My Other Car is a Zombie Defense Vehicle


Well, now I can say that is true. Sure, the zombie thing is fun, but we’re all about being prepared for other scenarios.

In any case I recently purchased @deviantollam’s 1999 GMC Yukon for a “BOV” or Bug Out Vehicle. While we are intending to bug out in place, we still need something we can bounce around on rough roads, clear cars from roads, or use in various tactical or “farm work” situations.


Originally I was looking for a 1995-1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee locally on Craigslist, because they are EVERYWHERE that you look here in the Northeast, and that’s important for spare parts when things go wrong – a full rolling stock on folk’ driveways or out of gas on the highway.

Unfortunately, I spent 18 months looking within our budget, only had one good deal which was sold out from under me 10 minutes before I arrived. When the deal from Deviant came up, I was all over it.

Now, Larry, aren’t you compromising your rolling spare parts? No. Here’s where doing your research ahead of time on a vehicle can come in handy. Turns out that the GMC Yukon for this year shares tons of parts with other GMC and Chevy models (across several model years), including the 1500 Sierra and Suburban. Knowing that, I look out the front door across the street in the neighbors driveway and see spare parts parked there as their “boat tower”. SCORE.

Now I see spare rolling donor vehicles all over the road.


So, what’s the plan? Well, @deviantollam left me with a great platform. He had already installed some oversized tires and rough terrain shocks – and kept impeccable maintenance records. So, we’ve got a few things to do (in no particular) order:


  • Brakes
  • Oil leak (looks like oil pan gasket)
  • Tie Rod/Idler arm (a little steering slop)
  • Tune up, etc.


  • Solar battery trickle charger (on hand, needs install)
  • Buy/Build full roof safari rack (plan in mind, just need time)
  • Buy/Build steel front push bar
  • Buy/Build steel front bumper, with plow push plates
  • Buy/Build steel rear bumper, with storage for Jerry cans
  • Install adjustable rear air shocks (we’ll be adding lots of weight in gear and add-ons)
  • Install appropriately sized winch (on the hunt…)
  • Install floodlights on safari rack (purchase in progress, bought one store out already…)
  • “Emergency” light bypass for tail lights, backup lights, headlights, interior (don’t want them on on an all dark mission! – Plan in place, parts being acquired)
  • Remote controlled roof mounted turretwith remote and nighttime video aiming (for either lethal or non-lethal ordinance – have a plan, but needs construction and parts replacement time)
  • Glass/Human protection with Expanded steel over windows (have a plan, and can even discharge weapon/pay tolls from within vehicle. Windshield a problem.)
  • Second battery (need to acquire proper sized deep cycle marine battery, and possible high output alternator upgrade)
  • Car hacking (home brew car computer, Miles to Empty, fuel consumption, etc.)
  • Interior gear storage solution, including EMP for comms gear


  • Ham Radio (HF and VHF radio on hand, needs install, and both antennas. Research in progress)
  • CB Radio (On hand, needs repair and antenna)
  • WiFi Mesh networking (On hand, needs install and antenna and mount)
  • Wiring upgrade (extra battery, extension for comms gear)

The Future

– As time and budget allow:

  • Acquisition of spare parts
  • Engine swap (either carbeurator/points Chevy or diesel, diesel preferred)
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