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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog > 1995 GMC 3500 Rally Van (Battle Wagon aka Big Bertha)

 

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Crazyfast79TA

M –47
Bovey, Minnesota
United States

 
 

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Maybe Giving Bertha A New Name

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1995 GMC 3500 Rally Van (Battle Wagon aka Big Bertha)

I was the one that gave our van the name "Big Bertha". Michelle didn't really take to that name very well. I'm thinking about changing it to "Battle Wagon". It's been through a lot and faired pretty well. It gave us a scare this past week-end trying to drive it to Duluth in a winter storm. Anybody that's had a full size van knows where I'm heading. These things don't have much traction in snow and ice conditions. When you find black ice at 50 MPH, you're lucky when all you do is slide off the road and into a ditch. God picked the right time and place for that to happen. It was a long straight stretch of road. We made it through the curvy part of the road just fine. We also past the woods. Where we went off wasn't a deep ditch and there weren't trees close to the side of the road. The other side of the road was a different story. A very deep ditch with trees on the way to the bottom. That would've been bad news. But anyway, here's my reasoning for wanting to change the name to "Battle Wagon". When Bradee tried to miss a deer a couple years back, he found woods. He was stuck between 2 trees and crashed straight into another. When we were making our first "move Mike to Minnesota" trip, we had another close call. We had my S-10 on a tow-dolly loaded full of my stuff. The cab was filled with things that couldn't get wet. The bed was loaded with totes full of car parts and car parts that were too big to fit in totes. The van was packed with all kinds of things I had in storage. There was only enough room in back for Dustyn to have enough room to sit on part of the one seat we left in the back of the van. It was packed top to bottom, front to rear! She was swaying and wallowing all over. It was windy while we were loading up. It started raining by the time we were done and heading for the highway. Once on the highway, it started snowing. It snowed all the way through Indiana and through Chicago. As we got into Wisconsin, there was winter storm warning on the radio. The hills in Wiscansin would've been a challenge by themselves, but a snow storm!?!? We saw cars and pick-up trucks sliding and spinning off the road. The van slipped but the S-10 on the back kept us straight! I was really impressed by that. But all that weight and driving conditions weren't kind to the transmission. Going up a steep hill, overdrive literally blew out with a bang. By the time we got to Duluth, we were down to 2 gears and 35 MPH. We still had over 75 miles to get home. We kept plugging away at it and made it. It sat for a year before I got a good used transmission for it. It's been used to haul building material, camping gear, wreathing boughs, car parts and just about anything that would fit in the back. She's still running strong! It almost deserves the respect of a war veteran. Well maybe not that much, but at least some respect. It may be big, old and ugly, but it's still going without signs of giving up yet. Maybe a name change is due.

Close call thismorning

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1995 GMC 3500 Rally Van (Battle Wagon aka Big Bertha)

There are a lot of scary drivers out there! Dumb ones, too! There are the drivers that think they can see through the frost or snow covering their windows. Some think they own the road. Some think that just because they're driving something bigger than the rest of us (like mining trucks) that they have the right of way in every situation. Then there's the ones that think no traffic control sign, law or devise is intended for them. That's the one I dealt with thismorning. I was on my way to work on 169 about 6:45 when I was coming up on 21 and saw a pick-up truck coming accross the other 2 lanes after blowing the stop sign and blasting right through the median. I thought fast "he's not stopping!" , looked in my right hand mirror. Clear lane, swerved over quick and missed this "A"hole by inches! There was a cop parked in the median with his lights off not much more than a tenth of a mile farther down the road. He would've had a front row seat to one horrific wreck if I wasn't watching out for dumb drivers. Then different scenarios started to flash through my mind. What would've happened if we collided? Who's fault would that cop determine it to be? Would someone get hurt? Who and how bad? If I lived through it, how would I be able to get to work (not just today, but until I got something else to drive)? I know "Bertha" would've been toast. A wreck that bad she wouldn't be worth fixing. "Bertha" would become an engine and transmission donor for my S-10. I'd take the engine and transmission along with all the computers and controls for both and swap them into the S-10. That 350 may not motivate "Bertha" too fast, but it would really make that little truck scoot! If I did it properly, it may even be legal. Newer engine into a vehicle one year older. Catalytic conerter and O2 sensors and computers all functioning. A/C pump and hoses would switch over from S-10 engine to van engine. Transmissions are same models so there wouldn't be a problem with mount or driveshaft or cooler lines. I'd have one cool little truck for my step daughter to drive! I'd have to fix the big truck at home for me to drive.
But that didn't happen! I'm still driving "Bertha" and the S-10 is still without a transmission, and "Big Blue" is still down in need of brake repairs.

Challenged already!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: 1995 GMC 3500 Rally Van (Battle Wagon aka Big Bertha)

First day I took pictures of the van and posted them after church, come back ater a kid's birthday party and I've got a challenge waiting. Okay.
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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog > 1995 GMC 3500 Rally Van (Battle Wagon aka Big Bertha)

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