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Old 12-04-2009, 06:49 PM
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Default Older Truck with Pre-EMP Electronics...



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Lately I have been thinking about purchasing a relatively inexpensive older vehicle that would survive EMP without major damage/need for replacement parts. I was thinking about a pick up. Any specific makes, models, years anyone would suggest? It would also be important that the vehicle still currently have reasonably available parts store parts availability - don't want to have to scrounge junk yards like i did as a kid...
Old 12-04-2009, 07:03 PM
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Try to get a veh. that did not have major drivetrain changes for many years. The inline 6 is very solid .
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:30 PM
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Try to get a veh. that did not have major drivetrain changes for many years. The inline 6 is very solid .
yep and the inline 6 was easy to work on.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:19 PM
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I have an early 80's Dodge Ramcherger myself. Actually ALL the vehicles my family owns are Chrysler products. For NEW replacement parts, I've never had a problem. Now, for USED replacement parts, I definitely would be better off with a Chevy. In my area, there are Chevy parts around every corner.
Old 12-04-2009, 08:46 PM
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What do you all think of a mid 70s Ford or Chevy Pick up/ Any particular models to go for or avoid?
Old 12-04-2009, 09:23 PM
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You might want to research when each make and model of pickup changed over from points and condensers to electronic ignition. For example, my 1978 Ramcharger had an early electronic system called a reluctor system that used a non contact sensor instead of points. I have read a lot of guess work about the sensitivity of various vehicles against EMP. I don't think that anyone really knows.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:12 PM
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You might look into a '70's or older Ford truck. Starting in the mid-'70's they went to Ford's "Duraspark" electronic ignition. It is really a pretty durable system. The only thing that ever occasionally went bad was the ignition module. On my truck I just bolted an extra one next to the factory one on the fenderwell, so all I have to do is unplug one and plug in the other.

If you are worried about EMP taking out the electronic ignition, then I would also carry a points type distributor and coil for the same engine. Then wire a connector in the ignition B+, so you can disconnect it from the Duraspark module and wire it to the coil. On Fords the distributor is in the front of the engine (V8's; I6 is on the side) so access to change it is very easy, as opposed to GM and Dodge that are in the rear of the engine. This may sound complicated, but if you have any mechanical experience it is easily accomplished. To figure out the wiring, just lay a schematic for the electronic ignition next to a points schematic and you will easily see what you need to do.

If this is the route you want to go and have questions, PM me and I will get you on the right track and suggest compatible parts. I was an auto technician for Ford in my previous career so I have quite a bit of experience in this area.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:27 PM
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my opinion is the older chevy trucks would be best, dont want to start a brand war but the chevy's were all the same, the tranny from a 6cyl will fit the 350 396 454, they're all the same, ford has to be this engine fits this tranny not this one. chevy engines are the same in cars and trucks, everything interchanges, carbs,alternators,distributors. and with all older trucks, they are laying in fields all over the place, so parts would be easy to find and can be bought cheap.
Old 12-04-2009, 10:32 PM
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something i've been thinking about. would a small feraday(sp?) cage work in the bed of a truck? thinking of throwing an extra distibutor and alternator in there in case there would be another emp hit on your way out and it did kill the ignition.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:42 PM
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Perhaps this starts a thread within a thread, but can a faraday-type cage be built around critical parts and left in place during nomal vehicle operations? If so, how would you set it up, i.e. materials?
Old 12-05-2009, 02:28 PM
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Can EMP burnout be prevented in a automobile by using a grounding strap from the vehicle to the ground via a grounding rod. I know to prevent dust buildup on the windows of a combine cab, we would attach a piece of chain to the axle and let it drag the ground. It kept the static electricity discharged and the dust didn't stick so bad. Might work for a parked vehicle anyway. Thoughts anyone ?
Old 12-07-2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panlanrs View Post
Can EMP burnout be prevented in a automobile by using a grounding strap from the vehicle to the ground via a grounding rod. I know to prevent dust buildup on the windows of a combine cab, we would attach a piece of chain to the axle and let it drag the ground. It kept the static electricity discharged and the dust didn't stick so bad. Might work for a parked vehicle anyway. Thoughts anyone ?
It may help, but it won't be a total solution because no vehicle is totally shielded. It might drain enough of the pulse that the electronics survive though. EMP doesn't kill all electronics anyway, only the sensitive ones like computer circuitry. It might wipe out a condenser on the old style points systems, but that can be replaced quickly and easily.
Old 12-07-2009, 08:11 PM
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To the original question, there is lots of answers.

The problem with selecting an older vehicle (such as a 70's pickup) is that while you may be immune to an EMP (or only have to swap a few parts kept in a shielded container, such as an ammo can), you're susceptible to a LOT of other problems. 30+ years does a lot to a vehicle.

I have a 76 GMC K25. By no stretch would it be my choice to attempt to run away in, at least in its current condition. It drives okay, runs decent, etc, but there is serious issues associated with the age. The radiator is quite suspect, being a mass of corroded copper with what might be JB weld stuck to it in places. The engine (400 SBC) likes to swap some coolant and oil around, so I should probably do the head gaskets before they blow. The distributor shaft is half seized, the piston rings are worn, and the valves need new guides and a grinding. The transmission (TH-350) is weak, due to years of neglect/abuse, and the lines for the cooler are very rusty and have been chafing. The tcase leaks oil from three places, and is not a great piece of equipment to begin with (NP203). Every fuel line in the truck is half rotten, or maybe almost fully rotten. The gas tanks are rusty, inside and out. The carb had water in it, so that would also mean rust, and should be rebuilt or replaced. Also, all history of routine maintenance is totally unknown, and a lot of it was done by amateurs, if it was done at all.

I have a large list of parts that reasonably should be replaced prior to me considering the truck to be reliable. I could probably drive it daily if I needed, but by no means would I jump to taking it to the end of the earth.

So, if you wish to purchase an old vehicle... Either look for the peachiest one you can find, look for a restoration (at least a mechanical one), or expect to dump money into it.

The advantage to the particular truck I have is that parts are everywhere, performance parts are everywhere and well priced, and it is extremely simple to begin with.

To do it over, I'd find a better donor truck. Probably a 1-ton with the 4spd in it already... Then I could just pull a part off, rebuild it, stick it back on, until I had a reliable truck. This way I'm chasing down everything I need (more money/time).
Old 12-07-2009, 08:45 PM
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My brother in law gave me a 1971 C-10 Chevy pickup with a six cylinder engine.Needs parts to it, but it was running when it was parked two years ago.Only thing i don't like is the gas tank behind the seat,i reckon i will move it to the back, under the bed somewhere.Might get a new tank at that too.It will make a good BOV...
Old 12-07-2009, 08:51 PM
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chevy six a good choice has same valve train as the chevy 4cyl cam and crank gears, water pump. so parts avalibilitys good,the 300 six .had good power also the mercrusier marine engines are better versions. better heads . better alloy in the blocks head castings
Old 12-10-2009, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dragonwolf View Post
My brother in law gave me a 1971 C-10 Chevy pickup with a six cylinder engine.Needs parts to it, but it was running when it was parked two years ago.Only thing i don't like is the gas tank behind the seat,i reckon i will move it to the back, under the bed somewhere.Might get a new tank at that too.It will make a good BOV...
My 1965 F-100 has the gas tank behind the seat and I used to worry about it, but have taken a different approach to looking at it. Show me a 45 year old vehicle that has a pristine, rust free gas tank mounted under the body. My in-cab tank is that way. I don't have to worry about it rusting out any time soon. If you are worried about explosion, that tank of fuel is somewhere on your vehicle no matter where it is mounted, so the fire hazard will always be present on any vehicle. I'm not really concerned with it. Truthfully it is safer inside the cab than underneath where the elements can get to it.
Old 12-10-2009, 06:47 PM
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we're lucky- our old beater already had 3 gas tanks installed in it. Can go a long long way before filling.
Old 12-11-2009, 09:56 PM
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Pre-computer GM full size truck with the 350cu in V8
Pre-computer Dodge full size straight six any tranny.
Old 12-11-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default Got my EMP Truck last week

Well, I just picked up a 1985 Dodge Power Ram W250 (3/4 ton). I blew the engine on my plow truck (90's Chevy) a few weeks back.

So this was to be a combo: Replacement Plow Truck and Spare HD truck.

No computer. No Fuel Injection = Old School (Has a Hand choke - to start it).

The engine purrs.

I found the 85 Ram with: Rebuilt engine (reman. block) and tranny installed 10K miles ago. Tons of new parts; radiator, starter, volt regulator, wiper motor, muffler, etc, etc.

The previous owner rebuilt the entire truck about 4 years ago (engine, tranny, new frame, $3.5K in new body work & paint. He used it for plowing (for his town's roads) in winters (thus the 10K miles over 4 years).

The truck is in real nice condition. He gave my stacks of records, receipts, and extra parts (including a spare voltage regulator, ballast, and other electronic parts.

Paid $2500 (With HD 8' fisher plow)

Last edited by NHCraigT; 12-11-2009 at 10:35 PM..
Old 12-12-2009, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHCraigT View Post
Well, I just picked up a 1985 Dodge Power Ram W250 (3/4 ton). I blew the engine on my plow truck (90's Chevy) a few weeks back.

So this was to be a combo: Replacement Plow Truck and Spare HD truck.

No computer. No Fuel Injection = Old School (Has a Hand choke - to start it).

The engine purrs.

I found the 85 Ram with: Rebuilt engine (reman. block) and tranny installed 10K miles ago. Tons of new parts; radiator, starter, volt regulator, wiper motor, muffler, etc, etc.

The previous owner rebuilt the entire truck about 4 years ago (engine, tranny, new frame, $3.5K in new body work & paint. He used it for plowing (for his town's roads) in winters (thus the 10K miles over 4 years).

The truck is in real nice condition. He gave my stacks of records, receipts, and extra parts (including a spare voltage regulator, ballast, and other electronic parts.

Paid $2500 (With HD 8' fisher plow)
Sounds like a GREAT find!!! Since you list spare ballast (probably ballast resistor) I'll assume the truck either never had the Lean Burn computer or it has been removed. '85 could go either way on having Lean Burn. Let's see some pics!
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