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Old 10-24-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
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TSD Rally - Thunderbird Rally (WCRA)?

Has anyone participated in the Thunderbird TSD Rally hosted by the West Coast Rally Association out of Merritt? If so, what prep did you do to your vehicles, if any?

I am considering joining the rally for 2020, but unsure how much prep is needed and how harsh it will be on normal road cars. The most likely ride at this point is a Mk6 GTI, on 16" snow tires (205/55R16) and not lowered. No suspension mods besides a rear swaybar.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:36 PM   #2
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I've done it three times so I'm not exactly a veteran but I'll share what little I do know. I've used three different vehicles, the most relevant being in 2018 with my 1992 Celica that's lowered 1.75" and was on 17" wheels and made it through without any damage (we had to slow a lot for cattleguards which hurt our times though). I always overpack the gear and spares I carry inside the car (I can get into that if you like) but the car itself received zero prep aside from bolting on the winters. Conditions can vary wildly from year to year, in 2015 it was well above zero the whole time so just muddy, 2017 there was a massive dump of snow the night before the event and people were helping push cars to get them off the line at the first reg, and 2017 it was down below -20 (make sure your washer fluid and antifreeze are good enough!).

I'm not sure where the historical pages have gone but you used to be able to see the entry lists which were made up of all kinds of completely normal cars. I've seen a Honda Fit, a newer Mustang, loads of Subarus, VWs, Audis, Volvos, a Cadillac, a Porsche, etc. You can watch the entry list for Totem to see what kind of cars people are bringing for that: http://rallybc.com/archives/2019/Tot..._EntryList.pdf

I can also tell you the guy who organizes it used to drive a 7th gen Celica and now drives a BRZ, which he uses to set and check the route and the speeds. Those have 5.5" and 4.9" of clearance, and it looks like your GTI should have 5" so you're fine there. It's all on well maintained FSRs so it shouldn't be any harder on your car than driving on them normally. The highest average speed I've seen them use is 72km/h and it's always below the speed limit, but you just do what you're comfortable with.

You could also volunteer to codrive/assist for a checkpoint so you'll get to see what the cars and roads are like without taking your own vehicle down it. Volunteers are what make the whole event possible so they're always needed.

Here's a picture of my Celica from 2017, and a few of the other cars from 2015 to give you an idea (oddly enough all taken in the same spot though the route does change every year). Click on the pictures to make them bigger:







Check out the Totem Rally out of Cache Creek, it's coming up in November. I've never done it so I can't comment on what it's like but I'll be there this year finally.
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:

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Old 10-24-2019, 03:37 PM   #3
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2020 I’ll be looking into participating. I’ve had a few friends do this and have a blast.
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Old 10-24-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info underscore! What kind of spares did you carry? I did read through the list of required/recommended equipment (have been doing some research on GRM, and reading through the prior year pages though 2019 is missing) and I think I have most of the stuff through camping/winter prep when I was living in Prince George. Do you think the GTI is a good choice for this? Or would a Honda Accord be better... though it is a bigger car. The Accord is slightly newer as a 2015. Both cars will be on studless winter tires - Continental WinterContact SI for the GTI, Blizzak WS80 for the Accord.

The plan is to do this as an "adventure" for my bachelor party, instead of (or as an addition to) the usual Vegas/booze/stripclub stuff. I might still have another go-kart night or something in town for those guys not crazy enough to go with me but I am hoping to convince at least another pair of guys to do this.

320icar, that's great, I hope to make it too!
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:09 PM   #5
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Even using vehicles that really aren't good for rallying (2000 Cherokee was the best but still not ideal, 2007 Grand Cherokee has a long list of reasons and the 1992 Celica was too low and had no reverse) we had a lot of fun every year so I'm really excited for using my GTFour in 2020.

Also I can ramble through a bunch of stuff I've picked up but the main thing is definitely do the novice school for the driver and codriver. I've always seen it offered and since the novice TSDs in Mission don't happen anymore it's the best way to learn stuff.

Oh and I found a couple links to old results if you wanna see what kind of cars people use: http://rallybc.com/archives/2017/Tbi...rd_Results.pdf
http://rallybc.com/archives/2018/Tbi...rd_Results.pdf

http://rallybc.com/archives/2017/Tot...em_results.pdf
http://rallybc.com/archives/2018/Tot...em_results.pdf
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Yep - saw those. Some interesting entries... 1996 Cadillac De Ville? PT Cruiser? Pajero? 240 GL? Mitsubishi Expo LRV (What the heck is that?)?

Also, feel free to ramble - I'm looking to soak up any info that I can! Did you end up wiring auxiliary lights to any of the cars? Any essential thing not listed on the list of required/recommended equipment?
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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I thought the same about the LRV, turns out it's kind of the OG crossover (sort of a small van/big car type thing). I think it's in front of my Celica in the first pic.

I did add a light bar to my Cherokee, because it has to be tied into the high beams (so you only have to hit one thing to drop to low beam only) I got the plug for the same kind of light and made a little extension that plugs in between the car harness and the main headlight. That has a wire tapped into the high beam wire that goes to the feed side of the switch in the cabin. That way to remove it from the vehicle I just plug the headlight back into the normal harness and I can take it all out without having touched a single stock wire. I'm doing the same for the Hellas I'm adding to my Celica using one of these: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/t...0019p.html#srp

With modern cars you're probably fine with stock headlights, the Celica and Cherokee use sealed beams which are like having birthday candles up there, but it depends on your eyes.

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Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
Thanks for the info underscore! What kind of spares did you carry? I did read through the list of required/recommended equipment (have been doing some research on GRM, and reading through the prior year pages though 2019 is missing) and I think I have most of the stuff through camping/winter prep when I was living in Prince George.
I can't say I know what GRM is, mind sharing a link? On top of the required stuff I usually bring:

stop watch with clock
non-programmable calculator
a headlamp with a red light for the codriver
non-drowsy Gravol (also for the codriver)
pens/pencils/highlighters/sharpies
a second full sized spare (only if I already have it)
a breaker bar with a lug nut sized socket already on it (to avoid the weenie tire iron)
tire plugs
fix-a-flat
a little air compressor
oil
coolant (pre mixed)
trans fluid
brake fluid
power steering fluid
washer fluid
...basically a bit of every fluid in the right type
alternator belt
a socket set
a couple wrenches
a couple basic screwdrivers
vice grips
duct tape
jumper cables
spare fuses
disposable latex gloves
snow gloves
toque
balaclava
12V phone charger
zip ties
paper towel or napkins
bottles of water
snacks (the most important thing by far)

The first 5 things I'd say are fairly important but most of it is overkill and because I drive older vehicles (more likely to have a random part failure). If nothing else you know if I'm at the event I've got way too much crap with me so if you need something find my Celica and come ask . Aside from the fluids I got a lot of it from Princess Auto on sale for cheap, the fire extinguisher from Costco or WalMart.

The other thing I forgot to mention that hopefully won't matter but can potentially be super important is make sure you know where your front and rear tow points are and that your tow rope fits them. Sweep has gear but if you have something you know fits that's a plus, and I'm told they really appreciate it when they roll up and you've already got the rope hooked up and are ready to be tugged out. I think a lot of newer cars have those screw in tow hooks so make sure you have it and something to pop out the little plug that goes over the hole handy.

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Do you think the GTI is a good choice for this? Or would a Honda Accord be better... though it is a bigger car. The Accord is slightly newer as a 2015. Both cars will be on studless winter tires - Continental WinterContact SI for the GTI, Blizzak WS80 for the Accord.
I imagine either car would be great, maybe take them both out for a spin on some snow and see which is more fun. If they have anything like traction control figure out how to get it into the mode you want. As an example the system in my Grand Cherokee turned out to be super annoying and a source of frustration the whole weekend because you could only turn it off while parked, and even then it wasn't fully off and constantly replaced the odometer with a message panicking about it being off. If I would've known that ahead of time I might've been able to find out there's a fuse you can pull to disable it without the warnings.

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Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
The plan is to do this as an "adventure" for my bachelor party, instead of (or as an addition to) the usual Vegas/booze/stripclub stuff. I might still have another go-kart night or something in town for those guys not crazy enough to go with me but I am hoping to convince at least another pair of guys to do this.
Sounds like a great way to do a bachelor party, if you've got multiple cars entering maybe get ahold of Paul ahead of time and let him know so hopefully you can run sequentially (or at least close together) so you get to see each other at the start of each regularity a bit more. The cars run at 1 minute intervals and even the transits don't leave a lot of extra time so you mainly see the cars close to you in the order. For my bachelor party we did something similar to the Gambler 500 with a beat up Acura Legend and it was a blast. Depending on what kind of guys you've got running minimal gear and maximum winging it could result in a lot of memorable shenanigans.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:

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With modern cars you're probably fine with stock headlights, the Celica and Cherokee use sealed beams which are like having birthday candles up there, but it depends on your eyes.
Great, I probably won't add lights to the cars then because I don't think there's easy mounts to do it on either car.


Quote:
I can't say I know what GRM is, mind sharing a link? On top of the required stuff I usually bring:

stop watch with clock
non-programmable calculator
a headlamp with a red light for the codriver
non-drowsy Gravol (also for the codriver)
pens/pencils/highlighters/sharpies
a second full sized spare (only if I already have it)
a breaker bar with a lug nut sized socket already on it (to avoid the weenie tire iron)
tire plugs
fix-a-flat
a little air compressor
oil
coolant (pre mixed)
trans fluid
brake fluid
power steering fluid
washer fluid
...basically a bit of every fluid in the right type
alternator belt
a socket set
a couple wrenches
a couple basic screwdrivers
vice grips
duct tape
jumper cables
spare fuses
disposable latex gloves
snow gloves
toque
balaclava
12V phone charger
zip ties
paper towel or napkins
bottles of water
snacks (the most important thing by far)

The first 5 things I'd say are fairly important but most of it is overkill and because I drive older vehicles (more likely to have a random part failure). If nothing else you know if I'm at the event I've got way too much crap with me so if you need something find my Celica and come ask . Aside from the fluids I got a lot of it from Princess Auto on sale for cheap, the fire extinguisher from Costco or WalMart.
GRM is Grassroots Motorsports, sort of a SCCA/Rallycross/amateur motorsports forum: Grassroots Motorsports

Yes, most likely I won't be bringing all those fluids except for washer fluid, but I will service the cars and make sure they're in tip-top shape before the rally. Toolkit and power tools, definitely... already know to pack blankets, food and water for possible stranding

Quote:
The other thing I forgot to mention that hopefully won't matter but can potentially be super important is make sure you know where your front and rear tow points are and that your tow rope fits them. Sweep has gear but if you have something you know fits that's a plus, and I'm told they really appreciate it when they roll up and you've already got the rope hooked up and are ready to be tugged out. I think a lot of newer cars have those screw in tow hooks so make sure you have it and something to pop out the little plug that goes over the hole handy.
Yes, already have a 20k tow rope from living up North (and mini snow ladders which have gotten me out of trouble more than once with FWD cars).

Quote:
I imagine either car would be great, maybe take them both out for a spin on some snow and see which is more fun. If they have anything like traction control figure out how to get it into the mode you want. As an example the system in my Grand Cherokee turned out to be super annoying and a source of frustration the whole weekend because you could only turn it off while parked, and even then it wasn't fully off and constantly replaced the odometer with a message panicking about it being off. If I would've known that ahead of time I might've been able to find out there's a fuse you can pull to disable it without the warnings.
The GTI has been great on snow (took it to Big White before and did some 2AM rips to Penticton), the Accord has been okay but it's definitely not as good, the controls are too light and have very little feedback so a bit harder to handle. Both are non-defeatable stability but at least traction can be turned off...


Quote:
Sounds like a great way to do a bachelor party, if you've got multiple cars entering maybe get ahold of Paul ahead of time and let him know so hopefully you can run sequentially (or at least close together) so you get to see each other at the start of each regularity a bit more. The cars run at 1 minute intervals and even the transits don't leave a lot of extra time so you mainly see the cars close to you in the order. For my bachelor party we did something similar to the Gambler 500 with a beat up Acura Legend and it was a blast. Depending on what kind of guys you've got running minimal gear and maximum winging it could result in a lot of memorable shenanigans.
The Gambler 500 re-enactment sounds brilliant. Minimal gear and maximum winging... love it. Once I get guys more firmed up I'll definitely contact Paul and arrange something so that we can at least be close to each other as that might lead to more shenanigans haha.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:48 PM   #9
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Great, I probably won't add lights to the cars then because I don't think there's easy mounts to do it on either car.
I just chucked one of these onto my Celica, it bolts onto your license plate mount. But again probably not needed since you're not using WWII-era headlight technology like I am.



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Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
Yes, most likely I won't be bringing all those fluids except for washer fluid, but I will service the cars and make sure they're in tip-top shape before the rally. Toolkit and power tools, definitely... already know to pack blankets, food and water for possible stranding
The only risk of that would be heading to/from Cache Creek and at least there you're (presumably) taking a major highway. During the event there's people making sure nobody gets stuck or goes missing.

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Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
The GTI has been great on snow (took it to Big White before and did some 2AM rips to Penticton), the Accord has been okay but it's definitely not as good, the controls are too light and have very little feedback so a bit harder to handle. Both are non-defeatable stability but at least traction can be turned off...
If you were heading from Big White to Penticton on the back roads I'm assuming you were on the 201. To give you an idea of the kinds of roads used most of that was a regularity one year (though being a pretty major road it's better maintained and less challenging than most other regularities).
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:

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Old 11-17-2019, 10:31 PM   #10
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Totem finished today and we had a blast. Lots of crazy moments but the first regularity in the dark we got hammered with snow (after being in the rain most of the day) so we couldn't see anything and it was super greasy. I tried to cure the lack of visibility with bravery and speed but overdid it and stuffed it in the ditch. No serious damage but we were stuck bad enough that we had to wait for sweep which killed our score. We ended up passing a moose that was running down the road after which was pretty sweet though.

A couple things I learned that might be useful to anyone reading this:
- Bring 1 short and 1 super long tow strap. One car went off in a spot that sweep couldn't use their winch to haul it out without damaging the cable, so they got a local guy to pull them out later that night which cost like $700.
- Align your headlights ahead of time. It sounds stupid but I didn't realize how off mine were til we were in the middle of nowhere and my guesstimated adjustments at the end of each reg were shit.
- Bring a second triangle. We were rushing to get going after getting pulled out and forgot ours, luckily sweep noticed we didn't run back to get it and kindly retrieved it before they carried on and gave it back to us at the hotel.

I also have it on good authority that the classes are supposed to change up a bit next year, Historic will have Calculator class equipment (vs Unlimited now) and Novice will have Unlimited equipment. That means you guys trying it for the first time can use rally apps or a laptop or whatever you want so you don't have to try to do all the math with just a basic calculator.


Here's some shots from Totem:

All the Historic class cars at the start (my Celica finished 2nd in class, the BMW had 2 offs and DNF'd, the RX7 had the pricey tow, the Porsche and Corolla kept things tidy and were 3rd and 1st respectively)



Getting gas after the daytime regs on Saturday, before the snowy chaos



Before the second reg on Sunday, at nearly 100km and over an hour long it was by far the longest one I've ever done



After that long reg, you can see the hole in the fender where the light I ripped off on tree branches trying to get out of the ditch is supposed to be. Aside from some BC pin striping that's the only damage.



More mud on the car



A view of the Fraser. There's some killer views and the reg after this was an absolutely epic road, but no time for pictures then cause were too busy.



I have a few mechanical things to sort out (like a brake fluid leak that popped up Friday night in Vernon) and a few tweaks I want to make but otherwise I'll see you guys at Thunderbird.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:55 PM   #11
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Oh and two other things, the first is that you have time decs to correct for delays you might have (they'll explain time decs to you in the novice school, put a sticker on your dash or something to remind you they exist) do not hesitate to use them when you're not at fault.

The second is that the only rule about where checkpoints will be is that there are no rules about where checkpoints will be (unless explicitly stated in the route book). The combo of forgetting to use decs + two checkpoints close together + a cow cost us a bunch of points this weekend.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:05 PM   #12
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Awesome pics, thanks for the update and the lessons learned! Glad that no major damage besides the missing turn signal.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:36 PM   #13
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Yeah I got pretty lucky, that light was already party broken as well so not a big deal. I haven't washed the car or crawled under it yet but that should be the worst of the damage.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:29 PM   #14
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Entry is open, I better see you guys out there! For some reason the only way to get to the details is by clicking the Thunderbird logo on the main page or having the url.

RBC - Thunderbird

Be sure to read the Supp Regs in full, the info I got was right and now Novice class can use unlimited equipment. Some friends of ours used a couple apps at Totem and they seemed to work really well.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:05 AM   #15
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Can you remember what the app names are? I'm going to put my entry in soon. Crashed the Accord if you saw in the official whip thread, so I guess the decision between the GTI and the Accord was made for me lol.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:55 PM   #16
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Not offhand but I can ask, I want to have it on my phone as well just in case.

It sucked to see your Accord get smashed up but at least you have a backup!
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:53 PM   #17
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So what if your odo is significantly not accurate? Do you add the odo correction I to your formula?
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:38 PM   #18
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Yeah you work the correction factor into the formula or the app/computer. Nobodies odo is going to be perfectly matched to what was used to set the route so every event starts with a transit you can use as a check section to see how off you are.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:59 PM   #19
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Not offhand but I can ask, I want to have it on my phone as well just in case.

It sucked to see your Accord get smashed up but at least you have a backup!
Hey man did you ever get a chance to get the name of the app?
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:34 PM   #20
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Yes I did! Sorry I forgot to post it here. It's called Rabbit Rally, apparently there's a few listed. Be sure to play around with it a little first, apparently they had an issue right off the bat where for some reason it was assuming there was a bluetooth GPS unit it was supposed to be talking to instead of using the phones internal GPS.
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half those dudes are hotter than ,my GF.
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reading this thread is like waiting for goku to charge up a spirit bomb in dragon ball z
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OH thank god. I thought u had sex with my wife. :cry:
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:45 PM   #21
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So my entry is in - who else is in?

My codrivers all bailed so I'm looking for a new one - or a co-drive with someone else too.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:04 PM   #22
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PM me with info/dates. I’m off weekends now finally. If it doesn’t conflict with ice racing I could be down to codrive
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:42 PM   #23
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PM me with info/dates. I’m off weekends now finally. If it doesn’t conflict with ice racing I could be down to codrive
PMed!
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #24
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Found a co-driver! Whew! So glad.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:58 AM   #25
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Great video for those new to driving rallies like me.
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