Block I.D. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 19, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Block I.D.

Hi all,

Is the stamping behind the alternator on the 350 the only info. I need to determine the block year?

Thanks for any info. you can provide. I am looking to go to a 383 stroker and I want to make sure I get the right

kit. The block is not original to the car.

Thanks

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 19, 09:38 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

The three letter engine application code will tell you the factory horsepower rating, displacement, year built, and what kind of trans was attached; as well as what car or truck it was installed into.

Ahead of that three letter code is a date code telling you what day it was built and a plant letter code telling you where it was assembled. The individual castings all have date codes cast into the block, heads, intake, water pump, distributor etc. That tell you when the parts where cast.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 19, 04:22 PM
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Re: Block I.D.

There is a block casting number on the back bellhousing flange on the drivers side.
What is that number? For example, something like 3970010.
If you go to the center of the block, behind the distributor, you should see a casting date, usually a letter followed by 2 or 3 numbers. For example D 23 9 would be a April 23, 1969 or 1979 date the block was cast. These will narrow it done to the year and application.
If the front pad is stamped post those also.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 19, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Block I.D.

Hi everyone,

Here's what was stamped on the block behind the alternator. K 04 12 TRH. I still have to get to the block casting no. in the back.

Thanks

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 03:17 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

According to this: Decoding small block Chevy engine suffix codes and stamped numbers: TJT - TXB TRH appears to be a 1972 350 out of a C20 or C30 truck with a manual transmission. 175HP with a 4 barrel carb. The assembly date of K 04 12 is probably K 04 72. I believe K would be Oct, the 04 would be the day of the month, and the 72 would be the year.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Block I.D.

Hi everyone,
Thank you for the info. Yes, I mistook the 7 for a 1. I have posted some pics..

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 08:12 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

K0412TRH

K - engine plant - McKinnon Industries (Canada)
0412 - April 12th when it was built
TRH -1972 Chevrolet Truck C20, C30 with manual trans - 350/175hp 4bbl

If this is true its most likely 3970010 casting, 4 bolt main

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 08:46 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

Probably a high nickel content block as well.

Last of the good SBC blocks to come out of GM.

Starting in 1974 through 1985 the SBC block became weaker due to thinning out the main webs (8 pounds difference in weight of two blocks. A 1972 can safely hold 450 horse, the smog era blocks only about 350. (they were lightened to improve C.A.F.E. fleet performance numbers).

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Block I.D.

I guess without magnafluxing for cracks and measuring there's no way to tell how big I can go?

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Last edited by RumRunner; Mar 24th, 19 at 09:27 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 19, 10:28 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RumRunner View Post
I guess without magnafluxing for cracks and measuring there's no way to tell how big I can go?
You should always sonic check (for core shift), and MagnaFlux for cracks, before doing any machine work. It really is cheaper in the long run.

Safe maximum overbore for any 350 block is 0.060" over bore. (0.030" over for a 400 SBC block). You shouldn't hit water with an over bore of 0.100", but the cylinder walls are so thin it will run hot, and probably will never properly seal without a full fill of cement.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 19, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Block I.D.

Big Dave and everyone,
Thanks for the info. I'll have to check the other numbers just for fun. But I guess with the info. provided a 383 stroker kit should work. If it is a high nickel block would that mean it is harder to machine, and more money to do the work?

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 19, 07:37 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

Heres a post on the CRG site from John Z about high nickel block myth:

1969 Z/28 DZ 302 overbore to .040? Piston Source?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 19, 08:00 AM
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Re: Block I.D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
Heres a post on the CRG site from John Z about high nickel block myth:

1969 Z/28 DZ 302 overbore to .040? Piston Source?
High nickel blocks are truck engine thing. Though many Canadian cars had them in the early sixties. Nickel content is added to reduce wear in a truck engine. It takes more effort to machine a nickel alloy (such as stainless steel) so speed and feeds are slower than raw cast iron. But it shouldn't add money to machine it.

With the introduction of small Japanese diesels (Isuzu, Hino, Yanmar) trucks dropped gas engines in the late sixties, and with it the practice of adding nickel to the molten cast iron. I used to get my 409 blocks out of C50 cab over trucks (dump trucks and garbage trucks) and used truck only salvage yards as source for my high nickel 327 blocks as well.

Because of a slightly cooler climate on the Canadian prairies the Canadian foundries still had a need of nickel to prevent blocks and heads from cracking so they continued after foundries in the US stopped, for a few more years.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 19, 01:30 PM
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Re: Block I.D.

When I worked at the Tonawanda Foundry in 1968 there was zero nickel alloy added to cylinder blocks. As a metallurgist, I also frequented and worked on QC projects with our Saginaw Gray Iron and St. Catherines plants. Neither of those plants used nickel as a gray iron alloy. The only alloying agent used to refine the microstructure and strengthen the cylinder (block and bearing cap) iron was ferro-chromium. Chrome serves to promote & stabilize the pearlite content of gray iron - it is actually a more powerful alloying agent then nickel for this purpose. This refinement strengthens the iron (typically raises the UTS from 25,000 psi to over 30,000 psi), but it can make it more prone to residual carbides at room temperature (particularly in thin sections) - so tool wear is increased when machining cylinder iron (from both carbide and pearlite presence in the microstructure).

From a practical viewpoint - many of the block patterns (part numbers) had multiple uses. For example, an 010 block (SBC) could be machined for use in a high performance or a low performance engine. It would be impossible for the foundry making the multi-use block casting to know in advance which application (high horsepower or low horsepower) every 010 casting would be machined into. So, if special nickel alloying of high performance block castings was tried (which it wasn't) it would be impossible to track the "high Nickel" blocks through the plant - they all would have the same part number and physically appear identical. This same example applies to 272 (BB), 512 (BB), etc.

As an aside, the 400 cubic inch small block casting was undoubtedly the most accurate SB casting that we made while I was with Chevrolet. It was the only block that had a one piece core that formed all 8 cylinder bores. So, there could not be any core shift from one bore to the next. All other blocks (SB and BB) were cast with 4 separate cores forming the 8 cylinder bores.
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