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This profile was last updated on 11/1/07  and contains information from public web pages.
 
Background

Employment History

  • Owner
    Orange Engine Rebuilidng
  • Owner
    Orange Engine Rebuilding Company Inc.
  • Owner
Web References
Jim Larr, owner of ...
www.partsandpeople.com, 1 Nov 2007 [cached]
Jim Larr, owner of Orange Engine Rebuilidng, has more than 30 years of experience in the machine shop business.Anaheim, Calif.-With more than 30 years of experience machining and rebuilding engines, Jim Larr, owner of Orange Engine Rebuilding Company Inc. in Anaheim, Calif., said he has probably worked on close to 15,000 engines during his career.
"We do 40 to 50 engines a month, which is just the way I like it," Larr said."This way, it's a comfortable workload for everybody, and I get to take a weekend off every now and then."
Orange Engine Rebuilding opened its doors in 1971, and Larr, 47, started working there as a machinist in 1979, he said.He said he purchased the company from the original owner in 1986 and has been running the machine shop ever since.
Half of the company's business is rebuilding production engines, while the other half is rebuilding high-performance engines for circle-track racing and street rods, Larr said."Most of the stock stuff we get in here is small-block Ford and Chevy engines.These seem to be what people in this area are rebuilding the most.The stock engine work is steady and helps keep the wolf away from the door."
Orange Engine Rebuilding operates out of a 6,000-square-foot facility, which includes a rebuilding shop, a front office, and a parts inventory room.Larr has three full-time employees and a part-time bookkeeper, he said.They include Machinist James Larr, 20, his son; General Manager David Shipman, who has been with the company for more than a decade; and Assembler/Valve Technician Joevan Escobar, who also works as the shop's driver.
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From l., General Manager David Shipman, Owner Jim Larr, Machinist James Larr, and Valve Technician Joevan Escobar work on 40 to 50 engines a month at Orange Engine Rebuilding.
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From l., General Manager David Shipman, Owner Jim Larr, Machinist James Larr, and Valve Technician Joevan Escobar work on 40 to 50 engines a month at Orange Engine Rebuilding.
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Orange does a lot of work for local racers, some of whom have gone on to compete professionally, Jim Larr said.Most recently, the shop was rebuilding engines for David Gilliland, who went pro in 2006 and is competing in the Nextel Cup Series, he said."We did his engines when he was racing as an amateur for NASCAR down in Irwindale, and now he's a star."
Larr said he and son have won numerous championships as sand racers, a form of drag racing done on a 100-yard sand track.
Orange has worked on every type of engine imaginable, he said.Some of the more unusual ones include a 1939 216 straight-six Chevy pickup and a 1949 Chrysler six-cylinder flathead, he said.
Every engine that Larr works on comes with a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty, he said.
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Orange provides each of its customers with a written step-by-step engine break-in procedure to assist them in effectively breaking in their rebuilt motor, Larr said."The list we give them has all of the oil recommendations and provides the answers to all of their questions about how to break in an engine properly.If they do it correctly, they can extend the life of the engine considerably.The first 20 minutes are the most crucial part of the break-in."
Larr said he carries a parts inventory of approximately $5,000."I have things here that I use on daily basis, such as carburetors, engine kits, and intake manifolds.Our parts suppliers get me everything else so quickly that I don't need to carry anything more.This is a real benefit to me because it means I don't have to tie up all my cash buying parts I won't be using right away."
Larr said he orders 80 percent of his parts from Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc. (EPWI) in Anaheim and orders smaller quantities of specialty parts from Don Gross Warehouse in Vernon, Scat Enterprises in Redondo Beach, and Speed Warehouse in nearby Tustin.
"We have a really good working relationship with all our parts suppliers, especially with EPWI.We're a member of their Elite Status program, which means that if we order a certain amount of parts from them and pay by a certain date, we receive a significant savings."
Larr said he orders a lot of parts from EPWI through their Web site, www.EPWI.net."I do most of my online ordering at night when the shop is closed, and then we can pick up the parts the next morning.The EPWI online ordering system is the best thing that's happened to us because it's easy to use and convenient."
Machinist James Larr, is proficient in every aspect of rebuilding an engine and grew up in the machine shop business. Orange has been able to build a solid reputation over the years, Larr said, which means the business doesn't need to do extensive advertising in order to keep projects coming through the door."We have never really done any advertising except for some yellow pages.Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising you can get, and that's what has kept us busy."
Larr attributed the longevity and success of his shop to two main factors--reliability and follow-through."We back up everything we do 100 percent," he said."We will take care of any little problem, and when we tell a customer that they'll get their engine back on a certain date, they know that's when they're going to get it."
Using quality parts is another reason for Orange's success, Larr said.
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