Your Dreamcar's Dreamcar Is My Daily - Minivan All the Things

Yep, I said it, and I know you’re a bit triggered already from the jump, but you know it’s true. Real Men drive minivans. And Really Real Men drive 'em 'erday.

But not just any minivan. We ain’t talkin’ no bitch-ass Plymouth Caravan or some milktoast Toyota Blah, Blah, Blah over here. We on that Zoom Zoom kine stuff in this family. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that thing that happens when we scoot by on your left and you look up in your rearview mirror at your three year old back in the carseat…and he gives you the look like, “Damn dad. You just a buster in this whack Odyssey. I wish you could grow a beard and drive like that dad. Wish I was adopted.”

I know it hurts, but you’re just gonna have to get over it and accept that this black Mazda MPV is always gonna be better than you. And your wife already knows it.

So you’re just gonna have to read all about it 'erday up in this here build thread, all about my Dreamcar Daily…our family’s '04 Mazda MPV.


:slight_smile::smiley: :lying_face:
This is too funny. It’s in jest though right? RIGHT?
Have I been mis-concepted this whole time? Well… I can at least try to grow a beard…?

Srsly though, golden as per your standard.


Gotta love the Mazda MPV! Way back when I was still in high school we were at a local off road spot. Dude rolls in from the office park next to it in his AWD MPV and we think “this dudes about to tell us to get out!” Nope, starts doing donuts in the mud! Respect :fist:


Yes!!! Mini van dads unite!!!


The Mazda, if I’m not mistaken, was one of the last new cars sold in the US with a stick shift, too. #zoomzoom

They’re on the small side, but still really neat. I like it!

Aight, so here’s the backstory on things from our end. We were given this Mercury Villager back when twins were joining the team, and it was pretty awesome in it’s own way. It was some strange parts bin conglomeration of Nissan and Ford scraps, so that basically meant it was a R34 Skyline GTR dressed up as an F-150…and this shape is the result if you put those two things into one of them Me+You babymaker apps on your phone.

Yet, one day when this little guy was coming home from his day job at the lumberyard he noticed a serious problem…

Got the minions together, and they quickly diagnosed the issue. “This thing ain’t got enough horsepower, downforce, or seating capacity for four car seats.” I looked at them like, “What are you talking about? It’s got VTEC, yo!”

After smacking me in the face with that purple wrench they broke it down real slow for me. They said, “Dad, if you were half the man we think you are you’ll march your butt right into that house and make us another brother. Cuz what self-respecting man only has three sons?!”

And you know what? They were right. And while they finished installing the rotary engine, I proceeded to set things in motion that could not be undone…and therefore needed to start the hunt for a better minivan.

1 Like

Now for the backstory on the MPV. Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures here, but they’re still sealed as part of some CIA investigation from the Iran Contra days…anyways, write your Congressman if you can’t deal with all the words and stuff on this post.

Now, best as I can ascertain from the records, this thing was purchased back in the day by a farmer so that he could ferry around his eleven children and for delivering cattle to market. Since it didn’t come from the dealership with the tow package this meant that the cattle had to ride inside with the kids. “Great!” I thought. “I bet it’ll fit four car seats.”

After trading and marrying off his eleven or so kids he got into the ice cream truck business, which meant that this poor old warhorse was left to languish in a pasture on the side of a mountain. Literally put out to pasture. Then after a year or so this farmer discovered that you could sell off things using the internet, and that’s where our stories met.

I was sitting in the delivery room awaiting the birth of my fourth son, and just so happened to be surfing Craigslist…cuz Gearhead. Onto the screen popped this dilapidated nugget, and it was like I just knew that this would be the kind of ride or die, faithful to the end, jump on the grenade kind of steed my family would need in the apocalyptic future we were in store for.

I looked up at my amazingly in labor wife, and she said, “Boy, you better go rescue that mighty MPV before that punk ass Obama ships it off to the Cash for Clunkers furnaces.” Dang…it’s talk like that that’s the reason why we’ve got so many kids.

The timeline from here gets a little hazy, but I do remember that test driving this thing was a bit of an issue. Year old gas, plus an engine that was full of end of service life OEM bits, meant that it was a handful on the country roads around the owner’s ranch. The thing missed, hissed, and bucked about like a pissed off bronco. And who could blame it? It’d been ridden hard, and parked soaking wet in the middle of a bloody pasture for the past year. I’m surprised it didn’t take control of the steering and try to run down its current owner.

I eventually talked the rancher into letting me borrow his big dually farm truck and his trailer to tow this thing into town. I wanted a mechanic to look over the guts to see if there was anything irrepairable. That bastard must have been in cahoots with the rancher cuz he told me it would pass the state inspection as it sat, engine probably just grumpy because of the old gas.

I had a decision to make, and after looking over at that heap of potential, abused and robbed of its purpose in life, I decided to rescue it from the cruel master rancher. Best worst decision I ever made. My wife was gonna be so proud of me after this thing decimated all at race wars…after we proceeded to dump a truckload of overnight parts from Japan into it.

January 2015 | 116,900 miles

1 Like

Well, I could not afford to have parts overnighted from Japan, but when the trans-Pacific container ship arrived bearing all of the billet steel, India rubber, and dinosaur juice required to revivify our new MPV, you best believe that it was on.

After an intense family meeting we all laid out what needed to happen next:

  • The van had a terrible idle, and after consulting Wikipedia and WebMD we concluded it must be engine-related. Some new spark plugs and a massive turbo would fix that.
  • The van only had three functional tires, and they were all different ages, different brands, and different sizes. Looks like we needed a fourth tire to complete the rubber cacophony.
  • The interior provided a home to several rodents, a colony of ants, and a Syrian guy named Larry. They would all be swiftly evicted or killed (sorry Larry).
  • The mechanic said it needed sway bar end links to pass inspection…of all the things he could have said were wrong with the van, he highlighted these. Tosser. Besides, if we just deleted the sways we’d get heaps more articulation off-road. Huzzah!
  • …and brakes. It needed new brakes.
1 Like

Score! You know how sometimes you go into a project with such a pessimistic outlook, but then you pop the hood and the storm clouds part… Wasn’t expecting to see this gem under the hood. Everybody knows that the red top battery means instant torque, extreme shockage, and Star Trek Enterprise-level fuel economy, and boy o boy if that wasn’t what was staring up at me beneath that rusty tie down.

But, upon closer inspection…

Crap! And according to the reading on my Geiger counter all of the radiation had already leaked out of this baby. No Tesla-level zoom, zoom for me I guess. Gonna have to add some red gaffer tape to the parts list.

1 Like

You talkin’ 'bout Co-theen Larry?

This stirs up some distant memory deep down in the forgotten parts of my childhood. I cannot remember the name of this show, or anything else about it, but I remember watching it.

And no, he was not this Larry. The Larry in question only had one arm.

Perfect Strangers!

That’s the one! Now I remember…the name. Haha! Everything is stored differently when you store it as a kid.

1 Like

January 2015 | 117,000 miles

Hmm… well, I got a roll of gaffer tape, but when I popped the hood this lot fell out. Bullocks! It probably would have still ran in this state, but my newborn son made it abundantly clear that he wouldn’t be caught dead driving in anything less than amazing. Time to get the funk out!

First Item to sort out would be this airbox. A quick hack I learned back in my time with the British Special Forces would quickly turn this boring old air conditioner filter into something far more powerful. By sticking the filter in the back of the freezer for as long as possible (usually until your wife notices and asks WTF!?), you’ll be able to recharge any cold air intake without having to spend lots of the Queen’s sterling on those fancy K&N spray paint kits.

1 Like

January 2015 | 117,000 miles

Next on the agenda…FORCED INDUCTION!

Some nincompoop thought it would be a good idea to saddle this raging stallion of an engine with this puny little turbo charger yanked off a backpack leaf blower. Ford didn’t enlist the astrophysicists at Cosworth to steal these top secret engine plans from Porsche, only to then strangle it to death with this thing.

If you can’t tell by the scorch marks, this raging engine has been spitting flames of frustration beneath this cork for over a decade. Time to unleash the beast, and let the Aston Martin innards breath a sigh of relief.

I’d also need to replace almost every piece of rubber pipe connected to this blast furnace, as the boost levels were capable of sucking stuff inside-out.

I also went ahead and changed all the sparky parts with extra sparky (I’m pretty sure that’s what Denso means when you say it with a Japanese accent). Ba-da-boom!

But I saved the best surprise for last. Not only was this engine designed by Porsche and fine-tuned by Cosworth, Not only was it deployed for service in the Aston Martin fleet and test-driven by Christian Bale. Not only was it given a Ford badge, but also a Mazda one for good measure. But it also had one of these thingies…

I have no idea what this doohickey is, but that little diamond star means that when I push that button, Jackie Chan himself will pop out of the passenger-side airbag ready to rumble. With that I dropped the hood and called this resurrection complete.

About time to get daily’in…


That little doohickey is some kind of vacuum solenoid. A check valve, maybe? Regardless, it’s likely the reason for all the high performance fire and brimstone you’ve come to enjoy from your Max Power Vehicle.

1 Like

Haha… if it isn’t obvious, I REALLY LOVE MY MINIVAN!!! If it weren’t for this guy I wouldn’t have my Montero…and I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE THAT THING!!! That build thread is gonna be the special one, which is why I still haven’t started it yet.

Yet… hopefully soon.

1 Like

It’s nice to have a place to do a build thread on a daily driver…where else could I have found to rant and rave like a lunatic about a minivan. Best forum on the internet!


April 2015

First stop on the Daily Train was Virginia International Raceway for some sick drifting…in my minivan. We spent the morning sizing up the competition, if you could call it that. Bunch of poseurs. The pits quickly devolved into chaos as my boys proceeded to mock, taunt, and assault random drivers for their whackness.

I eventually had to pull one of my boys out of some guys LS-swapped Kia 240’whatever thing. He was apparently going to teach him how to drive like a man by running this shitbox into the nearest telephone pole.

Things were getting absolutely ridiculous, so we made a hard exit from the pits for some snacks and a nap. When my boys woke up and finished eating all the food inside this random white trailer we had some guy walk up to us and introduce himself. I can’t remember exactly but I think his name was Ryan Truck or something dumb like that.

Anyways, he said he heard about our minivan and wanted to know if we’d be interested in a trade. But after looking over his Corolla my sons were like, “Fool, please. We got plenty of hockey sticks at home already. Besides, this thing needs some more power. You should put a Ferrari engine in it or something, and stop being such a Punk.” He cried a little because the truth hurt, but told us he would.

Anyways there was only one car the whole day that the boys almost liked and that was only because it had the same engine as our van. But the boys really didn’t like the wallpaper. Who puts wallpaper in an engine bay?!

Oh, and in case you were wondering … we totally won the HyperFest 500 or whatever this dumb race was called. In fact we swept the whole podium, because minivan.



Good times. School those busters!