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Author Topic: TRACO Fans  (Read 29371 times)
firstgenaddict
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« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2013, 09:23:28 AM »

My 57 Chevrolet had a 60 over 283 with Fuelie Heads and a "30/30" camshaft... same set up as my dad had in high school. 
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James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
 
Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://picasaweb.google.com/112392262205377424364/1969_Z28_Restoration
Pigpen
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« Reply #121 on: January 17, 2013, 11:26:55 AM »

If my memory still serves (questionable), the 327 block with 4 bolt mains was the main reason for setting up with 4" bore x 3" stroke for the 5 liter engines. TRACO had a lot of problems with cracking around the main webs using the 2 bolt blocks, even some of the 4 bolt blocks cracked. As I mentioned before, if the 300 Below process had been available back then, a lot of blocks and heads might not have adorned the scrap pile.

I think the earlier stamped metal rocker covers were used a lot because of the oil bafflels welded into them. Chevy came up with hollow push rods where the oil was pumped through, then just about any rocker covers would suffice and style became more of an issue.

I don't remember the exact Grey paint used, but it was chosen by Jim & Frank and mixed to their spec. The cans were marked TRACO GREY by the supplier. One of the reasons for using it was the ability to easily see any sort of "Leak" on the engine.

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MO
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« Reply #122 on: January 17, 2013, 11:48:34 PM »

I don't remember the exact Grey paint used, but it was chosen by Jim & Frank and mixed to their spec. The cans were marked TRACO GREY by the supplier. One of the reasons for using it was the ability to easily see any sort of "Leak" on the engine.

Same reason for using it on the suspension and interior. Easy to see stress cracks.
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Dr L-88
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« Reply #123 on: January 18, 2013, 11:25:57 PM »

If my memory still serves (questionable), the 327 block with 4 bolt mains was the main reason for setting up with 4" bore x 3" stroke for the 5 liter engines. TRACO had a lot of problems with cracking around the main webs using the 2 bolt blocks, even some of the 4 bolt blocks cracked. As I mentioned before, if the 300 Below process had been available back then, a lot of blocks and heads might not have adorned the scrap pile.

I think the earlier stamped metal rocker covers were used a lot because of the oil bafflels welded into them. Chevy came up with hollow push rods where the oil was pumped through, then just about any rocker covers would suffice and style became more of an issue.

I don't remember the exact Grey paint used, but it was chosen by Jim & Frank and mixed to their spec. The cans were marked TRACO GREY by the supplier. One of the reasons for using it was the ability to easily see any sort of "Leak" on the engine.

Pigpen

Hello everyone.  I haven't been here for a while but I just found this TRACO thread and have been enjoying it for the last couple of ours.  I too am a HUGE fan of TRACO, actually owned the TRACO-built 427 out of the Roger Penske 66 Corvette Sebring winner a few years ago (the engine that was in the car when it was vintage raced in early 90's), but I sold it to Jim Mangione in CA.  I retired from Sherwin Williams a few years ago, but I have a friend who still works in the color lab and he has computer matched the TRACO grey using an original painted piece I had. Yeah, Sherwin Williams makes automotive paint too, not just house paint. The color is dead on and it is a urethane quality so it's very durable.  I'll see if he can get me the formula.

I still have a few parts that came from the TRACO shop.......a couple of the degreed balancers and some 0 - (0 dash) prototype parts, Can Am aluminum blocks, etc.

GREAT thread here !!!!!
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #124 on: January 19, 2013, 12:42:01 AM »

Rex, nice of you to check in with us again and I'm glad you have enjoyed this Traco thread. If you could post that color formula for the Traco grey when you get it, that would be terrific. I'd love to see some photos of your special parts too, if that is possible.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #125 on: January 19, 2013, 11:52:04 AM »

I remember the first design 427 Aluminum blocks, the ones which were all Aluminum without cylinder sleeves. They required a special honing process for which Sunnen produced honing pads to accommodate. The process honed back the Aluminum but left the Silicon in place (trick and back then a secretive alloy), so the cylinders would not wear as rapidly. They also required special rings and coated pistons (Iron coatings).

TRACO had a small number of Aluminum 327 blocks as well, which required the same process (actually they were procurred by Penske)

The one "weight" item which I remember as having the largest effect for engine life, was Carbon Fiber push rods, with your hand out and eyes closed, a person could carefully place one in your hand and you would not notice it. Back in those days, before overhead cams and without roller bearing lifters, the weight of the push rods was a large factor in cam lobe life. TRACO tried to get the manufacturer interested in producing Push Rods and or Wrist Pins, but at that time, the cost was prohibitive as the process required a large and very expensive Autoclave, high pressure, high temperature, controlled atmosphere mold press / oven. Today I'm sure the process would be (is) a fairly common process.

The Aluminum Cyl Heads were another PITA, requiring a special coating in the water jackets to keep the heat in, heating the heads and freezing the valve seats to replace them, then a special orbital valve seat grinder. Lots of time and work getting those ready.
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Dr L-88
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« Reply #126 on: January 19, 2013, 12:50:55 PM »

Rex, nice of you to check in with us again and I'm glad you have enjoyed this Traco thread. If you could post that color formula for the Traco grey when you get it, that would be terrific. I'd love to see some photos of your special parts too, if that is possible.

Thanks Jon.  Nice to be here for a change rather than on that Corv.... site (LOL).  I'll try to post the TRACO grey formula as soon as I can get it from my buddy.  Per your request, here are some of my more unusual parts that I've been fortunate enough to add to my collection over the years.  Don't mean to sound boastful, but I hope everyone enjoys seeing them.

This is an original Reynolds aluminum big block that was designed to be run without liners.  I have another one that came from Smokey Yunick in the 80s that he had installed iron liners in along with bronze lifter bushings. He worked it over pretty good.



Reynolds block from Smokey's


These are original magnesium valve covers



This is a prototype dual pickup oil pump for big blocks



Here is a fully degreed small block blalncer from TRACO


This is a cast aluminum front cover for big blocks with integral scavenging pump for dry sump system.  This was designed by Smokey Yunick


« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 01:38:44 PM by Dr L-88 » Logged
Jon Mello
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« Reply #127 on: January 19, 2013, 07:22:19 PM »

Rex, those are some really neat items. Are those Reynolds blocks not cast by the Winters Foundry then? I don't know enough about the ZL-1s. I love the experimental oil pump with the dual pick-ups and the balancer and front cover are terrific as well. Many thanks for sharing those. I think that's a collection of stuff that most of us here would love to own!
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Jon Mello
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Dr L-88
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« Reply #128 on: January 19, 2013, 07:50:33 PM »

Thanks for the kind words Jon.  I've been very fortunate to have been able to collect these items.  The first blocks were cast by Reynolds Metals (Massena NY foundry I believe), and they did not have the Winters snowflake whereas the later blocks were cast at the Chevrolet Tonawanda Engine Plant and they did have the snowflake.  As I recall, the first blocks all went to McLaren and Penske.  I also have another block that has the Winters snowflake and it was used in a real McLaren race car. It was built to 510 cubic inches.
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MO
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« Reply #129 on: January 19, 2013, 11:16:28 PM »

Great stuff...thanks for sharing with us!!
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Dr L-88
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« Reply #130 on: January 20, 2013, 09:34:47 AM »

Not mine nor do I have any relation to this seller, but I thought this was an interesting piece........................

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181061738167?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #131 on: January 20, 2013, 12:24:45 PM »

Rex, the "How to Hot Rod Small Block Chevys" book denotes that as a 830 CFM double-pump, mechanical secondaries carburetor with 1-11/16" throttle bores. This was a carburetor homologated by Chevy for use in the Trans-Am and supposedly was only available through the Chevy parts department. This carb in the auction has a much later service date however.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #132 on: January 20, 2013, 02:31:22 PM »

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......................don't know,  I jsut thought it was a neat piece since it was for the Trans Am series.

On another note, Mr. Pigpen, do you remember when TRACO changed the color of their decals from yellow to white?

Jon, does this forum have a "FOR SALE" section?

Thanks,
Rex


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Jon Mello
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« Reply #133 on: January 21, 2013, 12:45:15 AM »

Rex, we don't have a dedicated for sale section but have pointed out various ads for Camaro road race cars that are for sale and the occasional part here and there.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2013, 04:15:40 PM »

DR L-88,

"On another note, Mr. Pigpen, do you remember when TRACO changed the color of their decals from yellow to white?"

Tells you how bad my memory is, I don't even remember those decals at all, either Yellow or White, they may have been used after I left TRACO.

I do remember an oval shaped Yellow TRACO thin metal emblem with a stylized T over E design, but I can't remember if it was ever actually attached to an engine component.

Most people recognized a TRACO engine from the color and the fully indexed Vibration Dampener (Balancer). Some of the intake manifolds had "TRACO" molded in.

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"This is an original Reynolds aluminum big block that was designed to be run without liners.  I have another one that came from Smokey Yunick in the 80s that he had installed iron liners in along with bronze lifter bushings. He worked it over pretty good."

That's what TRACO should have done to all the early Aluminum blocks (sleeves), but I think GM had an interest in experimenting with the sleeveless design, and it was probably part of the deal Penske made to get them, to use them without sleeves.

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Your use of "Mr. Pigpen" brought back some memories of Travers. One of his pet peeves was not to call him "Sir" or "Mr", he'd reply that from past military experience, both were synonymous with "As_hole" or "F_cking Idiot". - LoL

Pigpen
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