Intro and engine identification

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Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:06 pm

Just introducing myself. My name is David and I have a 76 El Camino and a 77 Chevelle in north Georgia.


I am in the middle of taking the 350 engine and trans out of the camino and putting them into the chevelle. What I am having trouble finding out is what exactly the engine I have is. I know it isn't original to the camino but the info I am getting is conflicting depending what site I look on. So maybe someone here who knows a thing or two about deciphering the casting and stamp codes can point me in a right direction.

The block has a casting code of 3970014


The stamp code is V0404TDJ
Can't get a good picture of it behind the alternator

It also has a couple of other cast numbers and the clock showing which shift built it



So if anyone can tell me what this motor is I'd really appreciate it.

And thanks in advance. Glad to be here.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by Bruisr on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:08 pm

GOTO: mortec.com they have good info. on GM casting numbers.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by Bruisr on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:20 pm

I find from another website its a 350 from a 68-79, 2 or 4 bolt mains. Mortec site says its a 350 from 70-76 2 or 4 bolt mains.


Last edited by Bruisr on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding info.)
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:12 pm

So it seems like it could actually be the original motor that came with the el Camino. I was told it was from an 80's truck but apparently that wasn't right.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by Limey SE on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:16 pm

1970-76 date code ......3970014.... 350 c.i. ...

L27 72 is manufacture date Dec 27th 1972 L = Dec it go's A thru L Jan thru Dec

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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:22 pm

So probably not the original for a 76 car. What about the T3 CONV 2 casting? Any idea what that means?

And which part of the numbers is the partial VIN? Wouldn't that tell me the exact car it came from?
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:29 pm

Actually that date casting is C27 72. Which is actually my birthday 13 years too early!
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:51 pm

conv.cab,a/t
175hp
C-10 & 20

These are the stats I've found from nastyz28.com. Idunno what conv.cab means if the motor came from a C10 pickup? Maybe I am assuming wrong.

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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by pila on Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:48 pm

It probably doesn't really matter that much, as long as it's a 350. I have a 305 from an '85 pickup which runs good, but can't even give it away ! Rolling Eyes It was replaced with a 396 big block....

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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by Limey SE on Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:05 am

SonOfTheGrim wrote:Actually that date casting is C27 72. Which is actually my birthday 13 years too early!

Sorry Looked like an L on my monitor LOL
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by clanceman427 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:33 am

According to my Chevrolet By the Numbers 1970-1975, your casting number might be considered a mystery block, and is possibly a 4 bolt main, which would be great. Take a look at the photo, hopefully you can read the text, if not let me know and I'll transcribe it here.

The partial VIN will be the last 6 characters of the stamping behind the alternator on the passenger side block deck surface. Clean the crud off that surface and post the stamping info here and I can try to decode it for you (except for the VIN number of course). I found that spraying that area with PB Blaster or a similar spray penetrant followed up with scrubbing that ledge with a paper towel will help you read it. I take a long flat blade screwdriver to cram a paper towel down behind the alternator and metal fuel line to clean that crud so you can read the stamping.

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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:12 am

Well that's certainly confusing. But that would explain the differing information. Plus I tend to believe things printed on actual paper over random internet facts.

Anyway the stamp # is V0404TDJ. Maybe this will shed some light.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:32 am

The TDJ code is the only REAL way to guess at what the engine WAS, considering no changes were made to it or rebuilds. But anyway, TDJ shows 2 possibilities.

TDJ 1972 350 conv.cab,a/t 175 4 C-10 & 20
TDJ 1980 350 van & bus,a/t L LS9 155 4 C-10 to 2500

Considering the 72 stamp on it for a date code, I would guess its the 175 hp 350 out of a 1972 pickup.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by clanceman427 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:45 am

David I'm sorry you did give the engine code stamping, I should have read your post closer! As already mentioned, looks to be a truck engine:

V=Flint Engine plant
04=April assembly month
04=4th day of April
T=truck

My book doesn't decode the suffix code for trucks, only passenger cars.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by clanceman427 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:48 am

I wonder why the engine needed special coding if it was going into a convertible cab truck? Those convertible Blazers were nice back then, my neighbor had an orange and white 72.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:36 am

I think that means "conversion" like they used the cab and chassis for building like dump bodies, or step vans, utility trucks, etc.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by clanceman427 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:30 am

Ah that makes more sense. I wonder if there might be an extra boss or tapped hole or something on those blocks needed for conversions that necessitated the distinction. Interesting.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by Bruisr on Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:14 am

with what Ray posted I'm inclined to think you may have yourself a 4 bolt main. I have 2 3970010 350 blocks, 1 has 2 bolt mains and the other has 4 bolt mains. I never did go any further to find out where each one came from.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:16 am

Bruisr wrote:with what Ray posted I'm inclined to think you may have yourself a 4 bolt main.   I have 2 3970010 350 blocks, 1 has 2 bolt mains and the other has 4 bolt mains. I never did go any further to find out where each one came from.

I would tend to agree on the 4 bolt. My block came out of a 1980 work truck and it was a 350 4 bolt block as well.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

Post by SonOfTheGrim on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:19 pm

Well this is all getting pretty interesting. I really appreciate everyone helping me with this. You can see why I was unsure and couldn't figure out what I have.

What I was told when I got the Camino is that the engine was a 350 out of an 85 truck and that it had been rebuilt and bored over 30. At the time I didn't even know what that meant but considering what we've learned here I don't know what to think.
I'll just assume from here on out that it is a stock '72 350 with 4 bolt??? main and if I ever take it apart or do any performance work to it I'll have to find out what it really is then.

I do like seeing that 175hp listing and 4 bolt means it was either a heavy duty or performance application.
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Re: Intro and engine identification

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