Small Block Chevy Engine: How To Identify Your Numbers

(Last Updated On: September 13, 2023)

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

Chevy Engine 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.

Stamping Code:

  • 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.

Suffix Code:

  • 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.

Suffix Codes

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.

Bonus: SBC BBC V6 Chevy Engines Specs and Sizes [With Chart]

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 = LakewoodL = Van NuysW = Willow Run4 = Scarborough
A = Atlanta GA
B = BaltimoreM = LansingX = Fairfax5 = Bowling Green
C = Lansing (B)N = NorwoodY = Wilmington5 = London
C = Southgate CA.
D = Doraville GAP = Pontiac (Pontiac)Z = Fremont6 = Oklahoma City
E = LindenQ = Detriot1 = Wentzville7 = Lordstown
F = Flint (Chevy)R = Arlington1 = Oshawa #28 = Shreveport
G = FraminghamS = St. Louis2 = Moraine (T&B)8 = Fujisawa (Japan) Luv
H = Flint (Buick)S = Ramos Arizpe2 = St. Therese9 = Detroit (Cadillac)
J = JanesvilleT = Tarrytown3 = Detroit (T&B)9 = Oshawa #1
K = Kansas CityU = Hamtramck3 = St. Eustache0 GM Truck Pontiac
K - KosaiU = Lordstown OH.
K = LeedsV= 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?

Chevy Engine Serial Number Location
The engine serial number is located at the front passenger side of the block, right next to cylinder #2.

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.

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35 thoughts on “Small Block Chevy Engine: How To Identify Your Numbers”

  1. 8610010right front block

    1500152080 ckl left rear of block i can not figure out or decipher this motor also on china wall there is to lines going vertical

  2. I have a 1961 Corvette Convertible. The engine has a block stamping #3731548, The Vin No. at front of block by engine head #TI220FC.

    Vin of car# 10867S110358

    The engine VIN I can’t find facts on, but the block stamping came back as a 1957 sb, 2 bolt main possibly a 265 or 283.

    Any help here would be appreciated.

  3. I have a 350 that is in my 64 Impala. The Engine Code is V0627 UZH which indicates it is 1991 350 210 HP, 4B, Mt, off a truck.
    Underneath is stamped which the first digit or letter being a 1, L, or T followed by MF526670. Can someone tell me what info that is?

    • It’s a 327 engine with 2-boit main made in 1965, hp=275, intended to be used with Powerglide transmission.
      You can lookup the casting number here-
      and the engine serial number here-

  4. I have a Mexican 350 5.7L 880 in a Jeep CJ7 and can’t get a look or photo of the block casting numbers. It does have “1M0523 5ZZ4” stamped on the front passenger side as well as “6463 188” and “MY0405 2” stamped on the rear driver’s side facing back. Does this help identify the block?

      • I have a sbc motor that I can’t id… the pad #s are as follows: VC791FCU THE 2ED SET IS AS FOLLOWS: CFS188781 CAN YOU HELP ME ID THIS MOTOR PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

  5. I have a serial number on the front right side ck3317905 have not found it in identifcation chart it is a bigblock what cubic inch and year Any help would be appreciated thank you .

  6. i bought a 1992 Chevy Camaro that has an engine swap done on it So I’ve been trying to figure out where this engine that’s in it came from so when I order parts I can get the right ones and I got the casting number off of the engine that sits right in front of the passenger side head (1M04206G35) and I’ve tried a few websites designed to decode the casting numbers but this doesn’t seem to be on any of the sites or look like anything in your article do you have any better ideas of how to figure it out maybe the way it sits in the car i cant really see the codes that sit on the bellhousing?

  7. Hello, I have a Chevrolet Block casting # 3970010 Date code is CEA129541. I am told that this is a 1970 engine, But ai can’t make head nor tail of this date code. Can You Please help Me? Thank You, Jeff

    • I don’t think CEA129541 is the date code. It looks strange for me. Can’t tell much from the block casting number. The details are here-
      Do you have any other numbers?

      • Fifteen years ago I purchased a 1967 Chevelle SS with VIN 138**********. The title, firewall and door jam tags all match up. The previous owner listed it as a SS 396, then
        said it’s a 402. The number stamped on the engine is: T0826CLB. I searched and found the engine is a 1972 402ci, 240 HP out of a Chevelle. Is the information I found correct for that engine code. I am selling the Chevelle and want to make sure prospective buyers know what they are getting. By the way, the motor is not stock, runs great. Thank you very much, Mike

  8. I have a block cast # 3892657 AND A ID OF VO6O8YH I FOUND OUT IT IS 327 FROM FLINT MICHAGAN JUNE 8 AND MAYBE Y IS A CORVETTE MOTOR WHAT IS H ? can you help

  9. i have a small block cast number is 3970010 which tells me 350 ???? stamped number on pass side is CEB1290 4 (6 or a b) was under impression was 327 but has 4 bolt mains and cast numbers tell me 350 . any idea about stamped numbers and there are about same distance as two characters as i tried to show

    • Here is all I can find about it- It may be a 302 or 350.
      CEB12904… is not familiar to me. Not sure what it is.
      Any other numbers on it?

  10. I have a engine block that is bare and was wanting to find out as much as I can so I can get the correct parts for my build the casting number is 3970010 on the back of the engine and on the front is stamped 14Z457922 V415CMR any help will be greatly appreciated

    • 3970010:
      14Z457922: 1=Chevrolet, 4=64, 74, 84, etc. in this case, based on the information the casting number provides (69-79), it’s 1974, Z=Fremont (assembly plant)
      V415CMR is the engine serial number. V=Flint, 415 looks strange, there should be 4 digits here because it’s the manufacture month and day. I guess it’s April the 15th. CMR:
      So, here is the quick summary:
      Make: Chevy
      Manufactured Date: April 15, 1974
      CID: 305
      BBLS: 2
      HP: 145
      Body: A
      Any questions are welcome

  11. On my small block front passenger side on the flat surface is 51 145 ER in about that spacing. Nothing else that I can see….small block w/2 barrel carb. Thanks for any help…

  12. I have a chey engine block the rear casting number is 3858180 information I can find it is 62-67 327 the stamp number on passenger side is ti2iohc I cannot find any information on this


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