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Old 05-20-2009, 10:57 PM
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Question Looking for survival but not necessarily BOV vehicle



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I just gave my daily driver to my son and I'm driving the wife's car while I look for a new vehicle.

I'm thinking of a pickup truck though I don't exactly need one right now. If things turn for the worse in this country, I might need a vehicle that I can use for hauling in supplies and materials as I try to begin a more off-the-grid lifestyle.

So I looked at a couple Ford pickups today. Besides the fact that they were $30K plus, they just don't seem suitable for bad times. If I was unemployed, I certainly couldn't work on one myself. After a few years, I'm sure the main computers won't be available. It isn't like when the only real replacement parts you needed were a new set of points and plugs.

I'm not really looking for a BOV, but looking more for a bug-in-vehicle.

What advice do all of you have?
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:06 PM
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an old points type Chevy, Ford, or Toyota pick-up should do you well. You can get them cheap and the parts are even cheaper. I see more and more people fixing up old trucks and making them nice because it is cheaper and often more reliable (not to mention the gas mileage isnt much better on a new truck). Throw a camper shell on the back and you have yourself shelter and a little security. You should look for any 4x4 models, they are a little harder to find but worth it in the long run.

I have a Jeep TJ totally modded out and a 89 toyota SR5 4x4.

Good luck to you and I hope you find something good.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:09 PM
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Pre-86 toyota pickup. 22r is a great long-lasting motor. change the timing chain and tensioners every 100K and you should get 300K+ out of one. Watch for the early 5 speeds, as the 5th gear bearings were undersized and failed. or a pre '80 Ford with the 300ci. inline 6. Very long-lived if maintained moderately... lots of torque, plus live front axles minimize breakable parts and wear items. The early dodge cummins diesels were amazing rigs, but the weight of the engine (1100lbs or so) seems to cause a lot of front end wear. Good mileage and longevity in the drivetrains, although some of the trannys had issues. Also, the casting #59 had a tendency to crack... google cracked cummins engines for more details.
good luck in your search,
Eric
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:35 PM
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change the timing chain and tensioners every 100K and you should get 300K+ out of one. \[/QUOTE]

330000 miles on mine!!!!!!! LOL
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:01 AM
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I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Kia 4X drive Sportage for BOVs. The Jeep is larger and the Kia is much smaller. I plan to use the Kia to carry material and the Jeep to haul people. The Jeep is roomy enough that two people can sleep or doze in the front seats and 2, 3 or maybe 4 people might lay down in the far rear of it with the back seat rests down/flat. I figure about 6 people can, if needed, live out of the two vehicles for short periods of time. Throw in a large tarp and about a dozen people can cycle through the tarp/Jeep set up for housing on a temporary basis.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:00 PM
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I used to have a Jeep Cherokee Sport. Worked great as a BOV and average around 5-6k.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:02 PM
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Picked up a 79 ford f100 for $800, put about $700 more for brakes, gaskets,new carb. Found 5 near new tires and wheels at wrecking yard for $100. Checked at an RV dealer and picked up a campershell for FREE! Truck came with a locker rearend. Great DIY truck and parts cheap to buy. Looks horrible, but runs great. Also, cheap on registration and insurance. Remember-K.I.S.S.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MEGAHAMMER View Post
Picked up a 79 ford f100 for $800, put about $700 more for brakes, gaskets,new carb. Found 5 near new tires and wheels at wrecking yard for $100. Checked at an RV dealer and picked up a campershell for FREE! Truck came with a locker rearend. Great DIY truck and parts cheap to buy. Looks horrible, but runs great. Also, cheap on registration and insurance. Remember-K.I.S.S.
I think that's the route I am going to take - perhaps a little older and a little more money. I want something with no rust or rust that can be replaced with new parts; no electronics at all except the radio. I'll buy spare points, plugs, wires, distributor caps, etc. and then put in a reasonable chunk of money to restore it functionally. And buy a new Cobalt or something cheap for a daily driver. Definitely seems smarter than 30K for a new truck. I'll probably pay 15K for the car and 15K for the truck - all said and done.

Well, don't look for pics in a hurry.. This is going to take some time.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:57 PM
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I would make the decision to buy based on what you can do repair wise. The Federal government requires that manufacturers make parts available for 10 years. Buying something new or newer shouldn’t be an issue as you can find used parts from larger recyclers, aftermarket, etc. Vehicles have never been more reliable, BUT if it breaks down in a small town, will you be able to get parts for it? Do you have the ability to diagnose multiple systems of electronics and control modules? Do you need a truck? Can you live with an SUV? I love a shortbed, dual tank truck with solid axles for ultimate reliability. I’d buy an older truck and set it up how you’d like it to be, ie. Once you have your, say …98 Dodge Ram, you can address any issues with it to get it up to par, catch up on the maintenance, etc. When the tires wear out, get mud tires or all terrain tires. Go play with some experienced off roaders to find out where you’re short on performance. You’ll likely find out that you just don’t have enough traction which is easily solved with a locker or something along those lines.
I’m an ASE certified technician, so keep that in mind when I make this example: My wife and I needed a truck for general home improvement and as a third vehicle/broken motorcycle hauler. We knew it wouldn’t be driven much, so fuel economy wasn’t really a factor. When comparing small trucks (Rangers, S10, etc) to the large ones, you lose a lot of towing, a lot of power, a lot of room, and you don’t gain much in fuel economy. We ruled out a small pickup for that reason. My requirement was a popular model for parts availability, solid axles front and rear, fuel injection for cold weather performance, and obviously, it needs to be 4wd. I preferred an off road package (usually comes with a lift kit, limited slip, heavy duty cooling, etc.).
We found a reasonably priced 1998 Dodge Ram with two small rust spots and low mileage.

I recommend a cheaper truck and there are something you must get. Must haves for your BOV are: Spare driveshafts front AND rear. Spare u-joints for the drive shafts and front axles (if equipped with solid axle) Spare fuel pump. Spare tune-up parts, filters, fluid, etc. Spare parts for common issues your particular model has, ie. Fuel pumps for GM trucks, ignition modules for older fords, etc. A tool box with the appropriate tools. Fuel size spare or two. A few cans of Fix-a-flat. Highly recommend an additional fuel tank in the bed to extend range, because if TSHTF gas will go pretty quickly and the longer you go, the less likely you’ll find any. You lose this opportunity if you have an SUV or a camper top…
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:12 PM
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An old truck will haul just as much as a new truck and they cost a lot less.

$30,000 for a truck
$5,000 for a truck and $25,000 in preps.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:21 PM
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15000??? Wow! I paid 3000 for a 92 ford bronco full size, 4x4 which previously served as a border patrol vehicle. It had less than 84000 miles on it, and as much as I dislike the current govt, they dont mind spending money on their vehicles.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
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The second greatest car ever made. VW beetle.
First are the BJ40 series diesel Land Cruisers but your mis leaders didn't allow them in the Mpyre.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:49 PM
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Thumper74, thanks for the post. Those are all great suggestions and I intend to keep them in mind. I'm looking for older than 98, though. I want something that has a mechanical distributor and points versus an electronic ignition of any type. No electronics in the transmission, either.

I want something to haul supplies, feed, manure, lumber, whatever needs hauling for surviving cheaply in a SHTF scenario - even if it is a personal SHTF scenario like unemployment or something.

I am thinking it should be something that uses a small block chevy and a TH350 transmission. That will probably provide for the longest availability of parts.

Coyoteearth, that's a good suggestion on government surplus, too - if I can find something old enough and rust-free.

Blammo, the bug is a great suggestion, too. I would definitely like to build one of those, too. Nothing fancy, just a transportation class car.

All very good posts, thanks to all of you.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levant View Post
Thumper74, thanks for the post. Those are all great suggestions and I intend to keep them in mind. I'm looking for older than 98, though. I want something that has a mechanical distributor and points versus an electronic ignition of any type. No electronics in the transmission, either.

I want something to haul supplies, feed, manure, lumber, whatever needs hauling for surviving cheaply in a SHTF scenario - even if it is a personal SHTF scenario like unemployment or something.

I am thinking it should be something that uses a small block chevy and a TH350 transmission. That will probably provide for the longest availability of parts.

Coyoteearth, that's a good suggestion on government surplus, too - if I can find something old enough and rust-free.

Blammo, the bug is a great suggestion, too. I would definitely like to build one of those, too. Nothing fancy, just a transportation class car.

All very good posts, thanks to all of you.
We are ALL here to help each other!
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:48 PM
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International Harvester Scout.

I still have my sweet heart and I can fix him myself. Besides the fact that he can go anywhere. I've driven my bad boy through rivers that only boats should go in and sideways along the moraines. I got my first one when I was 16 and haven't been without one since. These aren't mine but here's a look at what they can do.


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Old 05-22-2009, 11:32 PM
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"Thumper74, thanks for the post. Those are all great suggestions and I intend to keep them in mind. I'm looking for older than 98, though. I want something that has a mechanical distributor and points versus an electronic ignition of any type. No electronics in the transmission, either.

I want something to haul supplies, feed, manure, lumber, whatever needs hauling for surviving cheaply in a SHTF scenario - even if it is a personal SHTF scenario like unemployment or something.

I am thinking it should be something that uses a small block chevy and a TH350 transmission. That will probably provide for the longest availability of parts.

Coyoteearth, that's a good suggestion on government surplus, too - if I can find something old enough and rust-free."

A great idea I'd would be looking for an older army K5 Blazer (fullsize, removable top). It has a small block, th350, solid axles front and rear, sit up high enough to not need a lift kit, manual locking hubs. It's really a great idea for a SHTF truck! Another option would be an older 1 ton chevy. You can walk into any parts store in North America or junkyard and get what you need. The best option would most likely be carbeurated with electronic ignition. Electronic ignition shouldn't be a deterrent, because in the event of an EMP, the rest of your electronics would be roached anyway...

I don't have any brand loyalty, so whatever your comfortable with is best. The Scout would be a great option, but many of the parts are special order from small parts stores and I've never seen one in a junkyard.

Keep in mind that they went to electronic ignitions for a reason. A spare chevy ignition module is $20. A spare carb kit is $30 with new floats. A spare coil is $15. Another option would be to upgrade to performance parts like Accel or MSD and keep the stock parts as back up. Electronic trans parts get a bad wrap as they RARELY fail on their own. When they do fail, they failed because the schrapnel from something else plugged up the screen in the solenoid, etc. The main deterent for electronically controlled transmissions for me at least, would be the difficulty in repairing them on the side of trail, but chances are, you aren't fixing a vacuum controlled trans on the side of the trail either. A manual transmission would take transmission reliability out of the equation.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Electronic ignition shouldn't be a deterrent, because in the event of an EMP, the rest of your electronics would be roached anyway...
With a mechanical distributor and ignition, the only electronics to fail in an EMP would be the radio and the diodes in the alternator - for which replacements could easily be stored.

But I'm not so worried about EMP. I'm just worried about the failure rate of electronics. I spent 30 years working in electronics and I understand the risks of that very well. Electronic component availability comes and goes just like anything else but there are hundreds or thousands of small parts. A simple half-cent resistor or capacitor could stop the whole thing. And the problem with electronic parts is that they usually look the same not working as they do working. That means specialized test equipment and fixtures. Expensive.

With modern computerized vehicles, many parts, assuming you could get them at all, require very specialized and expensive soldering equipment to replace. I am, of course, assuming that the supply chain for vehicle computer systems would dry up quickly in any SHTF scenario.

Maybe I should get some computers from junk cars and figure them out. I could start a whole new career.

So that's why I want something with no electronics. A spare set of points is pretty easy to keep on hand. And you can clean them, adjust them, and tell when they're bad - usually.

Good idea on the manual tranny, though. Add clutch plates and springs to my spares list.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:59 AM
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Ford Ranger
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:31 AM
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A clutch kit and a spare flywheel is alot more compact than a spare transmission.

I'm an ASE certified technician and while I can't testify to their resistance to an EMP, I can testify to their durability. I would not worry about driving a newer truck to the ends of the earth, they're tough!

I've never been able to really find anything set in stone, but this site seemed to have a lot of information that actually makes sense.

http://www.aussurvivalist.com/nuclear/empprotection.htm

I wonder if spare parts would easily be stored in anti-static bags that they use at electronics factories or for computer parts. If so, I could keep the electronics from my bike in a medium sized bag and never have to worry about it.

Would an EMP affect batteries?

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need alot of special tools to work on modern cars either. Chances are, if you don't know what you're doing, it's going to be the same with old and new. With an electronic ignition (mid 80s Blazer), using a carb with manual windows, you have great reliability and you can easily test the ignition module with a volt meter or a circuit tester. It's literally a 5 minute job to change and most stores keep multiple parts in stock since a particular spread of years for similar engine sizes.

Like I said before. I'd recommend getting what you're comfortable working on and where parts available for your model. Buying a Land Rover would be bad for me since I have no access to parts, service info, etc. My older Dodge Ram was a great choice because I can walk into any store or junkyard and get parts.

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Old 05-24-2009, 03:12 PM
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Gotta love the government auctions
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