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You will never break one of these

Car failed to start yesterday and I just couldn’t get it going. My neighbour is a car mechanic, although he works in the chemical industry he builds and restores cars now as a hobby, so I asked him to have a look at it. After half and hour it became obvious that we couldn’t fix it. It was suffering from fuel starvation, no fuel was going to the injectors although fuel was available from the filter. It seems that the injectors create a vacuum which sucks the fuel into the pump and mine was also sucking air. There was a leak somewhere and there was no way we could find out where without some serious work. He held a pipe and said I’ve not seen one of these faulty before, it never breaks. I’m having someone strip it down and look at it tomorrow in a hope he doesn’t have to replace everything connected.

It made me think though how something so simple can derail your plans. We prepare for lots of different eventualities and then we mitigate against the risks caused by those plans and we put aside spares and we think we are ready. Then bam, something that rarely fails, isn’t working and the whole unit is useless.

There are many items that we have that this could happen to, items that we have spares for but not every component. Even large corporations don’t have every item for their equipment and they rely on the manufacturer having spares available. Manufacturers on the other hand have spares based on the frequency they fail and the SLA requirements so that common failures have spares with the repairman, infrequent are at head office stores and get couriered out while things that rarely fail may be at the European HQ and get couriered out. Things that never fail are at the manufacturing plant and sometimes for the occasional item there are no spares and they take them from the production line. We can’t do that after an event.

So what do we do after the event when your air rifle is dropped and the piston is holed, the wishbone on the car suspension breaks or your radio stops working because of a faulty capacitor on the board. There are a million and one things that never go wrong, but do.

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair. – Douglas Adams

What this means is that for the really essential items we need to have complete replacements. Not simply spares, which we should have anyway, but complete stand alone working units. I’ve added that in for the items I think are essentials, if you have any that you consider essential then you need to ensure that;

  • You have a complete spares set. Enough to build another unit
  • A spare unit

As you know I like overkill and like to do both.

  • Have spare units
  • Spares to build some more units
  • Normal wear and tear spares

If only I’d done that for my car, although it isn’t justified nor can I afford to, and so I’m now reliant on public transport or friends. Public transport is rubbish so I’m glad I’m a friendly guy.

4 comments to You will never break one of these

  • Luddite

    One of my vehicles is so complex I just let the garage take care of it. However, my BOV has zero electronics, no injectors etc and I carry oil, oil filter, air filter, brake pads, brake fluid, coil, distributor, coil, ballast resistor, condenser, rotor arm, spark plugs, ignition leads, tyre seal, jubilee clips, universal cooling system hose, radiator stop leak, fan belt, relays, fuses, wiring in different colours, scotchlocks, hermatite and covers from yellow pages to make gaskets.

  • I`m considering a Bedford mj 4X4 truck as a bugout vehicle, loaded with shelter , supplies and an atv.

    What do you think?

  • Skean Dhude

    Luddite,

    I note no obscure parts though.

    Stan,

    I was talking to my neighbour about something similar, but smaller. As he restores them he is always on the lookout for new toys. If he comes across something I like, and I have the money, I’ll consider getting it myself. I wouldn’t get such a big vehicle. There are too many situations where it can get stuck or trapped.

    Unless you live in, or on the outskirts of, London, Birmingham, Bristol or Manchester I would envisage that buying a bit of land away from the centre would be a better idea, bury the stores there rather than run the gauntlet in a noisy and obvious target.

    Stealth will be our best weapons. We will be modern ninjas without the fighting skills.

  • Luddite

    “Luddite,

    I note no obscure parts though.”

    It doesn’t have any obscure parts, it was chosen for its simplicity. I will be adding brake hoses and cylinders to the list, and I might invest in some spare piston rings, perhaps valves and value seats but I’m not going to carry stuff like back axles or prop shafts. The suspension is leaf springs at the back, Macpherson struts at the front. I’m not going to carry those, either, they can be scavenged from other vehicles. Gearboxes, clutches and engines can likewise be scavenged, anything else can be made in a machine shop, in fact last year it had two parts replaced which were made by a guy in his barn, a water rail and a gearbox metal O-ring.

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