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Old 03-14-2010, 08:42 PM
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Help Identifying Chevy Small Block

Hello... My father and I have been searching high and low on the internet trying to find out what small block is in his 1963 Chevy Nova II Wagon. We know it's not the original because the car originally came with a straight 6, but the car was redone before my dad had bought it.

We have the block number from the back of the block by the bellhousing, and we also have the engine code from the front ledge in front of the passenger side cylinder head.

Block Number: 3790721

It comes back as a 1962-1964 283ci ***OR*** 1965-1966 327ci

The Engine code is the confusing one due to the 2nd digit being an "I" instead of a number like it shows it's supposed to be on all the messageboards we've read. We've looked very closely and it's definately an "I" and not a 1. Dad thought maybe it was for Fuel Injection The "F" is easy and stands for Flint. The second digit, If it were a 1, then the month would be 12th month and the 4th day, but if that digit is an I, then the month would be the 2nd month and the 4th day.

Casting Number: FI204DE

Every time I look for the DE part of that Engine Code, it comes up as a different year. 1958, 1962, 1964, 1968. We're assuming since the Block Number says it's is a 62-64, then the Engine Code would also keep the year in the 62-64 range, which also keeps it in the 283ci range.

At one point, we were told it was a 327, but a family friend who rebuilds old cars looked at the harmonic balancer and said 283 right away because of it being thinner and smaller. I suppose the only correct way would be to pull the heads off and measure the bore, but that's not happening.


Any insight into that second digit being an "I" would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any info.



On a side note, we were also messing with the one-wheel-wonder rear axle trying to figure out the ratio. Since it's not a posi, we lifted the passenger side rear tire off the ground and spun it from 12 o'clock to 12 o'clock and the driveshaft spun just a hair over 1.5 times. I'm pretty sure it's not a 1.50 gear ratio. I'm assuming you multiply that by 2 and get a 3.00, or since it was a hair over, a 3.08 ratio. Is this correct?



Here are some pics if anyone wants to check them out

http://s1038.photobucket.com/home/Li...agon/allalbums







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Last edited by rokkaholik; 03-15-2010 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:54 PM
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It`s a 283, since in the DE code, only two small blocks were avalible in that suffix code, the 283 and the 307 so that takes 327 out of the game.
Look on the back of the block where the bellhousing bolts up to, You`ll find something that looks like this example:
J 10 5 Which breaks down like this:
J - The Month - 10th Letter so 10th month, October
10 - The date of that month 10th of October
5 - The year - whichever years that block was casted according to the casting number.
Quick Edit - I don`t know why this comes up as often as it does, but you cannot ID a small block chevy by the balancer. All internally balanced small blocks from 262 to 350 were all internally balanced so the balancers interchange. The only one that doesn`t interchange and can be identified by the balancer is the 400 small block because it`s externally balanced and the balancer has a notch cut out of the counter weight.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure on the balancer thing either but I do know that the 400 was the only externally balanced small block. Just from experience though, I usually see the smaller or thinner balancers on the smaller displacement engines where as the 327's and 350's I've worked on are thicker.

Combining the block number with the casting number we're at least stuck in the 62-64 range though and also a 283, so that's good. We're still not sure on that 2nd digit of the casting number
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:39 PM
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glad you got it pinpointed.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:55 PM
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Just so you know, most any circle track that has any rules at all has a P&G cubic inch tester at the track. For a nominal fee, you can have a track official check the cubic inches of your motor by just backing off the rockers on one cylinder and removing the spark plug.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:10 AM
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That's some good info Tech... Thanks
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:48 AM
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For a '62-'64 283 with the "DE" code I come up with 1964 Chevy II w/Powerglide. The Chevy II block would have the oil filter pad about 2" higher in the block than any other 283 and the clutch pivot hole will also be in a different location so that should be easy to verify.

The other listings I found for a "DE" 283 were for a '65 Chevelle and '58-'59 full size. All were 2 Bbls. with PG. This is all from the October 1, 1966 issue of the "CHEVROLET PARTS, Passenger Illustration and Special Information Catalog" an official Chevrolet publication.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:17 PM
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Thanks for that added info Hippie! I knew I asked the right people in the right place!


Anyone have a clue as to why that second digit is a letter I instead of a number 1?
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:25 PM
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Pics and a link to more added to the first post
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokkaholik
Thanks for that added info Hippie! I knew I asked the right people in the right place!


Anyone have a clue as to why that second digit is a letter I instead of a number 1?
Nice car!

The numbers were hand stamped, it's possible someone couldn't find the "1" so the grabbed an "I" or they got switched in the set. Probably a Monday morning or Friday afternoon engine.
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