Twas the night before BABE

Well, before we leave for BABE anyway.

I think we’re ready. The MPV was painted last weekend and during the week. It is pretty awesome, if I don’t say so myself. We colored outside the lines. When I was making the finishing touches on it I was painting it outback at my Mom and David’s. There is an ally outback and all sorts of people walked/drove by and had things to say. It was the talk of the town. Small town.

Chris and Jeff have seen and I think approved of the paint job. I’m glad.

Shauna got all our costumes ready. As well as buying four tons of food for the rally. I swear we won’t need to buy one thing to eat the whole trip. Plus we’re going to eat good the whole trip. Good job Shauna! To top it all off we had our first team trip in the MPV. Norma was nice enough to sneak us into her secret food club (cosco) for us to by the last of our food pile. I think it was a huge success and only made me more excited. Thanks for putting up with our craziness Norma!

Oh by the way, Chris named the MPV “a really good song by Peter Gabriel”, just so you all know.

David was a huge help in last minute van prep. He built us a shelf, a table, modified the rear windows, mounted fire extinguisher, made us a cutting board and ukulele props. My mom kept me fed when I was frantically working on it this week, as well as helping me find and workout last minute stuff. Thank you both so much. As well as our going away dinner.

In all this craziness I stopped by my Dad’s to show my Dad, Rachel and all of my siblings the P. Gab before we depart on this adventure. I think they liked it. The PA was a hit with the younger crowd.

Thanks to everyone who helped! Tigg, Kelly, Mike, and Laura, your help with supplies, painting, and prep was just what we needed.


Ok the rundown.

Crazy paint job – Check

Roof rack/roof box – Check

Crazy van name – Check

CB radio – Check

PA :) – Check

Costumes and Props – Check

Tools – Check

Healthy vegan food for a week plus – Check

Printing out Rally Manual somehow – Tomorrow

Picking everyone up and final pack – Tomorrow

Overdrive – Toast :(

3000+ miles in third gear… Rally!

I think we’re ready, or at least will be when we leave tomorrow. Shauna is a beast and is shooting a wedding in the morning before we leave. She’ll be jumping in the van as we drive past on our way out.

We’ll see all you BABE’ers tomorrow. Everyone else, when we return.

Drove it, with tunes

Due to the misleading wiring diagrams available for the radio on this car it took me two nights to install the new radio. The old one didn’t work because of a bad ground, but now our radio takes usb! Odd in an otherwise older car. What am I saying, this is the second newest car I’ve ever owned!

After looking at some other teams progress it has me feeling like I copped out with this new fangled MPV, rather then sticking it out with last years broken car. I am trying to focus on the lack of stress I have about this van, versus our old ride, but I do feel a little jealous of these other teams. Maybe I’m just a gluten for punishment. I am looking forward to having more space this year.

I drove the car to my friends house approx. an hour away. It did fine. The transmission still slips in overdrive, so I did with OD off. Riding at about 3k RPM at 60. It’s doable, but I’d really like to not have to drive to NOLA in third. Today I’m dumping some of this Lucas Stop Slip in there. We’ll see.

I may need to make some modifications to make the roof rack fit. We got it for our old rally car and this one is a little different.

Also I might need to get a new CB radio. I’ll let the cat out of the bag, I bought a PA speaker. Which I was pretty excited about. I thought that my CB supported a PA but it doesn’t look like it.

Added some links to the blog, if you’d like your team linked on here please let me know.


We bought stuff

So this Tuesday we signed all the papers and this marvelous van belongs to me. After working a full day in the shop and transferring the title, I stayed and changed the transmission fluid AND checked out the sticking brake. Tim even stayed by and helped me. Heck of a nice guy. Somehow this ended up taking until around ten o’clock.

Driving home with the van for the first time, I notice despite it’s fresh trans fluid it’s still slips in overdrive. I might change it again and pump all the fluid out of the torque converter this time. As well as giving this Lucas Stop Slip a shot, as recommended by Team Fading American Dream.

Tonight I went to work on the important stuff: the radio. Still figuring out wiring diagrams, but I’ve got it in my sights. It would probably be in, I just ran out of light.

We have also done some discussing of paint themes and such. Don’t worry anybody- the yellow isn’t going anywhere.


PS by Shauna:

I also bought stuff:) Costumes are bought and materials for our props. I also bought 13 cans of spray paint in 9 different colors. I am SO excited about the new theme(s) this year!!! Can’t wait to start painting and crafting:)

I also wrote a huge grocery list today. Doing this trip as a healthy vegan just ups the  difficulty level by like a gagillion. I am NOT living off of Subway again this year!

At least I am not allergic to the sun this time;)



Our Ride – BABE 2012

So this first post was supposed to be about how we had saved our rally car from last year and it was back and even better then before. Sadly, that is not how things have been panning out.

I stashed the ’83 Volvo 760 turbo diesel that carried us in BABE 2011 at my grandmother’s shortly after the rally was over. I went there on Easter and it fired right up. I made a list of what I needed to get it home. Got it insured and registered and gathered supplies for it’s return. The next weekend Jeff and Dan helped me pick it up and drive it to the shop where I work for it to get inspected. It made the trip great, but after sitting at the shop for a week or two it suddenly would not start. I confirmed the glow plugs were lighting, and that it was getting fuel to the injectors. The only thing I can think of now is that our limping injection pump (helped by an electric fuel pump installed last year) has finally given up the ghost. I know it’s getting fuel to the injectors, but I don’t know that it’s enough or has enough pressure. Just too much of a job for me right now when we need to have that car ready to go in less then a month.

Anyway, that was when Tim (one of the other guys who works at the shop) mentioned his mom’s old minivan they are meaning to send to the junk yard. My ears perked up instantly as he talked about it’s transmission issues and horrible yellow paint job. Later that week Shauna, Jeff, and I headed over to see this van with Tim.

It’s a ’90(?) Mazda MPV. We took it for a test drive (it had not been driven in quite a while), and assessed it’s problems. I will be changing the transmission fluid & filter in hopes of regaining overdrive as well as replacing/fixing a sticking caliper. Not too shabby, especially since it’s already inspected.

We agreed to buy it on the spot, and will be picking it up next week. $350, oh yeah.

I’ll be looking forward to having more interior space. Though we will need to start from scratch in the decoration department. Well, I suppose this van has a good start already.


20 days till we need to be in Staten Island.