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Question about "CE" stamped engines.

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Old 02-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #1
VetteZr
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Default Question about "CE" stamped engines.

I am currently rebuilding my 65, my car was not an engine numbers matching car, I know that GM used to stamp their counter exchange engines with a CE on the numbers pad, my questions are 1. when did GM start using the counter exchange stamping on the number pad & 2. was it machine stamped or were they hand stamped, ie: crooked, uneven stampings, and finally if this was used in 65, could someone post a photo of a properly stamped engine. My reason for this is that I have been offered a fresh engine which is date correct for my car with a CE stamp at an attractive price & if it is properly stamped, I want to buy it. Thank you for any help offered.
Don
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by VetteZr View Post
I am currently rebuilding my 65, my car was not an engine numbers matching car, I know that GM used to stamp their counter exchange engines with a CE on the numbers pad, my questions are 1. when did GM start using the counter exchange stamping on the number pad & 2. was it machine stamped or were they hand stamped, ie: crooked, uneven stampings, and finally if this was used in 65, could someone post a photo of a properly stamped engine. My reason for this is that I have been offered a fresh engine which is date correct for my car with a CE stamp at an attractive price & if it is properly stamped, I want to buy it. Thank you for any help offered.
Don
Still would be NOM. I would say buy it if you want it at a decent price. But I would not pay any extra for it because it is a CE engine. In 2010, I bought mine with small journal crank and rods for 800.00. It was freshly machined (decked too) with new cam bearings plus plugs. The block was already magnifluxed. I remember seeing the numbers and doing some research on it. It was one out of a police car or something like that from the engine stamp numbers I have seen. Been so long ago...

Really it comes down to what done to the fresh engine. I think the program was around in 65.

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Old 02-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #3
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The CE engine program was started in 1967 to track engine warranty costs. CE stands for "Chevrolet engine".

Service replacement short blocks were unstamped.

CE engines had a series of numbers after the CE stamp. The series of numbers ID'd the engine batch run. There was more than one series of numbers.

A CE engine will have the wrong block casting number, a wrong date and a wrong engine code number. That means the only thing you'll have correct is the machined surface and a chance to screw up when you apply the car serial number.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Still a good engine if you want to go with a 327. Maybe I am biased...
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
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The L79 shortblock ( equipped with 962 350/350 cam), I bought over the counter at Chev parts in 1976 is stamped with a CE number.

The block was cast in 1970, and according to the number on the pad, was assembled in 1974, from memory.

It is a small journal block.

Doug

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Old 02-15-2017, 10:46 AM   #6
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Here is a good article on this subject that shows some pictures of the stamps.

http://chevellestuff.net/qd/engine_stamp_numbers.htm
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Years ago I sent Noland Adams a letter about a 67 BB car with a CE engine. I gave him all of the numbers on the engine and the car. He sent back a long letter that explained how everything indicated that the engine may well have been replaced on the production line and that it really was the engine that the car was delivered with. Obviously it is not possible to prove that was the case, but I gained a new appreciation for the term "numbers matching." I also gained a real appreciation for what kind of guy Noland was. If the engine you are looking at is a good runner, buy it and don't worry about the numbers.

Doc

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Old 02-15-2017, 10:53 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the help, it is appreciated.
Don





Quote:
Originally Posted by VetteZr View Post
I am currently rebuilding my 65, my car was not an engine numbers matching car, I know that GM used to stamp their counter exchange engines with a CE on the numbers pad, my questions are 1. when did GM start using the counter exchange stamping on the number pad & 2. was it machine stamped or were they hand stamped, ie: crooked, uneven stampings, and finally if this was used in 65, could someone post a photo of a properly stamped engine. My reason for this is that I have been offered a fresh engine which is date correct for my car with a CE stamp at an attractive price & if it is properly stamped, I want to buy it. Thank you for any help offered.
Don
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:06 AM   #9
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This link is to a very informative site, thanks.


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Originally Posted by provette67 View Post
Here is a good article on this subject that shows some pictures of the stamps.

http://chevellestuff.net/qd/engine_stamp_numbers.htm
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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I have seen some '64 L84 and '66 BB engines that had an engine assembly date and suffix stamped, but no VIN. I was told those were probably over the counter replacements.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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I have seen some '64 L84 and '66 BB engines that had an engine assembly date and suffix stamped, but no VIN. I was told those were probably over the counter replacements.
That's correct!
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:57 PM   #12
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After the 5/50 powertrain warranty program ran out, Chevy had many surplus CE stamped engines left over. They were sold to dealers for giveaway prices and the dealers in turn sold them over the counter for whatever the retail customer wanted to do with them.

That's why there were short blocks stamped CE and some not.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelj View Post
I have seen some '64 L84 and '66 BB engines that had an engine assembly date and suffix stamped, but no VIN. I was told those were probably over the counter replacements.
That would be correct for new engine assemblies (not short blocks) that were shipped to dealers or customers during the model year.

Short blocks (partial engine assy's) would not have any stamping at all until around mid or late 1967.

Quite a few new complete 427 425 HP engines were sold to folks that raced boats around that 1966 time period. Those engines would have the Flint or Tonawanda assy stamp.

Here's a pic of a new 63 340 HP that was shipped to someone that installed it in a Ferreri but never driven. The engine was painted Ferrari grey.

After 67 or 68, all replacement partial/short block engines were stamped with the CE sequence, as others have mentioned.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post


After 67 or 68, all replacement partial/short block engines were stamped with the CE sequence, as others have mentioned.
What about partial/short block engines that weren't covered under the CE, 5/50 program?

I have a friend that bought a new crate 327/365, carb to pan to flywheel and I don't think it had any stamps of any kind on it. Almost $600 as I recall. The engine is still in his '56 two ten.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
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What about partial/short block engines that weren't covered under the CE, 5/50 program?

I have a friend that bought a new crate 327/365, carb to pan to flywheel and I don't think it had any stamps of any kind on it. Almost $600 as I recall. The engine is still in his '56 two ten.
The 5/50 warranty didn't have anything to do with the CE stamp for complete engines. As far as I remember, all complete engine assemblies had the source (Flint/Tonawanda) and date stamped on the pad even back in the early 60's. The parts warehouse didn't have two different part numbers for engines for warranty or customer purchase through the parts system. They were all the same, warranty or service.
If they were different, there would have been two different part numbers in the parts book for each application.

I've never seen a complete engine assembly that didn't have the (Flint/Tonawanda) assembly stamp with date and suffix but anything is possible.

The CE stamp was for warranty on partial engines for service. If someone bought a new 327 short block and put it in their race car, it would have a GM warranty for a certain period of time. (I don't remembert time)

Last edited by Critter1; 02-15-2017 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post

The CE stamp was for warranty on partial engines for service. If someone bought a new 327 short block and put it in their race car, it would have a GM warranty for a certain period of time. (I don't remembert time)
You remember this different than I do. The CE program didn't start until after the 5/50 powertrain warranty went in to effect in 1967. Short blocks/fitted blocks before that didn't have a code stamp. The service an CE programs were two different programs.

That's to the best of my memory and experience buying a few of them.

I'm sure you remember when Chevrolet cleaned out their warehouses of all the leftover CE engine inventory when the program ran it's course and the dealers were selling them dirt cheap and like hot cakes?
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
You remember this different than I do. The CE program didn't start until after the 5/50 powertrain warranty went in to effect in 1967. Short blocks/fitted blocks before that didn't have a code stamp. The service an CE programs were two different programs.

That's to the best of my memory and experience buying a few of them.

I'm sure you remember when Chevrolet cleaned out their warehouses of all the leftover CE engine inventory when the program ran it's course and the dealers were selling them dirt cheap and like hot cakes?
Yes, that's what I said. I probably said it in a confusing way though. The CE stamps didn't begin until around 67 or 68. Short blocks prior to that had blank pads.

Only complete engine assy's had a stamp before 67 and that was the Flint/Tonawanda stamp.

Short blocks started showing up with CE stamps around 67-68, some a little later.

Yes, I remember when GM started cleaning house and sold older short blocks at bargain prices around 1973 or 74. I still have the HOTLINE paperwork that was sent to dealer parts dept's. I still have that one here somewhere. The one below was a 7 page HOTLINE for the LS7 engine assy as an example.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VetteZr View Post
was it machine stamped or were they hand stamped, ie: crooked, uneven stampings
FWIW, Here's a picture of the deck stamp pad on a 427, casting #3963512, date coded L5 9 (Dec. 5 1969) and the starter mount pad stamp is T129 (Tonawanda, Dec. 1969)

It came in a 1969 L71 coupe and presumably is a warranty replacement but, unfortunately, I have no proof of this.

I too would welcome any corrections or additional info regarding this topic.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossedUp View Post
FWIW, Here's a picture of the deck stamp pad on a 427, casting #3963512, date coded L5 9 (Dec. 5 1969) and the starter mount pad stamp is T129 (Tonawanda, Dec. 1969)

It came in a 1969 L71 coupe and presumably is a warranty replacement but, unfortunately, I have no proof of this.

I too would welcome any corrections or additional info regarding this topic.
If your engine was a warranty Short block installed by the dealer it would be dated after your car was built but all other parts would be the ones that would have been taken off the original motor as they would be transferred to the new short block. That said no matter who replaced it and for what reason will not make the Corvette worth more than any other non original motor.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post
Yes, that's what I said. I probably said it in a confusing way though. The CE stamps didn't begin until around 67 or 68. Short blocks prior to that had blank pads.

Only complete engine assy's had a stamp before 67 and that was the Flint/Tonawanda stamp.

Short blocks started showing up with CE stamps around 67-68, some a little later.

Yes, I remember when GM started cleaning house and sold older short blocks at bargain prices around 1973 or 74. I still have the HOTLINE paperwork that was sent to dealer parts dept's. I still have that one here somewhere. The one below was a 7 page HOTLINE for the LS7 engine assy as an example.
Were the L-88 motors also for sale at that time or were they sold later? I remember that a bunch were sold to the company that was making the Excalibur that was on a Corvette frame. I believe they were made in the 80'S.

Last edited by kenba; 02-16-2017 at 11:05 AM.
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