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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the burning need to understand things and it is frustrating when I can’t find basic history information.
My question that I have right now, for anyone who is in the know is, did Tonawanda blocks ever have Flint parts on the and vice versa?
In other words, in books like Chevy by the numbers, Chevy small block origination is described in this way, “some blocks came From Flint and Tonawanda made all the own castings”, what does that mean? How is a motor assembled before being put in a car? Where was the motor assembled, and did it have random parts on it, did a Tonawanda motor only have Tonawanda castings on it, from heads, to exhaust manifolds, to the intake. And the same question for the flint plant. Did a train deliver a pile of parts some place and any castings were used to assemble an engine?
If my 1968 Camaro was from Norwood Would it more likely have an engine from Flint or Tonawanda?
How do you know if a part is from flint or Tonawanda? Is all this information secretes? Can anyone point me in the direction of understanding the history of my car and its parts and not just a casting number designation?
I would love to know what all the other casting markings are on my head and block are besides just the main number.
Metal composition and benefits would be nice to know as well.
If I am going to get the mother lode I would love to know were all that information is about, carburetor jetting and ignition timing advancements and cam theory that the engineers were using to design my car to get its different power curves and the benefits of each.
Does anyone have a direction I can pursue? I am very interested in the actual history and the how.
Sean
 

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Pasts never traveled from one foundary to another, ie a flint cast block would not be sent to tonowanda for assembly there and vis versa. All big blocks came from Tonowanda. Each foundary had their own sand molds for casting parts. For the most part cast parts are identical from plant to plant. A 3970010 block casting from flint is identical to one from Tonowanda, however the machining of the casting may or may not be the same. A casting number is a reference back to an engineering document that shows the specifications and requirements of the part, nothing more.

In the case of small blocks Flint machined an 1/8" port in the front of the block at about the 10 oclock position from the centelrine of the cam bearing that allows access into the cam oiling gallery, Tonowanda did not. That is the most obviouos visual difference between a flint block and a Tonowanda block.

Flint dealt mostly with the higher performance engines and produces around 5000 engines a day for all chevrolet car lines, while Tonowanda dealt with the lower performance engines and some of the higher HP engines, like the L48s. Probably 3/4 or more of all Camaro engines came from the Tonowanda plant.
 
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