How Can I Tell What Engine My Small Block Chevy Is?

by Jen Davis

It can be difficult to determine the exact size of your Chevrolet vehicle's engine. But there are ways for even someone who does not know much about auto repair to figure out the engine size of his car or truck. Knowing the correct engine size of your small-block Chevrolet V-8 engine will help you correctly order parts to repair it if you have a problem.

Step 1

Open the hood on your vehicle and look for identifying stickers or marks. Most cars and trucks have a sticker or label placed somewhere under the hood that lists basic information about the vehicle, including engine size. Your small-block V-8 will be identified by a three-digit number identifying its cubic-inch size. The most commonly found small-block Chevrolet engines include the 262, 283, 305, 327, 350 and the 400.

Step 2

Locate the vehicle identification number on your car or truck. The VIN will be on a sticker inside the door jamb or on a plate on the left side of the dashboard next to the windshield. The VIN is a 17-digit number that provides the vehicle's identifying information. It is unique to your car or truck.

Step 3

Call your local Chevrolet dealership. Provide a customer service representative with the VIN and ask what specific size engine is in your vehicle. As long as the engine has never been changed out in your vehicle, the Chevrolet dealership will be able to tell you exactly what size small-block V-8 you have under your hood.

Step 4

Locate the casting number. This requires a bit of skill and vehicle knowledge. Go to the back of the engine compartment on the driver's side and look at the rear of the engine block near where it connects to the transmission housing. The casting number will be found in this general vicinity. There are different casting numbers for different engines, so you will have to go through the various numbers until you find yours (see Resources).

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