JACK M

Studebaker vs. Chevrolet question

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I have a friend that is in the car sales business and he seems fairly knowledgeable.

However, we got into a conversation about the early SBCs.

He swears that the original SBC was built by Studebaker and bought by GM for the 55 Chevrolet.

All of my googeling shows that the Corvette engineers at GM were the inspiration because they wanted to do away with the six cylinders in their sports car.

I do see where Studebaker put 283s as well as 194 cubic inch 6s in the 65 and 66 cars as they were struggling to survive those years. I have seen these and they are indeed badged as Studebaker but obviously Chevrolet engines.

 

Any thoughts on this?

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Far from it!

 

The SBC was a GM design through and through.  There was nothing 'borrowed' from Studebaker's V8 for the SBC as it used the Cadillac 331 V8 as it's inspiration.

 

Craig

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It is to laugh. The Stude V8 engine was introed in '51 but uses valve cover studs (2 ea) and a SBC has four clamps, two on each side. Gets odder below that.

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Jack, 

 

If all else fails go to "logic".

 

The most successful V-8 in automotive history, with a life span of almost five decades, designed by a company in it's death throws? (No insult intended to earlier Studes). The design of this engine was so ground breaking at that time that it could have cemented Studebaker's future if they had come up with it.

 

I think your knowledgeable friend missed the boat on this one.

 

Greg

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I'm for sure no expert on Studebakers, but I'm sure there are some here on this forum.

 

What little I know about the Studebaker V-8 is that the Studebaker V-8 was, in part, based on the 1949 Cadillac V-8, with which it shared some similarities.  The Studebaker V-8 engine was quite a bit heavier than the Small Block Chevrolet (SBC) V-8.  One thing that the Studebaker V-8 had that was pretty cool was a gear-driven (not chain-driven) camshaft.

 

As pointed out by Jack M, when Studebaker shut down its American production facilities, production continued in Canada for 1965 and 1966.  During these years, Studebaker used both the Chevrolet SBC (283 c.I.) and the G.M. in-line six cylinder engine.

 

I've heard from friends that the Studebaker V-8 was considered to be nearly "bullet-proof" and developed pretty good power.

 

I've never owned a Studebaker, but I've always liked them.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Same here, if a nice Golden Hawk with manual trans and AC came along I'd be tempted.

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The need to keep up with the new post-war OHV V8s (Stude, Olds, Cad and later Chrysler.) drove everyone on to design, build and, especially, market a modern V8 engine. Packard, Ford and Chevrolet were a couple of years later. The Corvette may very  well have been the impetus, but once Ford had an OHV V8 in '54, Chevrolet couldn't have possibly considered going forward with just it's old six. Hudson, in a case of colossal mismanagement, spent  money they had garnered from the war, on a unibody car that was near impossible to update, appearance-wise. Instead of building a V8, they went on to misread the market's desires and spent what little they had left on the unwanted Jet. The rest is history.

Edited by Hudsy Wudsy (see edit history)

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Far from it!

 

The SBC was a GM design through and through.  There was nothing 'borrowed' from Studebaker's V8 for the SBC as it used the Cadillac 331 V8 as it's inspiration.

 

Craig

We all know there are many design similarities between the Studebaker V-8 and the Cadillac V-8, and also the Olds V-8. Many say that the Studebaker copied Cadillac, and after all Cadillac/Olds OHV 331 and 303 were first to market, and what more could be self evident when racers using Cadillac engines used the lifters and rocker arms from solid lifter Studebaker engine for racing. Also Oldsmobile's 303 V-8 made a debut the same time as Cadillac and therefore also before Studebaker. Studebaker does share something with Olds. In the Olds engine the lifters are supplied oil through small 'bleeds' instead of placing the lifters directly into the right and left side oil supply galleries. Studebaker followed this. Depending on how you look at it, I like the fact that the Studebaker crank and the camshaft are gear to gear eliminating timing chain and chain stretch and possible jump. The Studebaker dimensionally does have a problem with bore spacing which means it cannot grow in size like Olds and Cadillac, even the 289 is under-square. All three designs have problems with exhaust flow because of the center cylinders dump to a single port where reversion is a problem. Pontiac quickly realized this when they went racing in 1956 and later put a port divider to stop this and those head were quickly nick named "D" port heads as the two ports with a divider looked like two Capital letter D's with the left one turned backward so that the center section met.

So what is so great about the Gen 1 small block Chevy V-8? First machined without a oil filter provision and oiling problems to rocker arm assys. and camshaft problems. The engine went through many revisions and gen 1 stopped in 1973.

Chevrolet took from Pontiac engineering ( the Pontiac engine ) the valve train assembly, stud mounted ball and rocker arm design from Pontiac engineer clayton Leach patented in 1948. This copy was against GM's corporate policy of a one year exclusivity for new designs, but the corporation gave in to Ed Coles crying to use it on the chevy V-8. The difference here was the Pontiac V-8 gave proper oiling to the above components. A lot of teething problems for the Chevy V-8 because of it's rush to production in just 15 weeks. Unlike all the other divisions which had engines designed to grow in size to handle heavier and heavier cars it became the #2 engine in the Chevy book as the W series took it's place and later the mark 4 to take the W engines place. Where as the 331 Cadillac design grew to the Gen 1 429, the Gen 1 Olds went from 303 to 394, and the Buick V-8 went from 264 to 425, and Pontiac (which was the only one to have advanced design and to not have to change design through different generations like the other four division) Pontiac V-8 would grow from 287 to 455.

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After South Bend closed up and Studebaker was set up and run as Studebaker Canada in Hamilton Ontario they used SBC's and the Chevy "son of stovebolt"inline 6's. These engines were cast and built in St. Catharines Ont. just down the highway at the McKinnon foundries and engine assembly plants.

 If you read the sales brouchures for 1966 it states that "Engines supplied by McKinnon Industries"Someone had a slight reversal of the story it's sounds like.

The 259,289 Bearcat V8 looks nothing like the Chevy SB. They are also wider and shorter.

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Zora Arkus Duntov and Ed Cole must be rolling over in their graves with laughter.

 

This is what I am trying to explain to the guy.

I think I will forward this thread to him so he can hear what the real experts think about his silly idea.

 

Thanks for all of the input.

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This is what I am trying to explain to the guy.

I think I will forward this thread to him so he can hear what the real experts think about his silly idea.

 

Thanks for all of the input.

Ed Cole did more to disrupt harmony between divisions than anyone at GM I know of. Master of politics and vanity. Architect of quite a few disasters.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Just to be complete, when the other divisions came out with "big blocks" (Chevrolet had two, one of which was OTC only), Pontiac didn't & just kept stretching that original block ultimately to 455 cid mainly by stroking since the bore could not open up any further. The SD455 was marvelous engine in several respects including an 80 psi oil pump that required special bearings to avoid erosion at the pressure needed to support "high" rpm operations of an 4.21" stroke (joke at the time was that a Pontiac engine could go 7,000 rpm. Once. )

 

ps I know Chevvy now has a 572 with 4.375" stroke rated for operation at 6750 rpm. The SD was thutty yar ago.

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Just to be complete, when the other divisions came out with "big blocks" (Chevrolet had two, one of which was OTC only), Pontiac didn't & just kept stretching that original block ultimately to 455 cid mainly by stroking since the bore could not open up any further. The SD455 was marvelous engine in several respects including an 80 psi oil pump that required special bearings to avoid erosion at the pressure needed to support "high" rpm operations of an 4.21" stroke (joke at the time was that a Pontiac engine could go 7,000 rpm. Once. )

 

ps I know Chevvy now has a 572 with 4.375" stroke rated for operation at 6750 rpm. The SD was thutty yar ago.

Anyone who's raced a Pontiac knows even a SD 421 or H-O 428 with 4.0 strokes do not tolerate above 6,400 RPM. They and the 455 are a low to medium rpm engines with a lot of torque. Taking a 455 past 5500 rpm is a waste of time anyway as power at anything above nosedives. So what's the point you are trying to make? BTW only three divisions had big block engines - Pontiac and Olds, even the tall deck Olds are medium block engines. The exception to this would be the short deck 301 and 265 in the divisions dying breath to make a Pontiac a real Pontiac.

From the Pontiac 287 to the 455 there is a succession of alternating bore with stroke adjustments for cubic inch.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Ask an old time rodder about the Stude 289. It's relation to the Caddy 331 is reinforced by the rodders using after market intake manifolds designed for the Caddy on Studie 289's.  One of the most popular 1950's engine swaps was Caddy into a Studie to create a Studeillac.

 

On a recent episode of one of those "restoration" shows a guy brought a roached out 1950 Stude to Brode Stroud to restore. Brode says it can't be restored, too much rot and rust, and suggests a project using the bullet nose.  They push the Stude into the shop and start pulling the engine and trans, and, low and behold it's a 331 Caddy and Hydramatic.

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When I meet great resistance in trying to correct ignorance or misinformation there seems to be a small amount of satisfaction in leaving it alone that makes me smile to myself.

Bernie

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I would not turn down a Bill Frick Studillac either. Particularly with the Caddy three speed manual.

 

ps part of the lack of use of the Stude 289 was its long stroke, 3 5/8" at a time when both the 289 F*rd and 283 Chev (and the later 302 which was a 283 crank in a 327) had 3" strokes for higher revs. 

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Far from it!

 

The SBC was a GM design through and through.  There was nothing 'borrowed' from Studebaker's V8 for the SBC as it used the Cadillac 331 V8 as it's inspiration.

 

Craig

Correction, SBC was a Chevrolet division design that borrowed elements in it's design from other GM divisions such as Cadillac and Pontiac.

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When I meet great resistance in trying to correct ignorance or misinformation there seems to be a small amount of satisfaction in leaving it alone that makes me smile to myself.

Bernie

 

Since I forwarded this to him last night I am afraid that he still claims to know more than the members of this forum.

I guess I will languish in the satisfaction of knowing his ignorance.

 

Thanks all....

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helfin, the reason some at GM didn't get along with Ed Cole is because he was a "no nonsense" type of guy. His motto was "don't tell me why it can't be done, tell me how you are going to get it done". Some of the "fat cats" at GM didn't like the fact that Cole was a "hands on" type of guy and just wanted him to sit behind a desk. He started his carrier in the General Motors Institute as a kid and was taken from the school to work in their design studio and worked his way up to GM President in the late 60s'.  He holds some two dozen patents. In 1943 he became Head of Design for the entire GM Tank and Combat vehicle division.  He is known as the driving force for the first air bag system and he is the inventor of the catalytic converter. 

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Jack M, ask your knowledgeable friend to supply evidence for his assertion.

 

There is a book on Studebaker history of the period. It must say something about the development of the V8.

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With reference to posts #14 and #15 in this thread regarding Pontiacs remember that the 'big' Pontiac engines - 421, 428 and 455 - had larger main bearings than the rest.

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When I meet great resistance in trying to correct ignorance or misinformation there seems to be a small amount of satisfaction in leaving it alone that makes me smile to myself.

Bernie

 

 Well said, Bernie!

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