Episode-815- Listener Calls for 1-6-11 — 22 Comments

  1. Yes so true women NEED to know. I am a woman I have my own guns my own tools my own chain saw I know how to start the Generator. So women if I can do it so can you. Same for you men. Better know how and when to give the kids their meds cook a meal and change a diaper pay the bills. What happens if the wife goes down that’s when your whole world can fall apart.

    • My wife is very smart (two masters, one in Engineering) odds are she could have worked it out if it was a SHTF event. But it would have been much nicer to have a book with photos and diagrams showing exactly how to hook it up. While I was laid up, I used a p-touch to make labels for the fuse box to replace the fading pencil marks as to what was what. (and made a spread sheet of it also.)

      My wife is a better shot with the shotgun and three different pistols than I am. (I’m better with the AR but then I do get to shoot that more often.) I think all families do end up specializing some what. She works 50+ hours a week in the day time, so I know when the kids take naps, what is in the store room and where we stand on milk and eggs. She knows how the kids sleep and what they like before bed as I pull the night shifts. It makes sense but we do need to make more effort to know where things are and how to use them.

      I think the thing i’m most grateful for was our food storage, with the wife being the one with a full time job and me watching the kids while bouncing between part time jobs, I’ve taken over the shopping duties. Not having to go to the store every week for three weeks helped make things easier on me. (trying to shop on crutches with three kids under six was not going to happen)

      The ankle kept me from my part time EMS job so we did not have that income for two and half months, but having an emergency fund meant we did not worry about paying bills. (Mostly it meant we did not add to our savings and RothIRA’s.)

  2. If you are limited on space think vertical. If you can spare 6″ on a wall you can build a fake wall with a can rotator system. If you can pull your couch away from the wall you can stack buckets behind it like a sofa table then put a shelf board on top. Behind doors often times is enough space to stack cans. cardboard cylinders can work sometimes. To cover a fake wall to make easy access you can use industrial strength velcro (hook n loop tape) or magnets. Look for dead space behind walls like soffits stairways corner cabinets. You can build valance box over your windows that can hold things and looks like it is suppose to be that way. Can you build a window seat or bench seating at the kitchen table. Just a few quick ideas. Watching / surfing DIY network or HGTV can give you tons of ideas for small spaces that you can adapt for food storage.

  3. Hey Jack,
    I respect you and what you are doing and value your opinion and insight. About the call you mentioned about the person being sarcastic, I was going for friendly ribbing there. My bad if I came off as a jerk. I am a tanker crew chief and we give each other crap all the time. When I hear you talk about your service as a mechanic I start thinking of you as one of the guys. I apologize if I offended you. I guess people that know me know that I am never serious. I forget that even though I have been listening to you for a couple years now, you don’t know me. My bad. Thanks for the show and for showing us the first rung of the ladder out of oblivion.

    • @JoeSnail,

      No worries like I said the bitching about ignoring your call (ironically that I did today) was no big deal I was just going to cut that off and do your question. The question though really wasn’t a questions and the sarcasm just didn’t work for the show. If it was a live show with a back and forth it could have worked out just fine. No offense taken.

    • Copy that Jack, I hear you loud and clear. Next time I leave a question, I’ll hold the sarcasm. Thanks or taking the question and thanks for the show!

  4. Another comment on limited space: in your closet you can run a shelf around the top of the walls at just above the level of the door jam. I have had to do that because our closets are microscopic, and it also utilizes the wall space just above the door.

  5. Great episode, Jack. Love the listener call/write in shows, so much variation and good stuff.

    That said, you better check your facts on Venus. The atmosphere is about 96.5% CO2, if there’s any methane there it’s negligible. Funny how the saturation point you so often talk about doesn’t seem to apply there… food for thought, I guess 😉

  6. On tight spaces, I lifted my bedroom dresser by adding taller legs to it, now I can fit 4 cases of bottled watered under it. I also found the stackable rubbermaid type totes work great for storage. I also store most of my camping gear in footlocker type totes in the back of my truck. This frees up storage space at home, and I have more useful gear with me. 6 bottle wooden wine boxes will usually fit under a sofa or couch, find the ones that are flat with a lid. Stain them and slide them under until they are flush with the front of the sofa, and they look great! It’s all about being creative!

  7. Echo Joachim —

    I definitely like the vast majority of what you put out, Jack, but I love the Listener Calls and Feedback. There’s a great deal of variety that keeps things interesting.

    Slightly OT: Your podcast has been critical in helping me keep my sanity on my 104-mile (roundtrip) daily commute. Keep up the great work!

  8. Jack

    Regarding the valve covers on the Humvees.

    We actually build valve covers where I work. In the old days (20 years ago haha) they were designed to leak. Yes that’s right. Designed to leak.

    Positive crankcase pressure would build due to blowby. Obviously worn valves, bad timing etc, would cause hot gases to blow past the piston rings and valves and into the covers. At the time there was no way to vent this gas so they built the covers to not blow off but rather compromise the seal.

    I’m not sure if that is what you were looking at or not. Nowdays the valve covers have a PCV valve which lets the cover release the pressure. You might be able to buy a new valve cover with PCV for the humvee. Not that it matters but wanted to explain why it happens.


  9. Jack,
    Love the show.. On the military HUMVEE issue they are available and they are street legal. But they are very pricey. The DOT ruling on them had allot more to do with lobbying efforts of AM General trying to sell the H1 hummers where rebuilt mil-spec versions were coming available for a fifth of the price than any real issue of safety.

    I have rebuilt and sold many military vehicles. You almost never need to do any modifications to be street legal as long as the length, width, and weight is within specs. You just have to register it as a antique vehicle. Your price for a ready to go mil-spec humvee is about right at 30,000.

    I agree on a M35A2 or m35A3 being a much more reasonable alternative to a HUMVEE. The multifuel engine in the M35A2 would be a good BOV.

    • A relative of mine recently purchased an M35A2 and a M35A3 via military surplus. He got lucky and they didn’t have a lot of work needed on them. In all he may have ten grand in two trucks.

      I’m typically all about manual transmissions and all… but when I drive the two trucks, the A3 is a lot easier to drive! My wife, all 135lbs, was able to drive the A2, but not easily. Under stress, no way!

      For those who don’t know, the A2 has a manual transmission, and no power steering and I believe an Allison engine? The A3 has power steering, an auto transmission, a caterpillar engine and I believe the automatic tire pressure setup (bonus or something to go wrong – I don’t know).

      They are both super easy to work on with lots of space for crawling around. I really like the A3 if you can’t tell! Just thought I’d share my experience…

      On the side – Insurance won’t cover my under 21 relative to drive it, but that’s not why it was purchased.

      • Short and simple on the A2 v A3

        I never worked on an A3 never saw one in service but the guys on steel soliders seem to feel they have a lot more failures and the parts are a lot harder to find and cost a lot more.

        Sounds to me like they tried to make the duce into a mini 5 ton and failed. Duces are kind of hard to learn to drive at first but if you drive one a lot it isn’t going to be an issue even in a crisis. The thing about the old duce is they have pretty much the same truck from 1951-2012, LONG run there and there is a reason for it. They are so easy to work on, get a -20 and -30 TM and anything short of a engine rebuild you will be able to handle. You can even change a tire with out a bead breaker, not real easy but you can do it.

        I am not totally sure on A3s as I never worked on one but here is what the prevailing thought on Steel Soldiers is

  10. A few more storage spaces: 1. most couches & LR chairs have skirts, flats of canned goods will fit (and be out of sight) 2. add a shelf above the shelf in closets 3. look at storing items/food in the top shelves in your kitchen 4. under bathroom vanity 5. crawl space for non-perishables such as charcoal 6. hang shoe storage bags inside closet doors. Look around, think & be creative.

  11. On the subject of the M35’s, aren’t the A3’s automatic trans? That would allow more people to be able to drive one.

    One thing to consider is that in some states, such as The Peoples Repulik of Kalifornia, they are considered commercial vehicles, as I would imagine the M800/M900’s would be. Some people ‘bob’ them, cutting off the rear axle, to get around that. Some states require commercial driver’s licenses, plates, and you may have to stop at the scales, even if you are only using it for personal purposes.

    As for the Former Military Vehicle not being confused with an active duty vehicle, the law in Texas allows you to register your FMV using Uncle
    Sam’s bumper numbers… no plates required. Some states allow you to drive them with the plate in the glove box.

    As for DOT standards, it is my understanding that all vehicles built to “contract spec” for Uncle Sam are exempt from DOT regulations, and that that exemption carries over to the new owner once that vehicle transfers to civilian life. Now there is some question as to if this comes down to a State’s rights issue, ie do they have to follow the Federal rulings with regard to titling these, or any other, vehicles. For example, there is a big conversation going on in the forums at about Arizona DMV saying that they will no longer issue a title for HMMWV’s because they are not ‘safe’ for use on the public roads.

    I would strongly suggest anyone interested in buying an FMV to go check out the forums at I spent about a month reading threads before buying my M1009.

    • I’ve looked at the M1009 and it sure does look tempting! The prices are pretty good in my opinion… how do you like yours?

      • I like it so far! It is still a 27 year old Chevy truck in the end though.

        There is a basic principal often stated on the Steel Soldiers site regarding CUCVs “if its rubber replace it, if its electrical clean it” – and I’ve found it to be true.

        All the weather striping is shot on mine, and while the top and bottom hoses look good, the heater hoses are shot. I’ve already replaced some of the vacuum lines, and will do the fuel lines as soon as they start to leak, which could be any day now! 🙂

        There are a few parts which require a bit of work to find, mainly the CDR valve. Sort of like a PCV valve on a gasoline engine. They show up on ebay occasionally, and some people have found truck stops will have something that will work. Failure of this valve may cause over pressure in the crankcase leading to a leak at the rear main seal.

        In the end, the boys and I love it. Having an older truck like this gives me the chance to teach them how to work on cars, which is not as easy when working on some of the newer cars. So far, I’ve had them change all the fluids and filters. The next big thing for them will be repacking the wheel bearings. Sometimes it is fun to get dirty!