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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2016
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New to the Board looking to learn


New to the board and new to being a classic Impala owner. Just got a couple of months ago a 1964 Impala SS that my grandfather had for at least 1983 (as I remember). Car is running and is in great shape. However there are some things I need to do to it. Right now I am stuck on what engine is in the car. I know that the original engine is not there. I have tried my best to find the numbers on the block and no luck. I moved the alternator to see if I could find it and it was not there. I am a rookie when it come to this stuff. I willing to take all of the help I can get. Below I have posted a picture of the car and engine. I was told the engine was a small block 400 and then I was told it was a 350. Only thin I am pretty sure of is that it is not the original engine. Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: northern ill.
Posts: 25
the engine id pad is on the passenger front part of the block right where the cylinder head and block are mated together. by
the pics provided,look behind the alternator,clean away any dirt and grime and youll see a series of numbers and
if its cleaned and just bare metal is visable,then quite possibly that engine block has been through the decking process
during a rebuild,and the sequence ground off. but we would need that info as it will tell what plant, what date, trans type
and c i displacement.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2
I pulled the alternator off and cleaned it and it was clear. Just smooth metal nothing there.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Welcome to the Team!

As Rick mentioned above the motors are stamped when they leave the line with the application. They are stamped at the foundry (Tonawanda, or Flint for example) with the date of assembly. Decking the block mills off the first 0.014 to 0.027 thousandths of an inch of metal off to make the top of the deck flat and reduce the combustion volume. Doing so removes those hand stamped numbers that identify the application.

This leaves you with an examination of casting numbers to discover the block's original bore. There are several bore sizes used in the SBC. From the largest 4.125 inch bore used in the SBC 400 to the tiny 3.671 inch hole used in the 262 cube 4.3 liter SBC V8 in '1975-'76 Impalas. The most common was the 3.736 inch bore of the 305 followed by the desirable 4.000 bore of the 327 or 350.

Newer blocks have the size cast into the side of the block in liters (5.7 for the 350 and 5.0 Liter for the 305). Newer blocks also have a one piece rear main seal center bolt valve covers and serpentine front drive system. The front drive can be swapped out for V-belts by changing the pulleys and the brackets. Since your alternator is on top of the application pad it indicates that it was made after 1968 as that location of the alternator requires accessory bolt holes in the head. If it has a serpentine belt it was made after 1984 the last year for an alternator V-belt. If it has a one piece rear main seal it was made after 1986 the first year the one piece was introduced. Good news is that block has raised lifter bosses and stand offs to mount the retainer spring to accept factory roller tappets.

The casting number information (numbers decoding) can be found here:

Small Block Chevy Engine Block casting and code identification

Where to find the numbers is illustrated here:

Reference: Chevy Engine Block Casting Numbers - Chevy Hardcore

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