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Ilmor V-10 Marine Engine

Old 09-10-2003, 08:42 PM
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A few quick facts:

Ilmor was started in 1984 as a partnership between Roger Penske, Mario Illien, Paul Morgan and Chevrolet to produce an all-new engine for Indy Car racing to oppose the (at the time) all-dominating Cosworth. After several seasons, the company enjoyed substantial success for a decade or so, expanding into Formula One, and exchanging Chevrolet's portion of ownership to Mercedes. Mario Illien is the creative genius behind the company, and realizes that his bread is buttered by the F1 program since Mercedes pulled out of Indy car racing for the sake of F1 exclusively. Paul Morgan was killed in a plane crash several years ago, and soon after, Penske sold his interest in the company. Since then Ilmor USA has struggled to find a basis for business in the US, finally agreeing to be a stop-gap supplier for Honda's IndyCar effort this year until Honda can get on their feet. Ilmor USA has always been more of a service facility, with technical leadership and development coming out of the UK. For a while, they were at the top of the heap, but Honda and Toyota's factory efforts soon overwhelmed them. The ill-fated DeSantis effort of 2002 seems to indicate that they are actually less effective than many more modest operations.

That being said, let's look at the engine:

It's about the same weight/displacement/power as a 525 Merc or Vortec HP3.
It has closed cooling, but so do the other engines.
It's a very, very rare bird out on the water. (service/parts?)
It's longer than a Chevy big-block, requiring more (precious) room.
It makes a cool sound, but so do exotic headers.

If you see a gain in there somewhere, go for it, but ask yourself this - If the Dodge V10 is a better marine engine than a big-block Chevy, how come it took ten years for someone to try it?

If JT was running one, I'd feel differently...
Retired! Boating full-time now.

Last edited by C_Spray; 09-10-2003 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 09-11-2003, 01:00 PM
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The engines that ran in supercat last year were chevy v8 supercat based motors built by Ilmor. The v10 was never in that boat. I do not know the extent of the problems but one I do know is they were using high torque starters for weight and it failed causing them not to make the start. Just racing.
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