Small/big-block Chevy Engine code stamping numbers include the engine serial number (ID code), engine VIN, block casting number, and block date code. Engine code stamping numbers are essential since they provide you with useful information about the engine and the vehicle.
By decoding the code stamping numbers, you can learn a lot about a Small Block Chevy engine, including its origin, age, and original specifications. This information can be useful for both restoration and performance purposes.
In the rest of this article, we will discuss the code stamping numbers in more detail. We will also provide a table of the different plant codes and suffixes.
Identify Small Block Chevy Engines With Stamping Codes
There best way to to identify a small block chevy engine is to find the engine ID or stamping number on the engine block.
The engine ID code is a stamped number that is located on the front of the engine block. It is usually located on the passenger side of the block, just forward of the cylinder head. The engine ID code will tell you the year, plant, and suffix code of the engine.
The code stamping numbers are located on a machined pad in front of the passenger side cylinder head. They are stamped into the block and consist of three parts: the prefix, the assembly date, and the suffix.
- The prefix tells you the engine assembly plant code. There are 11 different plant codes, each of which is associated with a different factory.
|GM Plant||Engine Code||Location||Manufacturing Years|
|Flint, MI||F or V||Flint, Michigan||1955 to 2003|
|Los Angeles, CA||L||Los Angeles, California||1955 to 1963|
|Toledo, OH||T||Toledo, Ohio||1968 to 1986|
|Romeo, MI||R||Romeo, Michigan||1986-Present|
|Waterloo, ON, Canada||W||Waterloo, Ontario, Canada||1962 to 1965|
|Arlington, TX||A||Arlington, Texas||1968 to 1979|
|Fenton, MO||M||Fenton, Missouri||1987 to 1995|
|Pontiac, MI||P||Pontiac, Michigan||1962 to 1980|
|Saginaw, MI||S||Saginaw, Michigan||1962 to 1965|
|St. Catharines, ON, Canada||C||St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada||1965 to 1968|
- The assembly date is a four-digit number that tells you the month and day of the engine’s assembly. The year is not included in the code, but it can be determined by the plant code.
For example: If you see 0669 that should tell you that this vehicle was assembled in June of 1969.
- The casting number is also stamped on the engine block. It is usually located on the rear of the block, near the oil pan. The casting number will tell you the factory that produced the block and the specific design of the block.
Chevy Small Block Suffix Codes
The suffix tells you the original application of the engine, such as the vehicle model, engine RPO, horsepower rating, and transmission.
Identifying Chevy Small Block Engine With Serial Number
A Chevy engine serial number is a unique ESN (electronic serial number) used to identify every Chevy vehicle. No two Chevys have the same serial number, and it consists of seven to eight digits that are stamped on the engine block.
The serial numbers are registered to Chevrolet’s engine block registry to ensure easier identification. It is also stamped on a machined pad that is then put on the engine after a full assembly. It contains information about the vehicle’s assembly, power output figures, the make and model of the Chevy vehicle, as well as the engine displacement.
The engine serial number in big and small Chevy engines is denoted by seven digits, each symbolizing a specific detail.
Below is the meaning of each of the letters and numbers in the engine serial number:
- 1st letter = assembly factory
- 2nd and 3rd digits = month of the assembly
- 4th and 5th digits = day of the assembly
- Last 2 or 3 digits = Engine Suffix code
The first five digits are called the prefix and contain the details about the engine assembly factory, the month in which the assembly was made, and the specific day of the assembly.
The last two to three digits indicate the engine suffix code used to denote the vehicle model and the transmission details. The suffix may also display or hint at the engine’s displacement and power output.
For example, the engine serial number V1015CKX is decoded as:
- V– the production assembly factory in Flint.
- 10 – denotes the month of assembly, which is October.
- 15 – denotes the day of the assembly, which is the 15th.
- CKX – indicates the vehicle it belongs to, which is either a 1973 Camaro, 1972 Corvette, or 1976 Corvette, all with 350 cubic inch displacements, and power outputs between 145 hp and 200 hp.
Another example is the serial number T0525ED:
- T = Tonawanda
- 05 = May
- 25 = 25th
- ED = Chevelle, Manual Transmission
Look up what your GM engine serial number means here: GM/Chevy Engine Serial Number Lookup
Difference Between Stamping Code and Suffix Code
Stamping codes and suffix codes are related but not the same. They both provide information about a Chevrolet (Chevy) engine, but they serve slightly different purposes and are located in different places on the engine block.
- The stamping code, also known as the engine block stamping or VIN derivative, is a sequence of letters and numbers that are physically stamped or engraved onto the engine block.
- It is typically located on the front of the engine block, often near the passenger side cylinder head or on the engine pad.
- The stamping code typically includes information about the engine’s assembly plant, production year, and other manufacturing details. It does not provide specific details about the engine’s application or characteristics.
- The suffix code is a separate series of letters and numbers that provide more specific information about the engine’s intended use, features, and application.
- It is often found near the engine block stamping, usually on the same pad or nearby.
- The suffix code can include details like the engine’s displacement, intended vehicle model, transmission compatibility, and any unique characteristics.
- The suffix code is particularly useful for identifying the specific type of engine and its application, especially in cases where multiple engines with the same basic specifications were used in different vehicles or applications.
The stamping code primarily provides basic manufacturing information about the engine, while the suffix code offers more detailed information about the engine’s intended use and application. Both codes are important for identifying and understanding a Chevy engine’s specifications, but they serve different purposes and are often used together to provide a comprehensive picture of the engine’s history and characteristics.
Chevy Small Block and Big Block Codes
Suffix codes and stamping codes are used to identify and provide information about Chevrolet (Chevy) engines, including both big block and small block engines. These codes are typically found on the engine block and can help enthusiasts and mechanics determine various details about the engine’s specifications, including its year of production, application, and some additional information.
Here’s how these codes work for both big block and small block engines.
Small Block Engine Stamping Code:
- The engine code is often found on the front passenger side of the block, just below the cylinder head. It typically includes a sequence of alphanumeric characters.
- The first letter represents the plant where the engine was manufactured (e.g., “T” for Tonawanda, New York).
- The next one or two digits indicate the production year (e.g., “69” for 1969).
- The next letter represents the engine assembly plant (e.g., “V” for Flint, Michigan).
- The remaining alphanumeric characters may represent the engine displacement, application, and other details.
Big Block Engine Stamping Code:
- Big block engine codes are typically located on the front pad of the block, near the passenger side cylinder head.
- Similar to small block codes, the first letter represents the assembly plant, the next one or two digits denote the production year, and subsequent letters and numbers provide additional details about the engine.
In addition to the engine block stamping code, there is often a suffix code that provides more specific information about the engine. This code is usually found near the engine block stamping and can include information about the engine’s intended use, transmission compatibility, and other details.
Small Block Suffix Code
For small block engines, the suffix code may consist of one or more alphanumeric characters that provide details about the engine’s intended use and features.
Big Block Suffix Code
Similarly, big block engines have suffix codes that convey information about the engine’s specific application, such as whether it was intended for a high-performance application or a specific vehicle model.
Chevy Engine Block Code Examples
Engine Serial Number Location
The engine serial number is located at the front passenger side of the block, right next to cylinder #2.
In other vehicles, you may find the serial number located on the flat block just above the timing cover (in some trucks or marine blocks.)
Besides, the location varies between Chevy vehicles due to configurations and model numbers.
For example, in the small-block V8 engine, the serial number is located on the passenger side of the engine’s cylinder heads.
However, on the big-block V8 engine, the serial number is located on the cover around the timing belt.
Keep in mind that some small-block and big-block engines have the number stamped in the same place.
SBC/BBC Engine VIN: Explained
What Is Engine VIN?
The Chevy big/small-block engine VIN (vehicle identification number) is a combination of digits that indicate the type of vehicle the engine is installed in, the model year, and the assembly plant.
The engine VIN also contains six digits that are used to denote the last six digits of the vehicle’s VIN.
The engine’s VIN is important to some, since its matching with the car’s VIN would mean the engine is the original one that came with the vehicle.
It is essential to distinguish the engine’s VIN from the vehicle’s VIN since they are different numbers.
The engine VIN is derived from the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN and is used to identify the engine only.
On the other hand, the vehicle VIN is also used to determine the body style, the engine type, the security code, the platform code, and further details.
- 1st Number = GM Division
- 2nd Number = Production year.
- 3rd Letter = The assembly plant.
- Last 6 Digits = Equal the last six digits of the vehicle’s VIN
For example, the Chevy engine VIN 17N012345 means:
- 1 = Chevrolet
- 7 = 1967
- N = Norwood, Ohio
- 012345 = The last six digits of the vehicle’s VIN
Another example of the engine VIN is 13N100001 which means:
- 1 = Chevrolet
- 3 = 1973
- N = Norwood
- 100001 = the last six digits of the Chevy 1973 vehicle’s VIN.
The assembly plant information is denoted by the third letter, which can be a number in some vehicle models.
They mandated this format in 1972 after abolishing a longer form that used letters like NOR to show Norwood instead of the current N for Norwood.
Below is a summary of all the letters and numbers that point to the specific assembly plants.
|A = Lakewood||L = Van Nuys||W = Willow Run||4 = Scarborough|
|A = Atlanta GA|
|B = Baltimore||M = Lansing||X = Fairfax||5 = Bowling Green|
|C = Lansing (B)||N = Norwood||Y = Wilmington||5 = London|
|C = Southgate CA.|
|D = Doraville GA||P = Pontiac (Pontiac)||Z = Fremont||6 = Oklahoma City|
|E = Linden||Q = Detriot||1 = Wentzville||7 = Lordstown|
|F = Flint (Chevy)||R = Arlington||1 = Oshawa #2||8 = Shreveport|
|G = Framingham||S = St. Louis||2 = Moraine (T&B)||8 = Fujisawa (Japan) Luv|
|H = Flint (Buick)||S = Ramos Arizpe||2 = St. Therese||9 = Detroit (Cadillac)|
|J = Janesville||T = Tarrytown||3 = Detroit (T&B)||9 = Oshawa #1|
|K = Kansas City||U = Hamtramck||3 = St. Eustache||0 GM Truck Pontiac|
|K - Kosai||U = Lordstown OH.|
|K = Leeds||V= Pontiac (GMC)||4 = Orion|
Engine VIN Location
The Chevy big/small-block engine VIN is located at the front passenger side of the block right next to cylinder #2.
You may also find it located on the flat block just above the timing cover (in some truck or marine blocks).
Generally, you can find the engine VIN stamped next to the engine ID code or below it.
Small Block Casting Number Explained
What Is Block Casting Number?
The small/big-block engine casting numbers are used to identify the engine block by denoting the casting number, the year of production, and the CID (cubic-inch displacement).
The casting number of the Chevy engine blocks shows various details of the engine block that include:
- The displacement
- The year of production
- 2 or 4 bolt main
- Vehicle application
For example, the Chevy engine casting number 14316379 means:
- CID: 350,
- Years: 68-88
Block Casting Number Location
The Chevy small/big-block casting number is located at the back ledge of the block behind the driver-side cylinder head, next to cylinder #7.
In some vehicles, the casting number is situated on the passenger side ledge, next to cylinder #8 (on some later production blocks)
Look up what you engine block’s casting number means here: Chevy Big/Small Block Casting Numbers Lookup
Small/Big-Block Date Code: Explained and Decoded
What Is Block Date Code?
Chevy small/big-block date codes are either alphanumeric or numeric.
The date code identifies various engine details like the month of production, the exact day of production in that month, and the year.
The Chevy engine date codes are denoted as follows:
- 1st digit = month;
- The next 1 or 2 digits = date
- The last number = year
An example of such a date code is the A72 which means:
- A = January
- 7 = 7th
- 2 = 1962, 1972, 1982, or 1992
Another example is the C106 which means:
- C = March
- 10 = 10th
- 7 = 1966, 1976, 1986, or 1996
One crucial piece of information to remember about the year is that more information is needed from the other numbers (serial and VIN). This is because numbers like “7” can mean different years like 67, 77, 87, or 97.
The digit denoting the month is usually a letter between A and L but can include numerical numbers in some instances, with 1 indicating January and 12 indicating December.
Block Date Code Location
The Chevy small and big-block engine date codes are located on the back ledge of the block, next to cylinder # 8, behind the passenger side cylinder head.
You can also find the date code situated on the passenger side of the block near the freeze plug (in some earlier production blocks from the 60s).
Some other Chevy models will include the date code on the driver side ledge, especially on the recently manufactured blocks
The Small and Big-Block Chevy engine stamping numbers are used to identify various specs of the engine.
Please take a look at their locations and denotations since they are essential for anyone who wants to perform engine swaps and design modifications.