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BP's & Twisters

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Old 10-25-2002, 10:17 PM
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Default BP's & Twisters

I was reading over one of the threads below on the old Twisters and thought I'd throw my 2 cents in since there seem to be some people around here with some real history with em.

Somebody was speaking of the 1250 BP and referring to it as "Bridgeport". Actually, the BP suffix on these old engines stood for blueprint. The standard 1000 and 1250's, both in consumer engines and BP's were the last of Merc's old crossflow design and the 1000 and 1250 Super BP's were the first of the direct charge engines which would become the production design in the 70 1150/1350's and carry foward with the rest of the inline production.

The next engine in the racing line was simply referred to as "Twister", not Twister 1. The first Twister had red stickers and the Twister 1 the next year had blue. Merc offered an upgrade kit to convert the Twister to the Twister1, including block, crank, pistons, switch box, and a new exhaust log for the side and many other pieces. This kit was very complete and even included the blue stickers. I have a complete NOS one, still in the boxes.
Whether by upgrade or purchase of the blue striped Twister 1 complete, the blue engine marked the first of the changed firing order (different crank) for the inline race engines, which carried over into the T2 & T2X. The 6 carbed T2 was the next in the evolution. I've heard references to an interim engine, referred to as a C6, but have always personally believed that the C6 was nothing more than the T2. I don't state that part as fact however. It's safe to say that there were a number of evolutions in the T2/T2X program and it's hard to say exactly when certain changes were made. The factory developed the T3 after the T2 and it was actually done in prototype form BEFORE the T2X was done. Although there were other changes, a loose description of a T2X is a T2 powerhead adapted to a T3 housing. The first T3 I saw run was at Miami in 1975. There were only a few there, maybe 2 or 3 and even being in the company of a Merc employee I couldn't get a look under the cowl. These engines had the red stickers on them. I was told that Merc ran them at least a year earlier there with the big T3 on the cowl in blue, but I never saw one of these on the water and can't vouch for the dates. On the early factory boats there was speculation that the small cowl housed an opposed 6 with 3 cyl's to the front and 3 to the rear, but I suspect this was speculation due to the small size of the cowl, compared to OMC's V's. The T4 was arguably the final chapter in the Twister line. Some people have said that it was first run in 81 or 82. I have pictures in my files from St. Louis with a film processors date of Sept 1980, showing 2 of the Merc team boats in their pits with T4's. I don't recall exactly which month in 80 I took these pictures, but Sept is when they were developed. Not only were these cowls never removed for the non insiders to view, but as was common then Merc had the bottoms of the boats covered with tarps also.

Now, here's a little question that I ran across the other night when reminiscing with someone online. I always thought the "Twister" nickname referred to the engine's higher RPM range. This other person, who I consider credible told me of a prototype inline that his father raced and it was one of 3. He said that the position of the cyl's actually moved 17 degrees around the block with each successive cyl. which produced roughly a screw configuration of the block. The story was that Merc didn't actually build this in house, but rather it was a contract prototype. This person speculated that perhaps this is where the Twister name originally could have come from.......the twisted configuration of the block. In all these years I've never heard of any such engine, but I'd sure like to know if anybody else has.

As far as the Bendix injection that Merc ran on the early T3's, I've also got St. Louis pictures that aren't dated, but I believe from 1981 showing a couple of OMC factory boats with the CCC Evinrudes and the same Bendix injector. Before this time I'd always been led to believe that this was an exclusive contract between Merc and Bendix.

In the case of the 3.4's, I don't believe that the engines run on the larger boats in 20" configuration were considered T4's. Merc also made the high perf version of the 3.4 in longer engines with powerheads similar to the T4, but there were subtle differences also. As was the case with the T3, as well as today's S3000 Formula 1 engine, and all the 12" race stuff in between, the timing was mechanically locked at full advance. Also, on all the true T4's I'm aware of, the blocks had some machine work and welding at the top allowing the small alum. flywheel and outboard style starter, as opposed to the much larger aluminum flywheel, Ford passenger car starter and larger charging system of the production engine, which seemed to be present on the high perf version of the 3.4 as well.

Last edited by Raceman; 10-25-2002 at 10:44 PM.
 
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Old 10-25-2002, 10:44 PM
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Raceman,you are strectching my memory here. I have photos from the 1972 Lake Havasu World's,the 71 red stripe Mercs with outside exhaust down the port side are noted as Twister 1's on my old photos. Merc Factory boats ran blue stripe Twister II's(not T2X's),6 carbs with fat inline cowls.The T-3's were the first race V-6's,shrouded in secrecy,crew members removed the coverings for the lower units,props,and boat bottoms after they were launched.This was I think 73,maybe 74.At the 72 World's Bob Hering blew the whole port side off his #554 T-II wood boat, Reggie ran his T-II poered boat,don't remember how he finished. Good memories here,keep the thread going. MagicFloat
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Old 10-25-2002, 10:48 PM
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If you'll look closely at the cowl stickers on the red striped engines, I think you'll find that it only says "Twister". The blue striped one a year later is the first that says Twister 1 and the factory literature shows the same designations. I have both of these engines on stands as well as at least one of all the others in the series including the T4.

My memory's stretched pretty well too, seeing as how I blew the dateline on the OMC rotary by roughly a decade. That one's still a mystery to me. We attended tons of major races from 75 until 81 and I could only remember that I never saw one run, but I sure thought they ran after, not before. Just goes to show what a few extra year can do to the old memory.

Last edited by Raceman; 10-25-2002 at 10:53 PM.
 
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Old 10-25-2002, 10:57 PM
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Raceman,haven't looked closely at these old photos in years,it appears that you are correct. Also,I erred on #554, Bob Herings boat was #457. Hey,30 years can cloud things up a bit.
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Old 10-26-2002, 12:57 AM
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There was a Story of a Factory Mercury Boat flipping in a River race in France the Cowlings blew off and the Boat sank to the Bottom.

Story goes there were some pretty Sophisticated Cameras in place for the raising that was to take place in the following morning.

The Old Man had divers wrap canvas around the Engine during the night, and ruined the spy party on his secret engine and induction system!
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Old 10-26-2002, 01:51 PM
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On the other hand......................she wore a glove

The OMC (Oh MY Charlie) rotaries were run from 70 to 72 under Edgar Rose's watchful eye. Edgar had worked for a previous company in NJ (Curtis Wright)that was working on the Wankel design before he moved on to OMC engineering under Charlie Strang.

The ORIGINAL T-2 was , in fact, called the C-6 (for 6 carb) for a very short period of time (1-2 races). By the time it became available to the public, the T-2 designation was attached.

My engine search is narrowing for the "Wing".

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Old 10-28-2002, 11:30 PM
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Raceman,looking for a glass 16' Shooting Star.Any leads? I assume yours isn't for sale. Magicfloat
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:14 PM
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As I understood it the C-6 engines actually predated the first Twister, but were entirely experimental and were raced sporadicaly from 1969 to 1972.

I think the reason for this was the extra carbs didn't help until other changes (firing order, exhaust tuning changes, power ported pistons) were made.

There were actually 2 separate teams at Merc working on the race motors from about 69 to 72 or 73. By 1973 there were some personnel changes and the effort was consolidated.
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Old 11-01-2002, 08:34 AM
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Mark 75H ...... The "second" support team you are referring too came from Mercury's "secret" race R&D site, which if my memory is correct was called Plant 7 in Oshkosh. This was run by an engineering PHD, Dr. ________ (memory lapse), who later migrated to OMC and headed up the V-8 program. These guys created things that have still not seen the light of day. The main race shop, also in Oshkosh, is the one where boats and consumer/racer items were headquartered and had a separate customer support team resident. That team and some guys from Lake X attended most races.

To this day the Merc guys who deserve the most credit for support are Jim Schlicting, ...............................and the best functional outboard mind on the planet......Mark Beyer.


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Old 11-01-2002, 02:14 PM
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x, I think you may be trying to recall the name: Dr. Les Calhoun
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