My Last Stop in AZ–LC Engineering

Its going to be hot today.  Very hot.  No more tongue in cheek comments about dry heat.  These are record-breaking temperatures.  I have plenty of water in the P71 and I keep two chilled bottles in the console.

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Today I am heading for Lake Havasu City in the northwest of the state.  It will take me on to roads other than the Interstate, but for a while I am on one.

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I am heading to this company’s location because I have done enough business with them that I owe it to myself to actually go there and see what they are like, since I am in Arizona anyway.

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If you search on Toyota Pickup in this blog you will see that I’ve had some adventures with my little red truck.  Some better than others.  I originally acquired the 1992 pickup from one of my sisters.  It was eight years old and it wouldn’t fetch much in a trade-in, so I traded her a laptop for it.  That was back in 2000.

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Over the years I’ve rebuilt all the worn suspension parts, had the seat reupholstered, and had the whole thing repainted in the original color.  I even found some nice wheels and tires from Tire Rack that really gave it a nice look.

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It was Toyota’s cheapest truck at the time.  The only reason it had air-conditioning was because it was originally sold in New Orleans.  It didn’t even come with a day/night rear view mirror.  It only had an outside mirror on the driver’s side.  The gauge cluster only had a large speedometer and some “idiot lights”.  I added better mirrors, changed out the gauge cluster for one with a tachometer (it is an manual 5-speed, after all), put in an optional dashboard clock, upgraded the radio, etc.

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Then I have had my trials and tribulations with the motor.  The original was using oil so I did an eBay special and put in a rebuilt.  That blew a head gasket so I found a “specialist” in Charlotte, NC, that rebuilt what I hoped was a nice motor.  No such luck.

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After many frustrating attempts to get it right it finally dropped a valve.  So I did better research and found LC Engineering.  I talked with a guy on their sales staff, Mike, and we came up with the perfect engine for me.  It was a stroker version that would suit my needs for a strong engine that could be used in a daily driver.

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Again, you can read the story and see the photos in earlier blog entries.

I was very interested in getting to actually visiting LC Engineering, but the blasted heat just kept inserting itself into the foreground of the day like a bad in-law that had come to visit “for just a night”.  It was the elephant in the room.  What seemed like a very small room.

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Every time I stopped to top off the P71’s fuel tank or take a rest stop the heat would be there.  A shaded parking spot became an important and rare commodity.

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Finally I reached Lake Havasu City.  As you can imagine from the name, it is by a lake.  People have populated the shore and they even purchased London Bridge and moved it, and reassembled it there.

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Being Americans I’m sure a lot of money changed hands.  It was falling down anyway, I hear.

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On to LC Engineering.  I walked in and introduced myself and there is Mike.  I explained what brought me there and he was good enough to provide me with a tour of the facility.

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He walked me through their inventory and then we stepped into the engine assembly area.

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There was the engine dyno room, and the head assembly area.

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Then he took me into the large machine shop.  Amongst the computer controlled milling machines were the lathes and other machines.

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I met the guy who put my motor together and we talked about it a bit.  You can always tell a good engine guy as he really remembers how the assembly went.  To him every one is different and has a different personality that reveals itself to him as the assembly process takes place.

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I thanked him for the great engine that now sits in the pickup’s engine bay.

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I picked up a few small items for the Toyota while I was there.  I have already tapped out the level of modifications that I will do and still have a street-able daily driver.  Then I headed west.  On to Barstow, California.   The Route 66 song in my head.

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This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Stuff, Care and Feeding, Cars, Life and Cars, Modifying Cars, Road Trips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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