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This website is property of and maintained by AutomotiveTouchup, a Microfinish LLC Company © 2002-2016. For example, cylinder heads with the same casting numbers will have similar applications, although some of the finishing details, like valve sizes, may vary. L6 – The engine identification codes are located on a machined pad on the right (passenger) side of the block behind the distributor. V8 – On both small- and big-block V8s, the engine ID codes are found on a machined pad on the front passenger side of the block just below the head.
Head – Small- and big-block V8 head casting numbers are found underneath the rocker cover, usually between rocker arm pedestals. Intake Manifold – Intake casting numbers on most all Chevrolet V8s are found on the top side close to the carburetor mounting pad. Cylinder Head – Date codes for small- and big-block V8 cylinder heads are usually found next to the casting number underneath the valve cover.
Intake Manifold – Chevrolet used both cast-iron and aluminum intake manifolds throughout the muscle car era, and the date codes are located in different places on each. The engine ID number is stamped on this machined pad at the front (passenger side) of the engine. Simply put, the proper numbers can mean the difference between a solid investment and losing your shirt! Since the cylinder block is serialized it’s possible to determine whether the engine (or the block, anyway) was installed on the assembly line.
There have been instances where engines were replaced under warranty, and although the technicians were instructed to stamp the sequence number into the replacement block, this did not always happen.
Engines with complete assembly plant and ID codes, but no sequence numbers, are the result.
Since the engine codes were stamped on a pad that is an extension of the deck surface, it is possible to remove the codes and identification numbers. Now that you know what the codes are, where they can be found, and why they’re important, you probably want to know how to read them. Due to the enormous amount of individual casting numbers produced throughout the muscle car era, we do not have room to publish them all here.
Another exception is found on some aluminum intake manifolds cast by Winters Industries (those with the famous Winters snowflake logo). Aluminum intakes cast by Winters Industries can be identified by the Winters “Snowflake” logo. Engine Codes – By deciphering the codes stamped on the pad just below the passenger side cylinder head, you can determine when, where and for what application your engine (or block) was built and intended for. At this point things change a little depending upon what year model car the engine was intended for use in.
On 1970-and-later engines, the sixth character is the identifier (“C” = car; “T”=Truck) for the vehicle type, while the seventh and eighth characters are the engine identification code.
Due to space constraints we can’t publish a complete list of engine ID codes, but they’re available in many of the books found in our Literature section.


For more information on engine and component identification, we suggest the books shown here. All information, specifications, data, details, description and price are subject to change without notice. Please contact the dealer selling this vehicle for complete, accurate, up-to-date information. See ad details, contact the seller or find other Buick LaCrosse vehicles for sale from Baton Rouge in just seconds. The date code and casting numbers are mainly for identification and quality-control purposes. Date codes are found on the block, heads and intake manifold (along with many other areas and components throughout the car, but for the purposes of our discussion here, we’re not concerned with those).
This pad is actually an extension of the block deck surface.But first, let’s give you a little background on why the numbers are there. The code on cast-iron intakes is normally found on top of the intake near the casting number. Actually, in the present-day restoration marketplace a premium is placed on muscle cars equipped with their original drivetrains. Original means the car has the engine or drivetrain parts installed by the factory when the car was built.
In some instances certain components are referred to by the last few digits of their casting number. There are many books listed in our Literature section that deal with the various casting numbers used, and we recommend that you consult those publications for complete listings. With a few exceptions, date codes are alphanumeric sequences that will tell you the month, day and year a particular component was cast.
For the most part engine assembly plants used a standard format throughout the muscle car years which makes decoding much simpler. On 1969-and-earlier engines, the sixth and seventh characters are the engine identification suffix. Each title gives you complete casting number and ID code information, along with helpful tips on decoding, where to look and what to look for.
A true “numbers-matching” muscle car is always worth more than one with unoriginal drivetrain parts, so the question is, how do you determine what is and is not matching numbers?
Aluminum intakes most always have the date code on the underside of the manifold, usually under the oil splash shield (if so equipped).
This doesn’t mean a 396 Nova missing the original engine is worthless – far from it – but all else being equal the car with the original engine will be worth more. Should is the key word in the above statement however, since there are rare cases where an engine can be considered original and not have a matching sequence number. That’s why it’s extremely important that all the pieces of the identification puzzle match. The normal practice was to grind off a certain amount of numbers and hand stamp the new digits.


In the case of our examples, the “T” and “V” represent the Tonawanda, NY and Flint, Michigan plants respectively. This suffix denotes the displacement, horsepower rating and intended model the engine was built for.
Stamped onto the pad by the final assembly plant (where the car is actually built), the number contains a divisional code (1 = Chevrolet), the last digit of the year model and a 1-character code (usually a letter code unless the car was assembled in Canada) for the vehicle assembly plant. Of course, to be truly numbers matching, the transmission and rear-axle assembly should be there as well, but most seem to check the engine only.
These books (and much more) can be found in the Literature sections of all the Year One catalogs.
It’s really not that difficult, you simply need to know where to look and how to read what you find. In a nutshell, matching numbers refers to the various codes and dates found on all the major driveline components. This will make the location of aluminum intake date codes impossible if installed on the engine, and even if not, the oil splash shield is in most cases riveted in place.
If you plan on entering your car in concours classes at shows, the correct components are necessary if you hope to place well. The engine codes and sequence numbers should match, the various casting numbers should be correct and the component date codes must precede the build date of the car (but not by more than a few months). You may have heard references to a set of “461? small-block cylinder heads or an “010? block. In these codes an additional identifier was added, which in the case of Chevrolet was “C” for car and “T” for truck. The second and third characters are the month of assembly (“02? = February and “05? = May in the above examples), while the fourth and fifth characters represent the day of assembly (“05? = fifth day of the month and “25? = twenty-fifth day of the month).
In our example, the “EG” denotes a 375-horse 396 special-high-performance engine destined for a Chevelle.
Following these three characters are the last six digits of the car serial number (known as the sequence number).
It’s not usually possible to determine if the heads or intake installed on a particular engine are the originals simply because they weren’t serialized by Chevrolet. These are the last three digits of the complete Chevrolet casting number (3782461 for the heads and 3970010 for the block). Because this code was taken from a #3782461 cylinder head casting which was produced between 1961 and 1966.
The engine components themselves (block, heads and intake) will have various casting numbers, date codes, and an engine identification code, all of which are important and should be correct if the car is to be considered numbers matching.
However, the date codes of these parts should precede the build date of the car by 1-3 months.
The number included a division identifier (1 = Chevrolet), the last digit of the year model, a code for the final assembly plant and the last six digits of the chassis serial number (the sequence number).



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