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View Full Version : What is the difference - McKinnon vs. Chevy



old fart
03-23-2017, 02:59 PM
Hey guys :

Would like to know the exact and I mean exact difference between the McKinnon industries 283 as used in the 65-66 Studebaker's and the Mckinnon Industries commercial 283 as used in commercial applications and a few 65 Pontiacs .

Old Fart

StudeRich
03-23-2017, 03:43 PM
The main thing would be the special "Studebaker ONLY" Serial Number on the Block, the "Canada" Cast into the Block, Heads and major Castings etc. the Blank Valve Covers used on GMC Trucks, Kaiser/AMC Jeeps and Pontiacs, everything else is interchangeable between the various GM Engine Plant Engines.

SOME people that are "familiar with Chev. Engines"? say that all 283's had Forged Cranks, I am not convinced of that, but not really sure, I just know that '65-'66 Studebakers do have them. :)

Mike Van Veghten
03-23-2017, 04:09 PM
Rich wrote -
SOME people that are "familiar with Chev. Engines"? say that all 283's had Forged Cranks,

I do know that all of the 265's had forged cranks, and have never seen a 283 that did not have one. Granted I've only worked on the guts of 6 or 8 of them, but out of that 6 or 8, all had forged cranks.
Most of GM's early engines, like most other's (Stude..!) had all the "right stuff" in them. They only backed down and started saving the penny's after things proved themselves to be worthy of a down grade in material.

Mike

8E45E
03-23-2017, 04:46 PM
http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?88852-McKinnon-283-vs-Chevy-283

Craig

Swifster
03-23-2017, 05:46 PM
There has only been slight mention of the valve covers and the black paint. I wonder if these weren't for marine craft. I'm sure numerous boats used these engines and Chevy script valve covers probably weren't wanted. Most marine engines from car manufacturers I've seen were generic black. I'm not saying Studebaker got marine engines, but I'm sure the line was set up for black paint and plain valve covers. I doubt Pontiac owners wanted Chevy valve covers.

2R5
03-23-2017, 05:51 PM
There has only been slight mention of the valve covers and the black paint. I wonder if these weren't for marine craft. I'm sure numerous boats used these engines and Chevy script valve covers probably weren't wanted. Most marine engines from car manufacturers I've seen were generic black. I'm not saying Studebaker got marine engines, but I'm sure the line was set up for black paint and plain valve covers. I doubt Pontiac owners wanted Chevy valve covers.

shouldnt forget that the valve covers were yellow for about the 1st half of the 65 year

swvalcon
03-23-2017, 06:14 PM
Never could see why Studebaker didn't make a deal for some 300 and 350 hp 327's to drop into two door sedans with a 4 sp. Would have made a great sleeper at the time.

StudeRich
03-23-2017, 07:21 PM
Never could see why Studebaker didn't make a deal for some 300 and 350 hp 327's to drop into two door sedans with a 4 sp. Would have made a great sleeper at the time.

If they had been in South Bend at the the time I could see that happening, but in Hamilton without the Engineering Team and many "other" resources, I don't see a chance with the conservative Canadian thinking up there.

Warren Webb
03-23-2017, 10:16 PM
Never could see why Studebaker didn't make a deal for some 300 and 350 hp 327's to drop into two door sedans with a 4 sp. Would have made a great sleeper at the time.

It does! My 66 Daytona is equipped just as you imagined.

Xcalibur
03-23-2017, 11:14 PM
Despite all the desire to the contrary among some Studephiles it is simply WHERE the engine was built... NOT WHAT the engine was. A Chevrolet engine built here or there was/IS still a Shivvvy. All spelled out here in detail via a search.

Jessie J.
03-24-2017, 07:18 AM
What is the difference - McKinnon vs. Chevy

A set of blank GMC truck valve covers with 'Studebaker Thunderbolt 283 V-8' stickers, and some black, orange, and on a early few, yellow valve cover paint.
Every major engine component was identical to those in any garden variety 195 hp American 283.

Studebaker Corp. was already on the rocks in '65 and these were just pedestrian vehicles assembled to satisfy remaining dealer contract obligations, and avoid lawsuits.
The engines came from GM Tonawanda, and U.S. facilities, shipped in bulk and fully assembled by GM.
There is no way that struggling Studebaker of Canada could have justified additional expense of specifying Studebaker exclusive parts, or the popular myth of total disassembly and 'precision' reassembly of each of these ready to install crate engines.
The money to squander in that manner simply wasn't there, and the Company's direction and target sales market wouldn't in any way justify any such specialized frivolous 'upgrades'. The reason you could not even order little so much as a 4 barrel carb or dual exhaust option.
The profit margins on the vehicles sold were already miniscule as it was, any additional unneeded diddling would have eliminated profits completely.
And in any instance, Studebaker's employees would not have had the years of hands on experience, nor the specialized tooling and finely honed production procedures that had established the 283 as one of the contemporary automotive industries most popular engines. I dread to even think what would have happened had Studebaker production line employees been unleashed to muck around with the internals of an engine design that they had little or no previous experience with.

stephenj
03-24-2017, 08:42 AM
It was my understanding that all the engines were manufactured by McKinnon Industries in St Catharines Ontario not Tonawanda NY.

starliner62
03-24-2017, 09:04 AM
I think the only difference is the accent you have when you pronounce the name.

63 R2 Hawk
03-24-2017, 11:10 AM
I "messed around" with some small block Chevys back in the day and my dim recollection is that the 265 & 283 truck motors came with steel cranks and the passenger cars used cast cranks so if the McKinnons were truck blocks, they may have had steel cranks. I remember scouring junkyards and roadside "mechanic's special" trucks for sale to buy and harvest the motors. I also recall (dimly) that the truck motors had thicker cylinder walls, so they made better race motors once you installed good heads and a cam. My first SBC was a '56 Chev 150 utility with a bored & balanced 265 & an Isky cam that would rev consistently to 8 grand.... for a while, anyway. It didn't have any power below about 3 grand, however. It was a pain to drive in traffic but "draggin' the main" was sure fun if you had a strong clutch foot!!!

wittsend
03-24-2017, 11:47 AM
What is the difference - McKinnon vs. Chevy

... The engines came from GM Tonawanda, and U.S. facilities, shipped in bulk and fully assembled by GM. ...

The 283 engine from my car (granted a 65-66 powertain swap) had CANADA cast into many of the parts - the heads in particular. The head numbers synced with another article I had found regarding the Canadian built Mc Kinnon engines.

It may be a possibility that there was a momentary engine shortage and some Studebaker destine 283's engines came from Tonawanda. Or, it may also be a possibility that all the engines for Studebaker were Mc Kinnon and Tonawanda engines were sent to Mc Kinnon to supplement other GM needs. But upon shipping someone asked why Tonawanda engines were going to McKinnon and were simply given the answer, "Studebaker." Then that became folklore that Tonawanda engines went into Studebaker's when in fact they didn't. This is all speculation - obviously. Without the proper paperwork to support a position we will never really know.

benaslopoke
03-24-2017, 03:23 PM
In the early 80's I was parts manager for a large GM dealer.. I placed a bid for engines to be sold to a local Catapillar dealer with recievable accounts all over the world.. The bid was for 300+ 350 Chevy crate engines to be shipped from Michigan up the St. Lawrence seaway into Europe.. I by the way submitted the bid at ALMOST cost and lost the order to a Buick dealer in Miami, Fl.. Later in the late 90's I was purchasing Chevy crate engines by the truck loads, 52 engines, bi monthly.. These engines were low H.P. rated and assembled/built(?) in Mexico and were shipped to us from a point in Michigan..

There's really no telling where those engines back then came from.. I certainly would not be surprised!!

StudeRich
03-24-2017, 04:17 PM
Are you people forgetting about the supposed Canadian/U.S. and or Studebaker of Canada LTD agreement possibly with the Canadian Government, that as much as possible and maybe certain Major components or percentage HAD to be made in Canada? :confused:


Legally, it may have not been possible to use USA built Engines in these made in Canada Cars.

The Tires/Tyres, all Electrical Components, Hub Caps, Wheel Covers, Dash Pads, Door Panels and a lot more were "made in Canada" and certainly a lot of Engines.

So I don't buy this "they may have came from ANYWHERE" attitude.

SN-60
03-24-2017, 04:19 PM
Hey guys :

Would like to know the exact and I mean exact difference between the McKinnon industries 283 as used in the 65-66 Studebaker's and the Mckinnon Industries commercial 283 as used in commercial applications and a few 65 Pontiacs .

Old Fart

There is no difference, it's exactly the same engine.....and a GOOD one! :!:

2R5
03-24-2017, 04:21 PM
The GM plant in St Catharines back then had their own foundry so I'd find it hard to believe the engines supplied to Studebaker didn't all come from that plant .

8E45E
03-24-2017, 04:54 PM
The GM plant in St Catharines back then had their own foundry so I'd find it hard to believe the engines supplied to Studebaker didn't all come from that plant .

For some reason, GM demanded the come from the North Tonawanda plant, which ended up costing more than they would have from St. Catherines.

Craig

Swifster
03-24-2017, 05:19 PM
I've heard many of the engines came from Saginaw and Flint. GM was more concerned about the tax implications than they were about Studebakers. I'm not say all were American engines, but it wouldn't shock me if a couple thousand or so were shipped across the border.

jpepper
03-24-2017, 09:21 PM
The McKinnon engines used a forged crank versus bread and butter Us engines having a cast crank. They also used the early 283 power pack heads (rectangle with a triangle) whereas domestic engines used the two barrel heads. The McKinnon engines used the wider early timing set where by 65/66 domestic smallblock timing sets were narrower. I believe but I have not verified it that the blocks were a HD casting with cylinder walls thick enough that you could bore it .125 to 4". The rods also had a little heavier beam section which was the same as the 327. It was a good motor. The crank was the same one used on the early production small journal Z28 302's.

StudeRich
03-25-2017, 04:47 PM
This is very good News Jim! :!: That from a knowledgeable Engine Guy like yourself will give the "same as Chevy. a 283 is a 283" people something to think about. :)

2moredoors
03-25-2017, 05:30 PM
For some reason, GM demanded the come from the North Tonawanda plant, which ended up costing more than they would have from St. Catherines.
Craig

According to Stu Chapman's book "My Father the Car", page 53 Quote:We really wanted to bring GM engines in from their foundry in the Buffalo area (North Tonawanda)under our duty free credits, but General Motors refused, citing the need to increase their Canadian production in St.Catharines. That cost Studebaker an additional $100.00 per engine......To quote Gordon Grundy, "GM really stuck it to us". Unquote.
There you have it, McKinnon Industries, St.Catharines supplied the engines for Studebaker. As 2R5 stated the St.Catharines plant had its own foundry, it was dismantled a few years ago, it was supposed to go to China however that never happened.

PackardV8
03-25-2017, 05:50 PM
The McKinnon engines used a forged crank versus bread and butter Us engines having a cast crank. The crank was the same one used on the early production small journal Z28 302's.

Yes, mostly. From '57-'63 all 283"s had forged crankshafts. Beginning in 1964 some of the lo-perf 283" (usually in Nova's and base Chevelles) began being built with cast cranks. By the end of the 283" in '67 more were cast than forged. And yes, the Z28 crank was just a standard forged 283", so the '65-66 Stude V8s all came with Z28 cranks.

jack vines

wittsend
03-25-2017, 10:59 PM
I think it would be more timeline correct to say that the Z28 Camaro's got a 65-66 Studebaker crank. I'm just imagining all these guys in Mr. Goodwrench jackets wincing at that! And for some reason that wince makes me smile. Of course having a (proud) friend with a Camaro only heightens the image. :)

Jessie J.
03-26-2017, 12:59 AM
Whatever plant(s) any of the Studebaker Thunderbolt 283 engines may have originated at, they were to all practical intents equal in specifications, in durability, and in performance potential untapped and unutilized by Studebaker Corp.
My ultra-low mileage '65 Cruiser's performance, was by 1968, benefitted by the installation of a hot Duntov solid lifter cam & kit, Weiand Hi-Rise intake with an AFB, custom fabricated duals, and eventually tossing the FoM, was backed up with the 4 speed set up sourced from my '62 Daytona.
Pulling hole shots, and shifting at 6 grand plus, it surprised quite a few Mustang, Nova, and Camaro owners. This stock and stodgy appearing Yukon Gold 4 door 'Lark' sedan possessed a quite remarkable tendency to 'suck the headlights' out of most would be competitors.
Owned a couple more Chevybaker Daytona's over the years but that Cruiser is the only one I modified and raced.

Oh, had the valve covers off repeatedly for tuning, and also the heads for gasket replacement, but never noted any 'Canada' markings.
It certainly was the original factory installed engine, as the original owner was my Uncle Herbert whom special ordered this vehicle, and in failing health had gifted me with it as a H.S. graduation gift. In April of '69 it became my wedding car.

Idiotically, and having 'too many' cars, I sold it around 1970. Tried to buy it back multiple times, but no dice. Finally lost track. But it is one of the reasons that these 47 years latter I still own 4 Studebaker's. ....but I did however manage to keep the same wife. ;)

benaslopoke
03-26-2017, 12:38 PM
My ultra-low mileage '65 Cruiser's performance, was by 1968, benefitted by the installation of a hot Duntov solid lifter cam & kit, Weiand Hi-Rise intake with an AFB, custom fabricated duals, and eventually tossing the FoM, was backed up with the 4 speed set up sourced


Brings on another question.. Simple to you guys, but unknown to some, me included.. Were the automatic's a Fordamatic. I've assumed they were powerglide or some other derivative from GM..

SN-60
03-26-2017, 12:41 PM
Yep, Stude used a Borg Warner 'model 8' from 1956 to the end of production in Canada...which the 'small iron case' Fordomatic also was. :)

StudeRich
03-26-2017, 12:54 PM
There are hundreds of posts here about the really Strong/Bulletproof Studebaker/Borg Warner Flight-O-Matic Transmissions used on 1956 to 1966 Studes.

Keeping with their long standing commitment of very seldom ending long term good relationships with their very high Quality and supportive Suppliers, Studebaker simply had Borg Warner "Tweek" all of the existing Transmissions; Manual, Overdrive & Automatic to suit the 195 & 230 6 Cyl. and the GM 283.

So you get the H.D. Police and Taxi Flight-O-Matic 3 Speed with Oil Cooling, with a different Throttle Pressure control system developed to use a Cable instead of Rods, a special GM to Borg Warner Converter as used in the Jeep Wagoneer including the Converter housing but with the traditional 2nd. Gear Start and P N D L R shift pattern Valve Body to save Fuel and TIRES. :D

Not a Ford-O-Matic, and Certainly NOT a 2 Speed Powerslide.

Gunslinger
03-26-2017, 01:00 PM
I think it would be more timeline correct to say that the Z28 Camaro's got a 65-66 Studebaker crank. I'm just imagining all these guys in Mr. Goodwrench jackets wincing at that! And for some reason that wince makes me smile. Of course having a (proud) friend with a Camaro only heightens the image. :)


It would do more than make the Z28 guys wince...it would make the veins on their foreheads stand out, their eyes bulge then their heads would explode.

swvalcon
03-26-2017, 01:00 PM
Studebaker used the flight-o matic Borg warner but as anyone knows that has picked up one. Small and lite they are not.

SN-60
03-26-2017, 02:10 PM
Studebaker used the flight-o matic Borg warner but as anyone knows that has picked up one. Small and lite they are not.

Ford used two different size automatic transmissions in that 'sixties' time period. One was called the 'small iron case', the other larger (Lincoln style) was called the 'large iron case'.

The 'small iron case' (model 8 Borg Warner) Ford used was/is basically the same transmission that Studebaker (Flightomatic/Avanti Powershift) used from '56-'66 (and don't let anyone tell you different!;))

Scott
03-26-2017, 03:09 PM
Yes, mostly. From '57-'63 all 283"s had forged crankshafts. Beginning in 1964 some of the lo-perf 283" (usually in Nova's and base Chevelles) began being built with cast cranks. By the end of the 283" in '67 more were cast than forged. And yes, the Z28 crank was just a standard forged 283", so the '65-66 Stude V8s all came with Z28 cranks.

jack vines

Has anyone got a cross section or close up how a forged crank looks different from a cast one?

Gunslinger
03-26-2017, 03:44 PM
If I'm not mistaken, forged cranks are internally balanced and cast cranks are externally balanced.

STEWDI
03-26-2017, 04:45 PM
Jim Pepper, thanks for your "educated" reply vs the "shade tree mechanic" experience that most of the rest of us have. l hope that your post #22 gets saved and is used forever more when this subject will inevitably come up - again for sure!

StudeRich, the "conservative" guys in Canada entered the Shell 4000 Canadian Winter Rally - and won on a couple of occasions! A 1966 factory effort was aborted because of the closing of the plant. The management and factory people in Canada were enthusiastic about their product, but we know now that the ever-tightening purse strings held by the CEO and board of Directors at head office in South Bend, and the ever-restricting directions given to Grundy by Burlingame made it impossible to spend money (resources can be bought!) in 1965 and '66 on anything like doing the engineering and making available some 327 engines and 4 speeds, etc. - which was the obvious mid-sixties thing to do for a manufacturer that wanted to survive. But the Studebaker board room did not want the Canadian auto assembly operation to survive. The fault was not any perceived conservatism in Hamilton!

swvalcon
03-26-2017, 05:24 PM
A Z-28 was a 327 block with a 283 crank, and most of the internal parts where 327 375hp stuff including cam shaft and lifters with a 350 hp intake and holley carb. The main reason they didn't just use the 375 hp 327 to start with is they where limited to 5 liter. The 327 375 hp with a longer stroke is basically what the 350 z-28 was.

qsanford
03-26-2017, 05:34 PM
Were the 194 and 230 sixes supplied through the same channels as the 283 eights?

wittsend
03-26-2017, 06:05 PM
... The main reason they didn't just use the 375 hp 327 to start with is they where limited to 5 liter. ...

Absolutely correct. Side Note: And Mopar with the 318/340 had to run a destroked engine to reach that displacement.

" Joel Miller at AAR handled engine building duties for the Cuda while Caldwell turned to Chrysler drag engine guru Keith Black. Black took the high performance four bolt 340 block , retained the 4.040″ bore and reduced the stroke to 2.960″, reducing displacement to 303.8 cubic inches. Power was in the 450 HP range."

We now return you to our story, "Illegal engine immigration? - Crossing the northern border" :)

Pat Dilling
03-26-2017, 07:25 PM
In 1970 the Tran Am decided to allow manufacturers to destroke production engines to make the 5 liter threshold. So 1970 and later Z28 Camaros, AAR Cudas Javelin etc came with larger engines.

8E45E
03-26-2017, 07:33 PM
According to Stu Chapman's book "My Father the Car", page 53 Quote:We really wanted to bring GM engines in from their foundry in the Buffalo area (North Tonawanda)under our duty free credits, but General Motors refused, citing the need to increase their Canadian production in St.Catharines. That cost Studebaker an additional $100.00 per engine......To quote Gordon Grundy, "GM really stuck it to us". Unquote.
There you have it, McKinnon Industries, St.Catharines supplied the engines for Studebaker. As 2R5 stated the St.Catharines plant had its own foundry, it was dismantled a few years ago, it was supposed to go to China however that never happened.

Right! I had the locations backwards!

Craig

Lynn
03-27-2017, 10:30 PM
The original question was:
Would like to know the exact and I mean exact difference between the McKinnon industries 283 as used in the 65-66 Studebaker's and the Mckinnon Industries commercial 283 as used in commercial applications and a few 65 Pontiacs .

The correct answer is:

There is no difference, it's exactly the same engine.....and a GOOD one! :!:

OP did not ask about some of the possible engines that may have come from Tonawanda, or even Flint for that matter. There is a lot of misinformation in this thread.

Regarding cast (nodular iron) crankshafts vs. forged: Up until about July 30, 1964, all the 283's had forged cranks. Jack is exactly correct; starting in July 1964 "some" of the Flint produced 283's had nodular iron cast cranks for both production and service. All engines at Tonawanda still had forged cranks at that time. The cast cranks were physically different and required larger counterweights. They also required a true harmonic balancer (damper) as opposed to a balancer hub for the forged cranks. Because of the larger counterweights, the blocks had to be clearanced on the bottom giving them a scalloped appearance from the underside.

As of July 1964, it was anticipated that ALL of the Flint and Tonawanda built 283's would have cast cranks very soon (by the start of 1965 production... mid August 64). Service replacement engines with forged cranks were then reserved for earlier Corvettes, big trucks and military vehicles.

I have no evidence and no documentation to prove it, but most guys believe the scalloped blocks are not suitable to bore .125 (for a 4 inch bore). I have no way to know, other than the old machinists who used to sonic test the blocks before boring something that far.

Note that McKinnon is absent from the above discussion. Engines in McKinnon that were used in Chevrolets were almost exclusively produced and used in the trucks only. I have torn down multiple McKinnon built engines, and they all came out of trucks. I have HEARD of an occasional McKinnon being found in a passenger car, but it is a rare occurance from that time period. Being absent from the discussion of the change to cast cranks, and being used in trucks, they almost surely would have all had forged cranks. Have no idea about any Canadian agreements on where engines would be made.

Also, no 283 crankshaft, other than one that came in a tank (literally... in the mid 60's there was a tank built with a 283 which had a forged crankshaft) would work in a Z/28 motor. Even re-working it to make it work, would only suffice for the 67 Z/28, as the 68 - 69 version had larger journals (same sizes as the new 350 motor). The pistons are way to heavy and it would be difficult to balance. The 302 crank (even the small jounrnal 67 version) had heavier counter weights because of the forged pistons chosen for the Z/28 motor. The mounting flange identifies a 283 crank, as there are no "notches" in the flywheel mounting flange. There is a single notch in the flange on all 3 years of the 302 Z/28 crank. The ONLY other 3 inch crank with that notch is the one made for the tank. Only the Z/28 302 cranks and the military 283 3" stroke cranks received the special hardening treatment.

Sdude
04-06-2017, 04:09 PM
Is there a logo for McKinnon engines? I tried to look it up on the interweb but no success. I would like to make some McKinnon stickers for the GM engines I put in my Studebakers. Just to get the purists off my back...

StudeRich
04-06-2017, 04:15 PM
What is wrong with the "Studebaker Thunderbolt 283" valve cover Decals? I know they are discontinued now, but some are still around.

Sdude
04-06-2017, 04:39 PM
63330 They are not Chevy 283s, They are 5.3L Vortec engines. I thought it would be amusing to have a decal made that said "McKinnon 5.3L Vortec". Only a hard core Studebaker guy would find it funny unless they are too hard core in which case they could give me the stink eye. :cool:

StudeRich
04-06-2017, 04:47 PM
Too bad you can't I.D. that one, there is no way to find it under all that "junk"! :ohmy:

Sdude
04-06-2017, 04:57 PM
Too bad you can't I.D. that one, there is no way to find it under all that 'junk"! :ohmy:

Perhaps I should have posted these pics. I could do something with the covers. I did make a sticker calling my truck a 2R5.3

63332 63333 63334

Pat Dilling
04-07-2017, 08:42 AM
Why not create a "Studebaker Thunderbolt 5.3" decal or airbrushed similar logo? I don't believe Studebaker ever labeled them "McKinnon," that was mostly done by Studebaker owners trying to maintain their identity.

In that theme I labeled the LS1 in mine as an R6.

Sdude
04-12-2017, 06:22 PM
In that theme I labeled the LS1 in mine as an R6.

If you recall, I was seriously thinking about calling mine an R7 just to one up you but I decided against it. Someone might have thought it was a Mazda motor. The whole idea is really not funny enough to cover the cost of doing it. Just thinking out loud. Still think it would be funny though. I'll settle for my Studebaker 2R5.3 sticker.

parts
04-12-2017, 09:57 PM
Think about this..

My '53 Commander was appraised and insured as a STOCK motor after I informed them about McKinnon and he checked it out..

Saves quite a bit,,

And yes I am an Insurance broker for 30 years.. I thoroughly recommend American Modern Insurance though I represent almost every collector car company//
I have at least 200 collector cars insured. American Collectors..Hagerty..Taylor..Haggerty..others..
All have different underwriting//
Some are better represented at one company or another. IF you have a somewhat modified Stude..
American Modern..

I insure everything from a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB 4 to a 1966427 Cobra and Lambos and Tigers..even Fuel flipper drag cars..32 Ford stock and heavily modified..

Sometimes my parking lot looks like a high end car show..

Which of course is my joy..
Not a lot of commission on these but usually..
Insure the toys..then the rest come.. :)