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Finally Settled: Timing Chain vs. Gears

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  • Finally Settled: Timing Chain vs. Gears

    I've previously posted this late 1964 whistling past the graveyard by Studebaker President Roy Bender:

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    ...but now may have to eat my words about Studebaker's engines being better because they have timing gears rather than a floppy chain & sprockets!

    I say that because I was perusing some automobile magazine advertisements in an antique store the other day and came across a 1950 or 1951 Plymouth advertisement extolling many of Plymouth's "value features." Among them was an illustration of a timing chain & sprocket arrangement versus a timing gear arrangement for camshaft drive.

    The Plymouth engine had sprocket & gear. That was explained as being superior because, "The camshaft drive load is distributed over many teeth on both the drive and driven gears, whereas the [allegedly inferior] timing gear arrangement distributes the load over just a couple teeth at a time."

    By George, I hadn't considered that! You learn something new every day. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    "OUR" new engine????!!?? WHO did were they trying to kid??!?

    Craig

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    • #3
      Very interesting Mr. Palma, thanks for sharing!
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, that's it. I'm having my Studebaker engine scrapped in the morning then.
        '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

        "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

        Comment


        • #5
          I do think that gears are less noisy than chains, though.
          "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

          Comment


          • #6
            I wonder why he only cited the 259 for comparison, and not the 289?
            Andy
            62 GT

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            • #7
              They sure did not waste much time dealing with the shut down Foundry did they?

              So I have wonder if 273's, 318's and maybe 360 Chrysler Corp. Engines were bored with the multi-cylinder state of the Art (1950) Studebaker boring Machine!
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                There is another, although generally insignificant, issue with gears being used to drive camshafts. Gears will be significantly more likely to 'pass on' harmonics to the cam shaft than a chain drive. For our grocery getter engines it's not something to lose sleep over, however, it is another reason to use a chain or a belt.

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                • #9
                  Craig, I guess by "our" he meant the engine chosen to replace the Studebaker unit, not that it was a Studebaker unit. I presume you are just stirring.
                  John Clements
                  Christchurch, New Zealand

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, it's obvious that even Studebaker was well versed in propagana in 1964! (Or should we use the term 'corporate BS'? )
                    Paul
                    Winston-Salem, NC
                    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If Studebaker had even made the smallest effort to have slightly different looking valve covers than standard Chevy 283s they could have said it was "our" engine with at least a smidgen of truth. But as it was, it must have made Studebaker owners feel like the corporation thought they were all idiots. I can fully understand why a lot of them were turned off with the new motors, since it was clear 1) they were Chevy motors and 2) Studebaker Corp. was trying to act like they weren't.
                      "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Andy R. View Post
                        I wonder why he only cited the 259 for comparison, and not the 289?
                        I was wondering about this myself

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe the differences he wanted to accentuate were more apparent between the 259 Stude and 283 McKinnon engine? To use figures from the 289 might not be as dramatic or even not even support his contention in the letter.
                          Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
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                            The Plymouth engine had sprocket & gear. That was explained as being superior because, "The camshaft drive load is distributed over many teeth on both the drive and driven gears, whereas the [allegedly inferior] timing gear arrangement distributes the load over just a couple teeth at a time."

                            By George, I hadn't considered that! You learn something new every day. BP
                            I think that you meant to say: sprockets & chain, not "sprocket & gear".

                            I have experienced broken timing gears, on customers cars, but only loose timing chains that caused poor running, not failure.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                              "OUR" new engine????!!?? WHO did were they trying to kid??!?

                              Craig
                              Once you buy something, it is yours ("our").

                              EDIT: He didn't state or imply that they designed or built the new engine.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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