longer be maintained, disabled vehicles and vehicles that have run out of fuel will litter the roadway. Imagine the highway or even your own street after a snowstorm without any snowplows or drivers to remove the snow and 4-wheel drive and over-size tires starts to look like a pretty good idea.

5. Ease of Maintenance & Repair

Simplicity is a good thing when it comes to survival. Without computers, there is only so much to “do it yourself” on newer vehicles so older vehicles have greater appeal. A good repair manual and well-equipped toolbox are mission-critical equipment.

6. Commonality of Parts

An expensive custom vehicle might look cool online or be fun to daydream about, but after a HEMP, the first time it needs a part, you might wish you bought something a little more pedestrian (no pun intended). Better still would be 2 or 3 less-expensive vehicles as opposed to a single vehicle that strains your financial resources.

My grandfather did this and I learned it from him. He would take multiple beat-up vehicles and turn them into fewer good ones … and have a bunch of spare parts left over. A bunch of spare parts would be a good thing post-EMP.

7. Fewest Possible Microelectronics, Computers or Chips

Some newer vehicles have in excess of 100 processors that run on miniscule amounts of power. They sense and control virtually every function of the vehicle and are very sensitive to EMP.

How far are you going to get without an engine, fuel injection, transmission or 4-wheel drive system? Sure, car manufacturers take reasonable precautions to shield them, but not against such great field strengths or over the entire frequency range EMP covers. Any transistor-based technology is vulnerable.

Avoid vehicles with the following systems, rewire them or replace them with their non-electronic counterparts and/or stock replacements in a Faraday cage:

  • PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Electronic Fuel Injection
  • Electronic Ignition
  • Computers Controlling Critical Systems
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Long Antennas
  • Negative Battery Terminal Grounded to Vehicle Frame

8. Overt vs Covert

It is often best to blend in as opposed to standing out. In the city, that might mean driving a white sedan or van. In the bush, it might mean a camouflage or matte earth tone paint job.

Other times, looking like you are not worth tangling with might be the better option.

9. Conductive Metal Body

For the best EMP-resistance, choose a vehicle with conductive metal body enclosing the engine and passenger compartment or cab over a vehicle with body panels made of fiberglass, plastic or any other non-conductive material.

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How to EMP-Harden Your Auto

If your vehicle already has these features or you are already doing these things, then you are already part of the way there. There are many features to look for and modifications to make to both your vehicle and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) regarding that vehicle.

No matter which automobile you choose, there is always more that can be done to minimize the effect of HEMP on the vehicle.

  • Ground all conductive components of the vehicle to a single point on the chassis. Do not ground them to the earth.
  • Park in an EMP-protected garage: I described how to build such a structure in the article How To Turn Your Q-Hut Into an EMP-shielded Home.
  • Do not connect your vehicle to an unprotected engine oil warmer.
  • Rewire with shielded wiring: Verify that your wiring is shielded or replace all you can with shielded wiring.
  • Re-bond metal body panels: Remove body panels and make sure that you have good conductive bonds between body panels by removing paint and installing conductive gasket material or make sure you have metal on metal contact with as much overlap as possible. This will help the body conduct energy through the vehicle skin like the skin of a Faraday cage. Just do not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that the vehicle skin is without holes that compromise its integrity. EM shielding is not all or nothing. Every little bit helps.
  • Route wiring close to the vehicle frame
  • Install ferrite clamps or snap on cores on cable ends
  • Protect cable entry and exit points with surge suppression: This will need to be fast-clamping surge protection faster than one millisecond that will handle high voltages. (Think lightening protection.)
  • Mechanical ignition (points and condenser)
  • Install EMP-rated surge protection on antennas
  • Mechanical fuel & water pumps
  • Carburetor or mechanical fuel injection
  • Keep spares of vulnerable parts you cannot replace in a Faraday cage: You may have a vehicle that is mostly good to go, but it still parts like a starter, alternator and voltage regulator that do not contain microelectronics, but could still conceivably be affected. Get some extras and store them in a Faraday cage. They do not even have to be new. Pull them off a junk vehicle and test them if you cannot afford new parts.
  • Manual transmission: Some will surely disagree with me on this one, but they are easier to repair and make it possible to push start vehicles even if the battery is shot or missing. Even some diesels can be push or roll started if you wire open the fuel valve.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of vehicle modifications. Every vehicle is different. As previously stated, there is no one standard followed by manufacturers even for EMP shielding.

Keep in mind that everything you do improves your chances. Start with the easiest and least expensive and work your way through the harder ones.

If you find this article useful, then you might also like Survivopedia’s story about How to Protect Your Solar Gear from EMP

10 Recommendations for EMP-resistant Transport:

There are a lot of good vehicles to choose from. There are many appealing aspects to these older vehicles. They are inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to work on as long as you provide the labor, simple to understand, inexpensive to insure and inexpensive to register.

You will have to do a little research on specific models to figure out what year the manufacturer started installing EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) and so forth because I am supposed to be writing an article or two as opposed to a book here, but the topic is certainly worthy of a book.

1. Pre-1985 Toyota Hilux 4×4

EMP-cars Toyota Hilux 1983

These are tough little trucks. If you can find a 4×4 with the solid front axle and a carbureted 22R motor, you have a good starting point.

I have run one of these since the 1980’s and the worse I treat it, the better it runs. They are tough little trucks.

2. Sand Rail or Dune Buggy

The simpler the motor the better, but with larger motors, long wheel travel and skid braking, they will go faster than I want to go, that is for sure. Top a hundred mph off-road in one of these and it will either age you or make you younger. If you like to tinker and weld, they can be a great hobby. Hey, if they are good enough for the SEALs …

EMP-cars dune buggy

They are short on carrying capacity, but can sometimes fit in small planes when disassembled. Depending on where you live, a simple model of any of these may be a must have or you might keep one or more at a retreat or in a Toy Hauler trailer. There are even some diesel models out there.

3. CUCV

CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle) on the surplus market. They are basically a military diesel pickup or Blazer.

They started being manufactured in the 1970’s and are not armored, but some models do have some BOV-friendly features like a diesel power plant, blackout switch (to kill all lights), 4 wheel drive, dual 12v/24v voltage, Detroit lockers, dual alternators, Dana axles, brush bars, tow hooks and pintle hitches. And some are topped with shelters or ambulance beds.

You have to research each model though. Not all are 4×4’s and so on.

EMP-cars cucv dodge

4. Pre-1980’s American-made Trucks and SUVs

Ford, Chevy, Dodge, these older US-made trucks are very common and are great candidates for a low profile bug out vehicles that double as daily drivers. I do not believe that any other vehicle on this list has the volume of accessories and options available to customize it.

5. Deuce and a Half Variants

There are many variants of these iconic 6×6 vehicles. Some are even bobbed to 4×4’s. They are not so great for keeping a low profile, but they are the go to choice for many preppers looking for a vehicle with plenty of cargo space and can be had starting at under $10K.

EMP-cars deuce and a half

There are even some shops that will fix them up for you if you are not particularly mechanically inclined. Plan B Supply can hook you up with a Deuce and a half that is all decked out for the apocalypse for less than $40K, which is a tenth the price of a Knight, UniCat or the like, a whole lot less than an Earth Roamer and way more likely to still run after a HEMP.

6. Older Mercedes Benz Unimog (Diesel with Mechanical Fuel Injection)

Think of these as the European answer to the Deuce and a half. They were first manufactured just after WWII and were sold as the Freightliner Unimog in the US. They are popular as off-road expedition vehicles and even off road endurance events.

EMP-cars unimog

They are very reliable and you may find them hauling supplies in jungles, running the Dakar Rally, fighting fires or plowing snow in the North. They come in medium and heavy series.

Large diesel rigs like Unimogs and Deuce and a half’s are sometimes outfitted with marine diesel appliances and solar power and can even be fitted with a wind generator.

7. Sail Boats and Older Vessels With EMP-resistant Diesel Power Plants

If your bugout plan involves blue water, it likely involves a boat or sailboat. Space is limited on boats and must be carefully planned out, but many vessels have miniature versions of all the comforts of home.

There have been many self-reliant adaptations of boats and sailboats. They usually have one or more sails, a diesel power plant and appliances that run off diesel, use solar and sometimes wind as backup power sources.

A heavy duty desalinator and a backup desalinator are critical to make this option work.

8. Canoes, Kayaks, Sailboats, Pack Rafts and Other Small Watercraft

Maybe your bugout plan does not involve a blue water voyage, but it does involve running a stretch of river, lake or crossing a body of water. Man has used boats to solve these types of problems since prehistoric times.

A couple recently rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, but I would not recommend it and I am sure they would not either.

But if your route involves crossing a smaller body of water, a small watercraft may be an important arte of your plan.

9. Draft Horses & Wagon, Horses or Pack Animals

After a severe HEMP, they may make a comeback. As some of our troops were surprised to learn in Afghanistan, there is just no substitute for horses and pack animals in certain terrain.

My county has a mounted search and rescue team that is very effective in certain regions. Mules are an important part of maintaining many of our nation’s wilderness trails to this day and American mountain men would not have been able to travel the Western US trapping without horses and mules.

I have been grateful for them on trips that I have used them and it is plain to see why they figured so prominently into life until the advent of the automobile and how they will again if we lose are large electrical transformers due to EMP or any other reason.

10. Motoped or Bicycle with Trailer

Motoped is on my shopping list. You do not have to be a prepper to appreciate not having to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles and being able to park in the bike rack.

Motopeds and bicycles are quiet and can be carried on the outside or on top of your rig as backup transport. If the motor is small enough or it doesn’t go faster than a certain speed motopeds are not classified as motorcycles in many states, but this varies by jurisdiction so check your local laws.

Other noteworthy options are:

  • Older Toyota Landcruiser
  • Pre-1980’s International Scout
  • Pre-1980’s Jeep, Cherokee & Cherokee Chief
  • Pre- 1980’s Land Rover
  • Volkswagen Bug and Bus
  • Motor Cycle, ATV, UTV or Snowmobile

In truth, there are many vehicles that would serve the function of bug out vehicle admirably, but in the end, your choice will likely be determined largely by availability, opportunity and economics. Whatever your financial situation may be, automobiles are generally a lousy investment. Invest in function as opposed to form when it comes to rolling stock, including bug out vehicles.

Similar to the prepper who is all guns and no groceries, every so often, I see someone who owns a car that is worth more than their home or someone who has invested a substantial portion of their net worth in a vehicle while living in an apartment. This never fails to cause me to pause to consider it.

Find a vehicle that will get you from point A to point B and make sure you have your food storage and other survival priorities in place.

 

If you get too far out of balance in any one area of preparedness, your plan is flawed.

new EMP01

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

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Cache Valley Prepper

About Cache Valley Prepper

Cache Valley Prepper is the CEO of Survival Sensei, LLC, a freelance author, writer, survival instructor, consultant and the director of the Survival Brain Trust. A descendant of pioneers, Cache was raised in the tradition of self-reliance and grew up working archaeological digs in the desert Southwest, hiking the Swiss Alps and Scottish highlands and building the Boy Scout Program in Portugal. Cache was mentored in survival by a Delta Force Lt Col and a physician in the US Nuclear Program and in business by Stephen R. Covey. You can catch up with Cache teaching EMP survival at survival expos, teaching SERE to ex-pats and vagabonds in South America or getting in some dirt time with the primitive skills crowd in a wilderness near you. His Facebook page is here. Cache Valley Prepper is a pen name used to protect his identity. You can send Cache Valley Prepper a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com
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Comments

  1. One qick seemingly comical observation that may need a bit of clarification. I read article after article of ;"what we need to survive," in all the various SHTF scenarios. And all you guys preface it by saying "check your local ordinances". If the SHTF, even with the big EMP strike. I do not foresee very many people griping about you or i violating a few ordinances. For instance your very good suggestion concerning the Moped. I think the employees of the DMV will probably be more worried about maintaining their own food water and shelter to be sending me a notice that i must register my Moped......

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Three reasons for this Gene:

      1) Liability in our overly litigious society. I do this for a living.

      2) Vehicles, firearms, ham radio ... if you just stick it in a closet to pull out after a catastrophe, it probably will not work. We need to train and maintain complex systems that our lives depend on.

      3) An X-class EMP or HEMP strike is not necessarily an all or nothing proposition ... what if you don't take a direct hit? Society has a way of bouncing back. People commit all kinds of crimes and atrocities during catastrophes, but after people put things back together, they haul people in front of a court and sort it out. I explain this to my student that say they will have free reign to be SSS (shoot, shovel and shut up) after "SHTF" or whatever. Maybe it's natural for some personality types to fantasize about finally getting to play judge or instrument of justice when a WROL scenario finally happens. Most of them will likely be profoundly disappointed.

      Will anybody care about minor emissions or tag violations for Motopeds during a catastrophe? Of course not. But if you want your to run in an emergency, you had better prepare now while times are good, that's all.

      Thank you for your comment.

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      • Jerome from Layton says:

        In a post disaster scenario, you have to watch out for the Gestapo types who think they must run things. The DMV is so full of them that back in California, I referred to them as the Motor Vehicle Dept. or MVD. Those who remember the early Cold War will understand that play on acronyms. Best idea is low profile to avoid the "radar".

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        • Cache Valley Prepper says:

          Yes, a good way to make sure a vehicle doesn't get traced back to you by anybody who snaps an image of your plate is when you buy the vehicle, pay cash and buy it from a private party using an LLC ... best ones privacy-wise are NM LLC's because NM allows LLC's to hold property and allows the use of a use a residential agent, but you setup the LLC to point to ghost address or mail drop. If the seller wants you to prove you own it, show them a copy of the operating agreement. I use an overseas one so even if LE subpoenas the residential agent and gets the ghost address ... it's an overseas address.

          You'd have had to have done something pretty bad for somebody to go to the trouble to find you if you have setup your PERSEC correctly but the license plate readers program is really making it easy for anybody who can coerce a repo company employee or LEO find everyplace you park if you don't take measures to make hard for them to read your plates when you do ... but this is much more of an issue in big cities ... so you can add that to the long list of reasons why I don't live in one.

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      • Nice article. Another for your consideration is the Rokon, two wheel drive, street legal motorcycle. Basically a small tractor that can still be driven on the road. Point A to B like nothing else. It's on my bucket list sometime when I find a cheap junker to rebuild.

        The 80s CUCV, chevies, can be found cheaper than military surplus in the "civie" models with the same diesel engine. Granted, not overbuilt like the ton and a quarter mil models, but even the half tons are plenty stout, they are, afterall, old 'merican pickemups. I've gotten two of them quite cheap over the last few years, as non running "rollers", and got both running. Mechanical fuel pumps, no computers, etc.

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        • Cache Valley Prepper says:

          Yeah, those are pretty sweet. I haven't seen what electronics they do or don't have, but the are neat little bikes for sure. I also really like Motopeds, small on/off road bikes and the diesel bike the military is using since diesel will store longer.

          I am a huge proponent of modular kit and will be publishing a book on that topic soon, but it's a good thing to have backup transport on your transport as it increases the likelihood of you being able to refuel it or repair it t get it back on the road should it break down.

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        • I am currently restomod'ing a '82 K5 Blazer as my BO vehicle, along with a trailer still in the design phase. It has the 6.2 diesel with the banks turbo setup, I mention this as the 6.2 is a bit weak in NA form and Banks will stop making these turbo setups at the EOY, I believe. Get them while you can.

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  2. Check out the early Honda Trail 90 cycle. They will go anywhere and you can man-handle it over most obstacles; fuel economy is great and some even have a spare gas can fitted; cross country and through the woods is no problem and they even have a low range transmission like a jeep; they will carry a surprisingly heavy load; easy to maintain. Like all early MC's it has chain drive and a spare master link or two is recommended. They don't come cheap if you can find one but worth the money (mine is not for sale!).

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Excellent choice Mikem. That is a fantastic bike with a very reliable motor and little to break that you can't fix. One of my mentors used one and I loved it. Maybe I'll find one someday.

      Thanks for the excellent suggestion,

      Cache

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    • Agreed! It's what I learned on 30+ years ago, and I should start looking for another one!

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    • I agree, an old honda scooter, bike, or ATV would be an excellent vehicle to have. I think i would be prepared vehicle wise, a 1981 Dodge Power Ram 4x4, a 1983 Honda ATC185s three wheeler, and a aluminum jonboat.

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      • As most people in Alaska & Canada have known for years, A 3 wheeler is an arm buster. They are known for flipping over back wards, regardless how good a ride you are. Those things are ban from production because of that 'quirk'!

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  3. how would a railroad box car work for an emp shelter for solar panels and solar generator?

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      On or off the railroad tracks?

      I would imagine it would provide substantial protection as long as it was made of all metal, but it could have leaks. As long as the metal sheets the box car is made of are not painted before assembly or coated, overlap each other and completely encapsulate the shielded envelope, it would provide shielding, but holes or gaps larger than 1/4 inch could compromise it.

      If the car was on railroad tracks, though ... the tracks would essentially act as an EMP antenna polarized at the optimal angle to conduct the EMP. Railroad track are very long conductors that run parallel to the surface of the earth and the atmosphere, so the could pick up insanely huge amounts of energy which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

      Very good question. Thank You!

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      • Would a conex work as an emp shelter? They do have one area of metal on the floor. Ours sits on two mounds (one at each end) of gravel with two rail road ties on the mound with the conex sitting on it. If the door were closed would it work.

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        • Cache Valley Prepper says:

          A Conex has a lot of issues to overcome to make it a suitable shelter vs EMP. The issues would be basically the same as a Q-Hut.

          The main issues are all of the gaps, non-conductive paint at doors and where metal sheets are joined and non-conductive gaskets on the doors. Here is one of my articles on the subject because both projects have about the same obstacles to overcome.

          http://www.survivopedia.com/quonset-into-emp-shielded-home/

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  4. David Williams says:

    Thanks for all the very good info, this saves all of us interested in the subject a lot of time and energy.

    DLW

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  5. Cache Valley Prepper says:

    Thanks for reading David!

    I'm glad when my material helps people in their preparedness efforts ... somebody ought to benefit from all the mistakes I've made along this journey. There are many things that are best learned through observation and study. Hopefully it will help save some time, money and elbow grease and while we certainly can't take some things with us, I'm not so sure sure that knowledge gained in this life is among them.

    Cache

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    • David Linge says:

      Great article! I drive a '78 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale. She gets 23 MPG highway, and has no electronic parts except for the chip in the HEI ignition. That would be fried from a solar flare or EMP, but pop a new one in, and I'll be back on the road in 10 minutes. I refuse to drive a car that only a computer geek can fix.

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  6. Bob lalonde says:

    older VW beetles & vans had electronic fuel control. Possible storage unit is a shipping container. inexpensive and readily available.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      I'm aware that EFI was introduced in 1974-1975, but there are plenty of carbureted vehicles. What are you concerned about being particularly sensitive to EMP on these?

      As far as Conex containers as, I spent some time managing an ATF-approved explosives magazine built from one and some of my other EMP articles and comments detail the drawbacks and utility of shipping containers as protection from a HEMP. Current thinking is that a geomagnetic EMP (CME or solar event) would not affect most vehicles as long as they are not connected to he grid or other long conductors, but it would affect the extraction, refinement and distribution of fossil fuels.

      Thanks for commenting Bob.

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    • Jerome from Layton says:

      I got to see an EFI Volkswagon dealing with RFI while being a passenger in the thing. My friend had to drive from San Fernando to Wallace Island (Northern Philippines) right past a Voice of America station that was transmitting stuff across the South China Sea. The motor would quit running for about half a mile and then start running again; so, he learned to come in fast and coast.

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      • Cache Valley Prepper says:

        Wow, that's pretty interesting. In tiny little no-budget sliver of EMP testing done on vehicles that is not classified, many minor glitches were reported. Granted, those tests were in no way like exposure to a HEMP because they could not afford to fix the vehicles loaned to them so testing was stopped as soon as any glitch was encountered, so many of the vehicles were never exposed to even the 50kv/m field strength used as the benchmark for the test and a basic mil-spec standard of EMI resistance. But the take away from this is to be sure to try to restart and fix you vehicle after an EMP and diagnose it if circumstances allow as opposed to assuming it's toast.

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  7. Thanks, Cache! Great info & recommendations. Should any manufacturer that decides embark on a new car, without all the buttons/electronics/bells & whistles...completely manual & basic...might be making a wise investment. I'd be the first person to buy one...as would anyone who likes ruggedness & reliability, and who wants to FEEL the car they're driving. No doubt an ulterior motive behind the push for greater automation & centralized control in our transportation/homes/communications/medical care/finances/etc. But lazy, spoiled, apathetic, ignorant consumers attached by their umbilical to social media (ie, the hive mind) can't seem to get enough of it.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      I have been looking at the concept and plan to leverage the Survival Brain Trust I started to create some solutions along those lines ... kits, rebuilds and one day a customized factory model. I have already spoken to TUFF Trucks who rebuild M900 series military trucks ... very exciting prospects there ... lot of vehicle for the money and I suspect that some of the solutions will appeal to more than just the Self-reliance/Survival community. Feel free to keep in touch on that. I plan to use it in my modular survival kit model as well and have the Survival Brain Trust involved in it. Keep your fingers crossed. ; )

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  8. Cache Valley Prepper says:

    There are actually ways to do that.

    The are some vehicles that you can buy as kits to build, but can have them delivered already built. Unfortunately, most of them aren't built specifically with EMP in mind. That's where outfits like Plan B Supply come in. You could also have a rail or other vehicle built to specs or have a shop recondition a surplus CUCV or Deuce and a half (Reagan-era or pre-Reagan-era) that was built with the cold war in mind. Post-reagan,

    Unfortunately, surplus vehicles scream "Survivalist!" but a CUCV could be made to look like you fixed up a pickup or Blazer. They even come in 2WD.

    Thanks for commenting Jason!

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  9. I like the idea of the RR box cars. CVP - Good point about the rails being a conductor (& that is not what you want). Question 1: What if the bx car is grounded-like a Faraday cage-would that make a difference?
    Question 2: can a capacitor be used to soak up the spike coming down the rail line and then shunt the power into some type of storage unit (batteries?)
    you can use the power? (or is this simply crazy)?

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      The issue with the box car is that the rails would conduct the charge into the skin of the shielded envelope provided by the box car ... that's fine though as long as it is lined with a non-conductive layer. I have built out high-explosives magazines that way by lining them with wood framing since ESD is a bit of a "no-no" there, lol. As long as the cage conducts all that high voltage around the contents you'd be fine, but it would be best to get it of the tracks ... no sense in hooking it up to an EMP antenna.

      You can install fast-switching surge arresters like are used in lighting protection circuits, but the switching would have to trip in less than one nanosecond, so a typical switch would not do it, but this can be upgraded.

      This model is not designed for that application but will give you an idea of what would be necessary.

      http://www.cesco.com/b2c/product/45331?%3futm_campaign=cj_affiliate_sale&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=cj&utm_content=2747136&utm_term=11742186&ref_pub_site_id=3951072

      If the question is more than academic and graduate to entrepreneurial tinkering, look up Jerry Emanuelson. He has some great info on the subject and let me know to. I'd love to see it and possibly collaborate.

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  10. You missed the 3 best vehicles ever for a bug out types, that'll go any where forever. 1st the M37 series ( a dodge power wagon) , the Jeep 5/4, indestructible, & any of the Internationals, in the travel all, the pickups & the ever reliable Scout. Nothing fancy just go for ever low geared, easily adaptable to dozens of different power trains, engines etc. My old 74 scout had the same shocks as a ford F350 pickup, low geared 6 banger 258CI.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Maybe I lost you before you made to the bottom ; ) ... I mentioned the Scout and the Jeep so 2 of 3 is better than 0 of 3, but I couldn't get them all in a little article like this ... it just really limits the amount I can put into them without ending up paying to write them ; ) but I'm sure I missed a lot of great options including the M37 you mentioned.

      Hey, thanks for reading and commenting Mr Workman!

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  11. Wish4liberty says:

    Great info, it was always my intent to have a pre 88 ford diesel 4x4. Keeping in the fray and holding extra alt, starter, replaced the volt reg with a mechanical one( boy howdy was that hard to find) with one to spare. I boned up on making bio and have extra filters on hand. One thing a lot of folks tend to forget, maintenance items for your BOV, keeping in mind just because the WROL event is taken place maintaining your gear is still of vital importance. Why is that all the " survival " guides always fail to address this?. Just saying.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Most writers or bloggers will not touch this topic with a 10' pole and most of those who do regurgitate myths because they do understand the science and know that engineers will tear them to pieces in the comments.

      The solution is simply to be possessed of enough curiosity about the subject matter to have learned the basic tenants of science that underpins it in the first place. I will not write about about subjects that I need to research in order to do so. I'm not saying that I don't think writers should do research. They absolutely should. But I think that writers should write about topics they are knowledgeable about and that publishers should make the investment to find writers who actually have something to say about a particular subject instead of setting a monkey in front of a typewriter and assigning him a topic like bloggers who try to cover every conceivable aspect of survival by themselves and call themselves an expert on every topic.

      Most of them are not geniuses or walking survival encyclopedias, so I don't think it is honest to market themselves as such.

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  12. Jerome from Layton says:

    One piece of technical trivia. There are two kinds of EMP; Solar (Carrington Effect) and man made (nuclear or EMP generator). Solar (super massive CME) cause long wave events that energize long conductors (tracks, pipes, power lines, etc.) but don't particularly effect small items like radios and cars. Best home protection would be at the outside breaker box to stop the DC pulse from getting in. A really good grounding rod at that point is a must have item. If it does happen, utilities could be out for a very long time.

    Nuclear EMP is the opposite in that it starts as a pulse less than a nanosecond in length and then stretches out as it travels through the atmosphere. If it's close by, Faraday cages and shielding are a must. Farther away, it starts to resemble a solar event. By the way, in this game, size matters in both devices and launch vehicles which really limits the threat to a few countries (USA, Russia, possibly China) and some others that could cause local nuisances but not set off a multi-megaton device two hundred miles over North Dakota.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Always good to be aware of Jerome. I can't squeeze as much information into articles as books but it is important for readers to be aware of the differences between geomagnetic EMP caused by a solar event and NHEMP from a nuke high enough in the atmosphere.

      A solar event would not damage most vehicles because they are not usually connected to long conductors that will induce high voltages into them. But in a nuclear HEMP, size is not always going to be as much of a contributor as people might think. Some of the very few nuke shots used by the US to set the 50kV/m EMP field strength benchmark were very small unsophisticated nukes that could have hardly had less gamma yield if they were specifically designed to minimize EMP field strength. Our enemies have had 50-60 years to work on maximizing EMP field strength, not just by using weapons with greater total yield, but by making sure that more of the reaction will be expressed as EMP. An example would be using a thinner bomb casing allowing more gamma to escape the detonation. Any modification along these lines is to design a "Super-EMP" weapon.

      Many studies have been done on EMP delivery methods to achieve altitude and pretty much any nation state or even rogue elements within nations capable of buying a nuke, smuggling it into the US and launching a weather balloon could affect the entire nation, so it could be anything from minor to very major. I plan based on the philosophy that true emergencies tend to arise out of the realm of the unknown ... otherwise they would not catch us with our pants down.

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  13. It might seem "exotic" or frivolous in time of emergency but since you're listing the dirt-simple VW's and the awesome Unimog, I respectfully suggest adding the older Mercedes-Benz diesel cars. They have several things in their favor; 1) Mercedes standardized a LOT of their parts back then. For example, they only had one 4 cylinder and one 5 cylinder (which have an addictive sound at idle!) for several models and they didn't change that much for many years. This enabled mass production which makes many of their parts cheaper than U.S. carmaker parts (seriously) and 2) they're friggin' bullet proof (no pun intended). For example, the timing chain is rated for 200k miles and, no disrespect to U.S. diesel manufacturers, nobody does diesel like Mercedes. Rock solid motors that, IF maintained, will run for several hundred thousand miles. You don't have to worry about an older Mercedes with a lot of miles IF the owner can show service receipts/records. (Many do - it's a point of honor to show they love the MB diesels.) I often wondered "Why do I see so many Mercedes-Benz taxis in 3rd World countries? How can they afford to keep them??" - it's because they're surprisingly cheap to maintain for the DIY'er and they last forever. Twenty years ago, I owned an '82 300D Turbodiesel - a wonderful car with over 200k miles when I sold it. The turbo boosted the 3 liter 5 Cylinder from a weak knee'd 80Hp to a measly 120Hp _but_ it wasn't built for speed. The mid-70's 4 cylinder 2.4L was only 65Hp but it got ~45MPG. Thanks for the article!

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  14. Here is another one that usually escapes much appreciation.

    A real "sleeper" if you need one.

    The Honda Helix scooters. Built for 25 years, one of the most reliable and idiot proof vehicles ever made.

    Automatic transmission that is totally repairable by putting on a new belt. A water cooled system that is almost impossible to boil over. Disc brakes that really work even if covered in mud. Electric start, but simple and very reliable. Absolutely anyone can sit on one of these and can make it go. Even my clutzy daughter can drag her feet until she is "wheels up" and wobble her way underway...

    It even has a huge windscreen that makes blowing rain less nasty.

    Consider this to be a low slung, motorized platform to strap things on to.

    How much: How about three adults, with a child balanced on the front end. It will take this load up the steepest grade a tractor can cut. You must remember, though, if you do this in public, you will look like a clown convention waiting to happen.

    They don't suggest this, but you **can** install a tow hitch to these bad boys.
    So a 500 pound cart full of groceries is no big deal. This in addition to two adults.

    Now here is the incredible part - these beasts go 70 MPH with two adults on board, a full set of luggage, yadda yadda, and all the time, getting 50 plus miles to the gallon...

    Who said scooters are dorky, anyways?

    DD...

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    • Ethelyn says:

      How do I find one? Dealers? used? Do Honda car dealers fix them? or who?

      Which is the right one? Built any year?

      Is it good in ditches?

      Can the electric starter be changed to manual?

      Is there anything else that needs preparation?

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  15. MY dear friends,THE LORD says america will be HIT with THREE emp's,one over the east coast,One over nebraska,and one over northern california,and they will Knock out almost eveything electrical,example THE federal government has been buying 3/4ton chevys( fourwheeldrives),with three car haulers behind them,all brand new,wonder what their for?THINK whats coming will be bad?,well your wrong,IT WILL BE A HUNDRED TIMES WORSE THEN ANYONE THINKS,RED DAWN will look like a picnick,compared to whats coming...........

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  16. Being prepared for an "EMP" is all well & good, however a few major things need to be addressed. "THEY" have many advanced weapon systems, that are far more superior to the much touted "EMP." Scalar weaponry alone can cripple entire nations/entire continents & specific individuals. This allows for control of weather, mind & matter. Also, ANY VEHICLE will be easy pickings for their "air assets", among these are the TR3B, killer satellite constellations,ultra advanced AI-linked UAV's ad naseum. People T.P.T.B AKA the luciferians in control of the entire world, have suppressed super technology. This includes EVERYTHING from Star Trek & Star Wars & much more. Only Jesus Christ will save us from what is coming. Prepare with God 1st & foremost everything else is just good planning! Shalom

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  17. Sitting ducks is what a person would be in the northwoods of wisconsin. It would be traveling with a target on you. The roads would be impassable with all the abandened vehicles. You would never get across any bridge or past any preppers defending their areas. You are stuck where u are like it or not. Here we will be dropping trees across key points and crossing would not be good even on foot
    People are just not aware of how the wild areas are already populated with us who know the area and we will not share. Unless you are a child, you will be turned away or shot since in reality our fish and game is already claimed by us. Never make it through the winter so what would be the point of letting you pass. Trust me, the wilds of america are already inhabited by us and we want no more citizens. You chose to live in a city, die there!!!
    .

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    • Real American there. It's not about re-building what's broken, and forget that Christian charity stuff.
      You're the kind of jerk that gives people trying to figure out what to do after SHTF a reputation for
      being nuts- maybe because you are. If all you can think about is forting up and devil take the hindmost,
      you are part of the problem. The first step is to be personally ready, then organize the community, the
      county, the state, and rebuild the country. There'll be bad guys, sure, but a lot of good guys, refugees,
      and generally just folks- our countrymen, our fellow citizens. I'm not talking about unlimited self-sacrifice,
      but an effort to help where we can.

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  18. Actually most anything built before 014 can tweaked (totally non compliant) (ECM/PCN's) w/simple hard wired solenoid switching = -'s & o's, yeah, some things won't function as desired, mileage is one. absolutely no need for OEM radio's/players & other bell/whistle's. A lot of compliant components can be found in the lower (uni body frame work) that has to be addressed! Any criminal's who may want to do harm (via e trac) are aware of this, is all this compliant erasing even worth it on later model's, most likely not, for most who are in debt!
    Everything built before 74 could handle about anything, including the early CD (capacitor discharge ones) but the good ol carb & points/condenser etc magneto (including ignition's w/coil's powered up w/ the battery. Of coarse, anything designed for road use only would be totally useless!
    I remember (grew up in a shop) we'd build mini bikes by using the Mac 10-10 chain saw engines, they litterally (just about) went anywhere w/the use of a veri speed clutch/drive system/transfer over to (# 45)chain sprockets, KIS - S - many lawn & garden tractor/mowers still use them. A good drive belt (& spare) is a must, most would be surprised (if taken fair care of) on how durable the belt(s) are these days - if you want to go faster than 75-80 mile Hr, forget it but theirs not a hill or mountain that'll slow them down, staying in the saddle is another thing! Anything over 10 -15 hp is a waste of fuel! Having extra oil (whether 2cycle or 4) is a must along w/extra plugs - try to go w/a sponge type of air filter, these can be cleaned easily & re lubed & tire/tube repair/pump etc.
    Also, a 2 gallon fuel tank would cover a good days travel if the carb jets are adjusted right, don;'t lean them out too much, you'll cook the engine - shielding to dissipate the heat is a must, remember, got to be compliant as possible by leaving as little of footprint as possible, that's what 'green means' - up their bung hoes - they are the Soylent Green believers! The Bible has a lot to say concerning these people, Scripture has always been right on, including the prophets of old, inspired by God Himself - how could they know back then of our technology(s) today?! Of coarse the God of the Bible is the One true (Triune) God!
    Look what 'they' want us to believe, yea, who's the true moron's, yes, academia/university's! We evolved from pond scum? Actually, follow it all the way, they actually believe we evolved from rock's, I can challenge any of them of this!
    O boy, jeeper's, I got off topic, sorry
    folk's

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  19. Bill D. says:

    Good article on EMP resistance for vehicles. I might add, I read an engineering article that suggested that storage batteries might fail or blow up since the case is plastic and transparent to EMP. The high voltage could punch through the separators and the energy of the battery would then destroy itself.
    A Faraday cage around the battery with transient protection applied where the cables and wires come out would help.

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  20. Great Grey says:

    A magneto ignition usually as part of the distributor works without a battery or working charging system. Makes push or jump starting very possible. Of course with out fuel and oil it no good either but, if you are needing to get from point A to point B for your long term survival don’t poo-poo having a working vehicle after an EMP or CME event even though you may only have few days fuel supply. Also there are some alternates fuels for gasoline engines, wood gasification, moonshine, etc. whether or not they are viable for you is another story.
    Being able to move around to find out who, what and where stuff is in your neighborhood after the event may be very valuable, because when it happens you neighborhood may be nothing like you planned for. i.e a plane crash destroys a resource you were counting on.

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  21. GEne p says:

    Good article, a lot said that needs to be thought about by way more people...

    I have the mid 90's Jeep Cherokee with 4x4, it seems to have a simple looking fuel injection system on it. I'm going to remove all of the grounds from the body/frame(it's actually a unibody) and dedicate them to an insulated juncture bar as the body will act as the shielding for your electrical components, provided none are connected to it. The engine is already mounted in rubber so all a person would do is dedicate the grounds between the battery and engine and the body/radiator should shield the ignition components. Now the power windows or radio might not work anymore but who cares if it still runs.
    If this doesn't work I'll just load my mini bikes into the back of my M35a2 and push or ride over the top of all the stuck vehicles between my AO and the BOL... Oh yeah did he mention the military trucks are multi fuel= they run on just about any liquid that burns.

    Rock-on fellow Babies...

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  22. Great ideas as I have been thinking along these lines....any dirt bike could have the electrical components removed and stored in a cage....Would a gun safe make a reliable Faraday cage? I could tuck the brain, coil and stator in there no problem...

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Putting vulnerable parts or spares for them in Faraday cages is a good strategy. Many gun safes can be modified to be Faraday cages, but some protection is better than none. If you really want to do it right I have described this process in detail for ammo cans, refrigerators and even Quonset huts. You can pull up the articles here on Survivopedia by entering my pen name and EMP into the search feature. It can be done, but a gun safe is typically painted where the doors come together and is fitted with gaskets that are insulator as opposed to conductors, but all that can be fixed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  23. Philip bargioni says:

    I would like to see all the major car companies start to make their future vehicles EMP protected as son as possible.

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Oh yeah Philip ... even a single offering or even a kit would be great. I know there are a lot of folks who would like to see it happen. I've put together some good minds who are working on some market research and demographic info on marketing some type of solution. Our market is growing, for sure, but this will ultimately be decided by crowdfunding or other market forces.

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  24. What about a metal trash can for a makeshift faraday cage?
    Also, my lineman husband has faraday type clothing for working on live lines- could small electronics be protected wrapped in these?

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      Metal trash can is fine as long as the metal is a conductor and you line it with a non-conductor. Some come with a locking lid to keep insects and rodents out of feed. Make sure it has a tight fitting lid. Behrens is one brand that does.

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  25. I'm late to the party on this topic but I just came across it. I found it hard to get past the first two sentences:

    "A large and strong enough EMP could stop the extraction, refinement, distribution and sale of fossil fuels. Whatever gas you have on hand could be all the gas you get for years."

    In a serious, long term SHTF situation...what good is the vehicle without the fuel? Are you actually storing hundred or thousands of gallons? Or is your SOP just to have enough fuel to get to a long term bug out location? Wouldn't it be more prudent to have an electric vehicle that could be charged via solar?

    The vehicle is just one aspect but it depends on so many others. I am interested in the big picture of how a vehicle fits into an overall long term plan. What are doing with the vehicle? Where are you going? On a day to day basis what is it for? The longer time passes don't you become more of a target if you have a working vehicle?

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    • Cache Valley Prepper says:

      You need to think it through just as you are doing. You are on the right track asking the right questions.

      Why not electric? Because vehicles are even more vulnerable to EMP than vehicles that run on fossil fuels since they are affected by both magnetodydrodynamic EMP (from the sun) and nuclear HEMP (from a nuke detonated high enough in the atmosphere.)

      What good is a vehicle if you can't get gas? A) If you are able to produce a commodity that is of value, you can trade it for fossil fuels. B) You can store fossil fuels if you local codes allow it. C) You can produce biodiesel. D) You can convert a vehicle to LPG/NG and store that. E) Being able to relocate one time may be the difference between survival and death.

      One trip may be the difference between being trapped in a part of the country where you are an ethnic, religious or political minority. It may be the difference between an area without water and an area with water. It may be the difference between a densely populated area and a rural area. ... and so on.

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  26. Hi, I'm looking at a 1970 deuce and a half with a Multi-fuel motor. Do you think this fits the EMP proof vehicle zone? Thanks, Joe.

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  27. Though you were right about the old International Scouts, you skipped over the older Bronco's, International pickups, the M715, 5 quarter pickup which was the military version of the Jeep pickup & last you the most reliable can't kill M 37 4x4 & all it's variants of the Old Dodge Power wagons.

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  28. bill kalbo says:

    Negative Battery Terminal Grounded to Vehicle Frame

    I'm no automotive genius so this for this plain talk article but as far as I know, all older vehicles are grounded to the frame by default. Is there another option available or a work around to make older vehicles grounded to something besides the car frame?

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    • do the same as the old divers did rap as chain around the read axel, long enough to drag on the pavement, that will work as a ground, prevents static build up & all that. Most older fuel trucks had them on them.

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  29. Okay, here's how....unless I'm misunderstanding his intent....I know the writer is not making sense and is making this up (or at least parts of it) as he goes along......he says you should park in an "EMP Resistant Garage."

    Ummm....hello? The threat to a vehicle from an EMP (if that even is a realistic threat) onlky applies to cars that ARE RUNNING WHEN THE EMP HITS! If you car is parked and not running, as would be the case for most cars parked in a garage, there's no danger! You can't get shocked by touching an open wire if the wire's not plugged into anything! Supposedly, the problem with an EMP affects sensitive electronics by the EMP's field messing with the electrical micro-fields of the car's electronic/digital systems. Car not running = no fields to mess up.

    An EMP is a strong electrical field from the sky....it's not a thousand-degree bolt of fire, for goodness sake!

    Yes, yes, I know, I know...nowadays even when a lot of cars' engines aren't running, many of their electronics systems are acticated and running. Simple...disconnect the battery (or install a battery cut-out switch).

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  30. My BOV is a 1978 all aluminum Airstream Argosy 28 motorhome with carbeurated Chevrolet 454 with 600 mile range. Small enough to be maneuverable, large enough to be preloaded with water, propane, generator and gear and still be comfortable. Bikes on back and tows an old 4x4 w/RTT and winch.

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  31. John Stover says:

    Good informative article. I'm a Ham, and most of us are aware of EMP. Some of us prep for it. I'm not a mechanic, only 'mechanically inclined', so I have a question about the older vehicles. Weren't most of them running leaded gas? I don't recall when we switched to unleaded. So, you'd have to have a cache of leaded gas, or a lead additive, or you'd risk damaging your engine. (Sorry if this is a duplicate, I didn't read all of the comments.)

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    • There is an additive one can buy at just about any automotive store named, "Instead of Lead". I use it for a long time in a '52, M37B2, power wagon & used gallons of regular everyday gas for 20 some years. Never had a 'hick up' with the engine..........

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  32. Say I wanted to EMP-proof a new Jeep Wrangler. Would it be easier to replace the motor with a pre-80s one or rewire it and place faraday cages where they are needed. I've been into the whole EMP thing for awhile and have always wanted to do this. Thanks!

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  33. Great article! I am planning to move to a sailboat this fall and homestead from there . . . we'll have to make some alterations to make everything manual as well as learn to navigi by the stars.

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  34. Boyce Equipment out of Ogden Utah would be a better spot vs. Plan B Supply. Boyce Equipment offers the whole trucks plus all parts for the Duece 2.5 Ton 6x6. Just a thought to add. Military trucks awesome for EMP.

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    • Too many people think & wrongly believe that if they have a diesel engine they able to dump any oldie or fuel into the tank & go.. This way from the truth, even military 'Multi fuels' don't run on any old oil. Not for long any way. Old oils are contaminated with mountains of sludge, sludge has water, anti freeze, break fluids, metal shavings from both engine & drive trains, dirt, sand & other engine killing garbage, even then old oil has to be thinned to prevent clogging fuel lines, filters injectors, Synthetic oils do not 'burn' as a fuel. Old oils have to be heavily filtered just to begin to remove some of the garbage.. sure having a fuel tank on your property is good if you can ensure people don't get wind of it !

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  35. Re: not grounding the battery Neg post to the chassis, is it permissible to ground the Neg post to the engine? If not how do I remedy this problem? Thanks.

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  36. Will my 1979 olds eighty eight fire up after an EMP?

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Survivopedia – by Cache Valley Prepper […]

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  2. […] View Full Article > Top 10 Vehicles For Your EMP Survival […]

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  7. […] an EMP that originates from the sun, should not affect cars or battery-operated microelectronics that are not plugged into a wall receptacle, but they can, and […]

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  13. […] from the oldest vehicles that used a crank instead of an electronic ignition system, your best options will include older vehicles with as few computerized, motorized, or electronic parts as possible. Sadly, even these vehicles […]

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  14. […] from the oldest vehicles that used a crank instead of an electronic ignition system, your best options will include older vehicles with as few computerized, motorized, or electronic parts as possible. Sadly, even these vehicles […]

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  15. […] from the oldest vehicles that used a crank instead of an electronic ignition system, your best options will include older vehicles with as few computerized, motorized, or electronic parts as possible. Sadly, even these vehicles […]

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  16. […] even if you fully prepare your vehicle for an EMP blast, it still may not be capable of moving over the kinds of rough terrain that you might have to […]

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