Missed the show? Read on to see what the weekend entailed

Missed the show? Read on to see what the weekend entailed ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage ImageImage The 2006 TCRA Seminar was a huge success thanks to all of the participants, sponsors and vendors. On Thursday there was a bus waiting to pick up over 80 attendees for the Raybestos Powertrain Facility tour. Raybestos Powertrain opened its doors to the manufacturing plant and Tech Center. The group was so large that it had to be split up into numerous groups of ten. The facility was more than impressive. The common theme heard among visitors was, “WOW I never realized how much went into a clutch.” The Tech center’s equipment was so impressive that many of the people couldn’t believe the amount of time and energy that goes into developing and testing the clutches that they use every day.

Raybestos Powertrain over-indulged seminar guests with a well-catered lunch held in a large tent outside on the company’s property. The folks at Raybestos Powertrain even suprised Dave Perry with an unexpected birthday dessert. There were some big laughs when eyes caught sight of Don Randolph’s birthday kiss landing on the top of Perry’s head.

Friday, the technical seminar was jam-packed with the finest talent this industry had to offer. The highlight was the support of the “Big Three.” For the first time in several years we had speakers from Ford, GM and Daimler Chrysler. Lou Darling discussed what is coming down the pike with Chrysler and the possibility for problems of interchangeability with the pilot sizes for different applications. He even brought down some sample torque converters to be viewed by all. Victor Roses discussed all the new items and how GM has set up a new “family” approach to its transmission lines. Fred Gerometta discussed many of the good, important basics that need to be followed as well as confirming much of the information about the importance of cleanliness and clearances on the Ford line of converters.

The really big news, however, was provided by John Lobsiger of GM. He described in detail GM’s commitment to sell components to the aftermarket, specifically clutches with the carbon fiber lining. He mentioned that this decision came as a direct response to the requests from members at previous TCRA Seminars. I guess the TCRA is making its way to the big boys, and they are listening. TCRA is proud to be the venue that is viewed as the place to release this groundbreaking news.

As always, the research work done by the folks at Sonnax was outstanding. Bob Warnke provided information on current problems with the 4R100, and Ed Lee described some of the proper building procedures for the Multi-cluch Ford converters. Many people agreed that this information alone would have paid for the trip out to Indy.

Fran Slocum, VP of sales with Raybestos Powertrain, had an invaluable presentation about the way the lockup systems operate in torque converters. He gave it an interesting and funny approach with his “KISS” analogy. Angela Petroski’s presentation basically backed up what everyone was feeling about Raybestos after they went on the tour, it takes a lot of time, energy and resources to make these clutches. She gave a description of the company’s capabilities and resources to get the job done.

This year the door prizes were far and away the best yet with thousands of dollars given away to the attendees. The list includes gift certificates for equipment, cutting tools, clutches, race kits, t-shirts, hats, CD roms, cups and the ever loved cash. The vendors had all of the wares for sale at tables surrounding the seminar room. ATI, NTZ, Precision International, Sonnax, The Shop Doc, Tri Component, Superflow and race kits by Trans Specialties, John Parmenter from Precision International, who is no stranger to the technical seminar circuit, was on hand to discuss some real world transmission problems. John also backed up the fact that this industry needs to have better communication with the transmission builders. He has been singing that song at every trade shows he attends. After the show, Parmenter mentioned he couldn’t believe that there was this much information available and the level of expertise of the people in the room. Don Randolph had the room bright eyed with some really excellent technical information about defi- nitions and standards. Starting with some of the proper ways to measure torque converter dimensions. Because of some tech-

nical difficulties with the audio visual equipment that Joe Rivera was having, Don stepped up and presented in the earlier time slot and really rounded home with his presentation. The final wrap up came from the new president of TCRA, Joe Rivera, who demonstrated the look and feel of the new website that will be live in the next coming week. J o e a l s o discussed the import a n c e o f m e m b e r – ship participation and how much the organ i z a t i o n has grown in the last year. It was said more than once that there was so much technical information provided that it almost seemed overwhelming. For that reason, all the information provided will be available to the members of TCRA on the website as soon as possible.

Don Randolph presented flowers to Kimberly Stevens to demonstrate our appreciation for all of her help getting the show off the ground. She was instrumental in making all of these administrative duties happen. Joe Rivera presented a plaque to Dave Perry to add to their collection of awards on their wall.

As always the attendees had ample time to meet and greet with their piers, especially at the hotel bar and grill. On Saturday it looked like a college coffee house with the laptops out and the beverages flowing. This was also a great place to meet TCRA members from all over the world including New Zealand, Holland, and Barbados. Many of the members were comparing notes and showing pictures of how they rebuild torque converters.

The night life in downtown Indianapolis was second to none. With a few hundred thousand people traveling in for the races there was no shortage of fun places to go to and new people to meet. The dining in Indy was equally spectacular with some of the finest restaurant lined up down the street of downtown.

Unfortunately, on Saturday the qualifications were cancelled due to weather; however, that didn’t seem to bother many of the attendees. Most of the people braved the rain just to go out and see the facility and the museum. There was a bus tour that took everyone on the track and explained the history of the facility.

If you missed the seminar …you missed a lot. But don’t worry, the technical information will be listed on the website as well as the pictures from all of the events. BUT don’t miss next year’s event and stay tuned for when and where it will be. With the way the last couple of seminars have gone…it is bound to be great.