Letter: EMP Proofing a 1988 F250 Diesel


In the book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” a device for $20 is mentioned. Where can I get it? – H.P.

JWR’s Comment:

Go to your local Ford dealership’s parts department. Ask them for a spare “glow plug controller” for your truck (model and year.). If they have one on hand, ask them to see it. If they ask an exorbitant price, then look for the same part at you local car and truck wrecking yard.


  1. I owned an auto electric shop for 20+ years, and customers were always coming in with glow plug controller problems and cash shortages….We came up with easy and very inexpensive and trouble free alternative to expensive glow plug controllers for customers. The controller simply sensed certain engine parameters and activated the glow plug relay, so we wired into the “activate” lead on the relay(which is basically a starter solenoid) and ran the wire to a push button in the cab. The button was wired to the accy side of the fuse block so it received power ONLY with the ignition on. Press the button, the glow plug light would come on, give it 5-10 seconds and start the engine. Worked like a charm, saved the customer near a hundred bucks(15+ years ago) and eliminated a trouble prone item. The switch we installed was also EMP proof!

    1. Grayfox144: Thanks for sharing that valuable information. It is folks like you–with your base of knowledge and experience– that make SurvivalBlog great!

  2. The controller and the relay come together as an assembly. It functions the same on my 84 GMC Diesel. Very easy to add a manual override to activate the relay. I will continue to use the automatic function as long as it works.

  3. Yes that is helpful info!!! I have a 1992 7.3L IDI… I’ve also go a 2000 7.3L Power-stroke I’m thinking about swapping the engine out for another 7.3L IDI to allow that truck to be EMP hardened.

    I’ve gotten conflicting info on wither or not the 2000 7.3L PowerStroke is EMP proof.

  4. If you are looking for older Ford Diesels or any other kind try Govdeals.com . Old school buses , ambulances , fire engines even , go pretty cheap and many are low mileage due to intermittent gubmint use . And the fire engines have souped up hot rod diesels . Bigger injectors and timing tricks that increase the horses .

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