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Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:55 pm
by Permafrost
Don't get me wrong if a EMP event hits when I'm commuting I'll be screwed, but I commute between my cabin and town so it is somewhat different because of the mode of transport. I think most people will to some extent, even preppers. Vehicles are just way down there on a list of things to worry about. On any given winter I am much more worried about going through the ice as I go between my cabin and my house in town (between 100-200 miles depending on route and ice conditions) or run my trap lines. In the summer I make the same commute by boat on the rivers, with no trail miles to shave distance. On a good year I can make the trip to see my wife a few times by plane if I have the funds, and they are predominately 1960's or 1970's era single engines depending on who I charter with. All I can do is carry spare parts and tools, along with a few hundred pounds of emergency gear. I tried to do some research on EMP effects on outboard engines or snowmachine engines but found few real facts, much like cars & trucks.

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:59 am
by apache235
My Piper Apache 235 had zero electronics on the engines, my GPS would be fried but everything else would have worked (sold it 10 years ago) as for driving, if you vehicle doesn't have electronics on it you should be all set, but how many of us drive such a vehicle? My Dodge Power Wagon with an all mechanical diesel and no electronic anything except the radio should work. The alternator and/or starter could possible fry, but that truck will run without a battery so I'm not too worried.

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:18 am
by farmer_dude48
I know this may be a stupid question , but would a riding lawnmower or go-cart run after a EMP ?? The ones I have are pretty antique..

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:32 am
by Photon Guy
farmer_dude48 wrote:I know this may be a stupid question , but would a riding lawnmower or go-cart run after a EMP ?? The ones I have are pretty antique..


That's actually quite a good question. One of the basics of prepping is to be resourceful and that means using everything and anything you can. Using a lawnmower engine to rig a go-cart would be smart. That being said, how would a lawnmower engine be affected after an EMP? Lawnmower engines do use spark plugs so I would think that would certainly be an issue.

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:47 pm
by tidewaterva
I would have zero concern about garden variety spark plugs surviving an EMP. They are designed to accept 20-100k voltage pulses in order to produce a spark across the air gap. They do this many millions of times in their lifetime. Ford and some other manufacturers have used a coil pack spark plug which may be toasted by an EMP. As far as small engines, the older small engines (19 80's and older) mostly used battery/coil/point ignition, or magneto ignition. No solid state electronics in most of these and I expect them to be unaffected by an EMP event. Small engines starting in the early 90's started using solid state switching transistors (Briggs Magnetron for example) which would destroyed by a significant EMP event.

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:14 pm
by 101airborne
[quote="Photon GuyThey should test these theories to see how accurate they are and to get at least an idea of what can be expected in an EMP strike.


Way before 1980 vehicles had electric motors to start the main engine which might run on gasoline or diesel. 100% non electronic vehicles would be the really old ones which were crank started which was from what I know more or less phased out and replaced with electric starters by 1920.

Anyway, I was thinking, with a diesel engine even if it isn't 100% non electric if you could jury rig it somehow to be able to function without electricity since diesel does not rely on a spark plug to set it off.[/quote]

They have actually done some "testing" But can't replicate the effects ( or what they think the affects are) to be sure. I think its a matter of interpretation. As some supposed tests results show no or little damage, and others show catostropic damage. About the only thing they could agree on is the fewer "electronic components the less chance of damage.

True about the "Electric" starter. However their is a difference between the Electric and Electronic. In an EMP Pulse in theory it would destroy and/or disable anything electronic. But wouldn't per se damage electrical items like your toaster nd old school coffee pot. Same with the electric starter on a car. Older vehicles made in the 70's and before had points, condensors, carberators, and such that made them dun with a limited few if any relays. So again in theory would continue to run due to total lack of electronics not counting the stereo/radio.
Again its true a diesel engine doesn't need a "spark" to fire pretty much all modern factory engines both Diesel and Gasoline depend on all types of electronics to function.

About the only thing that affects electrical items again in theory is a CME (solar flare) and it would destroy the electrical grid via the electrical wires. Anything attached to the grid via the house/business wiring. Anything not plugged in would be safe. Even a in line surge protector that is designed to protect your appliances and such from an electrical surge wouldn't be safe because a CME indiced surge would take micro seconds and would be over before a surge protector or breaker could trip.

Again any and all of this in theory could happen or nothing at all could happen,

Re: Diesel powered vehicles during an EMP strike

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:17 pm
by tidewaterva
Regarding power surges into electrical systems, there are excellent solid state surge arrestor s which can be connected to the service entrance conductors of a building and to ground. The arrestor is made using a semi conductor which normally isolates the conductors from ground, but in the presence of a voltage spike (which could be caused by an EMP or CME) semiconductor is instantly ionized and conducts the voltage surge to ground. I sold and installed these devices to home and business owners who had previously had damage to electronics and well pumps due to voltage spikes caused by lightning strikes. I never had a customer experience any damage after installing a solid state surge arrestor on the service entrance conductors. A whole house solid state surge arrestor would be a very wise prep for those who have suffered lightning damage to electrical and electronic equipment due to lightning, or as a means of protection against EMP and CME induced voltage surges.