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Author Topic: TRACO Fans  (Read 34189 times)
oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2012, 06:32:39 PM »

Hello Pigpen,

Great to have you with our gang.  Some questions for you - do you remember the HP and torque figures for those Penske T/A camaro engines?  Also, what redline did they use?  Were those engines only used for one race weekend and then sent back for a rebuild?

Did TRACO build "customer" camaro engines for other competitors (probably not to Penske specs)?

Did you take or keep any race photos from those T/A days?

Many thanks,

Robert Barg
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Pigpen
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« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2012, 08:48:04 PM »

Hi Robert,

I'm sorry but it's been way too long for me to remember the torque curves for TRACO's T/A engines (or any for that matter), but 475-490 HP was a good number for the Chevys, on TRACO's dyno. We did occasionally rebuild engines originally built by some of the competition, and their Dyno HP was no better than ours, usually a little worse, some quite a bit worse. The AMC T/A engines were a little better, around 510-520 on the Dyno.

I know that some would question it, but TRACO engines were built the same for all customers. The only exceptions were special items that some customer got hold of, but all in all, Penske's engines from TRACO were duplicates of his competitors, those built by TRACO.

Penske did have some "pull" with the Chevy factory for Aluminum blocks and heads, not for T/A racing.

For the T/A series, Penske ran 2 cars, each with 3 engines; 1 in the car, 1 on the truck as backup and 1 being rebuilt at the shop, this was the same for both Camero and Javlin.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't personally have any photos, looking back now I wish I had, but I was young and dumb, with never a thought of the faaaaaaar future when I might actually enjoy reminiscing.

Pigpen
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OCTARD
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« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2012, 09:53:59 PM »

Fantastic details, Pigpen.  Thanks for sharing all of this with the forum.

-Chad
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2012, 10:19:49 PM »

Wow - 475 to 490 HP! - that's way more than I ever heard mentioned - the figure I remember was about 440-450 HP.

I'm guessing a redline of  8,000 rpm?

Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2012, 07:14:34 AM »

Here's a dyno test performed by Traco for Roger Penske on Oct 2, 1967. This is a 1x4bbl engine
with Traco-ported heads, transistor ignition and an Engle cam. I've got some Traco dyno tests
from '69 that I'll have to locate and they are on one of the Penske 302s.

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Jon Mello
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Pigpen
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« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2012, 09:45:39 AM »

Yep, 40 years is too long to remember HP stats, at least for me. The only thing I'm sure of is that the AMC engines put out a little more than the Chevys.

TRACO preferred the "Red Line" at 7200 I believe, but 7800 was more to most drivers liking.

I remember we worked on (rebuilt) a couple of 302 Fords and they were fairly comparable to the AMC's.

The Offys were spectacular on the dyno, separated by the cam cover, the exhaust was white hot and the intake frosting up so quickly that you could see the build up over a few seconds time frame. It was difficult with that old "Water Brake" dyno, as weights had to be added to the scale, a guessing game at first, and the Offys put out so much power that the water would steam off in the condenser faster than it was being replenished. Close to 1,000 HP at 10,000 RPM, using Nitro-Methane. It was scary being close by when running high RPM (for me anyway).

Pigpen
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2012, 09:18:41 AM »

Here's another dyno sheet, this time from December '68. It is part of a test using different headers.
The peak horsepower does seem a little low compared to the 440-475hp numbers that have generally
been tossed about for the 302 Chevy racing engines from that era but Traco engines were certainly up
there at the top of the food chain as far as results on the track go.


Courtesy of Jere Stahl
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Jon Mello
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Pigpen
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« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2012, 10:51:22 AM »

Hi Jon,

If that's the test I remember with Cantwell there, they were testing the full car exhaust systems, not just the "Open Headers" that TRACO normally used on the dyno.
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OG69Z
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« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2012, 01:54:45 PM »

Hello Pigpen,
  In an earlier post, a Chevrolet inline dual four barrel was mentioned.
"The Chevy factory supplied TRACO with a dual in-line 4-barrel prototype manifold (not the Cross Ram) on which we spent a lot of time gluing in runners at the bottom of the plenum to equal out the flow, eventually the factory modified their pattern to match what we'd done and a number of the manifolds were produced. We also performed a similar series of tests for the Cross Ram, which Chevy used to make improvements."
   I'm curious about the inline carbs used. Do you recall the type? Is it possible Webers were used, or maybe something GM prototyped?
   It sure would be interesting if the Chevy dual inline four barrel manifold surfaced.
Thanks for all of your contributions!
Robert
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klvn8r
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« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2012, 02:49:50 PM »

I can't help but sit here and giggle wildly....."The only thing I'm sure of is that the AMC engines put out a little more than the Chevys.'  -as stated by a former Traco employee!!!   Cheesy Grin Cheesy Grin Cheesy Grin

klvn8r
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2012, 03:02:48 PM »

Everybody likes to have something to crow about and I can respect that, but how'd that '69 season go for you guys?  Lips Sealed
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Jon Mello
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klvn8r
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« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2012, 04:21:22 PM »

Not so well.... Sad   But as a Rambler guy, I can live with 1970,  71 and 72!!  Heck, even 68 was pretty darn good!! Wink

klvn8r  (When you race Ramblers, you take ALL of the advantages that they will give ya!) 
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Pigpen
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« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2012, 06:58:17 PM »

TRACO (Jim & Frank) didn't actually become famous because of Chevys or for that matter AMCs.

Yes the Javlin engines put out a little more than the same CID Chevys, but the early AMC track engines could not stand the corners without starving the oil pickup, so there were many not so spectacular blown engines.

There's a lot to be said about the compact design of the small block Chevy, the design facilitated oil return flow from the upper portion of the engine to the oil pan, and there were not a lot of places for the oil to get trapped.

Small block Fords and AMC's had a lot more room in the lifter valley and around the crank, so oil tended to get trapped. The ultimate answer for the AMC's was to run "Dry Sump".

Another interesting difference was the Cyl Head design, Chevy heads had better flow characteristics and required less valve lift than the AMC's, so Chevy cams took far less punishment.

For the bottom end though, the AMC's were very strong through the main bearing area, where Chevys were prone to main web cracking.

Each engine has goods and bads, the trick is enough power and lasting through the entire race.

Pigpen
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 08:21:24 PM by Pigpen » Logged
Pigpen
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« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2012, 08:19:47 PM »

Hi Robert,

Concerning that Chevy in-line dual 4-BL.

I think that I remember the first configuration on that manifold was 4x2-BL's, but we had another top plate cast for the 2x4-BL set up. I don't remember all the reasoning behind the set up, but I remember many hours gluing in runners and testing cyl temperatures on the dyno. Where those manifolds ended up, I have no idea, perhaps in a Chevy factory trash bin, as the Cross Ram design was superior.

On occasion, one of us (TRACO employees) would have a need to ferret out some part up in the mezzanine storage area, and we'd accidentally run across some very strange goodies, that manifold was found just that way and when Jim & Frank saw it, they remembered that Chevy had asked them to evaluate it some time previously.

Pigpen
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Pigpen
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« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2012, 06:54:46 PM »

Robert,

I just reread your question about the manifold and what carbs were used, sorry I missed that.

The original top plate supplied by Chevy was set up for 4x2-Brls, which we never had or used.

The top plate we had cast was for 2x4-Brls and as I remember the same carbs we used on most everything. I don't remember model numbers but they were either 800 or 850 CFM, geared so that all butterflys opened simultaneously and inwardly (front and rear opposite directions).

TRACO supplied a particular model of Holly 4-Brl carb for just about all uses, it had marine type floats, the choke horn machined off and some polishing in the throats. I think that earlier models were 800 CFM and later 850 CFM.

We didn't use Webers on any of the "Plenum" style manifolds, at least none that I remember.

There was also a dual 1,000 CFM Holly carb manifold we tested, used on Chevy 427's, I don't remember what the engine(s) were set up for. Someone else produced those manifolds and had done their homework to equal out the flow characteristics.

Reliable Mechanical then Electronic Fuel Injection came along and replaced most of the dual carb setups, eventually even the Webers (where possible).

Pigpen
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