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Author Topic: TRACO Fans  (Read 34335 times)
Jon Mello
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« Reply #150 on: June 28, 2013, 08:57:26 AM »

Thanks for the recollections. Pretty neat that you worked alongside Bill Howell in Vince's group. Certainly a wealth of technical know-how in that group. It does not seem logical to me to defeat the dampening properties of the harmonic balancer but obviously it was done.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 10:03:35 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #151 on: June 28, 2013, 09:50:17 AM »

"did you ever meet bill howell your days at traco ?? i went to the TA races thru GM and bill and i would spy on the ford camp by hanging around in their pits."

Hi motorman,

I knew 2 people named Bill Howell; One was "Davy Crocket" at TRACO who left about a year after I started work there, he's the one who tagged me with "Pigpen". Last I saw him he was riding off on his Harley, never heard any more about him.

The other Bill Howell was the "go-to" person (engineer) for Chevy racing components at GM, he frequently stopped in at TRACO and many of the races, I met him numerous times but only had a conversation with him when I needed Aluminum 427 Heads and oversize valve seats while I was working for Roy Woods.
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motorman
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« Reply #152 on: June 28, 2013, 02:12:53 PM »

bill was my go to guy at GM racing and katech. used to get care packages as the mrs called them from both back in the day.
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new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
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« Reply #153 on: June 28, 2013, 02:18:17 PM »

Thanks for the recollections. Pretty neat that you worked alongside Bill Howell in Vince's group. Certainly a wealth of technical know-how in that group. It does not seem logical to me to defeat the dampening properties of the harmonic balancer but obviously it was done.
the inter part of the damper where the 3 screws went thru was slotted so the outer ring could still move radially . the screws were there to keep the outer ring from coming off. I can't post pictures here so I can't show you
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 02:35:44 PM by motorman » Logged

new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
Jon Mello
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« Reply #154 on: June 28, 2013, 04:49:45 PM »

OK, now that makes sense. Thanks for that extra information.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #155 on: June 28, 2013, 09:18:33 PM »

OK, now that makes sense. Thanks for that extra information.
I sent you a email with the sketch
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new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
Jon Mello
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« Reply #156 on: June 29, 2013, 12:01:16 AM »

Here it is. Thanks for sending it in.



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Jon Mello
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« Reply #157 on: June 29, 2013, 07:25:26 AM »

glad i was able to help out because some sites don't welcome my help.   Cheesy
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new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
Jon Mello
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« Reply #158 on: June 29, 2013, 10:09:47 AM »

Well, you did good here so thanks for your participation.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #159 on: July 04, 2013, 09:44:54 AM »

That dampener modification make a lot of sense, although I never saw any dampener problems on the small block or 427 chevys during the time I spent at TRACO, and we did not make that modification then (on any of the engines I remember).

The only engine I remember having a dampener problem, as I mentioned previously, was a 454 block Chevy, where the dampener and crankshaft had to be balanced together, the dampener had additional material added in one area. That 454 was 1 of 2 used in a cigarette boat for offshore racing, and subjected to extreme over rev conditions, when the boat left the water and the throttles could not be pulled back fast enough. The pilot said it failed during one of the over revs.

I mentioned the 2 Bill Howells I knew in a previous post, Bill Howell (Davy Crockett) at TRACO was actually Walter Howell, but everyone called him "Bill", I'm not sure why Bill and not Walt.

Pigpen
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #160 on: July 04, 2013, 10:05:51 AM »

Here's Bill Howell from GM standing next to Mark Donohue. This was taken at Marlboro Raceway after the '67 Trans-Am season was
over. I think it was December '67. Penske's team was testing Goodyear and Firestone tires and the new Holley double-pumper carbs.
Penske had been a Firestone tire distributor but switched to Goodyear after this. The crossram set-up would render the double-pumper
Holley irrelevant for the upcoming '68 Trans-Am season.
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« Reply #161 on: July 04, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »

i was at marlboro race track when mark was almost killed. the was practicing in a open wheel formula car when he spun coming up onto the oval. he was setting facing traffic when dr geo don't remember his last name drove his ferrari over the front of marks car and stopped several inches from marks head which was against the roll bar. i was there that day with ed lowther and he had been pushing SCCA to stop allowing the open wheel and the closed wheel car from practicing together. this stopped it
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new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
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« Reply #162 on: July 04, 2013, 10:33:09 AM »

here is bill's business now run by his son matt. http://howellefi.com/
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new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.
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« Reply #163 on: July 04, 2013, 10:58:01 AM »

I found this old photo of Davy Crockett on the TRA-CO website under "Friends". I'm not sure when it was taken, it's marked 1984. He looks exactly as I remember him back in the late 60's.

Walter Howell III aka "Davy Crockett" 
Jim Jones 1984

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #164 on: January 01, 2014, 11:03:07 AM »

Short SEMA "Heritage" article on Traco pointed out to me by Robert Lodewyk. Nice to see them still getting some recognition.

http://www.sema.org/sema-enews/2013/22/sema-heritage-chevy-small-block-and-traco-engineering
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