Progress, AE86

Last time I worked on the 86 was when Thaison and I gutted the interior. The only stock trim Im keep is the dash. That was back in Febuary. Fast forward to June and Thaison was able to pull out the old motor, to make room for a high comp, 4age motor. This motor came from Thaison’s Black Limited and already has ITBs, and stand alone ECU. Those where the two things I really wanted. ITBs just sound better, and produce less heat then boost. The stand alone ecu gave me tuning options, for more mods in the future.

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We did tackled maintenance items for a more reliable track car. While the motor was out, we replaced the water pump, thermostat, and the belts. I ordered an oil pump but after cleaning the motor, the pump looked like it was recently replaced. All good, at least I have some parts.

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In one day we did the maintence and dropped the motor in!!! She still needs more work but its getting there. I have acquired most of the parts already and its just finding the time to work on it.  Hopefully by the end of year Ill be able to take the 86 out on the track.

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Start of an Epic Road Trip: Las Vegas Part 4

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Early morning we set the GPS for Las Vegas as our end destination with some stops one the way: Grand Canyon, Kaibob National Forest, and Hover Dam. I love road trip, its alway about the journey.

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We left during sunrise and was a nice view driving trough north Arizona.

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The steep climbs was even more of a struggle for the 18 wheelers. With the Land Cruiser fully loaded, I had my foot planted on the floor during the climbs only maintaining 60mph. Felt like I was driving a bus. Made me miss the M3 but at least I knew the Land Cruiser wasn’t going to break down.

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Thankfully some sections leveled out and the skies opened up.

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It started to rain and get colder as we drove towards Flagstaff, Az.

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Lambo enjoying the ride. If you are thinking about bring your dog on a road trip, I highly recommend. They make great companions and your dog will be well cultured!

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The landscape changed from desert, grasslands, then to forest. I started to notice how cold it was outside becuase snow was on the ground!!

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Kinda nervous driving on snow because I never had experience. The Land Cruiser did make me feel safe with the full time 4wd and the heavy rig made it seem planted. Yeah its wasn’t a blizzard but being form Texas, snow is something you don’t deal with yearly.

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After passing Flagstaff, AZ the snow/rain mixture started getting stronger. It was an experience to remember!

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This was crazy, because its May and its snowing!!!! I just traveled through for seasons in one day!

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The snow did let up but it was still pretty cold.

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Nadine and I decided to explore some back roads before entering the Grand Canyon.

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DSC_0064 Kinda muddy but nothing the Land Cruiser couldn’t handle. Lambo did get his paws all muddy, which in turn made for muddy paw prints on the leather seats. Sigh.

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Sometimes I don’t know what Lambo thinking.

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Back on the paved roads we the Grand Canyon, wasn’t too far away. Looking forward to the snow covered canyons.

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I didn’t know it was $30 for entry but it’s good for 7 days. Too bad we where only doing a day trip. Next time we will stay longer.

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The weather was like Texas, one minute its clear sunny skies, next minute its gloomy.

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Lambo’s first time in real snow!!! We had some light dusting in Houston before but this was pretty deep that it was touching Lambo’s belly. Soo cute.

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Unfortunately the view of the Grand Canyon wasn’t all hype as it was. Pretty foggy and we where at the Grand Canyon overlook haha. Oh well, there is always a next time. We did wait it out till the sun came out but the fog covered the views.

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With all the attention Lambo got, you would think he was a movie star. We had lots of people taking pictures of Lambo. This lady didn’t speak English, but with charades, we deduced she wanted to pic up Lambo for a picture haha. Lambo just seemed more nervous about falling down then looking at the camera haha.

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After roaming around Grand Canyon and giving up hope that the fog would let up, we left and looking for more off road trails.

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We were at Kaibob National Forest, I wish I had downloaded the map prior because we didn’t have cell service. The trails are well maintained so we couldn’t get lost or stuck.

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Back on the paved roads, we headed to Hover Damn and Las Vegas!

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Started to get warmer and drier nearing Las Vegas.

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Feeling adventurous we went off beaten path and explored a dirt road.

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The views off the beaten path is awesome.

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Some of these places would make a great campsite but not sure it is allowed here.

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There was a small rock slid that didn’t totally block the trail.

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We went back on paved roads and was nearing Hoover Dam! But we didn’t really stop haha. Mainly becuase we where running low on time from all the off roading and wasn’t sure if dogs are allowed to enter Hoover Damn.

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We couldn’t see Hoover Dam passing through, because the bridge blocked the view but I guess that a safety issue too. You don’t want distracted drivers crashing.

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There is always a next time to explore more.

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Back in the city and Las Vegas in view. Who knew a city in a desert would be a popular tourist destination.

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Vegas traffic is always terrible.

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After the times I’ve have been to Vegas, this was my first time driving here and passing the Vegas sign!

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There is actually parking for the Vegas sign but its pretty small and limited. Luckily we came on a weekday and was able to find parking easily.

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Lambo and I waiting patiently to get a a prime picture. I could only imagine how packed it gets during the peak times.

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Lambo just living life.

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DSC_0179 In the city sometimes finding dog friendly restaurants can be hard but thankfully this restaurant was close to the strip.

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DSC_0185 The Vegas strip…. so fancy.

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I remember coming here on July 4th weekend, the strip was just packed with people and cars. Felt like a sardines in a tin can.

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Passing though the strip, all I could think of was the song “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West.

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After being on the road roughly for 12hrs we called it a night. It was nice being back in the city life, but the next day we planned to head to Death Valley!!! Stay tuned!

 

Start of Epic Road Trip Part 3, Arizona

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We headed out of Texas, and drove to Arizona. Most people don’t realize how big Texas is till you really drive though it. One of the cool things about Texas is the vast change of landscape, just takes awhile to pass thought it all.

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When the scene changed from desert sand to pasture, we stopped over so Lambo can do his potty break. My dog is picky and wont go till he finds a spot of grass.

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Of course we were near Marfa, Tx and had to get a shot of the Prada store. Its not really store but a art type of landmark.

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At the back, people are putting locks on the fence, similar to the love locks in Paris.

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West Texas.

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Getting through New Mexico was a lot quicker then Texas, and we made it to Arizona. We did a 12hr drive from Big Bend to Mesa, Arizona, and called it a night.

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The next day, we set off to Tonto National Park. It was the weekday so we didn’t really see a lot of people or vehicles along the route. We drove up to Roosevelt Dam which was part paved and the other dirt trail.

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Checked out Tortilla Flat.

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Climbed up the trails.

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Arizona has the desert vibe, but more elevation changes then West Texas.

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A dirty Land Cruiser always looks good.

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The views you get off roading is better then if you just stuck to the paved roads.

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We stopped at this little picnic area for lunch. Cooked corn beef and potatoes.

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Made at the end of the trail! Which meant we made it to Roosevelt Dam!

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Heading back to Mesa, we took a different trail that I found on google earth while planning the trip. I didn’t really know if it was a private trail, but google earth didn’t gates. So I plugged the coordinates on the google map and followed the route.

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I was nervous because the clouds started to look darker.

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As we climbed up, the tempter got cooler and windy. Thankfully it didn’t rain, because the drop offs was scary.

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Lambo enjoying the ride

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We really enjoyed just getting out, and exploring a places we were not to sure about, apart from looking at the trails on the internet. Getting over that fear made us more confident but also cautious since if something bad happened, it would be harder to get help. Took the whole day driving on the trails, and stopping over. The next day we drove to Las Vegas. Stay tuned.

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