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Old 12-26-2003, 02:00 AM
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Red face engine id

a little while back I read somewhere here about a guy who found a car of worth and checked out the numbers to see if everything matched, but I forgot where I read it. anywho, i told my friend about this and he said it is impossible to tell if an engine is the actual engine that came with the car, only the type and displacement can be determined. i say he is wrong. now, if I'm correct,(am I?) how is this done? i have a windsor and the best I can come up with is that it came from a full sized ford (a station wagon I think). I'm sure the engine is totally nothing special and of no real value but a year would be nice before i tear into it. in time I think I can decode it but what I'm really interested in if it's possible to tell if an engine is the actual engine that rolled out of the factory in a given car and does this really matter to the collectors and restorers? I hope I put this in the correct forum because it's really not a technical question. thank you everyone in advance.

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Old 12-26-2003, 02:26 AM
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Chevrolet stamped a code on the block`s deck that matched up with the VIN on the dash, if the numbers matched then it`s considered to be a numbers matching vehicle, if all the car companies didn`t do this than we could put any engine in any vehicle and say it was a original and no classic cars would be of any value, your friend should realize this, and I`m sure he`s heard the term more than once "numbers matching original"
I`m not sure how Ford or Dodge went about doing it, but I`m sure there way is somewhat similiar. since Chevy did this on the blocks deck, if the block was decked the numbers were gone so there was no real way of knowing, unless someone restamped it, which was a case of a big topic here a while back, but it`s almost impossible to restamp a block and do it the way the factory did it and it not be obvious it was restamped.
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Old 12-26-2003, 03:09 AM
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thanks doublevision. if I had said it as elegantly as you just explained, I would have saved 40 minutes of arguing. i see by other posts you sure know your engines.
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Old 12-26-2003, 04:52 AM
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It is my belief that you can determine a range of years, size and whether it was a 4 bolt main or 2 bolt main from the numbers but I don't think the VIN and engine casting numbers can tell if the block in a car or truck is the EXACT block. That is I think if a person searched long enough he could find an engine close enough to be considered a numbers matching car. Heck just the problems associated with assembly line production technique would suggest if a certain engine wasn't ready for a certain car that they would stop a production line to fix that engine just doesn't seem reasonable to me. They would just stick an engine it and send her on out. This is just what I think. How about it..Those of knowledge please let us hear from you.
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Old 12-26-2003, 06:32 AM
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After working in the assembly plant for 20 years I think that some folks belive that the vin. number is the "first" number. Not really, the vin comes from different numbers incorporated from major component assembly numbers.

If you have not seen an assembly line it is quite remarkable. As with rivers there are a lot of streams to feed the river. So goes an assembly line with sub-lines.

In the 50's and 60's there were ways of stamping numbers on the assembly lines to comprise the numbers for the major components. With the techniques of today, the introduction of the computer generated sequencing, the numbers can be compiled ahead of time so that the vehicle being built is "complete" before it is even started.

Most vehicles are built in "blocks" (vehicles with similar main components) and can be built with the number the vehicle was given because of the set-up of the scheduling. Scheduling can be done well in advance of the "build date".

So much, that when we ordered a new truck built at my plant we could find out when it would be built and we could follow it down the line and watch it.

If you ever get a chance to see an assembly line in action its worth the trip.

So you can, as DoubleVision said, track a motor by the vin number because that samped motor number is a part of the vin number. This is eaiser with late model vehilces

Pappy
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Old 12-26-2003, 06:22 PM
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So Pappy you can definately say that after an engine met up with the frame if they found a problem with an engine they couldn't easily fix they stopped the line to fix that casting so it would still match with the frame vin? I know now it would be possible to change them on the fly but in the 60s and 70s did they always make the VINs match?
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Old 12-29-2003, 05:46 AM
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Sorry I'm late to get back

Sorry to get back to this so late. My grandand kids came in and we had our Christmas meal and all. So please forgive the late responds.

As the engines are produced they are tested at the engine assembly plant. If there is a major problem with the engine at assembly, they at the engine plant would take care of the problem. Please remember, when you are talking about mass production assembly problems can be taken care of in a repair station at each assembly plant.

So tested (pre-started and run) engines arrive at the assembly plant and are sequenced in the "build line-up" by the schedule, or oder of the units to be built.

Should there be a problem on the assembly line, there is two areas where they are dealt with. At Flint assembly,(I would guess at other plant too) we had at the end of the line a "Road Test "area. Somewhat like a dyno but only to test the actual components. This is where the vehicle is run in gear to make sure that the transmission is working properly and to test the braking system.

Just a note, in another post a question was asked about assembly plants running the engines to break cams in. Like I said above, they (engines) are tested at the engine plants and after the "Fill station " on the assembly line the engines are started and allowed to run to the "Road Test" area.

Should a truck have a problem that is not major component, the truck is then sent over to an area called "Light Repair". Also if there is a transmission problem, engine, rear end, etc. the truck would be sent to "Heavy Repair". After the truck is repaired it goes to "Final Inspection" and any paperwork (repair ticket) goes with the truck.

Are there errors? Of course there is but, the people I worked with were very concerned with their quality of work. If there was a mistake made we would try to do our best to correct it.

I will not get into the labor relations topic here. That is another topic altogether/

So after going a long way to get there, I would have to say the engines that were installed at the plant would match the engine code in the vin number. Please remember that when a vehicle went to heavy repair, that it would stay there until it was repaired properly.

I hope that this has helped a little in understanding how they build vehicles on the line. Like I said before, it is quite remarkable how it all goes together. From bare frames, floor pans, painted, assembled and driving of the line at the back door.

Pappy
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:30 PM
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thanks Pappy, better late then never. your info helped me out a lot.
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:47 PM
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Goose , What type engine are you talking about ? Ford/Chevy ? I think I saw something saying windsor to me that says Ford. If it is a Ford engine you can decode the numbers as to what year and size and what car ( falcon/fairlane ,etc ) . If it is a Ford engine take a look here.

http://raceabilene.com/kelly/hotrod/engine.html
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:07 PM
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thanks ranchero, yes it was a ford. excellent site you recommended. thanks again
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