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Old 01-07-2013, 12:27 AM
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That's a great list, Utahredneck. But where can you get 120 acres near a river for 30K? (Reaching for my checkbook)
Old 01-07-2013, 01:09 AM
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Buy through a local credit union and not an FHA loan or anything Freddie mac. Stay away from Government backed loans. You don't want them getting stupid and changing things on you mid mortgage...
Eventually your mortgage will wind up at Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae regardless of where you start. Mine was bought by Fannie Mae before I made the first payment. Once the deal is closed, you really have no control over where your mortgage goes.
Old 01-07-2013, 03:10 AM
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That's a great list, Utahredneck. But where can you get 120 acres near a river for 30K? (Reaching for my checkbook)
Haha ...

I just PMed him wanting this info too!

Great minds think alike!
Old 01-07-2013, 03:49 PM
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The reason I wanted an older vehicle was the reduction in electronic ignition parts.......
Dollar for dollar, electronic components are typically more reliable than their mechanical counterparts. That is why modern vehicles can go 100k+ miles without anything other than regular maintenance, while older vehicles are going in for their first engine rebuild at that mileage. Don't believe all they hype you hear on this site about old school being better and more reliable.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:36 PM
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Dollar for dollar, electronic components are typically more reliable than their mechanical counterparts. That is why modern vehicles can go 100k+ miles without anything other than regular maintenance, while older vehicles are going in for their first engine rebuild at that mileage. Don't believe all they hype you hear on this site about old school being better and more reliable.
Absolutely correct. But try rigging an electronic ignition from scrap in an emergency. Try finding the one computer that will fit your car or engine. Try buying a handful of them to keep for emergency supplies.

Then do the same with an old 350 or 327 with a points ignition. 20 bucks for spares or 1200 bucks for spares.

I fixed a transistor once - back in 1974; I literally opened up the transistor and repaired it. A piece of critical electronics on the navy ship had a transistor go out that we did not have a replacement for - and I was too green at the time to be able to find something suitable and no one else on the ship was any smarter. So I opened up a TO5 can transister and had to solder a lead to fix the broken lead that made the transtor fail. We spent a week at sea running on this opened-up, jury-rigged transistor. You can't do that with a plastic part like a TO-92 or an IC chip. And, of course, within a couple years I could have found any number of transistors on the ship for other systems that I would have successfully substituted. But for a car or truck, I'd rather just have points.
Old 01-08-2013, 08:01 PM
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Absolutely correct. But try rigging an electronic ignition from scrap in an emergency. Try finding the one computer that will fit your car or engine. Try buying a handful of them to keep for emergency supplies.

Then do the same with an old 350 or 327 with a points ignition. 20 bucks for spares or 1200 bucks for spares.

I fixed a transistor once - back in 1974; I literally opened up the transistor and repaired it. A piece of critical electronics on the navy ship had a transistor go out that we did not have a replacement for - and I was too green at the time to be able to find something suitable and no one else on the ship was any smarter. So I opened up a TO5 can transister and had to solder a lead to fix the broken lead that made the transtor fail. We spent a week at sea running on this opened-up, jury-rigged transistor. You can't do that with a plastic part like a TO-92 or an IC chip. And, of course, within a couple years I could have found any number of transistors on the ship for other systems that I would have successfully substituted. But for a car or truck, I'd rather just have points.
Good points (no pun intended) but points and condensors wear out. Even a coil can go bad, and there is the ballast resistor which are known for breaking if treated roughly.

So if you are running points, you want to have a number of ignition sets (points and condensor) - enough for however many miles you usually need to replace them.

I prefer not to have an ignition that depends on any source of electrical power or component at all; diesel.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:30 PM
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The diesel is a great recommendation. I've never owned one or worked on one so I wasn't aware of that. But I think modern diesels have computerized parts, don't they? Would you have to get an old diesel?
Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM
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The diesel is a great recommendation. I've never owned one or worked on one so I wasn't aware of that. But I think modern diesels have computerized parts, don't they? Would you have to get an old diesel?
Yes, late model diesels, even the ones in large Class 8 trucks, have electronics in their fuel systems, but you can get "modern" automotive vehicles with diesels that don't have electronics.

E.G., up until about 1998.5 the Cummins in a Dodge pickup has no electronics (essentially the 12 valve Cummins are electronics free - it is the 24V Cummins that have electronics). I have a 12 valve Cummins in my 4WD Dodge truck.

There is more to it though; diesels use extremely high pressure fuel injection systems - necessary to overcome the high combustion chamber pressures (they inject into the combustion chamber or the pre-chamber, not the intake manifold). Therefore injection systems, either the injector and/or the injection pump (depending on how the injection is setup) will have very close tolerances, on the order of millionths of an inch. This means that you cannot do field repair of the the injectors and/or injector pumps. You can replace them in the field, but you cannot take them apart like a carb and repair them. A "clean room" is necessary with special equipment - not something that most diesel shops will have.

Also, as you might imagine, diesel fuel systems are vulnerable to fuel contamination, which is why their fuel systems have much more filtration, including water removal systems (the tight tolerances require the lubricity of the diesel fuel be maintained and water can cause problems there).

In the future, gasoline engines are going to direct injection too, and some are even going to high compression ratios approaching those of diesels. There are even hybrid gasoline engines that sometimes use a form of the diesel cycle (ignite on compression) that for some operation do not require ignition for the fuel air mixture to ignite.

But back to diesels; a 12 valve Cummins like the one I have is essentially immune to EMP (the risk of which is way overblown), and if you keep the fuel clean (not that hard) you don't need to mess with the fuel injection system for maybe several hundred thousand miles. If the SHTF, I don't anticipate that I will be driving around all that much - besides the risks of being out driving around, I won't have enough fuel - but as long as I had fuel, I could.

The only real electronics problems I would have would be the fuel shutoff solenoid (can be replaced with a cable, or wired open) and the intake grid heater (heats the intake air during a cold start) which could be replaced with a manual switch and is not necessary for starting if you are willing and able to crank the engine over long enough (it makes the start cycle shorter and saves the batteries and starter - diesels like the Cummins do not have glow plugs, those with pre-combustion chambers to).
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:37 PM
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What other electronics are in a Dodge pickup that would break things if the electronics were out? How old do you have to go to get, for instance, an EMP safe vehicle (assuming you have a spare, protected battery)?
Old 01-08-2013, 09:51 PM
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Absolutely correct. But try rigging an electronic ignition from scrap in an emergency. Try finding the one computer that will fit your car or engine. Try buying a handful of them to keep for emergency supplies.

Then do the same with an old 350 or 327 with a points ignition. 20 bucks for spares or 1200 bucks for spares.

I fixed a transistor once - back in 1974; I literally opened up the transistor and repaired it. A piece of critical electronics on the navy ship had a transistor go out that we did not have a replacement for - and I was too green at the time to be able to find something suitable and no one else on the ship was any smarter. So I opened up a TO5 can transister and had to solder a lead to fix the broken lead that made the transtor fail. We spent a week at sea running on this opened-up, jury-rigged transistor. You can't do that with a plastic part like a TO-92 or an IC chip. And, of course, within a couple years I could have found any number of transistors on the ship for other systems that I would have successfully substituted. But for a car or truck, I'd rather just have points.

It is almost funny that the lesson you take away from your story is that you were able to fix the transistor. An integrated circuit itself seldom if ever fails. Let's also take into account the number of transistors today's integrated circuits have. A simple microcontroller you might find in any one of your household appliances has a transistor count in the tens of thousands, which might actually approach the total number of transistors found on your navy ship in 1974. Today's circuit boards rarely fail, as it is usually some mechanical device, like a thermostat in a refrigerator, that takes out an appliance. When it is the circuit board, it is rarely if ever one of the IC, it is usually a broken or intermittent solder connection.

Yes, older technology is easier to fix, and it better be, because it will break down a **** ton more.

Go buy a new car. In a SHTF event, you might be able to drive it around without failure for 5 plus years without even changing the oil. Not that you should, just that that is the level of reliability some new cars have today.
Old 01-08-2013, 10:16 PM
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Good points with Diesels. Mine is a new Duramax. With an EMP it would definately be done, but that is the risk I take. My truck will go a minimum of 600- 1 million miles. I have extra fuel and oil filtration systems that are relocated. I also have substantial upgrades to the suspension. The benefits were tremendous power, 23mpg, ability to run on biodiesel, and no worries of needed repairs due to the upgrades in the forseeable future.
I'm setting up my own home biodiesel system when I go back up this summer. As long as the mechanical and electrical components are good, I've got fuel.
Old 01-08-2013, 10:30 PM
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For a survival vehicle, it seems to me that requirements would be easily manufactured or rigged repair part or cheap parts so you could stock them up early. Mechanical ignition systems seem to fit the bill. Diesels seem to fit the bill. What about keys, keyless entry, chipped ignition switches?

Of course, if you really want to be prepared, an engine rebuild gasket set or two, a set of rings and bearings. A junkyard engine or two stripped down and cosmolined might be a good idea.

Electronics are great but they're very expensive and you have to swap out in expensive chunks. Even if you spent the same amount of money on parts to last the same amount of miles for mechanical ignition parts, you would only have to replace small components that are, by themselves, quite inexpensive. Your supplies would be a lot more likely to last over time.

I like the diesel idea. I'm going to start looking for a 4-wheel drive diesel for my next vehicular purchase. I'm eyeing some property that is 4-wheel drive access only and was considering a jeep but the right diesel truck would be perfect.
Old 01-09-2013, 07:10 AM
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What other electronics are in a Dodge pickup that would break things if the electronics were out? How old do you have to go to get, for instance, an EMP safe vehicle (assuming you have a spare, protected battery)?
I believe OBDIIs were mandated in '96 and later Dodge trucks, but the OBDII device by itself does not control anything in the engine systems - as far as I know - in the 1998 and earlier Cummins diesel Dodges.

As I have posted a number of times on this board, nothing is "EMP safe"; it is a spectrum of vulnerability. A diesel engine itself, without electronics, is safe, but as with all automobiles there is a starter with solenoids and a charging system - both of which could theoretically be affected. You could roll/push/pull start the vehicle, but that is not easy unless you always park it on a steep hill. That said, I would not expect a starter sto be affected even by a very strong EMP, but it is possible.

I would very much doubt that a battery would be affected - it is made to take pulses of energy. BTW - most diesel pickups have two batteries.
Old 01-09-2013, 07:23 AM
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For a survival vehicle, it seems to me that requirements would be easily manufactured or rigged repair part or cheap parts so you could stock them up early. Mechanical ignition systems seem to fit the bill. Diesels seem to fit the bill.
No - that was my point about the fuel injection; you won't be "manufacturing" one in a post TEOTWAWKI world. They are very robust, and you probably wouldn't need to work on them, and they are common enough that you could scavenge parts easily enough, but they are not something you are going to rig together in your backyard.

You probably won't be manufacturing points or condenser or coil either (a talented person could - maybe) or a distributor - maybe a carb (especially if you are running propane or CNG). All those things you would probably need to scavenge instead of "manufacturing". I done a lot of "rigging" in the past, but wholesale "manufacturing" is an order of magnitude harder and requires a much higher level of skill in a wider variety of areas.

Diesel engines are good, but they do require more knowledge and skill than a simple gasoline engine to repair - they are simpler in principle, but the injection system is not something that I would let just anybody work on. The fact that I was a prof. diesel mech at one time was a factor in my purchasing a diesel powered truck.

I can also work on gas engines, I have a EE degree too so I could conceivably work on newer cars with electronics systems - I just choose not to as each vehicle make/model would have its own unique electronic systems with different modules and different diag. equipment required - granted they are similar to others, but unless I had to I just would not - it is just easier and cheaper (if you consider what my time is worth) to pay someone else who does it for a living.

Again, EMP is a remote possibility and not the primary reason I got a diesel.
Old 01-09-2013, 08:42 AM
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For a survival vehicle, it seems to me that requirements would be easily manufactured or rigged repair part or cheap parts so you could stock them up early. Mechanical ignition systems seem to fit the bill. Diesels seem to fit the bill. What about keys, keyless entry, chipped ignition switches?

Of course, if you really want to be prepared, an engine rebuild gasket set or two, a set of rings and bearings. A junkyard engine or two stripped down and cosmolined might be a good idea.

Electronics are great but they're very expensive and you have to swap out in expensive chunks. Even if you spent the same amount of money on parts to last the same amount of miles for mechanical ignition parts, you would only have to replace small components that are, by themselves, quite inexpensive. Your supplies would be a lot more likely to last over time.

I like the diesel idea. I'm going to start looking for a 4-wheel drive diesel for my next vehicular purchase. I'm eyeing some property that is 4-wheel drive access only and was considering a jeep but the right diesel truck would be perfect.

Why don't you ever see old school carbureted engines in a daily driver? You would think if these older technologies are so much easier to keep running, they would be all over the place. Not everyone is lazy. There should be mechanics out there that want to have a simple reliable older vehicle for their daily driver right?

Go ask a mechanic you know why they don't. They will tell you that they take so much more work, cost so much more to operate, and are just flat out unreliable compared to today's vehicles. Then ask them would they still feel the same if they couldn't have new parts delivered, and explain the threats of a SHTF event. Any mechanic quick on their feet will tell you they would have an easier time finding parts for a new car in a junk yard than for an old car, and that they would much prefer the reliability and the used parts availability of a modern vehicle.

I understand the love affair people have with older technologies, but people get carried away. If you don't understand how modern vehicles work, go learn how computer systems and EFI work. It really isn't that complicated. People were just never taught the hows and whys.

Kids have art and music appreciation classes, but won't learn what a logic gate is unless they take EE/CE in college. Everybody should know this stuff. Understanding the architecture of an arithmetic logic unit is magnitudes simpler than calculus, and arguably more important. The original Apollo Guidance Computer used 4,100 ICs, each one containing only a single 3-input NOR gate. The average high school kid should be able to design the underlying architecture. Instead they learn Shakespeare and color by number.
Old 01-09-2013, 04:20 PM
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I spent a lifetime working as an electronics technician in the Navy and then in civilian life before ending up in IT. I've designed many different types of electronic audio, digital, RF, microcontroller, and microprocessor circuits in my time. I could design and build the computer control system for a vehicle but that doesn't mean I want to. Where would I get the discrete components or ICs to put on a board - to repair an existing car computer? I don't have my hot-gas solder station used for SOIC and SM circuits any longer - and those are very electronic themselves.

I still love working in electronics regularly. I can create great solutions for good times like my NetDuino based security system audio enunciater/recorder.

Keep in mind that this is SHTF scenarios we're talking about; not every day. For every day in the current world, I drive new cars with great electronics (though I am about to start a Car PC project on my 2008 Honda Pilot to replace its top-of-the-line Honda electronics because they sucked in 2008). I haven't bought a factory built PC ever. My first CP/M machine was a Z80-based computer wholly my own design and construction but my home PCs since 88 have all been assembled by me of purchased boards.

I've been working in electronics since I was 14. When I went into electronics school in the Navy they gave a version of the final exam as a reference before the start of the training. I got a 94 so, after much debate amongst the leaders there, they decided that had I gotten a 96 they would have just sent me to my specialty schools and skipped the 21 weeks of electronics classes. So I went to basic electronics class even though I knew more than any of the instructors.

Currently, I am a software architect for a Fortune 25 company. Two things I know extremely well are electronics and computers - including intricate hardware and software details. But I do have to admit; I haven't designed a production microprocessor-based system since the 80286. I'm a bit behind on the internals of a modern microprocessor but I do get it.
Old 01-09-2013, 04:50 PM
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$100,000?

At this point in time that will get you one AR-15, two 30 round mags and 100 rounds of ammo
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:57 PM
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I have to agree with the points Levant makes.

For one thing, there is no real standard EFI/ECU system on cars - they each have their idiosyncrasies. Even motorcycle EFI/ECU systems, simple by comparison, each are different enough to have significant differences and they don't have half the stuff a car has.

So while some of the basics are the same, especially with regards to theory of operation, the implementations are different, especially between different makes of vehicles. One may have a different kind of feedback loop, another may use different sensors for the throttle or oxygen, some may be closed loop while others may be open loop, and so on. GM has no real incentive to make their systems the same as Ford, or BMW the same as VW, and so on.

It isn't rocket science, but how many people are going to get training/experience/etc. on their car's EFI/ECU systems when the likelihood is that they will never need that knowledge because the vehicle will never need much more than an oil change, the hoses and belts and spark plugs changed periodically and that is it. Like I said in one of my posts somewhere - I am not even sure where the battery is in my Bimmer; I've had it for 8 years and never needed to touch it.

Which brings me to agree also with BC that the new cars are very dependable - the nice thing I have noticed about most EFI/ECU cars is that they are very dependable - for the most part. However, when they do go bad, then it can be expensive to fix them. Not only is so much stuff crammed together that you have to spend a lot of time removing unrelated components, but the components themselves are not cheap.

A slightly related story; I had an '86 Bronco II with a V6 and EFI. It ran great - except when it didn't. About once a year something electronic would go FUBAR and I would take it to the Ford dealer and they would replace some component (throttle sensor, some box in the EFI, some sensor for the ECU, etc.) - every year it was $500 to replace this or that electronic black box.

Then one year it just stopped running again and I had to have it towed to the shop. It took them two weeks to fix it and when my dad went to get it, it would run well enough to bring it around front to him, so they took it back and spent another week trying to figure out what was wrong. That time it was $1000. Turned out when I finally got it home the distributor was not tightened down either (not sure if that was the original problem or not, but they should have caught it - I did).

Then the transmission went bad, then 40K miles later, after babying the transmission, it went bad again - the only manual transmission I have ever had go bad on me - ever.

I had a carb'd '81 Toyota that I bought for $2K that I drove into the ground and that thing was dependable right up to the end (sold it for $50 because it wouldn't pass emissions).
Old 01-09-2013, 09:08 PM
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That would be the absolute last thing to happen and is so utterly and completely improbable that only a fool would worry about it.

There would have to be no formal government.
There would have to be no informal government.
Any and all forms of civilization must literally cease to exist.

Perhaps you are confused about what a right is. A right is not something granted by the government, it is something protected by the government. For property rights to cease existing, people would necessarily abandon all collective agreement and community. This is like expecting wolves to not form packs. The home is one of the most sacred notions know to man. To expect every last fabric of society to be destroyed by some mythical SHTF event is just silly, and unheard of throughout human history. People huddle together in the dark.
Perhaps you should look closer at history. Look what has happened in Zimbabwe in our lifetime. Your extremely naive if you think people or governments will necessarily respect your deed and title post SHTF. Land reform is one of the first things that happens after a revolutionary regime change.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:52 PM
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Amost every reply is someone wanting to buy land.

I kind of feel like I am doing something wrong....just about to attach a zero on the right end of 100K and have no intention of being tied down to one area...want to roam in an RV or maybe just a truck and tent. Work odd jobs or not work at all. Mid 40s but still feel young enough to live simple and rough it.

Would suck to buy land in Florida then find out I really like living in Alaska...or vice versa...
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