Affordable Vehicles That Can Survive an EMP

Curtis Lee
By Curtis Lee May 15, 2017 08:14

Affordable Vehicles That Can Survive an EMP

The energy that heats your food in a microwave, the data sent to your smart phone and the music you listen to on a terrestrial radio – these are all forms of electromagnetic energy.

An EMP test tower in Nevada

An EMP test tower in Nevada

What makes the EMP unique is that this electromagnetic energy is sent in large amounts over a very short period of time.

The EMP attack is portrayed as sending modern society back to medieval times. Whether this is true or not is subject to much debate. One often discussed topic is whether a typical vehicle could survive an EMP and if so, what vehicle would have the best chance of doing so.

Related: Where Not To Be During an EMP

Conventional wisdom is that the older the vehicle, the more likely it can survive an EMP strike. This may be true in theory, but may not always be true in practice. One reason for this is that modern vehicles have some shielding against unwanted electromagnetic energy interference. For example, car engineers understand that you wouldn’t want a TV, radio, walkie-talkie, Wi-Fi or other wireless signal to interfere with your vehicle’s onboard computers.

But there are many other variables that will determine if a given vehicle will survive an EMP attack and to what extent it would survive it. The only way to know for sure is to actually test the vehicle. But even with extensive testing, you wouldn’t necessary have a perfect list of EMP-proof vehicles.

Related: Emergency Bag to Keep in Your Car in Case of an EMP

Therefore, the following list provides a good starting point as to what vehicles stand the best chance of surviving an EMP strike in drivable condition and are also affordable for the average person.

Option 1: 1979 Jeep CJ5 4×4. Average Street Value = $7,100

1979 Jeep CJ5 4x4The Jeep (AMC) CJ5 is one of the most famous versions of the venerable “Willys Jeep.” Given its reliability and performance, it’s no wonder the CJ5 had one of the longest production runs of any Jeep. Starting in the 1980s, the CJ5 Jeeps were made with more advanced electronics, such as AM/FM radios and more complex electronic control units. Getting a CJ5 older than a 1979 model can’t hurt, but the prices tend to rise as the model years get older, so the affordability advantage is diminished.

Contributing to its EMP survivability is a naturally aspirated engine utilizing a carburetor. As one might expect, the CJ5s are typically found with manual transmissions, which are easier to repair, should the need arise.

The CJ5 also makes a fantastic off-road vehicle, which can be of great use in a survival situation. Lastly, the CJ5 doesn’t stand out too much (except to the most fanatic Jeep fans), so it’s unlikely to draw any unwanted attention.

Related: 10 Things to Have Ready before the Huge EMP !!!

Option 2: 1984 Chevrolet Blazer. Average Street Value = $6,100

Chevrolet BlazerThe Chevrolet Blazer is a popular classic vehicle and it’s easy to see why, given its traditional styling, history and off-road capability. Like other vehicles listed in this article, the 1984 Chevrolet Blazer’s engine uses a carburetor and natural aspiration, so there are fewer sensitive electronics controlling engine performance. The Blazer is also very popular for making additions and modifications, with many options available.

There are other models of the Blazer that would do well surviving an EMP, such as a model from the 1970s or early 1980s, but they are significantly more expensive, almost double the price on the used car market.

Related: 12 Essential Things You Can Scavenge from Cars when SHTF

Option 3: 1972 Volkswagen Beetle. Average Street Value = $5,900

Volkswagen BeetleThe Volkswagen Beetle is one of the most recognizable vehicles ever manufactured; in fact, it is the best-selling vehicle in history. It’s also another iconic vehicle that’s noted in pop culture (The Love Bug comes to mind).

Starting around 1975, the VW Beetles were made with the Bosch fuel injected engines, which added extra electronics to the vehicle. While this addition is not very advanced by today’s standards, it adds a weak link to the VW Beetle’s EMP resistance. Therefore, most VW Beetles from the early 1970s or older would serve as the most ideal versions for surviving an EMP strike.

If a truck or SUV isn’t your thing, the VW Beetle is definitely a vehicle you should look into getting.

Option 4: 1983 Ford Bronco. Average Street Value = $5,000Ford-Bronco-1983

The Ford Bronco was first released back in 1966 and was discontinued 20 years later in 1996. However, it’s a popular vehicle and has a bit of history, especially in pop culture (OJ Simpson’s infamous Ford Bronco is of the 1993 model year).

The 1983 Ford Bronco makes a great vehicle for surviving an EMP because it has a naturally aspirated carburetor engine. This means a simple air intake system is used and the air-fuel mixing doesn’t rely on electronic assistance.

But why is the 1983 model recommended in particular? Starting with the 1984 model Ford Broncos, electronic emissions equipment became standard. Besides creating another area of potential failure in an EMP strike, it also reduces the vehicle’s performance. Additionally, certain 1985 Ford Broncos have electronic fuel injection, which creates yet another potential weak point against an EMP.

Related: 7 Actions to Take Immediately Following an EMP Strike

Other Things to Consider

This article lists only a handful of vehicles that are likely to survive an EMP. Basically, any vehicle from the 1960s or earlier will probably survive an EMP event in drivable, if not perfect condition. However, they’re unlikely to be the most affordable or practical. Obviously, an even older vehicle, such as one that’s steam or animal-powered would have the absolute best chance of surviving the EMP, but they wouldn’t be practical to operate (for most people) and are quite expensive to purchase and maintain.

Even if you find a great vehicle for surviving an EMP, don’t forget other practical considerations, such as parts availability, ease of maintenance and repair, performance, inconspicuousness and fuel availability (gasoline versus diesel).

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Curtis Lee
By Curtis Lee May 15, 2017 08:14
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  1. Nicmo May 15, 13:15

    I am not sure the ’84 Blazer would survive because GM substituted an electronic module for mechanical points in their then new HEI distributor. Possibly the same results with the Bronco.

    Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 04:31

      You are correct, The GM HEI ignition is well known for RF sensitivity. However it can easily be replaced with single or dual point mechanical ignitions, but what the author is neglecting in all these vehicles in their know it all lack of knowledge is every single one of their alternator utilize solidstate voltage regulators and diode pairs or trios which will die since they are NOT shielded from an EMP…

      Reply to this comment
      • Squeezer January 30, 15:38

        An alternator regulator, a set of points and condenser and a coil are all inside my EMP proof container along with other electronic components. I think the author is giving people more credit than they are due as he is assuming you know what items will go south in the event of a low orbit EMP detonation. Do your homework or save the last round for yourself.

        Reply to this comment
      • Tj January 30, 18:30

        I’m thinking my Mercedes 82 300 SD turbo diesel will do well

        Reply to this comment
      • jnereb December 23, 03:37

        Dodge started ei as far back as 1972, ford in 1973 and gm in 1974. New parts could packed away but most people don,t have the knowledge to make good on them.

        Reply to this comment
    • Chevy guy August 19, 03:11

      They didnt use hei in 84

      Reply to this comment
      • Dan3579 November 1, 07:34

        I have a 1987 Ford F-250 with a 6.9 International turbo diesel. it currently has a mechanical fuel pump and I’m wondering what else I could do to make it able to survive an EMP?

        Reply to this comment
  2. Nicmo May 15, 13:16

    HEI was introduced in 1975 I believe.

    Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 04:36

      You are correct, The GM HEI ignition is well known for RF sensitivity. However it can easily be replaced with single or dual point mechanical ignitions, but what the author is neglecting in all these vehicles in their know it all lack of knowledge is every single one of their alternator utilize solidstate voltage regulators and diode pairs or trios which will die since they are NOT shielded from an EMP…
      Nicmo, the GM HEI was introduced in Feb 1974, in march of the same year all Camaros had it and before 75 all GM’s had it in them.

      Reply to this comment
      • Bob March 2, 17:39

        Actually, HEI ignition, was first installed as a test on 1974 Cadillac Eldorado. Myself, i will go with an old points, condenser system, with a generator.

        Reply to this comment
      • Chopper December 12, 15:55

        Hi professor, I have a 1965 dodge motorhome, 2 old Harleys (49/73) they are all points with carberated. Would they be ok as long as long as the batteries are disconnected? Thank you for ALL the information you have provided and may God be with you!

        Reply to this comment
    • ty July 22, 02:42

      The first electronic igniton was introduced in a 1973 olddmobile i owned one and the owners manual made that very clear.

      Reply to this comment
      • ty July 22, 02:46

        The first electronic igniton was introduced in a 1973 oldsmobile i owned one and the owners manual made that very clear.

        Reply to this comment
        • Bruk July 22, 19:20

          Many engines that have a distributor type ignition system can be replaced with a magneto ignition system that doesn’t need a battery or an alternator! Then there are spring starters that are available for most engines! They have a lever that you ratchet that put tension on a spring. The only disadvantage is that you have to re ratchet the strater after every try! It would take just a few hours to install the magneto/spring starter after it is removed from the metal box it was in to protect it! A kill wire has to be installed to the dash with a push button to stop the engine!

          Reply to this comment
  3. Dan May 15, 13:29

    i havent been able to find out if there is a way to protect my home solar system from an EMP.the guy at solar city says it cant be done,is that true

    Reply to this comment
    • Dwayne May 15, 15:40

      I think the solar panels themselves are ok. What you might want to do is buy a spare controller, etc. and store them.

      Reply to this comment
      • joe August 30, 07:50

        The solar cells are semiconductors, hit them with an AC signal and they are toast. EMP is a high frequency AC Pulse.Unless they are in a fariday cage, they will be dead.

        Reply to this comment
    • Rod May 15, 15:43

      Solar cells are actually semiconductor junctions which are VERY susceptible to EMP. The only way to use these post EMP is to have them shielded. The ones in use will probably be fried, so have a backup. I say “probably” because EMP damage varies with distance, conditions, etc. Having a shielded backup system, that could be deployed post event, would be the best bet.

      Reply to this comment
    • Ppeterson May 16, 15:45

      Sun gives your solar panels energy its called a grid. photosynthesis witch is providing power to each pixel. There’s no grid at night or cloudy days that’s why you have batteries that’s were your power is stored .if your close to a power stations that’s your back up. By witch electrical company you used for your home will your solar survive a emo. Half and half. You will need back up generators and your own grid..Google it. There’s a lot available but if you need More Help contact me pwhirl2003 at. my son is a installer .and I am in energy and utilities

      Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 04:38

      You cant, they are pure semiconductor junctions, and are the most susceptible devices made

      Reply to this comment
    • lc65 February 7, 21:42

      Very good book on EMP by Dr. Arthur T. Btadley $ 12 on Amazon- he actually has tested various Faraday cage ideas and their effectivenss against Electro Magnetic Radiation.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Prepper Paul May 15, 14:59

    I read somewhere on here that a microwave will act as a Faraday cage and protect against EMP? Is this true?

    Reply to this comment
    • Erin1patriot May 15, 15:43

      Yes. You can repurpose an old defunct or use a working microwave as a Faraday cage.

      Reply to this comment
    • Rod May 15, 15:50

      Yes, with a caveat. Remove the “guts” of the microwave leaving the door, door seal, inside cavity (where the food cooks) and the outside case. Cover all holes in the cavity with aluminum duct tape (the real aluminum tape). Remove the cord as well. You should have a better than average shielded container. The galvanized garbage can sealed with aluminum duct tape should work well too. It gives you more room and are relatively inexpensive. I did an article on converting a microwave and it took me most of an afternoon to clean it out completely and seal up all the holes. There are MANY!!!!

      Reply to this comment
      • TheProfessor May 22, 04:54

        Leave the cord! a cage MUST be Grounded to function, without a ground it will act as an antenna to a pulse, Ive worked in Faraday cages for years, a good ground is an absolute MUST!

        Reply to this comment
        • El oso May 22, 19:43

          hi Prop, will a metal bldg with no windows and metal roll up doors serve as a cage??

          Reply to this comment
        • RPA December 28, 05:33

          I have seen it said with equal conviction and by people who seem to be knowledgeable, that a Faraday cage MUST be grounded and that it must NOT be grounded. I think the case for not grounding might have something to do with the wire for the ground acting as a collector for the EMP and conducting it to the cage. I wish I knew for certain which is true.

          Reply to this comment
          • Buck December 28, 15:56

            The Naval air base at Boca Chica just North of Key West had 10 gauge steel buildings that was grounded at each corner! These held several vehicles, portable 10,000 watt generators, racks of alternators/starters/batteries with no electrolyte and radios. The stationary larger generators were equipped with air start systems with the diesel engines mechanically injection.

            Reply to this comment
        • Chaplain Tim January 9, 14:46

          What are your thoughts on a aluminium truck tool box? Of course grounded with a insulated thick foam interior without aluminium on one side? Next on my list for back up vehicle parts etc.

          Reply to this comment
      • Spike February 15, 15:44

        If the door seal of a microwave still adequate to seal out an EMP, than why would you need to put aluminum tape on a good fitting metal trash can lid?

        I’m still amazed about the controversy of “experts” on whether a faraday cage should or shouldn’t be grounded. I’m going with NOT Grounding.

        Reply to this comment
    • josh May 15, 21:03

      all you need is a metal can and sealed metal lid, like one of those old metal garbage cans. I’ve seen smaller versions of the can at walmart…

      Reply to this comment
      • TheProfessor May 22, 04:55

        keep spreading the myth, and people will hunt you down and drink your blood if an EMP hits,,, you dont know what you are talking about.

        Reply to this comment
        • Terry December 21, 17:57

          Professor–I, too, am confused with lack of punctuation marks, spelling, reference to addressed comments, etc. Which “myth” are you referring to? Like everyone else, I am looking for the “truth”—if it is available!! I’m under the impression, items to be protected, placed in a metal container, insulated from touching the outside wall, are protected from emp without a ground. To test, place a cell phone in the container and call it–if the cell phone cannot receive a signal, the item to be protected is safe! I’m asking–is this true or false??

          Reply to this comment
        • Chaplain Tim January 9, 14:58

          Professor are your comments aimed at me? Please advise so I can make corrections. Chaplain Tim

          Reply to this comment
        • Wildman May 31, 17:49

          Explain just how you think you are such an authority. Everybody can’t be wrong.

          Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 04:48

      they MAY there is no proof of it. and it f e door seal leaks and if it is left ungrounded you are quite literally screwed. Also of note an emp is an RF burst of radio waves from DC to sunlight in frequency, this means ALL radio waves, a microwave oven is designed around a very limited radio frequency typically about 500 MHZ or lower depending on how old it is, so there ir a very high probability of failure of protection from an EMP

      Reply to this comment
      • PrepperPaul May 26, 08:23

        I’m confused by all the replies? What us the singular best way to protect your equipment with home made items? Thanks Prof.

        Reply to this comment
        • Ray Jones April 4, 02:29

          there is not one it all depends on the type of emp pulse…i have been told by folks in the know that you want to target 110 or so megahertz this freq will cause the most trouble….i will not reply to any one after this….if you dont know or cant understand what this is then you need to be reading and not screwing around on the internet…………

          Reply to this comment
      • oligover January 15, 15:47

        Professor you’re starting to slur yer werds.
        If everyone knew how to spell it would sure help!

        Reply to this comment
    • Fizzlecat June 12, 21:06

      I have read a good way to see if your item will be shielded in your would-be Faraday cage, is to place your cell phone inside and close it. Try to call it. If it rings, electronic signals are still getting to it, and it is not safe.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Rod May 15, 15:46

    I have an ’83 Ford diesel vehicle for just this purpose. The only parts on it I am concerned about are the starter, alternator, and solenoid. Coils of wire (like in the above items) are ripe for EMP destruction. No computer in the fuel system, all mechanical. Replace the burned out components with shielded replacements and it should be good to go.

    Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 05:23

      Rod coils are safe wire is safe some people’s brains are already fried for posting otherwise the ONLY thing an emp will damage is solid state devices. Remember, we have already had a number of them already and the cact that they dont affect electric motors is proven Hiroshima, Nagasaki, our own tests in the southwest, which is why literal towns were set up complete with appliances and brand new cars to test the effects on.

      Reply to this comment
      • Anzenmaster August 29, 16:55

        Check out the info on the “Starfish Prime” A-test. More than semi conductor junctions that are at risk. Significant current flows can be induced in many devices.

        Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 05:24

      Rod coils are safe wire is safe some people’s brains are already fried for posting otherwise the ONLY thing an emp will damage is solid state devices. Remember, we have already had a number of them already and the cact that they dont affect electric motors is proven Hiroshima, Nagasaki, our own tests in the southwest, which is why literal towns were set up complete with appliances and brand new cars to test the effects on.
      BTW, your alternator is at big risk due to the solid state regulator and diodes in it

      Reply to this comment
  6. E$l Oso May 15, 15:53

    Please think about not standing out. A Ford D 250 Diesel from 1983 thru 1992 is “bomb proof” no electrics of any kind. Diesel fuel does not sour as does alky gas. The very nature of “bug out” means stealth and being able to carry necessary things such as food and water. In a beetle come on.

    Reply to this comment
    • DMONIC May 19, 22:14

      I have to cal BS on the whole “diesel doesn’t sour like gas”. BOTH habv exp dates- its just that diesel is around 5 or so years as opposed to 3 plus years on gasoline.

      Reply to this comment
      • si February 6, 22:30

        look at the benefits of adding isopropyl alcohol–
        [rubbing alcohol } to fight any algae growth—cheap !

        Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 04:51

      yes diesel does go bad, an algal like growth develops in it, it also waxes over time. and the alternator is highly susceptible to an emp as the voltage regulator and diodes in it are solid state;

      Reply to this comment
      • Finn August 29, 23:22

        The professor is right again. Diesel tanks will develop Algal growth. Any one who has run ships and does not keep the day tank clean will be fubared the first good storm they get in after all filters clog and engines shut down. Oh the hours I’ve spent scrubbing my tanks to remove the Algal growth.

        Reply to this comment
        • bill September 9, 23:15

          There is an additive to fight the algal. We treat our storage tank in bulk. It is available at farm stores.

          Reply to this comment
    • Hawkaholic January 15, 15:52

      Except for the electronic high pressure fuel pump

      Reply to this comment
  7. Randy May 15, 16:13

    Just a note: Having a vehicle that works and having a generator or any other type of power source will make that group or person a target for everyone who is without. Always consider if you want to use up your ammo and risk your group or do without the vehicle or power and draw less attention.

    Reply to this comment
    • El oso May 15, 16:34

      What you say is really true!! please think about what we mean and why we would “bug out”. The only reason I would bug out is if I could no longer defend my home. Now i can attempt to carry enough water and food for my wife and i (we are not really young) or use my 4X4 and carry 3/4 ton in the bed along wit my cargo trailer and have enough food and water for at least 4 months. Choice is stay at home and attempt to defend or run for it and have a, perhaps, better chance.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe May 15, 17:22

        Yes a working vehicle will definitely give you the advantage of a quick get away

        Reply to this comment
      • Kat September 3, 20:21

        What’s the point of running and trying to hide, someone will take everything you have. Just hope that God will watch over you and pray to him to keep you safe. Just know if you die before Armageddon, you will be ressurected to the new world right here on earth, not everyone is going to heaven. only the select few of 144,000. read your Bible people.

        Reply to this comment
        • Zippy June 26, 21:59

          Kat, If you studied your original King James Bible , you would know that if ANYONE believes that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin as the son of God, was crucified and rose from the dead after the third day, and now sits at the right hand of the father, and accepts Christ as their savior, then ALL those who believe are “saved” and WILL enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s that simple. Why would an all powerful God only accept the number of people that can fit in the gates of the Daytona 500! The 144,000 you are referring to are those who are left behind after the rapture and are direct lineal descendants of Israel. 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes. This group of Israelites are sealed (protected) before the start of the wrath of God, the 7 year tribulation, and will proclaim that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God. In contrast, the great multitude from many nations (including Israel) who believe in Christ, is taken in the rapture before the sealing of the 144,000. Read Revelation 7: 1-8. Nobody knows the exact day or hour of the rapture when Christ removes ALL those who believe in him but I pray that you and others reading this will take the time to research this and come to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the ONLY way into heaven. It’s sad to say that people who don’t believe will be left behind to experience the wrath of God in the tribulation. An old man once told me to read the Book of Matthew seven times and it would change my life forever. It did. Just remember, believing in God alone won’t get you into heaven. Performing good works or going to church won’t either. The ONLY way is by accepting Jesus Christ as your savior and believing in him. Then, and only then, will you be spared from the terrible things to come. It’s interesting to note at this point, that there is no mention of what is now the United States in the Bible. For that reason, many believe that another country will attempt to take us out using a couple high altitude EMP’s before the rapture, so it is wise to prepare for it, and what is to come after the EMP. I highly recommend people read the book “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen as a realistic look at what happens after an EMP. Our Congress and those in the Pentagon did. Thereafter, read One Year After, and The Final Day. Until then, keep praying for our leaders, stay strong, stay safe and God Bless America.

          Reply to this comment
    • AnComRN Prepper May 15, 20:44

      You keep your EMP proof vehicle on your prepped property that’s hidden in the mountains… then you’ve got it ready after SHTF. Just gotta get to your hiding place.

      Reply to this comment
    • Chaplain Tim January 9, 15:10

      Some of us will have to travel some to a retreat

      Reply to this comment
    • Tiny October 2, 17:41

      We’ve stocked a lot of lamp oil, lamps and replacement parts for thousands less than a generator. And my 67 Ford pickup won’t be started unless we have no choice but to leave town.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Badger May 15, 16:22

    What about a 1974 Plymouth Voyager Van? Mine has the Cassette deck…

    Reply to this comment
  9. Wannabe May 15, 17:20

    Wow, glad to know this article is recent. I clicked on the suggested related article seven things to do immediately following an emp and that is two years old. May be hard to have a convo on a two year old . Looks like I will be walking

    Reply to this comment
    • TheProfessor May 22, 05:17

      Wannabe, the article may be recent but the author seems to be suffering Alzheimer’s because they sure as hell dont know what tey are talking about, every vehicle on the list is suseptible due to solid state components in their alternators and most of them have solid state ignitions

      Reply to this comment
      • Doc May 31, 01:49

        Go with the 67 VW, has a generator. 4 speed manual tranny. Can be started with a push. Generator doesn’t even need a battery to work. No solid state except maybe radio depending on which one was installed.

        Reply to this comment
  10. MLK May 15, 17:20

    If it has inductors (electric motors, ignition coils) they will not survive. Reference Mil PRF 188-125.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Steve May 15, 18:49

    Also it has been suggested to wrap a dragging chain underneath your vehicle to ground it during travel. Also ground your vehicle while it is parked to give the pulse a path to ground hopefully bypassing your ignition, electronic or not. Reference:

    Reply to this comment
    • Terry December 21, 18:06

      Steve—you drag a chain and you will set the world on fire anywhere you travel—guaranteed, unless it is raining!!!!!!!

      Reply to this comment
  12. Buster May 15, 19:33

    I am concerned about my gun safes. Both have a digital combination lock. I have made an attempt to cover it with a metal box held tightly against the door with magnets to make sort of a faraday cage. Does anyone definitively know if this is folly or will it protect against an EMP?

    Reply to this comment
    • Transponder May 16, 13:51

      I am a locksmith and I convert LOTS of gun safes which have digital locks to mechanical locks or to EMP proof locks. These EMP proof locks are both mechanical and digital so you are covered both ways.

      Reply to this comment
    • big4570 March 22, 17:18

      Elect. Combo locks can changed to a mechanical lock according to my locksmith. If DONE before a EMP

      Reply to this comment
  13. Wannabe May 15, 20:41

    Horse and buggy. No electronics at all.

    Reply to this comment
  14. BobbyMac` May 15, 21:50

    This is not true. Anything that contains a transistor or PNP/NPN “junction” in it will be effected unless shielded, even the new tech that uses different methods to build a circuit chip – things like LED’s contain those, also, long lines – like high power lines – will be susceptible to generating spikes from emissions they pick up – just like an antenna. The pulse from a detonation most commonly referred to as “EMP – Electromagnetic pulse, actually is a broad spectrum emission, from visible light, radio frequency, up through gamma radiation and higher. All vehicles that contain electronic regulators for charging will be effected, which by my memory is anything after 1963. In 1974 roughly, GM started to put regulators inside of their alternators. Everyone else did too, if you remember before that they were separate units on the wheel well inside in engine compartment – still effected. The only ones not effected would be mechanical regulators that came before that. Also effected obviously are anything that has a computer module in it, or is controlled by one, that includes electronic control values & the like. That’s assuming you don’t have hardened electronics that the military uses. It is true that normally aspirated engine (ones with carburetors) are less effected – but you only need one system to fail on most cars and you are done. I can’t speak about diesel engines – I’m not aware of the way they control timing and other systems.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Jmb May 15, 22:58

    Math. 1966 to 1996. Does that equal 20 years?

    Reply to this comment
  16. Audio Dude May 16, 01:28

    Some of the Liberty safes with electronic combo lock are according to the mfg. “EMP PROOF”. Check with the mfg of your safe.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Dave May 18, 15:08

    Don’t forget about the great benefits of an older diesel tractor. Not only can they get you around for short trips but they really can do some work back on the homestead. Surviving also means thinking about the long term when re-construction and small scale farming becomes a necessity. 1980’s version John Deer tractors are bombproof and reasonably affordable.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Himesa May 22, 17:52

    Check out Amish – believe they are the only people for who, life will essentially continue on as before. No electricity. No vehicles. Gas lights. Horse and buggy or bicycles. Maybe we should let them be our teachers.

    Reply to this comment
  19. gale May 23, 01:22

    If your vehicle has an alternator and regulator, they will both fail. Find a generator, and a carbon pile regulator and install those on your vehicle and you should be fine that is if the emp pulse doesn’t set off the fuel in your tank, due to the fuel level sensor in the tank. Best to just remove that and cap the hole.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Me May 25, 20:45

    Look on govplanet a lot of retired military equipment is emp engineered

    Reply to this comment
  21. BvilleDave May 29, 13:55

    From what I’ve read here and in other places, I’d bet the Amish community is going to have little to no problems from and EMP.

    Reply to this comment
    • Scoobydu June 6, 02:58

      Unfortunately for the Amish, everyone knows they’re lifestyle….I hope they’re pack’n…

      Reply to this comment
      • Big Boy in MO December 8, 17:33

        I have a few Amish friends, they do use gas and diesel engines for powering equipment. Some even use gas or diesel powered welders, I can’t figure that one out?? They will not be “pack’n” because they do not believe in violence of killing. There weapons are only used for hunting as I understand it.

        Reply to this comment
    • Chaplain Tim January 9, 16:39

      Some will some won’t. The Amish use Air agitators for the milk they sell which can’t go below 40. This is accomplished using a large Deisel Genorator. A LOT use coal for heat. A lot seem to be military surplus generators.

      Reply to this comment
  22. Greg June 1, 00:38

    I have a 89 E350 diesel cube van. It’s converted into a camper and is self contained. Talk about not standing out.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Dr. B June 5, 22:49

    I have an ’84 Chevy Blazer. Any takers??? After reading comments, I feel I am better off riding my bike.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Sc00bydu June 6, 02:55

    You can always have a mountain bike as backup transportation.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Billhilly June 14, 02:13

    It’s good to keep live stock like horses. They don’t need gas or diesel. The fuel would be gone and stolen in weeks. Horses can work the farm and you can bug out if needed. Alcohol doesn’t go bad and neither do bullets. Sugar, Grain, Blankets could be used for trading. Boots would be needed. No use for sandals and tennis shoes. Because you have to work…meaning manual labor. concentrate on medical supplies.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marky June 14, 11:45

      I’ve thought about keeping animals. Wouldn’t they be at severe risk of being harvested by starving groups? They would be very difficult to hide. A vehicle you could at least hide in a barn or the woods.

      Reply to this comment
    • El oso June 14, 14:19

      I have some knowledge of this subject. Having owned a stable and several Texas ranches. As I see the downside to horses, I happen to be very found of horses, as Markey said they will have to be guarded 24/7. Unless you are very remote and even then their grazing will be a problem. Who could stock enough feed to sustain them over a long period of time?

      Reply to this comment
    • Zendzian August 11, 04:41

      Instant coffee and toilet paper are non-essential essentials that can be used to trade.

      Reply to this comment
  26. Victor June 20, 18:43

    CJs cast iron straight six can be retrofitted with a carburetor and a Points distributor.. Ford Straight Six
    Point distributor works fine.

    You can use an old Generator rather than an Alternator and the controller is mechanical.

    One of my vehicles is set up like that. works fine.

    My next project . 1940s era 2 cycle Diesel, manual transmission for a Suburban.

    Reply to this comment
  27. tatil August 8, 21:35

    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps
    everyone else experiencing problems with your blog.
    It appears like some of the text in your posts are running off
    the screen. Can somebody else please comment and
    let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with my
    internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Appreciate it

    Reply to this comment
  28. Truth Seeker August 29, 14:48



    The world is about to change My Love. Not just the United States but the entire world. My judgment begins now. For it is the only way now for many to find Me. They must walk through this darkness, but I have many Light Bearers that will cross their path and lead them home to Me. I am not heartless but not willing that any should perish. Do you understand? Many will blaspheme My Name when all that is coming comes. Many will curse God, My Father. Many will curse you, My Light Bearers, for you will shine so brightly all will know who you are. Those that carry My Love will reach the lost and dying. It will be a time of miracles like no other time. My Love, you will walk in this and many will accept My love and salvation with only seconds left as they die and enter My Glorious Kingdom. Do no worry, but be strong and courageous for I will lead your steps and you will hear My voice clearly saying “walk this way,” and I will walk alongside you directing your every word spoken, and every step you take, and then you will see My Glory as you inherit My Kingdom and stand along with Me as we rule. Great is your reward for all those who laid down their life to follow Me. Now is the time. The time begins as there are only seconds on the clock until Midnight!

    Be ready!
    Stay ready!
    Remember I am with you and in Me you can do all things!

    I love you My Darling, My Darling Bride, and I see you already dressed in white as My Righteousness radiates on and through you!

    Reply to this comment
  29. LOISDELENE August 29, 17:22

    I am prepping for for blackout.. I need to make space for more supplies. I have a small bedroom I am using now but U live in rent controlled housing and can”t devote the whole room to storage and I have enough to keep me possibly 5 years. BUT maybe not.If I had the money I would move to a BIG house with more rooms. I am not worried about shelf life of my food but I wonder about the store bought water I am stockpiling./ What is that shelf life?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 2, 17:34

      Water never “goes bad.” The flimsy plastic bottles that the water is stored in MAY allow some migration of plasticizers in the bottle to the water. If that is a concern, simply boiling the water in an open container before consumption will reduce the amount of chemicals in the water. It isn’t necessary to boil water for ten minutes as some suggest. If you heat the water until it roils, that will be more than adequate sterilization.

      I would suggest, unless you are in your early childbearing years, any chemicals in the water after boiling would be of insignificant concern. If having children is still a possibility, then I would consider rotating the water stock after a year. Make sure you date the water so that you can keep track of when to change it. It will also last longer if you store it in cardboard boxes as light can accelerate the degradation of bottle.

      Reply to this comment
  30. Ray White August 30, 03:31

    You need a pre-1974 vehicle that is carbureted and operates with points and a condenser. You might have to replace the alternator though–and have a few spare points and condenser sets in a Faraday Cage.

    Reply to this comment
  31. Tyslong September 1, 03:56

    a motorcycle with a kick starter and a magneto ignition , should be safe for travel but carrying supplies could be troublesome my 1982 Honda 450 hondamatic will run headlight and signals with a 5 yr old completely dead battery

    Reply to this comment
  32. Oreganic October 26, 21:36

    Surprised the older Mecedes 300D wasn’t mentioned…

    Reply to this comment
  33. papajim November 7, 18:26

    Get a horse!!!!!!

    Reply to this comment
  34. Pixiedust November 7, 19:35

    I’m looking to buy a 1984 Bronco 11, what parts are electrical on that other than the starter?

    Reply to this comment
  35. Pixiedust November 7, 19:39

    Get a water filter to run it through if you are concerned about exp. on water.

    Reply to this comment
  36. Rob December 21, 16:10

    I read all of the comments and most have merit, but, we are dealing with a lot of unknowns. As some point out, anything you have that others want (running vehicles/horses/running electricity/etc.) you’re going to be susceptible to an attack. What are you going to do if you have a bunch of military-trained mercenaries (or the actual Army) or a bunch of bikers show up on your property?? Can you hold off 50 or more people wanting to get your stuff or kill you?? My thoughts are, unless you are living in a very remote place, FAR AWAY from civilization, you’re going to have your hands full trying to stay alive — you still have a challenge even if you are remote (but have better odds). To me, I’ll go along with the self-sufficiency of the Amish or Eskimos, but would have a lot of hiding places and A LOT of guns and ammo stashed everywhere. Even with that, it’s a gamble…

    Reply to this comment
  37. Buck December 28, 00:29

    An older truck with a mechanical injected diesel engine would do except that the battery, alternator/generator and starter may still get fried per Homeland literature! I worked on many of the standby diesel generators at the Boca Chica Navel Airbase just North of Key West! They had a air compressor and a air start installed on all of them with a air tank nearby maintained with a electric air compressor that would not be used if EMP does happen!

    Reply to this comment
  38. Keepin’ it real January 9, 19:24

    Perhaps I am not quite “getting it,” but unless you have your own gas/diesel storage, your non-electronic vehicle will be useless after just a few hours anyway.

    Reply to this comment
    • Buster January 9, 23:23

      Not really, there a lot of us who grew up in small town America and know how to syphon gas out of all the dead and parked vehicles that people can’t drive that still have gas in the tank. 😎

      Reply to this comment
      • Keepin it real January 10, 21:02

        Probably quite true! Lol!

        Reply to this comment
      • Keepin it real January 10, 21:03

        Probably quite true! Lol! You’d think my misspent youth would have taught me something.

        Reply to this comment
        • Buster January 10, 22:46

          Not everyone was blessed with living in small town america….much less Texas during the oil boom of the 50’s &60’s. …LOL. There are probably lots of people that don’t even know what “drip” gas is or never sneaked on an oil lease at night and took advantage of the free by product of the “oil patch” as we call it. It was such a “minor” crime that all the lease operators didnt even bother reporting it…..sort of a right of passage so we didn’t have to pay those exorbitant prices of 21 cnts a gallon fot Texaco or Gulf gas.

          Reply to this comment
          • SI January 26, 12:37


            Reply to this comment
    • SI January 26, 14:37


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    • bruk March 22, 17:38

      Diesel engines can run on many different fuels! Peanut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, cannoli oil and even drain oil you drained from the engine! The only requirement is that there is no moisture or antifreeze in the oil! UPS had a mixer system on many of there long haul tractors that one thank had drain oil in it and the other two tanks diesel fuel! A large fuel filter was in line after the drain oil, an electric fuel pump then pumped it to the injection pump connecting it to the diesel fuel line that 1/5th entering the injector was drain oil! The diesel engine could run on 100 percent drain iol at 50 F temperatures and higher!!

      Reply to this comment
    • Bruk May 31, 22:13

      Diesel engines will run just fine on vegetable oil, peanut oil, olive oil and engine drain oil. That there are many storage tanks around and if anyone just stores there drain oil, fuel to burn in a diesel engine!

      Reply to this comment
  39. SI January 22, 14:05


    Reply to this comment
  40. dambuster January 26, 02:26

    I just “converted” 1990 wrangler YJ…Replaced electronic fuel injection system with 4 barrel carb, points, etc. Ignition module was shielded and left intact, but we have an extra in Faraday cage…easy to replace if needed.

    There is little else to worry about.
    Manual transmission, 6 cylinder, added a manual 4WD/hub lock for reliability…CB Radio capable with spare also in faraday cage/box.

    Reply to this comment
  41. Carl February 3, 03:42

    Great post. The 4wd has a real advantage as you probably won’t be driving on roads nicely maintained by the non-existent state. The 80-86 Broncos have an advantage as they came with a straight 6 engine and a single barrel carburetor. Also, they have a proper tailgate and you can sleep inside them. And in any EMP scenario, there won’t be any gasoline resupply.

    Reply to this comment
  42. Spike February 15, 15:52

    What about the automatic transmissions with overdrive in these older vehicles. I have a 12 valve Cummins Dodge with no electronics on the motor with exception of the alternator but what about the Tranny or stuff in the dash to start the truck?

    Reply to this comment
  43. Vic February 17, 00:52

    Maybe I can help..

    You will need to do a bit of advance legwork however this will get you started and make things a bit more simple.

    You can buy aftermarket Points Distributors , intake manifolds and carburetors for a very large number of vehicles.. I keep the replaced electronic ignition distributor and fuel injection system along with a spare alternator in a couple large 20 mm ammo cans bolted on the vehicles for a couple of my 4wds

    You can do the same for Ford Courriers/Rangers.. the 2.3 l engine.

    Small and Big Block V8 Chevy, Ford, Most older Dodges..

    The only thing is the Fuel Pumps for injection systems need to be modified/ swapped out so as to allow for lower pressures and use a pressure regulator before your carburetors set at the proper pressure to keep things working fine.

    Easy Peasy.

    Reply to this comment
  44. Cookie10 March 2, 16:09

    Good info y’all. However, I have a ’46 Case tractor (crank start), and a ’46 & ’48 Dodge flatbed trucks (2-speed rear axle) that we use on the ranch every winter because THEY START EVERY TIME IN 20 BELOW TEMPS (Manual choke & throttle). While they are not very pretty or fast, they WILL get the job done! So I am not too concerned. They reside in a Behlen Steel quonset hut storage unit which, of course, IS grounded.

    Reply to this comment
  45. Tony March 5, 18:44

    Most of you know that tube radios survived EMP tests. What most of you don’t know is those radio’s power circuits were made with large semiconductor diodes which also survived.

    Solar cells are very large semiconductor diodes. The effect of a high voltage, extremely short time-wise pulse, which is what EMP is, may punch a small hole in the diode’s junction, but it doesn’t contain enough energy to destroy the junction, which will keep functioning.

    The length of the pulse is important. The Russians discovered in their tests that an EMP producing 28,000 volts and 3600 amps could not burn out a one amp fuse. And that was on a 3000 kilometer telephone wire.

    That brings up another point. To receive an EMP pulse, like ALL electromagnetic phenomenon, you need an antenna to receive it. The amount of power received by an antenna is dependent on the size of the antenna. So, using the numbers from the Russian experiment, the power absorbed by a one meter long wire antenna would be 0.00000336 watt-hours, not even enough power a LED.

    While, some modern cars could fail, the vast majority would continue running as would most electronics not plugged into a power line.

    And for those of you who said the EMP pulse would be AC, well, at no time does the voltage drop below ground level. So while the voltage does vary, it isn’t AC.

    Reply to this comment
  46. John March 19, 16:15

    1975 Jeep J20 with 1975 Chevy 350 points/Rochester carb.
    1994 Chevy K2500 Diesel Suburban with mechanical injection pump and mechanical 400 transmission.

    Reply to this comment
  47. Jules April 27, 15:11

    Sounds like an old diesel tractor, extra fuel, tires, pto air compressor, is the best long term. Bury all of it. Will be needed to transition back to animal farming. If you can get a few years out of it, will be tremendously valuable. Park it on a hill, I’ve used them for years, no starter or battery on the machine. I fixed one for another farmer. They had been pull starting since the 80’s. It was gas, the coil was bad. So old it was ceramic instead of plastic. Made it all 12 volt while I was at it. I think it was a’ 38 model tractor. Still going strong. They farmed hundreds of acres. Was in a 100 acre watermelon patch when it wouldn’t start one day. I don’t know about the driving a vehicle thing. Shoot your tires out, pick you over, then, eventually, you will be farming….did I mention a tractor? I still believe the best scenario is to hide out a few months and let them others fight and kill each other off. Maybe don’t mention tractor until food runs out. I have ten year old diesel I’m using up now. Was in an old Mack I bought to put a log loader on, but we were approached by a guy wanting to sell one ready to go, so bought it too. The guy wasn’t needing to sell, but was wanting to buy something else, I think a skidder. Jimmy Carter was president when our skidder was new. I’ve made my life enjoying junk. Don’t own a truck newer than 1979, I don’t own one good truck, I chose to have many bad ones. But, I know these old ones. SHTF I will be the only one for miles and miles that knows anything. I left out of Louisiana in a 75 model with a 33′ gooseneck trailer, overloaded, and crossed the Yukon in Alaska. Just to see if I could make it. So, I know I can. Tractor, truck converted, buy up mule drawn plows, weld pipe handles in your garden tools, buy the old heavy duty ones. Break plows, flat breaker, turning plow is the most important. Pull or drag disc is next, get the chunky ground smoother. I’ve always enjoyed a planter, makes planting nice. You may have all these things in your head that you think you gone do, but you ain’t doing none of it without food. I know, water, you say, but, right now even, water is the easiest for me to find. At this very moment, I can have a wild glass of water before you can have a wild meal ready. So, food, is the hardest of the two to find too. A 4×4 truck will sink in ground that a 2wd tractor, twice the weight, will hardly leave a track in. If you don’t have a tractor, you can still bury a few thousand gallons of fuel. Instead of making a barbecue grill, use that old tank to store fuel. Scavenge a tractor later. Mule plows can be pulled with anything that can pull them.

    Reply to this comment
  48. Louie May 17, 17:50

    A lead bomb shelter under ground will protect anything regardless what year it is.

    Reply to this comment
  49. Stormeagle May 31, 17:56

    All this conversation of EMP and vehicles plus repair and tools and fuel is why I will rely on my own two legs and an old pre 1970 steel bicycle. All those who lived before us in the 1700s survived without all the creature comforts being hauled by “modern dinosaur fueled” vehicles.
    When my legs quit I will probably be dead and then I really wont care. I’ll be food for the creatures left and they were here first anyway.
    Gimme a Double Broadhead Axe, a quality Bowie Knife, an Adirondack Basket pack, and my bicycle(it can be pushed). Everything else for survival is already there. You just need to know how to live in the wild and use it.
    Keep life simple and it rewards you over and over.

    Reply to this comment
  50. Frodo June 7, 16:23

    I have enjoyed reading all of the comments. As I think more on this I have come to the realization that if we could all just learn to live together and form a team when things go bad, we would be SO much better off. There really is strength in numbers and you have to sleep sometime. No man is an island for long. Like it or not, we all need each other and all of us have unique skills and abilities that could help keep each other alive and well. No matter how macho and independent we all believe ourselves to be, in the end we need each other far more than we are willing to admit. In the beginning it will be total panic, but in the long run, we will need each other to survive and prosper. Good luck to us all!

    Reply to this comment
  51. Kyoto Kid June 14, 07:05

    ..early to mid 1960s IH Travelall or GMC Suburban. Simple, No fancy electronics, easy to fix, and rugged.

    Reply to this comment
  52. dammad July 11, 16:11


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  53. welder dave July 15, 19:16

    I have the perfect EMP and all survival vehicles a 1960s Mack R 750 its a mechanical injector pump and air starter My 76 F 350 Its carbureted and has point ignition and manual transmission I do not believe a EMP would ruin the starter there’s nothing but a set of brushes and stator A battery may or may not be ruined I had a ford C 700 cabover with a 3208 cat engine hit by lightning on FL it ran still although the alternator and regulator was fried The old VWs would be great too nothing on them electronic .

    Reply to this comment
  54. Mimi in Texas August 23, 16:33

    maybe I am just not getting this whole thing, but if an EMP situation happens doesn’t that mean the whole power grid is down? if so, why would it matter if you have a Faraday cage if the saved electronics won’t have power to run anyway?

    Reply to this comment
    • si August 24, 20:57

      have you watched the utube videos of running a generator on wood smoke–it’s real-crude but real , have you heard of solar ?–or even possibly a wind generator ?—yes things would be harder than just dropping by 7-11 to top off——–but should we just throw our hands up and call defeat , simply because we are too lazy to even try ??????? i for one will keep on trying.

      Reply to this comment
  55. Laurits October 6, 03:23

    Is it possible to shield a car from an EMP? If so,how would this be done?

    Reply to this comment
  56. Operation open mind October 7, 14:57

    Being the devils advocate, what if you were to house all the electrical components that you figure will get fried after a EMP event in a faraday cage or cages within cages. And only break them out when the threat has passed. And definitely keep more than one set of electrons available. I mean this sounds more viable then buying a whole other vehicle which is definitely not a bad idea. I was thinking it would be nice to simply drive your vehicle onto a zippered faraday bag and store it till you need it. I could make a millions if it worked. Same goes for your garage make it into one giant faraday cage. Something to think about.

    Reply to this comment
  57. Mansfk November 3, 22:37

    You missed a easy one! All dodge Cummins before 1998. The old 12 valve engines don’t need power of any kind to run. Just open the mechanical fuel pump push start it runs until you close the valve or it runs out of fuel.
    My 1997 d3500 with a 5 speed wasted the battery and about every component electronic. I drove it for weeks with the off just enough to unlock the steering wheel. They will all run great just the charging system that comes into question. So I put in a old ford alternator with a separate voltage regulator. Now just power to the alternator it charges and will run for ever. AND I MEAN FOR EVER (500,000) on mine right now.

    Reply to this comment
  58. GlockGlockGoose January 7, 17:17

    Question: If you have a heavy chain or cable attached to a vehicle touching the ground. would that protect the electronics during an EMP Event?

    Reply to this comment
  59. lbizzell January 15, 21:05

    Im a devout prepper, with food, water, weapons, alternative energy sources, bug out bags, live on a rural homestead with like minded neighbors….my concern is that having anything that runs post emp will likely make you a target. I would be tempted to keep it hidden until the 90% of the non preppers are gone before attempting to actually drive it around.

    Reply to this comment
  60. Durrmoment January 16, 16:23

    Your best bet is an old diesel. Fuel injection is mechanical, not electric, they use compression, not spark for combustion, the only wiring to worry about is the glow plugs for starting a cold engine which is easily replaced if it gets fried.Just keep batteries and glow plugs/wire in a Faraday cage.

    Reply to this comment
  61. European American January 26, 06:19

    How deep under the earths surface does one have to be to avoid the dangerous frequencies of an EMP attack?

    Reply to this comment
  62. Dagmar February 22, 16:47

    I read about halfway through the comments and didn’t see anyone mention that the picture posted with the 1984 Blazer is not a 1984. Just saying.

    Reply to this comment
  63. dodjh October 21, 20:28

    Your right, looks like full time 4X4 with 203 TC…’75-77?

    Reply to this comment
  64. rev November 5, 15:50

    These all have gasoline engines, so fuel will be a problem!

    Gasoline doesn’t have a long shelf life either.

    Reply to this comment
  65. Doc January 11, 02:49

    So…under Option 4 is one of the years wrong or the math? “The Ford Bronco was first released back in 1966 and was discontinued 20 years later in 1996”

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