We are advised that this number may be common to as many as 10, engines. For this reason, the casting number is of little use in identification at the individual engine level.
Small Block Chevy Engine Block casting and code identification
We are also advised by MerCruiser, that a photo of the block casting number is retained as part of the MerCruiser engine serial number documents, but cross-reference information is not available. Marine Surveyor's Lexicon.
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- Reference: Chevy Engine Block Casting Numbers.
Please report any issues with this site to Lexicon Webmaster. If replacement engines are installed, it is necessary for a MerCruiser dealer to submit the new serial numbers.
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If this is not done, MerCruiser records will only record to what distributor or dealer the engine was originally shipped, and when, but not associate the engine with a particular boat. On the side of some later blocks the last three digits of the block casting number are cast into the block, but these are difficult to see when the engine is in a vehicle. The block casting date indicates when the block itself was cast in the foundry.
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This date does not indicate when the motor was assembled and then later placed into the vehicle at the factory. The block casting date is usually found on the rear ledge of the block on the passenger side, but some later model blocks have the casting date on the driver's side of the rear ledge.
Some of the early big blocks made in the Sixties have the block casting date located on the passenger side of the block near the freeze plug holes. On these, if the early big block is in the car you will have to get under the motor to see the casting date.
Marine Surveyor's Lexicon
Do it while the car is on a lift. The casting dates look something like this "E 12 7". The "E" stands for the month of the year with "A" being the month of January, "B" being the month of February and so on thru the letters to December.
In this case the "E" stands for the month of May, the fifth month of the year and the fifth letter of the alphabet. The "12" stands for the 12th day of the month. The "7" is the year of the decade. Now unfortunately this could be '57, '67, '77, '87 or '97 depending on which part you are looking at. Some casting dates have both the year of the decade and the decade itself.
They look like this "E 12 77", meaning May 12, The fun starts when you have a casting date from the first nine days of the month that look like this "D 2 6".
Does that stand for April 2, or does it stand for April 26th and the year is missing or hard to see? You have to look closely and carefully to be sure.
For example, if the numbers read , then the engine was cast on January 7. Look at the remaining portion of the code. This will be two or three digits, and could include both numerals and letters; typically it is three capital letters. Find your suffix in a GM engine code reference.
For example, if your code is "CMP," then the reference indicates this is a engine with horsepower. It was built for a Pontiac Firebird and included the L98 automatic transmission and tuned port injection. If there is more than one entry for your suffix code, then use the engine block casting date code to identify the year of the engine and identify the correct suffix entry.
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This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us. Step 1 Locate the engine block code.
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