Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old May 25th, 19, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

Toying around with the idea of putting a 396 back in my 69 ss but if i had a choice I'd want a motor that even if its not numbers matching based on the Vin# could have at least conceivably been original to the car based on the cast date. About how many months would normally pass from the time a motor such as a 396 in this case would be cast and time time it would be installed in the car? For instance my car was built in april 69, but the motor I'm eyeing was cast in Sept 68. IS that time gap too big? 8 mos seems like a long time for a motor to be sitting around, but im sure somewhere here would know better than me.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 12:26 AM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

That gap is probably too large. Between one week and one month would probably be more like it.

I own a well-documented 1969 L78/M22/KK Chevelle that was built on 2 July 1969. The original JD-coded engine was assembled on June 17, although I am currently running a January-built, JD-coded engine L78 396 from a car that was wrecked in the late 1970's. The original engine rests on a stand in my shop.

There is a guy on this site (from North Carolina) who has compiled some serious data documenting '69 model year engine stamp dates/assembly dates. Or you can purchase Dale McIntosh's "Chevelle Data and ID Guide" to learn more about production dates.

Good luck finding an engine block, Mike. There are still quite a few 2-bolt-main '69 blocks out there.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 8:48 AM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

one to two weeks is normal for most high production motors. in the Corvette world NCRS allows up to six months. and in some rare cases of odd ball suffix code stamped blocks it can be. at that time there was no first in first out rule

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 9:10 AM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

Casting Date Wise, Three Months has/usually been considered the Max. However i have seen a few documented cars outside this window
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 12:05 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by Blue 69 View Post
Casting Date Wise, Three Months has/usually been considered the Max. However i have seen a few documented cars outside this window
I have seen several 1966 L78 blocks (EG suffix), with casting dates in December 1965, Tonawanda assembly dates (stamped) in late March (T0330 and T0331). Several were still with the original cars, with cowl tag dates in late April (04C & 04D).

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 12:50 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by deffmike View Post
Toying around with the idea of putting a 396 back in my 69 ss but if i had a choice I'd want a motor that even if its not numbers matching based on the Vin# could have at least conceivably been original to the car based on the cast date. About how many months would normally pass from the time a motor such as a 396 in this case would be cast and time time it would be installed in the car? For instance my car was built in april 69, but the motor I'm eyeing was cast in Sept 68. IS that time gap too big? 8 mos seems like a long time for a motor to be sitting around, but im sure somewhere here would know better than me.


There is only one reason why anyone would want to do this.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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There is only one reason why anyone would want to do this.
So it's not possible i would want to do this for my own satisfaction? OK, forget i asked.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 2:07 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by Dean View Post
There is only one reason why anyone would want to do this.
I searched for a correct dated 65 block fir my 66SS. I found one cast two weeks before my car was built and assembled one week before my car. and yes I left the factory assembly stamp and engine suffix stamp from a Impala on the stamp pad. I am proud that I was able to do that. along with everything else being dated correct. I am not trying to fool anyone.

also blocks where cast in batches
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 4:06 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by Dean View Post
There is only one reason why anyone would want to do this.
Easy to be cynical. I respect the OP for clearly stating his intention. As the owner of a KC-built 69 which is missing its original motor, I was thrilled to find a date and code matching block for my car.

I have no intention of passing it off as the original block (nor would it be very easy given the VIN location of these cars) but many of us weren't lucky to be in the market when a numbers-matching car wasn't priced out of our reach.

Props to the OP for wanting to keep his car as original as possible.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 6:06 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

Sorry but a lot of people come here to ask the experts questions about how to fool potential buyers into buying numbers and we provide the answers.
Someday, somewhere in the future, the car will be set up, ready for some unsuspecting buyer.
Otherwise, who's ever going to see casting numbers?...nobody
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 6:26 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

I was visiting a fellow Camaro nut and while we were checking the numbers on a half dozen big blocks I asked him if he had any other than what was setting on the shop floor. He says, "just the one in my '67 impala" which we then checked...it was the exact code, JE, and the date lined up perfectly for my '69 vert. The vin down by the oil filter was maybe 100 prior to mine. Money changed hands, probably twice what it was worth, but I was happy. Just gives me a warm feeling knowing it was probably sitting in a chevelle a day before my car ran down the line. Yeah, crazy but true.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 8:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean View Post
Sorry but a lot of people come here to ask the experts questions about how to fool potential buyers into buying numbers and we provide the answers.
Someday, somewhere in the future, the car will be set up, ready for some unsuspecting buyer.
Otherwise, who's ever going to see casting numbers?...nobody
With all due respect,sir, I hesitated before posting this question thinking someone might misconstrue it as an attempt to do something dishonest. But then i thought, if someone were going to try to fool a prospective buyer , wouldn't they just re-stamp the vin as well, making the casting date moot?

Maybe i'm naive in that respect, and that there are people that would actually try this.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 9:46 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheveslakr View Post
I was visiting a fellow Camaro nut and while we were checking the numbers on a half dozen big blocks I asked him if he had any other than what was setting on the shop floor. He says, "just the one in my '67 impala" which we then checked...it was the exact code, JE, and the date lined up perfectly for my '69 vert. The vin down by the oil filter was maybe 100 prior to mine. Money changed hands, probably twice what it was worth, but I was happy. Just gives me a warm feeling knowing it was probably sitting in a chevelle a day before my car ran down the line. Yeah, crazy but true.
Exactly right, Jerry. The one I found was a 69 JC block from a KC SS with a VIN about 800 prior to mine. Itís not in the car because I found it after I finished but Iíll have it in case I want to use it in the future.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 11:48 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by SS Chad View Post
Exactly right, Jerry. The one I found was a 69 JC block from a KC SS with a VIN about 800 prior to mine. Itís not in the car because I found it after I finished but Iíll have it in case I want to use it in the future.
Exactly my story Chad, mine had been finished and resting soundly for a dozen years so I put that motor in my '73 chev Cheyenne. Kinda silly but I knew it wasn't going anywhere soon so eventually I'd make the swap. Still sitting in the PU to this day. Yeah, I'll get to it....
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old May 28th, 19, 9:08 PM
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Re: Motor date stamp vs Fender tag Date

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Originally Posted by keithb View Post
one to two weeks is normal for most high production motors. in the Corvette world NCRS allows up to six months. and in some rare cases of odd ball suffix code stamped blocks it can be. at that time there was no first in first out rule
In my experience it is the opposite, at least for 66 and 67. Special order low-production optional engines almost always have the tight time frames discussed above. "Standard" engines (in other words, a 396/325 for an SS Chevelle) have the tight time frames more often than not, but they can have VERY wide date gaps, due to the lack of FIFO inventory control by the car assembly plants. If they projected building yay so many tens of thousands of 396/325 cars (including a large percentage of dealer spec'd inventory cars not ordered by a particular customer), then they did not wait for each "car order" to come in before assembling and shipping large batches of those engines. And particularly at the very beginning of the model year, a large beginning inventory of those engines was sent to each plant. As a result, when new shipments came in they often got put in front of what was still left of the prior shipments, and those newer engines got installed first.

So there is not really any "bright-line" rule, especially when it comes to standard engines. I have seen late August 1966 assembled 396/325 engines (with original stamps) in March and later built 67 Chevelles from EVERY plant except Framingham (sample pool from there is so small it is difficult to even find Framingham cars for reference, much less original Framingham cars with unmolested original drivetrains).

On the other hand, low production optional engines (like a 67 L78 for example) always have tight engine-to-car date spans, because those engines were built when those cars were ordered (whether by a particular customer, or by a dealership for inventory).

As to the original topic of casting dates, Tonawanda also did not use FIFO inventory control on cast parts either. So a block (or batch of blocks) could get "passed" by newer blocks for a long period of time before inventory was drawn down to the point of using those older blocks. The only firm exception to that was at model year change over, when blocks that would become obsolete the following year were pulled and used before a newer casting number block would go into effect for the next year. And even then you sometimes see a 67 406 block in a very very late 66 Chevelle, even though there are other 961 blocks with later assembly dates. And likewise for 68 323 blocks in very very late 67 Chevelles.


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