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Post Info TOPIC: Engine Decoding


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Engine Decoding


A friend & I had a 1964 Parisienne Custom Sport 2-door hardtop back in the early 70's that we parted out. He kept the engine/transmission and I kept miscellaneous interior and body parts that I sold at the Barrie Flea Market last fall. My friend passed away and as we were cleaning up his car parts there was an engine on a stand that we believe was the one out of this '64 Custom Sport. The casting # is 3782870: (1962-67, 327, 2-bolt); Date code L27 62 (Dec27 1962) Because the year is two digits it's a Tonawanda block. The I.D. number stamped on the front LH pad is 9X2297. The first 4 digits (9X22) were made with a different stamp then the last two (97). I believe the first digit '9' means this block was for Canada. Can anyone shed some light on what the other digits stand for and could this be an engine used in a 1964 Pontiac. The head casting number is 3795896; Date code: A 14 3 (Jan 14 1963). Could this early 1963 engine have been used in a 1964 model car? When would production have started on the 1964 model year cars? Could X22 have been the option code for the 327 engine.

Thanks for any help on identifying this engine.



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Usually in these times, an engine casting date for late 62/early 63 is a 1963 model engine. A 327 is a common engine so they didnt sit around long before being installed in a car. 1964 model cars started dealer deliveries in late August or early September so Id guess a 327 casting would be July 1963 at the earliest.

A USA Tonawanda block would be stamped starting with a T, those 9x numbers would be for a Canadian engine made by MacKinnon Industries. Those numbers were assigned to a car by GM and were not an engine code, just a sequential engine number series used in Canada. The date code numbers were used the same way they were in USA production. There should be a letter or 2 after A14 3, it designates the hp and transmission. High hp engines had a partial vehicle serial number stamping in the USA starting in 62 or 63, Corvettes had that about 1960.

All above information IIRC.

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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Thank you DonSSDD for this information. I will check with the guys when we meet this Friday to see if our late buddy had a '63 at one time.

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A Poncho Legend!

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The likelihood that a Tonawanda block was installed in an Oshawa car is near zero % imo. The only time this happens is in a higher horsepower engine that was not made in St. Catharines.



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DonSSDD wrote:

 There should be a letter or 2 after A14 3, it designates the hp and transmission. 


The way I read whiskers original note, he indicates the casting date on the cylinder head is A 14 3 (Jan 14 1963).  There wouldn't be a letter or 2 after that.   

You may be thinking of an engine stamping number. that would indicate hp and transmission.



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Correct, the L27 62 block code should have letters after it.

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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73SC wrote:

The likelihood that a Tonawanda block was installed in an Oshawa car is near zero % imo. The only time this happens is in a higher horsepower engine that was not made in St. Catharines.


 I endorse what Ray said. McKinnon for mainstream engines, either Tonawanda or Flint for high performance special engines.

 

These pre-67 engine codes on McKinnon engines mystify me.



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I have met with my buddies, 5 of which are retirees of the McKinnon plant here in St. Catharines, and this engine (casting #3782870, date code L2762) definitely came out of our late buddy's '64 Pontiac Parisienne Custom Sport in the late '70's. Has been stored all this time. It was a standard car with the bushing still in the back of the crank. Does anyone know for certain that this block casting #3782870 was actually cast in the McKinnon foundry? My buddies did not remember the casting numbers.
The witches hat heads 3795896, that are on this engine, date code A143 have "CANADA" cast into them.
It definitely is a Tonawanda block because all the casting identifiers cast into the block are the same as another '63 3782870 block I have that has the engine ID prefix "T" stamped on the front pad. There are T's cast into the block in a number of places, the cast date code has 2-digits for the year vs 1-digit for the Flint blocks, and the clock has 12 dots instead of just 10.
My McKinnon buddies said that when they ran short of McKinnon blocks they would buy Tonawanda blocks since they were just across the river in Buffalo, NY.
Also the question re-an early Jan '63 engine being in a '64 car when '64 production didn't start until summer '63. The norm was for engines to be installed in a car within a month or up to 3 months after the engine build date unless there was a strike.
My buddies said that in a contract year, which they believe was 1963 they would build engines ahead just in case there was a strike to avoid shutting down the car assembly plants. Also in a real world engines in those days did not always get used up as first-in first-out.
So my question still is what does the ID stamp 9X2297 on the front machined pad indicate. Why does it not start with a "K", then the date and a letter suffix like other engines? Is this a format started in a later year? Also the first 4 digits "9X22" were made with one stamp and the last 2 digits "97" with another stamp. See picture. Was the "97" put on at the car assembly plant?

I guess another scenario could be that machined blocks were bought from Tonawanda where the blocks were stamped with 9X22 then shipped to McKinnon's for assembly and the "97" was added?

Does anyone have a 1964 Pontiac with the original 327 engine to see what is stamped on the machined pad?

See pictures attached.

Thanks for any comments

.20230216_161111.jpg20230216_162150.jpg20230216_162443.jpg20230217_184803.jpg20230217_185044.jpg20230217_185158.jpg20230218_110655.jpg20230302_144438.jpg20230302_144505.jpg20230302_144535.jpg



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A Poncho Legend!

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Everything being posted supports the obvious, its the elephant in the room........it is not the original block.

My research shows that 9X is a Marine block and we all know 327 marine engines were very prevalent. 

At some point the the block must have been changed and the original heads etc... kept and used on the rebuild. It is not a McKinnon block and was not installed originally in the car imo.

This is my fairly educated deduction on this one. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Built January 10, 1993 - Bowling Green Kentucky 

 




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The GM Canada docs I have for a 1962 283 had the sequential stamped number on only Canadian blocks as 9V 224785. I believe the 9V was code for a V8.

Im thinking if this is the original car block installed in a 1964 car, it would have the 9V stamping.

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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Sorry for the delay in responding but I was searching for marine engine coding but was not successful.

73SC: Do you still have copies of your research on marine block ID's. If so could you share it.

I guess I'm not convinced that this is not the original block because the date codes on the block (L2762) and the heads (A 8 3 & A 14 3) are exactly as expected for an original assembly. If the heads had been re-used on a block after a few years the date codes would probably not have been this close together. This engine was only in this car from 1964 to 1978 (14 years) and then stored.

Also I was on a US Pontiac site and they said that engines starting with a '9' were for Canada. I also read that McKinnon engines (castings) were mainly used for trucks.

DonSSDD: If the GM Canada Docs you have show the 283 as 9V 224785. Then if you compare the two ID's 9V22 4785 and 9X22 97 there is a pattern. Could the 9V be for 283's and the 9X for 327's? What would the other numbers signify?

It would really be interesting to see what the engine ID would be on a 1964 Pontiac Parisienne with the original 327. Can anyone help with this request? Thanks

I am not really concerned about whether this is an all original engine but I am really interested in deciphering the engine code, whether it's a car, truck, marine or military engine.

Thanks in advance to all for sharing their knowledge. Whiskers



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I know there's a cost to it but wouldn't the GMVVS documents show the original engine stampings. I know they do for my 64 Beaumont.

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man, this just keeps going round and round.

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