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

  1. #61
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    Default Program

    David:
    I have the same program; have sent it to Ken. Mine is yellow with age but is also on news print. I can't tell you why. I remember Strang's comments on Parker as to why they didn't finish and saying they were going to Tx.

  2. #62
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    Default there was another company...............

    Infinite Engines that used some stuff from moeller, there was a few of us old OMC guys workin there, they actually had 3 prototypes running, one was in a Boston Whaleer jet boat, one of the early modified OMC versions was in a polaris SL750 hull,, and the final one went into a Sea Doo hull, i beleive we were only getting maybe 60hp per rotor also... one thing i did and they closed down before it was run, made a 3 wall ex pipe, keeping the inner pipe hot and not cooling with water.....unfortunatly it didnt get enuf testing, i heard that sea doo still has that somewhere...........the whole program was based on being more emission friendly.........the problem is i think that its just not run of the mill technoglogy and its not been accepted, i know rotor seal technology has improved alot, ive always wondered how that 4 rotor would do in drag racing, the power curve is in the right place............Keep this rollin Ken....its always good to see kewl stuff

  3. #63
    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    I had never thought of a rotary engine in a PWC ... sounds perfect
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.

  4. #64
    Preserving OMC Heritage LIQUID NIRVANA's Avatar
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    I would like to call upon anybody, particularly OMC employees who has pictures, super8, video's, race programs, and anybody who would feel they would like to add their 2 cents, PLEASE do so. I/We want to hear from you because it is important to get this wonderful heritage out there. Ex OMC employees with their rememberances are particularly welcome. If you have things stashed away in a wardrobe or wherever then bring it out & take a photo & post it here. OMC purchased the patents in 1966 for 2 or 3 million dollars & subsequently spent another 200 million in development only to put in on the backburner in 1976, NOT because it had no future BUT because the EPA were looking for an excuse to ban the 2 stroke. Check out the opening pages "EPILOG" for more info. The Rotary had MASSIVE potential, way better than the piston driven engines we are stuck with, & it is a tragedy that it sits on the backburner.

    Its a shame that if you google OMC Rotary there is virtually nothing on the net at all. I/We have to change that.

    I wish Moeller (who purchased has all the OMC rotary info, parts & stock) would consider develop a rotary powerhead to mate to a suitable mid & gearcase. It should at least be looked into.

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    Default i believe it was maybe 1988 or 89...........

    there was project Jennifer..............2 rotor version mounted on 70hp mid and gearcase, was to be released as one of those sea drive things...........i wanna say it was in the 70 - 80 hp range...........that powerhead design i believe was the one that was used in the infinite project......... i didnt have alot of time spent on powerheads cuz i was makin all the rest of the stuff.........so alot of it is very fuzzy as of now.........the coolest thing we did......because the crankshaft was so high we had to make a drop case to get to the jet pumps.........ended up using a cog belt drive to do that.......very minor efficiency loss..........there was alot of upper management hanky panky goin on and it never got to the stage of production, even though we were geared up to make them......u know, bein that we are so GREEN driven all of a sudden, maybe theres some potential for more development........u never know

  6. #66
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    I just made a startling discovery. I was looking for the few pics I have of the rotaries from the Galveston race and came upon some of Tommy Posey and Barry Woods from 1975. I looked at the dates and they were all August 1975. I asked Joe how many times we saw the rotaries run and he said once...at Galveston. This race appears to be Clear Lake near NASA. I am 99% sure. I will try to dig up more info to confirm, but I don't think I ever got a program from that race. More to follow.

    BTW Lars...you may use any of my photos to post on the Swedish website.
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  7. #67
    Team Member WharfRat's Avatar
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    Wayne, I'm pretty sure that's the course by the Baytown tunnel by the looks of it, it ain't Clear Lake though

  8. #68
    BoatRacingFacts VIP JSR Motorsports's Avatar
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    Default Wankels in Texas

    My Dad Larry Soares raced his sport J boat at clear lake in 1975. That was the only other time we ever saw those motors at a race since Parker 1972 . Those things were FAST! It would be cool to see how they would run on the boats of today. Somewhere my dad may have 8mm movies of them at parker.

  9. #69
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    I was not sure myself at first either Scott. The lighting changed quite a bit during the day because of a squall, and then I took some pictures from a pickup boat and depending upon the direction of the sun, some of the pictures don't look like they were taken on the same day or even the same place. I never went to the race course near Bayside or Bayshore??, but if you are thinking of LaPorte, I only went there once. I found my B&W contact sheets and they confirm that it was Clear Lake on August 2 and 3rd, 1975. It was the Red Adair North American Championships.

    This was the race I took that B&W picture of Ted May walking in the pits wearing his life jacket. Ted had wanted Ron Hill to come with him, but Ron had other committments. Bob Nordskog was there driving his diesel powered KM. Jimbo didn't show and it appears only Tommy Posey and Barry Woods were driving rotaries. I don't have a program, nor the results. I had only been dating my future wife Debbie for nine months and she came with me to the race. So I was preoccupied and didn't send anything to Powerboat. Maybe Mark Spencer was there, but I don't think so. I am not sure if this race got any national coverage although it should have judging from the talent that raced there.

    The other thing I discovered is that I apparently don't have any of the negatives from 1973. I only have pics of the September race at Galveston, but the rotaries didn't appear at that fall race. Some of these pictures have been posted before, but I had never paid attention to the date. I was always just going for the driver. In one of the pictures where they are getting the boats in position I enlarged the photo in the transom area hoping someone may identify crew members. More later with the B&W pics.
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  10. #70
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    It would be great if you could find your Dad's film and have it converted John. While I had the slides and contact sheets out I checked the boat numbers from your profile to see if I had any pics, but came up short. Did your Dad run a different number at that race? I found one boat of Alan Yaw's that was apparently the one that Johnny Sanders drove and was maybe sold. In a couple of pics it had Johnnie's name duct taped over and in the race it ran under the number of 19. Alan apparently had a new boat there for Johnny because he was also racing under his regular 196 number.



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