Preview Bad-Ass Transport – The Survivor Truck 2
Why Minimize When You Can Maximize? Meet Survivor Truck 2.
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Back in RECOIL Issue 8 we featured Jim DeLozier’s Survivor Truck — a 1980 Chevy C70 kitted up with just about everything a doomsday prepper could want on a vehicle…and then some. We figured it wouldn’t be the last time we heard from someone so serious about stayin’ alive. Well, guess what? He’s at it again; this time with a 2000 Ford Excursion that leaves little, if anything, off the survival gear checklist. Many of you may wonder why he’s created another version. A glutton for gear, you might ask? That may be so. But like owning a gun, there’s not one that works perfectly for every situation. While you might think having two vehicles this extreme is overkill, Jim considers it practicality.
The first truck is more of an evacuation/gauntlet breaker, but the second iteration could be used as a daily driver. The Excursion is the largest SUV made — packing up gear and five adults that may be wearing body armor, you need all the room available. The stock V-10 gas engine was ditched in favor of a diesel 5.9L ’97 Cummins 6BT to get better mileage and, if necessary, run on biodiesel, Jet A, Jet B, or kerosene. Jim selected this engine since it was the last year of non-computerized Cummins engines and it will, theoretically, run after an EMP strike. It’s all tied to an ATS diesel transmission with a Five Star Viscous Clutch Drive torque converter and extra deep pan.
With all the equipment and modification on this truck, it’s tipping the scales at around 11,500 pounds, so the suspension had to be robust. The front was given a Pro Comp BMX 8.5-inch lift with dual-reservoir shocks and an AGR Performance RockRam hydraulic-assist steering module. The rear consists of a Firestone Ride-Rite system, custom tuned leaf springs, and single-reservoir shocks. It’s all rolling on RBP Fury wheels rated at 3,500 pounds and Pro Comp 37-inch MT2 rubber that are brought to a stop by SSBC eight-piston calipers and slotted rotors all around.
Although not armored, the exterior was coated with Rhino Linings and given a custom 1.75x.120-wall DOM tubing exoskeleton, courtesy of Nichols AutoFab in Prescott, Arizona. Smittybilt accessories abound, including two 12,000-pound winches, as well as their Defender roof rack, canopy, trail jacks, shovel and axe mount, and traction ramps. 928 Solutions treated the windows with their low-glare vinyl wrap. And there’s certainly no shortage of lighting with ProComp Explorer LED light bars, Whelen emergency, Lightforce xenon, and Golight 360-degree pan units.
Of course security is part of survival, so optical surveillance comes from eight VDO force protection cameras, an Avigilon 5 megapixel minidome in a Dotworkz bulletproof housing, and Samsung HD day/night cameras — all working in conjunction with motion detectors, microphones, an Optex perimeter laser scanner system, and a Helios thermal imaging system to provide a virtual fence out to 1,500 meters while stationary. The platform is kept stable using a Cequent Products Bulldog Jacks external load stabilizing system. Three VDO and two Tote Vision monitors let you keep an eye on things from inside the cab, while a Viper alarm keeps occupants from being snuck up on.