Engine Code Stamping Numbers
All engines are stamped with an engine ID code which consists of a prefix and a suffix. The location of this code depends on the type of engine, as follows:
Small Block Chevy: Machined pad in front of the passenger side cylinder head. Often hidden by the alterator.
Big Block Chevy: Above timing chain cover.
Six Cylinder: Passenger side of the block behind the distributor.
The prefix portion of the ID code tells you the assembly plant code, and the engine's production date (for example, 0701 = July 1st....no year is indicated). The suffix portion tells you the original model year / engine / transmission / car combination when it went down the assembly line (for example, CTY = 1970 396 Camaro, 375 hp, 11.0:1, TH400).
If you are researching a car that is supposed to be "matching numbers" then keep in mind that the engine date must precede the car build date, otherwise something is amiss. Some engine machining operations (decking) will obliterate the engine ID.
Engine ID Code Example: V0107CLJ - (V = Plant, 01 = January, 07
= 7th Day, CLJ = Engine Suffix Code)
|Code||Engine Plant||Code||Engine Plant|
|F||Flint (Motor)||S||Saginaw Service|
|K||St. Catherines, Ontario||V||Flint (Engine)|
|(McKinnon Industries Canada)|
|M||GM of Mexico|
Suffix codes are alphabetical. Select the portion of the alphabet for
your code. For example, select "DTR-HQ" if you'd like to find code DZ. In
some cases suffix codes are reused twice or more over time, in this event
date code and then see what year the block was made to pin down what
application your block was originally used in.
Note: CODE CE was used from 1968 to current year. It represents any
CID and is used to indicate a Warranty Engine.
VF292800 - is an example of a over the counter crate engine. "2800" is the last 4 digits of the GM part # for the crate engine assembly. The final digit could be a year code.
Another example: A Targetmaster engine (p/n 14009800) built in 1985 could have a code stamped as follows:
A0198005 (A = january, 01, 9800 = pn, 5 = 1985).
The above list of codes is a summarization, it is not complete.