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  1. #1
    Member MinnesotaPaul's Avatar
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    '59 Roman Red #920

    Default Need some help with engine codes - Block ID#'s

    I own a '59 that is clearly not a matching numbers car, but I haven't been able to figure out the engine. Let me give you the numbers and what I think they mean, and then if someone out there has more or better information.... well, great. I really would like nail this down.

    The engine code is: 3896944
    I think this is a late '66 or early '67 engine - a 283.
    It's got Covette valve covers (with the casting flaw) but I don't think they were installing 283's in 1966. So.... it would seem someone found a 283 and simply put Covette covers on it.

    Other numbers on the engine:
    L3693
    I don't have a clue about that.

    And lastly
    V0808DE
    I think this means
    V=Flint (engine built in Flint)
    08 - August
    08 - 8th day of the month
    DE - I have no idea, but this might be very helpful in determining where this engine came from.

    Can anyone shed any further light on this?
    thanks
    Paul

  2. #2
    Member Denney's Avatar
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    Gotta love them vettes in MD
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    Corvette(s)
    66 Cpe, 66 BB Cnv, 96 GS Cnv, 02 EB Cpe

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaPaul
    The engine code is: 3896944
    I think this is a late '66 or early '67 engine - a 283.

    V0808DE
    I think this means
    V=Flint (engine built in Flint)
    08 - August
    08 - 8th day of the month
    DE - I have no idea, but this might be very helpful in determining where this engine came from.
    You are correct, engine code (3896944) was used for 1967 283 ci/195hp 2 bolt main, Passenger Cars & Chevelles
    V is for Flint
    August 8th
    "DE" Code used for 65-67 283 ci, 195hp, 2-Bbl, Powerglide, Chevelle and El Camino applications

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santa Barbara CA
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    468
    Corvette(s)
    63 roadster project

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaPaul

    The engine code is: 3896944

    Other numbers on the engine:
    L3693

    And lastly
    V0808DE
    I think this means
    V=Flint (engine built in Flint)
    08 - August
    08 - 8th day of the month
    DE - I have no idea, but this might be very helpful in determining where this engine came from.

    Can anyone shed any further light on this?
    thanks
    Paul
    From my reference, the 3896944 casting was produced in the 62-67 timeframe.

    The date code L3693 does not seem correct, could you have copied it wrong? ... a similar 4 to 5-character coding format was used by the Tonawanda foundry, but should be in the "month letter, day of the month, 2-digit year" format. Other formats used "month letter, day of the month, 2nd digit of year". Your code fits neither format.

    You are correct about stamping; "DE" is a 195hp 283 ci block used in Chevelle, Monte Carlo, El Camino, and Nova, with Powerglide tranny.

  4. #4
    Member MinnesotaPaul's Avatar
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    '59 Roman Red #920

    Default

    Thanks, both of you, for your help. The "DE" thing was one I couldn't figure out. I'll check again on the "L" date code. (The car is in storage right now.)

    So here's another question. The block is a 283. The DE code says it only made 195 HP, but can I assume if I have the correct 4-barrel Corvette carb. on the car it's really putting out 230 HP? (My car is a 4 speed, not a powerglide, BTW).

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santa Barbara CA
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    63 roadster project

    Default

    My recollection, kinda hazy after all these years, is that the old "PowerPack" addition of a 4-barrel and dual exhaust added about 25 horses. Chances are that different heads and/or perhaps pistons or cam would be required to make that much difference.

    Do you have the casting number on the heads? (valve cover has to be removed to see it)

  6. #6
    Member vettefinderjim's Avatar
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    Mentone, Ca
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    Corvette(s)
    orginal owner 77

    Default base motor

    Your assumption is correct. The base Corvette motor was a 283 with flat top pistons, 9:25 to 1 compression and a 4 barell carb. The 195hp passanger engine had the same bottom end, but a 2 barell and single exhaust. The cylinder head in 59 was a power pack type with a 1.72 intake valve. By 67, the 195hp Chevelle / passanger engine was using the same design and size head, but different part number. Camshaft was a hydralic unit.

    The old 283 is a great motor and will take what ever mods you want to give to it for increased performance.
    enjoying the hobby since 1969

    http://www.vettefinderjim.com

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