Letter Re: Request for Clarification Regarding Diesel Engine Invulnerability to EMP

Jim, I’m no expert but I have some limited knowledge regarding the topic of diesel engines and EMP. What you want is a diesel engine with a mechanical fuel injector pump, not an electronic one. Diesel engines don’t require ignition systems to run, no spark plugs, distributor, etc. and the old ones used a mechanical fuel pump. All you need is a starter to turn the engine over, it runs or fires by the heat generated by the compression stroke. [JWR adds: A glow plug is also needed for the fuel to reach flash point at low ambient temperatures. Some of the newer diesels use an electronic glow plug control, which could possibly be bypassed if they are someday fried by EMP.] No ignition system, therefore impervious to EMP. Since the mid to late 80’s manufacturer’s have switched to electronic fuel pumps so even though you don’t have spark plugs, etc., the engine has “electronics” for fuel regulation. Now you have EMP problems. Hope this helps. – T.N.