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What motor do I have?


Well-known member
Jan 28, 2002
Groton, CT. USA
1964 White Roadster
I'm trying to verify what size motor is in my 64 roadster. I bought the car last fall knowing it was not the original motor. The top end has the original heads and intake, etc. I got the original rebuildable #s matching short block with the deal and that will be overhauled next year.
The engine that is in the car currently has no numbers or letters on the ID pad in front of the right cylinder head. The past owner told me he replaced the short block with a factory replacement 327, but I thought these were identified with a letter code on the ID pad.
Any ideas?
327 block

Over the counter replacement blocks/engines were not stamped as they had no way of telling what they would be used in. Look on the rear bellhousing flange behind the heads for the casting number and date code. It is probably a factory short block assembly.

My understanding was that factory replacement small blocks were stamped at the engine assembly plant with "CE" followed by a sequential serial. I'm no authority, but my guess would be you have a rebuilt engine that was decked, removing the stampings.

Get the casting numbers off both sides of the rear of the block on the flywheel flange.
I've heard that too but I'm not sure when that practice started. In all my years in GM parts I can't remember ever looking at a new block for stampings. I guess it wasn't important back then. I had a 283 in a '56 Bel Air once that I knew was a new GM short block with a blank pad. This may require some investigation. :D

In addition to getting the casting numbers could you look at the pad for broach marks from the ogiginal machining process? Decking usually removes these and leaves a smooth surface.
Tom & Wayne,

Here's what I've come up with:

1. The ID pad in front of the right head has what appears to be original swirl marks from factory machining.

2. Right rear of block has cast number: J163

3. Left rear of block has cast number 3782870 under the letters "GM".

4. The clock looking casting at the left rear of the block has the arrow pointed about 180 degrees from the double dots.

Hope that gives a clue.
I'm at work and my books are home but it looks to be an October 16, 1963 date and the 870 is a common 327 casting number. I still am under the belief that replacement block stamping came along later than this so the blank pad is ok.

Here is an answer to the same question by Alan Colvin in the current issue of Corvette & Chevy Trader reguarding a '69 engine with stamping CE948152.

Yes, you do have a 1969 Service Block. The CE in the stamping indicates Chevrolet Engine, the 9 indicates the model year (1969) and the 48152 is the sequential number that Flint Engine plant assigned all service engine assemblies, partial engines, fitted cylinder cases, and blocks.

He goes on to give some other info pertaining to '69s but that's the jist of it. I'll ask a few people and see if I can narrow down when they started using the CE stampings.

>>> 1. The ID pad in front of the right head has what appears to be original swirl marks from factory machining. <<<

I agree with Tom on the decipher of the casting numbers, but I'm puzzled by your statement about the machining on the pad... my understanding is that the block was broached by the factory, which means you would see (very light) straight machining marks coming straight forward from under the head, rather than "swirl marks", which are indicative of a mill (not a broach) typically used by engine rebuilders. Broaching is like using a plane on wood, whereas milling is more like using a small circular sander on wood.

Left rear of block has cast number 3782870 under the letters "GM".

327 62-65 Corvette small journal block.
Everything else is correct ( the date etc.)

The swirling milling thing I have no idea about that

I recieved this reply from John Hinckley on the NCRS Tecnical Discussion Board.

In Response To: CE engine stampings. (Tom Bryant)

I believe the "CE" program didn't start until '68, to deal with the fallout from the 5/50 powertrain warranty; same program started with "CT" transmissions. Enabled the bean-counters to separate the number of engines ordered as warranty replacements from those ordered for non-warranty replacement or retail sale over the parts counter, which had blank pads.

Thanks, John.

So the bottom line is that milling marks or broach marks, it makes no difference as the block pad was blank. You would want to restore the broach marks for NCRS judging but since you have the original block that would be the one to use .

Thanks guys. This one was advertised to me as an over the counter short block, so it all make sense now.


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