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LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:49 AM
As told by John Sheldon
Former OMC rotary engineer



PREFACE
After the successful introduction of the 35 HP and 45 HP air cool/charged cooled snowmobile engine, OMC started working on water cooled/charged cooled variants of the same engine. Basically all the parts were the same except the housings, which were water cooled. Contrary to previous OMC, Curtis Wright and Mazda water cooled engines which had the water flowing axially; parallel to the crankshaft; these engines were partially circumferentially cooled. Water entered before the spark plug, ran around the rotor housing and exited around the exhaust port. The side housings picked up water at the entrance point for the rotor housing, travel across the hot section of the housing and exited at a low pressure point after the exhaust port. Both single and dual rotor engines had been prototype and development work had begun. The single rotor produced 50/55 HP and the 2 rotor produced 110/120 HP. The increase in HP was due to the improved volumetric efficiency (increased air flow) due to the lower temperatures resulting from water-cooling. Both these engines were configured for outboard use and were coupled to current lower units. At one board of directors meeting the twin rotor engine was mounted to a boat for demo rides. The tachometer was disconnected and the engine was left running. Every one that got into the boat turned the key to start the engine. There was no noise, no motion, no vibration. It was impressive.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:51 AM
BIRTH OF THE 4 ROTOR RACE ENGINE

Charlie Strang was the head of OMC at the time. At the world championships in Lake Havasu in 1972, Johnny Sanders won the race for Johnson, but only because Mercury broke. It was clearly apparent Mercury was faster than the OMC engines. Both companies were running 100 ci 2-cycle engines, but Mercury had an in line 6 cylinder and the OMC engines were V-4’s. The additional cylinders of the Mercury engines allow more air flow, resulting in additional power. The Mercury engine was producing approximately 200HP while the OMC V-4 was producing approximately 175 HP. There wasn’t much to do to get around this. After the race, in October, Charlie Strang came by to chat with George Miller. George was head of the rotary engine engineering group at the time. He confirmed with George that the 2 rotor engine was producing 115/120 HP. He speculated with George if we stacked 2 of the twins on top of one another, we would have an engine that produced 240 HP and we would finally have a chance to “beat those black bastards”. George reluctantly agreed, but pointed out to Charlie he didn’t have the manpower to assign to the project and it most likely would take a year or two. Charlie agreed, but said lets delay some of the other programs and put some one on it. Besides, he said, racing will find weaknesses and force development much faster than conventional engineering development. As he was leaving George’s office he said “oh, by the way, I want to race them at Parker, Az in March. So began what was referred to as HSXL; Havasu experimental limited and was assigned the project # D706.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:52 AM
INITIAL DESIGN WORK

Reluctantly George assigned Mike Griffith to the program. The first issue addressed was the crankshaft. A stationary gear is required for each rotor and its pitch diameter is dictated by engine geometry and can’t be changed. Because this is smaller than the eccentric diameter, either the crankshaft or stationary gear has to be split. It was decided to keep the stock stationary gear and use 2 –two rotor crankshafts, some how magically held together in the middle. Mike remembered Mercedes Benz had used a coupling on their 3 and 4 rotor engines put into their C-111 experimental cars. After a little research, Mike found out Gleason Works had a curvic coupling* that resembles an involute gear standing on its end. OMC was one of Gleason Works biggest customers. After a few phone calls a curvic coupling design was developed by Gleason that would work for this application. Because of the separating forces generated by the curvic coupling and the fact we wanted the crankshaft to think it was one piece (more on this later) an enormous clamping load was required to hold the two cranks together. The solution was a thru bolt; a very special thru bolt. It was 7/8” in diameter and was made from EDT-180. A material having 180,000 psi minimum yield strength. The bolt was necked down along it center section to equalize the stress in the threaded ends, due to stress riser from the threads. The decision was also made to have 180 degree eccentric spacing instead of 90 degrees. This allowed the engine to be dynamically balanced without counter weights and use 2 of the current 2 rotor crankshafts. Rotors 1 and 4 along with 2/3 were in phase with each other. Because 2 rotors fired at the same time, the stock ignition system from the twin rotor could be used. Each plug had its own coil, but only 2 triggers were used. Charlie Strang came up with the idea on mounting the engine almost directly to the gear case eliminating the conventional mid-section and lowering the overall height of the package; i.e. lower center of gravity would me faster turns. Thus the so-called bucket came into being. It had to be tall enough to keep water from spilling over when at rest or idle and be waterproof. It was decided to use stock snowmobile carbs and all the internal hardware; rotors, seals, bearings, etc. This minimized the new parts that need to be designed and produced. Remember race in March. With the conceptual design complete, detail design started. All of the housings had to be new as long thru bolts outside of the conventional 2 rotor engine thru bolts were used to hold every thing together. Also, the bottom housing of the top engine and the top housing of the bottom engine had to be modified to allow mounting to the steering arm and the two engine to stand on each other. New snowmobile flywheels were cast without counter weights and using existing 2 rotor crankshaft castings allowed the modification for the coupling and thru bolt. The exhaust system for the 2 rotor was a steel casting with deflectors turning the exhaust flow 90 degrees downward. Two of these were used on the 4 rotor with the housings acting as the water cooled box around them. Designs were completed, parts were ordered and the first engine was assembled. The day of reckoning came and the engine was ready for its first dyno run. The engine produced 220 HP at 6500 RPM. Acceptable for the first try, but disappointing none the less. This was also crankshaft HP and the gear case absorbed approximately 15 HP. This meant the power to the prop wasn’t much more than the V-4.

* footnote on Curvic couplings from Sam Cullis: They were developed by Gleason Works for early jet engines. The first outboard use of them was by Dieter Konig in the 1950's. I am certain Charlie Strang knew that Konig had used them. How Konig was able to acquire such advanced technology at that time is a mystery that would be a story worth telling if it could be learned.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:54 AM
INITIAL POWER DEVELOPMENT

We knew from previous work that the exhaust restriction was hindering power and the engine was somewhat subjective to exhaust tuning. This is where I entered the program. It was the first of the year and we were running out of time. The bosses decided we would work 2 – 12 hr shifts, 7 days a week. Illinois labor laws say an hourly paid worker can only work 13 days in a row and then must have a day off. The law didn’t apply to salaried people so Mike and I were on 12/7. Unfortunately, Mike got sick the first week on this schedule and ended up in the hospital. This meant I had to cover both shifts. I would go home at 2 in the morning and return at 6. We started by removing the butterfly in the peripheral port, enlarged the bore and venturis of the carbs and started working on exhaust tuning. The dynos at OMC did not have remote controls at that time so the operator and others including myself were in the dyno rooms while the engine was running. If anyone ever heard these engines run at the races, multiply that time ten and that gives you an idea what it was like in the dyno room. After determining what exhaust length gave the best power, the challenge was package it in the space that already existed in the original design. Mike and his designer came up with the solution and had parts made. The system was made from 6 aluminum casting welded together. The fear was the enormous heat of the rotary exhaust would melt the castings. As a result, a second water pump was added that only cooled the exhaust system. With the additions of all these changes, power went up to 260 crankshaft HP. The next hurtle to cross, would it survive the 9 hrs of Parker. An engine was built and mounted on a old twin engine Molinari racing tunnel. We took it to our Florida test base in Stuart and ran up and down the Indian River above the locks. The engine performed well and was cruising in excess of 100 MPH even though we weren’t pushing things. The first day went fine without incident. About half way thru the second day, the driver got it too high out of corner and blew it over backwards. The water was only 10 ft deep so the motor end went to the bottom and the front stuck out of the water. We could not see the driver and feared he was stuck in the boat under water. Jack Leek and I were in the chase boat and started immediately to the crash sight. Unfortunately, we didn’t even get on plane and the engine quit. Franticly we tried to figure out what was wrong and restart the engine. We had run out of gas! After quickly changing tanks we rushed to the sight. On the way there I stripped down to my skivvies ready to dive in and rescue the driver. The day before we had seen a 12 ft alligator lying on the shore but today he wasn’t there. All I could think on the way to the crash site was diving into the water and having that alligator show up. As we got closer we saw Rich bobbing behind the boat. The front of the boat sticking out of the water had blocked our view of him. I dove in and grabbed Rick. He was mad as a hornet, but not hurt. Off to the hospital for him; standard procedure for any driver that goes into the water. My technician and I went with the chase boat and hauled the boat back on the trailer. After taking the spark plugs out, cranking it over to clean out the water and replacing the plugs the engine started back up and ran just fine. We let it run for a half hour squirting oil in the carbs every once in awhile. Now what? A call went into Jimbo McConnell and he flew down the next day and finished the 10 hrs of testing. We all felt pretty good about going to Parker. While I was in Fl. Mike built two engines for the Miami press demo and then onto Parker. The press demo went very well and the guys headed for Parker * note; of all the pictures you see of the boats running you can tell the Miami boat as they did not have the fuel fill caps installed yet.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:55 AM
THE PARKER RACE

We had two boats at Parker. The Evinrude was driven by Jimbo McConnell and the Johnson by Tommy Posey. They were the talk of the prerace scene. The gear case used for the initial races was a twin pinion 15/17 ratio. This is used for max top speed. Parker was a “run what you brung” race, outboards, inboards, jet boats, hydros, single engine, dual engines, and even triples. It’s a river race with the boats going 6 ˝ miles up the river, turn around and come back. The race went off as scheduled and everyone held their breath to see who would lead the first lap. Here they came with the two rotaries side by side; 1-2; with a 7 liter 3 point hydro chasing them. The hydro had been clocked at 140mph the week before. Consider the world speed record for outboards was 136 mph at the time. The driver of the hydro had bet $1000.00 he would lead the first lap and was doing everything but running upside down trying to catch the two rotaries. Jimbo and Tommy coolly drove by the crowd waving as they went. A big wave went to the Mercury camp as they flew by. Mike and I were all smiles and feeling pretty good about all the long hours and work we had put in. As the boats approached for the second lap, Tommy was still in first by a big margin, but Jimbo was nowhere to be seen. We found out shortly his engine had failed. Tommy continued to lead, but succumbed to engine failure before the first hour was complete. We went home dejected and waited for the guys to drive the boats back from Parker. As soon as they returned, we tore the engines apart and found failed rotor bearings. In reviewing the dyno sheets I found the engines were producing 265 HP on 18 gph of gas. That’s BS Fuel Consumption better then most diesels. In talking with Mike, he had adjusted each carb for max power and didn’t believe the fuel flow meters. He went out and bought 4 new Cox certified flow meters and repeated the run with the same result. He didn’t believe the data but had to button up the engines to leave for Miami.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:56 AM
THE GALVESTON RACE

Even though Parker didn’t result the way we wanted, it scared the hell out of Mercury. Word went out from the Mercury factory that any driver who ran the Galveston race with a Mercury engine would cease to get any further factory help. We built and dyno tested 4 engines for Galveston. This time we set the carbs a rich as possible before losing power. All 4 engines were between 255/260 HP. We arrived in Galveston in the mitts of a tropical storm. Good sense would have called the race, but the rotaries were such a big deal, it went on. Most of the Mercury drivers didn’t show up and certainly the Mercury factory team wasn’t there. The race went on and the rotaries took 1-2-3-4. Contrary to what has been written before, Bobby Whitt did not crash during the race. He finished 4th and was milling around in the water waiting for his turn to get on the trailer. He got broadside to a wave and the boat rolled over. We went thru the dry out routine and the engine restarted just fine and was ready for the next race. For some reason Charlie Strang said “keep them on the trailers” for the second race. The second race did go on but the rotaries were spectators. Based on the results of Parker and hours of testing, we felt the drivers were picking props that allowed the engines to far exceed their 7000 RPM redline. They complained about slow acceleration out of the corners with the 15/17-gear case and they figured out 2 things. A smaller prop gave them better acceleration and that the HP curve was still going up at a 45 degree angle at 7000 RPM . To confirm our concerns, we put recorders on two of the Galveston engines. They recorded RPM vs time. Unfortunately, one of the recorders was on Bobby Whitt’s boat and the data was lost due to the unexpected swim. The other recorder did show above redline RPM but not terribly excessive. We took the engines back home, tore them apart and started getting ready for the next race.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:57 AM
PROVO UTAH RACE

This was to be THE race. We found out Mercury was bringing everything they had including dual engine rigs. They flew in their European drivers and the latest Mollinari boats. Our team showed up in Provo several days early and we had to rejet all the carbs because of the 4300 ft elevation. We had 4 engines at Provo and were ready. This was a 3 hr race on a 3 mile oval 3 pin course. For the first time we used the bigger 14/23 gear case. It was slightly slower on top end, but greatly help acceleration. The bigger prop also gave better control of the boat. The rotaries lead 1-2-3-4 on the first lap. Within 15 minutes the rotaries had lapped the first Mercury boat. The OMC drivers got a huge kick out of pulling up next to their Mercury rivals, giving them a little wave and then powering away. This was also the start of a rotary racing driver team; Jimbo McConnell (191) and Barry Woods (35) for Evinrude and Tommy Posey (197) and Johnny Sanders (196) for Johnson. Two of the 4 engines broke before the end of the race, but they took 1-2. The Mercury brass was so pissed, their jet plane left before the race was half over, having to take off over the racecourse. A good number of Mercury execs had to find another way home.
The two failures taught us a lesson. The cranks for these engines cost approx. $10,000 each and had a design life of 25 hrs. As a cost saving measure, I had several crank eccentrics reground and resurfaced with stellite. This worked great for bearing surfaces, but in grinding them down, we ground thru the original case hardening, losing the strength of the shaft. One of the failures was a broken crankshaft. The second failure was the thru bolt holding the crank together broke. This was the first of several of this type of bolt failure. One actually broke on the dyno sending the bolt thru the ceiling of the dyno room. The ignition for the engine was on the top 2-rotor, but the power take off was on the bottom 2-rotor. When the bolt breaks, the top engine goes to no-load and the bottom engine coupled to the dyno stops. Because the engine was balanced as a 4-rotor, when this happened the engine lost it’s dynamic balance and broke off the dyno. Here it was hanging from the throttle cables running no-load shaking all over the place. On of the technicians saw this happen and headed to the door post haste. Unfortunately, I was between him and the door. Ever have a 250# guy run over you? I got up and thru the throttles back to idle and fortunately the engine quit. No one got hurt, but there were several guys changing their underwear.
After returning home from this race we tried to determine what was causing this failure. We instrumented a crank and found a natural frequency resonance at 7000 RPM; right at the operating speed of the race engines. We ended up using a special silver plated tapered washer under the bolt nut to lessen the stress on the first several threads of the bolt. This eliminated the bolt breaking at the top, but failures continued at the bottom thread. We tried various dampers on the bolt, but nothing eliminated it completely. We went so far as having SKF Research roll the threads after the bolt was hardened.

After the Provo race Mercury, who ran APBA at the time, tried to ban the rotary from further competition.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 06:58 AM
Carol Springs Ill.

We ran 4 engines in Carol Springs, more or less as an exhibition, as it wasn’t a major race on the circuit and Mercury didn’t care if we ran or not. The engines finished 1-2-3-4, but there was no real competition.

The next major race was the 6 hrs of Paris. Mercury was successful in banning the rotary’s from this race. It was also the first race where both OMC and Mercury brought their V-6’s. OMC actually made two V-6’s just for this race. Cranks were made from V-4 cranks welded together. Sand-cast blocks and heads were made, but the rest of the parts were straight from V-4 racing engines. Johnny Sanders won this race with one of the home made V-6’s.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:04 AM
Windermere, England

OMC brought 4 rotaries to this race and Mercury brought their V-6’s. This was the first head to head for these engines. Johnny Sanders engine broke during practice, broken crank bolt. The Mercury driver Johnny had just past said later he saw something fly 50 feet in the air just as Johnny broke. It was the bolt. Mercury asked OMC to go halves on a tanker truck of aviation gas, but because rotaries could run on 87 octane gas, Jack Leek said he wasn’t interested. The race progress with 2 of the remaining engines breaking before the finish, but while they were running they were ahead of the Merc’s. Mike Downard was the sole remaining rotary, and he took it easy trying to save the engine. Mercury took the lead for a short time, but succumbed to engine failure also. Mike won the race for Evinrude, but Charlie Strang got hold of me and said he wanted to see George Miller and me in his office the minute we returned to the States.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:04 AM
South Africa

The Johnson distributor in South Africa requested we bring the rotaries to his race. It meant leaving the week before Christmas and returning after the 1st of the year. This was the only race I didn’t attend with rotaries running. Johnny Sanders went with one Johnson, winning the race easily. The only competition was old OMC V-4’s and Mercury inline 6’s.

That ended the ’73 racing season. In February ’74, the Iranian gas crisis hit the country and gasoline went from $0.30/gal to $0.75-100/gal if you could get it. It was felt politically, racing would not project a good corporate image when people were waiting in line for hours to get gas; so the racing circuit was put on hold. Development continued in house. The compression ratio was increased from 8.5 to 1 too 10 to1. Transfer passages were enlarged and work started to design a true 4-rotor engine, not two 2’s stacked on top of each other. This meant 3 curvic couplings and 3 center housings. We also designed a turnbuckle (left and right threads) to hold each curvic together. This eliminated the long thru bolt, which still was breaking. By eliminating the large center section in the crank common to twin rotor engines, we were able to add a center main bearing, strengthening the entire assembly and reduce weight. Power increased to 265HP at the prop shaft. @ 7000RPM. We also installed ignition limiters, limiting max engine RPM to 7000. In testing you could hear the drivers running on the limiter most of the straight-aways. This didn’t last too long, as we were afraid of engine damage would result from the high speed missing and the drivers hated them.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:05 AM
Paris ‘74

The first race in ’74 for the rotaries was the 6 hrs of Paris. The Mercury ban was still in place for the rotaries, but on threat of pulling all OMC engines from the race, the race officials allowed them to run exhibition only. 4 engines started the race and easily dominated, leading by as much as 15 minutes. One boat barreled rolled in a corner, one boat hit the turn buoy (concrete) and took the side off the boat, one succumbed to engine failure and the forth was leading by 30 minutes with 15 minutes left in the race when the engine failed. Upon inspection after the race it was found someone had sabotaged the engine by loosing all 8-carburetor nuts. With the carbs not tight to the intake manifold, severe air leaks cause a very lean mixture resulting in rotor bearing failure. That it lasted as long as it did was amazing.
This was the race Caesar Scotti was killed; or more correctly, let die by the French police. Scotti had hooked a sponson, which threw him into the concrete wall of the river. He was thrown thru the front of the boat and up against the retaining fence. A US doctor tried to help him, but French police would not let him touch Scotti. It took 45 minutes for the French to cut down the retaining fence and get him to the hospital. He bled to death internally before he got there. Because of Scotti’s death, the rest of the European circuit was canceled and everyone was sent home.

This was the only race for ’74.

Development continued trying 100% alcohol and nitrous oxide assist. The nitrous gave a 30% power increase with the push of a button. The alcohol did not do much for power so it was abandoned. Engines were consistently producing in excess of 280 prop shaft HP at 8000 RPM. Without the nitrous.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:06 AM
St. Louis ‘75

This was Mercury’s premiere race, as this was Billy Seebold country and was billed as the “World Championship”. The race consisted of four-20 minute heats with a LeMans type start for each heat. The winner being determined by total points for each heat. OMC brought 4 rotaries and V-6’s to the race. All were equipped with nitrous bottles. The rotaries being charged cooled, meaning the air-fuel mixture cooled the internal parts, lost approximately 30% of its air flow (volumetric efficiency) as it heated up to operating temperature. Because of this OMC devised an external battery operated water pump and pumped lake water thru the cooling system during each heat of the race trying to cool the engine back down to regain HP for the start of the next heat. Each boat had a crew assigned to carry the pump and battery to pump water thru the engine between each heat. As said, this was Mercury’s race and as such they created their own rules, which OMC didn’t know about until race time. First, Mercury insisted on qualifying runs. Each boat ran several laps for time and the top 10 times qualified for the race. Mercury had been at the race site for 2 weeks setting up their rigs for this race and as such had their equipment tweaked for the race. The time trials resulted in the 4 rotaries and 6 Mercury V-6’s qualifying for the race. Mercury then assigned one Mercury driver to each rotary boat and they were told to block and run them wide in the turns. This allowed 2 Mercury boats to run uncontested for the win. Mercury added radios on their boats for this race and during the race all you heard was “hold your position and don’t let so in so inside of you”. The OMC drivers were told to use the nitrous only for acceleration out of the corners as each bottle only lasted 20 minutes and there was no opportunity to change bottles once the heats had started. Unfortunately, the drivers didn’t pay much attention to this and at the start of the first heat you could see the nitrous fumes coming from the air slots in the motor cover. The race turned ugly from the get-go. Tommy Posey’s boat was destroyed when a Mercury driver tried to keep him from going inside and hit him. Mercury denied a protest. Barry Woods in an Evinrude Rotary won the first 2 heats, but Mercury team drivers effectively blocked Johnny Sanders and Jimbo McConnell. The blocking continued in the third heat with Molinari assigned to Barry for that heat. He effectively blocked him until Barry got pissed and ran over Mollinari’s boat leaving prop cut outs along the entire side on Mollinari’s boat. Mercury disqualified him for the heat for reckless driving even though he won the heat. That left the race with 2 heat wins for Woods and one win and 2 seconds for Seebold. The fourth and final heat was intense. Woods lead from the start, but barrel rolled his boat when he hooked a sponson in a turn. The boat rolled one complete turn and ended right side up. Barry was thrown out of the boat, but swam back to his boat, restarted the engine and went on to win the heat and thus the race; or so we thought. When Barry rolled his boat, the top shroud of the boat came off and sank. Barry’s numbers were painted on the shroud and without it he didn’t have his numbers on his boat. Mercury disqualified him, as APBA rules state you have to have your numbers on the boat, and thus claimed victory for the race. It was a huge disappointment for OMC and particularly Barry Woods, because he actually won all 4 heats, but was denied the win because of politics. It became apparent from this race Mercury would do anything to claim a win and if this type of racing would continue, some one was going to seriously get hurt or worse, killed.
The only other race the rotaries entered was Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Jack Leek insisted the rotaries run the high-speed 15/17 gear cases on all 4 rotaries, even though the OMC V-6’s ran the 14/23 gear cases. The Rotaries were faster at the end of the straight-aways, but the OMC V-6’s out accelerated them out of the corners. It is my belief this was done to showcase the V-6’s as they were scheduled for production. The Mercury factory V-6’s didn’t show up for this race; only the old in-line 6’s; and as such it was an easy win for the OMC V6’s.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:07 AM
Epilog

By 1975, EPA was making noises about regulating emissions on outboards. They were in fact doing lake testing in Michigan and Florida trying to prove outboard emissions harmed water quality and aquatic life. In addition, in 1974 the state of California banned any 2-cycle motorcycles from public streets, because Honda had demonstrated their 4-cycle bikes were a viable alternative to the 2-stroke machines. No emission standard, just a total ban. A rotary is actually a 4-cycle engine even though the charged cool versions mixed oil with the gas to lubricate the internal parts. An untreated rotary emitted 10 times less hydrocarbon emissions than the 2-stroke equivalent at the time. OMC was afraid if they introduced a production rotary outboard, EPA would impose a similar ban on 2-stroke outboards. OMC was in no position to replace their entire line up of outboards with rotaries. Not only had they only limited HP size of engines under development, the cost to retool the entire line up would have been prohibitive. Because of this, the rotary program was put on the back burner and the development emphasis was put on 2-cycles. The rotary group started to fall apart with the departure of several key engineering people including George Miller and myself. Before I left OMC, 4 racing rotaries were built, dyno run and put into storage. The attached HP curve is from one of those engines. Very little further development work was done on the rotaries after 1976. When BRP bought Johnson and Evinrude from the bankrupt OMC, the deal did not include any rotary technology or rights. If fact, OMC had sold all of their remaining rotary assets including parts inventory and machinery to Paul Moller of Moller International. What has happened to those 4 racing engines, I don’t know. They were not sold to Moller International. The rotary engine bucket and shroud sold on e-bay recently was the show and tell model hung in the lobby on OMC Engineering. It was not fully machined and didn’t have an engine in it. OMC went on to develop a V-8 to dominate the unlimited outboard class and Mercury created a class that only their V-6 could compete in.

So ended one of the most exciting and talked about periods in outboard racing history; and that’s the real story.

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above 13 page Rotary Overview.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 07:11 AM
CLICK ON ANY PICTURE to take you to more pictures.
http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/37902/2415984520091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2415984520091848696WsayiB)
Mike Griffiths (Left) & John Sheldon (Right) Worked 12 hr shifts 7 days a week for months. Motor built from scratch to racing in 5 months Note Horns on carbs. They were never actually used. (would not fit)

http://inlinethumb16.webshots.com/43663/2233631410091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2233631410091848696PClVix)

http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/41464/2835207880091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2835207880091848696KSJVbB)

http://inlinethumb28.webshots.com/42907/2595039850091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2595039850091848696fJgsfD)
Charlie Strang, CEO of Outboard Marine Corp. RC with 15:17 gearcase.

http://sports.webshots.com/album/552826780uXOXhl?vhost=sports

Bill Van Steenwyk
05-16-2009, 09:25 AM
As a long time St. Louis resident and fan of the "St. Louis Race" for many years, unfortunately we had to miss some races because our PRO Nationals were on the same weekend. Th race where the Rotaries were run was one of those we missed, and it is really great to hear what happened from someone on the inside. All the crashes and "driver instructions" were evidently the reason the next year, a number of boat racers from other categories were used as turn judges at the OZ World Championships. I remember hearing there was controversy at a previous race for overlap violations, etc., and they wanted turn judges who had no connection with OPC racing or either of the factories. Now we have more of the "rest of the story".

Thanks again for all the technical info on the engine. The average person would probably never have had an opportunity to hear about this if not for you and BRF.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 03:15 PM
What a fantastic story. I was at the Galveston race. Unfortunately the editor of Motorsport has all the B&W photos I took of the rotaries. I only have a few color shot left.

There is much more to come.
John Sheldon (Rotary John on BRP) is sending me his entire memrobilia collection which I will scan & post. Hopefully this thread will become the definitive epitaph to what could have been the future of Outboard Motors. If you go the the epilog above you will read why this did not happen. Who could have ever guessed that. Lets make this thread one of the very best. Keep those pictures (& video's) coming, and all you former racers & OMC people, get on board & add you experiences PLEASE!! If you need help posting, my email is liquidnirvana@y7mail.com

Ken

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-16-2009, 03:38 PM
All kudo's to JOHN SHELDON (aka RotaryJohn her on BRF), he wrote the story above. Thankyou so much John.
One name springs to mind Charlie Strang, there are many others but Charlie was the CEO. Wouldn't it be good if Charlie chimed in here. Lets ask you as head of the company for so long tell its story Charlie. When you go, as we all do, much will be lost so PLEASE just tell us.

Ken

Master Oil Racing Team
05-16-2009, 04:21 PM
John's story on the rotaries was fascinating to me because of several reasons. First, I drove my Mazda RX-2 to the Galveston race, and I ended up overhauling the engine myself after 90,000 miles. Secondly, they were truly revolutionary and played a brief but spectacular part in the history of outboards. Third, I remember being very proud at the time that half the drivers were Texas boys. And finally....the epilogue blew me away. I never figured that into the equation. I always thought it had something to do with the STOOPID EPA guys out of Washington that tagged the rotaries with terrible milage stats. Which brings me to the question....Skoontz...why do you think the Mazda rotaries were pigs?

I am looking forward to more of John's posts. I had posted the Motorsport article some time back, but I will dig out anything pertaining to them and post them here. What a great thread.:cool::D

Master Oil Racing Team
05-16-2009, 08:03 PM
When I saw my first Mazda I was driving A chevy Malibu. The Mazda was the size of a compact Japanese car from those days. I was behind it at a stoplight. It turned right and hauled a$$. I stomped it just to see how fast I could catch up. It ran like a spotted a$$ ape. It gained on me the whole time and I never caught up. That's what I bought a couple of months later when an idiot ran a yield sign and T boned my car.

I never knew any car from those days get 30 mpg, but the Datsun's and Toyotas might get 25. But....they had to burn premium gasoline. My Mazda RX2 would burn the cheapest fuel offered, and would cream the other cars off the line. That's why I had to overhaul the motor. When I left my car at a friends house while I spent 30 days in Africa, his kids drag raced and beat every car in their part of town. To take care of a Mazda, you have to let it warm up so the aluminum and cast iron could equalize in temperature. The drag racing kids didn't do that and as a result it caused a water leak between the aluminum rotor housings and cast iron side plates.

I always got 17 to 18 mpg in the city and around 22 on the highway. The EPA milage estimates that they published from their newly formed "milage estimate treadmills" was 10 mpg and pretty much wiped out the rotary engine for autos. Mazda barely survived, and I think it was because Mitsubishi or some other Japanese company picked up the pieces. In their wise wisdom, the EPA took a gallon of gasoline and ran all the autos through their paces for a half hour or so and sampled unburnt fuel among other things to make their calculations on fuel milage. The rotary's already met 1990 pollution standards in 1972. To do that they had a 1600 degree F thermal reactor just past the exhaust manifold. It had an air pump feeding into it to incinerate unburnt hydrocarbons, and the motor itself did not produce an abundance of oxides of nitrogen. The motors were very far ahead of pollution standards of the time, but before the thermal reactor heated up, there was an excess of gasoline. The idiots at EPA never thought to call Mazda to ask about why so much more gasoline came out the exhaust before the car warmed up than was typical with 4 cycles. They just published the results. A part of mpg milage had to do with how much unburnt hydrocarbons came out of the exhaust pipe. My car got more than twice what the EPA published.

Please guys don't sidetrack into political rants. I just wanted to set the story straight on what I personally had experienced with rotary engines. They were a little less mpg than the top of the line Japanese subcompacts, but they would burn the cheapest fuel out their and outrun the rest.

Now I'm wondering. Were the OMC rotary's aluminum housing's sandwiched between cast iron as well? And were there any problems due to the temperature differential between the intake and exhaust ports while the motor was warming up?

Master Oil Racing Team
05-16-2009, 09:18 PM
Here is the Motorsport article about the Galveston race.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-17-2009, 12:33 AM
Quote from above: Now I'm wondering. Were the OMC rotary's aluminum housing's sandwiched between cast iron as well? And were there any problems due to the temperature differential between the intake and exhaust ports while the motor was warming up?

My "GUESS" that OMC were in a new field & that they were trying so many different things. Combining aluminium & steel seems a bit of a nonsense but perhaps it was just a quick fix to see what would happen. All these engines were prototypes. No individual engine was the same, every single engine was unique. John has been sending me updates as things pop into his head. After all this was 35 odd years ago. I will be posting them all. These engines were way ahead of their time & probably still are. Moeller has them now & I believe they are now direct Injected. Wouldn't it be awesome if they could adapt one to an E-Tec gearcase & run it.
I just want to see & explore one of the four that John boxed up back in 1976. These were the new era powerheads without the notorious bolt. Another thought I had was regarding the EPA. If Charlie had notified them of their (OMC) success with the emissions & fuel consumption figures would they (EPA) have banned 2 stroke outboards (as they did with the 2 stroke bikes) & effectively killed Mercury & all other 2 stroke outboard manufacturers. The EPA were certainly a law unto themselves with no thought for common sense. or so it seems.
Things could have been very different today.
Ken

Rotary John
05-17-2009, 01:06 AM
Guys. The OMC engine was all aluminum. The side housings on the race engine were sprayed with 80 carbon steel as a wear surface only because to get the Hi-Silicon housing like what was used on the snownmobile engine took an enormously long time and were very expensive. There was no thermal problem with the engine warming up, only the loss of voumetric efficiency as I explained in the story. One note on the Mazdas. When they were introduced, gas was 35 cents a gallon and nobody cared about milage. Mazda put the engine in everything, sedans, coups, station wagons, even a pickup truck. It wasn't till 1974 with the oil embargo hit that people got conserned about milage. Your comment was correct, it almost broke Mazda and they quickly took the rotary out of everything except their sports car. It was Ford that bought a big portion of Mazda ( which they recently sold).

Rotary John
05-17-2009, 07:31 AM
The engine displacement was 129.8 ci. (2112cc). The displacement is maximum volume-minimun volume, just like any other engine; 2-cycle, 4-cycle or rotary. The argument comes as to power strokes per displaced volume. A 2-cycle and rotary has 1 power stroke per 1 revolution of the crankshft, per piston or rotor. A 4-cycle has 1 power stroke per 2 crankshaft revolutions per piston. Thus this engine competed against 2-cycles and had comparable swept volume measurments.

Rotary John
05-17-2009, 10:09 AM
Bill:
I remember Paul. Lets just talk about one rotor for now. The displacement of one combution pocket is as I described. Minimum volune is at top dead center. The max volume is at the point where increasing volume (induction) stops and decreasing volume starts (compression) It has nothing to due with port timing just like a 2-cycle where the ports are open during part of the cycle. If you used port timing on either rotary or 2-cycle you would be measuring effective compression ratio or displacement. Its similar to valve overlap on 4-cycle engines. Where the rotary is unique, each of the 3 faces on each rotor is doing a different part of the cycle simioustaniously. ie; when face 1 is intaking, face 2 is compressing and firing and face 3 is exhausting. Remember this is still only one rotor. Thats where the argument came that it should be 3 times one faces displacement. However, if you look at a 2-cycle, the power stroke is also forcing the intake and the compression is also exhausting so the argument against a 2-cycle is mute. Check out this web site for a animated explantion.
static: www.howstuffworks.com/flash/rotary-engine-animation.swf

Rotary John
05-17-2009, 12:42 PM
The argument has been and will continue on how to rate displacement. Japan wants to have 3 times the displaced volume because they tax cars on displacement; ie more displacement-more tax. The argument to measure displaced volume per crankshaft revolution is technically the most accruate, but the 4-cycle guys argue they only get 1 POWER stroke for every 2 crank revolutions, thus they argue for 2 times. I find this argument rather weak as a 2-cycle has 1 power stroke for every crank revolution and nobody ever suggested it be multiplied by 2 when comparing to a 4-cycle. Look at our outboards today. Many are now 4-cycle and yet displacement is measured the same as 2-cycles. One of the problems was advertising. Outboards and lawnmowers were the only engines sold by HP, while other engine products sold by displacement. ie 427 Chevy and a 9.9 hp outboard. Boat racing did class by displacement, but rotaries ran in the unlimited class, run what you brung.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-19-2009, 07:04 AM
http://inlinethumb34.webshots.com/44193/2352986530091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2352986530091848696Qcahpe)
1. Jimbo at Parker, first lap waving to the crowd. The wake behind him was Posey. 15:17 gearcase

http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/45298/2758333900091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2758333900091848696rUepdg)
2. Tommy Posey at Provo Utah. 14:23 gearcase

http://inlinethumb61.webshots.com/45308/2167476820091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2167476820091848696CLYqbA)
3. Tommy Posey at Miami Marine Stadium at press introduction before Parker. Note no fuel filler caps the boat rear shroud. 15:17 gearcase

http://inlinethumb58.webshots.com/24249/2476329160091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2476329160091848696iTxbWd)
4. Tommy Posey at Provo, Utah. Look carefully, nothing in the water, he was really flying. 14:30 gearcase

http://inlinethumb31.webshots.com/18078/2988742430091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2988742430091848696Styvqs)
5. Very early press photo; note vertical "Johnson" 15/17 gearcase

http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/45006/2077169090091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2077169090091848696quSigb)
6. OMC Engineering boat dock. Mike Kukla (died 1975) behind engine, Harold "Mouse" Wade. Note the cut off exhaust exit and the black spacer between the 15:17 gearcase and the bucket. This was a V-4 gearcase modified for the rotary. Later in the program a new gearcase casting was made for the 14/23.


Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing most of the above literature.

Rotary John
05-19-2009, 10:33 AM
1. Jimbo at Parker, first lap waving to the crowd. The wake behind him was Posey.
2. Posey at Provo
3. Posey at Miami Marine stadium at press intro befor Parker. Note no fuel filler caps the bost rear shroud.
4. Posey at Provo. Look carefully, nothing in the water, he was really flying.
5. Very early press photo; note vertical "Johnson" 15/17 gearcase
6. OMC Engineering boat dock. Mike Kukla (died 1975)behind engine, Harold "Mouse" Wade. 14/23 gearcase used at Provo. Note the cut off exhaust exit and the black spacer between the gearcase and the bucket. The was a V-4 gearcase modified for the rotary. Later in the program a new gearcase casting was made for the 14/23.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-20-2009, 05:27 AM
DYNAMOMETER Testing

http://inlinethumb43.webshots.com/45610/2386998660091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2386998660091848696VemanE)

http://inlinethumb45.webshots.com/13804/2949644930091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2949644930091848696FHEzCD)

http://inlinethumb22.webshots.com/42453/2547689260091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2547689260091848696LZcskG)

http://inlinethumb20.webshots.com/44243/2859292090091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2859292090091848696fgJXec)

http://inlinethumb31.webshots.com/41950/2439217300091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2439217300091848696tyBmGm)

http://inlinethumb52.webshots.com/44723/2684079170091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2684079170091848696mfDZOt)
A later DYNOMOMETER SHEET showing 313 propshaft horsepower @ 10500rpm with 217 crankshaft ft Lbs of torque @ 5000rpm

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

Mark75H
05-20-2009, 07:27 AM
I don't know why, but sometimes Webshots won't let me open the images full size, other times it does.

Any way ... If Ken would be kind enough to email me the original scans, I can improve a lot of them like this:

http://inlinethumb59.webshots.com/42042/2981552330091848696S600x600Q85.jpg

Mark75H
05-20-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi Ken- Did OMC ever state what HP the engines pulled on the dyno?:D
Ye Olde Desert Geezer Al :cool:


OMC never released it during the program, but John has it in the text on this thread ... the early versions made 265+ and the later versions made 280+

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-20-2009, 05:03 PM
Hi Ken- Did OMC ever state what HP the engines pulled on the dyno?:D
Ye Olde Desert Geezer Al :cool:


Here is a Dyno sheet from John Sheldon aka "ROTARYJOHN" here on BRF. He has provided almost all the info here so far.

CLICK & go to "FULL SIZE" make it bigger.

http://inlinethumb52.webshots.com/44723/2684079170091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2684079170091848696mfDZOt)

I read it as 313hp propshaft & 10500rpm. (without nitrous) I think that if you add nitrous it adds 30%.

BUT thats only half the story. As Charlie Strang said, NEVER BUY AN OUTBOARD ON HORSEPOWER ALONE. TORQUE in the key and the ROTARY had that in abundance.

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.
================================================== ========

Lars Strom
05-20-2009, 06:26 PM
I really enjoy reading about the history of the Rotary and OMC.
Been a big part of my life and I started to race when all this took place.

Thanks so much John, Ken and Boatracingfacts to make it happen..

By the way, I translate everything and put it on
www.Boatlife.se in Sweden
so more people can take part of this unique story..

Maybe the old Rotary could win a modern F1 Boatrace!! :)

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-20-2009, 06:44 PM
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!!!

Rotary John
05-21-2009, 12:44 AM
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.

Rotary John
05-21-2009, 05:42 AM
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.

Rotary John
05-21-2009, 05:56 AM
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!

Rotary John
05-21-2009, 05:59 AM
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.

Rotary John
05-21-2009, 09:46 AM
I thought that was the "Mouse" when I saw the picture....Is he still around John?
Mike Gwaltney says he's is Fl. now.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-21-2009, 08:06 PM
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.;):D David Alaniz...what might you be able to tell us about this since you were an insider in the HGCMA?

E-tec1
05-22-2009, 05:28 AM
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

Mark75H
05-22-2009, 05:45 AM
I had never thought of a rotary engine in a PWC ... sounds perfect

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-22-2009, 05:46 AM
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.

E-tec1
05-22-2009, 06:05 AM
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

Master Oil Racing Team
05-22-2009, 08:24 AM
I just made a startling discovery.:eek: 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.:cool: 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.

WharfRat
05-22-2009, 09:53 AM
Wayne, I'm pretty sure that's the course by the Baytown tunnel by the looks of it, it ain't Clear Lake though

JSR Motorsports
05-22-2009, 10:01 AM
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.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-22-2009, 10:27 AM
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.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-22-2009, 10:59 AM
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.

Mark75H
05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
John, were you ever aware of the weight of these motors?

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-23-2009, 04:24 AM
CLICK on a picture & go to "FULL SIZE" to make it larger.

http://inlinethumb13.webshots.com/44044/2737145960091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2737145960091848696idbYbC)

http://inlinethumb14.webshots.com/45581/2298137930091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2298137930091848696fcjkIs)

http://inlinethumb58.webshots.com/43321/2057876200091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2057876200091848696XBPpvj)

http://inlinethumb47.webshots.com/45422/2774359470091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2774359470091848696jWkwGR)

http://inlinethumb45.webshots.com/19500/2157496590091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2157496590091848696XzsbXn)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

Mark75H
05-23-2009, 05:37 AM
OK, more questions for John ... so, in the beginning there were 4 rotary motors made by stacking 2 snowmobile engines together. There were some motor failures and replacements were worked up. Were the replacement motors made completely from new parts or were existing motors repaired?

In the end 4 very advanced dedicated 4 rotor motors were put into storage ... were these motors that had been raced or new unraced motors?


Did the dedicated 4 rotor motors weigh less than the doubled up snowmobile motors?

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-23-2009, 05:40 AM
OK, more questions for John ... so, in the beginning there were 4 rotary motors made by stacking 2 snowmobile engines together. There were some motor failures and replacements were worked up. Were the replacement motors made completely from new parts or were existing motors repaired?

In the end 4 very advanced dedicated 4 rotor motors were put into storage ... were these motors that had been raced or new unraced motors?


Did the dedicated 4 rotor motors weigh less than the doubled up snowmobile motors?

My understanding was that the boxed engines were the new style no bolt engines. They were unraced & were packed with dyno sheets.

Mark75H
05-23-2009, 05:46 AM
My understanding was that the boxed engines were the new style no bolt engines. They were unraced & were packed with dyno sheets.

I know that is what is implied ... I want John to say so exactly and certainly.:)

WharfRat
05-24-2009, 06:46 PM
ok, this is strange, Wayne, in all the other pics it is DEFINATELY Clear Lake, just that first pic ain't cause from that angle you would see Nasa Rd 1 & the bridge & it's all woods. I see pics of the pavilion park & the apartments I used to live in. I be confused

Master Oil Racing Team
05-24-2009, 08:46 PM
I talked to Scott a little while ago and I told him I was confused myself as I had mentioned in my previous post. I was glad to finally hear from Scott after so many months of him not posting after the hurricane. They were nailed and lost everything but a few possessions. They are living back at Kemah, but not on the water this time.

Scott...tell us anything you can dredge up about your memories of the Rotaries running at Galveston. I went up into our storage and found some publications with a little info that I will put up later.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-24-2009, 09:09 PM
CLICK ON THE PICTURE & then "FULL SIZE" to make it bigger.


http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/45262/2894328150091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2894328150091848696zPKWLC)

http://inlinethumb61.webshots.com/42428/2964468340091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2964468340091848696PmMuAB)http://inlinethumb13.webshots.com/22988/2600643620091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2600643620091848696BgKcVM)

http://inlinethumb27.webshots.com/42586/2845520590091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2845520590091848696cXOHsZ)

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-24-2009, 09:13 PM
CLICK ON THE PICTURE & then "FULL SIZE" to make it bigger.
http://inlinethumb39.webshots.com/44198/2984347340091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2984347340091848696npQlxY)http://inlinethumb45.webshots.com/42860/2088012250091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2088012250091848696aOFoxb)

http://inlinethumb01.webshots.com/42560/2792770890091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2792770890091848696DbWJnt)http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/41686/2615316880091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2615316880091848696LZulNW)

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 06:59 AM
Yesterday it dawned on me that Ann Strang probably had some things to say about the RC's so I looked up some of her Region 7 columns in various issues of Propeller. This one is from the April 1973 issue.

You have talked about this before some time back John Schubert. I think this would be a good place for your comments about what you remember.

WharfRat
05-25-2009, 07:57 AM
great talikng to you yesterday Wayne!!

I actually missed the Galveston race (& was really POed about it at the time) Although I remember getting a patch from it (think Tommy Hathaway brought it back to me) I do remember seeing one run but can't remember where it was but it had to have been on Clear Lake or Baytown even though it might have been just a test session & not a race, don't recall one at Conroe, but it is a possibility

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 08:54 AM
I still have the B&W photos from Clear Lake to post Scott. That might bring back some memories.

Here is a column from Ann Strang in the June 1973 Propeller.

Also, Ken...do you have the article on the Wankel from the February 1972 issue of Powerboat to post? If you don't have it let me know.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 09:17 AM
All of this stuff was in the July 1973 Propeller. The blip on Bob Wanamaker's Flying Quarter was from Ann Strangs column. She didn't mention the Rotary, the the Flying Quarter results show Evinrude RC, so I presume that is a rotary.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-25-2009, 01:20 PM
Wayne (Master Oil Racing Team), your posts are exceptional, your tenacity in bringing them to us, inspiring, and your love of taking the time to share, to collect, to photograph, to collate, to explain & most importantly (I say again) to share this wonderful sport with us is appreciated more than I can say. I also include, Sam Cullis (Mark75H) & Ron Hill for their time & passion together with many many others. Thank you for this place.
Ken

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 01:56 PM
Thanks Ken, but you have been an inspiration to me in your drive to put togther a quality all-things-OMC website. I feel fortunate to have raced in a time when boat advancements and rapid motor developements brought speeds up very quickly and when there were still many competitors and race sites. The Wankel was one of the most unique happenings of those days. I was glad to have seen what small part I did. For those who were not able to experience it, I applaud your efforts to make this thread the premier place to come to find out about the OMC Rotary Combustion engines.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-25-2009, 03:06 PM
http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/41430/2819077820091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2819077820091848696dReWdZ)

http://inlinethumb03.webshots.com/44162/2662159710091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2662159710091848696LHOxpR)

http://inlinethumb29.webshots.com/30876/2587695910091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2587695910091848696MlhDEq)http://inlinethumb20.webshots.com/28755/2696349490091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2696349490091848696nWBGke)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 04:23 PM
OK, more questions for John ... so, in the beginning there were 4 rotary motors made by stacking 2 snowmobile engines together. There were some motor failures and replacements were worked up. Were the replacement motors made completely from new parts or were existing motors repaired? The first engines were made from 2-2rotor water cooled engines. They had many snowmobile parts, but also many new parts. Engines were torn down after each race/outing/test and rebuilt with some used parts and some new parts, depending on there condition at teardown


In the end 4 very advanced dedicated 4 rotor motors were put into storage ... were these motors that had been raced or new unraced motors? Mostly new. rotors were seldom replaced, but bearings & seals generally got replaced every teardown. Cranks only had a design life of 25 hrs, so they got replaced rater regularly, but not always.



Did the dedicated 4 rotor motors weigh less than the doubled up snowmobile motors? Yes, because the huge center section used on the 2 rotor and first race engines were replaces by much smaller parts with bearings and the engine had 3 center hsgs rather than 2 and 2 additional end hsgs.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 04:26 PM
John, were you ever aware of the weight of these motors?
The running powerhad with the 2-2 rotor cranks weighed 197 lbs, no gearcase bucket, shroud, etc. I don't remember how much the new cranks/hsg reduced weight.

Mark75H
05-25-2009, 05:10 PM
I would think the dedicated 4 rotor motors also benefited from being charge cooled rather than water cooled as the early snowmobile converted motors were.

So as a guess the total weight of the original motors may have been 260 or so and the later motors ... 220 to 240, just as a guess?

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 07:54 PM
This is Ann Strang,s column from Propellor October 1973. In regard to Lynn having to fly back home because of Mike's accident, Bill called my Dad from Provo about Mike's accident. He drove a 4 X 4 or something like that off a small cliff or some bluff if I remember right. I was only around Mike a few times, but I recall him as a very rambunctious kid, and as most are at that age....very indestructable.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-25-2009, 08:25 PM
These next two items come from the September 1973 issue of Motorsport. The tidbit about Gene Rhea and John Strader were in the Things-I've-Learned-by-Hanging-Around-Strange-People column of editor Harry Echols. I posted it on another thread a little over a month or so ago, but to me its better to repost here than provide a link. However, it might be good if someone could link to that other thread for all the other posts that came up.

Skoontz
05-25-2009, 08:41 PM
Thanks Wayne. We heard the cry babies from Mercury screaming very loud back during this juncture in time, everything from what is written here to the questioning of displacement. I have not read the book John suggested regarding Wankel displacement, but in that case, I can see why one might consider a rotary to be whatever the chamber size is times 3.

It would be really fun to see these engines on a course today with the newer boats.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-25-2009, 08:59 PM
Thanks Wayne. We heard the cry babies from Mercury screaming very loud back during this juncture in time, everything from what is written here to the questioning of displacement. I have not read the book John suggested regarding Wankel displacement, but in that case, I can see why one might consider a rotary to be whatever the chamber size is times 3.

It would be really fun to see these engines on a course today with the newer boats.

There are four of the latest & greatest 1976 OMC Rotary's unraced & complete with Dyno sheets, & still in their boxes out there somewhere & I BET I KNOW WHERE as well. They are VERY DIFFERENT to the originals & would reliably kick serious butt even today.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 09:06 PM
I would think the dedicated 4 rotor motors also benefited from being charge cooled rather than water cooled as the early snowmobile converted motors were.

So as a guess the total weight of the original motors may have been 260 or so and the later motors ... 220 to 240, just as a guess?

Sam: All the race engines were water cooled externally and charged cooled internally. The snowmobile was air cooled externally and charged cooled internally. By contrast, the Mazda engine is water cooled externally, but oil cooled internally. Oil cooling allows more HP, because the fuel/air mixture is not heated as in charged cooled, but adds complexity, weight and increased friction hp. The bucket and shroud weighed 35/40 lbs as I recall, add the weight of the gearcase and my guess is your guess is a little low.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 09:10 PM
Guys:
They say memory is the second thing to go. I have been corrected on my story. It was Rich McKinley that barrell rolled at Galvaston, not Bobby Whitt and Bobby Herring won the St. Louis race, not Billy Seabolt.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 09:17 PM
http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/41430/2819077820091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2819077820091848696dReWdZ)

http://inlinethumb03.webshots.com/44162/2662159710091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2662159710091848696LHOxpR)

http://inlinethumb29.webshots.com/30876/2587695910091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2587695910091848696MlhDEq)http://inlinethumb20.webshots.com/28755/2696349490091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2696349490091848696nWBGke)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.
Guys:
The picture above on the Johnson Rotary on the boat is the same unit that was on ebay. Note how high the boat sits in the water, NO Engine.

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 09:25 PM
I just made a startling discovery.:eek: 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.:cool: 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.
I don't recall this Photo but Aug'75 would be St. Louis time frame

Rotary John
05-25-2009, 09:31 PM
I know that is what is implied ... I want John to say so exactly and certainly.:)
Guys. I can't swear all four of these engines were the latest no thru bolt vintage and even though I know all 4 were dyno tested prior to being boxed up, I don't know for sure the dyno sheets were actually packed in the boxes. Some day someone will find these engines and if I'm still around, I can identify which is what. One thing I don't recall mentioning before, the cast snowmobile flywheels were replaced with flex plate wheels some time in '75 as a weight saving measure.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-26-2009, 04:27 AM
http://inlinethumb30.webshots.com/43229/2808610490091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2808610490091848696sSpbrF)

http://inlinethumb61.webshots.com/20604/2477010690091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2477010690091848696kUAmAC)http://inlinethumb36.webshots.com/42787/2538169690091848696S500x500Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2538169690091848696ZoPDDL)

http://inlinethumb36.webshots.com/41315/2742874870091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2742874870091848696myyhjC)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-26-2009, 04:35 AM
Click on the picture and then go to FULL SIZE to make it bigger

http://inlinethumb14.webshots.com/43469/2646941850091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2646941850091848696TjKUeJ)

http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/35790/2749310780091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2749310780091848696JjoUAr)

http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/43445/2291659320091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2291659320091848696HsbecX)

http://inlinethumb07.webshots.com/42054/2685409720091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2685409720091848696RoNCTp)

http://inlinethumb35.webshots.com/42274/2921461190091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2921461190091848696mMLDkV)

http://inlinethumb41.webshots.com/44264/2979664060091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2979664060091848696woxaGp)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

WharfRat
05-26-2009, 06:39 AM
Wayne, there it is in your post, it was the Conroe race I was at, I was working the pits for Rick Clausen at that race

Master Oil Racing Team
05-26-2009, 08:54 AM
Seems to answer where Scott. I didn't go to Conroe in 1973, but that must be where you saw them.

Great info Rotary John. I remember how deep the transoms were at Galveston. I didn't pick up on the photo with the empty motor and how the boat floated much higher until you mentioned it. Some good inside stuff.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-26-2009, 06:05 PM
Random EMAILS from John Sheldon,

I am posting as they were sent to me. This is very cool stuff & gives a tiny insight on the OMC Rotary program.

Ken:
I already talked to BRP. They have no objections. In fact when BRP bought OMC they did not buy any rights to the rotary engine. OMC had sold everything they had to Moller International. Go to his web site. I know Paul Moller well, and in fact have worked with him on rotaries. He has all of OMC drawings, machinery, inventory etc. Paul has spent over $40 million dollars over the last 25/30 years further developing the basic 538cc OMC engine, along with prototyping several other new displacements. He now has a water cooled version of the 538cc engine producing in excess of 80hp and meets the California emissions requirement for "ultra low" designation. He is also
collecting anything made powered by a rotary engine. He would give his left nut to get one of the 4 rotor racing engines for his collection. If I ever get time, I'm thinking about writing the history of the complete rotary program at OMC. We had put rotaries in everthing from golf carts, to chainsaws, to secrect government drones, in addition to snownmobiles, inboard/outboards and outboards. There is so much the world doesn't know about OMC's rotary program and how far advanced OMC was on rotary technology at the time. They were eons ahead of Wankel GMBH, Madza or anyone else for that matter. One story I didn't tell in my article was the US Defense department insisted OMC make and sell the 4 rotor power plant to the government. At 300HP and 137 lbs. there was not any other power plant in the world at the time with that power to weight ratio. OMC refused and was threaten with government intervention. It never happened thou. If you send me your mailing address I will send you all the pictures and info I have with your promise you will return them after you copy them. I could go on for hours about rotaries, but enough for now. John

Master Oil Racing Team
05-27-2009, 07:53 AM
Some amazing info there. The inside stuff is very interesting.

Here is an article from the February 1972 Powerboat. While it is about marine application of the Wankel RC, it does mention in a couple of places about the OMC development. It was a year later that the OMC RC's showed up on the race course.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-27-2009, 07:57 AM
Ann Strang's column in the December 1973 Propellor

ADD: I finally figured how how to size smaller section from the same publication. But I guess I should have just copied the whole page because the beginning of the column landed exactly where it was in Propellor. Oh well.....at least there's a little bit of progress.

Rotary John
05-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Ann Strang's column in the December 1973 Propellor

ADD: I finally figured how how to size smaller section from the same publication. But I guess I should have just copied the whole page because the beginning of the column landed exactly where it was in Propellor. Oh well.....at least there's a little bit of progress.

Hey!!! Ann Strange finally firgured out who I was.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-28-2009, 01:41 PM
I don't know which strange people he was hanging out with, but it appear mine and Joe's esteemed editor from Motorsport was on to something. I found this in Mel Zikes column from the June 1973 Powerboat.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-28-2009, 11:22 PM
Wayne, you are amazing.

Do you have editorial available through any of your boating magazines on the Rotary racing & results from '73 to '76. Anything you may have or anybody else would be invaluable in this Rotary info thread.

FYI I have many of the "Powerboat Mags" ' 70'71'78''87'88'89'97'98'99' '03 if you are looking for articles.

Ken

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 06:26 AM
I quickly scanned through a few issues of the 1973 Powerboats last night before heading off to high school graduation ceremonies Ken, and that's where I found the Mel Zikes column. I missed this little piece though. I plan to thoroughly go through all the Powerboats of those days as well as Motorsport. Our little regional magazine lasted only a couple of years, but it was a very high quality publication in regard to content. The fuel shortages and all the bad racing publicity doomed it, but Joe Rome and I had a great time going to events with editor Harry Echols. If we could ever track down Harry there would be an abundance of OMC rotary photo, plus whatever notes he had (if it all hasn't disappeared) If Harry is still around though, I am sure he still has the negatives of "The Girls of Motorsport".;):D

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 06:34 AM
This the the July 1973 Powerboat article covering the Galveston Speed Classic. I don't know who covered the race. They didn't give credits or a byline. Carl Asmus was publisher and Bill Ames editor then.

Skoontz
05-29-2009, 06:36 AM
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!

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 07:05 AM
In my opinion Skoontz, Mel was just saying that with the impressive display of horsepower by the rotaries, Mercury would have to join the fray to stay in the game. But they did not have the licensing, and I don't see any way they could get in without patent infringements. I think it was just such a whole different ballgame that Mel was stating that Mercury would have to look at this seriously, but not that they already had a game plan. The only plan it appears is like you said happened at Indy.....kill or restrict them. As it turned out, the fuel shortages, EPA, and OMC's realization about causing the extinction of the industry bread and butter, the two cycles, they killed it themselves. That is my opinion. If any Mercury insiders have other info it would be great to hear it, but I'm guessing John Sheldon and the other OMC guys that may chime in would say OMC had an iron lock on anything to do with the rotary technology as pertains to outboards and their licensing agreement.

Here's something else to keep in mind. Most everyone has lived under the ever tightening rule making by EPA for a generation and a half. When I first started working, Texas already had an environmental agency. The Texas Water Quality Board came into existence in 1971-- five years before the Environmental Protection Agency. My job was dealing with industrial and hazardous waste transportation. In those early days rules were evolving. The OMC rotarys hit the water early in 1973 and ran not that many events compared to other outboards, but they drew big attention everywhere they went. The EPA was just getting their feet on the ground when the Rotaries were mothballed. It's difficult to say what direction outboarding may have taken had the EPA been in existence for a decade, or if any such agency had never been created in the first place. Please.....let's don't get off subject with EPA regs. I only bring this up because of John Sheldon's stunning epilogue. There are many people out there that do not know of the history and beginnings of the EPA, and how it affected the future and short history of the OMC RC engines.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 02:14 PM
It's been awhile and I may have some years wrong...I'll check. EPA may have begun in 1972 and RCRA 1976 which put more teeth and expansion in EPA.

Anyway....back to the story. At that first race in Galveston where the rotaries proved their potential, Joe Rome saw the race from a different perspective. Joe watched the race from a seagull's eye view. If any of you remember from previous posts on other threads, Joe was in a cherry picker in the pits high above Offats Bayou during the race. He wanted to be down where we were but he promised Woody Carson to go up with him. Woody was calling the race for a big name radio station covering Houston and a big part of the gulf coast and inland part of Texas. While Woody was extremely talented in what he did, Joe had a wider and deeper knowledge of a lot more of the outboard drivers than Woody did, so Joe provided the "color".

I asked Joe what he remembered about the OMC RC tunnels. The main thing he thought was that they were not pushing in the turns. They were not agressive in the apex. They just made their way through then went very fast down the straights. He mentioned several Pro races in past history that reminded him of the rotary strategy, but to me the best match is that of the Marshall Grant/Dan Kirts Konig 8 cylinder OF motor. It never ran on a boat that was specifically designed for the motor. The Konig 8 cylinder was more powerful than any boat it ran on in competition. And it had a weak link in the lower unit. That boat was tremendously fast down the straights but you had to nurse it through the turns because the power could strip the gears. To Joe, that was what it reminded him of except the rotaries came before the Konig. The idea in both cases however,was that there was not enough boat under the motor, although there was enough speed. All you had to do to win was to keep it together and not make mistakes.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-29-2009, 06:11 PM
It's been awhile and I may have some years wrong...I'll check. EPA may have begun in 1972 and RCRA 1976 which put more teeth and expansion in EPA.

Anyway....back to the story. At that first race in Galveston where the rotaries proved their potential, Joe Rome saw the race from a different perspective. Joe watched the race from a seagull's eye view. If any of you remember from previous posts on other threads, Joe was in a cherry picker in the pits high above Offats Bayou during the race. He wanted to be down where we were but he promised Woody Carson to go up with him. Woody was calling the race for a big name radio station covering Houston and a big part of the gulf coast and inland part of Texas. While Woody was extremely talented in what he did, Joe had a wider and deeper knowledge of a lot more of the outboard drivers than Woody did, so Joe provided the "color".

I asked Joe what he remembered about the OMC RC tunnels. The main thing he thought was that they were not pushing in the turns. They were not agressive in the apex. They just made their way through then went very fast down the straights. He mentioned several Pro races in past history that reminded him of the rotary strategy, but to me the best match is that of the Marshall Grant/Dan Kirts Konig 8 cylinder OF motor. It never ran on a boat that was specifically designed for the motor. The Konig 8 cylinder was more powerful than any boat it ran on in competition. And it had a weak link in the lower unit. That boat was tremendously fast down the straights but you had to nurse it through the turns because the power could strip the gears. To Joe, that was what it reminded him of except the rotaries came before the Konig. The idea in both cases however,was that there was not enough boat under the motor, although there was enough speed. All you had to do to win was to keep it together and not make mistakes.

Probably because they were running the 15:17 gear ratio used in the previous Parker Race, plus the boats were designed for V4 & had a tendency to barrel roll on turns with the Rotary power.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 06:17 PM
Funny I should check the masthead in the previous post to see if I could get a clue of who covered the Galveston race for Powerboat. In this, the very next issue, Bob Nordskog is the publisher. Bill Ames is still editor. I included the Editor's Report even though there is only one line mentioning the rotary motors. It is important though because the magazine was reviewing it's five year history and entering into the 6th, which is where the OMC RC motor first appeared...in a major story only in the previous month. The other interesting thing is that this is the second time that Bob Wanamaker's Flying Quarter chronicles Jimbo McConnell's accomplishent in an outboard without mentioning he did it with a rotary. That was from Mel Zikes column. The one little blurb so small was from Dick DeBartolo's column.

Mark75H
05-29-2009, 07:03 PM
Probably because they were running the 15:17 gear ratio used in the previous Parker Race, plus the boats were designed for V4 & had a tendency to barrel roll on turns with the Rotary power.

I would also imagine the lower unit intended for the 175 hp V-4 may not have been able to handle the full torque of the rotary if suddenly applied hard in a corner. No need to bust parts when you are already out front.

The later larger units with more reduction would have been able to swing more diameter and take the torque without fear of breaking.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-29-2009, 07:28 PM
That's my thoughts too Sam. OMC knew what they were working with regarding lower units, and very early on they established a commanding presence so it makes sense to play it safe and last.

Rotary John
05-29-2009, 10:32 PM
The problem with accel. was the 15/17 gearcase. I didn't modify a 14/23 until Provo. Both cases had the same parts as the V-4's, only the outside casting was different to fit the rotary. I don't recall any gearcase failures during the entire program. OMC gearcase man, Ward Cox, rebuilt the gear cases after every race. Also remember there were 20/30 MPH winds at Galvaston with some serious chop on the water. The bigger gearcase along with the bigger props they ran really helped the rotary. I never saw much difference in top end during testing, but actual racing the guys could hang out the 15/17 a little more. But there were very few race courses the rotaries ran that allowed the drivers to really hang it out. As someone mentioned, the boats were also a problem with all the power hung on the back.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-30-2009, 07:56 AM
That's very interesting. I figured a lower unit that was not built for a rotary would be, along with the crank, a weak link.

In the September 1973 Powerboat Mel Zikes started his column off stating that Havasu was cancelled, but without stating a reason. The most obvious thought at that time was because of bad PR surrounding the fuel shortages, but this little clip came in the ACTION column near the back of the publication.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-30-2009, 08:18 AM
The October issue gets into lengthy disussion regarding the rotary controversy as well as Provo results.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-30-2009, 12:48 PM
Powerboat April 1975

Rotary John
05-31-2009, 12:22 AM
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.

LIQUID NIRVANA
05-31-2009, 12:35 AM
http://inlinethumb05.webshots.com/42116/2747186470101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2747186470101354590dpsyjZ)

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.

Rotary John
05-31-2009, 12:54 AM
http://inlinethumb05.webshots.com/42116/2747186470101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2747186470101354590dpsyjZ)

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.

Lars Strom
05-31-2009, 08:01 AM
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..:D

Mark Poole
05-31-2009, 07:25 PM
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.

Mark75H
05-31-2009, 07:39 PM
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?

Master Oil Racing Team
06-01-2009, 08:55 AM
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.:D

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.

LIQUID NIRVANA
06-02-2009, 10:14 PM
http://inlinethumb50.webshots.com/44273/2128001830091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2128001830091848696ufbihc)http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/43765/2395127260091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2395127260091848696uEyzoP)

http://inlinethumb60.webshots.com/29563/2724163220091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2724163220091848696tAMDsD)http://inlinethumb06.webshots.com/45061/2038827900091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2038827900091848696ZkpZSx)

Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

Master Oil Racing Team
06-03-2009, 09:07 AM
Yesterday I bought some storage boxes for magazines to organize them so I can find what I'm looking for easier. While going through 1972 through 1975 issues, I kept having to stop and read. You cannot imagine how interesting it was to read about Ron Hill, Jimbo McConnell, Billy Seebold, John Schubert, Jerry Simison, Bob Hering, Jerry Waldman, Lee Sutter, and on and on. I need to organize them so I can find stuff easier in the future. In my searching I discovered that Powerboat did indeed cover the Red Adair North American Championships. It was Western Editor Rod Flint who wrote the articles and took the pictures. I wish I would have introduced myself. I was in awe of his work back then.

Master Oil Racing Team
06-04-2009, 08:54 AM
These two pieces come from the December 1973 Powerboat. The first one is the second page of Mel Zikes column. Maybe Ron has a little bit of "splainin'"to do.;):D

Master Oil Racing Team
06-04-2009, 09:16 AM
These next two are from the January 1974 Powerboat.

collectorinspector
06-09-2009, 05:13 AM
Well, that is nice.

I got one of these, New Old Stock with Paperwork. Started on ether but that is all.

MAC Wankel 10. Italian 70s leg etc.

Brought into Perth Western Australia for our Avon Decent in the 70s. Too much power so were banned straight away.

Always wondered if stacking the Sachs one on top of each other would be a good idea.................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izaxqIksvpI

Take Care

C.I.

Rotary John
06-11-2009, 09:24 PM
The guy on the right was a European distributer. I don't remember which country.
John

Note Posey's hand. He is covering up the Evinrude logo on Goats jacket. It was cold that day and we all had on all the sweaters and jackets we had. Kukla was turned away from the camara so his Evinrude logo won't show. Funny the things you remember when you see the old pictures.

Rotary John
07-27-2009, 05:08 AM
The History of the OMC Wankel Rotary Program
by John Sheldon
former OMC project engineer on rotary engines

Part 1; Oil Cooled Rotors

In 1958, Curtis Wright signed an exclusive agreement with Wankel GMBH giving them exclusive manufacturing, marketing and sublicensing rights for North and South America as well as a portion of the same worldwide. In 1966, OMC signed a sublicense with Curtis Wright and Wankel GMBH to develop, manufacture and sell Wankel engines for the recreational market worldwide. The original Wankel engine had a stationary crankshaft with the housings rotating around their own centers. This allowed for dynamic balance without the use of counter weights, but had the added complexity of a moving sparkplug and a complicated induction system thru the crankshaft. Max Bentle of Curtis Wright is credited with the kinematic inversion of the engine allowing the housing to remain stationary with a rotating crankshaft. This simplified the engine immensely, but required the addition of counter weights on each end of the crank to achieve dynamic balance. Curtis Wright developed single and twin 60 ci per rotor engines. These engines were both water and air cooled externally and oil cooled internally. The pressurized oil system allowed the use of conventional babit bearings and with the addition of an oil cooler to maintained internal temperatures adequately. I believe Curtis Wight was more interested in selling licenses than producing engines. Curtis Wright went on to develop several different engines from a small lawnmower size to enormous oil field engines.

OMC started their development work at their Research Center in Milwaukee. They took the basic Curtis Wright 60ci engine and started development work on trochoid coatings and apex seals. Research changed the original CW engine by reducing the displacement to 50ci/rotor and using 2 main bearings instead of the 3 used by CW. The target was 80 HP using side porting. Curtis had use “D-Gun” tungsten carbide from Linde as their coating, which was very effective, but extremely expensive. OMC hired 2 Curtis Wright Engineers, Harry Ward and Mike Griffith. Harry was a former Chevy engine engineer, having worked on the Corvair engine and Mike’s background was in the ag business. Less Foster was named manager of the rotary engine group. OMC also hired Ralph Treadway from GM. Less’s group started a production design of a 2 rotor 100ci engine in hopes the research guys could develop a suitable coating/seal combination before production started. The engine was initially designed as an outboard with it’s own new midsection, gear case and motor cover. The engine was designed to produce 200hp at 6500 RPM. It had water-cooled housings and oil cooled rotors similar to the Curtis Wright engine. It had an oil to water heat exchanger, was peripheral and side ported, 2 oil pumps and used the midsection as the oil reservoir. The engine produced 210 hp. The one difference to the Curtis Wright engine was the oil seal. Curtis had a highly loaded scraper type oil seal and OMC followed Mazda with double oil seal with wave springs and o-rings. This reduced friction hp, provided lower temperatures for the O-rings and was more compliant to side housing distortion.

I joined OMC in the summer of 1968 and was put in the OMC 1 year new hire training program. At that time OMC was totally integrated, from melting their own aluminum, die casting their own parts, carburetion, electrical, gears, painting and machining. In fact OMC was the largest aluminum captive die caster in the world, casting 250,000-300,000 lbs of aluminum a day. The training program assigned me to every department in the plant for 6 months and than 3 months each in 2 of the engineering departments. My second stint was with the rotary group where Ralph Treadway too me under his wing. I was assigned to the oil seals, as what we had at the time didn’t work very well; very high oil consumption. Ralph was also assigned to lay the engine down for a stern drive. Without the midsection for the oil reserve, the housings had to be modified to include an oil pan ala automotive along with a high rise exhaust. The engine turned out really neat as it was so small a complete rear seat could be built in the boat eliminating the big box common to stern drives with automotive engines. Being dynamically balanced, there was virtually no vibration felt in the boat. It was also hundreds of pounds lighter than the V-8 being used and as such would out accelerate them even with 100 less hp. My seal work went on with some successes and some not so successful. The seals were being made in Japan, so the iteration time between design/development changes took some time. Oil consumption finally was under control and both the outboard and stern drive versions performed very well. Remember at the time, 125 hp was the largest engines available. The outboard version pushed a 23’ Wellcraft cuddy cabin at 52 MPH. Quite an accomplishment for that period. OMC was in the boat business, so the stern drive version was in an OMC boat, known for its heavy weight and lack of performance. The rotary allowed a full rear seat and performed well against the V-8 in the same boat. Both versions meet the design requirement of 100 hrs @ WOT. Less Foster kept pushing to release both units to production, but the powers to be insisted on a true manufacturing costing vs Less’s estimates. The result was disastrous! The true manufactured cost was twice what Less estimated; opps! Less left the company and George Miller took over as head of the group. Mike Griffith and I were assigned to a major cost reduction design of the oil cooled engine program, while Harry Ward started work on a snowmobile engine. The original oil cooled engine was made from all sand cast parts from an outside source. The trochoid coating was still “D-Gun”, as research hadn’t developed a lower cost suitable coating yet. The first step was to redesign all the housings as high-pressure die-castings. We even explored die cast aluminum rotors and 2 piece center housings glued together. After several months of work, it became apparent an oil-cooled engine could not be made cost competitive with a 2 cycle and work on oil cooled engines stopped. I believe stopping work on the stern drive version was a mistake, as it was lower cost than the Detroit V-8 being used, offered performance advantages and allowed the removal of the “dog house” in the back of the boat. It was about this time Ralf Treadway left OMC and returned to GM to work on their rotary program.

Rotary John
07-27-2009, 12:47 PM
The History of the OMC Wankel Rotary Program
by John Sheldon
former OMC project engineer on rotary engines

Part 2; the Snowmobile Engine
With the demise of the oil cooled rotor engine program I was reassigned to Harry Ward who was working on an air-cooled engine for snowmobiles. Harry knew from his experience at CW, an oil cooled engine could not be hand started at –40. Ficthel and Sachs from Germany had developed a charged cooled rotor engine where the incoming air-fuel mix passed thru the rotor to cool the internal parts. Roller bearings were used instead of the babitt bearings of an oil cool rotor, which required oil to be mixed with the gas ala 2-cycles. Unlike a piston engine, the rotor is a captive heat source with very little heat rejected to the housing walls. As such most of the cooling had to come from the incoming charge to cool the rotor. The result is a significant reduction in volumetric efficiency, the actual amount of air going thru the engine vs its theoretical capacity. This is due to the significant heating of the charge as it passes thru the engine. A rotary engine is unique in that only one section of the engine is exposed to combustion. The down side is that it always hot, not like a piston engine, as combustion occurs almost continuously in that section. Harry had done some work at Curtis Wright with partially air-cooled housings. Unfortunately he had designed a 2 stage axial blower running at 30,000 RPM and took 35 hp to drive to cool the CW design. Ficthel had used an axial fan on their engines, but they had cooling fins all around the engine and had reduced performance to be able to cool the engine. Harry decided a partially cooled engine was possible if an adequate fan could be developed. I developed a computer program to predict airflow required vs. fin design. We produced rotor housings without any fins and machined various fin designs into them. We then had an external variable speed blower to blow air thru the fins measuring air velocity at each fin. Harry developed an ingenious method of measuring heat flux thru the engine. A pair of accurately spaced spring loaded thermocouples measured temperatures allowing us to calculate heat flux. Testing various fin configurations and measuring the air velocity required to cool the engine, we verified my computer predictions. Using the computer program and manufacturing constraints for casting fins, we were able to predict how much air and at what pressure would be required to cool this engine. One of the design constraints for the engine was it had to run at +90 in addition to -40. With the fin design fairly well set due to die casting restrictions, the challenge became to design a fan that would provide sufficient air flow at a given pressure to cool the engine. Very little has been written on centrifugal fans. We knew an axial fan could not generate sufficient pressure that would result in the velocity required to cool the engine. We ended up with a two-piece fan that was die castable in magnesium including a pre-swirl inlet section. Research had developed a sprayed tungsten carbide from Metco that would meet the durability requirements when coupled with tool steel apex seals. A durability cycle of 55 minutes WOT, followed by 5 min idle, for 100 hrs. was established as the minimum life requirement. More details on this engine can be found in the SAE paper written by Harry Ward. The snowmobile engine was released for production and in the winter of 1972. 150 engines were built on a production line in Milwaukee. 100 of these engines were installed in the new snowmobile designed for this engine. The 100 units were given to various dealers throughout the snow belt with instructions to loan them to their customers for no more than a week at a time. No service was to be performed on these engines at the dealer level. They were instructed to call OMC if they had any problems and OMC would send a service technician with a new engine. For the entire season, no one reported any problem with an engine. Not even a sparkplug was replaced. The units were returned in the spring with the plan being to tear all the engines apart for inspection. The 6 units with the most hours were torn down and the engines looked so good that the remainder were never disassembled. Production started for the ’73 model year. Approximately 15,000 engines were produced for the 73 & 74 season. OMC went out of the snowmobile business after the ’74 season. Because of the high maintenance of the die cast die fin sections, one of the last changes was to change the rotor housing from high pressure die cast 380 alloy to permanent molded 356 alloy. This not only reduced the costly die maintenance, but also gave the added benefit of better thermal conductivity, lowering temperatures. Many of these engines are still running today, 35 years later. With no home for an air cooled engine, attention turned to water cooled versions of this engine.
Because of the availability of production parts and the severe environment of the air cooled engine, the snowmobile engine continued to be the workhorse for component development. One of my responsibilities at the time was all the rotating components of this engine, bearings, seals and rotors. The rotor bearing was the weak link of this engine. Being inside the rotor, it is completely dependent on the incoming charge for cooling and lubrication. The bearing was already pretty special. It had a silver plated retainer and a high temperature temper of the outer race. Steel grows; get larger, as it gets hotter. That is until it exceeds the temper temperature where in it gets smaller. As I figured out after 100’s of tests, there was a lubrication breakdown between the retainer and the outer race. The result was steel running on steel at very high speeds generating extreme heat. The result was the bearing shrinking onto the crank eccentric stalling the engine. It took a hydraulic press or a sledge hammer to get them apart. I took several samples to SKF Research and talked to the chief metallurgist. He told me this was impossible to do. When I suggested he come to Waukegan and see for himself, he said the bearing had to be reaching 1800 F for this to happen. This type failure was self-destructing. When the bearing got near its thermal breakdown temperature it would self generate additional heat causing further oil breakdown, causing additional heat, etc, etc,etc. The end result was a shrunk bearing and a stalled engine. Dozens of bearing designs and modifications were tried before a successful solution was found. Interesting enough, none of the snowmobile engines in use showed any bearing problems. Part of the reason is it was very difficult to maintain WOT for extended periods of time and by nature, snowmobiles ran at much colder ambients. The apex seals were a second area where thermal breakdown of the oil caused problems. Similar to the bearing, it was a snowballing failure; generating addition heat as failure started. Wear was so severe the seals would look like horseshoe nails after only a few hours of running. Many, many, many, iterations were tested with varying results before a better seal was developed. Less than .0005 in wear was measured in 100 hrs WOT testing. Unfortunately, these never saw production. One might ask why all this testing and development when there was no home for the air-cooled engine. Part 3 is on the water-cooled engines based on the snowmobile design.

Rotary John
07-28-2009, 04:42 AM
The History of the OMC Wankel Rotary Program
by John Sheldon
former OMC project engineer on rotary engines

Part 3; Water Cooling the snowmobile Engine

As mentioned earlier, with the demise of the snowmobile business, rotary work turned to water-cooling the basic snowmobile engine for outboard use. The earlier oil cooled rotor engines followed CW and Mazda in using multi-pass axial cooling of the housings. The water flowed parallel to the crankshaft in three passes. The end housings acted as plates to cover the water passages of the rotor housings and thus had to be sealed to prevent water from leaking out. This was accomplished by using spaghetti O-rings on both sides of the cooling passages. O-ring grooves were milled in the rotor housings to fit the seals. This was a costly operation and caused assembly problems; the O-rings would fall out of the groove and get pinched resulting in leaks and tear down. OMC was starting to investigate lost foam die-casting. This process allows the use of closed passages while still maintaining the advantages of die-casting. Kind of like a sand casting. With this in mind, it was decided to use circumferential cooling of the rotor housing. Heat transfer is a function of the velocity of the water so by varying the width of the water passage, the cooling of the housing could be tailored to the required heat load of the engine while maintaining a constant volume of water. The air-cooled engine demonstrated partial cooling was feasible. The end housings were cooled by taking water from a high pressure point on the rotor housing and exiting to a low pressure point. They were also only cooled on the hot section. A simple round O-ring sealed the transfer points. We new from previous work on the oil cooled engines a dual spark plug gave an addition 10% power, but also lead to housing cracking due to the heat load imposed. Therefore the decision was made to maintain the single leading sparkplug location from the snowmobile engine. I’m frequently asked why we used a 12mm plug vs the conventional 14mm plug. We used a surface gap plug with the end .010 away from the trochoid surface. If a J-gap plug would be installed, the J would protrude into the engine and the rotor/apex seal would be destroyed as it tried to pass by. Thus to prevent this from happening, a new 12mm surface gap plug was made by Champion. One of the concerns was the exhaust system. Aluminum melts at approx 1060F and the exhaust from the rotary was approx. 1800F . While the snowmobile used a steel exhaust pipe mounted directly at the exhaust, the outboard version had to turn 90 degrees and then travel thru the mid section and out thru the prop. A stainless steel deflector was used to deflect and turn the exhaust and the rest was water-cooled. The exhaust pipe thru the midsection was surround by water and thus wasn’t a problem. With the housings designed, prototypes were sand cast and machined. All of the internal parts were directly from the snowmobile engine. Even the snowmobile crank was used for the initial builds. The spline extending from the flywheel on the snowmobile engine was inertia welded on, so it was just left off for the water-cooled version. The engine produced approx. 50 HP initially, and with further development increased to 60 HP. The biggest problem was carburetion. OMC made their own carbs and the calibration continued to give problems. More on this a bit latter. A two rotor version was designed by adding a center housing and a new 2 eccentric crank. Different counter weights had to be used as only the bending couple had to be balanced. The eccentrics were 180 degrees from each other. The exhaust system again was a problem. The first attempt was a stainless steel casting where the top rotor had the deflector to turn the exhaust stream 90 degrees, but the bottom rotor exhausted straight out into the exhaust stream from the top rotor. This caused problems with exhaust blow down pulses causing scavenging problems. Later iterations split the exhaust into 2 streams until it entered the mid section. This eliminated the bad pulse problem. The engine produced approx 115/120 HP at 7000 RPM. It also fit under the 70 HP 2-cycle motor cover. Carburetion continued to be a problem, only doubled. After much consternation, the Japanese company Keihin was called in to help. Within 30 days, they had a calibration that was so good it would cycle with the thermostat opening and closing. This is the engine we showed to the board of directors. The Keihin carb also did its magic on the single rotor engine. The twin rotor was the bases for the 4-rotor race engine. That story has been told in a previous article. With the 4-rotor entering the picture as # 1 priority for the company, let alone the rotary group, resources for the single and twin were diminished. Some endurance running was done with apex seals and rotor bearing continuing to be occasional problems. The new parts developed in the air-cooled version fairly well solved these problems. Work also was done on emissions. While the rotary was significantly better than a comparable 2-stroke, lean air reactors were tested. While they reduced hydrocarbon emissions by a facter of 10, they also raised the exhaust gas temperature to 2400 F. One unit running outside had its exhaust aimed at the concrete, which puckered and exploded. So much for running on the dock. Turbo charging was also tried, but the increase in temperature caused all sorts of issues and was never really pursued.
In ’76 OMC decided to curtail its rotary program and the water cooled engines were put on the shelf.

Roy Hodges
07-29-2009, 08:49 PM
will there be a part 4 ? or has the 4 rotor racing powerhead story been told , completely , already ? This is SO fascinating to me . it seems to me that , w/turbocharging a 4 rotor could put out over 500 H.P. but, that might be monstrously large &heavy ? Not to mention EXPENSE.

Rotary John
07-29-2009, 09:41 PM
will there be a part 4 ? or has the 4 rotor racing powerhead story been told , completely , already ? This is SO fascinating to me . it seems to me that , w/turbocharging a 4 rotor could put out over 500 H.P. but, that might be monstrously large &heavy ? Not to mention EXPENSE.

Yes there is a part 4 and maybe even a part 5. I don't know yet as I haven't written it. You know, ambition & time must coincide.

Rotary John
07-29-2009, 09:55 PM
will there be a part 4 ? or has the 4 rotor racing powerhead story been told , completely , already ? This is SO fascinating to me . it seems to me that , w/turbocharging a 4 rotor could put out over 500 H.P. but, that might be monstrously large &heavy ? Not to mention EXPENSE.

The story of the race engine started this thread, but there are some many tidbits I forgot in the story. Like the time we got thrown out of the hotel in Belgium for dropping water baloons on the girls walking by, or the time we rebuilt a powerhead in the hotel room using the sink to wash out the carbs. As Ken Finley tells me when I talk with him, there's lots of these tidbit I forgot to tell. The thermal load was too high at the time for turbo charging. The one time we tried it on a single rotor, we we pulling 60 HP at 3000 RPM before it let go. I suspect with some of the advances Moller has made it would be more feasable today.
John

Master Oil Racing Team
07-30-2009, 05:24 AM
Hope there is a part 4 and more John. You write so incredibly well and concise that I can gather the gist of engineering terms I'm not familiar with. You can throw us tidbits anytime while waiting for time and ambition to come back around.

Master Oil Racing Team
07-30-2009, 07:41 PM
.....It's been riveting enough that we're getting the fleshing out of the OMC rotaries, but the inside stories are what really brings us at least a little bit into the going's on. When you mention "death defying" it makes me think of how quickly I could redline my little RX2 Mazda in the mud. Is that about grenading a rotary with a turbo?:eek: As I started off...can hardly wait for more.:cool: I found out that trying to pull up those days from the past and talking with others that were there will also dredge up things I had forgotten about. So we are looking forward to more of your posts John.

Rotary John
08-03-2009, 10:32 PM
Hope there is a part 4 and more John. You write so incredibly well and concise that I can gather the gist of engineering terms I'm not familiar with. You can throw us tidbits anytime while waiting for time and ambition to come back around.

While at a race in Memphis, Jack Leek and his wife had retired early, while the rest of the race crew partied in the parking lot. Mouse and Ziggy got bored (read tipsy) and noticed a Bobcat where the hotel was building a swimming pool. They hot wired it and started using it as an elevater, giving people a ride in the bucket to the second floor. After a while this got old too, so they took the Bobcat and moved the swimming pool sand pile up against Leek's hotel door ( which just happened to open inward) and then piled all the empty beer cans on top of the pile. After frantic pounding on Leek's door, he arose and opened his door to see what the hell all the comotion was about. Needles to say it took several hours to dig out Jack and clean up the mess.

Rotary John
08-04-2009, 08:59 AM
That story is a perfect candidate for Miss BK's thread of Boat Racer's Practical Jokes John. If you haven't found that one....check it out. Somebody needs to link this to that thread.

How about the time Mouse stole a kids bike and was having bike races in the pool. Then they decided to go in one door of a room, over the bed, even if someone was in it, and then out the back door back into the pool.

Rotary John
08-05-2009, 02:43 PM
The History of the OMC Rotary Program
By John Sheldon


Part 4; Additional Rotary Programs

In the 70’s, OMC owned several non-marine companies. Among them was Cushman Vehicles. Cushman was using a B&S 12 hp 4-cycle engine in their golf cart. The engine actually produced 9 to 10 hp. I was asked if I could develop a true 15 hp engine for a golf cart application. To expedite things, I used the snowmobile engine, detuned to produce 15 hp at 3600 RPM. This was accomplished by removing the peripheral intake port and using only a small downstream side port. The engine was built, dyno tested and sent to Cushman for installation in a golf cart. The only report I ever got back was, “the acceleration was beyond exhilarating, it was down right frightening”. Seems the detuned engine with a large displacement gave considerably more torque than the B&S engine had. When you nailed the throttle, it picked the front wheels off the ground. Even though Jim Briggs was responsible for Cushman, they decided it was just too much engine for a golf cart and they didn’t want to fund a completely new engine for their application.

Pioneer Chain Saw was another OMC company. Vibration was becoming a major issue with chainsaws. Long-term exposure to chainsaw vibration caused Reynolds disease in the hands of the user. Some manufactures chose to use vibration isolation to help reduce the problem, but this added considerable cost to the unit. Pioneer wanted to use a rotary as it was dynamically balanced with only torsional inputs. As a side note, nobody figure out at the time that the vibration input from the chain cutting wood was equal in vibration to the piston engine. I was assigned the project to design and develop a 5 hp air-cooled engine for a chainsaw. Pioneer engineering would incorporate the engine into a new saw design. Knowing 1 hp per ci was feasible, I decided on 5 ci for the displacement and copied the snowmobile cooling arrangement. This meant a very high performance fan to be able to cool the engine properly. Normally chainsaws had the starter on the left side, but because of the airflow restriction caused by the starter, I told Pioneer, the starter could not be in front of the fan. The starter on the left was to allow closer clearance from the ground to the bar and chain. Pioneer didn’t want to give up this feature, so they designed a swing arm starter like some of the outboards used. To use this type starter and get back to the crank resulted in a 2 to 1 reduction in cranking speed. I know now this is not something you want to do with a rotary. Many design innovations were used on this engine. The stationary gear, rotor, buttons and apex seals were made with the powered metal process (sintered metal). The trochoid was chrome plated. The side housings were hi-silicon aluminum requiring no addition wear surfacing. Prototypes were made and assembled. Dyno testing confirmed 5hp at 7000 RPM, but cooling was an issue. No failures resulted from the high temps, but performance tapered off as the temps rose. It was felt that chainsaw typically didn’t run at WOT for extended periods and thus this may be acceptable. The day came to install the engine into the new saw. After a couple of tweaks, it was ready to try cutting wood. After pulling on the starter for God knows how long, it became apparent the swing arm reduction starter was not going to crank the engine fast enough to start. We did what all good engineers would do. Cut a hole in the starter housing and get out the electric drill with a socket. The engine started, but threw the socket beyond retrieval. The saw performed well and cut wood like a banshee. That’s when I learned what sawdust coupled with tree sap did to cooling fins. It didn’t take very long before temperatures started rising beyond acceptable levels. We also learned very quickly what saw chain induced vibration meant. At this point in the development, it was apparent vibration isolators would be required to tame the saw chain vibration and thus the advantage of the rotary was diminished because of the cost of the two together. The project was stopped.

We changed directions and used the same hardware for a water-cooled version. 6 HP was the target. New parts were designed and made to water cool the engine. A cast in sintered metal insert was used for the trochoid surface. The goal was to sinter to size and no addition trochoid machining would be required. The engine produced the target 6 HP but would not consistently idle below 2500 RPM. Idle speed on the 2-strokes was 300/500 RPM. Starting was also an issue. Most of the small 2-strokes would start with a flick of the flywheel. This was not the case with the rotary and a significant pull on the starter rope was required. Many 100’s of hours were run on this engine with no mechanical problems. We mounted the engine to a 6HP mid-section/lower unit and went boating. Idling and start ability continued to be a problem. The guys at research came up with an ingenious invention that took some charge from the compression cycle and put in back into the intake cycle. This solved the idling and starting issues. The engine would consistently idle at 500 RPM and would start with a modest pull of the starter rope. It was at this time the 4 rotor race engine came into being and I was reassigned to that program. The 6 HP engine was assigned to Doug Betts; a relatively new engineer at OMC. The program floundered with redesigns to increase displacement and HP. The demise of the engine was part of the OMC direction to shelve the rotary programs. Ken Finely has my only picture of the engine. Maybe he would be kind enough to post it.

LIQUID NIRVANA
08-05-2009, 05:04 PM
Sorry I missed this John. The "Mac" name caught me unawares.

Ken Finlay.

http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/44697/2571876280091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2571876280091848696JPuwDC)

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Rotary John
08-06-2009, 02:14 PM
Sorry I missed this John. The "Mac" name caught me unawares.

Ken Finlay.

http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/44697/2571876280091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2571876280091848696JPuwDC)

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Ken:
The picture of the 6 HP outboard, on a slide.
John

LIQUID NIRVANA
08-07-2009, 02:56 AM
http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/42336/2669213290091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2669213290091848696NBBPzV)
The OMC 6hp Prototype Rotary outboard powerheads

http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/17266/2725333100091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2725333100091848696NgxxfT)
This picture indicates just how much smaller the Rotary powerhead was when compared with a 1971 6hp Johnson/Evinrude or the earlier Johnson/Evinrude 9.5hp

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Rotary John
09-24-2009, 08:00 AM
There was a total of 6 race engines plus a ton of spare parts. The 6 were defined by the shroud, bucket and exhaust manifold. The bucket/shroud sold on E-bay was not completely machined and never had a power head installed. 2 units are in a private collection, 1 unit is on display at BRP and 1 unit is on the 100th Evinrude anun. tour. I believe there is 1 more complete unit somewhere. I am told that all the OMC race hardware was scrapped when BRP took over (V-4, V-6, V-8, and rotary).

Bill Van Steenwyk
09-24-2009, 01:25 PM
Another in a long list of reasons to hate executives of large corporations that aren't race fans.

Rotary John
09-24-2009, 02:08 PM
Another in a long list of reasons to hate executives of large corporations that aren't race fans.

I'm afraid the Charlie Strange's and Charlie Alexander's of the marine world are long gone. Some blame Charlie Strang for the demise of OMC. I guess in todays world ecomony the almighty $ is the most important thing. In my day, we sold in excess of 500K 10/15 hp outboards alone. Now that's the total marine market. I remember when Honda brought out thier 350cc 4 cylinder 4-cycle bike at a retail of $1395.00 I put it next to the OMC 15 hp at a $1295 retail and asked where was the value difference between the two. I also said if OMC didn't address the cost issue head on with vigor, the marine business would die. However, at the time OMC sold out every thing they could make for the model year by years end, starting in Sept. so nobody would listen.

Mark75H
09-24-2009, 02:41 PM
I am told that all the OMC race hardware was scrapped when BRP took over (V-4, V-6, V-8, and rotary).

All the hardware that remained in the US, but fortunately, much of the V-6 and triple hardware was already in the hands of Cees Vander Velden in Holland. After his death, it was acquired by Seaway.

Powerabout
10-24-2009, 12:03 PM
http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/42336/2669213290091848696S600x600Q85.jpg (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2669213290091848696NBBPzV)
The OMC 6hp Prototype Rotary outboard powerheads


This picture indicates just how much smaller the Rotary powerhead was when compared with a 1971 6hp Johnson/Evinrude or the earlier Johnson/Evinrude 9.5hp

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How did that carb work mounted sideways?
( I dont want to hear it was a rotary so centrifical force kept the fuel in the bowll)

Tim Kurcz
10-24-2009, 04:10 PM
My guess is the engines were tested horizontally in the prototype phase, ans that the image is rotated 90 degrees. The tip is what appears to be a starter pull on the end opposite the flywheel. Might this be a leftover from a snowmobile application that would have the PTO where the flywheel is?

Tim

Mark75H
10-24-2009, 04:18 PM
I think Tim is right ... look at it this way:

The wires now seem to be hanging down naturally and the things now at the right appear to be parts bins with nuts and bolts in them

Skoontz
10-24-2009, 04:19 PM
My guess is the engines were tested horizontally in the prototype phase, ans that the image is rotated 90 degrees. The tip is what appears to be a starter pull on the end opposite the flywheel. Might this be a leftover from a snowmobile application that would have the PTO where the flywheel is?

Tim

I don't know what i am looking at in regards to 6HP powerheads, but I do know that is a belt driven torque converter as used in a snowmobile in the flywheel of the first motor. Are you sure these are outboards and not something that maybe was not intended for Cushman carts or Lawnboy mowers? The taper on op of the flywheel without the clutch is used for a belt as well.....The snowmobiles had fins over the end of the housing.

Lars Strom
10-24-2009, 04:44 PM
I'm afraid the Charlie Strange's and Charlie Alexander's of the marine world are long gone. Some blame Charlie Strang for the demise of OMC. I guess in todays world ecomony the almighty $ is the most important thing. In my day, we sold in excess of 500K 10/15 hp outboards alone. Now that's the total marine market. I remember when Honda brought out thier 350cc 4 cylinder 4-cycle bike at a retail of $1395.00 I put it next to the OMC 15 hp at a $1295 retail and asked where was the value difference between the two. I also said if OMC didn't address the cost issue head on with vigor, the marine business would die. However, at the time OMC sold out every thing they could make for the model year by years end, starting in Sept. so nobody would listen.

Thank you Rotary John,

This is one of the best posts I have ever read.. about the Outboard business
going south..

I had exactly the same feeling as an exclusive Evinrude dealer..
and Waukegan was not listening to the dealers..

Powerabout
10-25-2009, 12:59 AM
Thanks guys, I think you got it.

Lars
I agree, I always asked why they didnt make Jet ski's as they will be big soon after seeing Kawasaki 440's start to turned up to our marina in Oz in the late 70's.
Both Merc and OMC said there was no market and they will be banned soon?

Powerabout
10-25-2009, 01:03 AM
My big question to John if he can answer is
Back in 100 cu days why wasn't a V6 made using 49cu stuff?

Mark75H
10-25-2009, 07:04 AM
My big question to John if he can answer is
Back in 100 cu days why wasn't a V6 made using 49cu stuff?

I think that would be a better question for Jim Nerstrom

Rotary John
10-27-2009, 06:47 AM
My big question to John if he can answer is
Back in 100 cu days why wasn't a V6 made using 49cu stuff?
The first showing of the V-6 was at Paris in 1973; Johnnie Sanders won the race with that engine. It was actually made from 100cu V-4 parts with a new block and head castings resulting in 150ci. The crank was actually made from 2 V-4 cranks welded together. OMC got a copy of the Merc V-6 and knew it was a 122cu looper with a 60 degree V. It was a HP race. OMC knew they would get more HP out of 150ci than Merc could from 122. Also the 60 degree V from Merc wouldn't allow a bigger bore, so OMC thought they had won the HP race. Be sides, OMC had all the machinery to machine the V where as the 49ci was inline.

Rotary John
10-27-2009, 06:53 AM
I don't know what i am looking at in regards to 6HP powerheads, but I do know that is a belt driven torque converter as used in a snowmobile in the flywheel of the first motor. Are you sure these are outboards and not something that maybe was not intended for Cushman carts or Lawnboy mowers? The taper on op of the flywheel without the clutch is used for a belt as well.....The snowmobiles had fins over the end of the housing.

Guys. The picture of the engine horizontal is correct. It shows the snowmobile engines as they were produced on the assembly line at Evinrude in Milkwauke. The flywheel was one half of varriable sheeve pully used for the drive; an OMC patent. The posting Ken had before with the colored slide shows the prototype 6 HP outboard. It got put in with the snowmobile engine with the wrong orientation that was taged 6 HP outboard.

Rotary John
10-27-2009, 06:59 AM
Thanks guys, I think you got it.

Lars
I agree, I always asked why they didnt make Jet ski's as they will be big soon after seeing Kawasaki 440's start to turned up to our marina in Oz in the late 70's.
Both Merc and OMC said there was no market and they will be banned soon?

I think OMC felt the jet ski market world go the same way as the S/N market. They had already lost a ton of money in S/N and didn't want to repeat that. Remember in 1969 there were 113 manufacures of S/N's. By 1975 there was 3.

Rotary John
10-27-2009, 08:29 AM
35350

Mark75H
10-27-2009, 08:36 AM
I think OMC felt the jet ski market world go the same way as the S/N market. They had already lost a ton of money in S/N and didn't want to repeat that. Remember in 1969 there were 113 manufacures of S/N's. By 1975 there was 3.

Its also possible that they knew they could not compete on price if the imports were being subsidized and "dumped" into our market

Powerabout
10-27-2009, 08:58 AM
Its also possible that they knew they could not compete on price if the imports were being subsidized and "dumped" into our market
I think they had that problem with all the products they were involved with.
I wonder why Kawasaki dropped out?

Skoontz
10-27-2009, 04:14 PM
I think they had that problem with all the products they were involved with.
I wonder why Kawasaki dropped out?

The Yickifigions were entering the US market with everything from steel to cars to bikes and selling them dirt cheap to break the market. It made no sense that we could ship iron ore and taconite rigth past the steel cities we had on the great lakes, then to Japan to mill it, and ship back CHEAPER than we could do the whole job here.....Some blame the unions, but there was way they could have that much of a price drop without getting funny on price.....

I also remember OMC to have a 6 wheel drive, cable steer ATV about 1968, and i think they went dead on theirs about 1971...

Bill Gohr
10-27-2009, 04:57 PM
I think OMC felt the jet ski market world go the same way as the S/N market. They had already lost a ton of money in S/N and didn't want to repeat that. Remember in 1969 there were 113 manufacures of S/N's. By 1975 there was 3.


The ATV's, the trackster's there are still some runnig around here, I think Gary Johnson has one, across the street from me they cleared 20 acres to build a school, they found one out in the shrubs we pulled it out.

As far as Jet Skis, OMC didn't get in the Jet skis, However, they were going to get into the personal watercraft market. We had prototype hulls and I built the two prototype engines, they were 56cubers laid on their face with BN carbs on them, they were gonna be marketed as the "Shockwave" this was like in 93',94', but they never made it to market

Rotary John
10-27-2009, 09:37 PM
The Yickifigions were entering the US market with everything from steel to cars to bikes and selling them dirt cheap to break the market. It made no sense that we could ship iron ore and taconite rigth past the steel cities we had on the great lakes, then to Japan to mill it, and ship back CHEAPER than we could do the whole job here.....Some blame the unions, but there was way they could have that much of a price drop without getting funny on price.....

I also remember OMC to have a 6 wheel drive, cable steer ATV about 1968, and i think they went dead on theirs about 1971...

The vehicle had 2 S/N tracks, not 6 wheels. It also had a very sloped front end ala a tank so it could climb over obstacles. It was made by Cushman, an OMC company at the time. They got out of that business due to a law suit where a doctor going down hill decided to throw it in reverse and the whole vehicle and doctor went *** over tea kettle, killing said doctor. His wife sued and won a ton of money for bad design and failure to warn ??? An interesting side bite; Ralph Evinrude got one of the first units and took it to his Fl home. He took it out in the front yard and had a ball spinning cookies etc. The result was a new sod job for his front lawn. Francis Langford, his wife, was incensed and the vehicle went back to Cushman.

Skoontz
10-27-2009, 11:12 PM
The vehicle had 2 S/N tracks, not 6 wheels. It also had a very sloped front end ala a tank so it could climb over obstacles. It was made by Cushman, an OMC company at the time. They got out of that business due to a law suit where a doctor going down hill decided to throw it in reverse and the whole vehicle and doctor went *** over tea kettle, killing said doctor. His wife sued and won a ton of money for bad design and failure to warn ??? An interesting side bite; Ralph Evinrude got one of the first units and took it to his Fl home. He took it out in the front yard and had a ball spinning cookies etc. The result was a new sod job for his front lawn. Francis Langford, his wife, was incensed and the vehicle went back to Cushman.

That's funnier than hell John! I thought they had 6 wheels like our Sidwinders and my Max did, but you would know best. I thought the cable steer kind of sucked too. Many of those things like the Terra Tiger would flip going down hill if you did stupid stuff with them....

Oh well, end of an era....

Powerabout
10-28-2009, 01:07 AM
The ATV's, the trackster's there are still some runnig around here, I think Gary Johnson has one, across the street from me they cleared 20 acres to build a school, they found one out in the shrubs we pulled it out.

As far as Jet Skis, OMC didn't get in the Jet skis, However, they were going to get into the personal watercraft market. We had prototype hulls and I built the two prototype engines, they were 56cubers laid on their face with BN carbs on them, they were gonna be marketed as the "Shockwave" this was like in 93',94', but they never made it to market
I'd love to see a photo of that.
Whats are the issues when mounting carbs off centerline of the cylinder and which side should it be?

Rotary John
06-22-2010, 09:30 AM
Yesterday I bought some storage boxes for magazines to organize them so I can find what I'm looking for easier. While going through 1972 through 1975 issues, I kept having to stop and read. You cannot imagine how interesting it was to read about Ron Hill, Jimbo McConnell, Billy Seebold, John Schubert, Jerry Simison, Bob Hering, Jerry Waldman, Lee Sutter, and on and on. I need to organize them so I can find stuff easier in the future. In my searching I discovered that Powerboat did indeed cover the Red Adair North American Championships. It was Western Editor Rod Flint who wrote the articles and took the pictures. I wish I would have introduced myself. I was in awe of his work back then.

Wayne:
I keep looking at the picture of Barry Woods above and I can't figure it out. To my knowledge, the first time Barry drove a rotary was at Provo, Aug '73. The other pictures and story seem to be from Galvaston. It would appear to me, the picture and story don't match. I distintly remember Woods at Provo, as he lead the race until he broke. When he got out of the boat after being towed in, his comment to Jack Leek was "what a ride!"
John

Roy Hodges
06-22-2010, 09:47 AM
Something that I THINK nobody has mentioned ; the rotary engines (omc race) must have been incredibly smooth running , I would think . Any comments from any of you drivers who raced ,using the rotary ?

Master Oil Racing Team
06-22-2010, 07:18 PM
I have to go back and recollect my thoughts John, and reread those articles. Provo was one of the venues I remember from when I first started racing, but I have never been there. I still have some B&W photos yet to post. Maguerite Woods ( I never met the Woods, and I don't think I spelled her name correctly....help me Ron) PM'd me when Barry was in Berlin to find out how to get to where the Berlin 7 Hour's was. Since I dind't race there, I wasn't sure if it was on the Oberhavel or where. By the time she got back with Barry it was too late. Barry called me later and I asked if he would sign one of the pics from when he raced the Rotary's and he said yes. Then my E mail crashed and I lost contact. Ron knows how to get ahold of him. Then we can figure out what's what.

bandit
06-24-2010, 11:19 PM
Where's he at now that we need him??
I think some one would have to ask first , so forget that.
Take it back, i don't know if that's a question or not...

John Schubert T*A*R*T
06-25-2010, 05:17 AM
The vehicle had 2 S/N tracks, not 6 wheels. It also had a very sloped front end ala a tank so it could climb over obstacles. It was made by Cushman, an OMC company at the time. They got out of that business due to a law suit where a doctor going down hill decided to throw it in reverse and the whole vehicle and doctor went *** over tea kettle, killing said doctor. His wife sued and won a ton of money for bad design and failure to warn ??? An interesting side bite; Ralph Evinrude got one of the first units and took it to his Fl home. He took it out in the front yard and had a ball spinning cookies etc. The result was a new sod job for his front lawn. Francis Langford, his wife, was incensed and the vehicle went back to Cushman.

Not quite what happened although going down hill & pulling the "T" handle towards reverse would throw the machine up on the forward angled track & could cart wheel down a severe angled incline. One reason OMC lost the law suit, although they sued the insurance Company who refused to settle & OMC won that, was the advertising claim stated " The Trackster makes the Impossible Passable". Which it didn't. THe real accident that killed the individual(not sure it was a Dr., but the skier Spider Sabich's dad was a passenger) was because there was a 6" vertical faced stick or stone in the path of one of the tracks. As the track passed over the virticle face it came down on the angled front track & cart wheeled. I was the OMC lead liason between attornies & employees and was very familiar with the law suit including post law suit training & product repurchase. During the law suit the engineer that worked on the design & my expert rider of the Trackster had to simulate the accident condition on a hill in California for the jury. They did & came down safely. The secret with the trackster, as I personally learned quickly, was not to pull back on the "T" handle when you thought that you were in trouble. You gradually pushed it forward so it wouldn't rock up on the front angled track. Back to the experts going down the simulated hill. They made it, then a jury member wanted them to do it again. The driver wasn't very happy, but did it a second time successfully.

Rotary John
06-29-2010, 09:03 AM
Not quite what happened although going down hill & pulling the "T" handle towards reverse would throw the machine up on the forward angled track & could cart wheel down a severe angled incline. One reason OMC lost the law suit, although they sued the insurance Company who refused to settle & OMC won that, was the advertising claim stated " The Trackster makes the Impossible Passable". Which it didn't. THe real accident that killed the individual(not sure it was a Dr., but the skier Spider Sabich's dad was a passenger) was because there was a 6" vertical faced stick or stone in the path of one of the tracks. As the track passed over the virticle face it came down on the angled front track & cart wheeled. I was the OMC lead liason between attornies & employees and was very familiar with the law suit including post law suit training & product repurchase. During the law suit the engineer that worked on the design & my expert rider of the Trackster had to simulate the accident condition on a hill in California for the jury. They did & came down safely. The secret with the trackster, as I personally learned quickly, was not to pull back on the "T" handle when you thought that you were in trouble. You gradually pushed it forward so it wouldn't rock up on the front angled track. Back to the experts going down the simulated hill. They made it, then a jury member wanted them to do it again. The driver wasn't very happy, but did it a second time successfully.
John: I'm sure you are right, as you had much better knowledge than me. I only heard the stories. My version makes a better story however.

Rotary John
07-07-2010, 12:12 PM
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.
Wayne:
I can't be sure, but in looking closely at Posey's boat, it appears the bucket is silver, but the top is Johnson gold. That only happened 1 time and that was Windermere, England, '74. Posey co-drove with Mike Downard to win that race. Sanders broke during pratice and didn't start the race. Barry lead for awhile until he broke. I don't recall what happened to Jimbo, but I know he didn't finish. This was the race Strang got pissed at me because 3 of the 4 broke. I kept asking him "who won the race" and who cares who came in second. I'm surprised I still had a job after that.

racer55
07-11-2010, 06:30 PM
I would like to thank John for all the info he has provided.

I remember the Parker race very well, it was a sight to see them coming.

Last time I was in Sturtavant a complet rotary was in the lobby, I lifted the cowl to make sure but I can't tell you if it was a newer version or not. I have some pictures of the lobby that may tell. I will have to dig them out.

Rotary John
07-12-2010, 04:44 AM
I would like to thank John for all the info he has provided.

I remember the Parker race very well, it was a sight to see them coming.

Last time I was in Sturtavant a complet rotary was in the lobby, I lifted the cowl to make sure but I can't tell you if it was a newer version or not. I have some pictures of the lobby that may tell. I will have to dig them out.
Racer: Are you sure it was in Sturtavant and not Waukegan? Is it a johnson or Evinrude? There is a Johnson in Waukegan in Marine Engineering and it is the old 2 piece crank engine. If you look closely it has a large flywheel nut and then a smaller nut on top of it. This was the nut that torqued the bolt that held the 2 cranks together. It also has the diecast flywheel. The newer versions had a flex plate flywheel. It appears to be a partial mockup as we never used black carbs, also the entrance of the carbs are not radiused and the steering arms were polished alum not black. Ken Finley has pictures of this unit on web shots
Rotary John

Rotary John
07-13-2010, 04:27 AM
John,

It was in Sturtavant, I have not had a chance to look thru the pics but can tell you they were not to happy when I lifted the cowl. It was a Johnson (orange) and I think had aluminum color carbs but not 100 percent.

This just about makes my day!:) This just might be the 5th engine I have been searching for. Unless this is the same one thats now in Waukegan. I sure would like to see your pictures!!!! Thanks for all your help.

Tim Kurcz
08-09-2010, 06:50 PM
All this talk of the rotary engines sent me digging.... Found a color photo or two from the Detroit boat show in 1974 or 1975. There's also a B&W of a CC (year unknown). Soon as I get decent scans will post for all to see. At that time I was wrenching Mercs and OMC's at Byrd Marine in Dearborn, MI and racing 25SSMH with an OMC 25 powerhead and Parker stacks on a Merc 20H tower/gearcase. We worked the show where I'd slip away to the manufacturers booths and marvel at these great beasts. Cool thread!

Tim Kurcz
08-11-2010, 08:14 AM
If only we could turn back the hands of time!

Bill Van Steenwyk
10-26-2010, 02:45 PM
Wayne:

FYI I tried to send you a PM last evening about the Marshall Grant motor that you replied to, just in case you did not see the post, It said your PM box was full and would accept no more messages till you emptied it of some of them. Might want to check if you want to hear from this person.

Bill

Master Oil Racing Team
10-26-2010, 06:11 PM
Thanks Bill Van....I did it before you sent me this message.:) Sorry about that.;) I've been meaning to give you a call anyway. I'll do it after the races.

Bill Van Steenwyk
10-26-2010, 07:10 PM
Wayne:

Wait till this weekend to call. We are going to stop at the Barber museum per EZ Ryder's post of a few days ago, on the way home.

Met him at Lake Alfred. Super nice person, and talks more than I do.

Talk to you later.

Master Oil Racing Team
10-26-2010, 07:56 PM
OK. Wow...would I have liked to met him too. Tell Eileen to take some pics. That sounds like a fantastic facility to tour.

BigSteve
01-09-2011, 08:50 PM
I found this article in the January 1967 issue of Hot Boat.

One of the best threads I have ever read ;)

LIQUID NIRVANA
01-28-2011, 12:15 AM
Here is a little more information written by JOHN SHELDON, the chief 'inside' contributor to this wonderful thread. Without him it could be safely assumed that much of the inside story of the OMC ROTARY would/could have been lost forever. John, we are very grateful for your time & effort & also the other esteemed contributors who have added positively to this unique marine heritage. Thankyou.

http://inlinethumb62.webshots.com/25789/2445414960101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2445414960101354590tfApWA)http://inlinethumb29.webshots.com/8604/2023187880101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2023187880101354590nXAjUQ)

http://inlinethumb35.webshots.com/45986/2872421340101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2872421340101354590SdYtkA)http://inlinethumb35.webshots.com/46050/2443970430101354590S600x600Q85.jpg (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2443970430101354590vuwsbN)

John Schubert T*A*R*T
01-28-2011, 09:16 AM
What a great story! Though level of development detail is incredible. Please keep the information coming. It's a shame the program was shelved; I sure would like one of those 2-rotor water cooled units for my hydro: Bolted to a short mid with a 45SS gearcase it would be a potent ride........

Tim

Tim,

Go to one or more of the snowmobile web sites then to their for sale/wanted listings. I'm sure there are Evinrude & Johnson rotary powered snowmobiles available for sale. I can't recall if they are single or double rotors however.

Rotary John
01-28-2011, 11:30 AM
Tim,

Go to one or more of the snowmobile web sites then to their for sale/wanted listings. I'm sure there are Evinrude & Johnson rotary powered snowmobiles available for sale. I can't recall if they are single or double rotors however.

The 2 versions of snowmobile engine produced were both air cooled, single rotors; 35 & 45 HP. Water cooled engines were never available commercially.

Tim Kurcz
01-28-2011, 12:03 PM
Thanks John,

Thanks for the information. An air cooled engine would be OK, but my FE(850) Mod hydro needs more like 100-115 HP. What do you suppose became of the prototypes?

Tim

John Schubert T*A*R*T
01-28-2011, 12:18 PM
Thanks John,

Thanks for the information. An air cooled engine would be OK, but my FE(850) Mod hydro needs more like 100-115 HP. What do you suppose became of the prototypes?

Tim

My hunch is they were destroyed, but like the stacked 4 rotor race motor, you never know what hangs around marine engineering or with former engineering employees. Perhaps John Sheldon or George Miller could shed some light on this.

LIQUID NIRVANA
01-28-2011, 11:07 PM
My hunch is they were destroyed, but like the stacked 4 rotor race motor, you never know what hangs around marine engineering or with former engineering employees. Perhaps John Sheldon or George Miller could shed some light on this.

I believe there are 4 race OMC rotary's still around, maybe even 5 :eek::eek:. 2 definately in a private collection. John S. knows more. Could be at least one at BRP, but trying to penetrate the BRP veil is like extracting teeth from a chook aka chicken.

Rotary John
01-29-2011, 05:43 AM
Guys: With the demise of OMC and the take over of Marine Engineering by Rotax, I suspect all of the old prototypes have been long since thrown away. Most of the old OMC buildings have been torn down and the places where this stuff was stored went with them. As of last summer, there were 5 rotary race engines surviving; 2 in a private collection and 3 at BRP. I was told when Rotax took over, they ordered all the old OMC stuff to be disposed of. I have also seen a picture of a prototye rotary outboard, but believe it was of a later vintage based on the 650cc engine. Us race guys, both old and new, would like to see some of the racing outboard history preserved and be available for public viewing, but in the production sceem of things, prototype engines like the rotary has little meaning to production outboard history. Rotax has a history in go kart racing so maybe someone there will at least see some of these engines get preserved for public viewing; lets hope so.

LIQUID NIRVANA
07-20-2011, 06:35 AM
Ken:
Where in heck did you find that!!!!! It appears to be Tommy Posey in Miami at the introduction. The sound is not of the rotary though. The still shots of the boat alone were made at a different time as they have the fuel caps. \
Thanks for posting
John

At least we know that is not the Rotary Sound.


The search continues my friend.. I will NEVER give up.


Ken

Speedfab
07-20-2011, 03:57 PM
Wow, thanks so much Mr Finley, at least now I've SEEN one running.

You are right, that audio most certainly is not that of a 4 rotor wankel. That's a sound you'll never forget once you've been in it's presence. Fortunately audio does exist... unfortunately it's in land-based form:

Mazda 787B (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1BWv7iPFUg)

MN1
07-20-2011, 04:25 PM
I like this one better!
Mark N
<iframe width="960" height="750" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9675TKafw3g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Techteam
07-21-2011, 11:32 AM
Sorry, 100 blips of the throttle doesn't do anything for me :(... I go with the long whine stretching it out on the straight :)

Picky Picky

Ok I don't want to hijack the best thread on the board but just to convert Mark75H to rotary power:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upeNfS4sIgU

Mark75H
07-21-2011, 11:53 AM
I didn't say I didn't like rotaries ... I just don't care for the one clip. I like the other one with the car on the track

wolfgang
07-28-2011, 12:29 AM
Sorry, 100 blips of the throttle doesn't do anything for me :(... I go with the long whine stretching it out on the straight :)

The competition complained - therefore they were only allowed to run it on three rotors, hence the funny sound LOL

Mark75H
07-28-2011, 04:53 AM
Not complaining about how it sounds ... what turns me off in that video is that it never runs over idle for more than a half second at a time ... that does not impress me that you are hearing the sound of the motor at speed

wolfgang
08-01-2011, 04:46 AM
Well Sam, I did see and hear them at Paris - spine chilling stuff. OMC always seemed to be good for weird surprises in the racing environment, starting off with the GT115 and the loop charged 3-cylinder, continuing with the Stranglers, the CC and CCC, the Wankel and the V8s. Always a technological tour de force, with astonishing improvisation skills successfully applied to engineering.
After all, no outboard manufacturing company ever had the financial means of the giants in the automobile industry.
Being an engineer as well as a trained engine builder, I did enjoy live all of the above race engines, but only raced the 3-cylinder myself, in SE form. However, when I saw Angelo Vassena`s OE at Brodenbach, my eyes really opened wide!
I still have about five shoe-boxes full of docs and photos to scan and send to BRF. Might need some assistance with dating the lot. rgds.

LIQUID NIRVANA
08-01-2011, 05:50 AM
Bring it on Wolfgang, we sure would like to see everything you've got. Do you have any audio or "video" of the Rotary's... Very Very RARE. The one I have posted took years to find. It would be GREAT to hear one at full song.

Kind Regards Ken

Lars Strom
02-02-2012, 06:33 PM
I think this very nice picture should be on this thread..

Tim Kurcz
02-02-2012, 06:47 PM
Picky Picky

Ok I don't want to hijack the best thread on the board but just to convert Mark75H to rotary power:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upeNfS4sIgU

Do you mean something like this?

Tim

Mark75H
02-02-2012, 07:05 PM
Not complaining about how it sounds ... what turns me off in that video is that it never runs over idle for more than a half second at a time ... that does not impress me that you are hearing the sound of the motor at speed

No need to convert me. I loved my cousin's Mazda the first time I rode in it back in the mid-70's.

I was not impressed with the "race" car at idle ... a waste of inconvenienced electrons.

Tim Kurcz
02-02-2012, 07:15 PM
No need to convert me. I loved my cousin's Mazda the first time I rode in it back in the mid-70's.

I was not impressed with the "race" car at idle ... a waste of inconvenienced electrons.

The 20B rotary "brap" isn't much different than the thrashing idle of a roller cam small block, or the rythmic surge of an idling blower motor....... All tell a story of enormous power about to be unleashed!

Tim

BTW: Always especially liked the "cackle" of a Merc 2 liter at idle...

wolfgang
02-02-2012, 11:14 PM
Many thanks Lars. Great photo - Jimbo and Renato. Looks like the boat in which Renato won the European championship in Guels on the Mosel river (near Koblenz) in about 1972. I still have a (soundless) videoclip of some of the heats. Completing the first lap, Renato almost lost it getting round the pit buoy.

Techteam
02-03-2012, 01:41 AM
Do you mean something like this?

Tim

Like it, who balanced it ?

Rotary John
02-03-2012, 04:06 AM
Many thanks Lars. Great photo - Jimbo and Renato. Looks like the boat in which Renato won the European championship in Guels on the Mosel river (near Koblenz) in about 1972. I still have a (soundless) videoclip of some of the heats. Completing the first lap, Renato almost lost it getting round the pit buoy.
If you are refering to the picture of the rotary passing the Merc, that is Barry Woods driving the rotary who co-piloted with Jimbo. The Merc driver is Billy Seebold. They lead the race for 5 1/2 hrs until engine failure caused by sabotoge.

Rotary John
02-03-2012, 05:12 AM
Do you mean something like this?

Tim
Looks like someone has stacked Mazda parts on top of a piece of plywood with OMC carbs bolted on. If you look close, the gearcase isn't connected to anything and a rotary has a crank in the center of the package which in this picture doesn't line up with the gearcase shaft.

wolfgang
02-06-2012, 06:17 AM
If you are refering to the picture of the rotary passing the Merc, that is Barry Woods driving the rotary who co-piloted with Jimbo. The Merc driver is Billy Seebold. They lead the race for 5 1/2 hrs until engine failure caused by sabotoge.

Thanks for clearing that up John.

John Schubert T*A*R*T
02-08-2012, 07:26 AM
Ken,

I sent an e-mail to you through BRF about help that a fellow AOMCI member & friend is looking for. If you did not receive it, please e-mail me direct at jschubert@wi.rr.com so I can provide you with his contact info

Thanks,
John

Techteam
02-08-2012, 12:53 PM
Looks like someone has stacked Mazda parts on top of a piece of plywood with OMC carbs bolted on. If you look close, the gearcase isn't connected to anything and a rotary has a crank in the center of the package which in this picture doesn't line up with the gearcase shaft.

:) I know John single rotor Mazda........

Rotary John
02-08-2012, 01:51 PM
:) I know John single rotor Mazda........

Come on, you'r supposed to be a rotary man. Those are a couple of Mazda parts stacked up for a picture. No crank, no ct. wt's. no work. Mazda never sold a single rotary, thus no crank and as you well know the cost of machining on from scratch is very costlyps: are you still working with Shaun Oken?

Techteam
02-08-2012, 02:31 PM
That's why I said Single Rotor Mazda !! Maybe it's my british warped sense of humour that doesn't come across right. Shaun Oken there's a name to conjour with. It seems to be an ongoing sort of thing. As you know I just build them and poke them with a stick on the dyno. I think I need a bigger stick.

Rotary John
02-08-2012, 03:56 PM
That's why I said Single Rotor Mazda !! Maybe it's my british warped sense of humour that doesn't come across right. Shaun Oken there's a name to conjour with. It seems to be an ongoing sort of thing. As you know I just build them and poke them with a stick on the dyno. I think I need a bigger stick.
Your from Windmere, can't be all bad. Get a BIGGER stick with Shaun and don't bend over.

LIQUID NIRVANA
02-08-2012, 06:08 PM
Ken,

I sent an e-mail to you through BRF about help that a fellow AOMCI member & friend is looking for. If you did not receive it, please e-mail me direct at jschubert@wi.rr.com so I can provide you with his contact info

Thanks,
John

Thanks John. I received both emails and responded to George. Hope I can help.

Ken
liquidnirvana@y7mail.com

Tim Kurcz
03-14-2012, 06:56 PM
Looks like someone has stacked Mazda parts on top of a piece of plywood with OMC carbs bolted on. If you look close, the gearcase isn't connected to anything and a rotary has a crank in the center of the package which in this picture doesn't line up with the gearcase shaft.

Hello Rotary John and others.......

That engine is a mockup of a Mazda 13B outboard project of mine. The tower and 45SS gearcase were used to set the 4 lap 3-mile 850cc mod hydro record at Dayton in 2010 and are very real. The "powerhead" with plywood adapter is centered within .060" of the driveshaft for mockup purposes only.

With cast iron end housings the beast will weigh 196 lbs - too heavy for my 13' Ropp hydro. Target weight is 170 or less (my turbo 56 OMC weighs in at 166). With aluminum parts it comes in at 172 with no starter. Wonder if it can be hand roped with 9.7:1 compression???

The single rotor crank ($1850 with balance weights), aluminum end plates ($2000 ea), and peripheral rotor housing (another $1200) are readily available. Plus a custom oil pan, hoses, macine work, carbs, intake, etc. The good news is a single rotor P-Port will reportedly deliver 150HP at 9000 RPM.

The big issues are weight and expense for a toy that might run 4-5 hours in it's life. My turbo 56 is a blast, was built for half the $$$, and has an electric starter. Until I'm bored with the turbo and/or run into some mad $$$, I'll stick with the recip......

Tim

PS If any are interested, I'll post images of the 13B internals and post sources for the parts. Best to all.

Rotary John
03-15-2012, 03:55 AM
Hello Rotary John and others.......

That engine is a mockup of a Mazda 13B outboard project of mine. The tower and 45SS gearcase were used to set the 4 lap 3-mile 850cc mod hydro record at Dayton in 2010 and are very real. The "powerhead" with plywood adapter is centered within .060" of the driveshaft for mockup purposes only.

With cast iron end housings the beast will weigh 196 lbs - too heavy for my 13' Ropp hydro. Target weight is 170 or less (my turbo 56 OMC weighs in at 166). With aluminum parts it comes in at 172 with no starter. Wonder if it can be hand roped with 9.7:1 compression???

The single rotor crank ($1850 with balance weights), aluminum end plates ($2000 ea), and peripheral rotor housing (another $1200) are readily available. Plus a custom oil pan, hoses, macine work, carbs, intake, etc. The good news is a single rotor P-Port will reportedly deliver 150HP at 9000 RPM.

The big issues are weight and expense for a toy that might run 4-5 hours in it's life. My turbo 56 is a blast, was built for half the $$$, and has an electric starter. Until I'm bored with the turbo and/or run into some mad $$$, I'll stick with the recip......

Tim

PS If any are interested, I'll post images of the 13B internals and post sources for the parts. Best to all.
There is an additional problem. The mazda engine has oil-cooled rotors. The oil is squirted from the crank into the inside of the rotor and then is collected in the center of the end housings and returned to the sump by gravity. When you lay the engine vertical, the oil return system may not work as intended. Unless the end housings are specificlly designed for this, it can cause a major problem. In addition the is an oil cooler in the system. I wouldn't plan on rope starting. Its not the compression, its the amount of rotation required.

Tim Kurcz
03-15-2012, 07:25 AM
Yes,

Mazda rotors are oil cooled, and a cooler is required - all part of the plan. The good news is there are examples of vertical shaft conversions in operation, so the art is pre-existing.

Once again, the issues are starting and bang for the buck. Much as I'd like to build the all-aluminum rotary, my OMC Turbo 56 satisfies the need for G's.

Tim

Lars Strom
03-26-2012, 05:29 PM
Hi Rotary John,

This is from Paris Six Hours 1974..

Picture: Winrace, Norway

Rotary John
03-27-2012, 02:45 AM
Hi Rotary John,

This is from Paris Six Hours 1974..

Picture: Winrace, Norway
Appears to be Woods/Jimbo's boat with the 14/23 gearcase.

LIQUID NIRVANA
03-27-2012, 04:06 PM
Are there any VIDEO's with sound out there of these motors.

Powerabout
03-29-2012, 04:37 AM
whats with the RH prop?

John Schubert T*A*R*T
03-29-2012, 05:26 AM
whats with the RH prop?

I probably should let Rotary John respond but, I recall that when we ran the introduction of the rotaries at the Miami Marine Stadium then they went to Parker, during the Parker race there were gear case failures with the left hand rotation. I may not be totally correct with this statement, but recall being told that the rotation had to be changed to RH to make the gear cases live. This created a totally unexpected issue as with the torque of the rotary & RH rotation, caused a left turn issue. At the worlds that year in St. Louis, Barry Woods jumped off the dock 1st & 1st in to the 1st turn but the RH rotation & the torque caught him off guard & he barrel rolled.

Rotary John
03-29-2012, 10:14 AM
I probably should let Rotary John respond but, I recall that when we ran the introduction of the rotaries at the Miami Marine Stadium then they went to Parker, during the Parker race there were gear case failures with the left hand rotation. I may not be totally correct with this statement, but recall being told that the rotation had to be changed to RH to make the gear cases live. This created a totally unexpected issue as with the torque of the rotary & RH rotation, caused a left turn issue. At the worlds that year in St. Louis, Barry Woods jumped off the dock 1st & 1st in to the 1st turn but the RH rotation & the torque caught him off guard & he barrel rolled.
John:
There was not a gearcase failure at Parker. Both engines failed due to rotor bearing failure because of an extremely lean fuel setting. To my recolection, there was never a gearcase failure with the rotaries and rotation was never changed. Unlike a 2-stroke, a rotary can not run backwards; its a 4-stroke. Woods did indeed barrel roll at St. Louis costing him the overall win, but I believe he said he hooked a sponson, kinda like Rich McKinly at Galvaston. In all the testing and racing, I don't recall any of the drivers complaining about steering torque. Jimbo most likely had more time behind the wheel than any other rotary driver and may be able to comment on this.

Rotary John
03-29-2012, 10:48 AM
whats with the RH prop?
They all had RH props. The picture of Scotty's boat at the boat show with the left LH prop is fake.

John Schubert T*A*R*T
03-29-2012, 12:20 PM
John:
There was not a gearcase failure at Parker. Both engines failed due to rotor bearing failure because of an extremely lean fuel setting. To my recolection, there was never a gearcase failure with the rotaries and rotation was never changed. Unlike a 2-stroke, a rotary can not run backwards; its a 4-stroke. Woods did indeed barrel roll at St. Louis costing him the overall win, but I believe he said he hooked a sponson, kinda like Rich McKinly at Galvaston. In all the testing and racing, I don't recall any of the drivers complaining about steering torque. Jimbo most likely had more time behind the wheel than any other rotary driver and may be able to comment on this.

John,

Thanks for clearing that up, but quite frankly, that isn't what the scuttlebutt was all about. I actually remember that there were gear case changes in Parker. I was in that race as Bill Muncy was my co-driver & I finished 3rd. I also remember Barry telling me the reason he hooked the sposon was because of the torque. Nevertheless you were closer to the program then I, I'm just saying what I had heard.

Rotary John
03-30-2012, 03:45 AM
John,

Thanks for clearing that up, but quite frankly, that isn't what the scuttlebutt was all about. I actually remember that there were gear case changes in Parker. I was in that race as Bill Muncy was my co-driver & I finished 3rd. I also remember Barry telling me the reason he hooked the sposon was because of the torque. Nevertheless you were closer to the program then I, I'm just saying what I had heard.
John:
I was at the race also and if you recall the rotary boats came directly from the Miami introduction and weren't put into the water till the race started. They ran the 15/17 gearcase as the 14/23 wasn't available till Provo. While that first lap was extremely impressive, Jimbo didn't finish the second lap and Posey's engine quit less than an hour later. There never was a pit stop for either boat. One of the reasons for a lack of gearcase failures is the rotary power stroke lasts for 270 degrees of crankshaft rotation, while a 2-stroke is less than 90 degrees. The longer power stroke distributes the loads on the gears more evenly as opposed to the abrupt loading of the 2-stroke.There were only 7 guys that ever drove a rotary; maybe one of them can chime in on the steering torque.

John Schubert T*A*R*T
03-30-2012, 05:35 AM
John:
I was at the race also and if you recall the rotary boats came directly from the Miami introduction and weren't put into the water till the race started. They ran the 15/17 gearcase as the 14/23 wasn't available till Provo. While that first lap was extremely impressive, Jimbo didn't finish the second lap and Posey's engine quit less than an hour later. There never was a pit stop for either boat. One of the reasons for a lack of gearcase failures is the rotary power stroke lasts for 270 degrees of crankshaft rotation, while a 2-stroke is less than 90 degrees. The longer power stroke distributes the loads on the gears more evenly as opposed to the abrupt loading of the 2-stroke.There were only 7 guys that ever drove a rotary; maybe one of them can chime in on the steering torque.

Yes they were impressive running 1-2 after the 1st lap. At that point I couldn't even see them. Never did hear the gear load being 270 degrees but having seen a rotary & having had a troquiod (not sure of the spelling) & a rotor on my desk when I was racing & service manager for Lawn-Boy, I can understand the 270 degrees. And, I knew that you were at Parker, but forgot that they didn't unload them until race time.

Let's see if I can name the drivers. Jimbo, Downard, McKinley, Sanders, Posey, Woods & I'm missing one. Might have been an European.

arcticracer
03-30-2012, 09:37 PM
It was 1974, I was a young Navy guy in San Diego going to Electronics school. I had a buddy who was in school with me who had an RX-2, my ride was a Datsun 2000 Roadster, with a 5 speed, dual SU carbs, this is a small 2 seater with a rag top. My buddy and I got into a race on the freeway, running up a long gradual uphill then flattening out. I think it was the 805 or 405, whatever South our of Mission Valley.

I could not get away from him in that Mazda, eventually I pulled away a bit at an indicated 135 MPH. Wonder if that speedo was accurate?

Rotary John
03-31-2012, 02:34 AM
Yes they were impressive running 1-2 after the 1st lap. At that point I couldn't even see them. Never did hear the gear load being 270 degrees but having seen a rotary & having had a troquiod (not sure of the spelling) & a rotor on my desk when I was racing & service manager for Lawn-Boy, I can understand the 270 degrees. And, I knew that you were at Parker, but forgot that they didn't unload them until race time.

Let's see if I can name the drivers. Jimbo, Downard, McKinley, Sanders, Posey, Woods & I'm missing one. Might have been an European.Bobby Witt; Abiline, TX. Drove in Galvaston.Barrel rolled the boat AFTER the race was over.

Master Oil Racing Team
03-31-2012, 06:19 AM
As far as I know Bobby always lived in Baytown, Texas and had Witt Marine. I think because of the Sanders, Posey connection to Alan Yaw you placed him in Abilene John.

Rotary John
03-31-2012, 09:10 AM
As far as I know Bobby always lived in Baytown, Texas and had Witt Marine. I think because of the Sanders, Posey connection to Alan Yaw you placed him in Abilene John.

You are absolutly correct. Alan Yaw brought he and Posey to Galvaston. The only time Bobby drove a rotary.

Powerabout
04-18-2012, 10:45 AM
"racing manager for lawn boy"
excuse my ignornance but did they race lawnmowers?

Rotary John
04-18-2012, 01:49 PM
[QUOTE=John Schubert T*A*R*T;118759]Yes they were impressive running 1-2 after the 1st lap. At that point I couldn't even see them. Never did hear the gear load being 270 degrees but having seen a rotary & having had a troquiod (not sure of the spelling) & a rotor on my desk when I was racing & service manager for Lawn-Boy, I can understand the 270 degrees. And, I knew that you were at Parker, but forgot that they didn't unload them until race time.

Let's see if I can name the drivers. Jimbo, Downard, McKinley, Sanders, Posey, Woods & I'm missing one. Might have been an European.[/QUT The european who drove the Rotary outfit was James Beard driving a dark blue Couger Picklefork Boat the race was at lake Windemere in the uk.
Steve: You might be correct about Beard. I only remember we entered 4 boats, Sanders broke in pratice, and Downard/Posey won the race. I don't remember who drove the 2 Evinrude boats, but Jimbo and Woods had to be 2 of them. I remember Beard in the blue Cogar at Brugge and was impressed on how it ran vs. the Scotti's but don't remember it had a rotary on it. That makes 8 drivers instead of 7. Thanks for helping my memory.
I also remember Strang was pissed that 3 of the 4 broke; but when I asked him who won, he stopped his ranting at me at least.
Another interesting fact; Downard/Posey boat was rigged with an Evinrude motor for a reason that escapes me now. To solve the problem, we switched motor covers with a Johnson. If you find any pictures of Windemere you will see a silver bottom on Downards Johnson top. Never happened before or again.

Rotary John
04-19-2012, 03:46 AM
What about the race that was cancelled?
That would be Windemere '75. The year Scotti was killed. We lost so many boat at Paris, I don't know what Leek would have done and I don't have a clue anymore who was scheduled to drive.

John Schubert T*A*R*T
04-19-2012, 05:33 AM
"racing manager for lawn boy"
excuse my ignornance but did they race lawnmowers?

I actually said that I was racing & was service manager at Lawn-Boy which was a Division of OMC. No we didn't race Lawn Mowers, I just happened to be Service Manager while still racing. I raced Stock Outboard, Pro or as we referred to that category during those times as the "Alky" category then OPC tunnels driving for OMC.

ester
05-04-2012, 03:26 PM
Sorry, 100 blips of the throttle doesn't do anything for me :(... I go with the long whine stretching it out on the straight :)

previous video was a little noisy, i agree..it could be less static
check this! its not perfect but.... : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=az39eqLIbyU#!

best wishes from France :D

Danny Pigott
05-04-2012, 07:33 PM
Why did OMC build a Rotary engine just to beat Merc. They would never race fair always wanted the upper hand . I Hate to say this because i drove a OMC factory under cover boat.. When they had what they called the F 1 races in the US all were V8 OMC Merc tried to run there 300 motor and they went to court to keep Merc out of it..

Mark Poole
05-06-2012, 04:17 PM
I don't know either Danny, when a D.F. Jenkins V-4 would outrun everything Mercury could build up until the V-6.

Lars Strom
05-07-2012, 12:42 AM
Well..I think both Mercury and OMC did trix to get an advantage over the years.
Here is one example..I was in London at this F1-V8 race 1984..

http://www.boatracingfacts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10387

jackie wilson
11-02-2013, 03:55 PM
Well..I think both Mercury and OMC did trix to get an advantage over the years.
Here is one example..I was in London at this F1-V8 race 1984..

http://www.boatracingfacts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10387

Just for the record Lasse, " THE WIZARD" had sod all to do with Mercury-----it was the brain child of Jim Hauenstein in the heady days of Arcadian.
I think That picture was taken in Bristol docks when I believe a certain Mr Johnny Sanders was the jockey.

Lars Strom
11-04-2013, 05:57 PM
The real story about the 1984 F1-OZ race Victoria Docks, London.

Billy Seebold USA was racing a Seebold with the big bore Merc T-4. Johny Sanders USA driving a Burgess boat with the Wizard..2 X Merc 2 liter power heads on one mid section.

Click below for the rest of the story..and find out who won the race.

http://svera.se/blogg/f1-v8/the-real-story-about-the-1984-f1-oz-race-victoria-docks-london/

Dabull1919
01-05-2014, 08:10 AM
After several days of reading this intire thread i have come away with much learned info as well as reading about my hero`s. On a funny note, It seems comical that after Merc used their power to ban the OMC rotory race motors from compitition in the mid 70`s they themselves used this same ploy to ban the Merc T-4 in the 80`s.
Thanks to all for posting this information of our boat racing history and as has been mentioned bedore, I wish somebody would surface with an old vid with the OMC rotory sound. That would be cool.

DB

Rotary John
02-02-2014, 07:46 AM
Here is a link to a You Tube video about OMC's rotary engines. Its primarily about the snowmobile, but it also has the only known footage of the 4 rotor race engine in action. The sound is dubbed in and is not real.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sr-aSoDAA

Rotary John
03-12-2014, 07:24 AM
Lars Strom via SVERA.se

41 mins ·
.










OMC and the Rotary outboard took the overall win in Windermere 1973


To bad I did not go the Windermere 1973.. but this is fun reading.


svera.se

Lars Strom
03-12-2014, 11:16 AM
OMC and the Rotary outboard took the overall win in Windermere 1973

Click below for the correct link with lots of interesting reading/pictures.


http://svera.se/blogg/omc-and-the-rotary-outboard-took-the-overall-win-in-windermere-1973/

Lars Strom
04-14-2014, 06:33 AM
Round two to the rotaries – first major win for OMC at Galveston Classic 1973


Very good reading with pictures. Powerboat Magazine July 1973. Click link below.


http://svera.se/blogg/round-two-to-the-rotaries-first-major-win-for-omc-at-galveston-classic-1973/

Lars Strom
04-14-2014, 05:58 PM
Tom Posey checking the powerful Johnson rotary.

toby
10-30-2014, 11:07 PM
The importer for OMC products at the time were known as Pier 39. I was at the race in question. I thought Jimbo M and Johnny Sanders were at the race but my memory fades. The ex Dick Summerveld Twin Molinari also ran in the race.
South Africa

The Johnson distributor in South Africa requested we bring the rotaries to his race. It meant leaving the week before Christmas and returning after the 1st of the year. This was the only race I didn’t attend with rotaries running. Johnny Sanders went with one Johnson, winning the race easily. The only competition was old OMC V-4’s and Mercury inline 6’s.

That ended the ’73 racing season. In February ’74, the Iranian gas crisis hit the country and gasoline went from $0.30/gal to $0.75-100/gal if you could get it. It was felt politically, racing would not project a good corporate image when people were waiting in line for hours to get gas; so the racing circuit was put on hold. Development continued in house. The compression ratio was increased from 8.5 to 1 too 10 to1. Transfer passages were enlarged and work started to design a true 4-rotor engine, not two 2’s stacked on top of each other. This meant 3 curvic couplings and 3 center housings. We also designed a turnbuckle (left and right threads) to hold each curvic together. This eliminated the long thru bolt, which still was breaking. By eliminating the large center section in the crank common to twin rotor engines, we were able to add a center main bearing, strengthening the entire assembly and reduce weight. Power increased to 265HP at the prop shaft. @ 7000RPM. We also installed ignition limiters, limiting max engine RPM to 7000. In testing you could hear the drivers running on the limiter most of the straight-aways. This didn’t last too long, as we were afraid of engine damage would result from the high speed missing and the drivers hated them.

Lars Strom
11-02-2014, 06:21 PM
I did race in South Afrika 1975 and Roger Jenkins before me and Roger told me OMC took the Rotary's to S. Africa.
The importers name was Autolec

Much more here..

http://svera.se/blogg/racing-historier/1975-2/

toby
11-02-2014, 10:07 PM
Aaaaah yes I had forgotten all about Autolec, Lars !!!! Thank you. There was however a link between Pier 39 and Autolec. Pier 39 was on the bend just after Loch Vaal club if you were traveling up toward the Barrage wall. I loved going past there by boat as there were always exciting things going on. I once rode past and there was a Schultz or Schwitzer wing boat with a pair of Evenrude V4s strapped on the back. I never saw it run or race. Maybe the altitude was a problem? You will know first hand how difficult it was to get the boats to run well and how hard it was to dial out porpoising. On the rotary subject, I thought only one was brout out to ZA. A rotary run by Johnny Sanders and a V4 or 6 run by Jimbo Mc ( or the other way round). The big question was, did the rotary motor stay in ZA or was it shipped back to the USA?


I did race in South Afrika 1975 and Roger Jenkins before me and Roger told me OMC took the Rotary's to S. Africa.
The importers name was Autolec

Much more here..

http://svera.se/blogg/racing-historier/1975-2/

Lars Strom
11-03-2014, 03:35 PM
If I remember right was John Tucker from South Africa. John was in charge for OMC racing in Europe and based in Brugge, Belgium.

Lars Strom
11-07-2014, 04:44 PM
A Rotary – (Wankel) wins the 2 liter class in Paris 6 hours 1970.


http://svera.se/blogg/a-rotary-wankel-wins-the-2-liter-class-in-paris-6-hours-1970/

Rotary John
11-08-2014, 11:00 AM
Aaaaah yes I had forgotten all about Autolec, Lars !!!! Thank you. There was however a link between Pier 39 and Autolec. Pier 39 was on the bend just after Loch Vaal club if you were traveling up toward the Barrage wall. I loved going past there by boat as there were always exciting things going on. I once rode past and there was a Schultz or Schwitzer wing boat with a pair of Evenrude V4s strapped on the back. I never saw it run or race. Maybe the altitude was a problem? You will know first hand how difficult it was to get the boats to run well and how hard it was to dial out porpoising. On the rotary subject, I thought only one was brout out to ZA. A rotary run by Johnny Sanders and a V4 or 6 run by Jimbo Mc ( or the other way round). The big question was, did the rotary motor stay in ZA or was it shipped back to the USA?
Sanders ran the rotary and it was shipped back to Waukegan after the race.

Rotary John
04-14-2015, 02:21 AM
Made by Jackie Wilson.5957559576

ice_spy
04-26-2015, 03:58 PM
Wow ! What a read. I was glued to my seat reading this.
Its sad one of the only alternative engines to piston and crank have had such a hard time from others, rather than a joint interest to further improve and develop them. It would be good to hear the other side of the story from Merc, how they We're doing everything they could to stop the rotary engine and we're so worried about loosing. I hate school boy politics in racing so much. It takes from enjoying competitive fun to sore loosers that need to win at all costs.

ice_spy
04-26-2015, 04:16 PM
EVINRUDE OUTBOARD WANKEL's Based Engine: https://youtu.be/9bgsrJNMouE

Rotary John
01-19-2016, 01:52 PM
He is the link again of the OMC rotories including the only know footage of the race engine running. I believe it was shot at Lake Carol for a commercial.

Techteam
01-19-2016, 11:58 PM
Hey John, Technical failure no link. James

Rotary John
02-13-2016, 02:08 PM
Hey John, Technical failure no link. James
Try this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sr-aSoDAA

Rotary John
02-13-2016, 02:10 PM
He is the link again of the OMC rotories including the only know footage of the race engine running. I believe it was shot at Lake Carol for a commercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sr-aSoDAA

John Schubert T*A*R*T
02-13-2016, 04:22 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sr-aSoDAA
John,
That video at least the field activity & according to the road sign was filmed in Centennial, Wyoming as you know . I was there at the snowmobile facility when they were developing the slide rail track system which was after Corporate announced getting out of the business. The reason I was there was a result of the class action Cushman Trackster ATV suit. I was the manager of the repurchase & training program associated with the law suit. One development was a sprocket lock to prevent icing under the pad break & between the track. We installed the test parts on several tricksters & I was able to even go up on the glacier. I loved Centennial, the little motel & diner & on the weekends the steak house down the hill.

Rotary John
02-13-2016, 05:05 PM
John,
That video at least the field activity & according to the road sign was filmed in Centennial, away as you know . I was there at the snowmobile facility when they were developing the slide rail track system which was after Corporate announced getting out of the business. The reason I was there was a result of the class action Cushman Trackster ATV suit. I was the manager of the repurchase & training program associated with the law suit. One development was a sprocket lock to prevent icing under the pad break & between the track. We installed the test parts on several tricksters & I was able to even go up on the glacier. I loved Centennial, the little motel & diner & on the weekends the steak house down the hill.
John: I don't know where the SN part was shot. If you were there, Most reasonable people would believe you. I think the outboard part was at Lake Carol in Ill. prior to the race. Johnnie Sanders drove the boat and as you can see he didn't get up to speed for the camera. I want to remember it was a potato chip commercial as I remember the good looking gal trying to hold the bag without wrinkles and the photographer told her to straighten it out and they could edit that part out. The sound was obviously dubbed in.

Rotary John
03-02-2018, 02:28 PM
AUTO TECH 5 hours ago
Mazda exec details plans for rotary range-extended EV coming in 2019
By Viknesh Vijayenthiran | Motor Authority
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mazda
(Mazda)

Tesla gets a lot of flak for its delays in promised technology, but the electric car company looks like a straight-A student next to Mazda which has been has been talking about reviving the rotary engine going back to the demise of the RX-8 sports car in 2012.

Mazda says it is committed to the rotary, though the automaker has flip-flopped over whether the engine will be used to power a sports car or simply serve as a range-extender for an electric car. We've seen concepts for both, and just last year a Mazda executive said the company may end up going with both options.


A Message from Southeast Toyota

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Now Mazda's sales chief in Europe, Martijn ten Brink, has revealed to Dutch group AutoRAI that Mazda's electric car launching in 2019 will be available with a rotary range-extender. The exec said the electric car will be based on the same underpinnings as the next-generation Mazda 3, and hinted that a crossover body style would make sense.

We also have a few details on the rotary range-extender itself from ten Brink's interview. He said it would be a single-rotor engine without a turbocharger. He also said the compact design should take up no more space than two shoe boxes, and because of the smoothness of the rotary engine, drivers of Mazda's electric car may not even notice when the engine is operating.

mazda re
(Mazda)

Mazda has already shown an electric car with a rotary range-extender: the Mazda 2 RE Range Extender concept unveiled in 2013. Its rotary was a single-rotor 0.33-liter unit that with a full tank of gasoline could provide an additional 111 miles of range. Based on ten Brink's comments, it's likely a similar setup will feature in Mazda's electric car due next year.

Unfortunately, ten Brink didn't have anything to say on a rotary-powered sports car from Mazda. The Japanese firm has struggled with meeting emissions regulations with high-performance applications of its rotary engine. The company has also described building the business case for a sports car as another issue. Those are two major factors standing in the way of a new rotary-powered sports car.

Lake X Kid
06-09-2018, 09:44 AM
INITIAL POWER DEVELOPMENT

An engine was built and mounted on a old twin engine Molinari racing tunnel. We took it to our Florida test base in Stuart and ran up and down the Indian River above the locks. The engine performed well and was cruising in excess of 100 MPH even though we weren’t pushing things. The first day went fine without incident. About half way thru the second day, the driver got it too high out of corner and blew it over backwards... Jack Leek and I were in the chase boat and started immediately to the crash sight... On the way there I stripped down to my skivvies ready to dive in and rescue the driver. The day before we had seen a 12 ft alligator lying on the shore but today he wasn’t there. All I could think on the way to the crash site was diving into the water and having that alligator show up. As we got closer we saw Rich bobbing behind the boat. The front of the boat sticking out of the water had blocked our view of him. I dove in and grabbed Rick. He was mad as a hornet, but not hurt.

67899
67900
Big Gators are a real concern for race drivers bobbing in the waters of Florida.

Lake X Kid
06-09-2018, 09:55 AM
INITIAL POWER DEVELOPMENT

An engine was built and mounted on a old twin engine Molinari racing tunnel. We took it to our Florida test base in Stuart and ran up and down the Indian River above the locks. The engine performed well and was cruising in excess of 100 MPH even though we weren’t pushing things. The first day went fine without incident. About half way thru the second day, the driver got it too high out of corner and blew it over backwards. The water was only 10 ft deep so the motor end went to the bottom and the front stuck out of the water. We could not see the driver and feared he was stuck in the boat under water. Jack Leek and I were in the chase boat and started immediately to the crash sight. Unfortunately, we didn’t even get on plane and the engine quit. Franticly we tried to figure out what was wrong and restart the engine. We had run out of gas! After quickly changing tanks we rushed to the sight. On the way there I stripped down to my skivvies ready to dive in and rescue the driver. The day before we had seen a 12 ft alligator lying on the shore but today he wasn’t there. All I could think on the way to the crash site was diving into the water and having that alligator show up. As we got closer we saw Rich bobbing behind the boat. The front of the boat sticking out of the water had blocked our view of him. I dove in and grabbed Rick. He was mad as a hornet, but not hurt.
67930
Big Gators are a real concern, for race drivers bobbing in the waters of Florida.
67931

Lake X Kid
11-14-2018, 04:31 PM
[QUOTE=Rotary John;154602]AUTO TECH 5 hours ago
Mazda exec details plans for rotary range-extended EV coming in 2019
By Viknesh Vijayenthiran | Motor Authority
Facebook



Tesla gets a lot of flak for its delays in promised technology, but the electric car company looks like a straight-A student next to Mazda which has been has been talking about reviving the rotary engine going back to the demise of the RX-8 sports car in 2012.

*****
Tesla Model 3 Performance racer who got disqualified at a Global Time Attack Super Lap event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park because his car wasn’t running on an approved fuel type—i.e. gasoline.

https://jalopnik.com/that-tesla-model-3-performances-dq-at-global-time-attac-1830414592

Is this disqualification of the race winner (Telsa car), not unlike the OMC rotary, getting negative race politics from the Mercury team?
Like what is the real cubic-inch displacement of the rotary engine, is it more than Mercury's six-cylinder engine.

WaltZucher
12-14-2022, 02:49 AM
John,
That video at least the field activity & according to the road sign was filmed in Centennial, Wyoming as you know . I was there at the snowmobile facility when they were developing the slide rail track system which was after Corporate announced getting out of the business. The reason I was there was a result of the class action Cushman Trackster ATV suit. I was the manager of the repurchase & training program associated with the law suit. One development was a sprocket lock to prevent icing under the pad break & between the track. We installed the test parts on several tricksters & I was able to even go up on the glacier. I loved Centennial, the little motel & diner & on the weekends the steak house down the hill.

A smaller prop gave them better acceleration and that the HP curve was still going up at a 45 degree angle at 7000 RPM . To confirm our concerns, we put recorders on two of the Galveston engines. They recorded RPM vs time. Unfortunately, one of the recorders was on Bobby Whitt’s boat and the data was lost due to the unexpected swim. The other recorder did show above redline RPM but not terribly excessive. We took the engines back home, tore them apart and started getting ready for the next race.