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Thread: James Diedrich Hallum, 5/18/32 - 7/19/16

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Van Steenwyk View Post
    Russ:

    Regards your question about who would be interested in the noise the props made while running.

    I would imagine it would be someone like a think tank or engineering folks with Nuclear Submarines as this would have been in the time frame that they were trying to quiet the subs as much as possible to keep them from being detected.
    "
    I have a friend who was on the sister sub to the Thresher, the sub that was lost. I will tell him about this thread and the pertinent post as I am sure he will be interested. He was a diver and spent some time underwater free of the sub tapping underwater cables for information vital to our defense.
    Bill:
    It was not really a question. I was being indirect. (Sorry about that...)
    I will neither confirm nor deny your thoughts.
    Thank you for reading the long writings.
    R.R.

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    Default Walin & Rautenberg; Fast water guys, on wet or frozen

    Here is my only image of Gerry Walin & Dick Rautenberg from our early 1960's adventures in winter after the fast summers of boat racing. This is another marginal quality image extracted from 8mm movie film. This image is of Gerry & Dick in the Top lift line at Mt. Baldy in Ketchum (Sun Valley) Idaho. Skiing from about 9,000 ft. Baldy peak. The ski trip first went to Big Mountain in Whitefish, MT then to Ketchum & Sun Valley, ID & back to Seattle. Very good times with these guys summer & winter. Many Seattle boat racers were also skiers because the ski areas were only a 45 minute drive (some longer) and had night skiing.
    Baldy still-lift.jpg
    Dick was a long time skiing instructor. Gerry was a regular skier. I was a skier & lift operator.
    When the water froze for mountain snow the boat racers just geared up for the slopes and kept going fast.
    Russ Rotzler

  3. #53
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    This is an extremely interesting thread Russ. We are learning things we never knew. I hope you keep it up. Gerry Walin was a hero of mine. I read about him and Hugh Entrop in Boating News and a couple of other magazine a year or two before I ever started racing. Had no idea I would ever get to meet him. I was very shy and didn't talk to him the first time I saw him, and didn't want to take pictures later when I finally had some time to talk to him at Yelm because he was paralyzed below. I knew Dick and Penny Rautenberg fairly well. Penny helped me with info for race results, and I served a number of years on the Pro Racing Commission with Dick besides the time we spent racing together. The National Meetings were always great to be able to spend more quality time with competitors from across the country. Mark Demaray sent me a DVD of films taken by Jim Hallum from a lot of the races in the Northwest. Jim narrated the earlier ones, with Gerry Walin as the Fantum. Toward the end Jim had some film of my last run at Yelm in a laydown Butts going for the 700 hydro record. I will always remember my times in Washington and Oregon with fond memories, and cherish the stories you tell of what you guys out there were able to accomplish that most of us on the east side of the Rocky Mountains never knew what you were up to.



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    Master Racing:
    As Smitty has emphasized from his initial posting, there is so much more to remember about Hallum, Walin, the Andersons & Rautenbergs, and other Northwest outboard racers after the 1960’s. All of that must be done by those of you who were there with them later when so much more was accomplished, records set, significant equipment design changes, etc. I was not there so my old memory stories are from a short period by comparison. There is very little more that I can add although I will try to cobble any together before long. I feel OK about being able to write these old memories where folks can read and relate to them. It is good that, overall, more detail about these interesting old racers is told. The important continuing step is for more folks to write about their own personal details of times spent with these outstanding fellows and families. Maybe the emphasis of those stories could be about the persons rather than just the boat racers since they still are and were all interesting, fun at times, and worth a tale or three.
    R.R.

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    I'm going to put some public pressure on Russ, and I bet some of you can help me.

    Russ is an intelligent and talented individual and has done some very interesting work over the years. And while he will talk about some of it in PMs/emails with me, he is disinclined to have others think he might be exaggerating and tooting his own horn. He also has this weird notion that his many posts will eventually bore the members. I keep telling him NO!, anybody who follows this thread WANTS to hear the stories, and WANTS to hear about the technical stuff!!

    Okay now, how many of you old goats remember the Yamaha "GYT-kits"?? (Poor Russ, he's cringing as he reads this, LOL!!). I think it stood for Genuine Yamaha Technology (or Tuning, or ?). The GYT-kit was, IIRC, a replacement cylinder, head, pipe, not sure what else, that you could buy from your Yamaha dealer in the early Seventies to bolt on your motocross bike to hop it up. Mr. Rotzler has some inside dope on the development of the GYT-kit, and I KNOW you old guys will want to hear his account. It's a bit of history that only he can tell.

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    Default Unintended Consequences...

    I had already begun reworking this mid-1960’s tale as a final posting to suit Smitty. So now that he has become impatient maybe I can hurry a little.

    In previous writing I told of the two small motorcycles that Hallum, Dunn, and I used as test machines for engine modification extremes (beyond what was already done in the Anzani’s), and many pipe tests. They were also raced on dirt short tracks. Both had the valved 2-stage pipes so had full effect from below 8K to above 14K rpm with a long overlap in the ranges. The two moto’s were a 50cc Tohatsu and an 80cc Yamaha. Both about 1961-62 vintage, the Yamaha used a disk rotary valve, the Tohatsu used piston skirt intake timing. Everything learned had potential transfer to the Anzani. They both were powerful and hard to hold the front wheel down on full power starts if the rear wheel did not completely break loose. The Yam had the same bad habit going to 2nd gear. So that brings this tale:

    That Yamaha 80cc was my addition to the test bike stable. It got the full-plus-extreme treatment in testing limits for everything.  Actually never found limits because these were modified stock motor parts. Always a little more power or extended power range. Also, anything more than could be applied to the Anzani or Dunn’s Suzuki X6 road racer was rather pointless.

    A little south of Dunn’s home in Everett, WA on old highway 99 was the Yamaha dealership of Bard Hanson & his Father. (Bard’s father had been a C-Service boat racer with the older Seattle gang). Bard was a first rate young local flat track racer, 250 cc Bultaco I think, semi pro type rating.  

    Bard had seen me face down in the dirt trying to race the Yam 80 at Gold Creek indoor short track. He noticed the power and 2-stage pipes on the Yamaha & Tohatsu. When Dunn stopped at his shop Bard asked about both machines. Then asked us to bring the 80 to his shop for a back yard ride. We did that;  I warned him to load the front wheel but it still ran out from under him.   Second try he hung over the bars and got a good race type start spewing dirt through 2 gears.

    Bard asked if he could keep the 80 for a couple of days until the Yamaha importer Rep out of L.A. was going to be there.  The next week Bard was laughing as he told us how the 80 threw the Rep on the ground twice, once in 2nd gear. The Rep was a dirt racer too so was a bit shocked.

    The Yam Rep asked if he could get a set of parts with the racing mod’s in the 80 so I carved up a cyl., cut a valve, cut a Dykes top ring setup on a piston; ... didn’t make a “shell design” combustion chamber — just told them the chamber volume, the inlet port & carb throat size, and gave a length for the long pipe.   Hanson was authorized to give me Yam parts to modify.

    About a month later Bard told us that the "Factory" was impressed. Maybe a year or more later Yamaha (probably the LA operation) began selling a modification for the 80 called the GYT-Kit. ... Genuine Yamaha Tuning.... It was the set of mod’s from our test Yam 80. Yamaha also put these mod’s in GYT-Kit form for their newer small motors, maybe up to 200cc’s.  They couldn’t use the extreme mod’s fully because these kits had to be long lived, not just racers. On the 80’s they used a short high rise expansion chamber which had only a moderate effect and the common long tiny diameter stinger-outlet, (but it was all pretty chrome).

    Halum & I made 3 or 4 Yam 80 full mod cyl, Dykes ring piston, raised compression sets for local racers. Complete waste of time since there was more important racing gear needing attention.

    So there you have it Smitty.  Yeah, I remember that (dam...d) Yamaha GYT-Kit as a prototype. Seemed to work well enough when stuffed onto a standard machine.  Strange that the Factory did not know or do this long before being shown. My guess is that they didn’t expect these machines to be used for anything except putting along trails and streets. I think it was a little before the motocross era; Seattle area riders were still racing Scrambles, 250 cc and larger.
    R.R.

    P.S.
    More memory attempts on those early GYT-Kits. I do not remember any iron cylinder 'factory' kits but I think some were made available in L.A. When Hanson (Hansen?) first had a factory kit after that long initial quiet time, he called Hallum and we both were able to view and measure it. It was an aluminum cylinder, hard coated, (don't recall the method). The porting measured the same as my iron 80cc cylinders but was profiled for best ring support long term. The piston used more current thin chrome rings, two & about 1.0 mm thick. I think all later GYT-Kits used this method. During that period those kits did a fine job I think.

  7. #57
    Team Member DeanFHobart's Avatar
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    Russ,

    One more story please. Tell the folks about Jim Hallum's 'Chain Saw Racing' career. This story I'm sure no one is familiar with..... However very very interesting. I heard when he showed up for the first time at one of these events with a chain saw with pipes, the other competitors were flabbergasted.
    Dean Hobart

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    Way to go Smitty. That's a good story you got out of Russ, and Russ......we don't need just boat racing stories. I think you must know, as you have been there, that racers like to hear about motor modifications, racing, and personal stories about the people. Most of the guys I raced with all tuned to the Indy 500 when we raced on Memorial Day to listen between heats. Lot's of boat racers also raced ski mobiles in the winter and many also raced motorcycles, and some also ran carts. It's the kind of stuff you are telling us about that you did to the motors. I had a mechanic that taught me a lot. A lot of us used other mechanics or prop guys to help us beyond what our knowledge was. Thank you Dean for maybe coaxing out some more of Russ's memories.



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    Default Original Pacific Northwest racing chain saws, Mukilteo style...

    OK Dean, here is what I remember from that fun chain saw episode. It was quite amazing as you say.

    Hallum’s powerful 2-stroke motor successes were notice fairly soon in the latter 1960’s by a rather unique couple of serious woodsmen who were very active loggers in the Pacific Northwest. They were attending regularly scheduled logging competition-festivals in those many Northwest towns whose primary economics was based on felled trees and reducing them to manageable sizes. There was much included in these festivals including the traditional log rolling, axe work, and those quite effective two-(person) long cross cut saws.

    I wandered into Losfar’s Boathouse one afternoon and Hallum was still feeling amused by the earlier events. Jim took me outside where a test log about 15 inches in diameter and the professional size Stihl long bar chain saw was sitting. Saw chips were everywhere. The saw owners had earlier left for home in Mt. Vernon. The Stihl was left behind because it required a new starting cord handle that would not fracture and blow apart if the saw motor kicked back when starting because of fixed ignition timing with high compression. This was a very serious problem; a little hard for outboard racers to know even with a few snatched-back starter ropes.

    Jim told of two loggers arriving one day from Mt. Vernon, (half way to British Columbia from Seattle), some months earlier and telling him about these chain saw competitions which they regularly entered and how really serious (maybe only bragging rights, yearly total points, and a trophy) the events were. They showed Jim their "Pro Logger" Stihl chain saw which was very nicely loop scavenged but very “over square” (bore/stroke) compared to all of the racing motors Jim normally dealt with.

    The loggers asked Jim if he could make their Stihl saw into a “racing chain saw” like his other excellent motors they knew about from reading and local talk. Jim liked the idea of finally having a motor to “hot rod” that was really over-square and an excellent design otherwise. The other important factor was that cutting logs was best done at a stable rpm, not yet exactly known. It was a motor power load where the chain produced the most chips, kept its momentum, but was not necessarily peak rpm. Somewhere above max. torque.

    Pipes could be tuned for maximum effect exactly at this power range for max. applied torque at a stable cutting rpm. A few test cuts with the upgraded motor showed the best rpm band.

    Jim could only tell me of his modifying work on this Stihl. The raised cyl. porting, reed valves behind multiple pumper carbs, high compression & combustion chamber reconfiguration, and a pipe that was set for best torque at cutting rpm.

    The only failure was the starter rope handle which would blow up in those strong logger’s hands if the motor kicked back. First fix was a water ski double-hand-hold handle with the starter rope wound around it. That was good for cutting tests but was not going to be any good flopping around in contests. Jim made something work but I do not know what it was except that it did not use the familiar traditional handle with a center knotted starter cord in a through hole.

    After that the real fun began and Jim was really chuckling as he told about the amazing success the loggers told him they were having with their new saw. (A side note I vaguely recall is that they were eventually restricted from competition by rule changes).

    The Stihl saw was a very new brand in USA Logging at that time. I think that all former dominant Pro saws were American cross flow designs. Sometimes big heavy beasts because of large motor size for the power required. The Mt. Vernon loggers who brought the Stihl to Jim were already suspicious characters “packin’ thet ‘ferren’ equipment”.

    The chain saw cutting competitions were what you might imagine except for one where a standard size long log was cantilevered out at 20 or 30 degrees above horizontal. The logger ran out from the base, whacked off a marked width slab, and ran back to set a time. They also did a standing cut on a large standard diameter horizontal log and another event which was a vertical pole climb, cut, and max. rapid descent to trip the clock. These loggers were very tough, agile characters,... no surprise on that.

    The bottom line on this was almost magic viewing for those attending these logging competitions. The Hot Rod Stihl cut all diameter logs in times thought impossible before then. The angled log had the hot-rod-piped Stihl back at the base before the competitors were half way through their cut. The same for the vertical climb topping cut and even shorter for the standard horizontal log. It was an almost impossible situation for the competitors. My guess is that all Pro chain saws out working in the forests were soon lighter, more powerful, and more efficient for the loggers.

    As with the 100 mph Anzani, needed change was suddenly obvious. Another ‘Bravo’ for a serious NW logger, Jim Hallum engine mod’s, and the “MukPipeCo.” tuned pipe. A proven practical precision tool regardless of whatever may have been happening internally.

    An additional thought. I am pretty sure that there was not a valved twin pipe in the final configuration here but at first an open megaphone may have been part of the tests. I used to know that detail, .. it is a short blip in memory, now gone.

    R.R.

  10. #60
    Team Member DeanFHobart's Avatar
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    Thank you Russ.... This is some really good history about the Genius Jim Hallum.
    Dean Hobart

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