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Old 07-24-2014, 07:29 AM   #1
Bad Bird
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Default Not another engine stamping question...

Hi everyone,

I'm sure that people are probably sick of this question being asked, but...

Does my pad look okay? I don't have a feel for this really, but I'm worried.

Thanks very much guys.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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The car's birthday is November 23, 1968, according to the documentation that I have.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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What are you worried about?
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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Actually I love engine pads. Big block correct? While I do not see pronounced broach lines, I do not see milling swerl either. The fonts look ok. I'm no expert but I have looked at a few and I say ok. As we speak I'm involved in an intake gasket/minor detail of my engine. I was happy to find the correct head castings and dates under the valve covers and with the dissy out it is easy to see the back of the block for part number and date, and they are also good. I will take pictures before I put everything back.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
LeMans Pete
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I find engine stamp posts very interesting. And you took such a great picture. It seems, though, the more experience people have with them, the less they like to divulge.

My very novice, and worthless, opinion is that I think it is fine. 427/390HP. The "M" looks different than other Ms I've seen before, but I recently learned that Tonawanda had multiple versions of the same character.

I am assuming the faintness in half the 0, 8 and 4 is what concerns you?
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
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I see nothing that would give me any concern.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:43 PM   #7
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I like the II16 par of the engine stamp.

The first two characters are the capital letter I, representing the digit 1, the 3rd character is actually the digit 1.

I see nothing on this pad to give me cause for concern.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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The lack of obvious broach marks (surface texture when cut with a 'fresh' broach bar has little or no marks on it) and the "weak" numbers lead me to believe that this pad could have been one to experience a "grind-out" of the original number and a re-stamping to the proper number.

Whether this was done at the factory (there were many cases of the pad being hand-ground [relatively] smooth and re-numbered) or if it was done years later would be impossible to tell. From the appearance of the numbers, the eveness of number alignment, the use of numbers for letters and vice-versa, I tend to think that this could have been a factory grind-out.

The 'tell' for me is the strong and weak numbers in the VIN stamp. This is most likely due to an uneven pad surface, so that some letters went deeper into the metal than others. This could only occur with a "hand-machined" pad surface. But, the fonts, font size, layout and impressions look the same as the factory did them.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
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The pad's surface looks very typical, IMO. Factory grind outs leave very noticeable marks which are not evidenced in this pad.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMans Pete View Post
The pad's surface looks very typical, IMO. Factory grind outs leave very noticeable marks which are not evidenced in this pad.
Nothing similar to grind out.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your responses. I truly appreciate it! I've been hunting documentation on my car and I just got this funny feeling about the stamp pad (lack of pronounced broach marks, really). The letters do look the same as the 'good'/'correct' pads that I have seen.

The car's VIN is with 194379S708428, so this seems to be okay. Can I decode anything from the ID on the left?

Best regards,
Matt
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #12
Bad Bird
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Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your responses. I truly appreciate it! I've been hunting documentation on my car and I just got this funny feeling about the stamp pad (lack of pronounced broach marks, really). The letters do look the same as the 'good'/'correct' pads that I have seen.

The car's VIN is with 194379S708428, so this seems to be okay. Can I decode anything from the ID on the left?

Best regards,
Matt
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:30 PM   #13
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Looks fine to me as well. Stamps are in the right position for a BB (assembly date stamped with head off).

Someone mentioned uneven numbers. Couldn't that occur if the guy stamping it applied more pressure to one side than the other before whacking it?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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Looks fine to me as well. Stamps are in the right position for a BB (assembly date stamped with head off).

Someone mentioned uneven numbers. Couldn't that occur if the guy stamping it applied more pressure to one side than the other before whacking it?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Bird View Post
Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your responses. I truly appreciate it! I've been hunting documentation on my car and I just got this funny feeling about the stamp pad (lack of pronounced broach marks, really). The letters do look the same as the 'good'/'correct' pads that I have seen.

The car's VIN is with 194379S708428, so this seems to be okay. Can I decode anything from the ID on the left?

Best regards,
Matt
The pad surface is one of the most genuine looking I've seen in a photo. It is incorrect to think that all pads had pronounced linear grooves- those were caused once the 'teeth' of the broach started to wear.

T1116LM

T= Tonawanda engine plant

1116= November 16th assembly date

LM= 427/390 with 4 speed
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #16
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the vote of confidence. The assembly date that you mention above (16th November) gels well with the car's build date (23rd November). The car is indeed a 427/390 and is a 4 speed car.

I'll admit, the main reason that I was worried is because I'm that kind of person. I definitely worry too much.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:55 PM   #17
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I have a 69 427/390 that has never been out of the car and the pad looks exactly like that including the "M". You have the real deal including the finish and marking on the pad. That's a really nice pic and makes it easy to see.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:58 PM   #18
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I could care less if the numbers match at all. But, if it is important to you, then that is all that matters. We buy and build these cars for a whole lot of reasons and most of them only make sense to a very few. My 68's original engine was long gone when I got the car. Hell I just found out the radio in it may be out of a 76 Vette. My new engine for it is currently at a machine shop getting rebuilt and more power and I brought up the numbers matching comment to him and he just laughed and was telling me how he never used to charge customers to restamp a number on any engine, and that he has probably done a couple of hundred Vette engines and done this at customer request. My only cause for concern is if there is a crack in the numbers and oil is leaking out. Judging from your picture, it looks like you take good if not great care of your car. Will you dump it if the numbers are off a bit? Drive it and enjoy it for what it is.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaGrant View Post
I have a 69 427/390 that has never been out of the car and the pad looks exactly like that including the "M". You have the real deal including the finish and marking on the pad. That's a really nice pic and makes it easy to see.
Thanks! I tend to find that when people post their 'numbers', the photos tend to be out of focus. I don't know whether this is on purpose, or because it's not easy to take a photo of these little numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobzila View Post
I could care less if the numbers match at all. But, if it is important to you, then that is all that matters. We buy and build these cars for a whole lot of reasons and most of them only make sense to a very few. My 68's original engine was long gone when I got the car. Hell I just found out the radio in it may be out of a 76 Vette. My new engine for it is currently at a machine shop getting rebuilt and more power and I brought up the numbers matching comment to him and he just laughed and was telling me how he never used to charge customers to restamp a number on any engine, and that he has probably done a couple of hundred Vette engines and done this at customer request. My only cause for concern is if there is a crack in the numbers and oil is leaking out. Judging from your picture, it looks like you take good if not great care of your car. Will you dump it if the numbers are off a bit? Drive it and enjoy it for what it is.
I totally understand where you are coming from. I love my car, and am out in the shed tinkering away on it most nights. I was worried because I am a compulsive worrier (not good for my health, honestly). The honest truth is that if the numbers were off, I would not dump the car. A Daytona yellow/black leather big block 4 speed early '69 Corvette is my absolute favorite car and I have to pinch myself every day when I think about that after all these years I finally own one.

Last edited by Bad Bird; 07-24-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobzila View Post
I could care less if the numbers match at all. But, if it is important to you, then that is all that matters. We buy and build these cars for a whole lot of reasons and most of them only make sense to a very few. My 68's original engine was long gone when I got the car. Hell I just found out the radio in it may be out of a 76 Vette. My new engine for it is currently at a machine shop getting rebuilt and more power and I brought up the numbers matching comment to him and he just laughed and was telling me how he never used to charge customers to restamp a number on any engine, and that he has probably done a couple of hundred Vette engines and done this at customer request. My only cause for concern is if there is a crack in the numbers and oil is leaking out. Judging from your picture, it looks like you take good if not great care of your car. Will you dump it if the numbers are off a bit? Drive it and enjoy it for what it is.
I have four Corvettes in my garage right now and all except my 69 427 are not original. I like to build things but when you find something old that is original, it's nice to kind of keep it like that. My C6 Z06 has quite a few modifications and numbers don't matter much on that but when somebody takes care of a nice old 427 C3 you tend kind of look at it and not want to really run out and put a blower on it or really screw around. It's not the "numbers".
My alternator came from the local parts store and the water pump says 72.
If you surface the block you can easily tell and the "new" numbers really look bad... My point is that if it isn't real, you ruin the whole thing by trying to make it look real. You turn something that might be pretty nice into a phony and the problem is, the phony was obviously nice to begin with..... My original clock even works but I am not going to look for a numbers alternator or waterpump. The ones I have work just fine.
I like original but if it isn't, I also love to build real hotrods.

How many idiots have ruined perfectly good cars by trying to turn them into and sell them as something they are not when they probably could have got more money for them if they had left them alone?

Last edited by CanadaGrant; 07-25-2014 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:22 AM
 
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