Checking numbers on a 350 buick

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by 72 skylark custom, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Where would the casting numbers be on a buick 350 to check with the vin number?
     
  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    It’s hard to see the vin number but it’s stamped on the front of the block drivers side.
     

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  3. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Okay thank you i will look this morning
     
    MrSony likes this.
  4. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    I dont think i found it... i cant see any numbers on that side of the engine, here a pic of what im looking at
     

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  5. 78Regal350

    78Regal350 Well-Known Member

    It’s tough to tell from the picture, but is part of the number visible right above the timing cover?
     
  6. 78Regal350

    78Regal350 Well-Known Member

    My '71 block is stamped vertically (front driver side, block inverted on engine stand in picture).

    [​IMG]
     
  7. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Are you trying to find out if it’s a numbers matching engine? Or do you just want info about the engine? To find out the HP rating and compression ratio look fir the two digit code between cylinders 1 and 3 on the block deck ledge.
     
    MrSony likes this.
  8. MrSony

    MrSony Well-Known Member

    It'll be right here: FB_IMG_1578898894847.jpg
     
  9. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Numbers matching engine part
     
  10. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    This is because i was told the car is numbers matching, but on the cylinder heads i see a 73 on each head lol
     
  11. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Could it be behind the timing cover lime right where the gasket is?
     
  12. MrSony

    MrSony Well-Known Member

    Nope. It should be on the drivers side on the smooth part of the block.
     
  13. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    72 engines had 73 on the heads
     
  14. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Okay once the motor gets pulled in the next week ill get the paint cleaned off and hopefully it will be a little easier to see.
    why did they do this does anyone know, because that would seem very misleading
     
  15. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    There were improvements made to the castings over the years so part way through 72 they started using the later style heads. Most of the changes made were to reduce cracking issues that the early heads had.
     
  16. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Thats very interesting. I had no idea they did that. Thats pretty cool
     
  17. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Extra coolant passages were added. They are in the Center of the heads. If the later heads are used on the early blocks then coolant will leak into the crank case. The later blocks have extra deck surface to support the gasket at the extra coolant port location. It’s a dead end port.
     
  18. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Thats something i never wouldve thought of, when i pull the engine out before the car goes away. Ill pull the heads and look at those passages to see them, i wonder why the earlier heads were susceptible to cracking? Just from the lack of cooling passages?
     
  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Yes that’s why they were cracking. Interestingly though the cracking although very common rarely actually caused a failure. I learned this from Greg Gessler the porting guy. He would check them for cracks (magniflux) before he spent $$$$ on them. He said he brazed or welded them up, I can’t remember which.

    Then I started looking at the heads over the years and I’ve seen a lot of 68-72 heads that are cracked.
     
  20. 72 skylark custom

    72 skylark custom Well-Known Member

    Thats pretty cool. Im suprised the cracking wouldnt cause some sort of failure like you said. It must just be where the crack is and how bad it is
     

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