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Thread: OMC’s 4-Rotor Wankel Racing Engine - The Real Story

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Powerboat April 1975
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skoontz View Post
    In the article, it claimed Mercury was not far behind OMC with a rotary. Was this true in any capacity?

    Also, there are definite parallels between the OPC and the rotary and the turbine cars of Indy ( 1967,68) as to how things were handled. Just as the racing commission ruled the 3 turbine cars that ran in 1968 had to run smaller air intakes to slow them down, the next play in the book if they had hit production would probably have been to restrict them in some way.

    This is great stuff!
    Mercury was indeed working on a rotary headed up by Ben Schafer. I'm told they actually had an engine running. It wasn't a race engine but something like 20 hp. At the time all rotary licences included a share all info and patent clause, so anything OMC had would have been avaiable to Merc if they had a licence. OMC was parinoid about Merc getting rotary info from them. As can be seen in some of the photos Ken has posted, some of the parts have covers in certian places and actually had false parts shown. When GM signed a licence in '74 they insisted that this clause be elimenated from the date of signing forward. That is they would have free axcess to all rotary patents and info up till the date of signing , but they would keep all their stuff to themselves after that. This started the demise of the "rotary club". OMC started writing all the patent stuff around piston engines to avoid having to give the info to others or kept it a trade secret. Much of the rotary development at OMC wasn't revealed for that reason. An interesting tid-bit; OMC had 6 exhaust manifold built in Engineering and had them sent over to the Johnson plant for the standard water sealing treatment. Only 5 came back. OMC went nuts! The Johnson plant had to drain their tanks looking for the sixth manifold and the guy that carried them to the plant had to walk his route (about a mile) with several helpers looking for it. OMC finally ran an ad in the local newspaper offering a $100.00 "no question asked" reward for its return. OMC was convinced Merc had somehow gotten it. It was returned a couple of days later by a local that picked it up for scrap. It actually had bounced out of the Cushman truck the guy was using to transport them between plants.

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    Preserving OMC Heritage LIQUID NIRVANA's Avatar
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    I drop this in just for historical significance. OMC were into different propoltion units all through their history. Even in 1962 the gas turbine had its turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LIQUID NIRVANA View Post


    I drop this in just for historical significance. OMC were into different propoltion units all through their history. Even in 1962 the gas turbine had its turn.
    Side bar on marine turbines as told to me by some X Merc people. Mercury had a gas turbine running as an I/O. Karl Kiekafer wanted to take it for a ride. The water inlet was on the bottom of the boat and the engineers told Karl he had to idle out of the harbor because of the sand in shallow water. Typical Karl got in the boat and nailed the throttle. The engine picked up sand and the turbine exploded cutting the boat in half. There was Karl floating in the front half screaming at everybody and every thing. Nobody wanted to rescue him because of his tantrum.

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    Looks like they made the nose of that put drive more hydrodynamic by pointing it upward. If you recall, the nose of the older OMC lower unit boats was completely rounded. I wonder if that one had those ridiculous bronze pawls or fingr gears that failed every 200 hours or so....
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    Burgess/Evinrude F1 V8 Lars Strom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skoontz View Post
    Looks like they made the nose of that put drive more hydrodynamic by pointing it upward. If you recall, the nose of the older OMC lower unit boats was completely rounded. I wonder if that one had those ridiculous bronze pawls or fingr gears that failed every 200 hours or so....

    Hihi,

    Dont make fun of those "finger gears"...
    I made lots of money replacing them..
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    Check my own racing history at BRF...http://www.boatracingfacts.com/forum...ead.php?t=6727

    My racing web site SVERA.se....http://svera.se/blogg/paris-6-hours/

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    Isn't that the truth Lars? Some of those things would come in and look like each finger was a ball peen hammer that got the short end of an ugly stick.
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    You Merc guys go back and look at post no.120

    There was a big discussion on weather or not Merc ever ran a boat with twin Twister 2's. Those sure look like Twister 2's on Reggies Glastron.
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    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Poole View Post
    You Merc guys go back and look at post no.120

    There was a big discussion on weather or not Merc ever ran a boat with twin Twister 2's. Those sure look like Twister 2's on Reggies Glastron.
    It sure does. I wonder if it was a factory set up or something Reggie did on his own?
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.

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    I had no idea Dr. Wankel had competitors under license. I think I may have heard something about sharing reasearch, but I always thought that was between different types of manufacturers i.e. automotive, outboards, snowmobiles, etc. This is some really good stuff. I especially liked the story about the 6 exhaust manifold.

    This article appeared in "Petersen's Complete Book Of POWERBOATS"...The 1973 edition. Rather than crop out the small parts pertaining to the rotary, I just decided to post the final two pages complete.
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