1967 Caprice wrong engine? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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1967 Caprice wrong engine?

I'm researching a 1967 Caprice which is in stunning restored condition, but has valve covers with "Corvette" on it. Does this mean it's a Corvette engine or did the previous owner install the wrong covers? The car is sold as a car with a 327 engine and I'm not sure a 327 was ever a Corvette option?


Last edited by Cenobyte; 10-23-2011 at 09:17 AM.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 08:31 AM
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Post the numbers from the engine block and heads. This way we can tell you what engine is currently in the car. You can't judge just by valve covers. When I bought my car, the valve covers had 427 sticker on them and they were put on SBC 350.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 09:16 AM
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Corvette valve covers are probably aftermarket peices unless you see a a GM part number cast into them on the under side. It was a very common upgrade (as was the 427 decals though they were usually applied to 396 engines not to 350 small blocks).

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks.
I'll be with the car next friday and I will try to locate the numbers then.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 03:24 PM
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Don't judge by the valve covers, as other have said. I could put corvette valve covers on a 305 and it doesn't mean anything.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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According to info I found on the net the body tag can be found on the firewall? Where exactly: engine side or passenger compartment side?

And where can I normally find the engine numbers?

Sorry for the rookie questions

BTW: nice car, isn't it?

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 10:24 AM
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The old saying applies here "Don't judge a block by its cover".

The body tag (or "trim tag" or "cowl tag") should be on the drivers side firewall (engine side) above the brake booster/master cylinder area.
Your VIN should be attached to the drivers door post.

The engine stampings should be found on the passenger side engine block pad right below the head.
There are also some casting numbers on the back of the block that can help us date code your block but the front numbers will probably suffice for now and they are much easier to see.

Here is a link to the engine stamping location from a Camaro site. The locations are the same for your caprice but the suffix codes will be different.

http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#PadStamps

Also I'm fairly sure I have pictures of all these numbers and locations on my '67 share site. See my link in the signature block below.

64 Impala SS 327/300 survivor
67 Impala SS 327 triple black hardtop
67 Impala Bench Seat 4 speed
http://craigaacars.shutterfly.com/pictures
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cenobyte View Post
According to info I found on the net the body tag can be found on the firewall? Where exactly: engine side or passenger compartment side?

And where can I normally find the engine numbers?

Sorry for the rookie questions

BTW: nice car, isn't it?

It looks nice, but looks can be deceiving. Make sure you check it out thoroughly before buying.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05snopro440 View Post
It looks nice, but looks can be deceiving. Make sure you check it out thoroughly before buying.
What do I need to check?

This is what I checked and found out so far (sorry for my elaborate descriptions, since English is not my first language):

- checked bottom of fenders and doors for rust and/or filler: looks very clean. There is only a small speck of superficial rust on the left front fender, where the paint was chipped
- engine bay looks very clean, new black paint on inside, car started quickly and ran good (stationary)
- exhausts look new
- trunk looks like it received a treatment with the same black stuff you see under cars often (not sure how it's called)
- interior looks very clean, two small rips in bench, drivers side.
- dashboard, steering wheel and column are very clean, some small scratches in paint on column
- floor carpet looks very clean
- dials in dashboard look as good as new, odo reads 17k miles
- wheels look like brand new and have the text "disc brakes" on them (car also has ventilated disc brakes, also shown on brake pedal)
- chrome looks like new
- original service book is still with the car (the book with the metal plate in it)

In my opinion this car is too clean overall to be a "quick spray over" job
Many parts of this car look like new or are in very good used condition. The things I wasn't able to determine are:
- engine state (no excess smoke when running stationary)
- engine originality (engine looks new/replaced?)
- I wasn't able to drive the car since it was surrounded by other cars in the showroom
- transmission: Powerglide or Turbo Hydramatic?
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:35 PM
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Turbohydramtic didn't come out until 1969. Since the factory didn't use the TH400 with anything but the high horse motors that leaves you with a PowerGlide. That car looks to have been either stored in a plastic bag and stuck in a climate controlled warehouse for 44 years or it was fully restored. Barn finds don't look that good.

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 08:17 AM
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Turbo

The Turbohydramatic was available in 1965 in the big block only, in 1967 it was available with the 327.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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I'm going back to the car tomorrow, so I'll check out the data! Thanks for all the info guys!
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 09:09 AM
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Few more things to check:

1. Pull the carper (at least by the sill plates) and check floor pans. Nice, rust free and painted floor will tell you that the carpet wasn't just installed over the rusted floor. Given that the carpet is not original since you stated it looks very clean. You will also see if the damping material is original or not.

2. As mentioned before, get the casting #s from the engine and intake. We can tell you if the engine matches the year of the car. It will not tell you if the odometer turned or not.

3. I would also examine the area around the windshield chrome trim. Probably tough to see without taking the trim off but this area is prone to rust.

4. Check the brake and gas pedals for wear. If they weren't replaced and show excessive wear, then the 17K wouldn't be the original mileage.

I am not saying that the car is not original or looks suspicious but the points above are just things you can check in addition to what you already did.

Good luck!
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fsc66 View Post
The Turbohydramatic was available in 1965 in the big block only, in 1967 it was available with the 327.

Paul
The TurboHydramatic I was talking about was the TH350 which was introduced in 1969. Many people assume that because the PowerGlide has been around since the fifties that the TH350 has been also. The 400 was introduced along with the Mark IV BBC to keep you from breaking your PowerGlide which like the TH350 has a torque limit of about 250 foot pounds of torque. The 1965 version of the TH400 has a torque limit of about 450 lb-ft from the factory, but it can easily be modified with parts from newer versions of the tranny to handle double that before you have to get into more expensive billet or hardened aftermarket parts.

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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This is what I learned today:

Car has a 3 speed

The body tag has this info:

Code:
05B          G
67-16647 STL004558  BODY
887-A        G-2    PAINT
E2ESR
5Y 196653             21
Where '21' is stamped in afterwards, so it looks.

05B = Manufactured in May, second week
G-2 body color: G = Granada Gold, does 2 represent the vinyl roof?

What interior does the 887 trim code represent? And 'A'?
What do E2ESR, 5Y and 196653 represent?
Does this tag reveal anything about the original engine?
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 09:09 PM
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05B G
67-16647 STL004558 BODY
887-A G-2 PAINT
E2ESR
5Y 196653 21

Decodes as:

05B ===> Manufacture date second week of May
G ====> Trim Code Not found with a Caprice model
67 ====> Year of manufacture 1967
16647 ==> Caprice hard top two door Sport Coupe
STL0 ===> Manufactured at the Saint Louis assembly plant
04558 ==> Fisher Body sequence number for quality assurance
BODY
887-A ==> Interior color Gold cloth and vinyl bench seat
G-2 ===> Granada Gold Paint 2 Black Vinyl Roof (or Black convertible roof if Conv.)
PAINT
E =====> Tinted Glass
2E ====> Air Conditioning
S =====> Rear Antena
R =====> Rear Seat Speaker
5Y ====> Deluxe Seat Belts
196653 No idea what this indicates
21 Or this.

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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks!

That means the car still has it's original colors inside and outside

Original paperwork is also still in the glove compartment (sold in 1967 to a mrs. in Pocahontas, Arkansas by McFall Chevrolet).

Can the unexplainable codes have something to do with disc brakes? If I'm correct this was an option, not standard, and my car has discs.

Last edited by Cenobyte; 10-22-2011 at 04:05 AM.
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:35 AM
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I would also take a fridge magnet and check the quarters. I have seen cars that looked like flawless restorations but when dug into were rust buckets that were patched up. Make sure you do all your homework before you make the deal.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05snopro440 View Post
I would also take a fridge magnet and check the quarters. I have seen cars that looked like flawless restorations but when dug into were rust buckets that were patched up. Make sure you do all your homework before you make the deal.
Sorry, too late, love at first sight and all that...

I already bought the car. I did check the quarter panels on the lower parts for filler and rust and there is only superficial rust on the outside of the left front panel. Bottom and panels seem to be very good.
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 07:01 PM
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Uh oh,

The vin you gave has a L in it for the Los Angeles, CA assembly plant. The cowl tag info you gave shows STL, for St Louis, MO assembly plant. Unless you made a typo, one of the tags may have been swapped. Can you post pictures of both tags?

Warren
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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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I'm not sure, but http://www.nastyz28.com/decode.php shows me that in '67 the L was the Van Nuys assembly plant?
That still does not line up with Saint Louis on the body tag though... strange.

So that can only mean they used another VIN tag somewhere in time?
It would seem strange that a car so beautifully restored should have something like a wrong tag on it.

Here are the tags:






Last edited by Cenobyte; 10-23-2011 at 05:25 AM.
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 07:17 AM
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I do not know if Van Nuys assembly plant had a Fisher Body plant attached to the assembly plant back then or not. Many west coast cars where assembled from bodies shipped by rail from Midwest Fisher Body plants. This is why there are so many V-8/L-6 trim tag discrepancies. By the time the body was put on the end of the assembly line the build order had changed from the dealer that ordered the car originally because a car they had ordered on spec had been changed by a prospective buyer who wanted X instead of Y. The trim tag was installed by Fisher Body when it left their plant. The VIN tag always trumps a trim tag, because it was how the car was actually built, and was the last piece of documentation put on the car.

I suspect that this order was destined for one assembly plant but was hijacked by another plant to fulfill a special customer's order. It is a highly optioned car that somebody paid a lot of money for. He probably could of had a Buick or Caddy for the same amount of money back then, because the special order options that drove up the price of the Chevy would have all been standard equipment on the more up-scale car. But then he would have had a big 360 horsepower 430 Buick or a 325 horse 429 in a Caddy instead of the 195 horsepower 283 or 250 horsepower 327 in a Chevy that got a lot better gas mileage.

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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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I think there is indeed something wrong with the VIN number here

The booklet that was with the car has another VIN number on it, which supports the plant information on the body tag:



What I ask myself is this: why would a VIN number be off with a car that is in such great condition and still has so much original paperwork? There even is a recall letter from 1972 that explains a problem with engine mounts that needs to be solved. Why would anybody keep paperwork that PROVES a wrong VIN number at all??

If the original paperwork with the car is correct then the car was bought new by a widow woman, 63 years of age (I found her on the internet on some family tree website, she had a very unusual name and lived in Pocahontas, Arkansas). This would explain the options, airconditioning and this would also explain the absence of a big block gass guzzler.

I have this car for a couple of days now and it's really hard for me to scrape that smile off my face when driving it or even looking at it. Knowing it might be a Frankenstein car or a stolen car would put a dent in that ofcourse, but it would not make me want to lose this car. It does leave a speck on an otherwise immaculate Caprice

I sure hope there is a rational explanation for this??

Last edited by Cenobyte; 10-23-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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This picture even confirms the date the woman bought her car:



Paperwork with the car:



This really made me believe this was an honest car.
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 12:38 PM
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Yeah, something isn't right. Here is a check you can do that will provide some further details. If you take off the vent panel on top of the cowl, there may be a partial vin number from the car stamped on top of the cowl (under the panel). Sometimes the vin was not stamped there but if you find one, that will tell us which tag has been changed. It will look like this (example from a Tarrytown, NY car):



I checked my database and did have the St Louis info entered. The car was for sale on ebay 7/5/08 in Bellville, ILL. I have that sellers id and email address. Did you purchase the car from someone in ILL? I actually had pics of the cowl tag and pop saved from that auction but none of the vin tag. It could have had the swapped vin tag back then and the seller put the STL one in the auction description (so no way to know). Since the car has the pop, I'd guess that the vin tag was swapped. As for the reason, who knows. The original could have been lost during the restoration or it's possible the car was stolen. The tag looks like it has been on there a while. Hopefully we can figure this out. I'll be here to help.

Warren
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