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Old 02-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
sokoloka
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Default 1972 SBC Cylinder Head Identification

Took the valve covers off last night to get an idea of what I'm working with while I start putting together the plan for rebuilding my stock 350.

The numbers I read off the heads were the following:
8998998
R133

Searching for the 8998998 casting number around the internet hasn't really provided much information besides telling me that I might be confusing 8's with 3's.

If it helps at all, my VIN is 1z37k2s525183. Block is numbers matching.

Which brings me to my second question: when I purchased the vehicle in August I was told the engine had new tires and a recent rebuild. Seeing as the tires are 10 years old, I'm wondering if the recent rebuild referred to putting on an Edelbrock Performer intake and spraying everything in the engine compartment hugger orange.

That being said, I'd like to do at least a top end rebuild on the block and make the motor peppier and more bulletproof.

Any suggestions on a good SBC build? Should I be looking to increase compression slightly? What are some good aluminum heads to look for?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
Easy Mike
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My NCRS Specifications Guide says the 3998993 heads may have been used on the 72 base engine cars.

R133 is a screwy casting date. The final 3 indicates 1973. There is no month for R. Are you sure it's a R?

What are the numbers on the pad on the block at the front of the right head? The engine assembly date and identification number will be stamped there along with the VIN derivitive provided the block was not decked during the rebuild.


Last edited by Easy Mike; 02-21-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:32 AM   #3
ZBRA
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If you aren't worried about numbers matching, don't bother with an old small block. Get a late model Vortec block with the plastic timing cover and one piece rear main seal. Put a set of flat top pistons with valve reliefs like what came in the L98, ZZ4 and LT1 (92-97 LT1 that is), pick a good set of heads, and you will have a good solid motor.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Mike View Post
What are the numbers on the pad on the block at the front of the right head? The engine assembly date and identification number will be stamped there along with the VIN derivitive provided the block was not decked during the rebuild
Mike,

Here are the numbers on the engine pad:
V062ICKX
12S525183

Block casting number at the back:
3970014

Pulled off the other valve cover and saw the same 3998993 head casting number, but only the number "21" on the right head.

Forgot to check the R133 again before I left the garage...!

Shed any additional light?
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloka View Post
Mike,

Here are the numbers on the engine pad:
V062ICKX
12S525183

Block casting number at the back:
3970014

Pulled off the other valve cover and saw the same 3998993 head casting number, but only the number "21" on the right head.

Forgot to check the R133 again before I left the garage...!

Shed any additional light?
My Black Book shows the CKX suffix as 350ci, 200hp, at (auto trans) V is the St Louis engine plant, and 0621 would be June 21st assembly date.

The 3970014 casting number shows 350ci, 200hp, 255hp, lp (late production) presumably for the 255 hp?

The head casting number 3998993 shows 350ci, 200hp, uu (uncertain usage)

The VIN derivative of S525183 would seem to indicate a late production car as the last VIN was S527004.

From what I can see, your engine seems to have the correct engine numbers.


Pete
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBRA View Post
If you aren't worried about numbers matching, don't bother with an old small block. Get a late model Vortec block with the plastic timing cover and one piece rear main seal. Put a set of flat top pistons with valve reliefs like what came in the L98, ZZ4 and LT1 (92-97 LT1 that is), pick a good set of heads, and you will have a good solid motor.
I agree ... but no real need to change heads or pistons.

Year One sells a motor based on '96-up iron head vortec roller (vin code "R" aka L31) & guaranteed to make at least 400hp&tq. Still has dished pistons, but vortecs are mildly ported w/ ~ .525" valvelift (LT4 hotcam w/ 1.6 rockers). Lotsa folks run that piece.

OE vortec pistons have very desirable thin metric ringpak: 1.5mm, 1.5mm, 3mm. Most OE code R motors do Not have a completed mech fuel pump boss; can be finished at local shop.

http://www.yearone.com/serverfiles/f...archid=5194662

But seems OP has all the OE numbered bits ... perhaps that rebuild should be examined closely before adding much. On the other hand, maybe it's been 10 yrs but very few miles since tires & rebuild.

OE base motor has dished pistons. A good match to those are the L98 aka ZZ4 alum heads. Their 58cc chambers mate well w/ dish pistons. Common 64cc chamber with dish piston barely make 9:1 scr; if that.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:23 AM   #7
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If it performs OK, doesn't leak or burn oil, why not just leave it alone? You can probably get significantly more power by recurving the distributor and tuning up the carb. Why not try that first (for almost no money) and see how you like it before digging into the "money pit"?
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for all the information above. Much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
If it performs OK, doesn't leak or burn oil, why not just leave it alone? You can probably get significantly more power by recurving the distributor and tuning up the carb. Why not try that first (for almost no money) and see how you like it before digging into the "money pit"?
Truth be told, I bought the car so I could have something to tinker with and dump a little money into. Before I bought the vette, I was out test driving everything new under the sun from C6's to M3's but picked the C3 so I could play with all the wrenches I have. Been frustrating at times but overall totally worth it for me.

On that note, one thing that I've always wanted to do is blueprint and build an engine. Yes the engine in my vette works ok, but based on the rest of the "work" I've found going through the car, none of the previous owners were as mechanically inclined as they thought they were. Giving the 350 a once over and bumping up the performance isn't something I'd mind doing... at least for now!

Any of you gents have recommended build specs for pepping up the factory build?
I was thinking something along the lines of aluminum heads, intake manifold, camshaft, and whatever else you guys may recommend. Picking up an MSD distributor and ignition box this week as well.

Should upping the compression ratio be my main focus?
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloka View Post
Picking up an MSD distributor and ignition box this week as well.

Should upping the compression ratio be my main focus?
yes compression yes

if your OE dist-points-coil are in good condition & tune ... an msd box etc ain't gonna do much at all. If & when msd breaks, you'll need prayer plus some to find a local who Might can fix it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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I only worked on things because I had to. You know, lack of money as a new driver and buying older cheap cars that have problems. So you have to do things your self. Then throw in the times you have gotten screwed by every different type of professional you hired to help you. I learned if you want something done right you have to do it your self or befriend people in every trade under the sun.
Reading all kinds of things about the subject helps, but you also need to find a mentor. I can learn more from a guy showing me the easy way to do something than muddling through it alone.
Engines are an air pump. So the more air you can run through it the more power it will make. Everything is interrelated and it is only as strong as its weakest link or bottle neck. No one item like a MSD box, bigger carb, bigger intake, bigger heads, more compression, bigger cam, headers, and big exhaust will help.

Not every add telling you that this item adds 50 hp is telling you the truth.

All that being said what are you really after other than the statement of you would like to blue print a motor? All of my motors since about 1980 have been balanced and the blocks blue printed. Blue printed just means the act of machining, boring, milling everything perfectly square and aligned like it was on the engineers drawing board. The factories just make things close enough and with time, heat, stress they bend and warp.

My question is: are you pulling the engine out?. Because you can leave the motor in place and remove the intake, heads, and cam. When my 79 Vette only had under 1000 miles on it. I Installed Carb, single plane intake, Crane cam, lifters, springs, headman headers, true duals, no cats without pulling the heads off. It didnt have the power I had hoped for and the heads were the bottle neck so it was new head time Now I have a 32 year old Vette that has had 12 15 different motors, 10 different trannies, numerous rear end rebuilds. Very little of the 79 Vette is original stock type parts. Everything had to be upgraded when it broke.

Some of the parts and bushing have been replaced about every 10 years. I spend more hours working on it than driving hours.

Read some books on how to "Hot rod small Block Chevys" find a local mentor, and of course ask questions here on the forum.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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Definitely get a good set of heads with fast burn chambers and you can run 10:1 compression. Add a modest torque type cam and you'll be pleasantly surprised. If you stay with a flat tappet cam, use a good oil with additives, not Mobil 1.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:53 PM   #12
sokoloka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkull View Post
Reading all kinds of things about the subject helps, but you also need to find a mentor. I can learn more from a guy showing me the easy way to do something than muddling through it alone.
Definitely agree with you there.
My challenge is that Im a young guy who has most of his time consumed by travelling for work, but luckily I do have a few wrenching buddies that I work with. Unfortunately, the one who is the biggest help is engrossed with restoring old Porsches, so Im not sure how in tune he is with the Chevy small block world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkull View Post
Engines are an air pump. So the more air you can run through it the more power it will make. Everything is interrelated and it is only as strong as its weakest link or bottle neck. No one item like a MSD box, bigger carb, bigger intake, bigger heads, more compression, bigger cam, headers, and big exhaust will help.
What I would like to do is put a plan together of parts that I could add and have work together. As of right now, I have the stock bottom end and heads, with an Edelbrock Performer intake, Hooker type headers, and a 600CFM Holley carb. She runs well, but I would like to give her some pep and maybe lighten the front end a bit with aluminum heads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkull View Post
All that being said what are you really after other than the statement of you would like to blue print a motor? All of my motors since about 1980 have been balanced and the blocks blue printed. Blue printed just means the act of machining, boring, milling everything perfectly square and aligned like it was on the engineers drawing board. The factories just make things close enough and with time, heat, stress they bend and warp.
I enjoy challenges. Ive spent plenty of time turning wrenches, but have never built an engine from the ground up. Taking on the challenge of putting something together and going to the level of detail that blueprinting would require is something that greatly interests me. Whether I end up doing that with the current block in the vette or starting on something from scratch is a different story.

My goal with the current stock block is relatively straight forward. Id like to freshen the overall engine a bit (swapping out the old smog heads with something more modern), obviously looking for some more horsepower or torque that I could be leaving behind, as well as simply verify the mechanical soundness of the engine. Everything that Ive decided to tackle in the car thus far has been previously done half ***, and at the end of the day taking the vette on epic roadtrips was part of the reason I bought it. Now that Im at the point where Ive gone through the rest of the running gear, it seems like the engine is the last remaining logical thing to tackle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkull View Post
My question is: are you pulling the engine out?. Because you can leave the motor in place and remove the intake, heads, and cam. When my 79 Vette only had under 1000 miles on it. I Installed Carb, single plane intake, Crane cam, lifters, springs, headman headers, true duals, no cats without pulling the heads off. It didnt have the power I had hoped for and the heads were the bottle neck so it was new head time
Im currently at the point where I could either pull the engine out, or do some work to the top end with the engine in. The C3 is not my daily, and its been off the road for the past 4 months while Ive been redoing the suspension and brakes front and rear. I would like to get back on the road in early spring, but I am not opposed to taking the time to do it right.
As for picking the right parts the first time thats where Id have to turn to you guys. Im handy with a wrench, but making sure that I pick the right parts is where I need a little reassurance. Ive been doing some googling on whats currently in the stock block that I have, but am not finding much information on what the effective dome volume might be and things like that.

I can read about cam grinds and valve size all day, but Im still looking for somewhat proven recommendations of parts combinations that I could put on the block and see some results, whatever they may be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkull View Post
Read some books on how to "Hot rod small Block Chevys" find a local mentor, and of course ask questions here on the forum.
Ive purchased and read some of the books that other forum members have recommended, including one that you possibly may have recommended by Rick Voeglin (the title currently escapes me) but its on step-by-step blueprinting of engines.
Any additional reading you guys can recommend would be much appreciated! If you guys have any parts recommendations that would be great as well.

Im here to learn from the knowledge pool of CF members as well as my mistakes (hopefully not too many). Anything you guys can do to help me get on the right track with parts and even an engine build plan would be great.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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Visiting a buddy in Atlanta and had a chance to go to Summit's retail location in McDonough, GA.
Any recommendations for one alu cylinder head manufacturer over another? Was looking at the AFR 195's yesterday - how would going from the 76cc in my stock 993 heads to the 64cc chamber of the AFRs affect my overall compression? Trickflow or any other manufacturer better than AFRs?
Do I currently have dished pistons in the block? How can I calculate my effective dome volume without taking my current heads off?

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:42 AM   #14
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Seems CKX is a base "L48" motor.
OE L48 has Dished type piston and would hardly make 9:1 scr with 64cc chamber.
Rebuilder may've installed dish, flattop or dome (aka popup) type piston ... you now must pull a head to know piston type or estimate/calculate/measure scr.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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