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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone ,I'm new to Digitalcorvettes and Corvette cars ,I bought my Corvette a month ago after 10 years of riding Harleys and am not regretting the change one bit. I've spent all my spare time going through the car and learning as much as i can .Its a 79 auto,was imported into UK in 89 and has had just three owners since arriving, it has all its history and reciepts etc from 89 till now.
My question I hope someone can help with with is regarding the engine as it doesn't appear to be the original one ,i believe after looking on lots of sites today is its out of a 1980 350 van.
The car now has an Idelbrock carb,inlet manifold ,headers and dual pipes all fitted in the 1990's and runs as sweet as a nut,would it be correct to assume that the chances are at some time just the block would have been changed .leaving the bottom end and heads original and therefore keeping the performance as it was and is there any way of telling if this is the case .

The Vin is 1Z89895450926
Engine numbers are K0430UFC . CG1195174
The car is red with Ivory leather so that matches the VIN but i could do with some help on what i could expect from the engine.The details i have found from the internet is this .
UFC 1980 350 van, bus, a/t, Cal M LT9 165 4 C-30 & 3500.
I have read in some places the block could be inferior to a corvette block,the car had 60000 miles when imported in 1989 and now shows 82000 miles and runs very strong, has no strange unexpected noises from the engine ,in fact the engine is very quiet on tickover and has no smoke on start up or while running.Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated
 

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Its highly doubtful that just the block was changed, if you pull one of the tappet/rocker covers that will expose the heads so that you can pull the casting number off the head which will tell you a more complete story of what is what with the engine,

for example my 82 has a 3970010 casting block that was punched .030 over and the internals are far from stock eagle forged crank, h beam rods .220 dome pistons, with a cam that has a lift of .488/.510 and the heads are 305 heads that have had a triple valve grind and 2:02/ 1:60 valve installed

from the outside though it appears much like yours edelbrock intake carb, stock appearing heads ect

SO this said its way to hard to guess if it retained any of its stock parts as it is quite likely that when it was pulled, one it was for a reason and may not be quite stock internally

if you supply me with the head casting numbers I can tell you what they are
 

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There really is no such thing as an inferior 350 chevy block, even the lightweight versions support 500 hp. But if you ever built a high horsepower engine, chevy reduced the weight of the block around 76 so you would seek out an early 70s block instead of the light cast blocks made in 79/80.

Additionally, a C-30 is a 1 ton truck and very likely to have 4 bolt main caps, which may explain why it's under a vette's hood. In the 80s most machine shops had a stack of 350 chevy blocks and it wasn't uncommon to pay $50 and start the rebuild with one of their 4 bolts instead of your original 2 bolt. The original engine in your car was from an era of major camshaft hardness issues. Often the camshaft metal trashes the bearings, forcing a rebuild at relatively low miles. It was literally an epidemic in the 80s.

What numbers are cast on top of the bellhousing under the distributor? Should be all numbers, no letters.

To know if your engine has original type heads, what shapes are cast into the ends of the cylinder heads?

If you can remove a valve cover, what numbers are cast into the top of the heads?

Enjoy the car!
 

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First off congrats on the purchase of a C3 Corvette:thumbsup:! I have family in Wales so it's nice to talk to someone who is from there. When you find the cylinder head casting number post it cause I have books and pages on all the casting numbers, and RattVette and Slow & Leaky are right about the info they gave you so once again congrats and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many thanks 72sbvet,slow and leaky and rattvette for the replies,its a relief to hear that it should be ok ,its 10.30pm here but i'm not working this week so will get in the garage tomorrow morning and take a rocker box cover off and see what numbers i can see ,are they easy to see ?? ,i'll also have a look for the number under the distributor,i did notice when i was under the car today some numbers on the bellhousing if that is what you mean , i will also have a re-look on the end of the cylinder heads as i did see that there was some sort of odd shape ,i just thought it was part of the casting so will get back to you tomorow.
Thanks again
 

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They're easy to see and the block casting number is on the driver side rear area of the block:thumbsup: Here to help so if you need any more info I'll try my best to help:thumbsup:
 

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The block casting number is in the short section of bellhousing that's cast into the block, in the area under the distributor. It's in a hard to reach, recessed area that's usually full of grime but the numbers are fairly large and cast in.

The foundry code could end up as many different engines but is key to identifying a block.

Here's a link to a list
http://www.73-87.com/chevy_ids/blockid.htm

You're somewhat in luck since they changed code format in 1980, 79 blocks start with a 3, 1980 starts with a 1. Cuts a lot of questions.

Same deal with the head numbers and ID shapes. You're looking for a 6 digit number under the rocker box, it's fairly large. If you see references to heads with a 3 digit number, they're referring to the last 3 digits.

http://www.fastnuf.com/Headguide.html

http://www.73-87.com/chevy_ids/sbheads.htm

BTW is the engine pale blue? It would've been if original to your car or the C30/van. Orangey reds up thru 76, black was 82-newer. In between was blue. If it's not light blue and doesn't have blue underneath, it's been in a machine shop's cleaning tank and is surely rebuilt. Not many people repainted them light blue after rebuilds, just not a popular color.

Also OEM freeze plugs were plated steel, many (not all) rebuilds use brass. Do the pushrods look like the round ends are smoothly formed from the shaft, or do they look like spheres welded onto shafts? Just more clues along the mystery trail:thumbsup:

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi slow and leaky,72sbvet and Rattvette..They don't make it easy do they :laughing:
spent the morning all over the engine ,took the passenger side rocker cover of (found the gasket broken) I now have a list of numbers ,i also took 3 close up photo's of the rockers as i can't make much sense of the numbers as i don't know what i am looking for and will attach them just in case i am reading it wrong.
The engine is black with no sign of blue paint anywhere.
The front end or the heads are definitely marked up as diagram "I"on the cylinder head identification guide you gave me the link on but don't know if thats good or bad .
the numbers on the head from left to right to me read thus,
1422801
8*10...6
D
N A
in the centre there is a circle of dots ?
then the block symbol with a number 6
GM
Out of interest I also took the number of the auto box bell housing ,they read 8640 840. 110214-A there was also a circle split into thirds and that read 6-79 / 1-8 / .

72sbvet i live in south west wales (Carmarthenshire),were do your relatives live in wales ,if you have spoken to them over christmas they would be full of stories of this winter,its the worst winter since the 80's for the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Almost forgot ,the number under the distributor is 14094766 and there is a number 30 upside down on the side of the block above the oil filter...
 

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...The Vin is 1Z89895450926...
Take another look. The VIN should be 1Z8789S...
1 Chevrolet
Z Corvette
87 body style code for sport coupe
8 engine code indicating base L-48
9 model year code for 1979
S plant code for St. Louis, Missouri
450926 is your consecutive unit number; the 50926th '79 Corvette assembled.

...Engine numbers are K0430UFC...
K St. Catherines, Ontario engine plant. Corvette engines were not assembled at St. Catherines so the engine is not original.

0430 date engine was assembled (April 30)
UFC engine suffix code indicates a 1980 350CID 165hp truck engine.

...CG1195174...
VIN derivitive of the vehicle the engine was originally installed in.

Congrats on your '79. Cruise and enjoy.
:thumbsup:
 

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Sometimes identification has it's downside.

The head numbers look more like 14022301 which are 80-84 305 heads.

The block looks up as an 88-94 305. Which is 1 piece rear main and would have used centerbolt valve covers and had some weirdness with the center intake bolts. So if swapped into an older car in 88/89 would probably get a set of old style heads. Your 80-84 heads use the older valve covers and have standard intake bolts, they're a logical choice for such a swap.

So the good news is your car more or less had a brand new shortblock installed before it was exported, the 1 piece rear main is way less leaky than the older versions, and with the price of petrol over there.......
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Everyone, Just took the rocker of the other side to make sure that the gasket was not broken like the other and to re-check the head numbers and it definitely is 14022801.

6880 Mike ,you are correct on the VIN number being 1Z87895450926.

I'm now confused to what i have under the bonnet could someone explain for me ,do i have a 350 engine capacity and is the head and block an improvement or inferior to original ? would the bhp be more like the van at 165 or the corvettes 195bhp and what effect in terms of bhp do the headers and Idelbrock carb and manifold have.
Sorry to be so dumb but i am learning fast and loving every minute of it , many thanks again to everyone so far.
Here,s a photo of the beast at the last owners house last summer.
 

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My family lives at Coughton Court:thumbsup: As to estimating bhp it's hard to do but if it has 8.5:1 compression ratio, long tube headers, and decent setup on the carb your looking at around 165 to 200 hp depending if it has a mild peformance camshaft and head work, but that is just speculaton as we don't know what truely has been done internally to your engine. A one piece block is a good design and doesn't have the leaks common to the the pre 1986 small blocks.
 

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Wow, that's a beautiful car! Does it have L82 badges on the bonnet? Would be interesting to know if it's an original L82 car.

14022801 is still a 305 head unfortunately. 58cc chambers, so if they were on a 350 you'd have super high compression but small valves and runners choking off high rpm breathing.

What you have is a (5 liter) 305 per the foundry numbers, not a 350. If there's a mild aftermarket cam to go with the hedders and aftermarket intake it's power should be roughly equal to a totally stock 350.

People had & still have lots of fun in camaros and monte carlo SSs with 305s and low rear gears, so all is not lost. Enjoy that beautiful ride, just don't be challenging other cars at highway speeds, 305s don't accelerate well in 3rd gear.

If the engine has a GM camshaft, it's probably making 170-190hp at the flywheel. If it's got an aftermarket cam, 190-220. It has 58cc heads so the compression is probably a very reasonable number starting with 9. Many 350s of that era dipped well into the 8s, as shown by the very low power ratings.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Slow and leaky and 72SBvet,the VIN indicates it's was originally an L48 so the L82 badges have been put on at some time.Its disappointing that it's not a 5.7 corvette engine but at 31 years of age the most important thing is its overall condition and that i'm glad to say is good,all three owners here in the Uk seem to have made it into a garage queen and kept the car in good condition throughout ,all i need now is dry weather to get out and enjoy it,the only journey i have had so far in it were the 180 miles home when i bought it 3 weeks ago just before 1 foot of snow arrived,it felt very quick and responsive on acceleration from any speed then, and the Steeroids steering fitted last year to the car made it feel very precise .I presume the only way to know if the cam or pistons have been changed is to strip the heads down or have it dyno tested to see what it produces .......
Or just drive and enjoy it :cool::D

thanks again
Paul
 
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