It’s a bit misleading, because some of these steps have nothing to do with maintaining a car. But…it is a worthy subject to think about. My experience has been that anything mechanical cannot be trusted. If it’s got more than a couple moving parts to it, something can and will go wrong.
Best way to maintain your car in the apocalypse? Maintain your car before the apocalypse, and have the materials and information to continue that maintenance.
H/T: Thanks to the person who emailed me about this.
You guys remember Adam Savage from Mythbusters? I’ve always kinda thought he was a closet survivalist. Anyway, years ago, he took a picture of his Toyota Land Cruiser and posted it online. He was unaware about the tags in the pictures data and wound up accidentally giving away his home address to the responsible, decent, unabusive people who populate the internet. Here’s an article about it.
Turns out, Savage has a regular podcast series on YouTube where he talks about mostly ‘maker’ stuff but there are some excellent episodes about tools and techniques that would be useful to folks like us. The video I want to share with you is this one where he talks about how he’s fallen back in love with his Land Cruiser. He lists a few interesting mods he’s made to it.
I’ve always thought that one of the things, with a little tweaking here and there, would be a wonderful vehicle for those days when the zombies are uppity. You’re not gonna pass anything on the highway but you’ll climb hills that would freak a yak. And his is a diesel, too…how cool is that.
If I ever wind up making anything out of my life and getting some money put away, I’ll get one of these.
1972 Toyota FJ 40 Landcruiser , orig. 6 cyl. , 3 speed manual trans. , new leaf springs and shocks with grease-able shackles front and rear , power steering , Warn hubs , new water pump , new thermostat , new master cyl. , rebuilt radiator , newer soft top in excellent condition ! Original toolkit and jack , new wheels with BFG All Terrain tires and spare , custom heavy duty front and rear bumpers , this is a very clean FJ 40 ! Also comes with a 4 speed manual trans. , orig. steering wheel , Summer top and a few other parts . Come and take a look , you wont be disappointed ! $ 13,500 obo – call
TL;DR version: the fedgoons nicked a bunch of peoples Land Rover Defenders because, according to the .gov, they were younger than the arbitrary 25-year-old threshold to import certain vehicles. (I know someone who, when he came to this country, was warmly welcomed at the customs port by having to surrender his motorcycle because it didnt meet US standards. Its a motorcycle…it’s inherently unsafe to begin with!)
I used to see a Defender around town here in Missoula. It was a light pink hue, so it was either a very faded red or an old military desert model. Haven’t seen it in a few years so perhaps it got taken too.
The two vehicles I’m most interested in are the Hilux, which isn’t imported to the US as that [although the US version was pretty close], and an old FJ with the impossible-to-find diesel engine. (Although somehow Adam Savage managed to get his hands on one.) However, it’s still rather annoying to think that theres a .gov agency somewhere wasting it’s time on this sort of nonsense. (As a sidebar, and interesting and equally nonsensical fiat is how diesel engines are rated… overseas the emissions standard for the diesel is how many miles you get out of a fixed amount of exhaust particulate, here its how much exhaust particulate you expel per gallon. In other words, if you have a diesel that spits out twice as much exhaust but gets fifty times the MPG it would be considered environmentally unsound, even though it is obviously tremendously more efficient and fuel efficient.)
I never much gave any thought to buying a Land Rover…I’ve heard too many bad things about British cars (and British food and guns), but if your tastes run in that direction and you find a nice Defender to tweak out into your BOV, you might wanna exercise some caution.