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What is the difference - McKinnon vs. Chevy

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  • What is the difference - McKinnon vs. Chevy

    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

  • #2
    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.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      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

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      • #4
        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...3-vs-Chevy-283

        Craig

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        • #5
          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.
          Tom - Bradenton, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
          1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Swifster View Post
            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
            sigpic

            Home of the Fried Green Tomato

            "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

            1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                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.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                  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.
                  59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                  60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                  61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                  62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                  62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                  62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                  63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                  63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                  64 Zip Van
                  66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                  66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      Last edited by Jessie J.; 03-24-2017, 06:22 AM.

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                      • #12
                        It was my understanding that all the engines were manufactured by McKinnon Industries in St Catharines Ontario not Tonawanda NY.

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                        • #13
                          I think the only difference is the accent you have when you pronounce the name.
                          Jamie McLeod
                          Hope Mills, NC

                          1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                          1958 Commander "Christine"
                          1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                          1955 Commander Sedan
                          1964 Champ
                          1960 Lark

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                          • #14
                            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!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jessie J. View Post
                              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.
                              '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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