Vehicle maintenance during shtf

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by CamoDeafie, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. The Heretic

    The Heretic
    Oregon
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    A whole new set of problems:

    Much less cargo/people capacity.

    Much less range - my Husaberg 590 gets averages 35 MPG on the road, off-road much less - if I max out its capacity to ~8 gallons, I have about half the range any of my 4 wheeled vehicles has.

    Requires much more skill and experience to operate, especially off-road.

    If you are injured or sick or just plain super tired, much harder to operate than a 4 wheeled vehicle. It is easy to injure yourself on a dirt bike - BTDT, at that point, you are probably going to be stuck. If you lose the use of one arm or leg, you can pretty much forget about it. If you are not in shape, you will need to be stopping every five minutes on a difficult trail.

    Increased danger to haul a passenger, especially a young child.

    Really hard to haul a passenger off-road - I am talking about single track trails, not gravel/dirt roads (which are still roads) or two track. So generally, you need a bike for each person, and each person needs to have the skill and experience to operate it.

    Yes, there are real advantages to an off road motorcycle, but there are very real disadvantages too, especially if you have a family.
     
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  2. 41mag

    41mag
    sunny Orygun
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    In past decades I've lived in 'moderately obscure places' that were perhaps a good 1/2 day horse ride into town. Some of them seemed 'already Bugged-Out' in that gravel roads, end of the power grid lines, and various homestead-survival skills required to made it thru the various seasons.

    Given the incidence of seemingly random though infrequent casual visitors, such as the hiker 'lost in the woods', the random drunk-looking-for-a-pee-stop who chose your dirt trail to the homestead for his pause that refreshes, the hunter who knows the territory (or doesn't) or the actual meth head bent on mischief, my assessment concluded it's more difficult to get 'out there' than I thought. Equally to consider, how hard is it to get back to town.

    I was on 7 miles of dirt road & still had regular traffic going by the place. It was above the thermal layer that made it a shorter growing season and subject to more rain/snow/freezing temps.

    The exposure of a really rural place to random acts of mischief was a reality I don't see discussed much here. Add in the demands for owner-maintenance water/power/heat and the physical efforts for suitable home-and-hearth are relentless.

    My 'off pavement' life style experiment developed skills over a couple decades that may prove useful.
     
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic
    Oregon
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    A BOL - if it is something more than just undeveloped land, such as has at least some shelter, is susceptible to 'mischief' if you are not there 365/year. I live on a private road with 8 families in other residences. Because it is private and off a back road which is off a back road which is off a back road, we get very few people on the road that do not have business being here. A road to 'nowhere' will possibly have more people looking for trouble that we do because it is very apparent to anybody that this is not a road to 'nowhere' and if they make trouble someone will probably take immediate exception to that action.

    This is getting off subject, but it is a good point you make that there are very few places, especially ones accessible by road or even trail, where you can not expect to have some visitors, and if you are not there most of the time, expect some of those visitors to be up to no good.

    This is why I am less concerned about being inaccessible than I am about avoiding most of these visitors by simply being outside the expected evacuation range of most of them. That plus I do not expect a sudden collapse, but rather a gradual degradation of the availability of access to food, energy and potable water and the increase of cost of the same. I am trying to maintain that availability for my family by creating a place where much of those problems are mitigated by having its own shelter and its own source of energy and water and some food.
     
  4. notazombie

    notazombie
    Sweet freedom!
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    Well, to each his own, I guess. My only real experience is that of an auto tech of almost 25 years. If your car breaks post-SHTF, you are likely to be on foot. Only the very well prepared serious offroader will be the exception. Can you carry all your stuff?
    I posted what I did because that's what I know. So far this summer I've put just under 1000 mostly offroad miles on my TW. Its gone everywhere I've asked it to and always gotten me home. I carry basic tools, a spare plug, a tow rope (which I've only used to tow other people), and I should carry a spare chain. It gets 80-90mpg on pavement and 50-60mpg on the trail. Its rated at 397lbs carrying capacity so it'll haul my fat bubblegum, a passenger and/or plenty of gear. I haven't done the trailer thing but I'd like to. Even without a trailer I had plenty for a week in the hills back in May.
    IMG_1406.JPG
    I had it at 7800 feet last Saturday. 20170909_120825.jpg
    Sure, its not ideal for everyone or in every situation but it'll be my go-to if the need arises. In fact, I'll be keeping an eye out for another or possibly two more to add to the fleet. Trailer project maybe this winter too.
     
  5. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie
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    Kia Sportage is a 2001 model, and when I did the brakes, I observed that it does indeed have a body-on-frame construction, and a live solid rear axle, instead of the newer independent rear suspension system.

    As for motorcycles, its a cool idea, but currently not practical for me.
    More practical is the pedal bicycle with trailer and stuff, should I be unable to shelter in place and unable to use the primary vehicle.
     
  6. notazombie

    notazombie
    Sweet freedom!
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    Maybe I got a bit sidetracked. To the OP's original post, the best you can hope for is that it doesn't break in the first place. If you have a 1st gen Sportage there's a lot of Mazda DNA present. They're pretty hearty little vehicles. But, if it breaks you're pretty much out of luck. Keep an eye on the temp gauge and use your nose. If you see smoke/steam stop and find out why.
    I guess the best defense is to carry spare fluids and make sure the tires are in good shape. Much beyond that is out of your control. Be cautious and keep your fingers crossed.
     
  7. The Heretic

    The Heretic
    Oregon
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    Been riding for 40+ years, some off-road. Been on a number long trips (1K+ per trip) on both dual sports and road bikes. Been off-road on street bikes.

    19396968_654258674769001_2231024139883858845_n.jpg

    Been on long road trips (to Glacier and back) on a dual sport.

    My only bikes today are dirt bikes. I like riding off-road more than on pavement (sold my Ducati after getting my Husaberg because I simply was not riding it anymore - riding the Hussy was too much fun).

    I suck at riding off-road, but I have some experience with it. I am not talking about gravel roads or two tracks, I am talking about difficult single track, going over logs and large rocks and other obstacles. And yes, bikes are easier to maintain, and a lot less expensive too. They are also easier to get to places that are a major hassle for or even impossible for 4 wheeled vehicles.

    But everything I said about the downsides is true too. I didn't mention others, such as the fact that riding will wear you out faster than driving - even on pavement. It is more fun, until you get tired.

    Been down a number of times. Crushed my foot and was on crutches for months, then on a cane for 6 more months until I could walk normally again. Been down at speed (80+ MPH) and had to ride home from that - bruised up and down one side of my body with a cracked sternum that still pops when I stretch.

    So BTDT and I used to be a diesel mech (and I converted that yellow Datsun to 4x4 myself) so I am familiar with the mech side too.

    Everything has its pros and cons. At 63 I can still get around on a bike, but it is getting harder and harder and at some point I will have to stop. No way my daughter can ride a bike anymore due to health conditions, much less ride off-road - but she drives daily.
     
  8. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie
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    Yup Mazda FE series 4 cyl engine and standard 5 speed trans. Replaced whole engine and clutch kit about 15-20k miles ago when last engine blew head gasket and had a piston punch a hole through the side :eek: have been keeping eye on other things, like the belt and the timing chain, as well as the brakes. So far it has been quite reliable, with regular maintenance.
     
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    BTW - this:

    gravel-road-1160113_960_720.jpg

    Is not off-road. That is off-pavement.

    This isn't off-road either:

    two-track-narrow-dirt-road-13331458.jpg

    It is still a road - I could drive up that with my car.

    This is off-road:

    1-Off-Road-Dirt-Bike-Lights-1-16-13.jpg

    11-Dirt-Bike-Moab-Slick-5-7-12.jpg
    1-Cycra-Hand-Guards-KTM-8-29-12.jpg

    Try carrying a passenger in those situations and you will be in for a lot of trouble
     
  10. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie
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    Right, so far I haven't taken the Kia off road in that sense, because I simply do not want to end up stranded :) I have ridden an ATV a few times, and pedaled/walked the huffy bike on trails a few times as well, scrapped the bike for a better built/specced one.
     
  11. Camelfilter

    Camelfilter
    Salem
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    We have a pickup truck setup as an offhigway camper (pop-up type camper called a flip pac), and have taken it well off highway.

    Carry recovery gear (winch, hi-lift jack, straps, traction treads, tools etc etc)...& comfortable clothing and good boots.

    The trick is not to get stuck.

    Takes time and a little skill to know your vehicle, your limits and to pick a good line.

    We haven't gotten stuck on accident, but have intententionally as practice with other crews. Have helped recover others who had gotten stuck on accident though.

    Be well aware of your fuel consumption, because off highway driving can consume a ton more fuel (not talking about fire roads, but jeep trails and the like), slow going, perhaps turning around, lower gears all wheel differentials locked etc etc

    Not someplace a newer unmodified vehicle should go, but if someone thinks they can, and fail, it could be really bad news!
     
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  12. cigars

    cigars
    Beaverton, USA
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    If that EMP hits then nobody will have to worry about fixing their vehicle because it won't be running. Only way around that is to keep an old beater that relies on points and condenser, pre on board computers. But then there will be other problems. It's likely that an EMP will fry the vehicle batteries too. Then where will you get the gas if the gas pumps are all fried as well?
    It's possible though that some vehicles may squeak by unscathed by an EMP. However, if you have the only running vehicle in the area you will be a target. In such circumstances, whatever you have of functioning value will be in demand by others who have not.
     
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  13. 01rednavigator

    01rednavigator
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    At the beginning of summer Costco had a 2017 Yamaha TW200 on display. I drooled over it every time I went in, it is such a cool looking bike!

    IMG_0418.PNG
     
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  14. notazombie

    notazombie
    Sweet freedom!
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    Two-wheeled tractor.
     
  15. HB of CJ

    HB of CJ
    42N, 123W Kinda
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    Excellent Subject and thank you everybody. One can fixate on narrow concerns. Such are valid but there is much more to prepping that gathering a auto parts store just to keep some mobility. Sacrifices must be made. We can not do it all with all aspects of prepping ... or surviving the SHTF.

    We tend to gravitate towards the people aspect. Mobility or transportation-ability certainly enters into that but we attempt to focus on people. Safe space. Water. Food. Warmth. Bug free spaces. Dry. Keeping it. Security. Like already said before me better, mobility may fail. We tried the multi year theme.

    Failed. Too much. Now we focus on just a medium low term event SHTF. Now are at about 3 months overall. Trying to get back to 6 months. Extensive. Expensive. Hopefully back to one year. Beyond one year it will take a community or large group. Some spare parts for vehicles work fine. More than that?

    All it takes is a handful of nails. Then what?
     
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  16. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    Ahhh...

    EMP - the ubiquitous trope of PAW fiction.

    First, not very likely (CME maybe, but still not all that likely).

    Second, it isn't quite the end of the world event that PAW fiction makes it out to be:
    a) Most cars are less vulnerable to it than you think. Most, if they stop at all, will be able to be restarted again, and only a some of those will require "limp home mode".
    b) EMP is a line of sight effect; i.e., if you live in hilly country, you may be shielded from the effects by terrain, especially if it is a ground blast, but even a blast 50 miles up will have areas in valleys/ravines/etc. where vehicles/etc. will be shielded by the terrain - just think of the fact that in some areas satellite phones and GPS do not work since those satellites cannot be seen because the signal is blocked - works the same way for EMP.
    c) - no, batteries will not be fried by EMP. :rolleyes:
    d) there are a LOT of diesel vehicles and equipment that won't be affected. I own one - a '97 Dodge 4x4 truck. Newer diesels do have electronically control FI/etc., but there are a lot of trucks that have pre 2000 or so diesels.
    e) Vehicles that are in shielded buildings are much less vulnerable. It may as simple as being inside a metal shop like mine. Yes, these are not perfect Faraday cages, but they greatly lessen the vulnerability.

    I could go on and on, but if you are obsessing about EMP/etc., I suggest you relax a little.
     
  17. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    They are ok, but low powered, poorly suspended for real off-road riding and while the big fat tires look mean, unless they were 2WD, that doesn't do you much good off-road.

    Now if you want a mean machine:

    2016-AWD300-Web.jpg

    2WD
     
  18. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    My 2 wheeled tractor:

    2m46ghy.jpg

    Ohhh?

    You meant that motorcycle??

    :D
     
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  19. cigars

    cigars
    Beaverton, USA
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    Just an observation. As always, your mileage may vary. Cheers.
     
  20. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5
    Western OR
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    The best tool you have to deal with this is between your ears. But in all honesty in the 40+ years I've been in/around the auto parts/repair biz, very few people are really suited to it.
    Like my pops used to say,...
    "Some people just shouldn't own tools!"

    Aside from that, the biggest obstacle(s) I foresee is people with newer, more complex vehicles that require electronic diagnosis to get right. Sometimes you can get-er-done with a multi-meter if you have a manual and understand what you're trying to do.
    But before you can really start trying to diagnose and fix something, you have to understand how it works, at least to some degree.
    And,... Most people are clueless in that regard, and often end up doing more harm than good.

    Then there's the occasional specialized fastener(s) and the tools they require,...

    But the other thing will be the large and/or specialized equipment some repairs require.
    Like something as simple as a press, should you need to press a bearing on/off an axle for instance. Just because you had the foresight to buy an extra bearing or two, doesn't mean you have the wherewithal to swap one out in a SHTF situation.
    Often times a replacement assembly, even if used (and abused) will be the only alternative. Don't sweat replacing an axle/carrier/pinion bearing if you can swap out the differential for one you know works.
     
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