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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lanett,AL,USA
Posts: 1

Me and a buddy of mine just bought a 1976 Camaro we think. Thats what it says on the driver side door, but the guy who sold us the car said"it a 1980." but its not.(This I do know so I think I'll go with the drivers door.) What I need to know is the Motor size. I don't know if its the stock or not and niether did the seller. The seller did tell us it's a 400 small Block with stock intake and 2bbl Carb. The only numbers I could find on the block were 044595 with the letters YH. This was on the Left side of the block on top. I want to put this car on the strip. I now run a Mazda Miata in the Low 9s through the 1/8th but love the sound of those V8s. If anyone has any info that would help it would be great.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 11:03 AM
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Location: Whitehouse, Texas, USA
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You can usually identify a 400 sb by the "freeze" plugs. It will have 3 in a row, on each side of the block. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 12:15 PM
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Location: Broomfield, Colorado
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I can't help with the engine code but I can tell you that 400's came with both 2 and 3 freeze plug configurations. I've had 2 and both had only 2 freeze plugs/side.

Regarding the year of the car - hopefully by now you've thought to look at the title and compare the vin there to that on the vehicle. Assuming they match then the year on the title should be the final word. If the paperwork is off then you have bigger problems than figuring out the model year!

'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 12:17 PM
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Not all 400SB have 3 freeze plugs. My 400 block for my 377 has 2 freeze plugs on each side. I think most of the 3 plug blocks were 4-bolts. Anyway, if it is a true 400 it should have a counterweighted balancer and flywheel/flexplate. Hope this helps.

69 SSRS Frame-off Resto
81 Z-28 377ci Drag Car
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 01:13 PM
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Location: Whitehouse, Texas, USA
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Good points! Why didn't I think of that? Guess I just "dinged" today. Duuh. Thanks.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 03:21 PM
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Location: camdenton,mo.usa
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check the 10th letter of the serial number if its a B its a 80 model I don't remeber what the number or letter for a 76 is but I think back then it would be a 6 for a 1976 you can also ck the built date on the door if it was after 8-75 its a 76 model etc.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 05:16 PM
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Location: Talking Rock, Ga. U.S.A.
Posts: 133

Reach down on the harmonic balancer, and follow the entire diameter of it. It should have a grooved out section on the inner back section, up next to the block and timing chain cover. The groove is about 3-4 " long, and at the very back edge of the balancer.All 400's have this style balancer, they are externally balanced.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Round Rock, Texas, USA
Posts: 8

I have a couple of books, decoding motor numbers for Chevys 1965-1975. I didn't find the casting number you listed nor the YH suffix. Probably cause it is a '76 or newer.

Does it have an aluminum ('74-'77) or rubber capped ('78-'81) back bumper?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 05:52 PM
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Location: Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 321

Here are the casting numbers I came up with.

I have to say that this block sounds to be a Pontiac 400. I have built many Firebirds and Goats and they use the YH code.

67 SS
70 Z/28
camaroguy is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 00, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hayward,Ca,USA
Posts: 287

It's better to go off the VIN on the dash rather than the door, doors are easily replaced. Is the instrument panel curved 76 or flat 80. Also as previously mentioned the bumpers are a dead give away. The Pontiac engine is a possibility. Good luck.

Steve R.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 00, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Hampton bays,N.Y. U.S.A.
Posts: 25


There should be a set of numbers on the rear-drivers side of the engine block,(right where the transmission bolts to the block ). If you post those numbers here, I can look them up in an A.E.R.A. reference manual.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old May 20th, 01, 05:15 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
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check the engine decoding.

wala you will know!!!!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old May 20th, 01, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 234

YH - when used by chevy is a 1961 145, a mid 60's 327, or a 1969 366 truck engine.

The engine in your car is probably a 400 Pontiac engine. This is nice to know because your transmission won't bolt onto any Chevy engines, and for your sanity, you should consider what you bought a firebird even though it's actually a camaro.

To figure the year - assuming it's a 1980 go to
or if you think it's a 1976
every other year works the same way.

Get the VIN off the dash, that's what the car legally is, regardless of what other year parts are bolted all over it. If this is a drag car with no dash, the vin will also be stamped on the firewall behind the heater cover and alongside the rocker panel. These 2 areas usually stay intact on a car and will be original.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old May 21st, 01, 02:04 PM
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Location: Kentwood, MI
Posts: 8,097

You can also tell the year of a car often by looking at the raised letters on the tail light and turn signal light lenses. They would say 76- or 80- (or whatever year) followed by a part number. Of course these can be interchanged, but if you have three or four with the same year, then it's safe to bet you've found the correct year.

BTW Pontiac V8's have the distributor in the front, Chevy's have it in the back. Chevy 400's do, in fact, all have that groove in the dampener.
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