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Old 12-05-2010, 05:26 PM
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GM Saginaw 4 speed ID help

I got a Saginaw for almost nothing that had great looking gears and synchros. I got it all cleaned up, painted, new gaskets and seals, etc. In the process of trying to find out what car it came out of (to get a new reverse light switch which doesn't appear on all models, I got immersed in trying to decipher what this thing came out of. I know the guy's son whose estate these parts were from had a Vega, which came with Saginaws, but this is a 3.50 first gear, and I keep reading people saying Vegas had the 3.11 first gear.

The weird parts came when I tried to decipher the trans code and partial VIN. The trans code is where the side cover gasket goes on, on a pad right at the bottom rear. It is R1P02, which should be R=Saginaw4speed, 1=year-1971/1981?, P=Sept.manufacture-month, 02=2nd-day-of-month.

Now I go to the partial vin at the other side of the main case. It reads 1A7273720. I CANNOT find this format of vin anywhere, especially not in 1971 or 1981! The A was the biggest stumbling block. That should be the body style. 1 means Chevrolet Division. Unless they put an upside down V in the vin, I cannot see this "A" being anything else. I found a body style for about every other letter of the alphabet but A! A-body GM's are Camaros and Chevelle's, but the F-body Camaros and Firebirds didn't seem to have an F in that position.

As far as I can tell it looks like a 1A7?7?720, the first ? mark appears to be a 2 with a little more curl on the top than the latter 2, and the second one looks more like a 3 than an 8, but it is pretty disfigured for either number. Still the A at the beginning throws me for a total loop with the body style. This appears to be a 1972-1980-ish format, as the 81 or so and later got more complicated vins and longer, I think camaros were a 1GNERxxxxx something or other.

Any help??? Canadian VIN maybe??? All the Vin years that I find that are close have the year wrong as best as I can decipher. In just about all possible formats that fit the first two digits, the 5th should be a letter, not a number. and the body style if it is denoted as 72, the only one starting with a 7 is "77" which would denote 2 door coupe and then more info such as pillar, hatchback, etc depending on year. This is perplexing me.

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Last edited by Chuck78; 12-05-2010 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:35 PM
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Here's a photo attached of the partial VIN. I gotta get off here and go straighten up the shop and finish freshening up the Saginaw and start chopping up the Camaro 4 speed shifter to make it work on this thing,a nd also chop up an old 3 speed universal truck truck shifter mounting bracket to make it work on this application and slam the shifter in front of the speedo cable real close to the shift fork arms, and to the driver's side more, so that I can have a floor shift in my panel truck with tons of floor area between the bucket seats to haul long pieces of lumber still, firewall to out the barn doors if needed! that was the perk to having a 3 on the tree, lots of floor space since the bench was gone!
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