There is a lot of hype and talk about what type of critical emergency we will face in the future with a check list or “to do” list for everyone. Included is the possibility of an EMP, not only from our countries enemies but also from a super solar flair from our sun. It is my understanding that at that time the electrical grid in the US will go down and stay down, cell phone service will be a thing of the past, our homes will go dark and remain that way, and no vehicle built after 1985 will start. I can’t do anything about the grid or the cell service but I can prepare a vehicle that will start!
The first principle is of course, age. Make your selection wisely. I recommend a quick visit with your favorite parts manager at your favorite car dealership to ask one simple question. What was the last year (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge…) made a truck that did NOT have one single computer in it? Start your search and make your selection from a year that is older than indicated by your trusted resource. I believe you are ten steps ahead of everybody if you just take this first step. Condition matters…or does it? Search for something mechanically reliable but can have a few body and appearance issues but that is simply a matter of taste and what you want to be seen in (remember you will be the only one on the road!)
Back to the title of this article. I said “almost”. Depending on how far you are from the EMP, your newly found classic may start right up or may have a few issues that are easily taken care of. The closer you are to the source of the EMP, the more likely the electronics in your vehicle will be effected. I feel that the most suspect parts are the alternator, starter assembly, distributor, coil, windshield wiper motor and assorted switches that operate the ignition, wiper motor, heater, AC and lights. Some people are still attached to the CB radio and I would recommend installing that in a quick disconnect holder and putting it will all your other parts. Not sure about the radio but then again there will be no electricity for them to broadcast with, so what does it matter, besides you WILL have your hand crank radio just for such times as these. I do not believe an EMP will destroy the battery or the fuses/fuse box…..but could be wrong there….readers can voice your opinion on that one. Maybe there are few others that I am failing to mention and you can set me straight on those also.
So after you make your purchase, go ahead and buy new/reconditioned parts to match the listing above. If an EMP occurs and your vehicle does not start, it is a simple process to start with the most suspect item (alternator? distributor? coil?) and work toward the hardest to replace, which would be the starter. Try to start the vehicle after each installation – you might not have to go too far or take too much time. Everything else is pretty much in plain sight and within reach. Simple hand tools and a hour or so and you are highly likely to have a running vehicle.
So, you ask, if the parts on the truck are impacted, why are the other parts not? Excellent question. That will be because you are one smart cookie and have placed your spare parts in a Faraday Cage. Easy to make with all the instructions on the internet. There are different kinds and different styles but the principal is the same – create an enclosure that will block the EMP. Something as simple as a galvanized trash can with aluminized plumbers tape to seal the lid to the can will work. Store your spare parts in the can, seal it up and you are protected. Don’t forget to take the thing with you if you have to bug out! You never know when and where an EMP could occur.
Well, that is my solution…..untested of course. I have not experienced an EMP in my life time and hope I will not have to. I think the theory is sound. An once you have found your target truck (I say truck because that is what I would buy, but a good older station wagon may be just what someone else would want) and have it in decent running/reliable shape, you just may find a whole bunch of people asking you if it is for sale.
Bud “Pathfinder” Graham