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

  1. #51
    Preserving OMC Heritage LIQUID NIRVANA's Avatar
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    Lars,

    If you need extra support I am happy to help. I am still scanning all the photo's & other things that John Sheldon has sent me & I will email those pictures to you & support you however you want. Also, I am sending Sam Cullis (Mark 75H) all these scanned photo's & other things, he is enhancing them & they should come up well after he has worked his magic on them.

    I have absolutely no doubt that these Rotary's would shock todays racers. Don't forget there are 4 brand new (with dyno sheets) in boxes out there somewhere. They are better than the engines that we are seeing on this thread. John Sheldon was instructed to have them built & put into storage back in 1976.

    Now Lars!!! If we can attach one of the "Moellor" 2009 Rotary powerheads to an Outboard gearcase then you may have the start of what you want to do. Sponsor a Champ Boat TEAM perhaps. John Sheldon (ROTARY JOHN) can point you in the right direction. We can all dream!!!

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    One of the interesting delemas we had at the time, was we could never get a single or twin rotor to dulicate direct proportional HP, even using the 4 rotor hardware. That is if the 4 rotor produced 280hp, a single rotor should approach 70. It never happened and we never did figure it out. Moller aquired all of OMC's rotary stuff in the late 80's and has made some significant improvements since then. He is pulling 80hp from a single rotor @ 7000 RPM. He has solved the biggest problem we faced with the engine, the rotor bearing. He uses direct injection of oil into the bearing instead of the premix we used. He has also redesigned the induction system to more equalize the temperature differential across the rotor. Moller has put his engine in several demo products including a jet boat and a PWC. He has pictures on his web site.

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    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    John, can you tell us about the special torque wrench we see being used on the rotary?
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.

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    Sam: There was nothing special about the torque wrench, just BIG. We started by torquing the thru bolt nut to 600 lb-ft. resulting in a 36,000 lb axial load. As you can see in the pictures, it was a 2 man job and the assembly bench had to be C-clamped to a stationary support. When the bolts started breaking, we went to measuring the strech in the bolt with a micrometer to assure the proper axial load. It was streched .062". We still used the torque wrench to tighten the bolt because it was the only 2 man wrench we had. Later on in the program, we got rid of the thru bolt and used a turn buckle (left-right threads) right at the curvic coupling. It was still torqued to 600 lb'ft using the torque wrench as there was no way to measure strech with the turn buckle being inside the crank.

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    Lars: It would be fun to see what that engine could do on a modern race boat. One of the problems OMC had were the boats. All the Scotties we used were built for the V-4's. When we put the power on the rotarys on them they were really squirllely. Also, the additional speed caused more lift then the drivers were accustom to resulting in blow overs. I remember them tip toeing around corners and turning too sharp or appling power too early resulted in a barrel roll, both of which happened more than once. Scottie was kill in 75, thus we never had any new boats. When I see how the boats run today, it would be fun!

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    People in the above pictures. Mouse Wade is the blue T-shirt; Mike Kukla in the tan T; Tom Corton in the striped T, George Miller (head of the rotary engineering group) in the white shirt and tie, and me in the yellow shirt with tie. The dyno pictures is Whitey Harris.

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    I thought that was the "Mouse" when I saw the picture....Is he still around John?
    Bill Schwab
    Dirty Deck Brewing
    Company

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skoontz View Post
    I thought that was the "Mouse" when I saw the picture....Is he still around John?
    Mike Gwaltney says he's is Fl. now.

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Here are a few pages from the Galveston Speed Classic program in 1973. The stark contrast is not because I have copied it many times over. This was what I got at the race. If you got a copy of the race program John, was yours like this one? I don't really know if mine was a XEROX (tm) because they didn't have enough, or as I expect a last minute program quickly put together and printed up by the Houston Gulf Coast Marathon Association. All the other programs of the Galveston races were on newspaper stock with lots of advertising and halfscreen photos. All these photos in this program were contrasty copies of pictures that had been previously published. I am not sure why this particular program is different from all the others, but it may be that they had heard about the rotaries appearance and didn't have enough time to produce the regular program. Or maybe Joe and I got there late. David Alaniz...what might you be able to tell us about this since you were an insider in the HGCMA?
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    Where have many of the names on the program disappeared to over the years? Why are they not on e????
    Bill Schwab
    Dirty Deck Brewing
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