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Thread: Merc V6 History

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    Merc V6 History

    Was anyone out there connected with Merc Marine when the V6 was being developed and can share some knowledge on the history of the original Black Max. Its been 31 years now since the production model first appeared.

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    I was and have some parts from then.

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    Mercury V-6 Development

    To The Top for V-6 Merc History...

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    When did the design work commence? What were the rejected competing designs at Merc/ Was there thoughts of a inline 6 looper, V4 looper etc. This should be interesting.
    I know that Merc had worked on V designs before OMC back in the late 40's early 50's.

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    Testing reply

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    This would be a neat thread if we ever could get it going.
    RIP RPM RACING
    RIP Galen Burden
    2011 ODBA PRO DRAG world Champions
    Triad River Rocket

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    Yea, I've tried three times to post my comments and they get rejected every time. This will probably go thru.

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    HaaHaa First merc looper... V4 drone....Fuel injeted... offset crank jornels..looper....shot down in the air at 265 mph....1962..... heehee....

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    sorry 1952.....

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    The V6 that the Chrysler/Force group built was a direct copy of the Merc V6 and occured somewhat later than 1971. --- That engine now resides at the auto museum at Hartford, WI. You'll also find probably the only existing Mercury personal water craft (Jet ski) there too. I did the engine design on that also.
    Last edited by rckid74; 12-31-2017 at 01:08 PM.

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    My name is Jerry Hale and I was project engineer for Mercury's (Black Max) 2 liter V6. Just to authenticate my position there, you can look up the following patents which are in my name (actually in the name of ("David Jerry Hale"), I go by my middle name. Patent #4,092,958 (Internal Combustion Engine), patent #4,066,057 (Cylinder Head Mounting Apparatus for Internal Combustion Engines), and patent #4,082,068 (V-Engine Cooling System particularly for Outboard Motors and the like), all assigned to Brunswick Corp and all pertaining to the V6.
    There seems to be some interest in just how this engine came about so I thought that, before Alzheimer's sets in, I had better get down on paper just what happened back there 43 years ago. I intend to do this in small weekly installments or as nearly weekly as I can manage.
    The project was started in Jan. of 1970 at Mercurys outboard engineering plant #6 in Oshkosh, WI. The inital study, as presented to me, was to determine the best configuration; inline, V, or opposed and how many cylinders. It was to be a looper with 2 liters displacement capable of being bored for another 10% increase, have a diecast block, and was to have the lightest weight and smallest package size possible. The max power was to be at least 10% above the 1350 (135HP) inline six then in production, i.e., 150HP. (more later)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rckid74 View Post
    My name is Jerry Hale and I was project engineer for Mercury's (Black Max) 2 liter V6. Just to authenticate my position there, you can look up the following patents which are in my name (actually in the name of ("David Jerry Hale"), I go by my middle name. Patent #4,092,958 (Internal Combustion Engine), patent #4,066,057 (Cylinder Head Mounting Apparatus for Internal Combustion Engines), and patent #4,082,068 (V-Engine Cooling System particularly for Outboard Motors and the like), all assigned to Brunswick Corp and all pertaining to the V6.
    There seems to be some interest in just how this engine came about so I thought that, before Alzheimer's sets in, I had better get down on paper just what happened back there 43 years ago. I intend to do this in small weekly installments or as nearly weekly as I can manage.
    The project was started in Jan. of 1970 at Mercurys outboard engineering plant #6 in Oshkosh, WI. The inital study, as presented to me, was to determine the best configuration; inline, V, or opposed and how many cylinders. It was to be a looper with 2 liters displacement capable of being bored for another 10% increase, have a diecast block, and was to have the lightest weight and smallest package size possible. The max power was to be at least 10% above the 1350 (135HP) inline six then in production, i.e., 150HP. (more later)
    This is Great! Welcome Jerry! Cannnot wait to hear your next contribution, regarding the 122/60 degree. Thank-You.

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    Keith Gagnier, Ralph Anderson, Gene Triechel, etc., from the 2-cycle shop(engineering), V-225/3.4L program. Good guys.
    Last edited by FUJIMO; 06-27-2013 at 07:05 AM.

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    Jerry: I find it interesting that going to a looper from cross and increasing the displacement by 22% the goal was only a 10% increase in power. Can you explain?

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    Yes Fujimo, Keith and Ralph both came into the 951 (V6) project shortly after we got the first sand cast engines running. I don't recognize the Triechel name though. He's not on the plant 6 honor roll of names either. This listing of names includes everyone that ever worked at plant 6 over the years and includes such notables as Carl Kiekhaefer, Charles Alexander, Charlie Strang, and several others listed as "Guest Workers", such as Tony Bettenhausen, Briggs Cunningham, Tim Flock, Bill France, Ted Jones, Jack Leek, Maury Rose, Red Vogt, "Gorgeous George" Wagner, Lee Wallard, Phil Walters, and Gar Wood Jr. Pretty impressive names, Huh. These had all been and gone before I arrived in March of 1965. Several of these were of course associated with Mr. K's car racing back in the 50's and there were remnants of those days still extant in the garages out back such as the car lifts, hot honing machine and valve grinding equipment.
    A couple of other names of guys that came into the V6 project about a year after it started are Ron Anderson and Joe Harrelson, both engineers who contributed much. You may be familiar with Ron because he's the guy that took the production "Black Max" and made it into the fire-breathing T3 race engine you have today. He later went on to have his own prop shop and marina out in Seattle. Joe went on to become a college professor at a school out in CA. teaching engine design. He also designed and built a large V4 engine used by a group to set a world motorcycle speed record a few years back.
    While I'm at it, I'd like to recognize several other people who played major rolls in the V6 project, it certainly was not a one man show. Robert "Bob" Johnson (RTJ) manager of outboard engineering and manager of plant 6 is the guy who gave me the list of requirements for the engine, which I listed in my previous entry. So I can only suppose he's the one that originated the "Black Max" V6 idea. It may have come down from higher up the ladder but I doubt it. Kiekhaefer was pretty much out of the picture by then (1970) and I doubt was even aware there was a new engine in the offing. I often wondered how he felt about the V6 later when he did find out about it. Probably wasn't happy about it displacing his "baby" the inline 6. Other contributors were Dick Lanpheer, our sound and vibration engineer who took over management of the V6 project shortly after it got started; Al Tyner, my board man who did most of the detail design of the engine; Dave Kusche, who did the cowling design and worked closely with our stylist Art Miller, who did a fantastic job styling that original engine. I still think that was the best looking of all the "Black Max" cowls. Then there was Elmer Croisant, responsible for the undercarriage; Bob Schmeidel, electrical; and Jim Meininger, carburetion. And of course there were many others not directly involved in the design but every bit as essential for it's success such as my lead technician Paul Jennerjohn and all the techs, our shop foreman Vern Habeck and all the model shop machinists, Paul Crane and all the drafting personell. They all did their parts to make Black Max a success.
    I'll get on with the design next time.
    Last edited by rckid74; 12-30-2017 at 09:54 AM.

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