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Thread: 1959 283 id?

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    Default 1959 283 id?

    Hello guys, I recently acquired a 283 SBC. I am trying to identify it as I was told it was a corvette engine. I found date code, block # and crank numbers also, can't seem to be able to find the letter for which plant it was forged in. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I hope I'm asking in the right forum, thanks.
    Crank casting # 3735236
    Block casting # 3756519
    Date code # D179
    From my research I have read the plug above the timing chain cover is a Flint block, not sure, thanks.

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    Member Bwmurph's Avatar
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    Look on the front passenger side pad on the block where the head bolts on- there will be a series of letters/numbers that you can de-code that will tell you where and when the motor was built as well as the horsepower. If it starts with an "F" it was built and Flint and MAY be a Corvette motor; if it starts with a "T" it was built in Tonawanda and is definitely NOT a Corvette motor. Also, get yourself a Corvette Black Book - a wealth of knowledge there.

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    Hey Bwmurph, the pad on the front passenger side is smooth as glass, it doesn't look like it's been filed or scraped off. I did get the CRANK #3735236. Looks like this engine missed the stamping process, thanks for the reply

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    Here is a Pic of the pad.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_20191111_180257-jpg   img_20191111_180247-jpg  

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    Either that or the block has been decked. I cant help you with the crank number. My guess is its going to be very hard to prove that it is in fact a Corvette motor. However, as long as you are up front with any future buyer you can now stamp the block with any thing you want from an early base motor to a late 283/290 motor (although some people would frown on that saying it could eventually end up in the wrong hands).

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    Yea, my dad ended up with this engine he passed and I got it from the estate. The story I got is that it was in a econo rail. It's bored 60 over and has some large domes on the pistons. I have a guy interested in buying it so just trying to learn as much about it as I can. Thank you for your time and advise.

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    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    The 3735236 crank was a forged 3.00 inch stroke crank used in 283 engines. I don't think you see any cast 283 cranks until up in the mid '60s. This casting number was used under part number 3760042 in 57-59 full size cars and 57-60 Corvettes with the solid lifter fuel injection engine. This same casting number was also used under part number 3742332 in almost everything else that had a 283 from 57-60 including trucks. There has to be some machining or balancing difference for there to be a different part number but I don't know what it would be unless it had a different balance for the FI heavier pistons. It may have been used past 1960 but I'm looking at my 1960 parts manual. The 519 block was used mid to late 58 through late 61. It can also be found in trucks. With the front oil gallery plug above the timing cover it should be a Flint block. It may have been an over the counter block so it wasn't stamped. I'm more likely to believe also that it was heavily decked along with the overbore. Sometime you can still see remnants of the pad stamp on a decked block but I don't see anything in your picture. So it could be a Corvette or it could be passenger car or truck. If you have a late April to early May 1959 Corvette a D179 (April 17, 1959) 519 block would be a great find. it would have to be properly stamped and duplicating the factory machining (broach) marks would be difficult to do where a good judge could not detect it. Once you have heads bolted on and try to bolt on the intake you will know if it's been decked. Over bored blocks won't bring the same money as a standard block but if you need that casting date you won't pass on this one.

    Tom


    NCRS 1360.............SACC 2082.............C1 Registry..............L81 Registry
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

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    Thanks Tom, amazing information, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Tom Bryant thanked for this post

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