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How to stay mobile after it hits the fan.

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posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 01:39 AM
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I decided to make this serious thread about how to stay mobile after the stuff hits the fan because after browsing and searching for a real thread about it, I can't seem to find a real guide that gets all the information in one place. I'm NOT a mechanic but I'm fully capable of the job and work in the automotive industry. I'll be discussing the basic approaches to remaining mobile and giving useful information about each method.

The Bicycle Method
The first method of remaining mobile is going to be a bike. If you're in good physical condition a sturdy bike, preferably a mountain bike can go a long ways with very little upkeep. If you want to go this route you're probably going to want to build the bike from the ground up.

Starting with the frame you're going to want to choose one that's going to last, but not be too heavy. In my opinion the best material for this purpose would be chromoly. It's fairly light, strong, and flexible to offer a decent ride over long periods.

Next up, we're going to want a good drive train. The pedals, crank, rear cassette, derailleurs, and shifters, all need to be top quality stuff. The more robust the better. Just remember one simple rule about most bike parts, "cheap, strong, light, pick one". In this instance you do not want to confuse a cheap and heavy part with a strong one. I recommend conventional pedals over clip-less pedals for your survival bike because clip-less pedals tend to be troublesome and wear out.

Next thing we're going to need to choose is a wheel set, and tires. For your wheel set I recommend a high quality and sturdy wheel set. Look into wheels intended for "all mountain" biking. They're strong, not too heavy, and should last you a lifetime if you're not actually riding aggressively. For tires I recommend something with a harder compound and a more all around tread style. XC tires are great for this as they have a low rolling resistance and can be used on the street if they're hard compound. It may look/sound goofy but this is probably the best way to go. Make sure that you use thick standard inner tubes, no tubeless setups or thin tubes should be used.

The next part that you'll want to choose carefully is the fork. In my opinion avoid air forks and go for a sturdy coil sprung fork. Air forks can and will break and are often built with weight as a concern over durability. The best coil sprung forks are going to be the ones intended for entry level dirt jumping bikes, not the ones intended for entry level XC. XC forks that are coil sprung break easily and are overall considered junk. The dirt jumping forks like the DJ3 are relatively light, have stiff enough springs, and a sturdy enough construction to last for years. They're also pretty low maintenance. You can also use a rigid fork but that will pretty much take away any off-road prowess the bike has.

The rest of the bike can be setup in a way that's comfortable for you that does not make use of any overly weak parts.

The Bicycle Upkeep
What else do you need to remain mobile on a mountain bike? Glad you're thinking ahead. The biggest downside to using a mountain bike for transportation is that it will require a high amount of food/water for your body, to keep it in top performing condition. So make sure if you go this route that you have access to food and water readily and will not have to carry all of it with you. You will eat a lot of food and require constant hydration if you're going to be biking for days on end. To that end, a bike is probably not a great means of long distance travel in a desperate setting where food and water are scarce. The next thing you'll need to worry about is keeping your bike rolling. For this you're going to want a stash of spare parts. I recommend carrying at least an inner tube and a spare cable that will work for any component at all times. I also recommend a larger stash of just about every part except a spare frame to be stashed away at wherever you intend to call home. Inner tubes and cables, tires, drive train parts, wheel set and the tools to fix a wheel set should be your biggest concerns/stockpiles. Overall the bike route rates very well if you only need shorter distance transportation and have a reliable stockpile of food. If you want or think you will need to travel and may have trouble getting food, it rates very low.

The Vehicle Method
If you're like most Americans you're going to have a little trouble letting go of the idea of owning a working car/truck. I also like this idea because it allows for a higher speed, lower food/water needs, and allows you to actively obtain supplies over longer distances.

First thing's first. You need to choose a vehicle. You could go many different directions on this one but overall you're going to want something old most likely. The older the vehicle the less electronics will need to be removed. You can get either a car or a truck. I'm going to make this from the perspective of a truck because it offers more adaptability as opposed to a car's main strength which is going to be speed and handling on pavement. I recommend going with an older American made 4x4 truck. You can choose your favorite brand but I recommend a Chevrolet c-10 from the 70s or 80s to start (there's a reason for that). Those armored up SUVs may look cool and sound like a good bet but in the event of EMP they'd be completely worthless with no hope of ever working again.

The first part any road warrior's vehicle needs is a good engine! For that I highly recommend a 350 c.i. generation one small block Chevy v-8. Make sure you get one with a 4 bolt main block and re-build it from there. Why am I so partial to this engine? It holds the title of most common engine on the planet, and in probably the majority's eyes, holds that title because it's the most reliable. Parts availability will be good no matter what country you're in, and these engines will run a very long time. They're also relatively light weight (for a cast iron engine) and pretty powerful. They're also compatible with a points ignition system which is a very important trait for an engine to have if it's going to survive EMP bombardments. If you choose a ford or a dodge, you may want to choose this engine despite the brand difference and hassle you will have swapping it in. In a c-10 it's likely going to be under your hood already. I recommend the engine be built with as few performance parts as possible and with gas mileage in mind. You're not going to get great mileage, but of the engines that will still be working on the day after, it's about the best anyone will be getting. You want a good quality radiator, a snorkel, and proper protection from mud and waterproofing for the engine. Upgrade to a newer belt drive if you can. Old v-belts are junk and the newer serpentine systems are much better. You may choose to upgrade to a 24 volt electrical system and dual alternators at that time also. Whatever you do with the engine make sure that parts are as common as possible. Don't end up with a belt that requires a mail order to replace.

Other engine options are the fabled bio-diesel. I would NOT go this route because even now in order to get a full tank of gas you would need to visit many fast food places, and the bio fuel requires on the spot filtering to get the "gas" in your tank. The fuel for these bio engines would dry up very quickly and since the only way to get more is to cook a lot of food (a rare commodity) it's not a reliable source for the long haul.

Ethanol is however an easy to produce fuel that would most likely be the best fuel source after it all settles. A gasoline engine can run on that pretty easily which is why I chose to go gas instead of diesel.

The next thing we need to focus on is the drive train. The best transmission for our mythical road warrior mobile is in my opinion the Chevrolet th-400 automatic. It's easy to drive, tough as nails, and doesn't have a clutch to burn out. It's a set it and forget it type deal and should last a few hundred thousand miles if the fluid is changed at the right time. Yet again, parts are pretty easy to come by in the event of mechanical failure, and they will easily bolt into a 70s or 80s c-10. Make sure you have a quality transmission cooler and a brand new torque converter.

4x4s have something called a transfer case. Get one that's gear driven and make sure it has the ability to use 2wd only.

The c-10 has a solid front and rear axle which is good for off-road and durability. I recommend that you trash whatever axles your vehicle has and upgrade to rebuilt 1-ton versions. You're going to need to upgrade your brake system to make them work most likely so go through that and use whatever you can to make it more reliable. Steel braided lines are a nice upgrade. If you want to enhance the durability of the axles themselves even more you can explore custom skid plates, beefy diff covers, as well as swapping of the axles internal parts for much stronger aftermarket versions. Make sure your front end has lockable hubs so that you can save the front axle from having to spin when you're in 2wd. That will help the durability of the front axle. I also recommend a simple locking differential in the rear. Avoid limited-slip style differentials (they can and do wear out) and air lockers (airlines are bad for the long haul). Avoid super low (numerically larger) gear ratios because they will be more likely to fail than a closer to factory ratio. If you feel the need for low gearing explore the options of the many transfer case setups and do it there.

Everyone needs a good set of tires right? Obviously! For that option I recommend the closest thing you can find to a military all-terrain. H1 tires are a good off-road tire that's not too unruly on pavement. It has a large size and you can get your hands on hummer rims, tires, and even the run flat foam they're filled with. I recommend going that route. Pack a spare nonetheless.

You need to worry about the 30 year old suspension that's under your truck as well. I recommend going with a smaller lift suspension that includes new springs. On the rear you may choose to have custom springs made because the stock suspension lift springs are normally very soft. That's bad for carrying heavy loads of fuel and water. Make sure you have a new, strong, and completely rebuilt suspension setup. While you're working on the suspension you're going to want to reinforce the frame around the steering box. It's a major point of failure on trucks that have been modified with large tires/axles, so make sure it's reinforced well.

What else? Well, you can go as far as you want with this thing. You will probably want to install a larger fuel tank. You can buy these from aftermarket companies or have them custom built by a good welder. You will probably be limited to 100 gallons or so unless you really start to encase the truck in fuel (bad idea). A good winch or even multiple winches are a smart idea. I recommend using a pto winch setup which does not make use of electronics and is much stronger than the electric winches. It's what the military uses and it's a good bet if it's setup properly. You're going to want heavy duty bumpers for this and as many anchor points on the vehicle as possible. It's also a good idea to consider a roll cage. If you want to get spendy you can have a roll cage welded over the length of the truck and have it tie in to a custom bed. This setup has many advantages but it will mean that if you're worried about a fire fight you'll need to armor your fuel tanks. Bulletproof glass is also an option. Water recovery equipment would be a good idea, just a big tank with a pump. One of the chemical spreaders that have a pump on the top can be rewired to suck rather than spray and could be handy for recovering standing water quickly. Overall you want to lose weight on the truck not increase it though. So you may want to consider trashing most of the original body and replacing it with something lighter. Lastly, if it has a circuit board trash it. Go through the entire electrical system and get rid of any circuit boards and rewire the vehicle without them. Even old dash boards will often have worthless junk in them that may prohibit the vehicle from working after it settles. The best route is to just build your own electrical system and gauges. Obviously use mechanical gauges. You should also consider one of the aftermarket on-board welding systems, and a portable air compressor. It could be handy in a world where AAA is gone and tow trucks are not operating.

The Vehicle Upkeep
Although the way of the road warrior might be the most popular idea it's also got the largest upkeep. You'll need everything that your car would need at home plus access to whatever parts you can't build yourself. Using aftermarket parts can be a real pain during the repair phase so use them sparingly, and if you're capable build as much of the vehicle as you can yourself. Take a welding class. Keep many spare parts including a stockpile of ignition points as they do wear out quickly. Keep as many fluids and filters stocked as you can. You may want to sell these as time goes by because petroleum products will likely be hard to produce after it all settles. Keep a stock of a few fluids and some tools with your truck at all times. Overall the vehicle route rates pretty good despite it's larger upkeep. Having a working vehicle on the day after can open up a whole new realm of employment or scavenging for you. It will make you a target but the idea is to build a vehicle that's not an easy target. Hauling supplies, people, or even mail could be a means of employment for anyone that has a working method of transportation.

Hopefully you enjoyed the read and now have a better idea of what you're going to want tucked away in your garage after the stuff hits the fan. Keep in mind that if you do not want to spend the money on a simple survival vehicle that you could adapt either method to a hobby for the here and now. Mountain biking and off-roading are pretty popular hobbies so have fun with it, if you've got the cash. Feel free to make any good suggestions for improvement.
edit on 18-8-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Good post and thanks for the info. Personally, I will opt for the bicycle and Shanks' Pony (walking) methods. Bicycles are far easier to keep mobile and require no fuel. Walking means even less upkeep (footware) and no need to leave a vehicle unattended, plus more stealth and better off road capabilities.
edit on 18/8/2011 by TheLoneArcher because: Spelling



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:18 AM
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I drive a 71 Torino, I keep two 12v electric fuel pumps and hose with me at all times. I also build motorized bicycles. I fully intend to have a multi bike mount for my car within a month or so. I have tried to tell people about EMP and new vehicles, but nobody thinks craziness is coming. Oh well. I live in the flatlands at the moment, but when it happens, I'm running for the hills where I grew up.

Your post is fantastic. I really enjoyed reading it..

Good stuff and keep it coming.



Mobility is of utmost importance. Without vehicles we could never have come as far as we have in the last century.

It is arguable wether or not the vehicle is mans greatest achievement ever. Just my opinion.

I also wanted to add that you should plan your escape route now, and test your vehicle. You know where you are and you know where you will want to be. Highways will be out of the question. Find every side road and round about route that will get you there with as little interaction with other people as possible.

I use optima batteries. (dry cell) Mine is out of the engine compartment. I know from personal experience that these batteries last. I pulled a 12 year old one out of a deisel dodge that was still good to go. That might be an anomoly but good enough for me to make the investment.

If you go Ford as I did, the 302 small-block v8 is very common... (I used to be a chevy dood) The problem is that the 302 changed trim every few years.. Do the research now and find out what years are interchangeable.
They are tough little motors nonetheless. I kept the cast iron heads, and went with an aluminum intake and headers to shave weight.

Less is more. Rip out air conditioning, install a manual steer box if you can find one. I went with electric fan to decrease drag on the motor and free up horsies. Everything is toggle, no relays. Learn your old ride like the back of your hand. They are simple to understand and easy to work on.


edit on 18-8-2011 by Bobaganoosh because: elaboration.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:19 AM
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I have been thinking about this recently as well.

Very informative and well thought out post.

One of the main disadvantages of a car or truck is that you will need some type of road or trail, even with a 4x4.
If you are in an urban environment, getting out of the city could be impossible if all the roads are gridlocked with all the other people trying to escape.

As bulletproof as that v8 may be it is going to use a lot of fuel compared to a smaller engine. If the gas stations are not operational that could be a problem.

A bicycle seems like a great idea, you could also push it when too tired to ride and use it to haul your gear.

One method I think would be ideal that I am disappointed you left out is a motorcycle.
A good off-road one would be great for going just about anywhere with little to no road of trail.
I have not done the research you have so not sure how feasible it would be.
A motorcycle is also great on fuel economy.
It would be easier to work your way out of gridlock also.

I have also been thinking of good escape routes.
Any of those 3 would be able to follow train tracks. Train tracks are all over and stretch across the country. They are also usually near wooded areas too. I doubt too many people would drive on them to escape or even have the means.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by Bobaganoosh
 


Why would you ruin a perfectly good Torino with bike mounts? I don't really live in fear of some kind of fall but it's not out of the question. I'll be riding my bike.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:37 AM
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reply to post by TheOven
 


I left out motorcycles for a reason. Dirt bikes are a recent evolution of motorcycles and the ones built prior to 1972, that could survive an EMP blast are pretty poor off-road and not that reliable. Trying to make a newer motorcycle immune could be pretty difficult. It could work but I like the idea of a simple vehicle that will survive with easy modifications and the ability to haul cargo. If you're going to bind yourself to needing fuel, it might as well be able to haul something right?

I also do not see roadways degrading that much over time. Travel may eventually become rough but those roads would hold up as even trails for at least 20 years. Interstates probably longer. Even after that the vehicle outlined would be pretty difficult to stop off-road. 38inch hummer tires, snorkel and waterproof engine, lifted suspension and a locking differential. I don't see a road degrading fast enough to stop a truck built along those lines for a very long time.

If you know how to pull it off with a motorcycle then by all means post it up here so people will know how to make that method of transportation work. I know very little about motorcycles other than the very old ones are not very good.
edit on 18-8-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:51 AM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Just putting a tow hitch with a bike mount.
no roof mounts or anything.. lol I love my car tooooo much for that.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 02:56 AM
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Hmm... why not build a car like this, this system was widely used here in Finland during ww2
when here was shortage of fuel, with this all you need is wood ? and matches

since i bet if shtf , you aint gonna get gas easily
good thread btw Star and a flag from me!






Another youtube vid from the same subject



edit on 8/18/2011 by zoomer72 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by zoomer72
 


I have no idea what he's saying. What power source is that?

From what I've read Ethanol would quickly be the easiest to produce and easiest to convert to fuel source. That's why I outlined a gasoline engine for the vehicle.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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Originally posted by Thestargateisreal
reply to post by zoomer72
 


I have no idea what he's saying. What power source is that?

From what I've read Ethanol would quickly be the easiest to produce and easiest to convert to fuel source. That's why I outlined a gasoline engine for the vehicle.


Found a link for you to wiki ,i think it explains it better than i could ,and this method could be used on generators too to produce electricity

en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 8/18/2011 by zoomer72 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by zoomer72
 


I don't have a problem with that idea in certain parts of the world but I think the entire customization and extra weight would be a downside.

After researching ethanol production and conversion I can say without a doubt that it would be the easiest fuel source to convert to. In a standard carbureted engine it's as simple as re-tuning the carburetor and avoiding a few potential trouble spots. It can also be produced in much the same way that moonshine whiskey was made. That means anyone with the knowledge can make it pretty much anywhere corn will grow. It's also worth mentioning that if you build your vehicle with ethanol in mind and sacrifice the ability to run on low octane gasoline that you will observe increased gas mileage and power.

Here's a link to a site I found telling you how to do it.

edit on 18-8-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by zoomer72
 


The gassifier is probably best for a situation where you aren't moving. After all, you need a lot of would for it to work, though it is a viable alternative to other forms of fuel. I personally will stick with the bike option, and if you know what you are doing, I sorta do, you can put an engine on it that will get it up to thirty. This option uses a minimal amount of electronics, and some times none, and in fairly fuel efficient. And if you run out of gas you can always pedal the bike.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 12:17 PM
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I have the car and elk camp setup. But should I have to leave it all behind, I have a Mt Bike and Croozer cargo trailer that goes with the car. with that I can go as far as the roads then trails are and then stash the croozer to go the rest of the way off trail with Mt bike and INCB bag.

Even cannibal hillbillies wont venture far of the regular trails and game paths.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Thanks for the info...though I would prefer a horse, myself if I didn't have access to a motorized vehicle. Bikes seem too slow and cumbersome to me with regards to terrain and climate/weather. And goodness what would you do if you had kids to tote along? My wish would be able to hunker down; being on the run would expend a lot of physical/mental energy and to think of what you had to leave behind. But I get what you're saying, it's highly likely and probable one would need to "bug" out and be on the move. Staying physically fit is essential, isn't it?
edit on 18-8-2011 by queenofsheba because: add line



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:45 PM
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I think a small ship would be good.
not a sail boat. some thing big and metal.
put some sail on it. and solar panels.
have a generator that can burn all kinds of fuel.
you are a lot safer on a ship.
drop anchor half miles from land.
and it is very hard for some one to attack you.
Ok you would need a lot of money to start.
but you only need a second hand ship.
there is some on Ebay



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by Thestargateisreal
reply to post by zoomer72
 


I don't have a problem with that idea in certain parts of the world but I think the entire customization and extra weight would be a downside.

After researching ethanol production and conversion I can say without a doubt that it would be the easiest fuel source to convert to. In a standard carbureted engine it's as simple as re-tuning the carburetor and avoiding a few potential trouble spots. It can also be produced in much the same way that moonshine whiskey was made. That means anyone with the knowledge can make it pretty much anywhere corn will grow. It's also worth mentioning that if you build your vehicle with ethanol in mind and sacrifice the ability to run on low octane gasoline that you will observe increased gas mileage and power.

Here's a link to a site I found telling you how to do it.

edit on 18-8-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



Thanks for the link!
that was interesting! i had no idea thats not more complicated to manufacture
Cheers!



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by buddha
I think a small ship would be good.
not a sail boat. some thing big and metal.
put some sail on it. and solar panels.
have a generator that can burn all kinds of fuel.
you are a lot safer on a ship.
drop anchor half miles from land.
and it is very hard for some one to attack you.
Ok you would need a lot of money to start.
but you only need a second hand ship.
there is some on Ebay


Actually thats not an bad idea, that would enable you to move where you want and when you want
and would be easier to detect any hostiles and defend compared to camp in a forest for example...
ofcourse if somebody attacks you with warship it would be a whole other ball game



edit on 8/19/2011 by zoomer72 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 02:40 AM
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As mentioned above, a horse is a very good alternative. And one that was used for thousands of years. And while a single horse is limited on cargo space, one attached to a small cart is much roomier.

You may also consider a mule as either a companion hauler or as main transportation albeit a bit slower than a horse.

But no matter the transportation option you chose, there will still be plenty of walking to be done in a full blown situation x.



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 04:04 AM
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reply to post by Ahabstar
 


Hey Ahab! I don't know anything about horses so I decided not to mention that method. I literally would be lost about how to ride a horse if I had to.



Originally posted by queenofsheba
reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 

Staying physically fit is essential, isn't it?


Yes it is! Being "physically fit" is still a broad range of fitness and most people that start out on a mountain bike realize quickly that they aren't as close to being fit as they thought they were. I've always been somewhat athletic my entire life and after my first ride I realized the type of fitness required to be fast on a mountain bike was pretty demanding. I listed food and fitness as a consideration because you can burn a ton of calories in a short or long period of time. Being fit for endurance can be the difference between taking an hour to cover 15 miles and hating the ride, or taking 20-30 minutes to blast through it at top speed without stopping and enjoying yourself. So when I listed physically fit under the bike section, I didn't mean doing 50 pushups and situps every morning, kind of fitness.

Also a good thing about mountain biking here and now is that you will lose weight if you want to. Be careful though because your body will need many more calories if you start biking and you're not used to that kind of activity. The first month I started I lost 20 lbs in two weeks and got dangerously close to collapse. I was eating everything in sight to keep myself from becoming anemic. If you think you're going to keep the survival bike stashed away and then ride to Vegas when it hits the fan without having trained your body, think again. The increase in metabolism could cause you to starve to death. Some dedication to training with the bike is needed.
edit on 19-8-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 08:03 AM
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I'm not sure how well bicycling works for us; we have multiple small children. They make child-seats, but we have more kids that parents. I'm wondering about a towable cart, or an adult "trike"....

As far as vehicles go, you know that you cannot run ethanol through a gasoline engine with the factory gaskets and seals and whatnot, right? Ethanol eats them up. Even the E85 engines must still have at least 15% gasoline in the mix. Still, it is worth considering a flex-fuel vehicle, if you aren't worried about and "EMP fail"

I am reading all the research I can find on EMP; some government research indicates a lot of vehicles up to 2002 will be partly functional; that is, they will run but the dashboard lights will strobe or the a/c, wipers and headlights will by non-functional. Others say that a solar storm on par with the Carrington Event of 1859 will make all cars after about 1962(!) useless. The argument is that the coils on the starter will act like a super-length antenna, and will fry the solenoid. You can push start a car if the solenoid wont budge; but if the circuit is fried it wont complete a circuit back to the alternator (another long coil !) and so the vehicle can be push-started but will only run for a few hours, if at all; and then only until the battery dies.

Roads are built to be driven on. Without the pressure of at least occasional traffic, asphalt will split and begin to fill with weeds over the course of a single summer. Check out your local abandoned strip mall for examples.

A far worse problem on roads will be crap on the road.

-every hobo pushing a shopping cart who gives up will just leave it in the street.

-every hit-and-run motorist will not stop to move a body; they will certainly fllee.

-local gangs will erect roadblocks so they can extort "passage fees" from traffic.

-neighborhood folks will erect roadblocks to "keep the zombies out."

-When a vehicle stalls or runs out of gas, the occupants wont bother pushing it to the curb, since traffic tickets will no longer exist.

Basically roads require a social network to keep up and police them. When that network crumbles, roads will begin to lose effectiveness as hi-speed transportation links.



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