Originally Posted by kernelkrink
The beauty of the Chevy truck platform is the drivetrains in them can be swapped out for an earlier setup with minimal hassle. You could buy say a 99 Suburban with a blown engine or tranny and replace them with commonly available carb engines and non-electronic shifted transmissions. That way you get a bulletproof engine and tranny setup with good parts scavenging possibilities along with a newer vehicle that blends in well, has less rust issues, and has some of the modern amenities. A carb 350 small block can be found almost anywhere, either as a crate motor or built up from a junkyard or Craigslist find. Replace the electronic 4L60E tranny with the earlier 700R4, it bolts right in as a direct replacement and only needs a 12 volt wire to supply the lockup solenoid with power. A simple internal switch rewire makes the lockup work without external controls.
Go with the original 70s-80s GM HEI ignition, and EMP is not a worry. Supply 12 volts to one terminal, you got spark. Spare whole distributers are $30-50 each at a junkyard and fit inside an ammo box for a faraday cage. You can swap them out in 10 minutes on the side of the road if needed. A GM 1 wire alternator in a metal box for a spare takes care of the other EMP parts worry.
Cucv all the way, Kernel is correct parts are easy to find, duece and a half not so much unless you live around a de-mill location where the stack all the old duece and a half's. There are kits out there to convert your desiel to WMO or WVO.